Mark Jacobs Returns to Camelot! Or, How Two Kickstarter Projects Took Me on a Nostalgic Trip Back in Time, Part II
“The scout of Albion took refuge behind the great tree. Back to bark, she dared a glance over her left shoulder. Nothing to be seen in the darkness. Again, a quick glance over her right shoulder around the great trunk. There! In the shafts of moonlight she watches a small form sprint deftly from tree to tree. “A lurikeen ranger” she grimaces to herself. He was onto her, making his way closer to her location. Quietly knocking an arrow, she begins the slow drawback of the bowstring. A solid shot might take him out in one hit. The last thing she wanted to do was end up in a drawn out fight with a ranger. Because where there was one Hib, there were four more not far away.” – From the journals of Alaina Blackbow While Ultima Online was my gateway into the MMORPG genre, it was the RvR centric realms of Dark Age of Camelot where I spent the most consecutive years in online gaming. I remember the very first time I launched Dark Age of Camelot, and the Mythic splash screen came up with the brass fanfare that will forever be stuck in my head. I created a character on Palomides and fell in love with the game. Mythic’s Dark Age of Camelot was a step up in difficulty level, and at times unrelentless to the point of being maddening. However the community DAoC fostered was one of the best I’ve been a part of. To this day I miss it, though the game has aged too far for me to return. That’s ok though, why? Because Mythic founder Mark Jacob’s is back with a new RvR centric MMORPG on Kickstarter this week, tentatively titled Camelot Unchained (CU). Jacobs has adamantly stated CU will not be a spiritual successor to DAoC. He has also stated in several interviews that unlike DAoC, CU will have little or no PvE content. While the crafting system sounds like it will be very robust, CU at it’s heart is a PvP game. However, it does sound like for those who wish to be pure crafters, they can primarily play support roles for the people who want to be on the frontlines day in and day out. It also sounds like the game world will be built by the players. Houses, towns, villages, castles? There are alot of unanswered questions but enough has been hinted at that even fans who not not big on PvP can find a role to play in Camelot Unchained.
If CU is not DAoC 2 why am I so excited about it? For one, the races of CU very closely resemble the races which made up the lore rich factions of DAoC. I’m going to make some assumptions here, though I believe them to be safe assumptions. As shown in the teaser, we should expect to see Tuatha De Danann, which can be associated with the Hibernians. The Vikings, who’s lore from which the races of Midgard were derived. And lastly, Camelot, which can be correlated with the races of Albion.
It’s not only the similarity in races that interests me in CU. I am also excited by what Jacob’s has coined Realm Pride (see http://camelotunchained.com/en/foundational-principle-10/ ). Realm Pride in my opinion is very much a carryover from DAoC. I started DAoC fighting for Albion. I had friends playing other factions and though I wanted to join them and possibly see the game from another faction’s perspective, I was never able to commit myself to another character, my allegiance to Albion was so strong. For whatever reason, DAoC instilled this fierce dedication to realm. I have not played an MMORPG since where faction instilled such a sense of pride. In SWTOR I jumped from Rebellion to Empire at will. This would never have happened in DAoC. It just didn’t feel right to do so.
Lastly, I like Mark Jacobs. Like Portalarium’s Richard Garriott, Jacobs has been a controversial figure at times. The ironic thing is I think most of the controversy surrounding Jacobs is because he is so active in the gaming communities that form around his games. When Warhammer Online was in development, Mark was constantly (against his better judgement) on IGN’s Warhammer Online VNboards interacting with the community, answering questions, taking punches, you name it. That might be the reason I most admire Mark Jacobs. The guy is not afraid to admit when he’s made a mistake. When Jacobs has, his fans have let him know it. But Jacobs, unlike some developers doesn’t try to find a scapegoat or use his employees as human shields against the angry mobs.
So yeah, I like Mark Jacobs and I’m going to support Camelot Unchained. I know it’s not Dark Age of Camelot II. However from everything I have read the spirit of DAoC will live in this game. I suspect a lot more information will be forthcoming over the next four weeks as Jacobs and City State Entertainment work to try and get backing for CU. I’m already excited by what little has been revealed. Excited enough that I’ve pulled my longbow out of storage and it’s itching to be used.
Camelot Unchained launches on Kickstarter Tuesday April 2nd 2013. A countdown timer can currently be viewed at http://camelotunchained.com/en/ . You can also read the thirteen Principles that Mark has written for CU.
Good luck with your goal Mark!
-Pagan- aka Maric
Kickstarter is now LIVE: Camelot Unchained Kickstarter