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Dark Age of Camelot: The Roundtable
Dark Age of Camelot: The Roundtable
by John McCarroll - 09/26/05
The Darker Side of Camelot Tour Gallery


The Darker Side of Camelot
Dungeons and Dragons
Mythic Entertainment invited Dave Arneson, one of the co-creators of the original Dungeons and Dragons to speak at the roundtable. Those of you who are interested in game design should know that Dave is a teacher at the Full Sail school. Mr. Arneson was very vocal about the fact that RPGs have shifted from being games based on role playing to being games simply based on combat. He believes that face to face interaction is important, and that conventions like the Dark Age of Camelot Roundtable are important for MMORPGs being fresh for the players. He knows that fresh content is extremely important for MMOs, but it can't be quite as dynamic as a real, thinking dungeon master. Mr. Arneson also stated that it was important for new blood to enter the game, otherwise a downward spiral would be created.
 
Return to Darkness Falls
After Mr. Arneson's speech, Jeff Hickman, executive producer of Dark Age of Camelot, spoke about Darkness Rising, an expansion that takes place story-wise after the Darkness Falls dungeon. First, though, he talked about where Dark Age of Camelot stood in the world. The game launched in 2001, has seen five expansions, and has been translated into seven languages, including Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. He then went on to say that Darkness Rising was outside the box for an MMO expansion - it wasn't just 'new classes, new zones, new abilities', but a focus on story, mounts, and Champion Levels and Weapons. There's a rebellion in each of the realms, and it's up to the player to find out what's going down and to save the kingdom from rebellion. When we had a chance to speak with Jeff a little bit later, he went on to explain that some quests had portions where the player had to disguise himself as a rebel and speak out the words of a heretic - all in front of other players in their realm.
 
Champion Weapons
Of course, we all know what MMO players want: Phat Loot. Darkness Rising adds Champion Weapons to the mix, with powers equivalent to Artifacts. The Champion Weapons are pretty sweet, as can be seen with the screenshots on the next page. At current, the effects on the champion weapons have a very low draw distance, but a slider will be added for those with newer video cards. What's cool is that players don't have to go through the PvE experience if they don't want to to get the Champion Weapons. Here's an example of what you can see in the Champion Weapons:

Cleric Mace:
Power: 6% of Power Pool
Bonus to Spell Range: 4%
Bonus To Casting Speed: 4%
Bonus to Power Bonus Cap: 5
Bonus to healing effect: 6%
Bonus to acuity attribute maximum: 4
Bonus to dexterity attribute maximum: 4

If they want to grind out their EXP in RvR combat, they're free to do it, but Hickman says that it's much more fun to go through the quests. In fact, we can tell you a bit about the dungeons below Darkness Falls right now...

 
The Sub-Basement
First off, those who don't have access to Darkness Falls don't need to worry, as the dungeons are seperate in the Darkness Rising expansion. Of course, players will need to have purchased the Catacombs expansion to take down the new expansion. Each of the three realms has a different dungeon to clear out the miscreants who are behind the revolution. The Hibernia dungeon is much more organic, while the Albion dungeon is a fiery pit, as the Midgard dungeon is an icy hell. The quests here start out solo, but when it's time to clear out the bosses, a full group of eight is needed. The five bosses in this dungeon can be seen in the screenshots, and the artists certainly had a field day with these demonic fools. A dedicated, max-level player, could take the quest set down in fifteen hours, but most players will spend much more time exploring Darkness Rising.
 
Sub Classing
Part of the Champion Levels in Darkness Rising is the ability for players to spend some points in another classes spells. But worry not, balance won't be greatly affected, as there aren't stealth abilities available, and players won't be able to chamber the spells from their alternative paths. For example, one of the healer paths starts with a 50 point heal, then a 100 point heal, followed by a small regen, then cure poison and cure disease. Players don't have to put all of their eggs in one basket, and can put other points in different paths. Those classes without a power pool don't have worries, though, as they'll recieve a power pool if they choose a spell path, and spellcasters will recieve an enhancement to their power pool.
 
Mount Up!
Dark Age of Camelot: Darkness Rising includes player-controlled mounts for the first time. Mythic boasts that Darkness Rising features the most advanced mount system in any MMO out there. Players aren't just able to choose the kind of mount they have, but with an advanced mount at level 45, they're able to customize saddlebags, barding, and armor on their horse. Although the barding and armor is for aesthetics only, the saddlebags do let players carry more and have less encumbrence on their own body. Mounts range everywhere from a standard horse to a rainbow unicorn to a nightmare with flaming hooves. Players will be able to get standard mounts at level 35, and advanced mounts at level 45, so it stays in line with the rest of Darkness Rising's high level content.
 
The Future?
Darkness Rising isn't just where Mythic is looking, they've got a few things that they are considering. It's important to know that all of these are not confirmed, and they may not happen at all. Three server types are being considered by Mythic: An "Evolution" server, a Pure RvR server, and a Homeland Invasion server. The Evolution server would completely retool all of the classes in the realms with new abilities and classes. The Home Invasion server would allow realms to take down other realms' home cities. Pure RvR servers would take out the PvE zones in the game and increase PvP EXP exponentially. Mythic knows that Dark Age of Camelot is their flagship franchise and plans to support it fully for the future. Those who haven't yet joined the game will be happy to know that Mythic is releasing Dark Age of Camelot: Epic Edition, which includes all the expansions to date, including Darkness Rising. We hope you liked this look into Darkness Rising, and I'll hope to see you in-game!


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