Letter From The Producer
Posted By: Christopher Rabideau
2008-06-02 18:04:50

Hello Dark Age of Camelot and fellow Players,

Many of you have already participated in the new server poll we have been conducting to gauge interest in what we are calling the ‘Origins’ server ruleset, also referred to as an ‘Old Frontiers’ server.  I would like to thank everyone who has participated so far, as well as thank those who have provided the incredible amount of constructive feedback we have received through the Herald and through the various message forums relevant to DAoC.  My team and I were pleasantly surprised by how much interest this poll has generated.  The poll is still available to the public on the Herald, and we are still watching its results with great interest.

We have received numerous questions regarding this poll and ruleset.  Our Community Team has been working on a FAQ that is now available on the Herald.  Also, later this week, we will be organizing two IRC chats in which members of my team and I will be available for Q&A.  The dates will be on Wednesday, June 4th and Thursday, June 5th.   One will be held at 6:30 pm EDT for the benefit of our East Coast players, and the other will be held at 9:30 pm EDT for the benefit of our West Coast players.  Please watch the Herald for any additional information.  You should also note that beyond the IRC chats, we are very interested in your continued feedback.  Please feel free to utilize the Herald Feedback Form for this purpose.  I plan to dig in and read as many of your emails as I can myself, but please keep the feedback constructive.

 

I would like to take some time to answer some of the most common questions that I have spotted on the various DAoC forums, as well as to share some highlights of the Origins ruleset.  But before I do so, I’d like for you all to know that I am also an avid player of Dark Age myself, having leveled many characters to 50 across multiple servers and realms.  For example, I remember the old days of leveling off wolves outside of the Albion portal keep in Odin’s Gate.  Over the years, I’ve maxed out all six craft skills and I’ve bought a few houses and I’ve gone on many, many keep and relic raids.  Like many of you, Dark Age was my first MMO, and it’s a game that will always have a special place in my geeky heart.  I’ve been with Mythic (now EA Mythic) for over seven years.  For the entirety of my employment at Mythic, I have never left the DAoC project.  My vision for the design of this new server is driven by my and my team’s own understanding of and experience with Dark Age, as well as yours, our Community of Team Leads, players and former players who wish to come back and experience not just the ‘nostalgia’ of this server, but a truly fun and compelling gameplay experience.

The most common question continues to be, “Is this really going to happen?” 

Origins has been in development for a couple of months now.  We have been working with our Team Leads (as part of the Team Lead program) to work through the various gameplay details, ideas, and issues, while also collecting and reading your feedback.  Our schedule requires around four to five months of development.  This means that since the server has been in development for two months already, we still have another two to three months before it’s ready for primetime.  Right now, launch is slated for the August/September timeframe.  However, this is also subject to change.  Ideally, I want the server to receive at least one month of internal and external beta testing, but preferably six to eight weeks to allow us time to react to feedback and make changes or additions that will provide for the best play experience possible.  This is also why your involvement as a Community is critical to us, and why we’re holding a couple of IRC chats later this week.

Second on the list of most popular questions is, “What is this server all about?”

This server is designed to return DAoC to the great game experience it was in 2001/2002, while also applying wisdom from the lessons we have learned since then.  DAoC is still a great game, but this server has its own appeal that we ‘old school’ players really enjoyed, and our goal is to get back to that while also continuing to support the other rulesets.  Origins will not exactly replicate the game as it was is 2001;  we are keeping as a part of server the ‘best features’ we have put into the game since launch, such as housing, horses, the market explorer, UI changes (to name only a few) and many of the improved systems introduced over the years.  However, some of these features and systems will also be tuned up.  For example, the ‘portal ceremony’ found in the game at launch will not be making a comeback as it was originally implemented.  Instead, there will be a short waiting period (3 – 5 minutes) before players may port together.  This will encourage players to go to the Frontiers in groups as opposed to now where players often find themselves heading to the frontiers alone.  We are also taking this opportunity to retune realm balance.  Many intelligent and experienced minds are focused on this aspect of Origins, and the main question by which we’ve operated during its development is, If we could do this all over again, knowing what we know today, how would we do things differently?

As we embark on this development project called ‘DAoC: Origins,’ we also continue to focus on our Live servers.  We just recently launched a ‘Ghost Keep’ event, which was very well-received, and we thank you for your participation and feedback.  We also recently re-envisioned and deployed our new Starter Area to all servers, taking advantage of the previously (and mostly) unused tutorial region; again, the feedback has been very positive.  We will continue to deploy new content patches, new features, and new gameplay experiences to all of our servers, regardless of ruleset.

In closing, please stay tuned as development on Origins continues.  We are very excited about the possibilities and we hope you are, too.  Thank you all for reading.  I will keep in touch, and I look forward to our IRC chats later this week.

Best regards,

Christopher Rabideau

Producer, Dark Age of Camelot

Electronic Arts (EA Mythic)