Dark Age of Camelot Review – Memoirs From A Burned Out Paladin

The main reason why I started playing Dark Age of Camelot was because of EverQuest. About three years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to EverQuest. I played for 18 months straight. I enjoyed the theme EverQuest had, but all the rigid rules eventually lead me to hate the game – severe death penalties, long downtime, etc. When I heard about Dark Age of Camelot, I left EverQuest.

Dark Age of Camelot is a Realm vs. Realm based game, each realm has their own mythology: Midgard – Viking-era Scandinavia theme, Hibernia – ancient Ireland, Albion – Arthurian Britain. It is called Dark Age of Camelot, because the game is set after King Arthur’s Death. The once peaceful lands of Albion have been plunged into war.

Mythic certainly impressed me when they released Dark Age of Camelot last October. I remember stumbling around this beautifully rendered 3D world. I started out as a simple Highlander Fighter, armed with a dagger and a dream. (OK, so I was armed with a short sword, but the story sounds better with a dagger.) What an exciting feeling it was. There was a whole new world to explore, a realm to help defend, and I certainly enjoyed it a whole lot better than EverQuest.

Sure enough, Dark Age of Camelot was friendlier to me than EverQuest. Leveling in Dark Age of Camelot was grueling, but there was no such thing as six minutes downtime. There were death penalties, but my Albion Fighter would never lose a level or lose all of his gear. I was also teaming up with other players more often than I ever did in EverQuest. Simply put, I was having fun.

It wasn’t until around level 30 did I start to see a more frustrating side of Camelot. Leveling started to really slow down. I MEAN REALLY SLOW DOWN!!! I used to see 1-2 levels a day, but then that number grew into one level a week. Fighting the same monsters every day for that long was boring. It was something I kept doing because I wanted to do well in Realm vs. Realm. That is Dark Age of Camelot’s greatest enigma. In order to do something you want to do, you have to spend way too much time doing stuff you don’t want to do.

Eventually I hit the maximum level of 50. It took me six months, with over 52 days of game time. Obviously most players don’t have that kind of time to dedicate. What’s sad is you need to be level 40-50 do well at RvR. The higher you are the better chance you?ll have.

Taink McFury: Level 50 Paladin
Playtime: 52 days = 1248 hours
Cost: $60 online fees + $40 retail box
Value: 8¢ per hour

Heh… your results may vary. 🙂

Any MMORPG needs a fair developer team at the controls. Mythic has been working to resolve player issues. “Battlegrounds” were put in so lower levels could enjoy RvR. A huge RvR Dungeon called “Darkness Falls” was added, giving players something else to fight for. Players wanted more epic encounters. Mythic gave each realm their own epic zone, complete with an epic looking dragon. Mythic is also working on housing, spellcraft, balancing issues, and “The Shrouded Isles” expansion. If all goes well, there should be lots of new content by the year’s end.

Unfortunately, the hard work from the developers is not always well received. Plenty of players constantly whine about ‘Nerfs’. A ‘Nerf’ is when a change to the game makes a class or realm weaker. I too have found myself utterly burned out by several attempts at class balancing. Paladins are one of the weakest RvR classes in the game. That’s not a nice thing to find out, not after you’ve been playing a class for months.

All in all… I’d say Dark Age of Camelot is my favorite MMORPG currently on the market. Battling for the fate of the realm is just downright exhilarating. Even as a Paladin I did have lots of memorable battles. Controlling a siege ram to smash down an enemy fort door is kind of neat.

If you have more free time than you know what to do with, this just might be the game for you. As for me… I have to say I got my money’s worth out of the game. Enough is enough though. I canceled my subscription to the game. I think I’m going to take a nice break from these time wasting MMORPGs.