Mark Jacobs on Chaos and Randomness in Camelot Unchained

Posted Tue, Feb 26, 2013 by Martuk

Mark Jacobs returns today with a new Camelot Unchained Founding Principle. In his latest blog, the City State Entertainment boss and former Mythic founder delves into the topic of the random experience and how it has become a rather flat experience in many recent MMORPGs. Jacobs hopes to provide players with some memorable experiences by adding a twist to the random number generator in encounters both in combat and environments, which he hopes will provide players with “water cooler conversation” moments.

“What I propose is that this game’s combat systems have enough randomness built into them that players will not know that every time they swing their sword, they will always hit for X damage.  I don’t want the player to know that every time they go into a 1:1 battle with someone of equal knowledge/skill but with a slight lower character that the outcome is easily and thoroughly predetermined. However, the system’s damage combat mechanics will be laid out so that the majority of damage will be set but where only a portion of it is random but with a strong critical hit/miss system component as well. We should have a bit more fun with very rare rolls on both sides of the success spectrum. I want to add some special critical hits and critical failures to the game, as I believe that they will add a lot of spice as well as some much needed humor and occasional pathos to the game. Critical hits & failures will be rare but every so often, something should happen of such monumental glory that the players end up discussing these as “water cooler conversations” the next day. Yes, it will not be fun to be on the receiving end of course but on the other hand, if you are on the other side or simply enjoy a good chuckle, your seeing that powerful Tuatha De Dannan mage cast a mighty spell and being turned into a horned rabbit might make your day.”

Jacobs also touched on some of the plans to incorporate a random element into the environments, which will evolve naturally over time and affect the magic that players may inject into it. This could be anything from destroyed environments that suffer a dead space where magic can’t be used temporarily to a magical boost or even an unexpected manifestation of certain beings.

Whatever the case, a good balance of randomness is what Jacobs is looking for. Too much or too little and he admits that it could be a disaster or just sterile.

Source: Foundational Principle #8 – This should be a chaotic game with epic surprises at every turn

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