If you found your way to this site before, it should be no secret that I am backing Camelot Unchained’s current Kickstarter campaign. If you’re new here, The Friar’s Boon and this site reflect the fact that I’ll be building an inn someday as part of my pledge, somewhere within the world of Camelot Unchained.
So I may be biased. Yet I also feel like I’m writing from a position of authority where my actions (pledging any amount) back up my convictions (what I’m about to write).
There’s a danger in this whole Kickstarter deal: financially backing the idea of a game when the developer has little physical evidence of a working program and a handful of guiding Foundational Principles is a very risky decision.
The general response to my support of Camelot Unchained outside of the community itself is filled with questions and comments that often contain the words ‘crazy’ and ‘stupid’ with a handful of expletives tossed in for good measure.
Interestingly enough, Friars are not the most notoriously well known group to refrain from cursing, so the language doesn’t bother me personally. What does concern me is that nobody cares to discuss the fact Friars wear robes. You would think cross-dressing would be more of an issue these days. But, perhaps not.
If you’re willing to move past the robes, I’d like to share a few reasons why I decided to back Camelot Unchained:
The Blank Slate
As it is, what seems to be turning many people off from supporting the Kickstarter is exactly what is most appealing to me. At this stage of development, very little evidence exists for the quality of game Camelot Unchained will become. The uncertainty is scary. What if the game’s functions don’t jive well with the idea I currently have for the game? What if the developers can’t deliver? What happens to my pledge if this fails? All valid questions.
I know many great artists. An artist does not look at a blank canvas and say nothing good will become of it. An artist looks at a blank canvas and imagines what imagery and emotion can come to life. I’m not backing Camelot Unchained to witness an art gallery of concepts come out from it; I’m backing the project to be part of the art that will come to life through development.
The team at City State Entertainment has made it very clear they will depend on the community to build the game. Having the opportunity to be a part of the community in a such a significant way as building an Inn is priceless. More games need to start with the blank slate, and build a community around it.
It is NOT Dark Age of Camelot 2
From what little information we do have about Camelot Unchained at this point, one of the main themes is the world has basically been destroyed by a cataclysmic event known at the Piercing of the Veil. That old world of Camelot that was filled to the brim with nostalgia and great memories of the past? Gone.
By getting rid of the backstory of Dark Age of Camelot and all its subsequent expansions, Camelot Unchained is free to develop its own story, culture, and lore inspired by the leaders of each realm but not dragged down by the success and failures of the original Camelot. The name “Unchained” very well may be a subtle reference to the freedom the title seeks by breaking from the mold.
And breaking from the mold is exactly what the project aims to do, with:
Versus Environment Experience
Along with removing the fading world of Camelot from the equation, Mark Jacobs and the folks at City State Entertainment have made it clear there will be no Player-versus-Environment (PVE) content in terms of leveling and gear progression. This is a radical departure not only from Dark Age of Camelot but also the MMORPG community as a whole.
Everything in the game will be player-driven, from the leveling experience to the crafting of structures and gear. Uber loot drops and leveling without interacting with other players will not be a part of the finished product.
At first this was a scary thought for me: some of the fondest memories I’ve had in Dark Age of Camelot (and other MMOs) involved some form of player-versus-environment experience. After contemplating these experiences, I realized what truly made these memories special were not the environments in which they took place, but the people they took place with.
Perhaps it is time to accept this reality: the player versus environment is far less important than the player environment. The emphasis Camelot Unchained is placing on creating an amazing player environment from the beginning is one of the more compelling reasons to support the project as I have done.
The Friar’s Boon
Of course, the main reason I backed was a totally selfish one: I wanted to create a story and craft that story into The Friar’s Boon Inn. No other game currently on Kickstarter or even on immediate horizon offers such opportunity.
In spite of all the uncertainty regarding the Camelot Unchained project, one undeniable fact remains: there is tremendous opportunity.
So I hope you consider backing the Camelot Unchained Kickstarter in whatever way is possible for you. And I also hope that you continue to check back here to see how The Friar’s Boon grows within this world as the project grows as well.
– Friar Jon