Over the weekend, there was one last issue that seemed to be running around the blogosphere – and that was the issue of old games. Could you go back? Would it be fun if you did?
- Ravious returned to LoTRO after time in Guild Wars 2, and ended up with an entirely new perspective on quests versus the “Hearts” system – “I think that the Guild Wars 2 system is one of the best for an MMO, but I also think it is important to step back for a moment. In my case, LOTRO helped me do that because it allowed me to clear my mind of the subjective glee of playing Guild Wars 2. I had to return to restriction with quest chains to truly see the Guild Wars 2 system.”
- Syncaine looks at the idea of returning to old MMORPGs as his own personal favourite, Darkfall, looms into view once again – ” An MMO’s design determines who it attracts. There is a reason The Mittani and players like him play EVE and not GW2. And should EVE ever turn into GW2, those players will leave.”
- And Beau Hindeman at Massively returns to a particularly old favourite – Dark Age of Camelot, which he finds still very playable – “My theory on graphics is that they can stay stuck in time, with barely an update, for years and years. Look at EverQuest or Ultima Online, for example. Like Dark Age of Camelot, these games can pretty much remain how they are for the rest of time and we can still appreciate them. “
Personally, I’ve recently been playing Thief: The Dark Age, originally released in 1998 – and it’s astonishing just how playable it is and how complex it feels. The graphics are awful, but other than that, it’s still extremely playable, exciting, and scary.
Have you revisted an old favourite? How did you find it?
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10 years ago today, the game Dark Age Of Camelot launched from the little-known developer Mythic Entertainment. It rocketed up the charts, and quickly became the first real competition to Everquest, standing as one of the preeminent MMOs until WoW launched 3 years later.
It’s the game from which much of the current PvP model in all games originated. It’s the game where “QQ” was first used. It’s a huge chunk of MMO history, and it’s still going today.
Scott Jennings, writer of the blog Broken Toys, was one of the developers on DAOC, and today he’s handed his blog over to one of his colleagues on the game, Matt Firor, who was the producer at the time of launch. Matt takes us through the highs and the lows of the launch day and soon afterward in this great article –
“A group of us formed in Rob’s office, talking and generally basking in the glory of the moment. Each of those 20,000 (max peak players that night) was a paying customer, and each represented significant revenue to us (remember we were very small at the time). It appeared that we finally were going to make money on one of our products. We were giddy with excitement – everything was going awesomely.
Brian Axelson, the 21 year old whiz-kid programmer/designer who had been working for us since he was 16 – responsible for inventing, implementing, and designing Camelot’s combat system, including Combat Styles – was so happy he slammed his fist down on Rob’s desk and said, “Ain’t nothing going to bring this house down!”.
At that moment, all the servers crashed, simultaneously.
We all looked at one another in dread, and sprinted back to our offices, each checking on the part of the game we were responsible for. Everything checked out – nothing seemed wrong. But the servers were down and wouldn’t reboot.”
If you’re a bit of a geek, or you’ve ever been involved in the launch of anything on the Internet (which includes me on both counts), you’ll find this article fascinating, funny, and very familiar. The sudden “aargh, it’s all gone horribly wrong” panic of a server going down probably sounds very familiar to anyone who runs a reasonably high-traffic website. And whether you’re a geek or not, this is a rare insight into one of the big moments that shaped the MMO world we have today.
Read it, and enjoy one of the tales of how all this stuff started, a decade or more ago.
Did you play DAOC? Were you there at the launch? Or does this launch story sound familiar from elsewhere?
Quote taken directly from Matt’s article .
Find Broken Toys at http://www.brokentoys.org/ .
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