Seriously, folks, I don't know how it usually goes down in CMAtown, but I've never experienced a week of my life when I was literally watching strangers decide my destiny -- and go neck-and-neck in the process. After thousands and thousands of votes, it all came down to a difference of... three. Really.
Three MMO communities caught wind of last week's poll regarding the game I'd be playing and writing up over the next several weeks. Dark Age of Camelot players fought valiantly against Anarchy Online fans for the privilege of this column's focus, often times trading spots for first and second place. The City of Heroes community got into the game late and racked up several hundred votes in an attempt to secure the win, but ultimately it came down to a last-minute brawl in which DAoC garnered three measly votes more than AO, which means I'll be heading off to Camelot starting next week.
With the insane voting over a game at an end, today begins the real fun: You get to roll my character for me. Join me as I lay out just how this is going to work with DAoC's crazy setup.
Please note that all voting will be completed by midnight on the 17th in order to allow me time to play!
Page one: Choose my server ruleset
As a realm vs. realm-centric game, DAoC has one more server type than other MMOs. The standard ruleset -- "normal" or "traditional" -- is PvE within your own realm but PvP between the three realms in certain areas. Then there is the PvP ruleset, which is completely free-for-all open PvP: anyone can attack anyone nearly anywhere. Finally, DAoC has a cooperative server that is PvE to the core and shifts the struggles between the realms from direct conflict to competing against PvE keeps.
The three realms of Dark Age are very much at the core of the game itself. Players strongly identify with their chosen realms, and even years after playing this MMO, continue to defend its honor in conversations with other expats.
We've got the realm of Albion, which is probably closest to what you'd think of when you conjure up images of old England, King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table. Next up is Hibernia, a realm steeped in the culture and lore of Celtic mythology. Finally, there is the Nordic-themed lands of Midgard, what with Vikings and fjords and all that. Choices, choices!
Page three: Choose my racial type!
As all three realms boast their own races and classes, I'm going to have to generalize these next two polls. Depending on which realm wins the day, do you want me to roll the most human-like character I can, the most exotic or beast-like character I can, or the most Elvish character I can? Or, you know, a Minotaur?
So, with a measly 47 or so classes to pick from, I'd say my options are fairly limited. To keep things less ridiculous in length, I'm going to simplify this choice between the four main archetypes -- tank, casters, rogues, healers -- as well as the option of a hybrid that combines two of these together. Depending on your vote, I'll do my best to roll a class that best exemplifies this role in the realm.
That's it for this week! I'll bow to the majority opinion on each of these to roll my very first character in Dark Age of Camelot. I'll let you know next week how my first steps into the world went and definitely will be asking for your guidance.
It's time to put the screws to Justin "Syp" Olivetti, as he enters the Choose My Adventure chamber and pits his wits against your will! Check back each Wednesday for a recap of the last week's play, then sound off in the polls and the comments to determine his course of action for the next week.