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Camelot Unchained

The Game Archaeologist: The danger of expecting lightning to strike twice

City of Heroes, Opinion, Champions Online, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, Camelot Unchained, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

It's no secret that many of the more successful Kickstarter projects over the past few years have heavily capitalized on player nostalgia, brand names, and former dev gods who are back for another round. The formula for drawing in the big bucks seems to be the following: Take something players hugely loved back in the day, dangle the concept of a sequel (spiritual or otherwise), and promise some measure of iterative improvement.

I once wrote about how we really can't go back again to recreate a particular game experience because it was usually a confluence of several factors that were related to where the industry was then and where you were then. I'm not saying that there isn't value to retro gaming, playing classic MMOs, or involving the past in future development! But there is a danger in how we as gamers become so beholden to our nostalgia that we dare lightning to strike twice -- and we're paying big bucks to see that happen.

But can we? Will it?

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Camelot Unchained discusses resource systems, BOP gear, and housing

Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, News Items, Community Q&A, Sandbox, Crafting, Housing, Camelot Unchained, Player-Generated Content

Camelot Unchained
The Camelot Unchained devs have just released issue seven of their Piercing the Veil series, blog posts dedicated to answering player questions about the upcoming PvP sandbox. The highlights?
  • Not every tree in the game will be harvestable, but the devs are considering (not promising!) a dynamic resource ecosystem.
  • There will be expandable storage, but inventory management annoyances will be downplayed.
  • The team isn't planning NPC cities beyond the starter cities. The players will be creating that part of the world.
  • Bind-on-pickup gear "does not make good sense for [the] game given that all but the starter gear will be crafted, rather than dropped."
  • Housing will differ in format based on whether it's in the open world or safe zones, and you won't need to be a crafter to set up a basic home yourself.
  • Non-stat player clothing will be in the game.
  • The devs will most likely put limits on guild sizes.
  • Solo play will probably be a viable option.
You can read the complete Q&A on the official site.

Camelot Unchained's producer's letter offers concept art, new storefront

Fantasy, Historical, Screenshots, Lore, News Items, Races, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained's April producer's letter begins with an apology; the planned testing scheduled for the end of March was delayed because of goal pushbacks, writes producer Tyler Rockwell. But we're pretty sure you'll forgive the team as Rockwell has uploaded some new bits of concept art of the Giants of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The team is also teasing new and more functional forums as well as a new storefront, which will have "much-requested capabilities such as combining and upgrading pledges."

"We know we need to pick up the pace over the next 5 months in order to hit Alpha on time, and that is our intent," Rockwell vowed.

We've included the concept art after the break; just click the images to enlarge them.

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Camelot Unchained previews the Giant race and Helbound class

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Previews, News Items, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained
A Camelot Unchained update blog penned by City State Entertainment's Mark Jacobs this afternoon provides two bits of eyecandy for fans and backers.

The first is the concept art above, "a teaser for the Giant race of the Tuatha Dé Danann." The second is the video embedded below, which is a first-cut animation test for a Helbound, the game's death-flavored Viking healer class. "Neither the model nor the animation cycles are final yet," Jacobs warns. "In keeping with our intent to always show you folks truly representative models and not ridiculously high-poly count models that won't work for most gamers, this Helbound represents a pretty good approximation of how a Helbound could look in the game at launch."

[Many thanks to tipster Guinness!]

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Camelot Unchained gives a first look at the Viking Jotnar [Updated]

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Races, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained
A new producer's letter from Camelot Unchained's Tyler Rockwell is out today with a first look at one of the giant races of the game. The game posted a piece of concept art for its Viking Jotnar as well as an image of a creature found in The Depths dungeon.

Rockwell said that the team has a lot to do over the next month, including integrating a new game designer into the team, developing the Tuatha giant race, and vastly improving the internal testing client so that large-scale battles can happen. The game's scheduled to get Havok physics and collisions added in, allowing for jumping and projectiles to be included in the future.

[Update: Tipster Matthew let us know that CU also uploaded a new developer video. It's after the cut!]

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Massively Exclusive: Camelot Unchained armor dev blog concludes with part 3

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Camelot Unchained

In the preceding installments of Camelot Unchained's three-part armor dev blog, you've seen the images Lead Concept Artist Michelle Davies and Concept Artist and Animator Sandra Pavulaan have provided on the Vikings, the Arthurians, and the Tuatha Dé Danann. Now, hear about the thought processes behind their work!

This exclusive series concludes with these two artists joining Mark Jacobs to talk shop about the development of armor, ruminating on subjects like customizing armor pieces to accommodating non-human body parts and using different combinations of materials when crafting the armor. Oh, and it's got lots of early mockups to marvel at as well!

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Massively Exclusive: Camelot Unchained armor dev blog, part 2

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Camelot Unchained

Monday, we brought you the first installment of an exclusive three-part series about Camelot Unchained's armor development. Today, City State Entertainment co-founder Mark Jacobs and Lead Artist and Animator Scott Trolan continue the discussion by introducing the looks of two more races. Where part one delved into the details of the Vikings, part two focuses on the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Arthurians. These two groups have very different approaches to armor and distinct looks, as seen in the included images by Lead Concept Artist Michelle Davies and Concept Artist and Animator Sandra Pavulaan. Read up on the ideas behind the art and see the sketches in part two of the CU armor dev blog series.

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Mark Jacobs talks character aging: Nixed in Warhammer Online, planned for Camelot Unchained

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, Warhammer Online, News Items, Camelot Unchained

Players who were disappointed when the character aging feature was cut from the release of (the now defunct) Warhammer Online can look forward to seeing it implemented in Camelot Unchained. Mark Jacobs, an instrumental man in the creation of both games, talked with Eurogamer about that system and how it got scrapped as well as delved into the details of how it will work in CU.

Basically, the system would allow players to visually judge the veteran status of others and therefore their threat both up close and from a distance. For instance, a larger-than-normal Greenskin or a Dwarf with a very long beard would signify a player who is more experienced and likely tougher. Jacobs relayed that he was never even informed that the feature was actually removed from the game and only discovered it when a beta tester inquired about it, noting "Nobody was more embarrassed than me when I had to say that that feature of the game had to be removed."

The feature is not dead, however, and will make its appearance in Camelot Unchained. What does that mean for players? In CU, the changes will be more than cosmetic, they will actually be meaningful in the world. Jacobs added,
"There will be some downside to aging, but there will also be a greater amount of upsides, because we want it to be a net-positive experience for the player. However, players won't have to worry about getting old to the point of major gimping [becoming not as effective] of their characters, or worse, perma-death, as that would simply be no fun."

Massively exclusive: Camelot Unchained dev blog discusses armor, part 1

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained

Currently in internal testing, work on the fantasy PvP sandbox Camelot Unchained continues rolling forward. But even with the plethora of news out there, there are still plenty of details unknown about the game. In the first of a new three-part series, creator Mark Jacobs reveals the artistic vision for CU's armor system with the help of Lead Artist and Animator Scott Trolan, Lead Concept Artist Michelle Davies, and Concept Artist and Animator Sandra Pavulaan.

If you are hoping for dental floss-inspired metal bikinis, you're going to be disappointed; Jacob's vision espouses realistic ensembles befitting warriors who depend on their armor for survival. Read the team's vision and see some of the concept art right here in this first installment of this series, exclusively on Massively.

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Camelot Unchained's internal testing 'successful' so far

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained Producer Tyler Rockwell wrote a letter to the community today saying that internal testing on the MMO is going well and that the team is ready to work toward its second milestone.

"We had a very successful start to internal testing," Rockwell reported. He mentioned that while Camelot Unchained's internal testing has taken place with small groups in limited environments, at one point the team had worked up to 286 players fighting in an area.

With the game's first development milestone reached, Rockwell said that the team is now focused on hitting the second one. This includes work on the Depths dungeon and the Giants race. The project will also continue to refine the technical aspect: "Moving forward over the next month we'll be focusing on continued server and client performance and stability. We hope to continue adding art to the client and recently added some simple combat. The big goal is even larger numbers of people in testing with a continued frame rate of 60fps."

Camelot Unchained Q&A talks PvP looting, physical growth, and crafting

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Warhammer Online, Community Q&A, Crafting, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

There's a new community Q&A up on the Camelot Unchained site dealing with a wide range of topics concerning this up-and-coming RvR MMO. The topics in it range from hooded cloaks (yes, they're in) to just what players will be able to loot from enemy corpses and structures.

Perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of information is that the team is putting in a physical growth system similar to the one that was promised but never delivered to Warhammer Online. Mark Jacobs confirmed the feature: "I'm happy to say that yes, certain races (I won't commit to all of them yet) will have meaningful changes happen to them, both cosmetic and gameplay. For example, our Dvergr might have more stone covering their body and their beards will grow. Other examples could be with our HelBound's faces, Hamadryad's tails, etc."

The Q&A also addressed the role and importance of crafters, emphasizing that those players will be able to generate basic materials from their land and that they'll "contribute majorly" to battles.

Camelot Unchained meets Depths stretch goal, Giant race next

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained giants teaser
Camelot Unchained has met another of its stretch funding goals, which means that The Depths are now confirmed for the forthcoming fantasy RvR title. CU's website has updated with the next stretch goal, which is "the giant races of Camelot."

"Giants will be used as both player races and as inhabitants of The Depths," says the update. "Each giant race will be unique to their Realm (no mirrors used here either). While the concept of giants isn't new, it wouldn't be Camelot Unchained if we didn't do things just a wee bit differently." Details as to what "differently" means are pretty scarce at this point, but keep on eye on this space for more Camelot Unchained news as it happens.

[Thanks Guinness!]

Mark Jacobs promises stretch goals won't delay Camelot Unchained

Betas, Fantasy, Dev Diaries, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained's Mark Jacobs penned an insightful piece today about how the possible dangers of stretch goals in crowdfunding. "Stretch goals are, in theory, generally a good thing for both players and developers," he wrote. "Unfortunately, while on the surface it looks all nice and serene, underneath the calm waters there is danger and that is the ever-looming problem of <insert theme from Jaws here> DELAYS."

To avoid any future conflict with funders, Jacobs went on to list several principles that his studio will adhere to for stretch goals. He said that future stretch goals must add something very useful to the game, not be thrown in just to raise funding, not require adding too many new people to the team, and be added only if they don't conflict with other goals. Jacobs also indicated that he's perfectly fine with halting further stretch goals or waiting to put them in until the time is right and the team has already finished what it needs to do.


Camelot Unchained's internal testing begins

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained
Mark Jacobs just announced that fantasy PvP sandbox Camelot Unchained is officially undergoing internal testing. "Over the last 24 hours, we have done two stress tests of our client and server. This afternoon's peaked at around 407 client connections from our pool of internal testers," he wrote. "We experienced no crashes even though many players ran multiple instances of the client on their machines."

Full details are available via the CU Kickstarter page.

Camelot Unchained eyeing $2.5 million Depths stretch goal

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained concept
City State has updated its Camelot Unchained website. It's also unveiled some new pledge tiers designed to speed the RvR sandbox on its way toward the next stretch goal. That stretch goal is The Depths, and it will be realized once the crowdfunding total crosses the $2.5 million barrier (it stands at nearly $2.41 million as of press time).

The Builders Tiers start at $35 and go all the way up to the $425 level. You can browse all the tier rewards individually or scroll down to the bottom of the page for a handy-dandy tier comparison chart.

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