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While I’m not personally too familiar with Mythic Entertainment’s Realm versus Realm MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it from people who played it back in the day. And whether you’d like to learn what made the game so special or if you’re just looking for some nostalgia, you might be interested in this Eurogamer retrospective that looks back at Dark Age of Camelot's golden age. Here are the opening paragraphs:
I never understood why people would race towards a level cap until I played Dark Age of Camelot. Why on earth would someone sacrifice sleep to power a character to maximum level? Why the rush - we'll all get there at some point. You'll run out of things to do. You won't have people to play with.
I was missing the point. It started to sink in when I had sunk in, inadvertently becoming a part of the race myself. I hadn't meant to. I started the game without any real idea of what I was doing or where I was going. To me, everything was new. But as I grew, and the game encouraged me towards other people, I began to learn about the wider world.
Everyone knew there was a war. It was the premise of the game. It was on the box. Three kingdoms all at war with one another. Hibernia, the realm based on celtic folklore, Midgard, the realm of Norse mythology, and Albion, home of Arthurian legend. I knew, the moment I entered the world, as a cleric in Albion, who my sworn enemies were, but it would be a long time before I actually saw them. The war was a long way off. My day-to-day was a tedious grind.
An old-school grind, I'll have you know. Progress in Dark Age of Camelot wasn't based on going quest to quest as in World of Warcraft. Oh no. In Camelot, levelling meant finding a monster spawn and staying there. You didn't have private dungeons, so you had to jostle for positions, and good groups were - always are - hard to find. When you found both, you clung to them. You could be in the same spot with the same group all day. It gave everyone a lot of time to talk.
Talk did a lot in Dark Age of Camelot. It spread rumours, it spread legend, and until I'd been out to the frontline and seen it for myself, it fuelled my imagination. Had I heard about this norseman skald called Rastaf? They say he's nearly level 50 - already! He appears out of nowhere and kills anyone he comes across. God he sounds cool. And did I hear about the lurikeen enchanter Greyswandir? He hadn't slept for three days to get to level 50.