Camelot Unchained Has One Week Remaining

By Jim Rossignol on April 26th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.


The MMO hasn’t found itself with too much help from Kickstarter, but that could be set to change with the impressive crowd-flexing of Camelot Unchained, which has raised $1.4m, with a week left on the clock. I’ve been browsing over their updates and picked out a few things that they’ve revealed about the spiritual successor to Dark Age of Camelot’s game and world. Check them out below.

Inconveniently, I couldn’t embed the most interesting video, which is at the bottom of this post. It shows the tech demo for a thousand-player battle. Go take a look!

Original pitch:

On lore:

On building:

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37 Comments »

  1. clownst0pper says:

    To add some perspective, Dark Age of Camelot cost $2.5 million dollars to make. Camelot Unchained will (if successfully funded to $2million dollars) have a total of $5 million (2 from the main man and 1 million from a private investor).

    Bloody hell fund this thing >_<

    • caff says:

      Oh ok then.

      • akrammalik956 says:

        Scarlett. although Charlotte`s artlclee is amazing… on sunday I bought a new Renault 5 from bringing in $4111 this-last/4 weeks and-even more than, $10k this past-munth. it’s by-far the most-financially rewarding Ive had. I started this three months/ago and pretty much immediately started to earn more than $70 per hour. I went to this website, http://bic5.com/

        • HothMonster says:

          A new Renault 5? Didn’t they stop making those in `96? Get with the times spambot!

          But wonderful articlee Charlotte (didn’t know you went by that too Jim). I cant wait to see what you write next munth.

  2. VileThings says:

    They have some really exciting ideas, unfortunately they are not getting as much attention (i.e. funds) as they could be, because their goal is a subscriber based MMO. I still hope they reach their goal, as I’m very interested in finding out how their ideas actually turn out.

    • IndigoHawk says:

      I like some of the vision and the personal commitment to the game, but I’m concerned about how the game is split between RvR and PvE (like crafting). Those kinds of games try to serve all masters, and the player base can split into what they think is important and how they want dev resources invested. (People also tend to look down on each other for not playing the “real” game.) More importantly, I’m not excited about funding a Kickstarter so that I can then pay a subscription. I don’t know … there’s something wrong with that idea, even though I understand the economics of it.

      I saw it has a lifetime subscription tier at $250, which is great. I’m not interested enough to fund at that level, but it’s actually a good value. However, even though they say they want to make a niche subscription MMO, I’ve seen a lot go F2P and devalue the lifetime subscription. They don’t know how the finances are going to end up, and lifetime subscriptions put all the risk on the person who buys it.

      I hope they get funded … but I’m giving this one a pass.

      • bjohndooh says:

        He says in the original pitch video that there is no PvE.
        Right after the 6 minute mark.

        • IndigoHawk says:

          He also said you can play as just a crafting class … which is what I mean by PvE and divided base. So if you’re a crafter what you’re interested in may be different than the people who are battling.

    • iridescence says:

      I think it’s more to do with it being a PVP-only MMO. Sure some people love PVP but that’s a very niche market even within the already niche MMO community. I’m not really interested in an MMO that doesn’t have any PVE content so I’m not backing CU but I still hope it gets funded since he has a lot of innovative ideas.

    • Mr Coot says:

      Yes, I wish them luck, I very much enjoyed WAR and the devs have the pedigree to make this project happen. I do want to pledge but not enough to use my CC details. Unfortunately, they can’t take Paypal pledges until they meet their kickstarter goal ‘cos it is an immediate debit, so it’s a shame they didn’t make it 1.5mill and wait on Paypal pledgers for the rest.

  3. Jimbot says:

    Truth be told, while I do like what they’re selling on the premise (some ideas I don’t care for), they’d have my money had they a working prototype of the game. I’ve become incredibly jaded and cynical when it comes to MMOs these days because developers always talk about these awesome ideas but then fudge up the execution so they’re not quite that good or they cut them out due to budgetary reasons or what have you. If they could show us an example of these things in-engine then we could temper our expectations, their pitches and gauge what would really be in the game.

    It’s really, really easy to say something incredibly awesome and revolutionary will be in the game, but actually implementing and balancing it is where it gets tricky.

    • derbefrier says:

      yeah same here after falling for the GW2 hype I am in the position of I’ll believe it when I see it. All new MMOS claim to be revolutionary that they are breaking from the moldbut they are all just the same crap we have been playing for the last decade. I just don’t believe it honestly it may sound good 0n paper but in execution it will be a giant yawn fest.

      • hitnrun says:

        Agreed with both; however, I would say that DAoC and the RvR part of WAR *was* different and any game that would take that as a model would be a better cut of MMO. IMO, Mythic’s versimilitude’y-goal-based PvP and the fundamentals of their combat system are the highest pinnacle the MMO genre has reached yet (save for some economic elements of Ragnarok Online) in the many, many MMOs I’ve played over the last 16 years.

        (I never did play EVE, so give me a pass there. WoW, of course, doesn’t make the list because its best innovations were refashioned into a scourge with which the game industry has been flaying hunks of flesh from our backs for the past 7 years.)

        However, we’ve all learned at this point what an MMO developer’s promise of “inspiration” is worth. They brag about their innovation in one particular element of the experience, getting you nodding in agreement, you whip out your credit card, buy the collector’s edition… yet within 3 hours you’re trudging joylessly from one mark on your map to another across the copiously filled-in Greater Content Experience Zone a.k.a “World”, totally apathetic to your character, the world, or your doleful tasks. And in the game.

        I actually have a hard rule about backing Kickstarters of non-physical objects, but I’m thinking of waiving my cynicism because I want this thing to exist so much.

        • Jimbot says:

          As down as I am on the Kickstarter I want a MMO like this to exist, but I just can’t commit to it because everything they’re pitching are ideas on paper. This game will get made even if the Kickstarter fails because clearly Mark Jacobs has the money to fund it (he said he’ll drop 2 million of his own money on top of the Kickstarter funding) and this Kickstarter showed that the interest is there.

          So I hope that if the Kickstarter fails, they put 2 million bucks worth of work into the game, put up a Kickstarter then show people what they’re getting in to. Then explain what everyone’s money will be adding/polishing/ect. . At that point they’ll have an easier time of convincing me to pledge.

    • scim says:

      I get it, I do. I think this thing would’ve funded ages ago if they had built the world. Finished the engine, added some nice funky particles effects etc. But they didn’t. Instead they have a dozen or so key ideas about what they want their game to be plus some very interesting takes on things that have been neglected or screwed up in most MMO’s (crafting, stealth classes).

      Having said that, they have some talented people there and they have been saying things and showing us a prototype mere days later. So over the course of the last 2-3 weeks Andrew Meggs has been coding away at their own engine. They looked at other engines, but they opted to build their own since none of them were “lean” enough to support the scale of battles they envision. Yesterday they showed and let backers test their first networking enabled build of it. I participated and even though the animations are rough, the world/arena is even rougher and the combat is just 1 attack it was incredible how smooth it was running and how much processing power they still have left to add fancy effects or increase the scale of the whole thing. 118 people in a prototype, swinging away at each other at 500+ fps on my i5 with ati 7850 (with 100 models on the screen). With less than 60 models on the screen I was pushing over 1k FPS. Yeah it was still laggy, there was no network optimization of any kind and I was connecting to a server half a world away. However, he put that thing together in a handful of weeks and had almost 120 people running around, jumping without too many hickups. I can only wonder about what we’ll see if they get 2 years development time and develop it all a little further.

      Footage here: http://www.twitch.tv/citystategames/b/396102196

      • Jimbot says:

        What he did was impressive, sure. But that’s not enough to make me pledge money. Like you said, they didn’t start development on it so these tests are a bang-up way of showing off something to people. Just because they have a talented guy throw together a quick engine and have people run around in it doesn’t mean they’re going to create the kind of MMO they’re pitching.

        When they have the housing and mining mechanics that they claim are revolutionary in the game and show how it works, how players interact with it and how it all effects these grand sieges, then I’d be more inclined to believe that their ideas can be done. MMOs are a big time sink and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time. Maybe it’ll have a strong start then peter out because the variety is only skin deep and it becomes the same old same old, or maybe it won’t. All I have are Mark Jacob’s promises and those don’t do a thing for me.

        • Lyrion says:

          The thing about this is, they only have stuff on paper because they are not going to make it if the kickstarter fails. If it doesn’t fund it gets put in the garbage can and will probably never be spoken off. That is why they are trying to sell there idea, to see if people are willing to buy it and play it.

  4. cpt_freakout says:

    This has great potential. I backed it, and I hope it makes it! I’m all for a subscription, and they say it’ll be quite lower from the current standard. How much that will be remains to be seen, but given that most sub MMOs are around the $15-17 mark, I could see it going down to the good ol’ 10 bucks per month.

  5. Hallgrim says:

    I am a little surprised that this is taking so long to get funded. Warhammer RvR was very enjoyable for the first 2-3 tiers, and I can’t think of another mainstream game out there that resembles this. I cast a stone or two at Jacobs when Mythic dropped their Pax Imperator project and joined EA to make yet another fantasy themed MMO, but I think the concepts they’ve put forth look great, and their record with Warhammer RvR and DAoC is pretty solid. I also noticed that they have spent a lot of effort producing benchmarks of their graphics capabilities, which was (I think) one of the biggest frustrations ATI users experienced with WAR. Hopefully this project goes the distance, and I’m glad to see this coverage.

  6. Mbaya says:

    I loved Dark Age of Camelot back in the day and really enjoyed Warhammer Onlines classes, despite falling a bit flat, but I’m rather apprehensive about throwing my money into the pot for this one.

    A few too many variables, subscription post launch and the PvP focus (surely one of the best aspects of DAC, but time has moved on, I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as much now as I did back then or find the motivation to get up at 4am for a relic raid…I like a bit of PvE downtime, but I suppose there are many more games available to scratch that itch).

    It has some interesting idea’s and goals though, but so many MMO’s have failed when it comes to delivering on their hopes, dreams and promises. I dunno, I really am on the fence with this one…I would like to see it succeed though, so maybe I’ll cave in the next few days and hope for the best.

    More so, I’m happy this has reminded me of all the amazing times in Dark Age of Camelot, a great deal of fun with Ydria and the folks from Eclipse (US), the twin Thanes myself and a friend had and the lovely guild Savage Enclave in Europe. At this rate, I’ll throw in a few quid just for the happy memories and the hopes for more to come.

  7. daphne says:

    9350 backers, 1.44m raised. Consider the average payment… That’s fervor, ladies and gentlemen. With a ratio like this, I would hate to see these guys fail.

  8. Shabla says:

    I didn’t play DAoC, I don’t even like the PvP of most MMO, but I pledged 110$ because I think the MMO market really needs more diversity. There’s very few companies that dares to try something different, something niche like this and that makes me really want this game to succeed. Games on Kickstarter will always be a gamble, but I think this one is really worth it.

  9. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    This post’s title picture is how I imagine myself wielding the “Block” button against spammers who earned twenty four million rupees in a week and, apparently, buy a Renault 5.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      It’s the front subframe, wheels and engine from a Renault 5 shrink wrapped on a graphics stick being weilded! Ideal for spam riddance!!

  10. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    This kickstarter seems like a risky proposition. Then again, MMOs usually are. I do think Jacobs is sincere, but I am not sure he (and the team around him) has what it takes to pull this off.

  11. ukpanik says:

    I was ready to fund until I saw that “zany” hat.

  12. Sami H says:

    Now do 1000 players with collision detection. One of the things that (for me) made WAR’s open-world PvP so great was the proper collision detection between players. You can actually body block people (allies too!), create walls of infantry to hold choke-points, etc. Positioning and spacing actually mattered.

    When you can just run through your opponents (as in move through them, not run them through with a sword although that is of course possible) the entire combat seems a little bit more… flimsy? GW2 has the same problem for me. So many sieges, so many potential choke-points, all of which you can just blindly charge through assuming you don’t die to all the AoEs.

    The days of the tank wall in WAR don’t look like they’ll be repeated any time soon :’(

    • Jimbot says:

      The trouble with body blocking is that it can effect the frame rate something fierce, all those calculations would kill framrerate. I played Warhammer Online and when things got crazy the framerate just died and some times it would crash the entire server. Body blocking may not be feasible in the scope they’re aiming for. They run engine tests every now and then but they’re not indicative of how things will be in the slightest, now matter what the hardcore optimists want to believe.

      • Jimmy Z says:

        Depends, it doesn’t really have to be super accurate to get the job done adequately in that kind of a scenario. All you need is just some rectangular collision meshes, then check for overlap, really basic stuff. Obviously if you go for super complex collision meshes and very detailed collision detection, then yeah, this kills the computer.

        I would personally love to see even such rudimentary collision detection / body blocking in large scale PvP in MMOs, as the whole incorporeal thing is just so lame.

  13. Wednesday says:

    What is this, the emperor’s new clothes?

    THAT HAMMER IS VERY SILLY AND HE IS NAKED!

  14. -Spooky- says:

    “When it´s done!” *nuff said*

  15. khomotso says:

    I’d have been more likely to have funded it if I hadn’t watched a couple vids of Mark Jacobs talking. A lot of vaguely positive, slippery words that leave me feeling like I’m talking to someone in sales. The self-important bluster leading up to ‘Mark’s promises to you’ just cements the effect. He doesn’t inspire confidence.

    The class system sounds narrow and uninspired, the combat system as described comes off like just tweaks to the standard MMO model, and the setting leaves me cold. The building bits are the only part that made me sit up and take notice, but that’s not enough. I’d be willing to pay a subscription to a really innovative twist on the MMO, but I just don’t see it here yet.

  16. Shabbadooo says:

    I’ve got to say, after reading some of the comments on other websites bashing CU, it’s a treat to read comments from people who won’t back the game, who are also presenting coherent reasoning as to why they won’t do so.

    If you’re not into a game that has no PvE leveling/questing, then this game definitely isn’t a good choice for you. And that’s 100 percent a reasonable decision to make: we all play video-games (hopefully) for enjoyment, and if no PvE leveling/questing doesn’t provide that enjoyment, then it would be hilariously foolish for anyone to try to convince you this game is right for you. And many of you have acknowledged you still think this might turn out to be an excellent game.

    ‘Might’ is a key word there. I’m a backer, and I’ve seen some comments from other backers along the lines of ‘this will be the best PvP MMO.’ I don’t think this will for sure be the best PvP MMO, or even that it will for sure be a good one.

    But Mark Jacobs has made the only MMO I’ve played that offered a truly exciting and engaging PvP experience, Dark Age of Camelot. And that game’s PvP system had a lot of problems, which I often felt frustrated with. But it still stuck with me more than any other MMO PvP system.

    The analogy I guess I’ll use is of toddlers running a 5k run. The toddlers represent PvP-focused MMO developers, and the 5k run is the attempt to create an excellent PVP MMO, with the finish line being a finished, outstanding player versus player massively online experience. It’s not likely any of these toddlers will realistically make it to the finish line 5 kilometres (3.11 miles for imperial-types) down the road. Most of the little ones are currently trying to crawl under the barriers on the sides before the start line, and many have wet themselves. Camelot Unchained is toddling unsteadily forward. There’s an incredible distance that toddler needs to travel, and it’s unlikely she’ll make it to the finish. But she is facing the right direction, and even though she’s doing it shakily, she’s moving forward. And that seems to be the best any of the toddlers are doing right now.

    So, even if someone changes her nappy and gives her a cookie (if CU funds), that toddler still has a lot to do to reach that finish line, and she probably won’t even come close. But considering what all those other toddlers are doing, if there’s no cookie and no nappy-change for CU, then all we’re left with is a bunch of toddlers bumping into each other before they’ve started the race.

    • Mbaya says:

      What an interesting (and lovely) way of summing up the current PvPMMO state at the moment. Thanks for taking the time to write that.

      • Shabbadooo says:

        @Mbaya – I always hope to offer a subdued/hopefully-realistic view of how I see things. Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you found something useful in mine :)