The Camelot Unchained test phases had to be delayed, and that means that the latest newsletter for the game is in an odd place, as the opening itself states. On the one hand, the team has accomplished a lot since the last community newsletter; on the other hand, obviously that wasn’t quite enough. But there’s still plenty of talk about what the developers have been doing and what progress is being made, along with a lengthy dissertation of the game’s combat design philosophy.
Camelot Unchained‘s combat model is being called “counter-revolutionary” in the newsletter itself, as it’s an intentional throwback to the earlier days of MMO combat that then extrapolates in a different direction. Expect less twitch reflex and more emphasis on making strategic decisions, something that becomes very relevant when aiming for specific body parts and armor types. Read all of the details (and a great deal more) in the newsletter itself.
; thanks to the Flying Dutchman for the tip!
Today’s Camelot Unchained update is a long one, and that’s because Mark Jacobs has a lot to cover. He talks about everything from backer benefits to the game’s terrain code and, oh yeah, there’s a little bit about the new stealth stretch goal.
Jacobs goes to great lengths to describe how Camelot Unchained’s version of stealth won’t be easy mode, or an I-win button, or any of the other things that you may have groaned about when you read the word stealth. “It is a word loaded with more baggage than the Kardashian household on a family vacation,” Jacobs says.
Today’s Massively Overthinking question was sent via e-pigeon from Kickstarter donor Apollymi. No e-pigeons were hurt in the writing of this article.
“Have you heard of any MMOs that will not be PvP-oriented — by that I mean, have completely consensual PvP — that may be coming out in the near future?”
Let’s draw out Apollymi’s question a bit and talk about the PvE/PvP divide in our genre. What PvE/consensual-PvP/classic PvE games do we love, which future ones do we have our eyes on, and why is the industry so focused lately on PvP MMOs? The MOP writers are discussing all that and more in today’s entry.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Project Gorgon returned to Kickstarter. Veteran developer Eric Heimburg clearly believes in his fantasy sandpark, and why not? Gorgon combines the best of old and new school gaming, with a heavy focus on discovery, exploration, and immersion.
In other news, Star Citizen boss Chris Roberts briefly stirred the hornet’s nest when he called B.S. — literally — on those who say that the sci-fi space sim has an acute case of feature creep. Apart from that, though, it was an uneventful week! You can catch up on that story and the rest of the week’s crowdfunding news after the cut.
Camelot Unchained’s traditional Friday update has been published, and CityState’s Mark Jacobs has a lot to talk about on the heels of the recent beta delay announcement. He says that less than 50 of the game’s 22,000 backers opted for a refund after the news, though a handful of those were higher end pledges. The good news is that those limited rewards will be made available again to founders.
Further good news takes the form of Beta 1 backers being granted access to extended alpha as of today.
This afternoon’s update also recaps CityState’s recent livestreams, and Jacobs says that work is proceeding “quite nicely on all tech fronts, from our stance editor to our animations, particle effects, etc.” Finally, Jacobs praises his dev team for its work thus far in building an engine from scratch and staying under budget. “Maybe it’s time that I began to emphasize the great progress a small, underfunded (by typical MMORPG standards) and young (well, not me) team has made on delivering not only an engine, but a game, albeit in the early stages; and a standard for treating our backers that is, IMO, the best in the industry,” he writes.
Former Daybreak CEO John Smedley may have been a polarizing figure to MMO gamers, but several high profile devs have spoken up in the wake of Smedley’s resignation announcement. Former PlanetSide 2 creative director Matt Higby says that he and many other devs owe Smedley a great deal, and he also says that if you’re a gamer, Smedley is exactly the sort of “maverick, passionate, risk-taking leader you want running a company” as opposed to many industry CEOs who prefer “insipid reliably-profitable clones.”
Trion boss Scott Hartsman says that Smedley “always led with his heart, and there are easily a thousand people’s careers, [Hartsman’s] included, that he’s touched or helped grow in meaningful ways.”
Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs has admitted to backers today that the first round of CU’s beta, originally planned for August, will be delayed.
Jacobs has explained that the senior programmer hired in June was essentially poached two days after his arrival. While CSE has since hired yet another new programmer, he won’t begin until September, making the August beta impossible. Jacobs told Massively OP that the beta could be delayed into next year, but he won’t set any date until the refreshed programming team is back on course.
He has, however, assured backers that the game’s “spending is below projections,” so the budget is good shape. CSE will continue to issue a refund to any crowdfunder who requests it.
We spoke to Jacobs prior to the official announcement to ask a few questions about the delay and its impact on the development of the game. Read on for the full Q&A and the Twitch stream.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Derek Smart reminded everyone that he exists. Not that he’s crowdfunding an MMO or anything, but he did have plenty to say about Star Citizen and its chances for realizing the lofty goals set by developer Cloud Imperium.
And of course MassivelyOP commenters had plenty to say about Star Citizen and Derek Smart. Some other news happened as well, and you’ll find a roundup of it just past the break.
Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs returns with the game’s latest Friday update. He says that it’s a short one on account of a monster update coming next week, but there’s still plenty of reading for fans of the crowdfunded RvR fantasy title.
The recent 72 hours of alpha went “exceptionally well,” Jacobs writes, as there wasn’t a single server crash to be found during the whole event. He also mentions that there was no rubber-banding until 1700 backers and bots were crammed into a single small zone, which sounds even better given that the team hasn’t really begun the optimization process yet.
You can follow the link below to read all about CU user stories, swag updates, and more.
The MMO genre has immense sticking power in terms of tenure, staying relevant to players for decades despite such fluid and rapid development in the larger gaming industry and particularly in relation to online gaming. With such an extensive back catalogue of games in the genre, it’s not surprising to see so many recycled mechanics being employed in new releases due to the significant financial risks associated with MMO development. The latest batch of promising indie developments, however, has me sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation — moderated with a heavy dose of trepidation, of course — for what new, reimagined, or creatively employed mechanics we’ll see in the MMOs of tomorrow.
In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I’ll break down the mechanics under the work-in-progress bonnets of some of the indie and fledgling offerings that have captured my attention for all the right reasons. I’ll look at what each game proposes to do differently and why that makes me excited for its release.
Hope you like reading — and since you’re reading this, we’ll assume you do — because Camelot Unchained has another one of its Stephen King novel-sized newsletters for you to devour. The big topic of discussion this time around? How awesome it is to be able to blow up buildings.
The team is digging into the physics engine, creating new ways to cause havoc on existing structures. “Our internal testers are playing with the early passes on buildings that can be blown up, destroyed, crumbled, and razed,” the newsletter says.
The newsletter teases dragons, talks about how pretty the game’s skies have become, and reveals the new tools the team is using to meld procedural terrain with hand-crafted design. In fact, you can check out the terrain tool in action in a video after the break!
It’s Friday, which means there’s probably a Camelot Unchained update floating somewhere around my inbox. Yep, here it is. Let’s see. Head honcho Mark Jacobs says that CityState has made “significant progress” on the rubberbanding and performance issues that have been focused on for the past few weeks.
There’s also a blurb about procedurally generated terrain, which is “moving along nicely.” Jacobs also mentions that an official beta announcement is coming “within the next two weeks,” so that’s pretty exciting news for fans of fantasy PvP sandboxes in general and Camelot Unchained in particular. There’s much more to this afternoon’s update, too, but you’ll need to click through the link below to read all of it!
Mark Jacobs is back with a Friday afternoon update for Camelot Unchained. In it, he says that players will soon be able to destroy structures with spells, after which they will break and fall apart (the structures, that is, not the spells or the players).
Jacobs also says that the dev team hit 58 items on CU’s user stories page, including 15 new cards. A full list of changes and improvements is available via the source link below, along with more information about hirings, a tease for the next stretch goal, tidbits about the game’s UI, and some new art.