Camelot Unchained “Bater” Details

The Camelot Unchained beta bater test (sorry Mark) is potentially coming pretty quick. Sheesh… it’s already October? Beta is coming (subject to change) early 2016 which means CU should begin taking the shape we can expect to see around launch relatively. Despite backing the game, I’ve purposely been avoiding CU whenever possible. I’ve had access to the alpha tests and I get all of the emails and newsletters, but I’ve kept this distance in order to protect myself and the game.

Getting too close too soon to a game like Camelot Unchained is like asking the fire not to burn you. Even with the upcoming beta, I am foreseeing a lot of change will occur to bring CU’s beta version in line with what MJ and team want to deliver, and what the backers and general public are expecting. The way they are discussing things, it sounds to me like launch is still quite a ways off.

There’s a video you can watch that’s about an hour long. I went ahead and watched it to extract the details you’ll want.

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Camelot Unchained Abbot

In Beta Phase 1:

Classes (one of each for each realm (9 classes))

  • Fighters (or “tank” but that felt ambiguous)
  • Healers
  • DPS


  • Generic class without plans to specialize them
  • Gathering materials will be in
  • Full crafting reveal expected before the end of October


  • 1 Larger map
  • 3 small maps with plot ownership, contested stuff, etc.

Lots of other stuff like basic itemization, travel, technical stuff, basic guild system, etc., were mentioned. Most everything was stated as “basic but will be built upon.”

We’ve all been here before. The realistic picture being painted is that this is likely a fall 2017 launch at the earliest. Just like Mark said for beta’s launch date, “Expect the worst,” I’m expecting the worst for release.

Overall, I’m getting excited. I’ll allow myself that much. The classes revealed were the ones I voted for (which is exciting) and I like how I can already feel the class diversity starting to roll in. Hopefully it’s true diversity and not just the same spells reskinned for 3 classes. I want to see a class coming and think, “Incoming Abbot!” rather than, “Incoming melee/healer hybrid!” The class identify needs to be strong. My hopes are realistically high.

  • I did not invest in the Kickstarter, but I became a backer last week. I couldn’t help myself after the class reveal and then after I started looking at the BSC design docs on their main website. I am trying really hard not to get excited, but I am.

    One thing I like so far about the approach they seem to be taking is they are keeping their team pretty small and they seem very structured, focused, and committed to the design elements and core philosophies that they have laid out. I am hoping this also means they will be disciplined enough to do this within a reasonable timeframe instead of a Blizzard timeframe, without sacrificing quality.

    I would be a little surprised if we are talking about a late 2017 launch though. Nearly 2 years before release after beta access seems a bit longish to me, although they have already delayed beta by ~6 months, right? Inevitably there will be additional delays and I guess a long beta period is more the norm these days. I am crossing my fingers for release sometime in late 2016, but inevitably it seems these things always take much longer than anyone ever thinks they will, so I guess late 2017 doesn’t seem that ridiculous.

  • Thanks for the write up. I’m in a similar boat, where I’ve backed it but have been keeping my distance. I have high hopes and just know that I’m not the kind of player to alpha test. Soon as beta hits, I’m going to check everything out though.

  • @Werit: Agreed.

    @Balthazar: If “winter 2016” is the earliest we’ll see the utmost basic implementation with only 3 classes per realm… I have a hard time believing anything in 2016 would be doable for launch. Like I said, Fall 2017 worst case. Best case? I’m putting in for an April or May 2017.

    @Endolith(Pseudos): Yeah, beta is when I’m going to fully invest myself. Until then I dabbled, but I’m holding myself at a distance.

  • The good news is he has a solid vision which I applaud. He is also very focused on the technical hurdles that make these games fail.

    The bad news is he has a tiny team and it might very well take until 2018 before this really goes live. “The Depths” seem very very far away.

    The real issue though is this is not star citizen and the Bucks aren’t rolling in weekly, so stretch even a tiny team that long and you run out of money.

    But I’m a glass half full guy so maybe it will all be roses.

  • Great read Keen, Thanks! Glad to hear I am not the only one who is a backer but is avoiding testing an such. I read the emails and website, but I don’t want to get burnt out on alpha/beta before it goes live.

  • I’ve not followed the development very closely for this game but I do understand it is focused on PVP. I’m wondering how this game will succeed and surpass the other PVP MMO offerings that have come and gone. I guess I feel without a solid PVE world to suck in an create a larger player community, this type of game won’t survive/succeed vs the existing competition (WOW, LOL, DOTA, Guild Wars, FF, etc…)

    DAOC was also revolutionary when it came out thus had an instant following (sort of like wow did). DAOC 2 without a lot of new ideas (of which I have none to suggest /shrug) seems like wouldn’t succeed beyond the “3 month-er” affect Keen talks about. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated from someone who has followed the development more closely.


  • @Cylor. You raise a good point. While I’m probably not exactly the target demographic, I can see the issue with no pve at all. Heck why not play a fps shooter pvp? Maybe there is a small demo who likes just pvp and somewhat more tab targeting and turn based rounds. And of course the medieval feel.

    But that just speaks to not having years to invest in ultimately capturing this niche of people. I really wish he would have put his efforts in a pve game. Shadow bane was pretty dang focused on this niche too, and I seem to remember some pve there, and where is it now?

    But Kickstarter turns the whole game on its head. He’s playing with “house money” now so why not carry on til it’s gone.

  • @Cylor The game has no PvE in a traditional sense… but the entire premise is set upon PvP of three factions, set around the process of gathering resources and building/destroying enemy buildings. So a lot of what you see in a PvE environment will still be there… just no mobs. People will still run around and gather materials to build their castles and whatnot.

    And then fight over them! Also, I believe I heard there isn’t a classic leveling system but instead horizontal customization of characters was going to be the premise. But we shall see at launch, someday, how real any of this is.

  • @Cylor: Honestly, I have no idea how this will turn out. We’ve never had a 3 faction MMO focus on, as Rawblin points out, three factions fighting over resources and building/destroying each other’s stuff. PvE has proven itself essential to the formation of community. You make the same observations I do for why games like DaoC succeeded: They were revolutionary in their time. I do not see anything necessarily revolutionary about CU. I’m not sure what will keep people caring about what they’re doing in-game. I’m not sure CU has the simple elegance of a shooter like TF2 to keep crowds for a 8 years.

    Personally, I like PvE. I think it is fundamentally necessary. That said, I won’t rule this out until I see how Mark and his team execute the idea. We may very well see the first MMO of its kind and be surprised by how well the community rallies and creates that social experience. It’s the social experience — those bonds — that hold players together and keep a game like this alive. They have to create them somehow.