3rd Times a Chjarm (Dark Age of Camelot)

So I just freshly downloaded the DAoC client with the Shrouded Isles and Catacombs expansion.

The last time I played was when Catacombs was released. I really wanted to test the metal of the private instanced dungeon and Im always a sucker for new character classes.

You know its old and it shows its age in some of the UI conventions even before we get into the effects of a post WoW world.

Yet, after 5 hours or so, Im liking it more than my first trip into Catacombs. There are a lot of things Im learning about why people play MMO's and the reason WoW has smashed the subscriber record books.

I am coming to the conclusion that combat pacing, so long as it falls within a relative window of rapidity, isnt going to make or break the fun factor of an MMO as much as I first thought. I am begining to believe that the animations of weapon swings and casting is more important than how fast you can kill your opponent and how long it takes to recoup the damage you suffered. To put it bluntly, Catacombs almost reduced the fun of combat ever further when they increased the polycount of the characters but left the same uneventful and uninspiring weapon swings. In a lot of cases, as is the case with my Savage that can occasionaly triple attack and my Bonedancer's insta cast life taps, there are no animations, just numbers rolling and messages in the combat window.

Art direction also rears its ugly head with character appearance. The new models look nice but they are boring. Now WoW largely did the same thing as DAoC were the majority of the character's appearance changes are just new colors or patterns on the same model. However, at least the shoulder pads, helmets and to some minor extent boots and gloves, have changing models in WoW. In DAoC its all the same model throughout your character's life with texture swaps and lackluster helmets.

People always lament the item grind but its a subtle, easy and addictive way to show character growth. I know that most of the stuff you get in WoW is stuff you cant use or vendor junk. But you know what? You would be surprised at how much more satisfactory it is to get an unuseable magic sword along with your 7 rotted rat toes and 4 spider leg tips.

Aside from the age and flaws of DAoC I have found a groove with some of the pet classes' simple and effective playstyles in combination with adventuring in the private instances.

It would be interesting what would happen to the game's subscriptions should they really look at the art direction and overhaul the character and monster animations.

That would probably be very expensive, and I doubt they'd sink that kind of money into a game that old. How many people are still playing?

That's a very interesting point about WoW; they have superb art direction, and it added tremendously to the sense of immersion. It has an old engine with relatively primitive graphics, and it still looks amazing. Nagrand, for instance, is just stunning to fly into with your draw distance on max.

I loved DAoC back before they hit my cleric with the nerf bat.
I really, really, really loved the Realm-vs-Realm implementation of group PvP. Even WoW doesn't compete, doesn't even come close. I miss that part greatly. There is nothing quite as fun as popping out to whatever the server's "zerg" zone is and joining 40-100 of your buddies in beating on (and getting beat on by) 40-100 of your enemies. Why is that DAoC was able to have 100+ vs 100+ PvP battles with NO LAG 5+ years ago and WoW still can't do that?

I miss RvR, but not enough to leave WoW.

duckilama wrote:

Why is that DAoC was able to have 100+ vs 100+ PvP battles with NO LAG 5+ years ago and WoW still can't do that?

No lag? I think nostalgia is clouding your memory With the original engine, I usually had to rotate the camera to get a straight top down view and turn off all spell effects during any relic raid. In fact, it was SOP for people to be spamming "Be sure to turn off spell effects" as one of the pre-battle checklist items.

It definitely got better with the Shrouded Isles engine revamp, but I wouldn't call it lag-free then either.

In the original, when there were no castles to take, and people just got together in a zone and zerged each other over and over, you could easily have 200+ people on one battlefield with no lag. I do recall when they first added the keeps/relics, that there were some spell effect-related lag issues, and guarding or taking a keep could be a 1 FPS or slower slideshow, but the good old, original "pointless" zerg was incredible and lagfree.

So, no, not nostalgia-clouding. Just talking about different parts of the RvR.

duckilama wrote:

In the original, when there were no castles to take, and people just got together in a zone and zerged each other over and over, you could easily have 200+ people on one battlefield with no lag. I do recall when they first added the keeps/relics, that there were some spell effect-related lag issues, and guarding or taking a keep could be a 1 FPS or slower slideshow, but the good old, original "pointless" zerg was incredible and lagfree.

So, no, not nostalgia-clouding. Just talking about different parts of the RvR.

I'm going to assume you are talking about beta, because I had a launch day character on Kay and RvR with more than say 4-5 full groups on each side was laggy as all hell. It had nothing to do with keeps or relics, just the number of people involved. The relic raid example sticks in my head because of the "turn your spell effects off" spam.

Maybe it was your server, or your ISP?
It was buttery for me, release, not beta.

yeah RVR was always pretty laggy.. in fact that was always an issue once you started getting a great deal of folks involved..still fun though.

duckilama wrote:

Maybe it was your server, or your ISP?
It was buttery for me, release, not beta.

Definitely not my ISP, because everyone I knew complained about it. Could certainly have been limited to my server though I find this unlikely.

Anyway, ancient history. Very very fun ancient history though

I really wanted to like DAoC, but it was so grindy and nasty. I wanted to go have fun with PvP, not beat up pointless crap once I'd learned the basics.

When the game is focused around doing a particular thing, but people have to do OTHER things for months before they're allowed to experience the main thrust of the game, there's something amiss....

I started going to RvR at 15 with my cleric, healing people, and just running around and trying to stay hidden behind someone big, and it was a blast.
I did that all the way up to 48. The only time I really felt the grind was when I and a rogue buddy outlevelled our guild(casual RPers) at about 30 and ended up grinding about 10 levels on our own until we joined a bigger game-oriented guild. I really didn't feel the grind was all that bad and I could always go RvR if I got bored.
I thought DAoC was near-perfect (back then) until they nerfed clerics into healbot mode. I quit the day after that patch went live and never looked back, except for the fond memories of mass-PvP done well.

they nerfed clerics into healbot mode.

You know, I remeber when that happened but I never played a cleric prior so I dont know what exactly happened with that. Did they cut the nuke damage in half or something. Everyone made it sound so drastic.

I guess I missed out on the smite cleric boon. I never play clerics for the obvious reason that they are typically reserved for healbots, no matter how effective they are at something else.

OMG how I cried when I rejoined for Catacombs the first time and found out they gutted the Theurgist. That was the only class I could stomach playing solo until the late teens due to too much downtime. The downtime would have been worth it except it was so dangerous sitting as a solo caster. They had no escape skills and monsters chased you forever in that game.

If you still have an active account Ducki, Id be interested in what you current thoughts are.

They have tried to patch together some of the usability features of WoW.

Lots more quests

Basic and advanced trainers out in the open in the starter towns

Private instances have had their loot drops ~tripled - basically instead of finding 1 piece of armor for completing a solo private instance you get 3 pieces of armor and perhaps a weak magical weapon

I believe that all races start at one starter town per realm (I had a level 10 parked at connla years ago that is now surrounded by purple+++'s)

Starter town's are balanced at least for levels 1-10 if not more (have yet to find out what level the taskamasters stop giving tasks)

There is some weird newbie buff that regens hp in combat. If you've got the patience, any lowbie character can melee yellows.

fangblackbone wrote:
they nerfed clerics into healbot mode.

You know, I remeber when that happened but I never played a cleric prior so I dont know what exactly happened with that. Did they cut the nuke damage in half or something. Everyone made it sound so drastic.

It was 30-40% off the damage of all the spec line smites. Prior to the nerf you could have a hybrid smite/rejuv spec and be an excellent healer plus solo, or go full smite and be totally overpowered in small scale RvR Post nerf you had to go full smite to solo not anywhere near as well, plus you sucked as a healer, plus no longer viable at all as a nuker in RvR. Since enhance was only useful as a buffbot spec at the time, you pretty much had to go rejuv with zero solo capability. They eventually buffed enhance so that you could go rejuv/enh and solo half decently with melee. I quit shortly after Trials of Imbalance came out so I don't know what's happened with clerics since then.

I rolled a cleric to be a healer so it didn't bother me as much as some (alot of people I knew flat out quit, as Ducki did) but the loss of solo capability really cut down on my interest because alot of gametime comes in 1 hour chunks.

I rolled a cleric to be a healer too, but I could also solo without going all-out smite, and have an impact in RvR, even some smalltime crowdcontrol(nothing like the Healers from Midgard, hehe), and have a general good time whether I had a group or not. The nerf was too much for me to be willing to stay, and I wasn't even a "real" smite cleric.

The only character I got to 50 was a Friar. I loved everything about that class. Nothing mind blowing, just a nice steady beat-down with no downtime. I went about 15 levels with another friar I met and it was unreal, purple's fell in quick succession. I obviously wont say DAOC is the greatest game ever, but I've never had as much fun with any other game.

The only character I got to 50 was a Friar. I loved everything about that class.

I only played till about 24, a friar as well. I had a lot of fun going into the dungeons and being able to travel deeper as my lvl went up. I had to quit at 24 because that was the upper lvl for RvR and I could never find anybody to group with to explore the dungeons.

meh...this thread smells like Albs...

pol wrote:

meh...this thread smells like Albs...

:lol:

I wasn't an Alb voluntarily! I tried to convince my friends to play Midtards but never could do it except for a brief while on Mordred when it first opened.

Heh, never could play as a fatty or an alb. I remember quite a bit of lag on Tristan with 100+ players in the same location in Emain. As I recall, the main form of lag was the "loading lag", where the PC would stutter as it tried to load all the textures of a large group of approaching players. It was good for stealthers because you had advance warning of the incoming zerg.

I wasn't an Alb voluntarily!

Thats what all the little zerglings say

Those were great times. Lots complained about the simplicity, but I really thought it was great fun. I spent so many hours in Emain I don't care to do a tally, and still barely managed to shake the "noob" status (quit just shy of RR5). After the RvR patch things looked a lot better on paper, but just didn't feel the same.

Really looking toward Warhammer with hope and fear. Mythic really can be the best and the worst at the same time it seems.

I miss DAoC. A lot. I quit shortly before Catacombs was released. I think I went to beta test AO and/or Neocron.

Still, the RvR there was amazing, and I absolutely loved having large groups. Seeing a couple dozen people speeding around the continent at any given time was great fun. It's one of those few games that did more right than it did wrong. The regular PvE wasn't bad initially, but they kept making it more and more interesting. The opening of DF, which added an RvR aspect to regular PvE was great. The relics were great. The realm point bonus skills were great.

Le sigh. I know it's dated now, but what I wouldn't give to take my old Kobold hammer+shield warrior (First on my server, and still the best!) for another spin.

Mmm burritos wrote:

I miss DAoC. A lot. I quit shortly before Catacombs was released. I think I went to beta test AO and/or Neocron.

Still, the RvR there was amazing, and I absolutely loved having large groups. Seeing a couple dozen people speeding around the continent at any given time was great fun. It's one of those few games that did more right than it did wrong. The regular PvE wasn't bad initially, but they kept making it more and more interesting. The opening of DF, which added an RvR aspect to regular PvE was great. The relics were great. The realm point bonus skills were great.

Le sigh. I know it's dated now, but what I wouldn't give to take my old Kobold hammer+shield warrior (First on my server, and still the best!) for another spin.

I miss it a lot too - but I don't miss eighteen hour ML3 raids with 100 people. PAIN. I often felt there were two factions inside Mythic - the RvR faction and the PvE faction. I'm glad the RvR faction won out, but I'm sad that it took so long that I quit well before it happened.

I'd agree with that.. Going from the crossroads in DF and then through the final bosses was painful.. but it was tough to compete without the equipment the seals would buy at that point. At the same time, it was a LOT of fun at first. I had taken part in a number of other intense experiences prior to DF's raid content (I was in The Mercs when we killed Lord British on TV, Black Mercenaries in Realm when we gathered enough PvPers to assist with the first player caused server crash, dragon raids in early EQ, TM raids on DT in Asheron's Call, etc..) but the HUGE PvE (and sometimes PvP, if enough people logged out in DF...) that took place around the bosses beat out anything I had experienced up to that point.

The PvE was annoying at times, but it was done very very well for it's time. I still prefer DAoC's PvE raid content to WoWs.

Arise!

Um, 4th times a charm? Heh, I downloaded the 14 day trial yesterday.

Do not ask why because i have no clue. I guess I was really nostalgic for some of the still unique classes. Or the unique way they differentiated similar classes in the different realms. (dual wield vs. left axe vs. celtic dual or pet classes based on healers or thieves instead of just nukers)

I have yet to see anyone come close to recreating the druid or theurgist. And they didn't just stop at one bard-style chanting class. There is probably a half dozen of those in DAOC.

I really liked the skill system as well. To me the only flaw was that some classes were given more skill points per level. That should have been balanced from the start and it would have caused less headaches if they viable builds were centered around 50/25/25, 37/37/25, or 33/33/33 instead of all over the map and this auto-train garbage.

But back to my experiences... Well, they shoe-horned a themepark newb experience onto DAOC. It isn't poorly implemented but the map and quest guides are clunky. (not horrible considering DAOC's age) It is very easy and it seems like you can get to level 8 in an hour. Unfortunately I was hoping to jump back into the catacombs private instances.

Working with the trainers is much improved as they have sliders for increasing skill points and you can slide all the way to 50 to see all the skills you will have available.

I guess I am secretly hoping that someone is making a DAOC 2. I would scrap the themepark hand holding. (I never thought I would hear myself say that.) Because with DAOC's history and an upgraded Catacombs private instance system, you won't need it. If you wanted to borrow dynamic events from GW2, I think they would fit and be much more of a boon than themepark.

As far as RVR goes, there are some minor improvements in variety of objectives and siege weapons in modern games, but the really juicy bit would be to borrow the level scaling to 80 from GW2. That would cut down dramatically on the griefing of lower levels and remove the RvR barrier of entry.

A graphics and animation overhaul is a must but they have to resist the temptation to go overboard with ornate details. I am not saying they should go WoW-like but there are many other types of stylized art direction that doesn't end up looking like lifeless manequinns.

fangblackbone wrote:

I guess I am secretly hoping that someone is making a DAOC 2.

Camelot Unchained

fangblackbone wrote:

** I get the same vibe as the developers who though Wrath of Heroes was a great idea. It is a cash in on the MOBA craze.

I'm not seeing this out of this group. Guess time will tell but the track they're going with is a lot of what some of us old school mmo players have been asking for. Its nice to see at least some lip service in response.

Camelot Unchained

Well even if the pve was only 1/3 or 1/4 of it, leaving it out completely is a big drawback. (it actually smacks to me of lazy oversight that will come back to hurt them**) Some players will live in that 25-33% for >80% of the time. I can't be the only one who has spent 9-12 months in DAOC and never set foot in RvR.

Although I have since become more interested because I had originally thought they were only going to have 5 classes. One would be dedicated a crafting class and it would follow the holy trinity as a foundation.

But then I realized it is 5 classes per realm which makes it a lot more interesting.

The PCC building tools look painstaking and awful. I'd seriously rather use a Quake editor at that point. Yes I am taking into account they are alpha. I am critiquing the dated approach. They should be looking to follow Spore's approach if possible. (don't duplicate Spore as that would take to long to develop, but combining presets and then adding details would be a much better approach)

** I get the same vibe as the developers who thought Wrath of Heroes was a great idea. It is a cash in on the MOBA craze. Some devs embrace "let the users create their own content". Others embrace "lets cut corners by letting users create their own content." I'll let you decide which one is more viable long term...

side note: I am already bored again with DAOC, heh =P

fangblackbone wrote:

I can't be the only one who has spent 9-12 months in DAOC and never set foot in RvR.

fangblackbone wrote:

side note: I am already bored again with DAOC, heh =P

These comments could be related.

These comments could be related.

Funny.

And actually I got into a nice groove with DAOC tonight. I found a class I had previously overlooked that I now love, the heretic. Channeling fire FTW. blam, Blam, BLAM, BLAMBLAMBLAM! =)

I had a Norse Warrior pretty high level as well as a Savage. I loved that pvp in that game whether it was RvR or Darkness Falls chance encounters. I had such high hopes for WAR but it just never clicked for me. Really love the Warhammer IP so it was a big disappointment. Let's see what they can come up with in this one...