Slow Down and Smell the Roses. Damn Roses.


I’ve been thinking a lot about Mythic Entertainment lately. This is partly due to the fact that I recently starting playing the trial for Dark Age of Camelot. I got a guild in Fallen Earth, and when I logged into their vent I noticed that they had people in a DAoC channel. I like the guild (Clan in Fallen Earth) so far so I’m messing around in DAoC and chatting with them.

It’s weird going from Warhammer Online to Dark Age of Camelot, a game I never really played back in the day. The first thing I noticed was that the UI was TERRIBLE. Of course it’s because of how old the game is, and I actually like some of the differences, but having to /whisper npc’s with key words to get quest dialog…I haven’t had to do that in an online RPG since I was playing GemStone (a MUD) on America Online.

On the other hand I was immediately sad that I had never picked it up back in the day. The setting is very interesting and I like the little bit of lore that I have been exposed to so far. I am, above and before anything else, a fan of settings, and DAoC’s is great.


I started wondering what the subscription numbers were like and it doesn’t appear there are many. There are reasons that a game like this might not be very successful in today’s world of modern MMO’s, such as it’s archaic UI with no mini map (I love the action bar being on the top left), or the quest log being almost no help at all, or even the fact that it’s mostly a grind to levels.

What I found however was that it had one of “Those” expansions. Trials of Atlantis is considered by many to have killed Dark Age of Camelot. To sum it up quickly it appears that it added a lot of PVE grinding in order to be competitive in RVR. It’s one of the big problems that WAR had when it launched, forcing people to PVE in order to improve in PVE. That is possibly the worst thing you could possibly do to a PVP/RVR game.

What amazed me though is that, amongst all the ranting about the changes Trials of Atlantis brought to the game and how bad they were, people took the time to talk about how pretty the new zones were, about how interesting it was to explore and find new areas that were really well done.

Then I thought back on Warhammer Online and some of it’s amazing areas and zones, and about how beautiful they really were. I also thought about how it was never mentioned amongst all the hate threads and posts. In fact, exploration is never really mentioned in any MMO’s anymore. Most people talk about it based on what quest/grind spot they found, but not what a pretty area it was.

Have MMO’s lost that sense of exploration, are they not worrying about making beautiful areas? Or have we gamers with our ADD lost the ability to slow down and smell the roses. Or at least notice that they are there.


  1. Oh, I’m ALL about the pretty areas! Everything, from the visuals to the ambient noises to the music is what makes a zone for me. This is also why I am a screenshot whore, I love scouting for beautiful locations to take pictures in.

    Having a sense of exploration and making beautiful areas are two different things, however. I can’t speak to the former, but I know devs haven’t ignored the latter. Current MMOs never fail to make my jaw drop with the amount of stunning beauty I’ve seen in them (like Age of Conan). Have you noticed, though, how the most beautiful areas tend to be the starting zones? It’s like the devs do it on purpose, the eye candy being just another hook to get you in right at the beginning.

  2. DAoC was my first real love. I played EQ for nearly a year before I burned out, but DAoC was the first game where I found a good group to play with. I still miss my Troll Shaman. I’ve considered going back for a nostalgia tour, but it keeps getting bumped down on my to-play list.

    About your comments about the difference in reaction to DAoC and War. One thing you need to consider is the difference in the MMO player-base between when ToA came out and when Warhammer release. ToA was pre-Warcraft (pretty sure at least), and the player-base at that time was much smaller and mostly consisted of people who’d started with UO and/or EQ1. Those players had a different mindset and expectations, than the average WoW player looking at a new game.

    • True, and as much as I like WoW as a game, I think we can all agree that the majority of it’s player base is the worst of humanity.

      If WoW had LOTRO’s community I’d never leave the house. Sadly every time I log in I’m reminded of why I left, what with all the anal spam.

      Back on topic, I miss the days when I played Ultima Online and the community, while full of PKers and punks sometimes, was much more open to each other, to the game, to the devs, and we were all there just to have fun.

      • There are definitely drawbacks to having your game enter mainstream culture and/or having millions of players in your community.

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