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.