Dark Age of Camelot Interview

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Vivendi Universal Games
Developer:Mythic Entertainment
Release Date:2001-10-09
  • Massively Multiplayer,Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Third-Person
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
Recently, we managed to track down Matt Firor of Mythic Entertainment for several questions concerning their forthcoming MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot.  Here's what he had to say:

GB: According to the official website, quests will have random steps of completion so that two characters will most likely have to perform a quest differently (or in a different order) from each other. Will any quest items be located on rare NPCs? If so, even if the steps are in a different order, wouldn't this same NPC be (camped) for a critical piece needed to complete the quest? If not, how does Mythic intend on making quest items available (i.e. randomly found on dungeon floors, etc)?

Matt: Yes, quest items will be located on rare NPCs - but the NPC will drop the item ONLY if the person killing it (or someone else from his group) is on that quest, and has performed all the other necessary steps in the quest. Also, each person may perform a quest only once, so they may only get one of each quest item, no matter how many times they kill the monster. So, if a quest monster is simply killed by a high level guy, the quest item will not drop. This will significantly reduce powerful-item farming.

GB: One problem with previous MMORPGs (in their infancy anyway) has been the implementation of a (money sink). Characters built up so much wealth that equipment was inflated proportionally. How does Mythic plan on maintaining the value of coin in the game? Ideally, once a sufficient amount of money has been made available, every time a gold piece is given out, one should be taken away (by purchasing, etc). Aside from purchasing equipment, where else will coin be needed?

Matt: There's no easy answer for this one, but we're going to try our best to limit access to money in the game. Player's weapons and armor will degrade over time, requiring frequent repairs/sharpening, and will eventually have to be scrapped and new weapons and armor bought or quested for. Most spellcasters will be able to buy (focus) items that make their spellcasting more effective, but these objects also will require maintenance and will need to be upgraded after a certain period of time.

GB: During the EverQuest beta, we were told that the optimal server population for its release would be 1000 players. The game was released, reality hit, and some of the higher traffic servers had as many as 2500 players on during peak hours. Needless to say, overpopulated servers can be extremely frustrating (and ruin the fun) for many reasons. Will DAoC suffer from this same problem? What measures are being taken in order to alleviate server overpopulation? Is Mythic prepared to have as many servers in place as it needs, even if the game is a huge success and goes above and beyond projected sales?

Matt: Our general baseline is less than 1000 players per realm per server, so about 2500-3000 total per shard. However, the world of Camelot is much larger than that of EverQuest (at least before the two expansions). This number, of course, is subject to change based on player input and the results of later-stage testing.

GB: Once the game is released, can we expect to see other areas of the game open up as time goes on? For example, Verant opened up the different Planes of Existence after releasing EverQuest.

Matt: Yes, we're going to have expansions - but first things first! We need to get the original game done before we start working about what comes next.

GB: Currently, the beta allows eight players per group. However, for large scale battles, it becomes a necessity to have communication between as many as 30-40 people (to strategize, etc). Will there be any way (other than a zone broadcast) to communicate within a (network) of groups?

Matt: Camelot will allow high Realm-point Realm leaders to communicate with multiple groups at once, making a sort of linked (uber group). How many groups are allowed to be linked together is dependent on testing.