Snowmageddon will not stop my blogging!
Camelot Unchained is making noise of late thanks to Mark Jacobs sharing some details. I’m not going to link to all of the info, but it’s out there and you should go check it out. Also, don’t forget that MJ’s old blog was called The MMO Genre is a Niche Market. That’s important only for the lulz, but those are very important.
I think the best info about CU is that the team is aiming for a niche. MJ tossed out 30k subs as a target, which is great, and not just because I’ve been saying for years that you can be totally viable with that kind of population. The earlier worries of low-pop servers are silly too. Current themeparks cap out at around 10k per server, so if CU does have 30k subs, that’s either three good pop servers, or one without any population problems (beyond of course having too many in one area, but more on that later).
Along with setting reasonable expectations, MJ has also said that the game will have stuff in it that most won’t like, but the niche will love. We’ll see how far they stick to that once the forum babies start crying, but again, it’s the right thing to say for now. Niche games work not because they are a half-decent version of something great, but because they are great versions of something that appeals to only a few.
I’m a bit curious why so much time has been spent talking about crafting in an RvR game, but hopefully its actually worthwhile. My fear is the crafting itself will be ‘cute’, and fail to really matter because in an MMO, crafting is not about HOW you make something, it’s about WHY.
My biggest concern however is progression. MMOs without it don’t work long-term, and an RvR game aiming at a niche can’t afford to be something that only last for a month or so. The ask for a ‘pure skill’ PvP MMO just doesn’t make sense. We have LoL for that, and LoL does it better than anyone out.
A solid PvP MMO has progression while also allowing for player skill to matter. It’s a tough formula to balance, but minimizing the progression aspect just shortens your retention.
So with all that said, CU is on my radar. I don’t think it’s something we will see for a while, and who knows how it will turn out, but at least the initial info is better than pitching us a personal story or full voice acting. Baby steps.