Camelot Unchained: the Dream Realised?

For every new release of information in a blog post or interview for the proposed Camelot Unchained I find myself slowly nodding my head in agreement. It seems like a game that is addressing everything that is wrong with the genre today, it isn’t just a rehash of the earlier mmo’s glory though but it definitely embodies the spirit of it. I find myself more and more excited to see this game become a reality and when the Kickstarter comes around I know I will be funding it regardless of whether or not it is for determining the level of investment.

The regular posts we have been getting as part of the wind up to the kickstarter have really invigorated my interest for the mmo genre, it is capable of so much and a return to more engaging and community orientated practices will be very welcome in the current market. From what I’ve read now Marc Jacobs just seems to understand the current feelings of mmo players, a deep understanding of what we want in a more hardcore mmo, for a game we want to live in and not just consume and leave it’s carcass behind. He gets a lot of criticism for his past roles in games, especially war and he is obviously partly to blame but with this new project being free from the restraints of big companies, producers and investors he is more free to experiment and create a brilliant niche product which perfectly caters to its audience rather than trying for the masses and getting dissatisfaction.

These post seem to be a rather poetic glimpse into his personal view and expectations for mmo’s and while they are not the perfect wish list I’m guessing everyone has for a sandbox they do seem more grounded in reality. Marc is full of ideas for this new project, grandiose ones at times but this time i think he is actually trying to reign these back into things that are possible, attainable and that suit a realm v realm environment. It is a new Marc Jacobs in many regards, his passion has obviously been renewed lately with being completely in charge of his own project and he has learnt many lessons from his successes and many failures. While I do wish for him to settle down with the jokes and many many references as he isn’t as witty and hilarious as he thinks i’m definitely looking forward to seeing what other ideas he has.

There are a few points so far that have me really excited. The fact that he/they don’t have to be averse to taking a risk with concepts and mechanics, they are aiming and budgeting for a niche audience meaning that he can be far more innovative in how they develop this mmo for a more defined audience. One of the big changes here from what I can see is the emphasis on choice about how you play and on how you develop your character. It appears that here it will really matter as often enough you will have to live with the decisions you make.

There will be a certain amount of stat allocation in character creation and maybe even later on, choosing a class is generally what you will haave to stick with in the end as there is no hybrid system where you can fulfill multiple roles and respecs will be extremely limited. Not all choices but many while progressing your character will involve certain advantages and disadvantages.. boons and banes as he said. I see this as being a huge part in the way we progressed characters but also in how the actions you use and the way you specialise your class will make them unique to you.

Next was making the experience meaningful and this is a little more vague. We have had a lot of throwaway experiences and I was never involved in the earlier years of mmo’s so a meaningful experience is quite foreign to me.. i know kind of what I would like but without actually experience it is just ideas. All of it sounds good on paper though, no hand holding and the ideal that some things should be hard or involve work, consequence to death and making it more meaningful to the experience and the battle, and large unknown world with limited fast travel that will make traversing it matter.

And all this is backed up by a crafting system that sounds like AMAZING. The aim is to make it truly feel apart of the world where you rely on others from time to time to supply you with all manner of things and then the supply of gatherers backing it all up. There are also many different sections that will be designed to promote conflict too, there will be certain richer nodes as well as certain rare ones for groups to control. There will be no auction house system (maybe for resources) which will make crafting a very viable profession and building a reputation paramount. I don’t know yet but I suspect personal shops and such will play a big part in it. There will be safe areas to craft, and although many not like this as long as it is a system that supports the war effort I’m all for it. Like realm and Guild pride they also want people to having crafting pride.. a worth in what they are creating and with their role in the game and I think that with these foundations they may grant that as they will no doubt be a focal point for different communities. The one point I am unsure about yet is that there will be no player loot, usually to foster an economy you need a mechanic which regularly takes or destroys items so possibly there will be item degradation to make up for it.

Building structures will play a big role as well. So far I’m not quite sure but it sounds like being a specialised builder might be its own profession and if so I imagine them being very sought after. Apart from castles and defensive structures there will be a fully fledged open world housing system, it’s funny that PvE’ers have been salivating for such a thing for years in a big release and here we have Archeage, an open PvP mmo and this specialised realm v realm mmo having them… I guess wherever you have to design castle building and such adding housing is just another small step. There will be limited safe areas to build housing structures but for the most part they will be out in the world with the possibility and likelihood of being destroyed, there will be certain tradeoffs for having a house in a safe area or in danger but I have no idea what that could be yet.

It seems like a dream in many regards, this is everything I want in an mmo. Extensive ways of progressing a character beyond just “look at my stats brah!”, a crafting system that is a part of the world as well as enhancing the experience, and housing .. Housing. Then all wrapped up in a lovely chocalatey open word pvp castle sieging coating.  The downside to all this is that the expected release date is September 2015.. yep .. a long long way away so all it would be right now is an idea and the basics of a working model. If you can’t wait that long he has talked about giving backers of the Kickstarter very early access to the project in order to get more consistent feedback from the public during development. In the mean time I am looking forward to more Foundations of this new and very exciting idea.

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4 thoughts on “Camelot Unchained: the Dream Realised?

  1. Like you say, PvE players have been salivating for open housing! I can see how it makes more sense in a PvP environment in some ways. It was always an interesting feature in Felucca in UO, as player housing could act as safe zones and be used as bases.

    Still, I do wish that PvE developers would pull their finger out and do more to bring open world housing. Although, I’m not sure I’d thank them – I could become unhealthily hooked to such a system!

    • I honestly don’t know why they don’t, it adds so much content to an mmo and a whay to make people feel more invested in the game. Just having all the different furniture pieces and trophy items throughout the game offers a lot of replayability.

      And then all we really do have is instanced crappy housing, admittingly rifts iteration is pretty damn awesome but it would have been so much better if you could also build in certain areas of the real world.

      The way I’ve been thinking though is to make better use of many of the houses and assets in major towns. It would be amazing in a game like GW2 for instance if you could rent and enter some of the houses you see there. There doors could be the entrance and you could set it to public or private.

      Maybe they will learn

  2. I’ve been holding off on writing a post myself, waiting for the right words to come to me. I think it’ll definitely be a game to watch – that’s evident even in this early, conceptual state.

    Still, I am not really interested in another PvP-only game. PvP to me is best with a healthy dosage of PvE and true risk versus reward. I don’t really want to war over flipping color palettes in static castles anymore than I want to fight bad AI on repeat.

    • yeh it a hard mix of emotions to get down on page.. equal parts anticipation and trepidation. sounds so great.. “sounds”, but a working game is a long way away. All these ideas he has also seem to tap into our own unrequited game mechanics and concepts, wishes of our idealised game which it of course won’t be.. but how close.

      I don’t think it is just going to be a a game of flipping, he has quite a bit of experience with the model. His off hand comment in the mmorpg interview that he Loved GW2 (past tense) infers he learnt a little from their experiment as well.

      The pve part is what kind of has me concerned. He emphatically says no but will the world work without it.. will crafting work without it.

      I know a lot of people really liked the Darkkness falls open dungeon area in DAoC and that would be very welcome here.. I would especially like some large underground labyrinth to explore and murder in. this could be tied in with the crafting system by these mobs dropping certain regions that maybe only add to customisation options… a monster hunter bastardisation or something like that anyway.

      Meant to mention this before as well but he approached the forums over at Keen and Graevs for ideas regarding the crafting system

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