Submitted by: Uriel on 11/30/2004 3:54:41 PM
In the first step toward weaning CoC off of the Herald XML, as well as to provide more detailed information, I present to you a new Styles Database.
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This database includes the styles for Catacombs classes, but everyone should remember that in-game style delves are often wrong and also that much can change quickly during a beta - some of the information I have may not be accurate anymore.
The new database is a relatively big change, so I'll be leaving both it and the old pages up for the time being while the kinks are worked out. For the most part, the actual data for the styles should be the same. There are still some advantages to the new database, however:
Please let me know if you encounter any problems, or if you have a suggestion or question.
- You can display the style lines available to a single class or display a single style line, whereas before you could only show the styles per realm (though that option is still available, if you want it).
- The database can display "alternate" versions of styles, which thus far have not been added to the Herald's XML and so were not in the old pages (or, as far as I know, on any style lists). Prior to Catacombs, there were only a few of these styles, but three of the five Catacombs classes have alternate versions of existing styles.
- Within a few days, I plan to find a good way to display more information on the special effects of styles.
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Submitted by: Uriel on 11/30/2004 2:50:42 PM
Most of the noticeable stuff being changes to the UI:
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The rest of the notes are in the discussion thread.
- - Tweaked the colors and alpha on the new Catacombs-style name font, to more closely match the old name colors. Your current target should be much more visible now.
- - In response to player feedback, we have significantly revised the Catacombs dye system to more closely match the existing in-game dye colors.
- - Using the pregame options menu, you may now toggle individual races and genders between the new Catacombs-style Figures and the Classic Figures.
- - Added an option in the pregame options menu to toggle the newer Catacombs-style name font, or the Classic Name font.
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Submitted by: Uriel on 11/30/2004 2:45:35 PM
Nothing really major in this one, as Mythic is probably finishing up on Catacombs-related stuff, but there are a couple changes that should make RvR a bit better:
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You can read the rest of the patch notes here.
- - The re-use time of Forceful Zephyr has been increased from 2 minutes to 15 minutes to make the ability more situational in use as opposed to something that is used in every fight.
- - Ranged attacks on keep doors will now require line of sight to the keep door.
Submitted by: Uriel on 11/23/2004 11:00:12 AM
Thanks to some master level 1 raids this weekend, we now know what all of the Catacombs classes get in terms of Master Levels:
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Heretic: Banelord, Perfecter
Bainshee: Convoker, Stormlord
Vampiir: Banelord, Warlord
Valkyrie: Stormlord, Warlord
Warlock: Banelord, Convoker
Submitted by: Uriel on 11/22/2004 3:50:45 PM
Have you ever wanted to support the site, bring others the information you find, or maybe just have your name prominently displayed where thousands of people per day will see it? Do you spend a lot of time reading DAoC fansites or message boards?
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Right now Classes of Camelot is looking for new staffers, as the old ones are gone. You've probably noticed that our news has been, to say the least, pretty slow; updates of some of our pages have also been less common than I'd like. There are two different positions we need to fill - though multiple people can have the same position...
You may be wondering about perks. The site is completely non-profit, so there's no money involved, of course. Generally, active staff at fansites receive access to beta tests. Other than that, there are no tangible rewards - but there is the knowledge that what you have done has helped someone, even if in a small way.
- News. To be a news poster you have to be willing to peruse all the various DAoC news sources (primarily the Herald) and post what you find that might be of interest to CoC visitors. You also need to be able to write a coherent sentence. Knowledge of basic HTML (line breaks, href tags, etc) is necessary.
- Information. Info gatherers should be able to find the information needed and make changes to the appropriate files. Knowledge of HTML and FTP basics are a plus.
To apply, simply send me an email (email@example.com) with whatever credentials you think may be relevant. Please apply only if you are sure you will have the time (at least a half hour per day for news posters, and several hours a week for info gatherers) and the desire to continue for a few months or more.
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Submitted by: Uriel on 11/16/2004 1:47:37 PM
The RA lists have been udpated for the Heretic, Vampiir, and Bainshee - except for the class-specific RR5 abilities, which no one has seen yet.
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Master Level Abilities are updated for the Valkyrie (Stormlord and Warlord) and Warlock (Banelord and Convoker).
Submitted by: Uriel on 11/15/2004 11:31:14 AM
All the Catacombs class pages have been updated with what information I've been able to find since Friday - mostly level titles, thanks to the many testers I messaged out of the blue.
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Submitted by: Uriel on 11/11/2004 5:37:38 PM
On most of them half the info isn't there, but I'll be adding more information as I get it - for now, most of the really basic information is up.
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Styles, realm abilities, MLs, and the screenshots should be updated/made available tomorrow; spells will be updated whenever Mythic releases delve information.
Submitted by: Uriel on 11/11/2004 10:42:21 AM
Forgot to post this along with the review yesterday - here are the new Catacombs bonuses I know of (some may be missing, however). NONE of these will work in RvR.
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Spryness - Increased chance to evade
Deflection - Increased chance to parry
Bracing - Increased chance to block
Reduced XP loss - exactly what it says; reduces the exp you lost when you die and when you release
Arrow Recovery - Gives you an increased chance to not lose an arrow when firing
To-hit bonus - A bonus to chance to hit (in melee and perhaps archery only, presumably)
Style Cost Reduction - styles cost less END
Ablative - Reduces damage taken by the given % when hit on that piece of armor
Bladeturn reinforcement - Gives you a chance for a bladeturn effect not to be used up when you are hit
Negative effects duration reduction - Reduces the length of negative effects. Doesnít seem to work on rez sickness
Reactionary bonus - increases damage bonus of reactional styles
I'm trying to find out what the caps are right now; I'll update this as soon as I know...
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Submitted by: Uriel on 11/10/2004 6:15:05 PM
I wasnít prepared for the NDA to drop today, so this is going to be quicker than Iíd like; but the same could be said of Catacombs itself. Iíll organize this review along the lines Mythic did on their Catacombs site: New Classes, New Models, New Content, Instances, and Updated Graphics.
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I hope to have info on them up tomorrow; they are certainly unique, however, and I expect there is a lot of RvR balancing yet to be done. There are discussions and FAQs posted on some of the new class message boards already.
The new models are, obviously, very nice - everyone has seen screenshots. Again, I hope to have something more on them tomorrow (a huge number of screenshots taken during beta), but for now my general impressions:
The customization of faces is a big deal, since nearly everyone thought their character was ugly when first logging in. Itís also a very detailed process - you can change the size of your eyes, jawline, nose... and races with unusual facial features can changes those as well. An Inconnu can change the size of his ears; a Shar can change the size of his horns. And yes, they DO let you change existing characters; everyone will have a Ďface respecí for each character; there is also an NPC in-game that gives you another shot at it, which may or may not stay around after release.
Dye colors are Ďwashed outí - this happened before, and so itís assumed to be a bug, but Mythic hasnít really confirmed that. Certain armors (some ToA ones with multiple colors, like Volcanus armor) donít take dyes well at all; others, like the Oceanus armor, look great dyed.
Mythic has said that the content in Catacombs is meant for levels 1-50. The pre-50 content is good - there are a number of quests which give unheard of experience for very little effort. Doing the quests should allow even a player who has very little time per day to play to advance quickly. Instances will help with that too, but more on those in a bit. Two or three step quests (essentially a slightly extended kill task) often net you a full bubble of experience.
The new zones are fairly drab. Each realm has its own Ďentranceí area and its own city - these are nicely designed. In Albion itís a sewer and a... well, a fancier sewer, really. Beyond those areas, zones are sort of shared between realms (in the way ToA zones are); there are some small variations, but nothing to make exploring those areas in multiple realms an exciting plan. The zones often feel somewhat confined - because a) you always have a ceiling of some kind over your head and b) they ARE confined. Zones in Catacombs are, generally, just plain smaller than zones elsewhere. Further, many of the zones have distance issues - some have an inordinate number of corners, while most of the rest have ridges or hills every few feet. And in what will no doubt annoy pet classes to no end, each zone in Catacombs has its own loading screen, which makes Catacombs feel even smaller. One thing you will not see very often in Catacombs is wide open spaces; not flat ones, at least.
The content in Catacombs is meant for those still leveling. If you are level 50 already and have no plans of leveling again, there is only a single zone (Dark Spire) that might appeal to you; itís not finished just yet, so itís hard to say whether it will be a good spot to visit. One of Mythicís main goals in this expansion seems to have been to avoid adding ANYTHING that will affect RvR in the slightest. There are a number of new item bonuses (see below for a list); but they donít work in RvR (some arenít even going to work in RvR zones). Dark Spire items may be worth hunting for... or paying for, at least.
Instances are a good idea that may or may not be correctly implemented. They are useful for a solo player with only a short amount of time; they might appeal to those interested in going off alone and hunting down a boss (each instance has its own boss, which cons the same as the highest level mobs in the instance, but generally has nasty tricks).
An instance is created when a player goes through a special doorway. These doorways are located in various areas - throughout Catacombs but also in classic dungeons. A player may enter an instance alone, or with a group; multiple ungrouped players cannot be in the same instance together, however. If you enter an instance alone and later want to join with another player, you can invite that person to your group (no doubt this is the reason we are finally able to invite people across regions); when they zone into the instance, they will be in the one you are in.
The monsters in an instance never, ever respawn. When youíve killed something, itís dead and it stays that way. It makes for good hunting for a solo player; if you choose the right instance, you can kill a bunch of mobs at the entrance, leave the instance, and come right back to a new group of them. The lack of spawning may be a problem for groups though; itís quite likely a static camp elsewhere will be faster experience.
There is almost no loot from instances other than coin (though thereís a lot of that; instances off of classic dungeons drop at least five times as much gold as their static counterparts) and aurulite. Aurulite is similar to Darkness Falls seals, in that you trade it for items. Aurulite comes in bigger stacks, however - it takes around 600 aurulite to buy an item of the highest tier (level 49). Aurulite items are not particularly high utility; they do, however, have bonuses you wonít find on spellcrafted items - stat cap increases mainly, but also some of the PvE-only Catacombs bonuses. Each instance boss also has items it can drop.
Instances scale in level depending on the level makeup of your group. A level 50 entering an instance meant for level 30s will find the monsters have increased in con - not so far as to match an instance meant for a level 50 (if there were one), but far enough that the whole thing wonít be grey. Similarly, if you take a group into an instance that would normally be too high for you, the mobs will scale down in level a bit - enough that youíll probably be able to kill them. No matter what your group size or level, you should be able to find an instance that will scale to a level range you like.
Monsters in instances lack a ďcamp bonusĒ - instead thereís an ďinstance bonusĒ, which apparently has something to do with the number of instances that have been created, or currently running, or something. Even if thereís only one instance created recently, however, itís a good deal smaller than full camp bonus.
There are three things that are going to be problems for leveling in instances:
1) In Albion at least, nearly every instance is made up of a lot of hallways and stairs. Casters are going to have a hard time soloing in them, as itís often impossible to get much range.
2) Artifacts donít all level in every instance. While some Artifacts will level in any given instance, those with multiple Artifacts to level are better off choosing to hunt in the Frontier or PoC. This fits with the overall theme of giving level 50 players very little to do in Catacombs...
3) Buffbots canít be used - unless theyíre grouped with you. A lot of people are going to be happy about that, of course, but players with buffbots will find that leveling in a static zone is probably much faster.
Overall instances are interesting and a good tool for the solo leveler (the solo leveler without a buffbot, anyway), but groups and anyone who uses a buffbot will probably find them less effective than good static spawns.
Another thing thatís going to be (hopefully) expanded on tomorrow, but... the dungeons look good. They look better than most of the Catacombs zones, in fact.
Should you get Catacombs? Well, it probably wonít hurt. The new models are fun for a while, though many will probably turn them off in RvR. Thereís a few daysí worth of exploring for a level 50. If you are leveling a character now or plan to do so eventually, Catacombs will be very helpful, if only for the quests. If you're a player with either little time to play or who enjoys soloing, Catacombs is definitely for you.
However, if youíre a level 50 who doesnít plan to level another character, and you donít particularly care about spiffy new models, you can skip Catacombs. There are some innovations in Catacombs, but Mythic has aimed not to make Catacombs ďnecessaryĒ - and theyíve succeeded. What is yet to be seen is whether theyíve made it desirable enough without crossing the line into necessity.
If you have questions about the expansion, visit the discussion thread, and Iíll try to answer them...
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Submitted by: Uriel on 11/8/2004 12:04:45 AM
Bad news if you're on a computer that was top of the line 5 or 6 years ago... from the Herald:
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As of today's Pendragon patch, the Classic Camelot game engine will no longer be supported for the Pendragon Server. Classic users who wish to play on Pendragon will need to upgrade to the Shrouded Isles engine to continue to update and play on the test server.
Classic Camelot users will still be able to play on live servers using the Classic Camelot game engine until the launch of the Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs expansion. At launch of the expansion, the Classic Camelot game engine will no longer be supported. Classic Camelot users will not be able to patch or play on any server with the Classic Camelot engine. Classic users who wish to continue to play Dark Age of Camelot must upgrade to the Shrouded Isles engine.
For users who do not wish to get the Shrouded Isles retail expansion at this time, the Shrouded Isles engine (with no Shrouded Isles content) is available for free download from Fileplanet. Please see http://www.camelotherald.com for a link to the full game download. Please note that you will not need the 7-day trial CD key for the game installation since you already have an active Dark Age of Camelot account.
Presumably this means that those who were previously able to play only in Classic will now be unable to play at all.
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