Dark Age of Camelot's lead designer takes to Kickstarter with Camelot Unchained
Adventure games and isometric RPGs are doing rather well at the moment, thanks to the nostalgia-tinged Kickstarter explosion. MMOs, on the other hand, cost loads of money, which might make you think they're unsuitable for the relatively low budgets of crowdfunding. Camelot Unchained disagrees. It's a planned MMO from City State Entertainment - a studio founded by the ex-Mythic dev Mark Jacobs, lead designer of Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online. It's set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, hence the "Unchained". Good job they didn't call it Camelot Uncut. That would be a very different game.
Perhaps naturally, given the amount of money that's feasible from a Kickstarter bid, Camelot Unchained is an extremely focused MMO. The game centres around what Jacobs calls Tri-Realm combat (a non-copyright infringing name for DAoC's Realm vs Realm). There's no PvE planned, freeing the team up to concentrate on these specific faction wars, without worrying about balancing for NPC battles as well.
One way they're doing that is with an asymmetrical class system - meaning each class will be different depending on the faction chosen. With five classes planned, CSE say they will follow the classic MMO Trinity, but that one of the classes is specifically dedicated to crafting. That doesn't just mean weaving incrementally better gloves for all eternity - crafters can erect turrets, traps and defences in battle, making them a necessary part of the RvR.
As an MMO, Camelot Unchained will follow a subscription model. While pricing details haven't been announced, CSE say the sub will be "less than the current accepted norm for MMORPGs."
On top of the money raised through Kickstarter, CSE have also secured an extra $3 million - two of those millions coming from Jacobs personally. Which means, even though the team's plan is clearly ambitious, it's not quite as frugal an exercise as a purely Kickstarted MMO would be. And it's off to a great start. After two days, they've raised nearly $720,000 of their $2 million goal.