Camelot Unchained teases beta with a new ‘guiding principles’ doc

If it feels like we’ve been waiting for Camelot Unchained’s beta forever, well, it hasn’t – it’s only been half of forever. And the wait is almost over, if the first part of City State’s brand-new beta 1 doc is any guide.

“It’s been a longer road to Beta 1 than we expected it would be last year,” CSE’s Mark Jacobs begins. “For that, you have our most sincere and humble apologies.” After admitting he’s “committed more money to the studio than” planned, he says the result has been worth it, such that “by the time you read this, [CSE] will have moved achingly close to the first of the SNS trials, will be back up to 2.1K ARCs/Bots, the new ability, animation, and VFX systems will be performing as expected, and the programmers’ focus will have turned more heavily than ever to gameplay and not tech.”

The doc itself outlines the beta’s “guiding principles” for a “minimum viable vision” — namely, that it should be solid, intermittent, accessible, and more about fun than the tech-oriented alpha. While this is just the first part of the larger doc we’re told is incoming, it does tick off a number of specific features on immediate order, including improved UI, help files and links for newbies, updated patcher and player count, daily issues, class/race combos, attribute clarity, unique player names, and starting gear.

Plus? A peek at the login screen, which is slick!

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32 Comments on "Camelot Unchained teases beta with a new ‘guiding principles’ doc"

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Alex Malone

Remains the only MMO I’m actually excited about.

It’s a shame this first document doesn’t go past character creation but I’m looking forwards to finding out what elements of combat, crafting, building and territory control are going to be in beta 1. Despite not being a crafter, I am actually tempted to go full crafter at release as the CUBE system looks awesome. I will just need to wait and see how crafting actually turns out.

Also curious to see the actual combat in action. If I can remember the BSC docs rightly, it has a nice combination of tab-target, action, free aim and collision detection, but not seen any gameplay footage of any sort yet so no idea what it’s gonna look and feel like when you’ve got 1000 player battles going on.

Finally, I really hope they have some awesome viking hairstyles available in the character creator. I want to be Ragnar Lothbrok, so need big beards and crazy hair!

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Mark Jacobs

This was only Part 1, new sections every (hopefully) week.

We should be releasing some gameplay footage by the end of next month. We definitely have the #s, as our Backers have seen, but we need to polish it up a bit before we do our first official Big Bot Battle video. We have some additional improvements to the FPS, VFX, animations, and Bot variability slated for the next six weeks. If they all make it in, we’ll do a video.

As to hair/beard variations in character creation, not for the opening of Beta 1, but definitely for LIVE. Vikings gotta be Vikings!

Thanks for the interest and support!

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Melissa McDonald

Seems like all the coolest games take forever to make and are in perpetual development. Kind of a bummer sometimes. We’re always waiting. I think we underestimate how hard it is to make an MMO, really. BDO took about 4 years to make, for example.

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Veldan

Personally, I never underestimated it. I mean, information about development time of other MMOs is only one google search away. What were people expecting?

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Mark Jacobs

Hopefully we all won’t be waiting much longer for the next stage in our development. More on this in the coming weeks as we release more of the document.

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draugris

Interesting read, they are really incredibly open and transparent to the community. I wished that it would also have been the case for warhammer, but that days are (sadly) gone. It´s very interesting to see how the underlying tech slowly but steadily evolves into a game. I don´t know if i will play the first beta even if i am entitled too but i can´t wait until CU open it´s gate for everybody, the genre is in need for a true RvR game.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks, I was transparent as I was capable of at EA. The stuff I did do drove Investor Relations to the edge, if I had done more, well, EA and I would have parted ways even sooner than we did. :)

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draugris

Yeah i can imagine, but i was not particulary referring to the EA times. i was in the closed beta around a year ahead of release so i guess that was good old mythic time. But anyway i really appreciate that you do not try to hide and tell things as they are, for the good and the bad. Not many companies have the guts to do that and all that comes out of their PR machine is “awesome awesome awesome”. I have the feeling that you take people serious and i did not have that feeling very often with other studios.

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Mark Jacobs

Actually, a year from release of WAR we were already part of EA. They bought us in 2006, the year after we signed the deal with Games Workshop for the rights to make a Warhammer-based MMORPG.

As to the not hiding stuff, yeah, it’s what I do. It wasn’t popular at Mythic nor EA. It was one of the reasons EA and I parted ways and why certain folks at Mythic “helped” make that happen. As I’ve said forever, only two people associated with WAR have ever had the balls, publicly or privately, to take any responsibility for WAR not being the game it should have been. Those two people are myself and John Riccitiello. The rest? Not so much, which doesn’t surprise but did disappoint me. It’s one of the reasons I respect JR, at least he had the balls to admit publicly that he made some mistakes (he said this while he was still at EA).

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draugris

Wow, thanks for being so open, btw. i was a big WAR fan despite all the flaws it had. Some of the people i met there i am still playing with and we all look forward to CU.

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Mark Jacobs

You’re welcome! And yeah, I’m pretty open about things and consistent as well. :)

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Zen Dadaist

Going to be hard generating the hype again. The class reveals in the runup to the originally-planned Beta were great for building up interest and enthusiasm, but now that’s old news I wonder what will come next?

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Patreon Donor
Veldan

Why would hype be needed though? The game has a lot of backers, and if it’s half as good as I think it will be, it should have no problem attracting more players after launch.

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Mark Jacobs

Couple of quick points:

1) We aren’t trying to generate hype yet. This release of information was in keeping with our Foundational Principles and my promise to Backers that we were going to give them a ton of information over the course of Beta and beyond. This is just the first step.

2)The best way to generate hype these days is with a working game and livestreams. Both will happen during the course of Beta 1.

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wratts

Very glad to see this moving into a truly playable state! I remember making a “Forever” contribution I guess two years ago, and while I’m not the most regular follower of updates, I’ve been sure for a while that this project is going to be special.

Now I’m just hoping I don’t fall in love with the “doomed” realm. Seems like in any three-faction game one faction is always just f*ed from the get-go, and I have an uncanny ability to choose it.

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Mark Jacobs

Hehe, well, I hope there never is a doomed Realm, just one that is numerically challenged and by sheer force of will and a little help from the game’s systems/mechanics, does have a good time, even when they are losing.

And yeah, we’re happy that we’re becoming a game again. The last year+ was awful, craptastic, terrible, because even though I knew we would get to this point, it took a long time. Fortunately, as I said in the updates, we were making continual progress, especially once we opened the second studio. Who knows, in some ways that might have been the best thing to happen to us in the long run?

Thanks again, to you and our other Backers for their patience and continued support.

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Sally Bowls

I am trying to be polite here, it’s just that I am inexperienced. My first thought after the download and watching the install/load was “Wow, this looks like a real game.” As in, great progress. grats & TY

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks and no need, at all, to apologize. We haven’t been close to a real game in way too long. It’s why I steadfastly refused to call us a game once the long and painful reabilitation began. But now, even though we are still in Alpha, we are beginning to feel like a real game again. Not a great game, not by any means, but that day will come.

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Wanda Clamshuckr

I’m not a Backer, so I won’t be able to run around in Beta 1, but I will give this a fair shake at launch. I think you guys have done your production of CU with an almost unheard of amount of transparency and integrity, as measured by the industry standard of the last decade, so that in itself will get me to buy your product and play at least for the first month. I’m normally not a PvP-only sort of person, so no promises after that.

I just want to see it for myself, and explore your classes. Color me intrigued.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks! Feel free to ask any questions you have about this or other releases about the doc, I’m happy to answer them.

As to the integrity and transparency, it was/is really important to me to do things this way. None of us, at least the ones who are being honest, can ever guarantee that their game will be a success at least, let alone a HUUUGE hit. OTOH, I did promise before, during, and after the Kickstarter that I would keep our studio and my personal promise, to be the same team/guy we showed during the Kickstarter. Many folks didn’t believe us and I can’t/don’t blame them because words are simply that. OTOH, we have backed up our words with our deeds by continuing to stream, talk, share and exchange ideas, etc. from the beginning up to now.

And the best part, it only gets better from here, just wait and see. But since you are already planning on doing that (and there is NOTHING wrong with that, I encourage people to do that here), you’re ahead of the game! :)

Thanks for your interest, even if you don’t decide to buy the game at launch, truly.

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George Dane

Love the feedback you posted, Mark! I’ve never been a Camelot fan, honestly, but I’m intrigued in this new game even if its just from an outsider standpoint. Once the game comes to the ‘Beta’ phase and is up in a more consistent basis and not for a hefty price tag, I may end up buying a pack and trying it out! I’m still looking for that one true ‘good’ pay-to-play MMO.

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Melissa McDonald

I’m a HUGE Kamelot fan. Roy. Khan. Both words mean “king”. :)

royKhan.jpg
Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

That dude hasn’t been in the band for quite a while now though

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks for your kind words and your interest, even if you’re not a fan of Camelot. If I might ask, are you a fan of RvR/PvP and/or crafting?

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Mark Jacobs

Bree,

Thank you and MOP, as always for the coverage!

Mark

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Patreon Donor
Veldan

I just read through it, and there’s something that stood out to me: providing information to backers / beta testers. Stuff like a player count, or a banner with the most important issues of the day. It gets my hopes up that CU will not only provide their backers with lots of information about development, but also about the actual game when the time comes that we all have access to it. That would be great.

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Mark Jacobs

I couldn’t agree more and thus, your hopes regarding information will be fulfilled, I promise.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

I took the leap many months ago, deciding this game was worth supporting (mostly based on how much i loved Daoc and how willing Mark has been to interact with us). I get updates all the time on development issues and live streams, but the one thing that still remains kinda vague, is if I am actually able to even download and test the current version of the game or not, as a backer.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks Dug. If you have any questions about your tier, feel free to send me a message on the Forums and I can check your account to see what access you have. If you think you have Beta 1 access, it will be worth it to update your PC before this weekend. We are looking good for another Big Bot Battle this weekend. There’s nothing like seeing up to 1K (or more) Bots and players running around the same battlefield at a manageable FPS. :)

Reader
Sally Bowls

So I tried to download in ’15 but it was 32-bit only and wanted to put some 2012 VC libraries on my system. So I just downloaded it and accepted the 2015 redistributables. So after 10GB of patching, I think I am ready.

Reader
Mark Jacobs

Cool. We’re still looking good for another round of Big Bot Battles this weekend. Hopefully nothing major goes wrong before then but we have a backup just in case. :)

The last two weeks were great ones for the studio and the folks who showed up for the tests. We had folks from all other the world on our servers and they were amazed at the performance they saw. Not polished, lots of rough edges, but the potential they saw and talked about (even on MOP) made us all very happy.

Thanks as always SB, I hope you can join us this weekend or maybe during an Impromptu Test this week too.


Thanks MOP, time for me to hit the sack.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

It depends on your level of support, the backer tiers each have a certain level of access. For example, mine says beta 1, but there is also alpha and beta 2. I believe that from a certain point on, because of the delays, most or all alpha level test events have been made accessible to beta 1 backers.

And of course, when the actual beta 1 arrives, I think it’s kind of obvious who will have access to that :)

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