Producer's Letter

Posted by Talal Saad | 2014 Jul 25 19:21 -0400 GMT

Friends and Realm Mates,

It’s been some time since we’ve reached out to you to talk about our plans and vision for Dark Age of Camelot for both near and long term.

In the time since our last communication, we’ve been hard at work putting into place the foundation for the exciting updates and improvements we plan to release for our venerable game. In recent Grab Bags, we touched on a few of these updates, but I would like to give you a solid breakdown of what we have on the burner, and touch on the priority and reasoning behind our plans. Click the ‘More’ link to read on!

Near term:

The Frontiers

1.115 saw a rather significant alteration to the layout of the New Frontiers and a change to the strategy and flow of action. Suffice it to say, some of these changes did not prove to have the desired effect, and our primary objective for near-term hotfixes and the next patch will be to implement changes and reversions to systems that, in retrospect (and after extensive player-testing), needed fine tuning rather than a complete overhaul. The community has been most helpful in working to protect the integrity of the game by pointing out these features and we want you to know we are listening.

We made a promise that we would not close the book on the NF Revamp until we achieve what we had set out to accomplish – fast, high-quality action, scalable player impact, and  improvements that can be embraced and enjoyed by all play-styles. Admittedly, this is a tough nut to crack, but our experience, love, and passion for the game plus feedback from you, our devoted community makes this a reasonable and attainable goal.

New Frontiers changes with our next update include the following:

  • Relics will return to Relic Temples and Relic Keeps will revert to standard, defensible Keeps
  • Docks will return to their original locations and the capture element will be altered or removed based on additional planning and feedback. The increased boat speed will remain
  • Shore Keeps (Erasleigh, Sursbrook, Hlidskialf, Blendrake, Bolg, daBehnn) will revert to a state where home realm players may not port to them
  • The Merchant Keeps (Benowyc, Nottmoor, and Crauchon) will once again be capture-able, claim-able, and will have port functionality - but will remain in a ‘ruined’ state
  • Keeps and towers have had their light-mapping updated! The difference is quite stunning and we are looking forward to showing you these great art updates!

PvE Updates
The New Frontiers is a crucial part of our planning, but it does not represent the entirety of what we’re currently working on. We are breathing new life into PvE encounters by updating loot, modernizing encounter mechanics, and polishing art. We have talked about this for some time in our communication and we’re happy to say that we’re looking forward to releasing the updated content soon!

Bug Fixes
It would not be appropriate to focus solely on new features without first resolving bugs and other issues with game-play. There are numerous behind-the-scenes fixes and improvements to a number of technical and practical aspects of DAoC. These include fixes for some Housing issues, spell/style bugs, performance improvements, and more!

Account Center
Finally, we have some exciting changes to the way you will interact with your Dark Age of Camelot Account. The new Broadsword Account Center is in testing and we will unveil it just as soon as we are confident that it is stable. It is our wish to provide a much more user-friendly experience along with more options to get back into the game such as character search and password recovery features.

Mid Term:

The LFG window has been on our minds for quite some time. We want to do our best to facilitate the establishment of solid groups to enhance the game experience irrespective of your play session length. The LFG window updates are planned in two phases. Here are a few basic details on how we intend to accomplish this goal:

  • Phase 1
    • Click a button and are placed into an available group
    • Group will be selected based on a combination of your class, spec, and level
    • LFG mechanics will have RvR and PvE settings
    • Optimized for PUGs and players with shorter play sessions
  • Phase 2
    • Existing LFG window update
    • Allow players to see a list of LFG-flagged players separated by level/spec/class (including players queued up for a group from the first phase)
    • Additional detail and granularity for RvR and PvE settings

Champion Level 15 and Darkness Falls
Extending Champion Levels to 15 will allow players to experience progressing their characters in a way that they have not experienced since hitting ML10 and CL10. Here are some basic points on what we have planned for this feature:

  • Champion Level Increase
    • Extension of Champion Levels to 15
    • New quest content
    • New CL abilities that will cost more than existing ones (and be slightly more powerful)
    • 10 Champion Ability limit remains
  • Darkness Falls revamp
    • Major Loot overhaul and stat boosts
    • Targeted at level 35+ players but optimized for 50+
    • Will tie into the CL increase
    • Monster AI difficulty adjustments

The path to CL 15 is a choice which is left to you. You can RvR, kill your foes and attain the Champion Experience you require, or you can participate in the challenging and exciting new quest lines which will yield significant experience rewards! Battlegroup, group, or solo – your journey to CL 15 will be rewarding and fun!

In closing:

I’m very pleased to be able to share these plans with you and will be sure to provide more frequent updates as we close in on these important additions and improvements to Dark Age of Camelot. Along the way, we’ll be asking you for feedback and setting up testing events to enable you to experience first-hand these exciting plans for the game we call home.

As always, you are encouraged to leave feedback via the Camelot Herald’s feedback form. We have more updates and improvements planned, and I look forward to sharing those with you as they coalesce.

Until our next update my friends, be well, fight for your realm, and I’ll see you in the Frontiers!

Faithfully yours,

Talal Saad
Dark Age of Camelot