Sunday, July 15, 2007

DAOC Journal 07-15-07

Dark Age of Camelot (DAOC) is an older MMORPG with a medieval fantasy theme. The game is set in a fictional Arthurian Britain. You select one of three realms (British, Viking, or Celtic) and a starting type of character. I picked Hibernia (the Celtic realm) and chose Nature as my path.

It took me an hour to get my bearings in the game and start moving my character through the story (and levels). The controls are standard MMO fair, so it was more learning how DAOC does inventory and skills.

At level 5 I picked Druid as my character class. I have access to healing and buffing spells. I have a minor heal and a big heal and a pile of buffs (strength, armor, shield, attack speed...etc.) No heals over time though. No alternate forms like cats or bears, but I do get a pet and some rooting and poisoning spells. I like playing pet classes and healers, so this should be a good fit for me.

The graphics are bad when you compare them to latest batch of MMOs, but that's not a fair comparison. Or is it? Mythic wants me to pay $15 a month to play, but so does Blizzard and Turbine and NCSoft. DAOC graphics are poor when you judge them against WOW, LOTRO, or COV/COH. I feel bad for knocking DAOC on graphics, but I must.

One of WOW’s strengths was its UI customization. I was a real add-on junkie. My UI was so tweaked that there was no remnant of the original UI left. Any other game I play has some big shoes to fill. So far I've found I can reposition all the different pieces of my UI in DAOC and change their transparency. I moved more things towards the bottom of the screen and put them at about 50% alpha. I'll have to check the online help and forums for more info on UI tweaking. DAOC doesn't loose any points on UI, I've seen worse (Neverwinter Nights, I'm looking at you).

DAOC lets me have multiple quests going at once (typical kill, collect, deliver). I usually have a few going at once, which feels right to me. I hate games that force me to do one quest at a time in a very linear mode. At the other extreme is having too many quests. Do I really need to have 20 quests? Um, no.

I want to check out the Realm vs. Realm gameplay, but doubt I'll get to it since I'm on a 14-day free trial and I'll be out of town about half that. Maybe I'll stick around for one month.

My first impressions of DAOC were favorable. I'm a little more pumped for Mythic's next MMO, Warhammer, after seeing what they've done with DAOC.

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