Will Camelot Unchained have its own version of Darkness Falls?

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Camelot Unchained Darkness Falls
Will it be Darkness Falls?

The Camelot Unchained Kickstarter is coming along nicely.  They broke a $1,000,000 two days ago, and tomorrow they should be announcing their stretch goals which I hope (and believe) will increase the number of pledgers — pledgers actually being the issue and not the amount they pledge since the average donation is quite high.  I’m rooting for them!

What I really want to write about tonight is the little teaser from Mark and CSE.  You can see the image on the right.  I’m thinking it’s going to be some sort of mystical realm or area unlocked by winning the ‘realm war’, mirroring the Darkness Falls mechanic from DAoC.  Essentially whichever team owns the most territory gains access to this highly coveted spot.  In DAoC, Darkness Falls was home to fantastic PvE leveling and gear for most players.  In CU, however, there is no PvE progression — what will get players fighting to gain access to such a place?

This location could easily contain highly coveted materials, such as rare ores to mine out of the ground, used in the crafting of amazing weapons.  Guilds will want to own the place so that their crafters can enter and begin harvesting.  When the ‘purge’ occurs, or another realm gains control, the crafters will have to be defended and/or scurry out.   Players would want to own it, benefit from owning it, and have fun taking it back.  It fuels the war and rewards players for trying.

The area may actually be full of epic PvE mobs.  Mark has been very careful not to rule out killing monsters.  In one of the recent Kickstarter updates, killing monsters for their materials was even confirmed as a possibility.  Kill a deer, take its pelt, make some armor.  The same principles can apply to killing mystical beings inside this magical realm of awesomeness.  Kill them, harvest their essence, and allow crafters to imbue magical properties onto weapons.  These magical properties don’t even have to be stat based — a glowing blue flame sword or a shadow-black hood with billowing dark clouds of mist coming off it will get everyone crawling over each other just to get through the door.  I haven’t read anything, or heard anything from Mark in our discussions, to rule out the possibility of killing mobs for this sort of stuff.  All we know is that there won’t be gear progression or leveling up on mobs.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if CSE is sitting back and looking at all the ideas coming from their fans thinking, “I like that one.  Let’s do it!”  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If Camelot Unchained sounds like a game you’re interested in, or if you just want to back a small indie studio looking to do something different, check out their Kickstarter and consider pledging.

Camelot Unchained Kickstarter

  • So in this model what prevents one dominant side from consistently locking down such an area as often occurred in GW2?

  • @Gankatron: Honestly, nothing if one side is ridiculously more powerful than the other two combined. But it’s not quite the same as GW2.

    The reason why this mechanic in GW2 (which technically doesn’t exist) feels so dominated is because the zones are so small and ‘victory’ is like flipping a switch. For the most part, it worked in DAoC because the landscape (metaphorically and literally) was different.

    It’s important to keep in mind that in order for there to be a winner there must be losers. ‘Fair’ doesn’t mean everyone wins, only that every had an equal chance to win.

  • What Mark has been careful to stress is that mobs wont drop phat lewts, cba to look up the exact quote but it went along the lines of “our crafters wont have to worry that a giant mockingbird shooting laser beams out of its eyes will drop stuff better than they will ever make”. Mobs wont be an XP source either.

    Regarding the teaser, it does look like the bottom half of the tree of life (aka Yggdrasil) and the entrance to hell. The upper half of course you have seen a lot of by now, it is the opening frame of the promotion videos.

    Plenty of “translations” for the runes over at KS, gave me a few good chuckles.

  • @Gankatron: given similar-ish population numbers, the faction owning the Golden Thing is at a 1:2 disadvantage vs the factions *not* owning the Golden Thing, which in general is all the balancing that is needed — as long as the GT is something that is desirable to control.

    Things worth noting:

    – In the context of DAOC, unlocking the GT moved people of the owning faction out of the RvR proper and into the GT, further weakening that side’s presence in the open.

    – GW2’s RvR devolves/devolved very quickly into “eh, whatever, we’ll go back in after the next map reset and match-up,” which does mean that as soon as one side picks up the slightest advantage everyone else packs their bags and goes home. After that, the only people in the Mists are the poor souls getting their dailies done. There is no Golden Thing worth owning to speak of, unless one has been added very recently that I don’t know about.

    – Game and MMO players nowadays are a far far far craftier bunch than they used to be “way back when.” There is a very real possibility that ownership of the GT can become a matter of trading it back and forth between the two stronger factions on a given server — something I am genuinely worried about. Then again, I worry a lot, or so I’m told.

  • @gankatron If it works like DF in DAOC, two ways. The main one is having more than two factions. When one realm becomes dominant, the other two mostly focus on them. Also, DF thinned the dominant side’s numbers in RvR because many were in DF. This allowed one of the other two realms to gain access. When that happened, the dominant side would eventually lose because they couldn’t get back in once they released. Some of the most fun was trying to hold the line and resist the flood of enemies as long as possible. What I don’t get yet is how this will play out with no serious PvE. DF was a large, high level PvE dungeon with raid content.

  • No XP from mobs.
    No loot from mobs.
    Crafting will matter, but CU does not have a gear grind.

    And somehow there will be a place outside of RvR that will have ‘something’ that will not only make it worth taking, but will lure enough players into it for enough time to let the other factions possibly take it.

    Sounds really solid to me. One can only hope its as awesome as the last DF attempt MJ did (Land of the Dead in WAR).

    He needs to release some more solid details about CU, because right now that parts don’t add up, and each bit just sounds like a random “I wish” forum post off the DAoC boards, with zero connection to the overall design.

  • It can still be a large PvE dungeon with raid content. Let me repeat it again:

    – no XP from mobs
    – no gear from mobs

    The above does NOT mean “no mobs”.
    The above does NOT mean “no elite drops from mobs”

    Matter of fact, MJ has left himself enough wriggle room to add — should he want to — a dragon-killing raid with several kinds of dragon scales as 1/month drops. To be used as crafting components in a single-use recipe that drops off the other dragon in that raid once a year.

  • The addition of a DF type dungeon is definitely a step in the right direction but I do agree that it is difficult to see what the purpose of the dungeon is in a game with little/none PvE. I do believe it can be done but it may not be easy to find the balance between there not being a point to being in the dungeon and an outcry of unfairness that requires farming the dungeon which then seems to be a hidden PVE grind element that wasnt supposed to be there.

    Crafting resources seems to be the logical choice but if that is the case…it may just be valuable to crafters – a small portion of the people – so not everyone would care. Then again, crafting resources might be available via monsters and crafting drops and everyone can get them. If that is the case, we can call it “crafting resources” but it is just a type of loot drop like anything else…would people farm them? Wouldnt that be a normal PvE element – if they are not required but optional, not enough people care. If they are required then it is a PvE grind…

    I wouldnt mind if that is the case but I can see people saying “I thought there was no PvE?!”…there is a difference between PvE required to reach end game and optional PvE to supplement the end game…for the latter it isnt quite clear though how the rewards would be good enough to participate without falling into the category of PVE required to reach/participate in the end game…

  • OK thanks for the feedback!

    Perhaps Mello’s and Blargh’s point of DF thinning out the winning side in RvRvR will play a role that really wasn’t present in GW2.

    I still remain skeptical about the reality of the 1:2 disadvantage as that should have played a bigger factor in GW2 also. What I experienced from being in a low and later mid rated server was that losing factions just stopped playing (perhaps the idea of the server reset was part of the decision as Blargh speculates) or worse the two minor factions decided it was better to attack each other as they had a better chance of small tactical victories.

    I will be keeping an eye on the beta of this interesting game.

  • @Gankatron: In DAOC it was not a quick solution that made the two lower factions band together against one dominating faction. This was a slow process that could take weeks or months. One faction may have been dominant and controlled all the relics and controlled the RVR map for a long time before the two weaker factions even started to work together in any type of organized fashion. Besides collaboration, sometimes the weaker factions decided that they just need to go back to PVE and get more people to the max level etc. then they came back.

    In GW2, there is just not enough time for this process to happen and with the switching of match ups – it is way too easy to say: well, we dont have a chance in this one but we’ll do better on the next match up – I’ll just not RVR for a while until they change the match ups.

  • @Argorius – I think it is pretty safe to assume that mob drops will figure in crafting recipes. Whether there will be dragon scale farming for the best gear – only time will tell.

    @Gankatron – yea, GW2 WvWvW is just too.. looking for the right word here.. ephemeral?

  • @Blargh:

    Good choice, it certainly was that.

    Also it was too repetitive for my tastes; I grew tired of “Everyone to Bay, now!” It started to feel a bit like a responsibility to play for my guild and server, where the overall monotony was punctuated by the adrenaline rush of occasional challenging individual PvP episodes.

    It all started to become a generic experience, without many memorable moments (except when we spent the night bombarding a keep with a trebuchet deployed atop a tower that in retrospect probably was never meant to be ascended; I think they nerfed that location in the end).

    At one point my headset band broke (we had a requirement that all RvR players must be in TS, which is fair enough), which took a week to fix, and so I had what was originally intended to be a short hiatus, but when it was ready I found that I no longer had the desire to jump back into the fray.

    I think that might be a good way to determine if you one is playing out of habit or obligation, versus for the fun of it; take a week break and see if you cannot wait to rejoin the game, or do you instead look for other distraction.

    I still am not sure if the problem was with GW2 or more with my expectations, as on paper it was everything that I could hope for in a game, and the overall philosophy of the devs closely mirrored my own.

  • Update 16 is up. Ducks and D-E-P-T-H-S and .. just go watch it


  • He started and I while being happy about the Depths, I was skeptical about how he would get people to go there…then he mentioned tower defenses and I was like…hmm ok…traps…wow cool…cameras…oh my gosh…once he got to RVR-NPCs (monter play) I lost it…PLEDGE BITCHES!

  • It sounds like Orcs Must Die meets Dungeon Defenders meets Darkness Falls RvR purging. We totally called the idea of protecting crafters and trying to maintain control.

  • The Depths sound really fun and unique. I hope they’ll get added in sometime after release if we don’t reach the stretch goal, because we’ve got a long way to go…

  • I’m signed up for internal testing. Can’t wait! While I dabbled in DAOC when it was first introduced, I mainly focused on PVE. I think I consider this a Planetside 2 type game, with crafting, a fantasy feel, and a little bit of lotro monster wars thrown in. Even though I’ve been burned by so many of these games, including Warhammer, I just believe this one will be epic. Jan 2014 is going to be a long wait…

  • I do also think a lawsuit will eventually happen, and a game name change might be required. Notice how he said the name was a placeholder in one of the early vids? And how carefully said that the Depths was not hell? I never played darkness falls but I’m assuming it was hell?

  • Nah it wasn’t “hell”. It was just this demonic underbelly with dark stone. It was like a demon cave.