Back in my last blog I wrote about playing Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast from 2000 through 2001. Loved it. But it only had so many levels to play and then it became very very repetitive in the later levels. Needless to say after a year of playing it got old. I played some solo rpgs on consoles of course, but I was looking for something more after playing PSO. I had heard about Ultima online and watched it being played, but it just didn't appeal to me. I read up on a very nice looking game for it's time called Everquest. It looked perfect for me. You could go on epic quests. You could play certain roles like a TANK , HEALER, DAMAGE DEALER (mage or melee) and a few other classes and team up with others to fight hard bosses. I was pretty sold on Everquest. But then I picked up another magazine with a game called Dark Age of Camelot on it. Well, I loved the movie Excalibur and the idea of fighting for Camelot was exciting for me. But the more I read up on it and the more I seen how better the graphics were than Everquest, I decided to pick it up. I was especially intrigued on the pvp battles that was in the game.
Dark Age of Camelot was a mmorpg made by Mythic Entertainment. It came out in late 2001 and I started playing the game in like March of 2002 after I went and bought a pc and the game on the same day. Boy was I so glad I chose this game. The setting in this game is 50 years or so after King Arthur died. I'm gonna tell ya that pissed me off. I wanted to fight with King Arthur! But after the death of Arthur Hibernia(Ireland) claimed her independence and Midgard just wanted to conquer everyone. So there was 3 realms that, after 50 years of unsettling peace, went to war with each other Albion(Camelot) trying to keep the peace. Hibernia wanting to keep it's independence. Midgard wanting to just fight everyone. Heh. So the game has 3 realms to play in. After a long and hard thinking, I chose Hibernia. Guess it was the Irish blood in me.
In this game each realm had 7 different races. Each realm had at least 15 different classes. For each type of class, say like a tank, each realm had a completely different version. Hibernia had a tank class that used a sword and shield, a large spear, or a huge 2 handed hammer. That class is known as a Hero and also had the ability to us a spell that turned them into a half man half deer or stag if you will. They get a huge increase in HP with this. Albion's tanks are called Armsman. They can use sword and shields, pole-arms, and a crossbow (which is perfect for those kiting bungholes). MIdgard had Warriors whom could use all sort of weapons. Very tough.
This game was so fun because of all these different classes. The healers of each realm fought very differently. Hibernia's druids could play a healer/buffer class. Or they could play a fighting druid class that could summon a powerful pet to fight with them. Battle druids could cast root spells to slow you down while their pet attacked you and they ran away, kiting you. Albions healers, the Clerics, could heal and buff you, or become a battle cleric and use smite on you, which sucked.for anyone fighting against them. Then Midgard had their healers, the shamans. They mainly healed, but had good root spells.
I could go on and on about each type of class. They had awesome pet classes. Hybrid classes that were so much fun like the stealth classes. They were extremely popular. You had archers who all had stealth, Albion had very powerful archers. If you specced fully in the bow attack and stealth, that means you could not spec to full power in melee. It is the way the game balanced things so stealthers wouldn't be so powerful. (Even though they were, heh) However you did have enough spec points to put in the shield attack to stun your enemies for 10 seconds, letting you attack with your bow again. Or you could spec on sword and shield and light in bow attack. Very very deadly. The enemy stealthers of Hibernia and Midgard had to invest in a PURGE spell to beat a Scout and his stun. The Midgard stealth archer was called the Hunter. He summoned pets and large spears for melee combat. Of the bow classes this class was the weakest of the bow users. However, you could spec full bow and melee. Very deadly class for sure going this way. Or you could go full bow, stealth, and pet. If the player was good at kiting, he was almost impossible to beat. Then you had the stealth Ranger of Hibernia. This class was all about the attack. His bow was on par with the scout's. But the melee of the ranger. especially in the beginning, was just outstanding until the big nerf. A ranger was a duel wield class that could arm themselves with either 2 pierce weapons or 2 slash weapons
But here was the very unique thing about this game. Everything was designed to balance out. Let us use the stealth archer classes for example. The game used a sort of rock papers scissors approach. Crush was weak to slash. Slash was weak to pierce and pierce was weak to crush. Shields were weak to duel attacks. Also armors of classes were weak to certain types of attacks as well. Scouts armors were weak to pierce. So it would be very tough for an archer to beat a pierce duel wielding ranger who specced in bonus attack to duel wielding. Hunters large spears were a tough fight for rangers as large 2 handed weapon specced wielders are had for duel wielders. Scouts gave Hunters hell because shields block 2 handed weapons well.
The entire game was made this way not just for melee, but magic attacks too. So you had all these different classes that you could use. It was insanely beautiful. And with the ability to grow crafting skills, you could make your own high end armors and weapons. And boy were they awesome.
When you built a group to fight in, you always had a way to fight in those tough dungeons or farming anywhere for exp runs or quests. You had main healers or hybrid healers. Same for tanks or mages. Just awesome to play and a great way to make friends.
Also each realm had a completely different story to go through. Each realm was completely different in the style of the cities, the music, the armors, the lay out of the lands and the enemies you fought.
However one awesome thing about the game early on was the realm pride. You could only play on one realm per server. The thinking was to build realm pride and unity this way. As stated above, each realm was completely different and as you progressed you learned everything you needed to know on why you were getting ready to fight in a huge war. The pvp aspect of this game.
This game taught you how to be a good teammate and use patience and tactics to win. You couldn't just go into a dungeon and own because you were max level. You needed a good tank, good healing, and good attacks, melee and magic, to win.
The PVE experience in this game had very good solo and group play styles. The epic monster battles you needed to be in a group of 8. Some monsters you need 12 groups of 8 to beat them. Ha! There we places to farm for exp and places to farm for gold.
Once you got to level 50 then the true game began. Back in the beginning it took you a few months to even get to level 50. When you did everyone acknowledged your accomplishment too. But that is when you could have someone build you the perfect armor set or you could fight in the epic battles to get some. Weapons too. But you would find out how important it was to have the best gear you could have in pvp.
Realm pvp or RVR(Realm vs Realm) incorporated mass pvp, small 8 vs 8, or 1 vs 1 pvp. You got realm points and leveled up in realm ranks this way. You could earn enough points in pvp to put in special skills to help you last longer not only in pvp, but pve as well. You had your standard points in strength and health. But each class had special skills you could use. Say stealthers could put points in EAGLE EYE and be able to see classes that are stealthed from a 100% more distance than you normally could. It was good for flushing out stealth groups that liked to gank people.
Anyways the RvR made realm pride fantastic. The RvR could get crazy at times. Each realm could have over 150 or more fighting for it. 450 people on screen at one time would freeze your screen. LOL. Anyways you would fight for the 6 keeps and 2 relic keeps each realm had. One relic for magic power and one for melee power. In order for you get get access to fight at the relic keeps for the relics, you had to take all 6 keeps first. Once done the relic keeps opened up to be attacked. If a realm took a relic of another realm and still had it's own, say like strength, then you would get a +10% bonus to strength that was added not only for pvp, but pve as well. When you did this the whole realm benefited. Not to mention it was fun going on the old IGN boards and talking trash to people.
Realm pride realm pride realm pride was what is was all about. This game was really fun. It was also my first experience in an mmorpg too. So you know what they say bout first loves, and this game was my first love of mmorpgs. Heh. I played this game for 10 years.
I will post in more detail about my experiences of this game sometimes. So keep an eye out. So how about your first mmorpg?
I bet most of you will come up with World of Warcraft. I played in beta and on the day it came out. What an experience there eh? Anyways let me know what your first mmorpg was.
Just remember, the real world is the most important game you will ever play. Love it.
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