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Page 3 of 4Advancement in Dark Age of Camelot is similar to that of EverQuest. Your character simply fights creatures that are within their means, and experience points are tallied after each battle. The tougher the foe (relative to your character's level), the more experience obtained. The only difference between DAoC's experience system and EverQuest's is that DAoC uses a point-based system. For example, after defeating your opponent, you will actually see how many experience points you've gained. In order to maximize your potential, grouping is very much encouraged. You can create a group of up to eight characters (a welcome expansion upon previous MMORPGs), with experience bonuses for more people in a single group. Soloing is possible, but grouping allows for much faster advancement.
Depending upon your class and chosen guild, your character may receive additional skills, abilities, or spells upon gaining each level. You will also receive a set amount of specialization points that can be used for training by your guild trainer. For example, a Wizard can specialize in any of the following elements: fire, ice, earth, and air. Increasing in level will make your character more powerful, but adding specialization points will further increase your overall effectiveness.
Once your character has advanced to some of the highest levels attainable, they will be able to participate in PvP (Player versus Player) combat against players from other realms. Not only will this give higher level characters something to do, but it will also allow them to accumulate (Realm Points), which will effectively make the character more powerful by granting them special titles and bonuses to their skills and statistics. Those who don't wish to be part of PvP don't have to be, but a character of equal level who does participate in PvP will essentially be more powerful. Up until now, MMORPGs of the past have never really implemented a good PvP system, which is why I feel that this is one of the strongest features Dark Age of Camelot has to offer over its predecessors.
With the addition of PvP, however, restrictions must be put into place to ensure that chaos doesn't reign. To avoid lower level characters being victims to senseless PvP combat, Mythic plans to restrict PvP to only the furthest reaches of each realm (which they have labeled the "frontier"), so that the lower level regions will be impenetrable by the enemy. By giving each realm its own unique protected adventuring areas, characters will be able to advance to medium level without having to worry about being marauded by other high level players. Additionally, there will be no way to participate in PvP within the same realm, although Mythic has claimed that they will probably have a dueling system of some sort or special (arenas) where characters of the same realm can test their mettle against one another.
To give further incentive for players to become active in PvP and to form raiding parties against opposing realms, Mythic plans to implement powerful relics into the game as well. Looting another realm's relic will effectively make your realm more powerful and, of course, make the other realm less powerful.