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Dark Age of Camelot

Dark Age of Camelot gives free week of game time to lapsed accounts

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, PvP, Promotions, Subscription

DAoC
Is it time for you to return to Dark Age of Camelot? It just might be, as the game is handing out a week of free game time for players with lapsed accounts!

The Return to the Realms promotion is crediting a week of game time to any account that hasn't been used for more than 60 days. This game time includes access to the test server, where Patch 1.115 is being brewed and refined.

Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online were recently acquired by the newly formed Broadsword Online Games.

Mythic devs form new studio, take over DAoC and Ultima Online

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, MMO Industry, Ultima Online

Broadsword
Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online are moving out from under Mythic Entertainment's management and into a new studio: Broadsword Online Games.

Today Mythic announced that 14 members of its team, including co-founder Rob Denton, have left to form Broadsword in order to take over daily operations and development of Mythic's two remaining MMOs.

Broadsword will continue to work with EA for the games' billing and account services. The new studio said that it will be releasing more information about plans for UO and DAoC shortly.

EVE Evolved: Designing EVE Onland, part 1

Sci-Fi, Dark Age of Camelot, Darkfall, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, Ultima Online, Shadowbane, Mortal Online, EVE Evolved, Perpetuum, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
When I'm not playing or writing about EVE Online, I can usually be found huddled over my computer typing lines of code into a compiler and chipping away at bugs that make varying degrees of sense. Designing my own hardcore space game is a really fun challenge and very fulfilling work, but I have a dirty little game dev secret: I've actually always wanted to make a fantasy game. While the budget and personnel required to take on a project the scale of an MMO remain quite far outside my grasp for the moment, it's still fun to think about how I might design such a game if the opportunity arose. The MMO genre seems to be heading for a sandbox revolution this year, and there's no bigger sandbox than EVE Online, but could all of EVE's gameplay translate to a fantasy game?

EVE is probably the most atypical MMO out there, maintaining a subscription-based single-shard PvP sandbox in a genre that's typically headed in the exact opposite direction. There are several new sci-fi sandboxes on the way that may or may not qualify as massively multiplayer titles, but the vast majority of MMO gamers still prefer to keep their feet on the ground in fantasy lands. I often find myself wondering how much of EVE Online's core gameplay is possible only because of its setting -- and how much could actually be applied to a fantasy MMO. Not only should it be possible to adapt most of what makes EVE great to a modern land-based game, but many of the mechanics sandbox gamers now attribute almost solely to EVE actually started life in classic fantasy MMOs like Ultima Online.

In this week's unusual EVE Evolved, I'd like to start a game design thought experiment as I delve into the hypothetical world of EVE Onland.

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New Frontiers revamp coming to Dark Age of Camelot

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Patches, Previews, PvP, Subscription

DAOC
A major revamp to Dark Age of Camelot's New Frontiers is incoming on December 12th, signaling a shift in battle tactics and the landscape.

The New Frontiers update will adjust the keep and tower layout of several zones to make it more predictable (and, according to Mythic, fun), add a permanent portal keep inside each realm's zones, bring back the portal ceremony, nerf boating, buff movement speed, and provide new objectives for combatants.

Mythic says that the December 12th update will only be the first of two parts of the revamp, with the second covering keep fights, siege mechanics, and realm incentives.

[Thanks to Mark for the tip!]

One Shots: Find the chicken

Screenshots, Dark Age of Camelot, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, One Shots, Miscellaneous

Glitch
Will there ever be a game as visually distinctive and memorable as Glitch? Considering that I'm still getting screenshots in from a game that was canned almost a year ago, I doubt it.

Reader Phinneas gave me this maddening puzzle that has consumed my days as I pore over it looking for the chicken. Where? Where? Where could it be? Under that tentacle-plant-thing? Under the next? Lurking beyond the frame? Oh, what trickery is this?

"This picture is of my favorites of the game's last few days," Phinneas said with an implied taunt in his voice. "I still hold out hope that it will be resurrected someday."

As I continue to look for the chicken, you can move on to the rest of our week's submissions!

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic servers and you

World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Opinion, Ultima Online, RuneScape, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic servers and you
Sometimes players don't want progress into the future; they want to regress into nostalgia. I've always seen this undercurrent of desire for classic servers run through the MMO community, manifesting in lengthy discussions about how cool it'd be to play a game the way it was "way back when." I also imagine developers reading those discussions with a combination of shared nostalgia and anxiety over the work required for such a project.

I can understand this desire. We form attachments to MMOs based on several factors, not the least of which are when we started playing the game and what we remember most from it. While we generally applaud the change brought about by content updates, bug fixes, expansions, and the like, there's always a part of us that won't let go of the past.

That's where classic servers come into play. Here and there, studios have recognized and responded to this desire for gaming the way it used to be by creating servers that deliberately call back to the past. It might seem to fly in the face of common sense, but I don't think it's that strange when you look at the larger video game community and how strong nostalgia gaming has taken root there as well. So what do classic servers have to offer you and where can you find them?

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in October

Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Lineage 2, News Items, Ultima Online, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in October
You think your fancy modern MMOs have the patent on Halloween? Mister, classic games own this holiday. They were out picking pumpkins and decapitating spooks long before you were a twinkle in the character creator's eye.

Halloween's back in many of our older titles this month, and for those of you who have been away from a beloved classic, it may just be the best time to return for another go. Anarchy Online not only has the return of Uncle Pumpkinhead but some pretty good subscription deals right now. EverQuest has the Haunting of Norrath, Pixel Pirates is offering seasonal items in the store, Guild Wars probably toggled its Halloween 2013 switch, RuneScape's got a brand-new questline, and Dark Age of Camelot is up to its standard tricks with the Pumpkin Moon.

Of course, October wasn't just about trick-or-treating; plenty of other events have happened to the classic MMO collective. From a record-setting expansion to invasions to a very happy birthday, this month kept hopping (and growling, slithering, and lurking). Let's check it out!

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Dark Age of Camelot celebrates 12 years of RvR madness

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Events (In-Game), News Items, Anniversaries

Screenshot -- Dark Age of Camelot
It's time to break out your party hats, Dark Age of Camelot fans. Today, Mythic Entertainment's seminal RvR-focused title turns 12 years old, and that can only mean one thing: bonuses for everyone! To celebrate the game's 12th anniversary, Mythic is giving players a smorgasbord of experience point, bounty point, and realm point bonuses. The official post also notes that there's plenty more birthday celebration goodness to come.

And what would a game anniversary be without some heartfelt retrospectives from the developers? Members of the Dark Age of Camelot team, including Mythic Co-Founder Rob Denton, Senior Producer Colin Hicks, and many more all weigh in on the life of DAOC, from its humble beginnings in the ancient era of 2001 to its rise as an influential powerhouse of the MMO industry. So if you're not too busy wreaking havoc upon your enemies on the battlefield, why not head on over to the official site to take a trip down memory lane? Just click on through the link below and enjoy the reminiscence.

One Shots: Darkness Falls

Screenshots, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, TERA, Miscellaneous

One Shots Darkness Falls
Going through the One Shots email account is a little like peeking into strangers' photo albums, complete with their private stories and embarrassing toilet shots. Seriously, folks, what is it with you people sending in toilet pictures? OK, it's a little funny, so keep 'em coming.

I was particularly drawn to Callie's photo from Dark Age of Camelot circa 2003 this past week: "My fiance and I loved going into the dungeon of Darkness Falls so much that we would frequently go down and fight the Prince, just the two of us, on our Warrior duo. I know newer games have come and gone, but nothing beats dungeon exploring and fighting a difficult boss with the one you love. Still one of my favorite MMO memories."

One can only assume that your characters discovered the lavatory behind the boss room and took many, many pictures as well. Speaking of tawdry screenshots, we've got a few more for you behind the break!

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in July

Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, News Items, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, RuneScape, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in July 20
It's been over a month since our last round-up of news, events, and community features covering the classic MMOs we know and love. You wouldn't think that a lazy summer month would contain a lot of new information regarding these older titles, but these past few weeks have been absolutely hopping.

We've had several anniversaries, patches, player celebrations, mobile adaptations, and more. I'm constantly encouraged to see how players keep the memories of deceased games and the spirit of currently running ones alive throughout the blogging community as well, so we'll look into that today too.

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The Game Archaeologist: Checking in with classic MMOs

Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, Lineage, Lineage 2, PlanetSide, MMO Industry, News Items, Ultima Online, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Checking in with classic MMOs
What's this, you say as you rub your eyes in disbelief. Is it... The Game Archaeologist, long since thought lost in his expedition to Atlantis (and the trials therein)? It is indeed, my friends. TGA has been a long-running passion of mine on Massively, but I needed a break for a while to recouperate and refocus. However, as of late I've felt the call of neglected classic MMOs and wanted to make sure that they were getting some column love here on the site.

So going forward, expect to see The Game Archaeologist pop out of his hidey hole once or twice a month to talk about our old favorites and perhaps pontificate more on the history of MMO development. Sound good? Did you miss me at all? You totally didn't, did you.

If you've been out of touch with classic MMOs, I've done the legwork this week to provide you with the 10 important and relevant news items that are sweeping through this aging yet still vibrant community. Read on, McDuff!

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One Shots: Thar be dragons

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Dark Age of Camelot, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

One Shots Thar be dragons
It would be a rare fantasy MMO that didn't have a posse of dragons roaming the land (or flying through the skies), and Guild Wars 2 certainly does not break that trend. It doesn't mean that going head-to-head with one is any less intimidating, however.

Reader Paul sent in this little meet-and-greet with Puff, saying it was when his Asuran Mesmer first encountered a dragon. Let's just hope he remained alive to have a second encounter. Asurans often look like popcorn chicken to dragonkind.

It's not just flying lizards in this week's One Shots! What wonders await you, I wonder?

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Mythic community manager bids a sorrowful farewell

Dark Age of Camelot, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, News Items, Ultima Online, Free-to-Play

Warhammer
It looks as if yesterday's EA layoffs are hitting MMO gamers closer to home than originally thought. In a post today on BioWare's Warhammer Online forums, Mythic's Timothy Chappell announced that he has been let go. Chappell was the community manager for Warhammer Online, Ultima Online, and Dark Age of Camelot.
I am very sorry to say that I was informed that my position was no longer needed. Though I had many titles I was handling for Mythic, I grew to love and appreciate all the communities and only wish I could have had more time or resources to get more involved with them. Though I had only been in the position for a little over a year, I will miss a great many of you and hope that you keep in touch.
The news is of particular concern for Warhammer, which also lost its lead developer earlier this week. Ultima Online, by contrast, assured players of its continuing operation in a producer's letter last week.

[Thanks to Fozee for the tip!]

Jukebox Heroes: Battle music!

Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Battle music!
It's time once again to take a week off from looking at specific MMO soundtracks and open ourselves up to a theme instead. The topic? Battle music. Yeah, it can be some of the most obnoxious music in the game, especially after hearing it for the 3,000th time, but every once in a while I hear a piece that has some merit to it. These are the ones we want to examine today.

What makes for a good battle music track? I think it has to get you excited without being annoying or grating and not so loud or incredibly noticeable that you can't help but get tired of it sooner rather than later. It was actually pretty tricky to pull together six such tracks for this column, but I managed to do with with the help of Colonel Bugle up there. He's got the best MP3 collection around.

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EA named 'Worst Company in America' second year in a row

Dark Age of Camelot, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Ultima Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous

EA named the worst company in America second year in a row
Gamers aren't letting up on Electronic Arts for its record and attitude. The games publisher was voted "Worst Company in America" for a second year in a row in The Consumerist's poll. EA trounced the other finalist, Bank of America, with 78% of the tallies.

The Consumerist provided commentary as to why EA earned that reputation with customers and what it could be doing to not earn this title next year. The site identified EA's three main problems as failing to provide a product people want and like, failing to sell products at reasonable prices, and failing to support its products.

EA COO Peter Moore posted a letter last week responding to the probable second win, admitting mistakes while attempting to refute popular complaints. His response to the poll? "We can do better. We will do better."

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