Posted by Sylvain Bories
You will take a last a blow of MEUPORG (these french journalists… Whether it is on paper or on-line, role-playing games, it is their thing 😉 )?
Title: Dark Ages of Camelot.
Developpers: EA Mythics.
I caught the virus MMORPG in 2002 further to a contagion in my circle of acquaintances, and there, it’s the drama! The dumping in Dark Ages of Camelot ( DAoC) will last 2 years.
Who made this attachment? At first, what was determining, the aspect medieval-fantastic role playing game and the enthusiasm of my joint roommate 😉 Then, the community, that it’s on-line or in my circle of acquaintances. Finally and as usual in my case… One of the kingdoms was stuffed with knights:-)
The game is built around the confrontation of three kingdoms:
- Albion, the kingdom of the Knights of the Round Table;
- Hibernia, the kingdom of the Celtic and the druids;
- Midgard, the kingdom of the warriors Vikings.
Every kingdom have a zone dedicated to the game “player versus environment ” (or PvE), while border areas are dedicated to the game “realm versus realm” (or RvR). Finally, the last zone, Darkness Falls, accessible to the three kingdoms, opened only to the kingdom with most forts under control in RvR zones.
Thus at the beginning, we choose her kingdom, we build her character by choosing its race and her class (profession) among one of very numerous available. then heading for the adventure. Of course, my first choice concerned to Paladin, prototype of the “tank” and light group support.
Ah yes… In all directed MMORPG group, every character has a role and a very precise speciality:
- The “tank” attracts and occupies the opponents while taking the knocks;
- The “damage dealer” concentrates on a target by making a maximum of damages (contact or distance);
- The “support” worries to keep her group alive;
- The “crowd control” manage the ennemies via paralyses or effects of embarrassment.
According to the games and the classes, a role can be distributed on several classes either a class holds a single role…
The three kingdoms are very different. Albion is green and rainy. Midgard is dark and covered with snow. As for Hibernia, it is bright and green. The weather passes by according to a cycle in the daytime, there is bad weather according to the seasons (rain, snows, fog, etc.). Every kingdom is very “alive”.
In the kingdom of its choice, the main part of the adventure lay in the fulfillment of quests and in the expeditions in group in donjons or open zones corresponding to the level of the characters. We travel a lot 😉
Most of the time, it is necessary to be several, what means finding or forming a group. It is generally simpler when the caracters are of the same “guild” (grouping of players, sharing a blazon, a communication channel), etc. Guilds and alliances group the main part of the social relationships of the game.
At high level, it is necessary to leave in several groups to face immense enemies or reach the inmost depths of a high level donjon to acquire equipment and raw materials to make weapons, armors, etc.
The small business sector (or craft) is an important aspect of the game (at least in the period or I played) to obtain a homogeneous equipment allowing to be the most effective possible. Next to it, were introduced artefacts or objects more powerful than all that the craft could give.
The big key point of DAoC, it is the RvR (for whom it was outdone as better MMO PvP and RvR of decade, in 2011). The players of the various kingdoms are so in confrontation in border areas.
The RvR is basically a castle conquest game. To conquer it the largest number allows to open Darkness Fall to its kingdom (rich zones) and to weaken the defenses of castles containing the relics of the kingdom. To capture the relics during confrontations of hundreds players and to return them in his own camp allows the kingdom to obtain bonuses not insignificant.
Furthermore, to overcome opponents in RvR allows to acquire additional capacities, making more powerful the player.
Furthermore, the RvR leans on the conception “Rock, Paper, Scissors” classes. Each is strong against an other but weak in front of an other one. The construction of a group must be thus “balanced” if we want a minimum of efficiency.
The team game is very technical, each having its role to be held. At high level of control, a team of 8 good gamers (8 being the maximum group size) can overcome in a few minutes of a “bus” of about forty less experimented players (not optimized groups).
One of the big strengths of DAoC have been to supply regularly new contents and objectives for the high-level players (50 being the maximum).
Donjons and additional territories with new extensions, with new skills, with new classes, with new capacities to acquire, the possibility of developing its own house, the revision of the RvR game, the graphic revision, the progressive balancing of the classes, etc.
In the end, the player finds regularly something new to make, of new challenges to find, whether it is in PvE or in RvR, so allowing the coexistence of several players’ genres (roleplay, crafts, RvR, etc.).
Except the big events (relics, “raids” on powerful donjons / monsters), events were also set up on the servers. Bringing nothing permanent in game, they allowed the players to live a little bit of particular story.
The game was not exempt from defects:
Numerous bugs, imbalance between races, classes and kingdoms bringin bitternesses as in many MMO and as in life. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence 🙂
The most irritating part of the game, except the cheaters, it is certainly the behavior to exclude certain classes of the groups just because they were not useful or not optimal…
DAoC allied rich PvE to high level and intensive RvR… And enormous possibilities in term of adventure. All this allows to meet people, to share experiences of game and possibly to meet close by.
Moreover, I would never thank enough Kunn, Kortac, Uranium, Crawl, Wolfine, Angix, Laen, Thuwan, Nycau, Gastel, Gwenda and many others for all the good moments which we shared during two years in Albion’s Kingdom, on the Orcanie server 🙂
See you soon for new adventures!