Massively OP Podcast Episode 58: More Camelot Unchained questions answered

Surprise! It's a bonus episode of the Massively OP Podcast this week -- hope you don't mind! After bringing your questions to Camelot Unchained's Mark Jacobs in yesterday's podcast, we had so many left over that he agreed to do a follow-up episode with more answers. Jacobs gets into topics such as the subscription model, classes, and foundational principles. Many thanks again to him for letting us grill him for over two hours for these shows!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Show notes:

  • 00:00 - Introduction
  • 01:22 - Why subscriptions instead of B2P?
  • 05:44 - Strategies for handling cheaters and hackers
  • 10:58 - Educational videos
  • 12:25 - Animation cancelling
  • 13:55 - Foundational principles
  • 16:32 - In a world without CU...
  • 21:20 - Classes, scouts, and healers
  • 27:53 - PvE and non-PvP content
  • 32:55 - Air Warrior and underdog realms
  • 34:39 - Maps and keeping players together
  • 37:11 - Travel time and designed downtime
  • 40:39 - Policing CUBE player content
  • 43:17 - Managing the post-launch community
  • 50:52 - Grouping tools
  • 54:13 - Lessons from previous MMOs
  • 61:21 - Outro

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104 Comments on "Massively OP Podcast Episode 58: More Camelot Unchained questions answered"

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TimothyTierless
Guest
TimothyTierless

Can't wait for that PVE game in 2020!

GoldenHornet
Guest
GoldenHornet

Loved these two podcasts.  As someone who doesn't PvP I'm not jumping into CU but I can't help but be impressed with Mark's enthusiasm and passion for his game.  I hope it achieves the success he wants.

If you ever build that PvE game I'm in!  :D

Nanulak
Guest
Nanulak

Very good podcast.

Cramit
Guest
Cramit

Loved this series, wish I wasnt at family functions for the past 5 days to listen to it earlier.

I loved DAoC back in the day and really enjoy games by Mark Jacobs.  I love his design philosophy and he really makes me want to get into game design.

I know the questions are all over.  However I would love to know what a PVE MMO by Mark Jacobs would look like?  Would it be something like DAoC PVE, something more akin to Everquest grouping or would it be something more like the typical wow clone with quest grinding and a lot more solo playstyle with optional grouping or would it be something completely out of left field because he is certainly one of my favorite developers that loves to try new things.  What would a Mark Jacobs PVE MMO look like?  

Otherwise, looking forward to CU like whoa, and hopefully will be another backer soon.  (Shoulda jumped on it when the first KS started but life happens sometimes)  

Keep up the good work!

Kasch
Guest
Kasch

GREAT!... Now I want to try Camelot Unchained, way to go Massively OP...

WildarX
Guest
WildarX

I really enjoyed these 2 podcasts with Mr. Jacobs about Camelot Unchained.  I have to admit, even someone like me that can't stand PVP and crafting, I almost want to play... Almost ;-P

Xvim
Guest
Xvim

DugFromTheEarth Mark Jacobs It was mentioned that the boats between islands will have a player cap to help limit zerg potential...I think it would be cool (if possible) to slow the boats down slightly (maybe 1-2%) at 25 / 50 / 75 / 100% capacity. 
This would help smaller groups be a little more mobile so it's more possible to scout or do hit and run tactics, while not increasing their 'in combat' ability.

Xvim
Guest
Xvim

Mark Jacobs Raygar (Of CU) 

I find that in most games I play, I
don't really re-spec much anyway (other than an initial setup trying
to find something that I like the flow of play in (or during a
massive class change). As a result, most times it ends up that I move
minor point placement around 10 times in a day or so then leave it
for a year or more. The typical "well it looked good on paper" stuff.
It would be nice if there were a possible "test your build
before locking it in" type thing in the city.

Theo454
Guest
Theo454

Even though I am not interested in pvp focused games, I was very glad to hear Jacobs coming out in opposition to animation cancelling, and saying it will not be allowed in CU, which is basically the opposite position that the developers of Elders Scrolls Online took.

Zubei
Guest
Zubei

Mark Jacobs Zubei Actually pretty nice today. Although super windy. Saw a couple trees knocked down on my way home from work earlier.

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Mark Jacobs Oh, more answers! :D Both my questions were more in general and less specific towards CU (I like to pick the brains of game devs, you may call me Sylar).

My dream MMORPG is among other things classless, where the skills get better the more you use them, and it hides game play numbers (I am tired of spreadsheet warriors arguing game play balance in the name of their parse). So I like to hear if these are viable things in the eyes of a professionals.

Raygar (Of CU)
Guest
Raygar (Of CU)

Mark Jacobs As long as you keep the limited respec's in-mind.  Since the Kickstarter you've never given me any real reason to doubt you, to the contrary, you've pretty much kept your word (some haven't come to pass yet, but so far so good).

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Zubei Mark Jacobs LOL, no worries. How are things up north?

Odulvic
Guest
Odulvic

Mark Jacobs Raygar (Of CU)  Count me 3... choices matter!

Respects should be a very long quest, that begins at the character creation screen! :-p

Zubei
Guest
Zubei

Mark Jacobs Edany (AmberACurtis) Raygar (Of CU) I'm ALL for sub based.

Zubei
Guest
Zubei

Mark Jacobs Zubei I just like saying that. Ha!

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Edany (AmberACurtis) Mark Jacobs Raygar (Of CU) Thanks! Hopefully that won't be necessary, but I appreciate the thought. :)

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Edany (AmberACurtis) ZenDadaist Yep. Unfortunately griefers are really a thing. Now, one of the benefits of being a sub-based game is that we will have a lot fewer of them then the FTP games generally have, so that makes me happy.

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Raygar (Of CU) Mark Jacobs Yeah, you and me are definitely in the minority. We'll find a fair balance, I'm quite sure of that.

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Thoroughmas Sorry about the pain! Hopefully CUBE + Beta play sessions will help a bit. :) 

As far as an Oceanic server, I would love to have one there but, as always, time will tell. We will spin up some in that region via AWS. We'll get some good intel from that.

Thanks for your support!

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Izanerys Thank you!

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Nanulak LOL, thanks.

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

vinicitur PaganRites LOL, yeah, we know we have to do some things to help keep the feel of the game just right and we intend to do so.

As to sub price, yep, couldn't agree more. Even back in 1997, the $9.99 price point was still low compared to most forms of paid entertainment, even if you compared 1 movie ticket versus a month of entertainment. Now, with inflation factored in, that $9.99 is more like $15. So, if we are below market, I don't think that there is a lot of room for folks to complain. Some will anyway, no matter what model we chose, so we might as well chose the one that comes with the lowest PITA factor as well as the one that allows us as developers to focus on making a great game and not have to spend time on a great monetization model.

Raygar (Of CU)
Guest
Raygar (Of CU)

Mark Jacobs In a game with few possible re-specs I really want full game mechanic disclosure, maybe not the damage numbers in battle but gear wise I think we should have access too it.  BTW, I love limited re-spec, in fact I would be find with you only get respec with class changes, but I know I'm in the minority on this one.

Edany (AmberACurtis)
Guest
Edany (AmberACurtis)

Mark Jacobs Edany (AmberACurtis) Raygar (Of CU) I feel that F2P games are the absolute *worst* case of 'be careful what you wish for'. Cannot stand them, and cannot stand the players that demand them. I am and always will be ETERNALLY grateful that you are standing your ground. I'd gladly pay 2 - 5 subs worth to keep it going if I had to!

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Zubei No, but we are getting closer every day.

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Edany (AmberACurtis) Raygar (Of CU) Me three. I don't mind BTP generally but sub-based is my favorite, whether as a player or developer.

Edany (AmberACurtis)
Guest
Edany (AmberACurtis)

Raygar (Of CU) Same here Raygar :)

Edany (AmberACurtis)
Guest
Edany (AmberACurtis)

ZenDadaist There have always been those asshats that love to troll their own realm and act out for attention. 'Back in the day' - grouping was essential to success. You weren't going to live long or accomplish much without a solid band of friends to help you along the way - and while you *could* solo - doing so was long, tedious, boring, and generally unfun.
When said asshat acted out against their own realm, their own realm for the most part shunned them. No group, no help, no contact. When they realize that gathering all of those materials for that penis building is going to take a looooong loooooong time, and no crafter from their realm will sell to them because they're an asshat... well... there you go.

For the most part, when you give a good community the tools and the resources to freeze out players like that, it works.

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Nordavind We won't be obscuring numbers from players during Beta and I do have mixed feelings about it for LIVE. On one hand, I do think the numbers flying all over the screen spoils the immersion for some people. Plus, in a large scale battle, the numbers could get really crazy of course depending on what you choose to show. I'll talk to our Backers about it as we move forward.

As to my stance on cheaters and sellers, I hate that stuff with a passion. Always have, always will. And since I was one of the few companies willing to take on these folks in court, well, I can say that. :)

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Zubei breetoplay ZenDadaist Yeah, we expect that no matter what pricing model an MMORPG follows, there will always be griefers or "short-timers" who want to spoil things for other people. Back in the early Dark Age days, we usually saw an increase in bad behavior by people whose subscription was going to run out so a banning didn't worry them.

In terms of griefing opportunities, we are certainly looking at everything we are putting into the game with an eye to griefing. It's one of the reasons that even though I would love to see friendly fire play a role, that I know nothing good will come from it in our game.

And yes, CD on friendlies will be soft and we will also invoke the "Spirit of the Game" clause to keep some bad behavior in check.

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Syl Nope no McDs, but maybe a "Three Brothers Battle Burgers!" :)

Thanks, glad you are getting more interested. Hopefully what we'll be doing during Beta 1 will get you even more interested.

Syl
Guest
Syl

What, I can't build a McDonalds in CU?? :D
Great interview again, game sounding more interesting by the minute.

Zubei
Guest
Zubei

breetoplay ZenDadaist I believe CD on friendlies will be soft. Meaning, you can eventually push through someone if you keep moving into them, but you wont stay in them. This will help in capping AOE's since only a certain amount of people can be in the area and also help in griefing situations where friendlies could block people from getting to a certain area.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

ZenDadaist I assume the phallic buildings would just be reported and removed!
For some reason I didn't think collision detection was for your OWN side?
I hope all of that would fall under the "spirit of the game" rule and be harshly dealt with. That's way past meta-gaming or spying and into flat out violating the intention of play imo.

ZenDadaist
Guest
ZenDadaist

Settling in to listen at work :)

I have an idle question though: Realm pride etc -  what tools are there to police your own realm to weed out the trolls, the griefers, the asshats and so on that deliberately mess with their own Realm for teh lulz? Say one of your own Realm keeps on repeatedly making bunch of phallic buildings that spell out 'ur mom lol'. How would that be dealt with by the other players? What about a group that monopolise a certain desirable location or resource and hog it for themselves, perhaps to just destroy it as trolling their own side? Particularly if collision detection is a thing, it's incredibly easy to grief your own faction without combat by blocking doorways, knocking people off bridges etc. 
I can see a rather strange situation in which opposing realms end up helping one another to deal with internal troublemakers they can't deal with seperately :p That can work in some other games, but given the whole 'Realm pride' focus of CU it doesn't seem to fit right.

(Cynical? About other players on the internet? Moi?)

Nordavind
Guest
Nordavind

Thanks for the answer regarding class vs. classless games, you answered the question to the fullest! o/  But I didn't ask the second question, my second question was if obscuring game numbers (gear stats and damage numbers) from players is something you think would be viable in a MMO.
I approve of your take on cheaters and gold sellers :D

Raygar (Of CU)
Guest
Raygar (Of CU)

I am CU target audience and I love monthly sub's.  In fact I dislike to hate all other models, so I for one would love to pay every month.

vinicitur
Guest
vinicitur

PaganRites Like MJ has said if I recall during the kickstarter, we as players always have the option to go and lay waste to all the phallic towers.

Zubei
Guest
Zubei

Great stuff but seriously.... are we there yet?!

PaganRites
Guest
PaganRites

Nevermind I just got to minute 40:39 policing CUBE  :P

PaganRites
Guest
PaganRites

I 100% agree with Mark on subs.  I have argued that sub is the best model for years.  F2P is awful.  Has not been good for community (especially RP community) and as we're seeing, doesn't seem to provide much longevity for MMOs.  B2P is ok, but again, comes loaded with issues.  Black Desert's Cash Shop is a great example.  Companies have to make money somehow.  If they are not making it on a sub, you'll end up paying some way or another.  and like Mark said, $15.00 a month, which has been the standard for over a decade, has not changed in the MMO genre, along with regular inflation.  It costs $120 to take my family to IMAX.  Plus, if I'm not mistaken, CU is looking at a lower than average sub fee.  So there's that.

Here is my biggest concern with CU (I am a Kickstarter backer btw, so I'm in full steam ahead).  The CUBE system.  I loved DAoC because of it's faithful world based on realm lore.  I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet by Mark and Co., but what is to stop guild epeen from making a town of phallic towers?  Or Minecraft looking villages, or anything that is not Viking, Arthurian, TDD inspired?  Will building be limited to blueprints that are authorized by CityState?  So really that's my only question.  How is the game world going to stay faithful when players can craft Landmark style.  Again maybe this was addressed and I missed it.  Anyone know?

Great interview.  Mark is my favorite dev, and this interview is why.  No B.S. and straight shooter.  And he cares.  MARK JACOBS CARES!  How cool is that?

Nanulak
Guest
Nanulak

Very good interview.  One of those that goes by so quick it leaves you wanting more.  As usual, very informative.
As someone who is looking for something different, the scout class sounds so cool.  I do want to harass the enemy [be a pain in the arsh}.  I want to help direct fire for my realms siege equipment [trained for it in RL].  Scouting enemy positions and reporting back to my realm mates actually sounds fun to me.
CUBE will rock.  Unfortunately you are making me roll several characters to achieve a my game desires.   A builder, a scout and a mage.

The planned designed downtime is fully approved by us old times who can not click continuously for hours at a time :)

Izanerys
Guest
Izanerys

Nice to hear some more thanks Mark, keep up the

Thoroughmas
Guest
Thoroughmas

Well now you're just getting me really hyped for this game and it's ages off. Hurts a bit, man.

Hamblepants
Guest
Hamblepants

Mark Jacobs Great answer to my question, I like the triangulation model you're going with (player input ---- check metrics ---- human devs to confirm), and I'm glad you're not saying "we'll do whatever our players suggest" - I just want to be heard and taken seriously, not to have my advice followed (especially because there will *always* be people who have legit disagreements with me).

Odulvic
Guest
Odulvic

oneeyered  As others have said... Alpha going into Beta 1... the 1 is important.

I wouldn't go as far as calling it a game 'just yet'!

The tech is what CSE has spent most of their time getting right so far, Beta 1 will see parts of the 'game' starting to get fleshed out (not polished, just fleshed out) on the very good bones (tech) that they've made.

So if you're looking to back a 'game' wait for Beta 2 or 3... If you want to see a game engine becoming a game back now and enjoy the ride!

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

Smiggins Smiggins! Am I a bad person if I say no, I honestly don't remember. Keep crashes, man, do I remember them. Keep trading, yeah, I remember that. Broken leveling curve in tier 2-3, yep, remember that. Zones not flipping, no, I don't. OTOH, I must admit that post WAR's launch, for about six months at EA/Mythic, I was, well, quite angry so...

Smiggins
Guest
Smiggins

Mark!
Do you remember zones not flipping in WAR when it first launched?

Mark Jacobs
Guest
Mark Jacobs

oneeyered Mark Jacobs Zunjin Was a fun movie. Horrible remake but the first one was great.

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