“From what we’ve seen so far, we’re in really good shape.”
Mark Jacobs hasn’t given us a firm start date for Camelot Unchained’s Beta 1 yet, but from the sound of his recent livestream, it’s getting really close.
The crash rate for Camelot Unchained has dipped into the “acceptable” range for a beta test, with the average player being able to stay in game for up to four hours without a crash. The team expects that this rate will improve even further for Beta 1, especially as it is trying to “break the build” by stressing the server and testing its capabilities.
Get the full report after the break, with the livestream starting at the 7-minute mark and the talk from Mark Jacobs at 16:40.
Camelot Unchained has postponed its planned 4th of July beta launch in what Mark Jacobs is characterizing as a “short” delay.
“It’s not going to be a year delay or a three-month delay,” he told viewers on stream, reassuring them that he’s expecting it to be a matter of merely days or weeks. [Update: After the stream, Jacobs told Massively OP that he expects a clearer picture of how long the delay will be by Thursday.]
Over the weekend, studio reps said it was down to a list of 40 bugs it’s still crunching on; the company is asking existing backers to come help test this week. “The client crash rate is TOO DAMN HIGH!” is the mantra on today’s stream.
Longtime MMORPG fans will know that this delay follows several years of pre-beta testing. Last winter, City State Entertainment announced it had received a big cash investment and put the July 4th date on Camelot Unchained’s beta one. At the time, the beta was already three years late, as the studio struggled to find programmers, completely refactored large chunks of its ability system, and ultimately opened up a second studio in Seattle in order to make its RvR MMO vision a reality.
We’ve updated the end of this article with some words from Mark Jacobs.
Last winter, City State Entertainment announced it’d received a big cash investment and put a date on Camelot Unchained’s beta one: July 4th, 2018. At the time, the beta was already three years late, as the studio struggled to find programmers, completely refactored large chunks of its ability system, and ultimately opened up a second studio in Seattle, and I think it’s fair to say that patience has thinned out along the way.
But as we’ve been reporting for the last few weeks, while the team was originally on schedule, GDPR compliance requirements created a huge setback for the beta as key employees worked on dealing with bureaucracy instead of fixing mission-critical bugs. Consequently, as CSE’s Mark Jacobs notes in yesterday’s stream, whether or not the beta actually launches Wednesday is still “too close to call.”
Jacobs tells fans that the studio is down to a list of 40 bugs it’s still crunching on – yes, they’re crunching this weekend – and they’ll be conducting large-scale testing all weekend, which will determine whether beta one is happening on time. (The next mini-test begins right as this post goes live, in fact.)
Saying that it needs to “double down” and push hard to get the beta build finished for next month’s launch, the Camelot Unchained team noticeably increased its output this week with 20 items on its to do list.
Among the many projects that the developers were tackling this past week include shaping the Arthurian Physician class, stress testing the builder system, sorting out the crafting system, load testing servers, upgrading the trade window UI, and building props to populate taverns and banks.
As for Camelot Unchained BetaWatch (ooh, that’s a catchy title we should steal), it’s still on track: “As you all know, we had set our original feature lock date as June 12, which was this Tuesday. The good news is, many of our core Beta features have landed, things like skill improvements, scenarios, and our ability to have a complete game loop. However, some work just isn’t where we want it to be, and so we are moving forward with a bit of continued feature work to deliver the experience we want for Beta 1 Day 1. We are still hopeful for the 4th of July!”
When it comes to notable years in the MMORPG genre’s history, 2008 stands out as one of the most significant. World of Warcraft’s debut onto the scene in 2004 caused an upheaval in ways far too numerous to go into detail here. Suffice to say that its overwhelming popularity drew the attention of game designers who looked at the staggering numbers of players and found themselves envious of the potential to grab a slice of that money pie.
Many projects went into high gear following WoW’s launch, with plenty of them trying to copy the formula and structure that Blizzard established in the hopes of making it at least partially as big as that game. So-called WoW clones began to pepper the market and there was a sense that gamers were ready to move on from World of Warcraft to the next generation of MMOs. In many players’ minds, this would be either 2008’s Age of Conan or Warhammer Online, two big-budget MMOs with strong IPs that carried a lot of the weight of expectation.
Little did anyone realize that 2008 represented a bubble that was about to burst on the industry and the WoW clones that followed — including Warhammer Online. Today, we’re going to take a look at “bears, bears, bears,” the high hopes of Mythic Entertainment, and how WAR became a casaulty on its own battlefield.
When the planets align and the junction of a month’s end coincides with a week’s conclusion, you know you’re in for a whole bunch of words from Camelot Unchained.
The weekly newsletter said that the title’s expanded team has allowed for more projects to be tackled. Some of these include streamlining the process of bringing up new servers, mapping out gathering skill progression, a new authentication system, updated forums, and more.
CSE also pumped out its monthly newsletter, reporting that March was full of playtests, hard work, and progress. This was in line with the studio’s desire to be as transparent as possible with the game’s supporters.
Have you ever thought about what it is like for developers and community managers who handle online games that are being shut down? It’s certain just as painful (if not more) for them as it is for us, and it is not as easy as turning off a switch and walking away.
PC Gamer has a fascinating piece on the process of sunsetting titles from a studio’s standpoint, including looks at games such as Club Penguin and PlanetSide 1.
Former Club Penguin CM Bobbi Rieger shared the overload of details that the team had to sort out when the news broke: “My immediate reaction was, ‘Oh crap.’ Of course my thoughts went to the community and how we could make this as positive as possible. At the end of the day, it’s going to be hard. It’s gonna suck. I was just like, ‘OK, what’s the action plan?'”
You can go ahead and order extra sparklers because you’re going to need ’em this July 4th. That’s the auspicious day that Camelot Unchained’s beta one will finally launch after three years of delay, City State Entertainment has now announced. The studio has further confirmed that the “feature lock” date for the crowdfunded RvR MMORPG will be June 12th – at that point, everything for the beta will be set, save bug-fixing. And yes, everything that has been promised for the beta will make it for that launch (that doesn’t mean everything going into launch will be in beta – expect more builds going forward over the expected year of this beta).
CSE’s Mark Jacobs spoke with us just a few weeks ago to announce that the company had taken on a large external investment to speed up development of the game; he’s done the same this time ’round to answer our questions about beta and what to expect between right now and the 4th of July when those beta gates open. Read on!
Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Camelot Unchained: Yes, it’ll have a sub, but it won’t be $15. Mark Jacobs re-confirmed that it’ll be less than the industry standard down in our comments a few weeks ago. It’s been rattling around in my head since then as subscriptions just keep popping up in the news. Star Citizen has an optional sub in alpha. Age of Conan just lowered its subscription rate. And the biggest subscription MMO in the world seems to have no problems moving a bajillion expansions, driving token prices to fluctuate. Did we hit rock bottom? Are we just watching the price reset in a new era?
I’m currently paying $13 a month for an old-school game because nobody else has content that even comes close. I wouldn’t hesitate to pay more for an MMO I couldn’t wait to play. In fact, I was prepared to pay more than $15 for CU. Would you? What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018? And what would you expect from an MMORPG charging a subscription?
If by chance you’ve ever run a blog about literally anything, you surely know about scrapers – those jerks who use scripts to steal your stuff in full and put it on their site to make easy money. The really clever ones use scripts to also change some of the words around so that it’s not as easy to get caught. Most of these scripts aren’t very good and just use word swaps, so they sound like somebody who barely speaks English grabbed a thesaurus and waved it around in the air.
Enter Owne Tech, a scraper site you’ve probably never heard of. Yesterday, when Camelot Unchained’s huge news hit the internet, this site apparently scraped VentureBeat’s piece on it and… well, the garbled version is actually hilarious.
“The previous writer of Mythic Leisure’s The Darkish Age of Camelot is again with a brand new recreation, and he has raised $7.five million for the net fable recreation dubbed Camelot Unchained,” the piece declares. “Jacobs was once the lead clothier and founder at Mythic. […] He left EA in 2009, and began the brand new corporate, Town State Leisure, in 2011. Via 2013, he had found out what he sought after to do. His Town State Leisure raised $four.five million in a Kickstarter crowdfunding marketing campaign, and his staff went to paintings on Camelot Unchained.”
If you know one thing about indie MMORPG Camelot Unchained, it’s that CEO Mark Jacobs appears to dwell perpetually in internet comment sections amiably sparring with gamers and attracting loyal advocates.
But if you know two things, you also know that the game is late. Really late. The RvR-centric, PvM-free, anti-lockbox, sub-only MMO was supposed to enter beta three years ago, according to its successful 2013 Kickstarter, but studio City State Entertainment suffered admitted setbacks along the way – both hiring difficulties in the company’s Fairfax, Virginia, location and technical hurdles. Much of that has since been rectified; in 2016, the company launched a second studio in Seattle while continuing to hire engineers and spending the better part of a year completely refactoring its character ability code and polishing up its home-grown engine. But here we are in 2018, still mumbling beta when? at Jacobs and his dogged crew.
Well, we’re finally getting an answer to that question and more, along with a significant blast of hope for the future of the game, as CSE has just received a massive cash infusion to speed up development. I spoke to Jacobs at length – he’s infamous for being effusive – about what’s going on with the game and the studio in 2018. Read on for the executive summary!
Camelot Unchained has been teasing a slew of big announcements coming over the next few weeks, and finally one of them is here. No, it’s not beta one (though it’s coming!), but it is the news that City State is once again hiring. It’s already picked up a brand-new community manager and senior animator, both of whom begin this month, plus it’s still hiring for more positions in both offices.
“As time goes on, the announcements’ importance in terms of our Backers current concerns/worries/”BETA WHEN?” will grow, and more questions will be answered, news will be shared, and the question of the Beta 1 start date will be addressed,” CSE says. Maybe hold off on those “beta when” tattoos for now.
This week’s update also includes bits and bobs about progress on the UI, ability buttons, floating combat text, disconnection bugs, animations, and art. The whole Q&A with CSE’s Mark Jacobs is tucked down below.
It’s no massive January announcement, but Camelot Unchained’s end-of-year reports supply enough reading to un-bah many humbugs during the holiday break.
First up is the monthly newsletter, CSE talks about the importance of prototypes and fast iterations before committing to and fleshing out features. “During the prototype stage of development, the most important goal is to figure out what should go into the game, and how it should be put together. This means we must figure out the right aesthetics, performance, and general ‘fun’ factor each feature should have, which isn’t always easy,” said Ben Pielstick.
The weekly newsletter gave a toast to the community and 2017, while also showing off some floating combat text and concept armor variations.
And for the sub-only crowd, here’s an encouraging quote from Mark Jacobs: “We’ll never go [free-to-play] with Camelot Unchained as long as I’m in charge. I believe promises should be kept, and I made this promise to our KS Backers and thus, I’ll keep it.”