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Camelot Unchained is a counter-revolutionary RvR-focused MMORPG from Mark Jacobs and CSE set in a post-apocalyptic yet familiar world.
14,873 backers pledged $2,232,933 to help bring this project to life.

Evening Update April 13, 2013

Folks,  

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!  Ours got off to a fine start with a Live Stream of our latest build of SmackHammer.  For those who haven’t seen it before, SmackHammer is just a fun little tech demo masquerading as a game.  It was originally intended to display some early server and networking code but because of the reaction of our backers, we’ve made it more like a game.  This week we added day/night cycles, sun, moon, stars, capture the duck gameplay, scoreboard and ducks, more and more ducks.  This morning I asked the team to put in our TDD model just to see how it would look and play in SH.  This is, of course, not the gameplay that will be part of CU but simply a fun way to test some code before it is integrated into our main engine (Andrew’s demos).  Besides, it’s just fun to shoot plastic yellow ducks at other members of our studio and run around with a big yellow duck on your head.  

Friday marked the reveal of “The Depths” and judging by your reactions, it was a smash hit.  I know that there have been a lot of questions so here’s another Grab Bag of Goodness:

SATURDAY GRAB BAG OF GOODNESS

1) Won’t TD just make the game more unbalanced assuming that rarely are all three realms numerically balanced? How are you going to handle this?

This is certainly a major concern of ours as well because in a persistent, open-world, non-instanced multi-realm MMORPG, the number of members in the realms is never going to be equal and sometimes, the numbers can be very out of balance. To deal with this, let's start from the beginning and that TD is a living entity, it is not a static dungeon. We intend to use its innate hostility as one of the ways to help even the score. Secondly, the control mechanism of TD is also not going to be based solely on older MMO concepts, such as were used for Darkness Falls. Finally, TD is going to be very large (just as our world is) so it won’t be all or nothing. Now, these are only some initial thoughts, we’ll have a bit of time to work on this over the development cycle of course.

2) Will we have to grind PvE NPCs in TD? I thought you said “No PvE leveling or loot drops!”

No and I did. ☺ The vast majority of NPCs in TD will be players and/or non-bosses. These NPCs will be more of an annoyance (unless it is a PCM) and are not there for grinding. Even the NPC bosses aren’t a huge challenge, unless a PC is controlling them. Also, the common “Kill the boss 10 times and hope for one good drop” mechanic, there is none of that in TD. You’re killing the guard dog, the treasure (forge, mines, etc.) are there, no randomness applied.

3) Can you level in TD by killing NPCs? 

No. If you kill PCMs you will be rewarded and to incentivize the other realm, they will also level by killing you. As the level of PCM increases, the player controlling it can also pay a penalty if they just stand there and let you beat on it.

4) Can crafters upgrade the NPCs in TD?

Maybe. ☺

5) How are materials going to be shared from TD? This could end in tears and hurt Realm Pride no? 

 Yes, it would if we were foolish enough to do it that way. We’re not going to be running a scarcity-based system (limited mines) in TD and then cripple it more by making the scarce resources even scarcer. There will be enough minerals per mine for all your crafters to share in because the harvesting of these minerals will take time. Forget the MMO trope of using your pick to grab the materials and then they go bye-bye and forget loot drops as well. Your entire realm is your team and we need to make sure that TD helps, not harms Realm Pride by having crafters fight over the materials.

6) Will any of the MPCs in TD drop items?

No, you might be able to salvage some stuff (materials) but the whole loot/leveling system will be discussed in another update. Get ready for another interesting ride with Mark on the BSC train.

7) Will TD be instanced?

Not a chance in…

8) Will the cameras in TD be streamed, captured, etc.?

What would be the fun otherwise? I see a whole lot of funny videos coming out from TD. Dark & Scary place + traps + players = LOL.

9) Can structures you build in TD be destroyed by the other realm?

Of course, it’s fun!

10) What will happen if you log out while in TD? 

Depends actually on whether you side controls it and how TD feels about that. I kid you not, I do want to create a real personality for TD, part Giger, part haunted house, part, well, you’ll find out.

11) Bonus Question – Mark, how did you lose 30 pounds? 

I went back on the Atkins diet and was patient when I didn’t lose as much weight as I usually do on it. I’m much better at patience these days, people might be surprised.

ANDREW’S LATEST ENGINE BUILD

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, I’d rather say that a picture is worth about 200 FPS. Please enjoy the following images at the bottom of this update. The first is from the latest build of the engine with our LODing code and other improvements that Andrew has been working on. The second shows the difference between the last build and the current build in FPS in the same basic shot.

As always, thanks for your support and I’m glad that you folks loved The Depths. There's much more to come over the next 18 days.

-Mark

  • Image 240283 original
  • Image 240284 original

Comments

    1. Creator Thomas Phifer & Ryan Cody on April 15, 2013

      The 500 $180 Internal Testers Pledge Level are "All Gone"! Glad I got in when I did! :D

      Can't wait for this game! Spread the word people!

    2. Creator blackdaze on April 15, 2013

      Well, in DAoC... it was possible for tanks and casters to be able to take on stealthers. My first open RvR kill on my champion was against a stealther in Darkness Falls He popped me and I happen to get my debuffs off and a good set of crits helped me get him down. The problem I guess is that not -all- of the classes really had a viable way to deal with stealthers but most had some options through RR or class abilities that gave them a chance.

      I like having overpowered mages vs melee but not super overpowered. One thing about DAoC and the way it was setup is that mages were overpowered but they could be interrupted and at that point the overpowered mage is seriously hurting. And lower AC vs lower damage meant that melee could do really high damage to casters. However, caster damage could be toned down slightly from what it was in DAoC. It was too easy to get 3 shot kills in some cases which isn't all that tactical and more... WTH just happened.

    3. Creator David Schrank on April 14, 2013

      There is no place for long term stealth in a rvr game. One reason is it makes the non stealth classes have to be limited in formations. What this means is you cant have non clumpy players, they just die.

      Second its just not fun for the other classes to be running back and just die for people who are hanging on the repoped people and ganking them. Dosen't work if you can see the wall of people waiting to kill you. It was an issue with DAOC.

      Limited stealth where you have to come up with a plan and then get double speed and do damage isn't as bad and is more tatical.

      The other problem with stealth is it attracts a small percentage of people who aren't into RVR at all they just like killing new players. Stealth and Overpowered mages will kill a PVP game real fast. Who want to repop,die,repop,die and pay 15 bucks a month to not make progress.

    4. Creator Alex Brown on April 14, 2013

      Will all players have name plates over there heads? This has been one gripe I've had with a few other games. I understand how convenient they will be and in some cases the purpose they serve, but with your work on a better engine the limitation of player models on the screen should be a thing of the past. I can imagine a stealth mech. that is based around choosing the right dyes to blend in to your background, and then throwing on a tabard during major combat to help assist in seeing who is a friend and who isn't.

      Next friendly fire, I know griefing is never fun for the party being griefed, but in a true PvP based game I feel like this type of thing should at least be talked out. I could see an entirely different style of combat needed to be worked out if my AOE's also effected friendlies, and maybe even my AOE buffs helping enemies. Maybe both helping/hurting in a reduced amount so helping the enemy isn't really viable, but something so that if you run in your groups line of fire you know not to next time.

      Thank you for your time, and thank you for all the updates, each time I get an email saying there is a new update my phone will never load fast enough.

    5. Creator Alessandro Matta on April 14, 2013

      This is not daoc2...i hope for a new game realistic (for fantasy) as much as possible. All good things in daoc should be implemented in CU better than daoc (no gcd-interrupts-cc-caps-etc..)

    6. Creator Richard Ervik on April 14, 2013

      Want be able shape into a bear like the berserker class i dark age of camelot.
      also want pet classes.

    7. Creator Tenacious on April 14, 2013

      A little question on another subjet : You said Mark that there will not be pet-classes at start ( for performance purpose ). If one day you decide that this game could handle pet-classes, is there any chance of having something like that wonderful and so unique classe you created for DAoC : the theurgist ?
      I fell in love with that classe on DAoC, and have never been able to play such a specific gameplay on any other game. I miss that ! :)

    8. Creator Alexander Jenner on April 14, 2013

      I hope one can log out inside TD and login again after possession switch. Was one of the cool things in DF to login your shade and harass the possessing side.

    9. Creator Chris Norton on April 14, 2013

      @MJ - Totally read "part Giger" as part ginger and thought that you wanted TD to be a soulless, haunted thing of pure red-headed evil. Could be scary, like MMORPG.com forums scary.

    10. Creator Martin on April 14, 2013

      There's much more to come over the next 18 days (:

    11. Creator Sax on April 13, 2013

      I don't understand how people could miss "no PvE leveling or loot drops, except if controlled by a player, there will be some exp" in your previous update.

      You have added LODing in 3 days that's nice, but it would be even nicer to be able to see it in a video.

      "DAoC has killspam in your chat channel." (xavier muylaert)
      This. It created much hate/pride in DAoC, depending on what side you were playing.

      To the concerns of one realm being stronger than the other two: Usually the two other realms would fight against the leading realm at two different fronts. That's one of the reasons we were looking for "TriRealm". (Malicious tongues say that if in DAoC the leading realm was way too strong or overpopulated, etc., the other two realms would even confederate for a short period of time).

    12. Creator Naezgul on April 13, 2013

      Yea......taste!!

    13. Creator Daniel Elmatari on April 13, 2013

      And animal fats bring plenty of other things besides lipids, don't they Brandon?

    14. Creator Brandon Barker on April 13, 2013

      @Mark
      As a scientist studying nutrition, I have to say the Atkins diet is on the right track in many regards. A more balanced approach might be the primal diet, or some other paleo-type diet. Here's another Mark that had a big impact on my life:
      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

      As for people saying you need carbs ... this is pretty much false. You do need lipids and amino acids, however. And the world of lipids is quite complex and largely overlooked.
      All the best,
      Brandon

    15. Creator Jonathon Baxa on April 13, 2013

      341, pretty dang nice!

    16. Creator Mario R. (Lesani) on April 13, 2013

      Yes :) give us a copy of smackhammer and let us test that server code you are always talking about!! :)

    17. Creator larry gaugh on April 13, 2013

      I agree, would love to play some SmackHammer haha!

      MJ, glad to hear you lost 30 pounds and wish you luck in losing more! But let me just say I HATE the Atkins diet--your body needs those carbs. Ultimate fitness comes from a balanced, healthy diet and finding an exercise that you truly love. I'll come down from Maryland anytime ;)

    18. Creator xavier muylaert on April 13, 2013

      can we participate in SmackHammer :p ?

    19. Creator xavier muylaert on April 13, 2013

      give new movie with the improved engine, not just a screenshot pls :p

    20. Creator xavier muylaert on April 13, 2013

      @Brandon De VITO

      GW2 w3 = player vs anonymous
      DAoC has killspam in your chat channel.
      you see/know who killed you/a zerg.
      notoriety comes by itself as a result in DAoC (and hopefully in CU).

      seeing a lot of "(random playername) has been killed by 'playername' " is rewarding and makes you a prime target.

    21. Creator Alienami on April 13, 2013

      I am continually impressed... Seriously, I want to freeze myself until the game comes out or find a time machine...

      Also, yes, the Atkins diet or similar is great. I lost 30 lbs by doing no to low carbs, low calorie, high protein, and taking Alive brand vitamins. (Starving yourself of calories, but, giving yourself everything else you need) -- You can also look into metabolism boosting herbs and spices and stuff like cinnamon pills to keep blood sugar level (Level blood sugar = faster weight loss) -- Stick with it, but sometimes a little cheating isn't bad.

    22. Creator Brandon De VITO on April 13, 2013

      Additionally, has the team considered a bounty system? If a player is successfully gaining a reputation (via some tracked stat) for slaughtering the masses it would be neat if they received a bonus to their gameplay. That said, if 'Marco the Crusher' is off murdering lower level characters by the thousands, it would be neat if there was a bounty board that was either funded by players, or created automatically by the system. The though of being so notorious that I had a hit out on me is a neat thought. For ever hour that I don't get 'equalized' I get a stipend of some kind in the form a stacking buff. But when I finally go down, the person who got me gets a reward as well. If there are no NPCs, fame comes from being the best, or worst in the realm. And there's a satisfaction in knowing the game is, in some way, centered around you. DAOC's Relic System, Bounty Boards, and Statues of Player who take down massive enemies are just some of the great ways to make this happen. When you say completely player driven and persistent, the effect on the player becomes more external than internal. I want to SEE my effect on the world.

    23. Creator Brandon De VITO on April 13, 2013

      If I may be so bold, one of the fantastic things that Guild Wars II came up with was the instancing of craft nodes per player. I figure, if a realm has access to a node, and there are 3100 players in range, they should ALL be able to hit it. But only once. If that node doesn't respawn for a long while, then it inventivizes returning to other locations, and lowers the strategic value of a location en masse as 'just a crafting hub'. The thought that I can never get screwed out of a node is a pleasant one. If I can't see it, it's because I've hit it too recently. I also like the concept of buffing unrelated content... if I hit a crafting node 10 times, I should get a buff which makes my realm XP go up faster for a time. Likewise, I believe that there should be a bonus to crafting if I've recently murdered a flock of players. These systems inspire players to not hang out and just wait for the content they like to be opened up.

    24. Creator Tim Fitzgerald on April 13, 2013

      MJ is a god among men, the game hasn't even be created yet and realm pride is already coarsing through my veins!

    25. Creator Archie Sokolik on April 13, 2013

      @Treatise: They're the same thing. PCM = Player Controlled Monster, MPC = Monster Player Character.

      Both acronyms for when a player is controlling an NPC in The Depths.

    26. Creator Harry Torque on April 13, 2013

      Please explain the acronyms. What are PCMs? What are MPCs?

    27. Creator Doug Rohm on April 13, 2013

      Good stuff, thanks for the update.

    28. Creator Curtis Miller (Gylnne) on April 13, 2013

      Great update everyone! Thanks for all your hard work.:)

    29. Creator boxfetish [Mr. Safety] on April 13, 2013

      @MJ. Please don't listen to those clamoring for more safe zones, reduction in opportunities for RvR, or for mechanics that allow them to play the game "RvR only at a time and place of my choosiing!".

      I am confident your foundational prinicples run contrary to this but that doesn't mean that there won't be constant demands for these things over the next two and a half years. Stay true!

    30. Creator aztalante on April 13, 2013

      WooO Andrew ! also if you know how to cook?
      you're in my list of "man to marry"!
      GG !

    31. Creator Slaughty8 on April 13, 2013

      The truth is...how amazing is i7 processor, not engine :P The difference in terms of raw power between typical processor back in WAR days vs today is insane.

    32. Creator Jiiub Rorgash on April 13, 2013

      @Hersaints, for one they have already said that there will be NO insta stealth skills in the game, so i doubt that will be a problem

    33. Creator Burgy on April 13, 2013

      For the realm expedition into the depths for resource, I keep picturing the happy gnome expedition in the under dark where they're all working together

    34. Creator Corinthian on April 13, 2013

      @Tenebrus - I think that's a very valid concern. Hopefully the team at CSE will have much more in-depth details on combat in a coming update.

    35. Creator Hersaint on April 13, 2013

      Do not allow players to park stealthies in the Depths(Darkness falss dungeon). It was a horrible mechanic of that system. I remember chat being filled with "Let DF flip" so we could all hop on our stealthies and grief. No one likes playing a game being defeated by invisible enemies.

    36. Creator Tenebrus on April 13, 2013

      I don't want to come off as contentious, so I should caveat my previous statement with the fact, I know it is early, so there may not be any concrete system or mathematics in place. So I am not looking for anything super specific like mathematical algorithms or anything, just some general theories on how things are going to work.

    37. Creator Barn Bocock on April 13, 2013

      Like all PvP/RvR based objectives in games two concerns that pop into my head this morning:

      How to motivate a ridiculously underdog team to actually come PvP if an objective/zone is held by a crazy overpopulated, dominant faction (so that it’s fun for all sides fun ie the holding team gets to fight rather than just standing around and the fewer attackers still get a chance, plus rewarded/encouraged to try and make a dent).

      Stopping of “carebear” objective swapping eg they take a tower, then you take it back, then they take it back without actually bothering to really PvP. I guess this is avoiding players finding the path of least resistance to gain easy rewards or XP.

      I say these thoughts with coming from most recently The Secret World with the ups & downs of their Fusang Projects three faction PvP zone.

      Great updates - very excited to see the next 18 days...

    38. Creator Tenebrus on April 13, 2013

      My concern is that the cart is getting put before the horse. This isn't a "content is king" game, or so I am led to believe. There seems to be a concentration of thought on some stretch goal that may or may not happen rather than any serious info release on what this game is supposed to be about, and that is combat: PvP, RvR... Not that this TD thing doesn't sound cool, but I want to know "how am I going wage war" rather than what I am supposed warring over. Just a thought.

    39. Creator Maric on April 13, 2013

      So happy to hear The Depths is a non-instanced dungeon. I swear I might mortgage my house to get this game funded! (not really but it's tempting). Sad I missed the live smackhammer fun.

    40. Creator Austin France on April 13, 2013

      I thought Andrew's aim was to support 500 characters not 500 FPS!

    41. Creator Sylvain Durola on April 13, 2013

      At each update, I'm even more convinced that Andrew is amazing.

    42. Creator CU inc! hib/pry on April 13, 2013

      Interesting stuff indeed!

    43. Creator boxfetish [Mr. Safety] on April 13, 2013

      Like the pics and the answers! Still hopeful that we will be able to logout when we have realm control and login when we don't and still be inside of TD to cause havoc. I notice you kind of dodge the question on whether this DF functionality would be present. I am confident it will be...but with an unintended twist!

    44. Creator Nanulak on April 13, 2013

      Looks like your LOD code is working great! Keep up the great work.

    45. Creator Mesar on April 13, 2013

      Glitch had a really nice system where crafting nodes gave a bonus for multiple people harvesting them. So people would make up groups to go mining together in the forums/ world chat. Fit's in with a Realm Pride policy.

    46. Creator blackdaze on April 13, 2013

      I love it so far! Good job on the Atkins, I lost 50lb on it and have kept it off for 3-4 years. Good stuff

    47. Creator Ellya on April 13, 2013

      Ok, so we put Smackhammer into Andrew's lovely engine and we have... a network load testing base?
      Of course, you'll need several hundred people to help with that, won't you..... ? ;)

    48. Creator Arkadiusz on April 13, 2013

      If this game doesn't fund i'm gonna lose faith in humanity O.o The only possible good MMO coming and so few people are backing it. We need to spread the word!