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Page 1 of 4Even though the internet wasn't in its prime until recent years, online games were around long before then. Excluding games on bulletin board systems, one of the first games that was played entirely online was Neverwinter Nights. Based upon SSI's successful AD&D "gold box" games, the original Neverwinter Nights (not the upcoming NWN from BioWare) was played by logging into America Online for as much as $5/hour. Pretty expensive, even by today's standards.
Many years later, Origin brought online gaming to a whole new level. They released Ultima Online, the very first online game that offered a "persistent world", where each character could affect the environment during their course of playing it. Not only that, but you could literally build a "life" for your character by becoming proficient in a variety of skills, forming allegiances with other players into guilds, and even construct houses, keeps, or castles out upon the landscape for your own personal use. It was after UO that the acronym MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) was used to describe these large scale server-based games.
In March of 1999, Verant Interactive released EverQuest, providing most of the same online gaming fundamentals as UO, but with high resolution 3D graphics and intricately designed outdoor zones and dungeons. Ultima Online provided outdoor areas and dungeons to explore as well, but they lacked the depth and detail that EverQuest provided. These enhancements made EverQuest a huge success, currently reporting as many as 300,000 paying customers (at $10/month). But all of the MMORPGs to date have had their flaws, and a plethora of contenders are creating games that promise a better gaming experience than we have been given thus far. One of these contenders is Mythic Entertainment, who is currently hard at work building a game based on Arthurian legend entitled Dark Age of Camelot.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Mythic, this is not their first developing of an online game. Responsible for eleven online games, playable via America Online, the Centropolis Gaming Center, Gamestorm, and ENGAGE, Mythic is very experienced at what they do. So the question is... how does Dark Age of Camelot compare to its previous endeavors and to other online adversaries?
Well, to start off, let me say that DAoC is currently in beta testing, so many features of the game have not been implemented yet and many features will change before the game's release. However, the game plays magnificently for the stage it is at, with one of three realms (the Albion Realm) currently playable.
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