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style="font-style: italic;">RvR not your thing?
 Stuart Zissu would like you to know they have plenty of
dragons that need slaying!

style="">Ten Ton Hammer: First of all,
congratulations on winning our href="">decade
award for best PvP.  It’s
well deserved.


Zissu, Producer, Dark Age of Camelot:
It made my day when I saw that!


style="">Could you tell us a little bit about your
role with Dark Age of Camelot, how long you’ve been playing the game?


Sure. style="">  I started with Mythic
about two or so years
ago and came onto the DAoC team in October. 
I worked with the team to get a lot of those changes out
the door--and
they’ve done a great job. 


for how
long I’ve been a part of DAoC, I’ve been a player since beta. I
remember the
days when all of the monster models weren’t even in. 
I started playing back when I was dating my now
wife, and she came over to my place one time. 
I had to jump in the shower, being the stinky guy that I
am, and had her
craft some metals while I was busy. 
Obviously she had no idea what she was doing, and I come
back and she
says, “What was I just doing?”  I
her that I was having her create crafts for trinketing and she goes
“Interesting.  Is
this what you do for a
living?”  Of course
I say “Not yet!”  ….and
now it is what I do!


style="">You’ve obviously seen all 6 expansions, first
as a player and now as a Producer. Let’s talk RvR. 
DAoC has really set the gold standard on
quality RvR play, moreover on large-scale PvP in general. style="">  Would you point out and
principles that
you’ve stuck to over the years as you create new RvR content?


what we
try to do is create a few fundamentals, things that make the game pop. style="">  Things we try to keep
engraved are things
like realm pride, RvR battles... 10 years ago we put in an RvR system
and 10
years later now the players have come up with 8v8 battles. style="">  Things like Zerg battles –
the large scale PvP
combat - and these smaller skirmishes are an example of us setting up
experience and how it may play out... but we know full well that the
may turn it into something much more awesome and unexpected.


style="">DAoC has a whopping 45 classes, and class balance
(or at least the perception of class imbalance) has been the downfall
of other
PvP-centric online games.  How
have you
approached this crucial aspect of RvR play?


classes is really hard!  
We’re never
going to get it 100% right, but we’ll try our best. 
One person may see something as overpowered,
but another may see it as viable, and we try things both ways. style="">  When we balance, we try
not to balance one
class against another.  We
according to the realm. 


this class bring to the realm, to the RvR? 
What we end up finding is that people don’t understand the
mechanics, or
aren’t playing, or just want to call it overpowered... and go in and
try to
find out why.  We
start pulling it apart,
editing values, and sometimes we find that magic, spot-on thing we need
change.  But more
often than not, things
still need additional changes.  The
we have doing class balance right now is doing a great job, but we
still have
emails flowing in about various class imbalances and we are trying to
make it
known that we are balancing the big picture in the realm, and not just
on a
class vs. class basis.


style="">Speaking of realms, one of the the most
brilliant ideas about DAoC, to me, is that there are three playable
factions.  This is
one of DAoC’s secrets
that hasn’t been copied; every other PvP-centric game that I can think
of has
two.  What has the
three faction balance
done for this game?


you ask someone that is playing, or were playing, they always talk
about how
their realm is the best.  Everyone
has a
different opinion on this as well. 
Having three realms always gives the clear idea of one
realm being on
top, and then the other two realms would notice and begin to focus on
them down a peg.  When
you get two
realms, and you have one that is winning, it’s a snowball effect. style="">  It’s very hard to design a
game where the
rich don’t get richer, but in our game, the rich gets taken down a


style="">Looking back over the game’s history, some
of the more impactful expansions such as New Frontier and Dark Rising,
at least
for RvR play... can you trace the evolution of RvR over this time to
where we
are today?


been on the project for a year, and there have been a lot of producers
me who have taken a huge step and each expansion that changed RvR was a
of that producer’s vision--what they would like to see, what the
players would
like to see.  Right
now with us coming up
on our 10 year anniversary, we’re looking at what DAoC needs and we’re
into features that new players can enjoy. Also, things that old players
come back to, understand what’s going on, and get back into the feel of
once again. 


winning this award was huge for us, but what it also reinforces is how
important RvR is and always will be to DAoC. 
We have more resources than before, and we’re using those
resources to
focus on fun stuff for RvR.  Our
patch is coming live soon, and that will change the RvR scale a little
bit.  It’s in
testing right now.  We’re
also looking to bring some of those old
and new people back into the fray with this patch.


style="">You mentioned some of your future plans
coming up with 1.108.  How
will those
plans impact the RvR play that centers around making your realm more


changes to 1.108 are coming in the form of Realm Abilities and Siege
System.  Keeps will
have more hit points,
but siege weapons will do much more damage. 
Players will be less effective at bashing doors down, but
a siege weapon
will bust it down very quickly.  
encourage the use of the special siege weapons against keeps and
themselves, making it more exciting. 


trying to do with realm ranks and realm abilities is revise it from the
system of rank 1 to rank 5.  It’s
going to be 9 ranks.  This
gives you more
flexibility in controlling your player bonuses--no longer are you
locked into
say, 3 or 5 points, you could now choose 4. 
It’ll be a bonus to everyone, because we’re also revising
the Rank 5s
since some are totally worthless and some are great.


sweeping changes by looking at each one and did one of two things--left
it as
is, or gave it a bonus.  Everyone
the board should be getting a better Rank 5 generally. 
We still want skill to be king, but we want
players to have worthwhile abilities as well.


style="">Over Dark Age’s 10 year history, we’ve seen
RvR change from 3 different frontiers to 1, and around keeps to RvR in
today.  Where do you
see it going
now?  Is the
emphasis going to return to
keep sieges and open RvR or will future RvR be more raid-centric,
advantage of areas like w:st="on">Darkness w:st="on">Falls, the
Labyrinth, or
possibly new raid dungeons?


of the
things about keeping a game going this long is that some people love
aspect.  Some people
love Labrynith, some
people love open RvR, some people love sieges. 
We want to make sure all of those are fun experiences for
everyone.  I can
personally say I love battlegrounds,
despite what they’ve done to open RvR, but that may not be for everyone. style="">  So we’re making sure it’s
all actually fun,
so when people do come back they find that what they remember and more
is fun,
and stick with it.


style="">The development of the social side of the
game—housing in Foundations, all the way up to guild and chat
refinements that
have come more recently… it seems Mythic understands that guilds are
cornerstone of any kind of PvP experience. 
Can you point out some things you’re working regarding the
social side
of the game?


aspect is important.  Everything
said is key, and social goes along with community. 
If you don’t have a good community, people
who are in there might stick to their groups, and leave new players to
fend for
themselves--and they inevitably quit. 


doing now for the social aspect is making them as easy as possible to
into--things such as the Facebook page to talk about the game and what
remember most fondly.  Guilds
are a big
thing for us, crafting and all that kind of stuff... all of these
systems work
together to create the DAoC social experience.


style="">If I was a new player coming into DAoC,
what’s my path to get in on the juicy RvR action?


ways to
go about this.  Get
to 50 as quickly as
possible to access the open RvR areas, or you can use the Battlegrounds. style="">  What we recently did is
put some PvE content
into those, so when the tiny RvR set (clustered by level to avoid
isn’t active, there are quests available inside the battleground and
actually very good xp.  They’ll
reward you with items to make you viable in RvR, though not stellar. style=""> 


wanted to
fix the system of if a player wants to RvR, and no one else wants to
RvR, that
player’s in a bad spot.  Now
with this
PvE aspect, you could find a knife in your back and next thing you
know, want
revenge, and suddenly the PvP is alive and well. 
It gets more and more people killing each
other, and you can find people doing this at any given time. style="">  If you want to do the
labyrinth content for
dungeon based PvP or RvR, you’ll find what you’re looking for. style="">  There is a path to the end
game no matter
which way you want to progress, and it involves the blood of the other
if you so desire.  Note
that these
battlegrounds are not instanced!


style="">We’ve focused largely on RvR, but there’s
lots of reasons to get into DaoC outside of competitive play. style="">  Is there anything in
particular you want to
point out?


system takes some work, but I think it’s very well done. style="">  Templating is another
thing that provides a
different set of stats for maxing out different resists and offensive
stats and
is only available through crafting. 
for the high end RvR experience, crafting is in high demand and has a
all its own.  We
have plenty of raids and
dragons, and content we call Master Level encounters. 
There’s 9 years of content here to experience
that people enjoy doing.  You
can find a
group to do almost anything you want.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Dark Age of Camelot Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016