Camelot Unchained explains its guild and group philosophy for beta one

Mark Jacobs and City State Games have a big surprise for Camelot Unchained followers in this week’s dev blog: a major update to the beta one document focused on guilds, groups, and all the social organizations in between. And bigger. Really, this game is going to have a lot of different types of groups, with every niche from soloers to small crews (Warbands) to big guild-like crews (Orders) and even some formations that are more like raids, but nothing so big that little guilds or lone wolves need to panic. The document is lengthy (nothing new there, right?), but no matter what kind of group you’re in (or aren’t in), it’s worth a deep-dive to understand how the game’s community will be structured in a PvE-less RvR MMO because while it shares a lot on common with games like Dark Age of Camelot, it’s also got a few tricks I’ve never seen done before (like permanent groups that aren’t quite guilds and specialty mega-groups that are more about project management than fighting).

The dev blog also has some work-in-progress renders of character faces, super-detailed, down to the freckle — we’ll include some of those down below.

Want more social systems info? Mark Jacobs sat for what I can legitimately call a massive interview with us on this topic and a few others, so stay tuned for Monday, when we’ll be publishing the goods!

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71 Comments on "Camelot Unchained explains its guild and group philosophy for beta one"

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Sim

All else fails -> Make a medieval PUBG -> Profit! =D

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks Bree and MOP as usual! And yeah, Bree doesn’t exaggerate about the interview that is coming up on Monday. She asked a lot of great questions and well, I took the usual route of explaining with lots of words. Should be a good read for everybody.

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Bryan Correll

This. You can call me a carebear all you want (even though I don’t completely avoid pvp,) it doesn’t bother me. But don’t claim that you don’t mean it as an insult.

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jay

Love the animation artists at work on this title. Funcom should seriously take note, if TSW had these kinds of combat animations that game might have gone the distance.

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Mark Jacobs

We’re getting better at these animations. Like everything else Camelot Unchained, we’re continuing to iterate on it. Scott and Sandra have been working with Tyler and Ben to make our animations something people want to look at rather than just have to look at. We’ll get better still throughout Beta.

As you know, the animators biggest challenge was that Andrew was still building the animation system so they couldn’t animate to that system (our game uses a multi-part, blended animation system). Now they can.

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yoh_sl

Speaking of which, did you get my email?
I never got a reply, so idk if you received it or not.

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Mark Jacobs

Umm, maybe? What was the title? I get a lot of email and my spam filter may have done its job too well.

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yoh_sl

I titled it as “Mark & Scott – Animation issue”.
Not exactly the most outstanding title, but there you go.

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Arktouros

Permanent Groups that aren’t quite guilds sounds an awful lot like Archeage’s Family system.

I saw the length of that document and don’t care to confirm…yikes.

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Mark Jacobs

:)

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Utakata

BTW, those heads look very EVE Online for some reason. o.O

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yoh_sl

Heh, they are a bit aren’t they.

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Mark Jacobs

Really? I’ll go check it out and compare. I’m curious.

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yoh_sl

Looking forward to this.

I think a major problem MMO’s have been suffering for the last decade, is that they simply aren’t very social. They then to build themselves around the solo PvE experience, that happens to include other people.
They either don’t incentivize social play, or sometimes even actively disincentivize it.
Often times MOBA’s and hero shooters are far more social then MMO’s.

MJ if your reading, I have another story for you.
A few years back I was playing TERA with a small group of friends. I had dabble in the game before but it never really grabbed me. I was playing the healer, as I am wanton to do.

However it quickly became apparent that we weren’t all playing at the same rate, some of us were out leveling the others, which became more of a problem for me being a bloody healer and largely unable to solo to catch up.
Soon enough there was over a 6 level difference between me and the highest level in our group, which meant I no longer gained any EXP from playing together.

The game had essentially said “fuck you, you don’t get to play with your friends”. I left the game shortly there after.
.
.
.
So yeah, don’t do that.

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Ludovic Darkstar

There is no level grind in CU, in fact there are no levels…

Not saying there is no vertical progression, there is a little, but mainly the progression is horizontal… opening up more possibilities rather than making existing ones much stronger.

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Mark Jacobs

Good story, one oft repeated in most MMORPGs. The good thing is that as Ludovic said, with a nice, slow, horizontal progression system you aren’t going to have to worry about that problem with this game.

And that’s a promise and an easy one to keep.

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yoh_sl

That is good, wasn’t really the point I was driving at.
it’s not about levels. It’s about mechanics that incentivize, or in the case of my story, disincentivize social play.

While I have played MMO’s where levels (vertical progression) were a barrier to social play, I have also played ones where it was not.

Also, while I do deeply appreciate all the tools and options that will be given to players to form whatever social group they want, it’s not exactly the same thing as incentivizing social play.

Here’s an example by using a RTS mechanic, Fog of War.
Say on your map and minimap, anywhere you haven’t been is pitch black, you don’t know what is out there.
Once you’ve been there before it fills out, but any area that isn’t in you vision gets recovered by transparent fog, so you can’t see allies or enemies, only the terrain.

Each player has their own vision, depending on class/race, which reveals terrain, enemies and allies, etc. So standard RTS mechanic.

Now, what if when you group with people, you gain their vision in addition to your own. Whether in a warband or order, you see what your allies see.
Not only does this provide a lot of tactical and strategic play, but you would very much feel the benefit of just being with people, even if you don’t say a word to each other.
(it would also give the scout class clear and obvious use, as their vision could be much larger and give more information)

You could also have a passive version of this where any ally within your proximity also give you their vision, thus extending your own vision. So even if you play completely solo, you still benefit from having other people around you.

This is what I mean by incentivizing social play with mechanics.
That they way the game is built makes you want to be around people and interact.

As far as I see it, you don’t really have anything quite like this planned.
Well, ok, technically a realm itself incentivizes social play, but beyond that.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Its weird how MOP community is 90% diehard PvE carebears, yet it feels like PvE-less CU is the most anticipated MMORPG here.

Im curious about that interview but social structures isnt the most interesting topic for me. What I want to know is how exactly they will motivate people for PvP. Particularly those, who dont join big clans.
Also if there wont be NPC quests, will players themselves be able to give quests?

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Utakata

You seem to be assuming that all anti-OW FFA’ers are anti-PvP. Least that’s what I am gathering from your un-sourced 90%. However, I would wager that the issue many readers here have with PvP is the unfairness of how it’s leveled within many games. And oft without a sense of consequence or meaning…rather than being against PvP all together. It’s appears CU is appropriately addressing those concerns.

And unlike Star Citizen, it doesn’t seem to be stringing readers who are interested in this game along. Just saying.

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Paragon Lost

Is it weird that I’m 90% sure you pulled that stat out of your backside.

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Utakata

Lol! :)

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David Goodman

Many of us are against PVP exactly because of people like you.

However, Mark Jacobs and CU does have plenty of PVE content and he seems earnest about providing fun experiences for everyone, not just the PVPers.

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Slaasher

NOpe. CU does not have plenty of that at all. Its been clearly stated.

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Koshelkin

Marc Jacobs never stated that the game has “plenty of PvE content” except if you’re refering to crafting. The game is meant to be a RvR-centric PvP game. The whole design is purely PvP-focused.

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Tandor

It would help if we could avoid pejorative terms like “diehard PvE carebears”, not least because we all know that it’s a misnomer and that the real “carebears” are those PvPers that can only get their jollies either by ganging up on single players, griefing lower level players, or hanging around portals etc ;)!

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Paragon Lost

Also Tandor he has no proof on his 90%, he’s just pulling a large number out of his backside and presenting it as a factual stat. That’s before we get to the insulting terminology he prefers to use.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Well, this stat is real, Im just not sure if its 90% or 95%. I took this number from reading MOP for years, from all those juicy comments about PvP and PvE, knowing what MMORPGs community here adores

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Utakata

An anecdotal assumption is not is not a real stat though. o.O

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Oleg Chebeneev

Im also fairly certain that at least one of your characters in WoW is female gnome with pink ponytails. You can call it another anecdotal assumption, but isnt it correct one?

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Utakata

And a false equivalence is false. As we are not comparing an imaginary statistic to something that as already been established to be true from numerous sources.

Sorry, but the best course of action right now is to admit, “I was wrong”. The digging in here is so much more troublesome and complicated. :)

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Paragon Lost

Are you so self involved that you don’t realize you aren’t the only one who has been reading and posting here for years? In my observational opinion over the years of reading and posting here on MassivelyOp and Massively of old that statistic has got to be much lower. Closer to 60% to maybe 70% at best.

To the point, your stats are based on your observations and not on any hard evidence that you’ve calculated. Just like my observational statistic I listed above. Which means we’ve both just pulled it out of our asses and they are based on nothing that’s truly been calculated.

Personally I’m a fan of pvp and always play on pvp servers if they’re available and I’ve not seen your “adoring only pve stance crowd” as so strong as you imply. There are pvp pro writers, there are pve pro writers on MassivelyOp, same as the posters.

Compared to say Blizzard Watch which does feel to me that it’s overwhelmly PVE centric as a counter example. The writer’s even push back when you try to get them to talk about pvp or bring in pro pvp writers and articles. Seriously, I’ve had more push back from them and their posters when I’ve tried to broach the subject that I gave up asking.

I don’t see that here on MassivelyOp, while Eliot and Justin aren’t into pvp other writers are or can be. Your statistic is hyperbolic bullshit pulled out of your ass.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Yeah, Bree and MJ must be hardcore PvP players /chuckle
You can disagree with my statistics, but Im fairly certain its pretty accurate. Also I dont see being purely PvE fan as something to be ashamed of.

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Paragon Lost

I’d say that Brendan and a couple others also are pro pvp or at least pvp interested. So, chuckle all you want your 90% statistic doesn’t really have any roots in reality and is actually as I said your opinion.

Basically I’m also fairly certain that your statistic has no merit. I’m glad we don’t engineer bridges, rockets etc under the same statistical formula that you use.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

I also have a similar impression, although I am a much newer reader here. Even though as stated the number is an estimation and non-factual, I was also always surprised with the abundance and the toxicity of posts stating “boo PvP” in upcoming MMORPG’s as if it were a horrible or stupid design choice, when it is simply one design choice among others, and there is a crowd for it. The fact that there were few to no counters against such comments strengthened this assumption for me (personally I stand in neither camp, I am mostly a PvE player but recognize and enjoy the possibility of PvP creating dynamic and emergent gameplay).

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Mark Jacobs

Dang, this was/is an interesting thread. Hiya OC!

All I’ll say in this thread is:

1) I love PvE when it is done right
2) I love PvP when it is done right (I’ve had it in my games from day 1 of making online games)
3) I’m not a huge fan of FFA MMORPGs unless it is done right. I don’t hate it, it’s just not for me.
4) And when I understand the glory in RvR, especially with three sides, I embraced it wholeheartedly.

And I too hate labeling people or their preferred playstyles when that label is used in a derogatory manner. There’s plenty of room for all of us out there in the gaming world, now more so than ever.

And yeah, I’d like to make another PvE game one day. :)

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Jon Wax

It’s really such a simple mechanic to merge both styles and make it work.

As an industry I ask you guys how you have not figured it out yet. Not in a mean way, more disappointed then mad.

If I could code or had the loot I could show you how to do it but alas and alack…

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Matthew Shannon

This sort of fits your question. I imagine more will be released as the mechanic is designed.

Campaign – A temporary alliance of groups that exists to achieve goals through missions with multiple group and/or crowd-sourced participation from players throughout the Realm

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Tandor

Such a shame after DAoC and WAR that CU is going to be so devoid of PvE, but there you go. Certainly less for the developers to worry about, but it does mean that there’s an awful lot hanging on the successful long term appeal of the RvR, and goodness knows the PvP crowd can be a fickle lot sometimes, not least in a subscription title. I wish Mark and the team a lot of success, but I really do have my doubts, not least because as so often happens in these situations the expectations of those who have wrongly believed every forthcoming new title in recent years to be DAoC2 are so high.

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Ludovic Darkstar

There will be PvE, but mainly for crafting materials… there just won’t be a PvE progression path.

Having said that their Bounty system and their Campaign system (both player controlled) could make for one of the most varied, exciting and ‘fresh’ questing systems out there…

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Schlag Sweetleaf

I could see PvE expansions being released down the road, perhaps as a Darkness Falls style of campaign.

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Ludovic Darkstar

There will be the Depths @ launch! (just a tad more gruesome than DF)

(again – no PvE progression, just mainly for access to crafting mats and crafting stations etc)

Having said that you ‘might’ earn progression in PvE if the mob in the Depths you are fighting is being controlled by an enemy player! Maybe, perhaps…

You might also earn progression in the Depths ‘I think’ if a player dies in one of the traps ‘you’ left behind!

FYI Still awaiting fleshed details of the above systems, so don’t quote me.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

I’m sure the core game will never offer pve progression. This however does not mean the world won’t flesh out it’s pve part nicely. On a stream long ago Mark and Andrew were asked what their dream additions to the game would be in the future. Andrew’s stood out to me (because it’s the same RvR wet dream I share) when he said he’d love to have the pve factions in game be developed around expanded AI and integrated into the RvR systems.

Basically it means that not only would you have 2 player factions that could raid you, so also could npc factions. Possible alliances and all the usual RvR stuff mixed right into pve but still without xp per mob kill. The world would likely feel more like a fleshed out pve/pvp game than most typical mmos.

This is the pve expansion I’d absolutely love to see because it basically be a fully realized RvRRPG. Why this is so savory is because their engine could actually handle it!

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Mark Jacobs

I too can see us adding more PvE but as you point out, no PvE progression as that would run counter to our Kickstarter pledge.

I’m just so glad we didn’t add PvE to the Kickstarter because that would have just made the journey even longer and more fraught with peril.

OTOH, a pure PvE game? Love to do it in the upcoming years.

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Ludovic Darkstar

I just want to point out there are 3 player factions in CU, not 2…
RvRvR

Tamanous
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Tamanous

lol, well, RvR is defined as 3 player faction open world warfare so no need for redundancy. 2 other player factions raiding “you” means you’re the 3rd faction.

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Sally Bowls

Nobody remembers the poor Arthurians. Tree huggers or Vikings.

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yoh_sl

League of Legends, MOBAs, hero shooters, etc etc.
There are a ton of pure (or mostly) PvP games that get no shortage of love and success. Your assumption the PvP isn’t viable isn’t viable for long term success simply isn’t based on the evidence.

The MMO crowd that also enjoys PvP, which is larger then you think it is, has been under served for a long time. CSE are far more likely to succeed by catering to their niche, then going for broad appeal and watering their game down.
They can either be a master of PvP, or a jack of all trades. They don’t have the money to do both.

Me, I want massive PvP.

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Tandor

I never stated that PvP wasn’t viable for long term success, I said that is all the game has for long term success. There is a difference.

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yoh_sl

Well that’s a distinction without a difference.
You’ve clearly taken the position that you don’t think it’s a good idea.

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Tandor

So are you claiming that I have made an assumption that the PvP isn’t viable, or are you claiming that I don’t think limiting the game to PvP-only isn’t a good idea? There’s a big difference between those claims.

I liked the PvE content in both DAoC and WAR and feel it’s a shame that there isn’t any meaningful PvE in CU. It narrows down the market appreciably, and means that the game lives or dies on the long term appeal of the PvP content alone as that’s all there is. Given the fickle nature of PvPers especially in subscription-only games I think that poses a commercial risk. It may well be viable, time will tell and I’m certainly not saying it won’t be, I’m simply saying that it narrows the focus of the game and therefore increases the commercial risk.

The other reason I’m disappointed that CU doesn’t include meaningful PvE is, of course, that I’m a fan of MJ’s way of working, and really liked the PvE in both DAoC and WAR so am naturally disappointed that it won’t be a feature of CU.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

If there would be traditional PvE a)the game would be possibly several more years in the making and b)successful RvR depends on big enough numbers which traditional PvE would reduce and imbalance, if some faction would gather more PvE players than others.

I might be wrong, but at some level how CU is planned is likely to have integrated lessons from WAR and why it failed. And I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these lessons is this: If you are making an RvR game, you need to concentrate on RvR.

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Matthew Shannon

There is no PvE leveling. There will be elements of PvE in the game. The Depths, and other items.

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Tandor

Quite.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

Every time I see the updated art, animations and all the jazz replacing the first pass stuff, I am stunned. They emphasize performance over top tier AAA beauty but their beta level art and tech passes are frankly, pretty damn good considering the scope of the game.

Beyond that even, it’s the systems reveals they so efficiently keep under wraps that intrigues me the most. No idea what will/won’t work but CSE is the first developer in (now) decades that is actually trying new things and not just flashy twists on old ideas.

CU may only be “just” an RvR game for many but it’s turning out to be one hell of an RPG on top of it designed around social systems and much more so than the vast majority of pve mmos which, I find rather sad actually. Perhaps a game like Pantheon will do the same with pve but it sounds like RvR lovers will have it good.

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Maggie May

Right from the beginning, I was very impressed by the art direction/ lore and overall world they are creating and huge props to Jacobs for sticking to his guns on the game design. Although I have never been a pvp player, I think CU is a model of doing it right. Looking forward to seeing more of the gameplay etc.

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Paragon Lost

Yep, I love the information dumps I get in my email from CU on Friday’s, it’s such an awesome read and insight on what they’re doing, where they’re at etc. It’s truly refreshing to get such a behind the curtain look at an mmo’s development. Mark & Company are truly a class act.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks all for the very kind words, I’m sure the team and especially the artists will love reading your comments (unless they already have).

It’s been a longer-than-expected road but thankfully, finally, things are moving along at the pace we expected. That makes us all very happy.

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drgreenhoe

I am very excited about the potential community involvement that will be involved in champaigns. As a member of an order my leaders can easily coordinate what has to be accomplished to complete the orders goals. From harvesting, crafting and transporting siege equipment for an upcoming order offensive. And all of this can be tied together with other orders to accomplish real goals.

As a solo player I can easily contribute to the community by simply picking up contracts that help my realm mates. I much prefer fulfilling a contract at a set price than using a auction house where others play the market to enrich themselves and not the realm.

Now I understand I may be reading to much into what has been presented but it sure sounds fun. :)

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Mark Jacobs

No, I think you were pretty spot on.

Glad you like that you read, I’m excited as well by the concept of campaigns (and I expect other developers will be as well). :)

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Koshelkin

Character renders and new animations look really slick and the group/raid/guild mechanics are interesting and thoughtful. I especially love the permanent warband idea and the “temporary alliance” campaign system.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks, much appreciated as always!

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Sally Bowls

Excellent. Thanks to all.

a massive interview with us on this topic and a few others, so stay tuned for Monday

although, this article is a tease for the Monday tease for future content whereas I lean more toward instant gratification. :-) Thx again.

P.S. While trying to copy, I misclicked in my right click menu and googled “a massive interview with us on this topic and a few others, so stay tuned for Monday” and the first four results were:

Full transcript: Hillary Clinton at Code 2017 – Recode
Interview with Tepr of YELLE | Flash Flood Media
Guy Garvey interview: ‘I still think wistfully about my hedonistic years …
Read the full transcript of Trump’s first solo press conference

So it seems to me that Google’s Big Data says I should expect this to be a blend of Clinton, Trump and hedonistic years.

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Mark Jacobs

LOL.

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Bryan Correll

Bring on the hedonistic years…..
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Ket Viliano

“Be Evil”

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