What is so special about Camelot Unchained?
Camelot Unchained is an upcoming MMORPG from City State Entertainment, the creators of the beloved “road defense” game, March on Oz. People are excited about Camelot Unchained for several reasons. One is its pedigree: it is designed by Mark Jacobs and Ben Pielstick, formerly of Mythic Entertainment and responsible for several successful earlier MMORPG’s and MUD’s. Another is the scope of the project itself: Camelot Unchained is intended to be able to depict battles with over one thousand simultaneous players, and display a minimum of 30 FPS on “middle-of-the-road” systems. Mark Jacobs has suggested than an Nvidia 7 Series graphics card (or AMD equivalent) would be sufficient to run the game.
What is the setting of Camelot Unchained?
Camelot Unchained is a mix of medieval fantasy and horror, with swords and magic, but also blood, panic, and monsters inspired more by H. R. Giger and H. P. Lovecraft than J. R. R. Tolkien. When the Veil that separates our world from the magical world was pierced, the powers unleashed wrought terrible destruction. Abominations from myth and legend were unleashed, but so were great heroes. Arthur of the Arthurians, Nuada of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and Sigurd of the Vikings once considered themselves Sword Brothers, but are now mortal enemies. They and their followers are now locked in endless TriRealm war, fighting over what little remains of the world.
Is Camelot Unchained a “sandbox” or a “themepark” MMO?
A little of both. In this essay, CSE founder Mark Jacobs says that “CU is not a true sandbox MMORPG”, but “CU will be a MMORPG with a limited number of strong sandbox systems, especially in RvR”. Some of these “sandbox systems” include:
- A block-based building system, incorporating real physics, allowing players to build housing and other structures nearly anywhere on the game map. The Camelot Unchained Building Environment (C.U.B.E.), available now for free, is a standalone program which demonstrates this capability.
- A stat system that grows the stats you use, not a pre-determined growth pattern per class.
- A flexible magic system and combat system that allows players to build their own spells and combat abilities.
- A crafting system that allows player crafters to fine-tune and customize the items they make.
What kinds of characters can I play?
Each Realm will have seven races to choose from (Human, plus six races unique to that Realm—including one Giant race for each Realm), and ten Archetypes. An Archetype is a broad “type” of profession, with each Realm having its own unique take. The Archetypes (not all of which will be available at launch) include: Archers, Devout, Healers, Heavy Fighters, Mages, Scouts, Shapeshifters, Spirit Mages, Stealthers, and Support. Crafters may be considered an eleventh, and separate, Archetype.
Can I further adjust my character?
You will be able to further specialize your character with a system of Banes and Boons (also called Advantages/Disadvantages in some systems). You will choose from a list of advantageous and disadvantageous traits for your character, each worth a certain amount of positive or negative “points”. The list of available traits will be dependent on your chosen Realm, Race, and Class. Your positives and negatives must equal, and you must choose a minimum amount of Banes/Boons. Careful selection will allow judicious players to maximize their advantages while minimizing any applicable disadvantages, a process known as “minimaxing”.
Will this game be PvP or PvE, or both?
Camelot Unchained is designed to be exclusively Realm-based, team PvP. On creation, you will choose a faction, or Realm: Arthurian, Tuatha Dé Danann, or Viking. Once chosen, you may not change Realms on that server. The other players in your chosen Realm are your teammates; you can neither harm them nor be harmed by them. There will be occasional PvE encounters, but the focus of the game is the Realm War—your fight with the other two factions.
If there is no PvE, how will I “level up” to be strong enough to fight in the Realm War?
Camelot Unchained will have a non-traditional progression system. Since the game is PvP only, players must be able to make meaningful contribution to the war effort from their first day. Instead of a traditional, “vertical” system of “levels”, progression in Camelot Unchained will be “horizontal”. Experienced players will have more spells or combat styles than the newbie, but will not be able to “one-shot” the new character.
How will my character progress?
The progression system for Camelot Unchained will be a little bit different from traditional MMORPG’s. Instead of earning “experience points” immediately upon defeating an enemy, you are awarded by your Realm’s king, at the end of each game day. You are awarded for contributing to the war effort, in any way your character is capable of doing so. Some character types are designed more for gathering intelligence on the enemy rather than confrontation or battle, and that is awarded as well. Similarly, your stats improve with exercise and use—swing a hammer enough times, and your Strength improves, allowing you to swing heavier, more damaging hammers. Run around wearing armor, and your Agility improves, allowing you to wear heavier armor without encumbrance.
How will combat work? Is it action-target or tab-target?
Both. You can either select a particular target, or swing your weapon and let it hit what it hits. This game will have full collision detection of friend and foe alike, meaning your swings (and spells!) can be blocked or intercepted by other players.
Will there be crafting?
Yes. Crafters are intended to be the heart of the Camelot Unchained economy. With the exception of starter gear, it is intended that everything in the game be built by a player crafter: Armor, weapons, clothing, even houses and furniture.
Will there be player housing?
Yes. Players may design and build their own houses, fortresses, sheds, shanties, or shacks! Players may be deeded land in their home Realm, as an award from the King for conspicuous valor, or stake out a plot in contested territory to build upon. Players may build any structure that budget, materials, space, and propriety allow, from the humble to the ostentatious. Ambitious Orders may even create their own village or town for their members. Bear in mind, though, that raiders from other Realms may happen by to attack what you have so carefully built! The Camelot Unchained Building Environment (C.U.B.E.) is a separate program, available to backers, to allow players to tinker with building.