Piercing the Veil™ #2

Welcome Ladies and Lords, to another juicy installment of Piercing the Veil™! It’s been a very busy few weeks here at the studio, and yet I am happy to make time for PtV. You guys ask some great questions and it’s truly fun for me to answer them. I will open with a question directed at me.

Oakblade asked: Do you like lurking in the forums?

I prefer to call it prowling, but yes I actually do enjoy it 🙂 I would have been doing it whether Mark hired me or not. Hmm, I maybe I shouldn’t tell him that.

Fanglo asked: Will there be a male race that has good abs and runs around shirtless like in the movie 300?

Gosh, men’s abs are all the rage these days! They have their very own reality TV show now, don’t they? Although we jest, this does bring up a good point. There have been many discussions in the studio and on the forums about character appearance. Really what it boils down to for us is that ‘pretty’ is only entertaining for a short while, so it better have something of substance backing it up. So, while we do want our game to look good, and our players to be able to make characters that are unique and personalized, we will be focusing WAY more on actual game mechanics and performance than avatar sex appeal. Fear not, there will be plenty of avatar customization! We are not fans of boob-sliders, (or ab-sliders for the purposes of this question) but we do want there to be enough be plenty of options for folks to make as pretty or ugly a Dvergr as they see fit. Hmm. Pretty dwarves. Welp, there went my credibility.

TheMeph asked: How will CU reach out to all the possible niche players? Will we see ads and banners, or will it be purely on word of mouth?

We are a niche game as you mention, so I wouldn’t expect to see much in the way of standard ads and banners from us. Mark tells me: “We will do the same sort of stuff we did back when Mythic was developing Dark Age of Camelot. Lots of viral stuff spread out over the next two years should work well for us. If we are more successful at launch than we expect to be, that’s one thing, but we need to spend our money wisely and on the game’s development.”

Ophis asked: If you use a system of measurement in the game, will you use the imperial system, the metric system or a custom made system?

Apparently you’ve never heard of the ‘rubber ducky’ system of measurement? In all honestly this has not been talked about yet…

Mac asked: Will it all be this dark? Or will there be some hope and light? I’m not all about puffy unicorn ducks with rainbow wings. But must we have a world that is so extremely dismal?

Such a timely question good sir! Why just this day I am editing a lighter Becoming™ tale that the boss sent my way. See, what happened was, he was at his desk, channeling H.P. Lovecraft and writing all of these dark, dark things, when all of a sudden, the clouds outside cleared and a bright rainbow did appear! So bright in fact that it blew the blinds clear off the windows and shone straight into his eyes! The rainbow’s essence then entered his very soul and he was possessed to write this tale. It is rather uplifting, not Disney mind, yet light-hearted enough for a puffy-unicorn-duck-with-rainbow-wings to happily digest 🙂 You won’t have to wait long to read it. It will be part of our next Camelot Unchained sprint. So, yes, although we are making a horror genre game, there will be light, for what is darkness without it?

Ortu asked: Will we be able to hang the heads of our enemies over our gates as a warning to anyone foolish enough to come knocking (read: will there be any sort of decorative battle trophies)?

Omg, yes please!!! The truth: I haven’t been in on a conversation about this yet, but I would be very surprised if there hasn’t been one, and further surprised if we did not end up having battle trophies in the game.

aylwynn asked: When do you plan to announce the “release” title of the game?

I am pushing for us to do so when we re-open PayPal this Fall 😉 Mark is pushing back a little as he wants to be really sure about the name. Can’t argue with that. We have been working furiously on our accounts system, which we need to have in place for the PayPal re-launch. In fact, just this week we ran the system through its first paces and it passed with flying colors! So, soon the people who purchased Guild Tiers will be able to invite their guildies to the forums. Which is good, because I am pretty sure they have already constructed a voodoo doll of me and are planning to practice their runes on it if we don’t get this up, stat.

Sinikin asked: When CU finally launches what faction do any of the CSE team hope to play primarily?

As my British friend Adam would say, “why, you cheeky little monkey!” Would that we could tell you my friend. I can say, that from an informal survey, it seems pretty evenly divided here in the studio. It’s clear that we won’t all be on one big happy team 🙂 I mean, we are essentially daytime roommates right? So there is likely to be plenty of, ‘drink the last of the milk will you!?’ type rage that we feel the need to exact upon each other. Also, as you know, many of us are/were DAoC players (and creators) and so, we have our allegiances. Some folks are saying they will play multiple realms. MJ feels (and I agree) that if we tell players exactly what each of us will play, there is too much potential for players to feel that we favor one faction over the other.

Kevin.K asked: Has there been any thought yet on seasons and day/night cycles? Is there room to break away from typical Earth norms? I’m curious what sorts of impact the veil could have on seasons and what potential impact that could have on gameplay/strategies/crafting. As a simple “off the top of my head” example, perhaps in a certain season some rivers become poisonous due to the oils of nearby plants. Or may in some regions a season cause a near continuous thick fog severely limiting visibility.

Yes, there have been many conversations here in the studio surrounding day/night cycles, weather, seasonal influences on game play, veil influences on game play etc. Day and night cycles for the game are confirmed. In addition, we have a lot of other cool ideas (and backers do as well!), yet we need to find that sweet spot where we implement just enough of them to keep people engaged and entertained, without feeling overwhelmed or worse, frustrated.

Torkaal asked: We speak about mages with PBAoE. Can you to be sure that each realm will have a PBAoE mage?

As Mark has stated, we will not have mirrored classes in Camelot Unchained. It would make our lives easier if we planned to have them, but we aren’t going for easy, we are going for awesome. PBAoE spells can be quite powerful and we would have to think very carefully about giving that type of ability to only one or two realms.

Kristian Vad Bovtrup asked: I personally loved the 8 man groups in DAoC, how large do you see the groups being in CU?

We are still discussing group size but are comfortable saying that we too like 8 and think it could work in Camelot Unchained.

Nelapsi asked: Do you plan to let us choose directly a class like Helbound? Or do we have to choose an archetype like “priest” and then, at a certain level we’ll be able to become a Helbound?

Currently we don’t plan to use an archetype or class evolution as you lay out. It’s certainly something that we have discussed, but given the limited number of classes we will have at launch, it seems like an unnecessary step.

Daliden asked: Have you considered the use of 3D sound and bind-able, per-recorded sound bites for the characters (“Help me!”), allowing you to identify the direction from which the plea for help is coming from?

No, we haven’t considered this yet.

Azhadi asked: Do you plan to give Equipment & Material also a sort of Banes & Boons system to add depth into the choice of equipment, so there isn’t the [overall] truly best type of armor or the best material, but maybe the best for my play-style? Like iron plate armor gives a +xx resistance for slice and earth-element but also suffers from -xx resistance to blunt and lightning, as an example.

Absolutely. We want crafting to be as dynamic and interesting as possible and having that level of diversity in terms of advantages and disadvantages, is at the heart of what we believe will be fun for our players. We want Crafters to feel that they can really put their mark on what they make. The more options we can give them to do so, the greater sense of ownership and pride they are likely to have in what they craft and sell.

Karinuna asked: Will we see some parts of Mark’s stories as a Cinematic Intro, or what kind of Intros will we get?

Not likely. As much as Mark would love to see some of his idears as cinematics, it’s not in the budget for us.

Sornin asked: How will the lore of Camelot Unchained be communicated within the game world in light of the absence of the typical PvE channels such as quests and NPCs?

This will be done through out-of-game devices such as the Becoming™ tales as well as such in-game items such as libraries and hopefully, our take on a ToK-like instrument.

Meddyck asked: If after launch major changes are made to how a certain race’s boons and banes work for balance reasons, will characters of that race get to respec their boons and banes?

Yes. We might also allow them a full character respec if the B&B changes were significant enough to warrant it.

That’s it for this round folks! Thanks again for your participation 🙂

-Renée Machyousky, Community Manager, City State Entertainment