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Dark Age of Camelot

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

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."

Dark Age of Camelot launches an update and answers player questions

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Patches, News Items, Community Q&A

No one takes Faertwyd's bunny slippers.  No one.
If you've been playing Dark Age of Camelot for a while, odds are good that you've acquired a lot of things. You've got a set of Epic Armor, you've got tons of items clogging your bank, and you've got a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers that you don't remember buying but you now refuse to remove. The game's latest patch does not improve your slipper situation, but it does improve Epic Armor, add new Epic Weapons and Accessories, allow for remote bank access, and increase the stack limits on many items. So everything else gets better.

Does that satisfy you? No? You want to know more about the future of the game? Well, then, you can feast your eyes on a new set of community answers from the development team addressing the future update plans for the game as well as which areas will not be seeing much improvement (throwing weapons, for instance, are pretty much up the creek). So there's plenty for DAoC fans to enjoy. However, no one enjoys those bunny slippers. Seriously. Wear armor like everyone else.

[Thanks to Etaew for the tip!]

Dark Age of Camelot runs bonus weekend

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Events (In-Game), Promotions

Dark Age of Camelot runs bonus weekend
Mythic has a special treat for the Dark Age of Camelot players who patiently waited through some recent downtime: a generous bonus weekend starting... right now.

The bonus weekend affects the different server rulesets in a variety of ways. All servers will generate 200% more XP and 200% more bounty points in specific areas. Realm points are also being handed out like candy, although you'll need to consult the master chart to figure out how your server benefits.

The bonus weekend goes from today (Wednesday) through Monday, January 28th.

Jukebox Heroes: Dark Age of Camelot's soundtrack

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Opinion, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Dark Age of Camelot's soundtrack
Dark Age of Camelot has a strange soundtrack history. The game came out with an official soundtrack in 2002 that is (a) wonderful, (b) absolutely worth buying, and (c) only marginally related to the actual in-game music. There are really terrific tracks on this, such as Breton Melody and The Rap, which I do wish I could share with you. Unfortunately, Universal Music Group is quite aggressive on keeping this CD's tracks off of sites like YouTube, so you will have to take my word for it that it's worth pursuing in your own time.

Then, of course, there's the actual score that's heard in the game, and that's what we'll be focusing on today. The original score and the first expansion was composed by Rik Schaffer of Womb Music. Schaffer worked with the team to come up with a multi-track format so that DAoC could weave together songs based on where you were and what was going on all around you. "It's a really neat system that provides a real sense of atmosphere as you are playing -- almost like a movie soundtrack," said Producer Matt Firor in a 2002 interview.

We've got a lot of musical ground to cover, so let's start moving!

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The Perfect Ten: My biggest gaming moments in 2012

City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

The Perfect Ten My biggest gaming moments in 2012
I am a complete sucker for three things: novelty soft drink flavors, Tom Servo's singing voice in MST3K, and end-of-the-year lists. Egads, I love the end of the year just for the lists alone. Everyone does them (copycats!), and I like to see how my opinions stack up against them. Plus, often I learn of cool things that happened or came out during the past year that I missed.

So this is my list. My end-of-2012 list. I am devoting the 26th Perfect Ten of 2012 to the top 10 moments in MMO gaming and blogging. It was a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and looking back, I don't think I could've predicted half of the major events that happened in this industry. That's what I like about this gig: It keeps me on my toes.

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Rise and Shiny revisit: Dark Age of Camelot

Fantasy, Screenshots, Video, Dark Age of Camelot, Game Mechanics, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Races, Humor, Rise and Shiny, Livestream, Anniversaries

Dark Age of Camelot character creation screenshot
About once a year I like to take a look back at Dark Age of Camelot, the classic PvP MMO by Mythic Entertainment, just to reassure myself that older MMOs are still some of the best around. Dark Age of Camelot comes from that older crop of titles like Asheron's Call and EverQuest, games that still shine despite their age. Of course the next logical question is, "If these games are still so good, why aren't more of us still playing them?" There's an easy answer, really. First of all, we don't spend time sitting around listening to our favorite albums or watching our favorite movies constantly, but we still appreciate them, possibly more than we did when we first found them. Next, all games are finite for us as individuals. There is no MMO that offers endless content if we take away the endless player-made content that comes from roleplay or exploration.

No matter how good a game like Dark Age of Camelot was and still is, many of us have already experienced it quite a bit. It's only human to become slightly bored with something we've played with time and again. But once again, I've spent a week in a game that shows it's always a good thing to check back on our favorites. They just might surprise you all over again.

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