Clear as Mudd

Okay, Friday was not my finest hour when it comes to effectively communicating my thoughts to the Community-at-large. My apologies for that, not sure why I was apparently having a “bad word” day but since I spent some of the weekend explaining my explanation, I thought that I should use my first post today to explain, hopefully for the last time, exactly what I meant to say on Friday as well as answering another couple of related questions. Therefore, without further wasting of your time with introduction verbiage, off we go.

Realm Abilities

As to the post, formerly titled as TTQ: No realm ranks, abilities? What? (Now known simply as TTQ: Will there be Realm Ranks in the game?)

1) RR/RAs are the terminology that Dark Age of Camelot uses and we do not want to use the same names for both ethical and legal reasons.

2) RR/RAs were built upon the premise that we needed another system to sit atop the main leveling system. The idea was to allow players to level up their character’s abilities for RvR since that game, unlike CU, has a heavy PvE component. CU will not have a PvE-based leveling system of course.

3) Since there is no PvE leveling in the game, we geared our leveling system(s) around participation in RvR and RvR-related activities, as the player must be able to advance/progress based on what they and their realm-mates do in RvR and not PvE. The game will absolutely reward you but not just with abilities and/or spells. Please keep in mind that since this is our main way to allow people to advance their character(s), we not only have the obligation to do it right but we also have the freedom to do it without worrying about a PvE-based system. Thus, we can give players the more commonplace rewards but we can also give players other rewards as well.

4) As to RvR-based titles, heck yeah. I want to be quite expansive with the titles in this game. This is supposed to be a fun game (yeah, thanks Captain Obvious!) so we should also have fun titles as well as ones that are more serious. Yes, you will also know the name/title of the enemy players as well out on the field of battle.

5) Each main pillar of the game, RvR/Crafting/Housing will have separate leveling tracks. Each leveling track will contain appropriate rewards for the track. As a crafter, you will not get rewards (spells/abilities/etc.) from the crafting track that will be useful in RvR just as you will not get RvR rewards that would benefit your crafting skills. If you want to earn rewards to help you in RvR, you will have to play and fight in RvR. Crafters will, of course, be able to make items to help in RvR but as they do so, they won’t gain RvR abilities to help them in the battle. RvR combat awards will only be rewarded to people who participate in RvR combat.

6) As an RvR-focused game, I expect we will have more abilities/spells/etc. for players of CU than Dark Age had for RAs since RAs were a complimentary system and in CU, RvR and the related activities are the main leveling tracks. These will be added slowly over time so as not to mess things up at launch but they will be numerous and spread out horizontally through other systems as well.

Therefore, yes, we will have systems in place to dazzle, entice and reward our players who participate in RvR, crafting and housing. 🙂

As to Gold Sellers

1) On Friday, I stated that it was going to be harder to earn gold in CU and that as a consequence of that, gold farmers and sellers would be less likely to play and try to profit from CU. Unfortunately, some people read that as meaning “Doesn’t he understand that scarcity increases, not decreases the attractiveness of gold selling?” My apologies again for the confusion my words caused. What that phrase means is that in CU, gold farmers would really have to play the whole game and not just engage in so many of the behaviors that they do in most MMOs. For example, many farmers do the whole spawn camping and clear thing by clearing one set of mobs, go to the right clear next set of mobs, go the right again, kill another set, rinse, wash repeat. I saw this pattern repeat itself in Dark Age, WoW and so many of the other games I played but it is not, of course, the only way that they get currency.

2) In CU, since there is not a way to earn any currency/items by simply going out and farming NPCs, gold farmers will have to earn their currency by participating in RvR (since crafting will also be a slower way to earn cash since you have to make the item and then find a buyer for it). Since RvR is less predictable than PvE, it will be harder for them to adequately predict how much gold they can earn in a shift. If the farmers have to work harder to get their money (time really is money for them), they will be less likely to spend the time in CU and thus we will have fewer of them. While this might increase the number of real players who sell gold to gold sellers, that is less of a problem since at least the players will be actively engaging in RvR and trying to win versus the round-robin clearing of camp spawns by gold farmers.

3) Setting up a system where gold is scarce but available would indeed be a bad thing and would absolutely encourage the sellers. Thus, for players, it will be quite easy to earn gold, simply go out and engage in RvR, crafting, housing, etc. For our players who are playing the game and have gotten good at it, gold will not be scarce at all but some paths might be a little slower (crafting) than the others.

4) Gold will not be the only currency system we will have. Players will earn special commendations for their work from their sovereign that will reward them for special services to their realm whether they are crafters, builders or RvR players or all of the above.

5) In terms of the tools we will need to make the gold sellers life more difficult, well, I have been fighting them for more than a decade and I have learned how they do things from a business perspective. We will have the tools in place to make it easier to detect and then ban their accounts, sub-accounts and related holding accounts through easy tracing of transactional records.

6) We will also have monitoring and limitations on global chat and automated keyword searches/filters, limited PMing for new accounts, limited in-game mail for new accounts and most importantly a very easy way for players to report these people.

We will never be able to keep out all the gold sellers but we will try our best and frankly, I love banning these kinds of accounts and the steps that I have detailed above are only the start.


Next up: Rock, paper, scissors? ‘Natch!