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Camelot Unchained Beta Dates & More

Today the Camelot Unchained beta announcement dropped, and you guys were quick to send me emails and notifications — thanks for that!

First, the date. Camelot Unchained beta will be July 4th-ish. I’m adding the “ish” because throughout the video announcement they were pretty clear to point out several times that this date was the date they want to hit, but then qualify it with caveats.

Whatever the real date ends up being — whether it’s July 4th or July 24th, etc. — it’s simply a statement of “Summer” to me. They plan to hit the Beta phase around mid year. That’s a decent place to be in for an early or perhaps mid 2019 release.

The dates weren’t even the part of the conversation that mattered most to me. I was reassured by the affirmation and commitment to keeping the game about open-world gameplay, and not succumbing to the temptation of the cop-out scenario gameplay. Scenarios were the absolute bane of Mark Jacob’s past game, as well as just about any game purporting to be about open-world RvR. Scenarios can not co-exist with a open-world RvR game and not do irreparable  harm.

I’m still very, very interested in how this whole game will come together into a cohesive experience. Between the cities and the kings and the Depths, and all these components… it’ll be truly interesting to see how these alpha and beta experiences transition into being a finished product.

  • Proximo says:

    Would you mind explaining why scenarios/battlegrounds cannot coexist in a game with open world pvp/rvr?

    • Keen says:

      When players can gain their rewards in a small-scale, instanced, and shortened form of combat they will take that over a longer, drawn out, more strategically complex, and potentially unrewarding open-world experience.

      This has historically played out in every application of battleground-like scenarios thus far in MMO history.

      Scenarios stand as a diametrically opposing form of gameplay to that sought after by an open-world RvR game. They kill the mindset, and create not only a balancing nightmare but a mindset shift.

      • Proximo says:

        But, to me that sounds like the problem here is that the rewards for instanced PvP are easier to get than from RvR, not that the playstyle itself is the problem…
        I think you have to consider that there are many different types of players in a game. One type are those who will take the shortest path to success, a quite dominant group of people in terms of numbers I think.
        Make sure you are rewarded more for participating in the realm battle than in instanced PvP and you’ll have the majority of people heading there.

        Personally I would join RvR in this case to work on character progression, but I’d like the option to jump into scenarios for a bit of PvP fun. Instanced PvP is way more entertaining for me than large scale RvR is and I do it for the fun of it rather than any rewards.

        As for the mindset, I totally agree that the two are very different in mindset, but to think that players are onesided and always wants the same mindset when they play a game rather than have choice?

      • Joy-Energiser says:

        you just answered your own question really, if the dominant group of players will play scenario’s rather because its a shorter path to success that kills the population required to make Open World RVR viable.

      • Proximo says:

        No I really did not, if there are no or few rewards from instanced PvP them people will play open world for the progression.
        GW2 WvW may not be very good and have it’s share of problems, but it has not struggled with participation because structured PvP exists in the game. On the contrary there have often been queues to get into WvW.

      • Keen says:

        When given the option to gain an advantage over the competition, a very large and significant/dominant portion of the population will flock to where that advantage is gained the easiest.

        When given the option to play a 15 minute battle and gain more or the same rewards as a 2-3 hour castle siege, players will choose the scenarios in order to compound their advantage.

        Player preference be damned, it’s just reality that if you want a game to be about open-world RvR it makes no sense to give players a small-scale instanced scenario.

      • Proximo says:

        But again you are talking about the issue of people taking the path of least resistance to gaining gear and rewards. That’s a problem with the rewards system, not a problem with the fact that instanced PvP clashes with open world PvP in itself.
        Ofc those who are playing in battlegrounds aren’t contributing to the siege going on in open world, but them not having the option to do instanced PvP doesn’t mean they’d automatically join the siege, they might even go to another game for getting that type of gameplay instead. It’s about giving players options, both can coexist in the game, it’s up to the developer to make sure players aren’t choosing battlegrounds over open world just because it’s the path of least resistance.

      • Keen says:

        How can a game built to be about the focus on open-world RvR not suffer from an instanced scenario-driven PvP system?

        What you’re saying makes sense if a game isn’t made to be about open-world RvR. When it is, the two simply can’t co-exist.

        It’s not about options in this case, it’s about one form of gameplay hurting the other form. Whether it’s balancing skills for small-scale vs. large-scale, player population choosing instanced or open, rewards being lopsided, or even just the mentality of the players involved.

        Joy-Energiser nailed the population segmentation component. “If the dominant group of players will play scenario’s rather because its a shorter path to success that kills the population required to make Open World RVR viable.”

        1. Population segmentation to make open-world RvR viable
        2. Balancing combat for both forms
        3. Rewards being farmed in scenarios
        4. Spirit of the game switching from open-world RvR to instanced battlegrounds

        etc.

      • Gankatron says:

        I think the biggest issue is balancing gear and abilities between RvR and instanced battlegrounds, and then I suppose dev resources that would otherwise be spent on the other.

        That being said, I feel Proximo’s point regarding tempering rewards in battlegrounds (so there isn’t a greater benefit per unit time) is valid, and for some odd reason isn’t being acknowledged.

        One other reason to not mix playstyles is a loss of immersion in the world as a whole in a themepark instanced minigame where one magically teleports to an artificial arena, especially if different sets of gear and abilities are utilized.

        Still the appeal of having battlegrounds is there, especially when one has short blocks of play time available, and might actually increase the player base due to providing a greater diversity of play options, and thus offset the perception of existing at the expense of player numbers participating in RvR.

        I would enjoy battlegrounds if offered, but having them or not wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me.

  • John Keats says:

    This was always meant to be a small game centered on RvR. Mark Jacobs knows it’s not gonna pull in the players that need instant loot pinata gratification every 20 to 30 mins. Instances of any kind almost destroy community to me. The fun used to be in the worlds we played in, now we just stand around in major cities and wait for the pop. It also seems like a lazy way for devs to cop out making viable RvR. Wow devs were to lazy to make honor work so the rolled out BG’s and said fuck it. Swtor devs were to lazy to make Illium work so they killed it and all you have is warfronts now. I could never make myself care about the GW2 world enough to stick with the pvp.

  • Danath says:

    I’m curious, what did you think of DAOC’s original instanced battlegrounds? Thidranki and such. I personally thought they were great and it was kind of a persistent scenario which was for lower level players rather than the high level RvR content which they couldn’t participate in. Were they also detrimental?

    • Keen says:

      They were awesome, and a perfect way to introduce up and coming players to the frontiers.

      They were not instances, though.

      They were zones. They were persistent. In every sense of their mechanical operation and design, they were no different from the rest of the frontiers. You teleported to them like you did the frontiers, they stayed persistent, etc.

      They were simply smaller versions and in no way instanced.

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