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GJ Hib/Merlin : DAOC Discussion

Posted: July 30th, 2004, 10:26 pm
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From Matt Firor, on the Herald:

Soon Dark Age of Camelot will celebrate its 3rd anniversary, and with this anniversary comes changes that many of you have long been waiting for. Now that our players have had a chance to become accustomed to New Frontiers and the changes that came with that expansion, we are taking a serious look at some of the issues the community is facing both in RvR, as well as in character leveling in general.

As Mark said in his post yesterday, I'm going to specifically address the changes to the game's leveling system, as well as population balance and help for "underdog" Realms.

As all of you know, there are Realm balance problems on some servers, where one Realm simply has more active players - an advantage that leads them to dominate the RvR battlefield. There is also a situation on some servers where one Realm dominates the RvR battlefield, even though they don't physically have greater numbers. Taken to the extreme, this situation results in such demoralized opponents that the other Realms see no purpose in continuing to fight.

Finally, in any MMO, eventually there comes a time when most of the players online are experienced players and are playing characters that are mid or advanced level. This makes it much harder and tedious for a new player (or an experienced player leveling a new character) to advance their character in levels, as they cannot find other players to group with or to help them.

We are in the process of implementing new features and changes in Camelot that address these concerns. I'll go into detail on each one below. Please be assured that development of Dark Age of Camelot is an ongoing process, and we'll keep working on these items and others until we're satisfied. We would like to thank our volunteer team leads, who provided feedback for the earliest drafts of these proposals.

General Leveling Changes

Now that Camelot is nearly three years old, it is becoming harder and harder for low-level players to find groups, which results in long leveling times and frustration. It’s also a challenge for those players to enjoy the low-level game as much as they could. As such, we will implement some changes that will help all players level faster, no matter what server they play on.

- We are implementing a system where all characters will now be granted a free level every seven days, assuming the character has attained a level by standard methods in that time. In other words, if you play regularly and attain at least one level in a seven day period, you'll be given a free one, as well as some coin. This means that even a very casual player can gain levels fast enough to get to the mid and high levels quickly.

- We will significantly increase the Camp Bonus so you'll be given far more experience for fighting monsters that aren't being camped by other players. The camp bonus will still deteriorate over time, so you'll have to find other monsters to fight once you have fully "camped out" the area.

Underpopulated Realm Leveling Changes

We have made some changes in the game over the last few months to try to alleviate the problem where one Realm dominates a server. So far, these additions have not made enough of a difference, so we're now going to give players even more incentive to play in underpopulated Realms. The purpose of these changes is to attract new low level players (both players new to the game as well as experience players who want to start another character) to underpopulated Realms on specific servers. The more new characters that are created on these Realms/Servers, the higher their population will be - and with these changes, they will level to RvR status in less time than in overpopulated Realms.

When these changes are implemented, we will list the Realms (per server) that will receive these additional bonuses.

- We will increase the frequency of the "free" level (see "General Leveling Changes", above) to as much as two days - down from seven - depending on the amount that the Realm is underpopulated.

- Additional Camp Bonuses for these underpopulated Realms, meaning more experience per monster kill.

- Bonus experience, RP, and coin will be given for fighting enemy players in the Frontiers - this includes additional experience gains for Artifact leveling.

ToA Master Level Encounter Changes

We know that Trials of Atlantis Master Levels are considered just as much a part of leveling a character as standard experience, and because of this, we are looking at ways to make that process faster and less cumbersome. To start, we are now identifying the Master Level encounters that are most frustrating to you, and are streamlining them to make them easier and less time-consuming. I don't have any specifics for you at this moment, but we are as committed to making the ToA leveling faster, just as we are the standard leveling process.

We are also looking at other ways to make the process faster above and beyond making encounters easier, but I don't have a specific information for you at this moment. We'll keep you posted.

Relic Changes

Now that the dust has settled a bit on New Frontiers, it is obvious that it is too easy for a dominant Realm to take all Relics and hold on to them. Because of this, we are making changes to ensure that it remains relatively difficult to take enemy Relics, but is much easier to get yours back if they do get taken.

- Your Realm's Relics still start out (and when under your control, will be displayed) in the Relic Temples behind the Relic wall, as they do currently.

- All captured relics will now be placed in one of your controlled frontier keeps (in your frontier only). Only one Relic can be placed in any given keep, and cannot be picked up by the same realm once it has been placed.

- Relics kept in frontier keeps cannot be picked up by an enemy until the keep is captured and controlled by the Realm picking it up. Once a Relic is picked up, it must be moved back to a keep you control in your frontier (enemy Relic) or to your Relic Temple (your Realm's Relic).

- Any Realm can capture any Relic - they no longer must own their own Relics in order to take enemy Relics; however, Relic bonuses on captured Relics are only given if a Realm controls both its own as well as the enemy Relic of that type.

Underdog RvR Changes

To alleviate the situation where one Realm can dominate in RvR by taking all or most of the keeps and Relics, we plan to create a system where the more "control" one Realm has on the RvR battlefield, the harder it is for them to hold on to keeps and Relics.

- In order to make it more difficult to fully dominate a Realm in the first place, we will make it so you can no longer teleport from your Realm to the three "inner" keeps in an enemy Realm. You can still port to the four beachhead keeps.

- The fewer keeps that a Realm controls, the faster hookpoints will refresh. Also Guards, hookpoint item costs and keep/tower maintenance costs will lessen. And, siege weapons will do more and more damage to keeps controlled by a Realm that has more keeps than the other Realms. The purpose of these changes is, of course, to scale these refresh times, costs, and damage taken down if a Realm is being significantly beaten.

- Keep and Tower Guard levels increase significantly as your Realm loses keeps.

- Keep upgrade times will scale down based on the number of keeps a Realm controls. This is already in the game, but we are making it so if a Realm controls only 1 or two keeps, they get extremely fast upgrade times, and if a Realm is totally dominating (as in they control over 15 keeps), then their upgrade times will be longer.

- If a Realm controls many more keeps than the other Realms, now "flames" will appear on their realmwar map more slowly, and in extreme cases, not at all. This means that if a Realm totally dominates, they will not see flames on the realmwar map when the other Realms attack their towers and keeps. There is a middle ground when flames appear more slowly, giving underdog Realms time to assault the keep without everyone knowing about it.

- Please note that keeps containing a Relic (see "relic changes", above) are not eligible for these bonuses; they act normally.

You'll start to see these changes make their way to Pendragon as soon as next week, but it will take us some time for all changes to get to the live servers. I'm sure that some of these items will change based on player feedback and testing, so be sure to let us know what you think, and to help test once the changes go to Pendragon.

Guess the boycotworked

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