Camelot Unchained is working on RvR3, alchemy, and the Verdant Forest in its next 90-day plan

    
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Just over a year ago, Camelot Unchained studio City State Entertainment raised eyebrows with the reveal that it had taken on additional outside investment to build a second game, the co-op horde-mode Final Stand: Ragnarok, which uses the CU engine. At the same time, CSE put Camelot Unchained itself on a 90-day plan cadence, which is to say, the studio issued a new plan for the game roughly every 90 days in an effort to keep players apprised of what was going on with the game’s development. We got those plans in February and May/June, though following that, the updates didn’t specifically refer to the plans.

However, you’ll be pleased to know that the 90-day plans are fully back on track now, as CSE has just released the latest, which covers February through April 2021, during its afternoon stream today.

Notably, this latest plan homes in on 0.1.0 Verdant Forest, a core zone for RvR planned for launch. A large part of it’s done already, but the goal is to have it fully playable for backers. The studio is also working on a fog system both for ambiance and as an effect for player abilities, plus new and updated races (including Giants), the latest iteration of its realm-vs.-realm PvP called RvR3 and another of its zones, Golden Plains. A major crafting update with the alchemy system and a prototype of the cooking system is also en route. There’s gobs more, including tech improvements, which you can preview for yourself in the studio’s stream.

Source: Twitch
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tom foolery

Its amazing how Marc Jacob’s just continues to piss all over his backers and yet they actually expect a game.

Mr Jacob’s might be a tad busy in 3 weeks talking to a judge.

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Bruno Brito

???

I don’t think Mark is right by being really slow with refunds, but uh? Judge? Why would he even talk to a judge?

Bowlstainer
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Bowlstainer

Why do the characters move so blocky and clunky?

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Bruno Brito

Probably because this is really “early” in development.

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dinarian_

357 days of waiting for my promised refund….and I still have not gotten my refund. We still can’t even get confirmation from MJ or CSE in regards to whether they are done with refunds from February of 2020 yet.

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Francis Baud

I think it really sucks that you’ve been waiting for your refund for so long and I hope you get it quickly. On the other hand, it’s reassuring to know that Mark does respect the chronological order at which the requests were placed rather than reimbursing the very vocal backers first. I think it’s fairer that way.

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dinarian_

Date/request order is also in my opinion the best way. The problem is of course in the details. The detail about the date currently being worked on STILL being February of last year being the problem. The last public info about a refund was a self reported refund on MJ’s sub reddit. That person says they requested their refund 2/2/2020 and didn’t receive it until 2/21/2021. We were of course promised our refunds in “up to 90 days.” That is the written policy on CSE’s website, it is what the terms and conditions we had to agree to when we purchased the game says, and ‘in up to 90 days’ is what MJ told MOP was the refund policy all the way back in February of 2020 when the betrayal 2nd game news was shared and everyone was so mad. In my case I have been waiting 359 days, and I am still waiting.

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Francis Baud

I would also like CSE to honor their 90-days policy. I understand however that some unpredictable events occurred in 2020 (Covid-19, lockdowns, massive wave of refunds, etc.) that led to the delays. Mark explained that he didn’t want to risk going to the building where the office is because of Covid-19 transmission risks, so only week-end refunds were left. But if there’s a way to make refund processes go faster for sure I’d support it, maybe he could go in the office longer, or go saturday and sunday, idk.

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dinarian_

BUT here is the thing with that. MJ and his decisions are completely responsible for the sudden massive wave of refunds. Those refund requests are the result of MJ choosing to split the teams focus to work on a secret 2nd game without telling backers for half a year while testing for the game backers had paid for and that was already years late stalled to barely a crawl throughout the end of 2019. Those requests weren’t just some random unforeseeable thing that happened to CSE. CSE and what many customers consider to be their poor decision to split focus and begin a second game in secret, and lack of progress, and many years late game with no release date in sight, are completely CSE’s responsibility.

As to COVID sure that is a completely fair reason for refunds to have been delayed even for a few months…back in April/may/June of 2020. Everyone was locked down and nobody knew what was and wasn’t a risk, or how severe those risks are, plus we were all literally ordered to stay at home. BUT Virginia went to phase 3 of their reopening in July of 2020. After that there was nothing preventing MJ from fixing the issue other than that he doesn’t seem to want to. CSE has had ample time since then to remedy the refund situation or to fix the refund process so that it could be remedied.

As to if there is a way to make progress go faster sure, there is a simple one. MJ the head of the company and the only person who can do refunds on behalf of the company, could bring his work computer home as so many have done over this last year, and you know do his work from home. The refunds are processed via Paypal and at no time during this pandemic has paypal been down for any meaningful amount of time. It is all MJ and his unwillingness to do anything to fix it.

Gevatter
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Gevatter

Are you suggesting that MJ — ignoring his personal and his loved ones’ health conditions — should sit down in a centrally-ventilated office building during an airborne pandemic just so you can immediately get back your money that you donated and that MJ willingly refunds out of goodwill, not because of legal necessity?

Edit: Btw, even in Phase 3 Virginia officials strongly encouraged teleworking.

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dinarian_

Actually no, what I clearly suggested was that MJ do like everyone else has done this year and bring his work computer home so that he can work from home properly.

And also no, not so that I can get my money back immediately. Immediately came and went nearly a year ago. I am on day 360 of waiting the immediately ship has sailed long ago.

And thirdly, MJ does have legal obligations to refund people like me who bought their game tier via CSE’s webstore. The terms and conditions that I (and everyone else) was required to accept in order to buy my game copy says that I am entitled to receive a refund in ‘up to 90 days.’

Gevatter
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Gevatter

Or in other words: MJ should risk the security of their only offline GDPR-compliant machine, endangering every backer, just so you can get your pledge back … a pledge, which was voluntarily given, under the condition that CU will be released one day. And because it’s obvious that CSE is actively developing CU, I wish you all the luck to legally enforce your refund, because you’ll need it.

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dinarian_

There are MANY GDPR compliant companies that are still able to process refunds right now.

Gevatter
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Gevatter

What are you trying to say? CSE hasn’t stopped refunding. They are just really slow.

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dinarian_

What I am trying to say is that I am on day 360 of waiting for a refund that was promised “in up to 90 days” and I am still waiting. Other like me have even longer wait times.

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dinarian_

Actually you are mistaken. If you read the terms and conditions the opposite is actually true. Backers will have a MUCH more difficult time getting refunds when CSE starts to say that CU is no longer in active development because ceasing development on CU is one of the reasons given that refunds can be withheld.

Here is the quote from the terms and conditions.

“Donations are refundable, minus fees charged by the payment gateway (PayPal or Stripe) until the game has been made commercially available or production is stopped on it, whichever comes first”

Although considering that the game was not available and production was allegedly happening when people requested their refunds I am not sure what effect a status change (like CSE stopping work on CU or by some miracle actually releasing it) would have retroactively on people who requested refunds in the past.

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Francis Baud

From what I’ve understood, creating a PvE game was a clause to the latest investment round, that allowed to fund CU for months/years to come. But even if it’s not, Mark at this time thought creating a secondary game that would, if very successful, help fun Camelot Unchained, was a good idea. He didn’t do it to anger the people or to hide stuff from us, to divert funds or crowdfunding money, he did it (I believe) to ensure perennial funding for CU and CSE as a whole. Should he have told us months earlier so it’s a lot more transparent that way, I think so, but the mistakes he made I think weren’t based on malicious intents, rather excitement-driven because they thought it was a genius idea to repurpose the existing engine in something “extraordinary” (unprecedented amount of hordes of NPC).

I understand this but it’s not like they didn’t show commitment to refund requests just before the pandemic hit the US (they refunded more than $400,000 in early 2020 if I’m correct). But they could surely find better ways to handle the refund crisis.

Yea I don’t know why he doesn’t do that, maybe it’s security concerns as the computer with backers information is off the grid, but I’m not sure.

Gevatter
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Gevatter

Yea I don’t know why he doesn’t do that, maybe it’s security concerns as the computer with backers information is off the grid, but I’m not sure.

AFAIK the GDPR-compliant PC with all the payment data has no internet-connections for security reasons, and therefor all the payment details have to manually copied into the refund-form.

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dinarian_

I am not saying MJ choose to make a second game to be malicious. I have no idea what his intentions were nor am I inclined to speculate. What I do know is that he made that choice while CU (the game people paid for) was already years late and he also made the decision to keep it secret from backers for 1/2 a year that the teams focus had been split. Those are business choices MJ is responsible for regardless of his intentions. He is also responsible for honoring his contracts with the people who bought CU. Including the Terms and Conditions section which says that refunds will be given in up to 90 days.

The off the grid computer could be off the grid at MJ’s house just as easily.

Chronic Enigma
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Chronic Enigma

I do love the density of what I’m seeing. Though it will make it incredibly difficult to spot players in the distance or lurking about.. intended most likly :-P I’m liking the cluttered feel that a real dense forest like the Hoh National Rainforest or others have.

Great work!

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Mark Jacobs

Absolutely intended. Home field advantage via use of foliage and level design is supposed to belong in this case to the TDD.

And yeah, as usual we wanted to see how far we could push the tech in terms of density/number of polys/etc. and so far, so good! And when the next iteration of it is in, I’ll film a full video reveal so that everybody can see just how far we’ve come over the last year in terms in aesthetics and area design.

As per below, thanks again CE!

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dinarian_

Next can we get an update so everyone can see just how far you haven’t come in regards to paying the refunds you promised us. Are you done yet with February of 2020 refunds? I have been waiting 357 days for mine…I am still waiting. Where is the refund or the refund update?

Chronic Enigma
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Chronic Enigma

Long time Backer, and DAOC player. Glad to see these and some solid work done on actual world and things of that nature. When you announced your new game Ragnarok, my first thought was “welp, things are tanking in CU they need some more cash infusion, so lets quick to design a game and get some visibility” The second was “Your spreading yourself thin, design one game at a time (I’m an arm chair game developer and it’s easy to get 5 things started in the fire)”.

Seeing that isnt the case makes me happy. I do wonder what your marketing department could be doing more to drive fundraising. Wishing you the best, and will hop into Beta next time its open to check out. Last time I played you just introduced the Vox and the battleground.

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Mark Jacobs

First, thanks for being a DAoC player and a CU Backer. Double thanks for giving us/me enough benefit of the doubt to come here and say what you just say, much appreciated.

As far as marketing, we’ll do more once we have a full game loop and either 24×3 or 24×7 servers. We’ve purposely haven’t pushed the marketing angle, not out of ignorance or laziness, but simply because I did not believe the time was right to do so. Once we can show that people will have that full game loop, we will start marketing the game more because people will have updated and in-depth videos of what they are donating towards, and not marketing videos.

Thanks for your long-time support and patience CE!

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dinarian_

Maybe don’t market until you don’t owe people refunds that are nearly a year late and in some cases even later. It looks bad.

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Truvidien

Looking better with each update!

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks! And it will get better still with the improvements going in over the next few weeks.

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dinarian_

When will you be improving the refund situation? Can we get an ETA on those improvements?

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Brennan Kuhrt

I’m still looking forward to this game. It’s looking better than ever! I’ll be there on launch day.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks. Can’t wait to get killed by you if we aren’t on the same Realm. :)

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ThePeon25

Man I wish this game could be finished soon Im glad they are taking their time and making a good mmo but this is the only mmo im rely hyped for.

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks! If we can keep our current trajectory or speed it up by additional hiring, it’s a safe bet that you’ll have a full game loop, in a CU launch area, on 24×7 servers, sooner rather than later. My expectation is that we will do one week on per month in the beginning, get the data from that test, fix what is mission critical and then do another week.

The keys to that happening is a true progression system, server stability (which we test on the 24×3), and client performance. One possible holdup is our inability to find a senior UI person to join us. I’m glad that’s the problem vs. some of the other stuff we’ve tackled, but it’s still frustrating for us and our Backers. We recently added a new recruiter who has brought in one great addition to our team and hopefully another, so fingers crossed.

Glad you are hyped for this, we’re starting to get to the point where we can demonstrate that such hype is not misplaced.

Thanks for your interest and support!

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dinarian_

What about hiring a refund processor because that current trajectory is dismal. I am on day 357 of waiting for my refund. I am not even the longest wait time.

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ThePeon25

Man that’s awesome news and I hope you guys can solve the problems you have left and I will keep hyping it. Dark age of Camelot was my first ever mmo and I loved it and when I found out about unchained way back I was hyped alrady then because of my love for dark age. I been meaning to back the game and try the beta but my budget has not allowed me to. But I will hope I can be there on launch day.

Gipfeli
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Gipfeli

gorgeous!

really hope rain will also be in and done well.

i love rain in good looking forests in games..

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks, and same here! As I mentioned below, we’re interviewing some rendering engineers right now and if we can hire one or more of them, one of their first tasks will be adding atmospheric touches like rain, snow, etc. while they learn the ins/outs of the Unchained Engine’s rendering system.

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dinarian_

How about if next you interview a refund processing officer? Then the refunds that have been piling up and neglected since February of 2020 could maybe finally actually be honored. I have been waiting 358 days for my refund, I am still waiting and there are so very many other people also waiting…still.

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Drunk3nShaman

Oooooh last forest in an MMO I remember being that lush and full with a canopy was EQ (Kelethin) and WoW (Ashenvale). Very impressive

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Mark Jacobs

Thanks! I think that when the area is complete, our forests will be one of the best of any MMORPG out there, especially MMORPGs that have to handle a lot of people and combat too. :)

According to George, we are already handing way more polys in an scene than other engines, including Unreal 4 (we haven’t looked at Unreal 5 yet). And considering that includes a ridiculously long render distance, that’s pretty good for an engine that still isn’t fully optimized.

When we nail our semi-final lighting approach and got more stuff in over just the next few weeks, I think it is safe to say that we’ve proven that we can deliver on the kind of area people would like to have, but most didn’t expect to have, in our game.

And if we can hire one of the rendering engineers we are interviewing now, next up from them will be to add more atmospheric touches to the engine such as rain, snow, etc. to make each Realm’s biome feel like home.