I’m really excited for when Camelot unchained gets into a more playable beta during the year. The alpha tests look interesting but right now I’ve got too much to play to go and waste time playing something that is so transient. I have been tempted though, very, just because of how much potential is there and how much I’m looking forward to it when it’s complete. It has to be the game I most excited for out of the entire year so far, and that’s including games outside of mmo’s as well. There are several reasons why I am this excited and I thought I’d elaborate on these a little further.
I think the part I am most thankful for when it comes to the development of CU it has to be that they are first and foremost focusing on pvp. So many of the games I’ve played use pvp as more of a side attraction, omitting it to its own little corner of the world in small little instanced areas. Destined to mostly be forgotten. And even those that attempt to create more of a pvp atmosphere in a specific space like GW2 and ESO still fail to real grasp the true feeling of pvp. It’s fun but ultimately feels rather soulless.
It’s also that a lot of these games have other areas that are far more important and thus receive most of the attention, updates, content, and balance. Often when playing the pvp in these games you feel kind like the outcast, someone the developers merely put up with but really don’t want to have in their game. Sure some of them get a few updates but they are often incredibly far apart and I’ve been through quite a few mmo’s now where there updates completely neglect the issues, sometimes making it worse or just go off on complete tangents in terms of updates. And for fuck sake they need to at least have decent progressions systems and rewards. Here I know the gameplay I enjoy will be rewarded. That the pvp within the game will get the attention it needs, the updates it requires and the constant balance patches that are absolutely needed.
Pvp is inherently far more complicated to get right than a lot of these mainstream mmo’s really understand as well, and so complex that most PvP mmo’s fail to achieve it as well. it isn’t an easy thing to do to create true, and ongoing motivations for players to work towards. To feel accomplished for having completed and to have that constant cycle of competition. It involves anchoring people to the world in such a way that it is important to them, to create goals to work towards, a fight over space and resource, and meaningful character progression. Most of all the combat just has to feel right as well. All this takes experience to understand, and even more experience in order to execute and it is the City State team that I believe will be able to pull this off.
One important element that City State understands as well is that an mmo needs to be developed from the ground up for Pvp. It isn’t as easy as just creating a combat system and world that look pretty, but completely tailor the design, engine and code for PvP. A big failure with pvp is just how crippled it can become when too many players enter, and begin fighting in the same space. This was one of Guild Wars 2’s biggest issues with their World v World as for months you couldn’t even see the number of players and who was attacking you, even their fixes never really completely removed the issues. ESO performed much better but still slowed when the big battles were wagged.
With Camelot Unchained the main focus through the entire process so far has been ensuring the best performance in-game possible. From the early smackhammer days, to the now where the client is handling hundreds of individual player models combating in a small space while still being able to render a huge surrounding, render spells, and calculate trajectory in terms of the target and obstructions, and yet still perform well under the load. It isn’t the prettiest thing and even after polish it won’t rival the prettier out their but when it comes to pvp it is the gameplay that is far more important. They have the foundation now, a well-formed base to work from that will now support the RvR gameplay entirely with large spell effects and masses of players. It supports the combat to allow greater complexity and skill, and improves general playability.
It’s also rather interesting to see how PvP mmo’s differ in terms of design and development. The pve themeparks at the moment are stuck in a design loop of merely iterating and polishing design wherin these new pvp mmo’s are actually attempting to innovate. To create new styles aof gameplay, to warp and twists the known, and to break and remold elements to fit their own aims. They are showing the industry new possibilities and ways of thinking, and that we need not settle for the same thing.
Lastly, I think being a PvP game it is in a unique space where it can survive as a niche title. There is a really lack of true, and interesting PvP mmo’s right now and what I believe is a sizeable population of interested players just waiting, begging for something to come along that will entertain them. It’s also an area I believe that has players that can be far more invested in a single game. I saw the way quite a few large groups and guilds acted within GW2 and ESO. The wealth of min maxers that revolve around the pvp areas. And just how dedicated the average PvP player is compared to the pve one. WE always aim to better our gear character and skill. to become more knowledgeable in the areas we seek to strive in. We get more invested in the community and hopefully that translates into a smaller group being able to fully support and maintain a PvP mmo.
It looks fantastic so far. A development focused on creating solid foundations for PvP first and layering features on top. A game that has learnt from the past mistakes of the many mmo’s before it and is putting these lessons into practice, and a game that isn’t afraid to innovate and truly create something unique.
Reasons to be excited posts