CU: Finally something of note

CSE, makers of Camelot Unchained, have been releasing a lot of info of late about the game and the ideas behind it. So far nothing has jumped out at me as terrible ala “The 4th pillar”, but at the same time nothing has really grabbed my attention as a major “we are moving the genre forward” piece of news. Until today anyway.

The entire slide deck is about character progression, but this specific slide is the one I want to talk about today. What I like about this is that rather than seeing how fast you are progressing by swinging your sword, you instead get a large, end-of-day summery of everything you did. This alone should lead to players more comfortable just ‘playing to have fun’, but still making progress.

It somewhat relates to what Zubon wrote over at KTR, in that HOW you present information to a player is often as important as what is actually happening.

Two points of caution.

If the numbers are too easy to game, the illusion won’t work. If during beta someone puts a “how to progress” guide that tells you exactly what to do to gain access to sword X or armor Y, CSE has failed here. They say this will help them monitor and stop/prevent ‘keep trading’, but I wonder how far that will go exactly. If I spend the entire day swinging swords at anything I can find to ‘power level’ swords or strength, is that actually going to be viable and work, or get flagged or be ineffective?

On the other hand, if the system is too arcane, and ‘just playing the game’ isn’t effective enough to not gimp yourself versus those who powergame the system (and people will), CSE has failed because they will have effectively forced people to adapt or fall too far behind in a PvP MMO, which is a non-starter.

Those two major points of caution aside, I’m looking forward to CU more today than I was prior to all of this news, so at least on that front mission accomplished.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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7 Responses to CU: Finally something of note

  1. carson63000 says:

    I liked that “using Fire Ball increases proficiency with Fire and Ball components”.

    I can’t wait to get the daily report showing how much more proficient my Balls have become.

    (OK, OK, I know, mind of a twelve-year-old..)

  2. Kamuka says:

    It’s rather terrible from start to finish.

    Character progression should be very limited (at most!) in PvP games.

    “I liked that “using Fire Ball increases proficiency with Fire and Ball components”.”

    No. It sucks ass. You’ve been playing a non fireball build. Patch that buffs fireball. Your character now sucks ass until you have leveled fireball. Sounds like a great game.
    It’s even worse for new players and non power gamers who will be at something between a serious disadvantage and being owned completely.
    Want to roll another char – maybe because your guild needs more healers – welcome to sucking till you’ve leveled your abilities.

    System sounds shit. No one ever asked for character progression in PvP games. Ever wondered why experienced players don’t start with an AK in CS, a rocket launcher in Quake or a hundred zerglings in SC? Neither did anyone else … ever …
    Make char builds that actually matter and have to give stuff up to gain stuff. I specced differently to do more damage but gave up CC is a decent char system. I played more than you so I do 10% more dmg isn’t.

    “If during beta someone puts a “how to progress” guide that tells you exactly what to do to gain access to sword X or armor Y, CSE has failed here. ”

    This either is the most naive thing I’ve read here or pretty decent trolling. Obviously such guides/wikis/whatever will exit. And obviously the system will be gamed. Logging out to get your ups and instantly logging back in comes to mind.

    The whole thing is completely against what made DAoC great.
    It had hard stat caps and (since ToA) forced you to make choices in equipment (before that all equipped chars were at cap stats).
    You started to RvR with a max level and equipped char, only gaining (relatively) small rewards for RvR’ing, which also increased at the negative 5th power. (3rd power for skill points per realm points and effect of skill points decreasing by the 2nd power.[for most realm skills])

    “Unlimited advancement” and “new players will be competitive” in the same sentence made me want to hit someone in the face. These are so obviously contradictory I have to wonder how stupid the person writing that must be.

    Personal rewards for RvR activity (other than killing enemy players) is another fail. If you have to get rewards, you should get rewards for your realm/quild/e-penis, which have the potential to turn into personal rewards (DAoC relic/keep boni instead of “Have some points for taking that keep”). This was the downfall of Warhammer and actually encouraged that circle raiding shit you want to “detect”.

    That “only show aggregate results” bit on slide seven is cute. As if it would take players more than a week to figure out what the most profitable thing to do was.

    I had some hopes. They are now nil.

    • kalex716 says:

      I’m not sure how much of what you say I entirely agree with.

      But you certainly do have a knack for shooting a lot of holes through some of these abstract early plans. I’ll give you that much.

    • Noizy says:

      “No one ever asked for character progression in PvP games.”

      I think about 100,000 people on my server (Tranquility) would disagree with you about that.

    • saucelah says:

      “Unlimited advancement” and “new players will be competitive” is not in any way contradictory. Look into horizontal versus vertical progression. Think about your average FPS game and the role of the “noobtube.” Quake is no longer a template for the market—it’s only a template for a small number of people that really like Quake— did you stop FPS gaming in the 90s? That genre is the ultimate proof that these phrases do not contradict.

  3. dachengsgravatar says:

    From the Camelot Unchained slide deck:
    ‘Our mantra is “Use it to improve it!”‘

    While that _sounds_ good, it reminds me of another game that tried that strategy. Do you remember Blood Walls?

    • SynCaine says:

      Indeed I do, as I remember swimming into a rock overnight for a LONG time. That mantra is, now that I think about it, closer to 4th pillar talk than I’d like it to be, especially because as MMO ‘vets’ these guys should know better.

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