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Dark Age of Camelot is getting a free-to-play mode called 'Endless Conquest'

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The fantasy MMO Dark Age of Camelot has been around since 2001, even through the demise of original developer Mythic Entertainment in 2014. Last week, producer John Thornill of Broadsword Online Games, which took over the game prior to Mythic's closure, announced big plans for 2018, which will include the rollout of a new free-to-play option called Endless Conquest. 

"The Endless Conquest will be a new account type that allows players to enjoy Dark Age of Camelot through level 50 (and beyond) for free, without a paid subscription, forever," Thornhill explained. "Endless Conquest players will be able to level all the way to 50 on a limited selection of classes, participate fully in RvR [Realm vs Realm], and earn Master Levels, Champion Levels, and Realm Rank—to a point." 

That "point," detailed in the FAQ, would be restrictions on character slots, classes, home ownership, tradeskills, XP and coin gain rates, and other aspects of the full game, some details of which are still being nailed down. But the core elements of DAoC, including access to all expansions up to and including Labyrinth of the Minotaur (which, for the record, came out in 2006) are all there. Plus it's free, which is always a positive. 

Endless Conquest is currently limited to new accounts, although the developers are giving thought to enabling owners of lapsed accounts to transfer over. 

The new mode also opens the door to an "alternative ruleset server," although that's still a long way down the road. "As things stand now, there are two major obstacles preventing the launch of one in the near term (as in this next year)," Thornhill wrote. "The first is that everyone seems to have a different view of what the perfect alternative server ruleset would include. We knew this going in, and feel confident we can deliver a ruleset that would be both highly engaging and appealing to a wide swath of former and new players alike."

"That being said—as we have previously stated, we would never create an alternative ruleset server unless we were confident in the Ywain server’s population and health. This is the second and much more challenging obstacle. The Endless Conquest is going to be a huge step in overcoming it." 

Dark Age of Camelot: Endless Conquest is currently expected to go live in the fall of 2018.   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.