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Dark Age of Camelot was a game released in 2001. It was a very unique game (MMO) with a rich background, popular following, and even a game changing approach to player versus player combat that made the game incredibly fun to play. It was well on its way to becoming a popular and sustainable MMO in the market. Now it is a niche game that seems to only have a few very diehard fans. What happened to cause such a precipitous fall and disfavour?

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World of Warcraft happened. ;) –  Anna Lear Aug 21 '11 at 3:23
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I honestly don't think that is really the answer. In terms of gameplay, many people went to WoW, played it, and found it disappointing compared to DAoC. The "implosion" did not seem to be tied to that release at all. –  Larian LeQuella Aug 21 '11 at 3:25
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Sorry, I was going for a joke there. I don't really have a solid answer for you. –  Anna Lear Aug 21 '11 at 3:28
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I don't see how this question could possibly be answered in a definitive or constructive manner: tons of things happened in gaming from the time DAoC hit its peak to the time people stopped paying attention to it, and nobody's in a position to connect the correlation of those events to the cause of DAoC's downfall. MMOs come and go: it's the nature of the business. –  user3389 Aug 21 '11 at 7:34
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We need a refresh of DAoC ! –  Bart Aug 26 '11 at 16:12
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closed as too localized by Bora, pixel, Jupotter, Krazer, MBraedley Nov 18 '12 at 0:39

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3 Answers

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I think that's an easy one. "Mackey" and Trials of Atlantis. Mackey (sorry I don't recall his real name) was probably one of the most abrasive and downright hostile community relations individuals that has ever been at Mythic (or pretty much any gaming company for a position like that). Also, Trials of Atlantis did so much damage to the game that it never really recovered:

  • It introduced a type of grinding that was not wanted by the player base
  • It promised to "not have a significant effect on RvR" which is not in the slightest bit the case
  • It strayed significantly from the mythos of the game (WTF does Atlantis have to do with the Arthurian Mythos?)
  • The expansion never received a thurough beta testing. Team Leads, members of the internal boards, etc. were kept in the dark pretty much right through release.

Another factor (and Mackey played a part in this) was the inability (or unwillingness) of Mythic to deal with buffbots. These started gaining popularity around the time that ToA came out, and the issue may have overwhelmed them (or Mackey was probably just being his usual prickish self when that issue was brought up by others). If you look at the MMOData.net site, you see that DAoC was happy and healthy right up until the release of ToA. That was the start of the downfall.

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Why do I get the feeling you've exchanged words with "Mackey?" :P –  riv_rec Aug 23 '11 at 14:46
    
Actually, I'm the one that exchanged words with Mackey. Although, I had mostly forgotten about that so-and-so. Thanks for reminding me. And yeah, the buffbots! Totally forgot about that. –  Larian LeQuella Aug 23 '11 at 23:17
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Largely the decline is based on bling. All the latest games requiring high end gfx cards etc. became F2P and there were so MANY different new MMOs people just went on holidays for a long time.

The tired old DAoC engine is still ok but hardly compares to the updated version (old ALSO old) Lotro uses. Without interface Mods DAoC was a bit daunting for casual gamers too. BUT I still enjoy looking in now and then for a free trial.

IF EA would spend the time to TRY and recover the fanbase it might help, $15 a month is outrageous when EQ2 was around $5-6 a month and then they went F2P (although a CRAP version compared to ANY other F2P).

The engine is old but relatively stable, it just needs EA to drop the subs by 50% and advertise a little!

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Based on data at mmodata.net the answer seems to be nothing. There was no "implosion". The game has seen a slow steady decline in user base since 2005. It looks very similar to what many other MMORPGs experience as they reach the end of their lifecycle.

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The automatic level 20 for veterans creating new characters and the subsequent near-desertification of the newbie areas making it very hard for actual new players to connect with the community probably didn't help. –  Shadur Aug 21 '11 at 12:42
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