Camelot Unchained recaps alchemy, tundra as CSE likens Final Stand Ragnarok’s Steam early access to crowdfunding

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City State Entertainment is swiveling the spotlight away from the early access launch of Final Stand: Ragnarok and back to MMORPG Camelot Unchained with the release of the game’s official newsletter and the progress post this week after a brief delay.

The newsletter granted another set of deep dives for in-game mechanics, with a closer look at the alchemy system, some concept art looks at realm artifacts that visually change depending on what faction controls an area, and some new tundra environments. The progress post highlights those same developments as well as the studio’s work on influence maps, improved physics, and melee class shouts among other things.

As for Final Stand: Ragnarok, CSE head Mark Jacobs defended the quiet release on Steam in a public discussion thread, explaining that the game’s early access build is intended for testing and not for wider marketing; he compared an early access launch to a crowdfunding drive.

“We are using Early Access to get player feedback, iterate on the game, and make sure it is great shape before we spend any money on marketing. Early Access used to be the equivalent of Kickstarter for games and that’s how we are treating it. We’ve been clear in our announcement, text and video that this is a truly Early Access game. That’s a more honest approach than spending a lot of money on marketing to get people in to pay a game (including using non-game footage) and when they get here, what they saw from our marketing wasn’t what they get. We did the opposite here, telling people exactly what they are getting, that we weren’t spending money on marketing, and only using in-game match footage for our video.

“The nice thing about Steam is that if you buy the game and think that you were deceived in any way, you can easily get a refund. And if you are concerned about whether we are going to follow through, then please don’t buy a copy and wait until we convince you.

“If we get surprised and suddenly a whole lot of people are playing this game next week, great, that would be wonderful, but the fact is that we are not trying to make that happen today, tomorrow or next week. But, we will continue to work on FS:R and CU, as well have been doing in concert for 2 years (longer on CU separately of course).”

MMORPG veterans will know that Camelot Unchained, which was originally Kickstarted in 2013, has taken flak over the years thanks to delays, the founding of a second studio, the announcement of a second game using CU’s custom-built engine, and delayed refunds. The game entered its “beta one” phase back in 2018, with tests capable of putting 3000 humans and bots on the battlefield simultaneously. As of 2021, the studio says it is still paying refunds and is still working on both games, though it did not follow through on interviews with press.
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