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Less Than 2 Weeks Until Camelot Unchained Beta!

For over five years I have patiently waited for the opportunity to jump back into a Mark Jacobs "RVR" game, and in less than two weeks I'm going to have that chat.

Camelot Unchained has just about reached that point of no return where the game enters a "beta" state where we will log in and make that snap-judgement first impression of whether or not this is the game for us.

That first moment we log in is going to go one of two ways.

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  1. We're going to be pleasantly surprised and see the potential CU will have at launch. The game will play about as we can expect with a big RvR world.
  2. We will get in and feel that agonizing feeling one has when you just know this isn't going to be a good game and you've waited five years for nothing.

While I seriously hope with every fiber of my being that this goes well, the possibility does exist that we will think, "This is it? This is Camelot Unchained?" I bet they're stressed out over at City State Entertainment, because I'm stressed out just waiting for it.

I'm eager to log in and share my opinions. I don't know if that will be in beta due to an NDA, but I'm eager to at least form them for when the time comes that I am allowed to share.

What will I be judging the game on? 

Other than whether or not it's fun and functional, I'm going to judge it by the criteria City State Entertainment created from the very beginning.

The Three Pillars of Gameplay in Camelot Unchained

I'm going to judge them on how well they executed their three pillars of gameplay. Below is a quote from the Kickstarter.

This game is built upon three main pillars of gameplay, RvR, crafting and housing. These will receive all the development love they need to be great, and all these systems will be in place when we go LIVE.  Here are some key elements for crafting and housing:

  • Camelot Unchained features a totally player-driven economy. There won’t be drops from the NPCs, no redeemable tokens or anything like that.
  • There will be a “pure” crafter class with its own unique leveling track.
  • There will be no auction house for player-created items. Crafters can have their own stores and either sell there or directly to players in a bazaar-like setting.
  • Crafters will be able to build a wide variety of items, including weapons, armor, siege equipment and more.
  • Our housing system will allow players to construct everything from huts to mines, and to fortify and rebuild massive structures.
  • Players will be able to build structures throughout the world, in both safe and contested areas.

I will look for dynamic and integrated RvR gameplay that feels like the core of the game, a pure crafter class with its own unique gameplay that matters, and a robust housing system that feels like it wasn't just tacked on at the end.

Foundational Principles

Next I will judge them on Mark's own Foundational Principles and whether or not the team successfully executed on creating that foundation. In their own words:

Mark believes that every great game starts with a great foundation. The Foundational Principles he and Andrew have been laying out are more than simple ideas; they are the bedrock for Camelot Unchained.

I expect bedrock to be set in stone, not mud. 😉 (Yay I got to use the reference!)

Here are the foundational elements by which they will be judged.

  • Be willing to take risks, even if fortune doesn’t always favor the bold
  • RvR isn’t the end game, it’s the only game!
  • You should always hold the hands of your little children while crossing busy intersections but…our players are not children
  • check-square-o
    Choice Matters!
  • check-square-o
    I Still Hate Gold Sellers
  • check-square-o
    Rock, paper, scissors? ‘Natch!
  • check-square-o
    Crafting should be fun, useful and not induce Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • check-square-o
    This should be a chaotic game with epic surprises at every turn
  • check-square-o
    Forced Socialization was good, then bad. Is it time for a comeback?
  • check-square-o
    Pride, pride, everywhere pride…
  • check-square-o
    Sandboxes are great fun for kids and adults as well!
  • check-square-o
    Speed Matters
  • check-square-o
    Chaos Goes Boing!
  • check-square-o
    CSE SUBSCRIBER PROMISES
  • check-square-o
    Stretching is good for the body but be careful not to overdo it!

Some of those make sense on their own, but others require the context of their full writeup. You can and should read all of the Foundational Principles yourself, as they give great insight into how and why certain aspects of the game are being developed. These truly are bedrock, and they better be there.

Fun, Fun, Fun

I want and need Camelot Unchained to be a fun MMORPG that I can log in to for months -- not weeks. I need there to be long-term gameplay built into the core of this experience. I need there to be an apparent vision, and the gameplay itself should exude the confidence of the developers in that vision.

I don't know about you, but I can 'feel' a game. I know just by playing for a short period of time whether or not this is a cohesive, complete experience, or if this is a dud.

Good luck to the entire team working on Camelot Unchained as you finish up your game and bring this vision to life!

  • coppertopper says:

    Coming from DAOC being my first mmo crush I can only hope this game does amazing things. Currently ESO is actually scratching that keep taking ballista slinging itch so this game has a bit to live up to. Hope it crushes it! I would welcome an mmo with challenge and great RvR PvP.

    • Keen says:

      Same here. Camelot Unchained is currently the only MMO I can think of that will come close to filling a specific vacancy in the market. Whether there’s a massive crowd or not, I’m unsure. Certainly they’ll be uniquely positioned to succeed, so it’s theirs to lose at this point.

  • bhagpuss says:

    I was vaguely interested in CU although I can’t say i’ve been paying it much attention. From your summary it’s very much not a game for me. On that basis it’s entirely possible that a bad report from you on the beta will make me more interested rather than less. Probably just going to forget about it altogether though.

    • Keen says:

      Always happy to be your antithesis! From what I’ve come to understand about what you enjoy, I don’t think it’ll be for you either. Quite frankly, it may not even be for me if they don’t pull off the subtleties. It’ll be unique — at least it should be given everything they’ve set out to achieve.

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