We’ve been talking about Camelot Unchained all week here on staff, and there’s more than one of us giddy with excitement about the infodump City State Entertainment dropped this week. Veterans who adored Dark Age of Camelot’s (or Warhammer’s) RvR system can probably see why: this isn’t DAOC 2, it’s DAOC on acid. Time and progress have changed the perspective on what a realm-versus-realm title can become, and it’s clear that Mark Jacobs and the rest of CSE have a vision that’s beyond the industry’s expectations.
That isn’t to say we think these BSC revelations are faultless. There’s a lot of doubt and uncertainty at this stage of development, where almost everything revealed this week has been nothing more than a rough draft on paper. There’s no evidence that limited vertical character growth will work, no proof that players will take the bait for an alternative progression model, and no demonstration of crafter gameplay. Naturally, there’s also no test yet on how any of these concepts, even if they work in a small alpha environment, will work in a real public environment. Like it or not, the MMO community has changed in personality over the years, and may not take as kindly to this concept as we once did.
There were also times we just simply weren’t impressed. The stat system is practically nothing new, only a combination of some older and less common RPG concepts. The King’s reward system, while meant to balance the realms, seems underwhelming. And, while we realize the gameplay shown was on a month-old pre-alpha client, it was really nothing more than a small arena in which people beat each other with glowing swords by spamming an attack button. Camelot Unchained may be reaching for new heights, but the climb hasn’t yet begun.
Overall, though, Camelot Unchained’s BSC event was definitely bat-shit crazy. CSE is trying something new, and in some cases, off-the-wall. One thing we do have evidence for: the week has seen over $20,000 in additional builder tier funding for the game. If they can deliver on these dreams, Camelot Unchained is going to be a new power house for MMORPGs, pushing MMOs to new limits, new standards, and more innovation.