Dark Age of Camelot-Better than a warm fireplace

There’s something about the months of September-December that really gets me, for no really explainable reason. I mean, as a gamer, these are the gravy months-a large number of high quality titles in popular genres, and often a chance to appeal to my snobbish side by playing and appreicating the diamonds in the rough (such as Hegemonia: Legions of Iron).

Along the way, though, something always happens-fatigue with sets in, and by the time the season’s over I’m ready to just sit down with a nice, relaxed, engrossing game and just have some fun. Usually that takes the form of a ‘innovative’ 4X strategy game- both Kohan and Disciples 2 have served as my early-year refuge from the mainstream in recent years, and I have welcomed them like mulled cider and hot cocoa at the peak of a cold winter.

This year, however, the funk came early. After the bust that were Metriod Prime and Fusion, not to mention a forced week-long hiatus induced by the region’s horrible ice storm earlier this month, I could feel the rut seeping into my bones, not unlike the chill of the cold outside. I knew I had to get out of the ‘game of the week/month’ club and find my escape from the hustle and bustle of the mainstream gaming machine. The relief has come in the form of Dark Age of Camelot (with the new expansion).

I’ll admit that I haven’t played a lot of MMO games in my time. I’ve played some muds, dabbled in UO and EQ, and tried Shattered Galaxy for a week or so. Everytime the problems are the same-the game’s hard to get into, things are broken (most MUDs and UO), or the game has ‘external’ problems (EQ).

Dark Age of Camelot, however, has been easy to get into (thanks in large part to MrAngryFace, who’s not nearly as angry after he’s had his favorite food). I created a character with some reasonable stats, joined the server and immediately started to explore the interface and tasks for the early-level gamer, and was suprised to see how inviting and comfortable the game was. The interface is easy and powerful, the quests in the beginning simple and fun, and the combat system ('con’ing and then attacking) was quick and simple to get a handle on. Now, six hours later, I’ve got a nice sixth level druid, some decent gear, and a nice chunk of savings I can use to move my way throughout Hibernia.

I’m not really qualified to get into the details of the later game, or even really comment on the flaws of the game at the earlier levels. What I can comment on is that DAoC is a lot of fun, and is a terrific change of pace from the RTS-CRPG-console game-TBS cycle that I’ve gotten into over the past year.

If any of you guys have low-level characters and are interesting in grouping up (or want to start new ones :) ), drop me a mail at [email protected]-this game is a lot more fun when you’re playing it with people you know.

We play in Hibernia on the Bevedere-watzit server. Gimme a tell if you need help with anything. Level 17 Warden by the name Airnex Darkmoor, the first name will be enough for the tell ;)

to mention a forced week-long hiatus induced by the region’s horrible ice storm earlier this month

That ice storm was a Toe Jam and Earl-esque total bummer. Nearly a million people without power for 3-4 days (at best-- some people were out of power for up to 7 days) makes you truly appreciate how much the dark ages must have sucked.

I could have done without the never-ending “so, how long were YOU without power” conversations for the week afterward, too.

I helped Outlaw get his character started, but he did most of the work himself. DAoC is very strict about grouping and power leveling low level characters with a high level character. So everyone pretty much has to go through the same junk to get to the higher levels. Thankfully DAoC has some intelligently laid out newbie areas so it isnt hard to get to where you want to be.

After dinking around in Southern Hibernia for a while I escorted Outlaw to Northern Hibernia, lands rich with leveling opportunities, and decided to take off on my own to my usual spots. As always I enjoy exploring so I wandered into the woods a little west of Mag Mell, finding a bunch of big ass wolves to slaughter. At this point I happened upon a grove of angry looking elvish spellcaster things. One of them took offense to my target practice and they ALL banded together and chased me out of the fucking forest.

Whew. After catching my breath I headed off to the tomb I like to hang out in. There was a good group starting out. I helped them out and they let my badass warden self join up. Thanks to my Taunt Blade and healing/buff powers I was able to provide vital assistance to this group of young adventurers!

Unfortunately I was also the same one clamoring on about venturing deeper into the tomb. So this band of merry (and headstrong) adventurers went deeper. We pissed off some undead lord guy and BARELY managed to fight off him and his personal guard. We patted each other on the back and prepared to go again.

Little did we know that a small army of huge skeleton warriors were just around the next corner. When rushed we bravely pressed into the fight, but as two of our people dropped we bolted in various directions, being decimated by aggressive monsters waiting in nearby rooms. And well…a picture is worth a lot of fucking words:

Still, it was a lot of fun. Made some new friends, found a Bracer that boosted by dexterity, quickness, and empathy, annnd got some experience. The massacre was even a little fun. What joy can be found in a game where you always win? I mean, honestly.

Yeah, I have been thinking about playing it again myself. AC2 isn’t really grabbing me, as I mentioned in other posts. I don’t have the expansion for DAOC though, and I am not sure I want to get it. I can still play right?

As for your Metroid comment, I am a bit confused. Both of the new Metroid games seem excellent to me and many others. But, maybe you were expecting something different.

Glad you are having fun with something for the holidays though! That’s what’s important.

Cider is meant to be drunk ice cold. Mulled cider would be like drinking vomit.