Dark Age of Camelot: Shrouded Isles - game review
The premiere of Dark Age of Camelot ushered in the exodus of players from Everquest, Ultima Online and other games in search of a better tomorrow. A large part of them, getting to the world of Camelot, stayed there longer, finding in it what they were looking for. A great combat system between RvR players, large lands, a unique atmosphere based on Arthurian, Celtic and Scandinavian legends.
Unfortunately, the game was not without errors and weaknesses. The worst would include graphics, a small variety of soundtrack and a fairly decent, though limping in some respects, PvE system. After some time beating the same monsters in the same dungeons, there was material fatigue. A year and a half, it's a lot of time to get to know the game and players are slowly losing their enthusiasm at the beginning.
As is well known, DAoC has a very dedicated community that reacts very vigorously to subsequent patches or new additions. It was no different in the case of the first paid add-on, called "Shrouded Isle".
Before SI, Mythic Entertainment tried to improve the game, balance character classes - it also added one new area, inhabited by powerful monsters and the most dangerous of all then encountered in the game, dragon. However, this is nothing compared to the content prepared by the AI authors.
One of the two biggest changes can be seen at first glance - it's graphics. The graphics engine has been upgraded, which allowed, in part, to get rid of the so-called lag, which was felt especially during the great battles with other players. When DAoC appeared on the market, it had quite high hardware requirements (for those times) and unfortunately it is similar in the case of SI. But fortunately, we get a lot in return this time. All flora and fauna (more "full" trees, water reflecting objects, flying monsters) looks very interesting, especially in new zones, which only Shourded Isle owners have access to. The zones that were available in the original DaoC also benefited from a change of engine (for example the water and trees mentioned above).
The second, in my opinion, more important change is the introduction of two new character classes and one new race to each of the lands. Albanians will be able to play low minions of Iconnu's black magic. Two new classes are Necromancer and Reaver. The land of Hibernii receives a race that looks like tree-people, and two new classes: Animist and Valewalker. In contrast, Midgardians from the north, the Valkyn race (cats-people) and the classes of Bonedancer and Savage.
The new classes introduced by Mythic are much more interesting than their older brothers - maybe because after a year and a half you know more or less what a given class has and they become less interesting. Or maybe because they are really more interesting. Who would not want to play a Necromancer who casts all his spells with the help of a summoned demonic servant? Or a mage / warrior Bonedancer who can summon even more servants (skeletons) with whom he is healed. Valewalker is Death in a computer edition - with a big scythe on his side and spells he is a powerful opponent. In the new classes, the most noteworthy is the fact that it is usually a combination of warrior and magician traits, which is very risky, because very often such mixed classes spread terror in MMORPGs and they must be balanced later. I am sure that many of the old players will be tempted to abandon their existing Avatar, and start the adventure with one of the new classes.
New races / classes can move freely around the DAoC world. The condition is having an add-on to play with them. Players without an add-on must be content to watch them in action in their lands and on the battlefields. The fluidity of movement and movement of characters and monsters has significantly improved, even in the ordinary DAoC client. In general, it seems that all graphics in DAoC are moving towards very realistic graphics, in contrast to the fairytale landscapes of other MMORPGs.
New areas are obviously new adventures, quests and adrenaline related to their discovery. It's also a small remedy for heavily populated servers. Thanks to the new terrains, the dungeons crowded so far and the places where players gain new levels will slowly depopulate, because the experience gained in the new Länder is greater. By the way, this is not very fair for players who do not want to buy the add-on, but there is no wonder - the pursuit of green color knows no bounds.
The only downside to a larger area is its size, because in DAoC you must always be prepared to defend your castles and relics. The further you are from the so-called "Frontier," or places where battles between players take place, the longer it goes back. Although, it is easy to get around.
What else Certainly the music and sound have improved, and even go a step further and find out - they appeared. Ambient pieces that can be heard in the background are something that DAoC didn't have before and which makes the game very enjoyable. The main themes remained unchanged, but a lot of sounds were added to fill the time, e.g. while traveling.
Each of the lands also received one huge dungeon (all three well-designed) in which the largest and most formidable monsters live. Rallies, which are very often organized, usually consist of several dozen people, because so many more or less need to kill the main bosses. The whole effort is not in vain - in Caer Sidi and the other two dungeons, you can find the most powerful armor and weapons with a unique appearance.
AI is not trying to revolutionize the game. Thanks to this, you can expect that most players will take this addition very warmly. New classes, races and terrains. Improved graphics and bug fixes, and the prospect of further development of the game, are all that should be required of a good add-on.
Certainly the difference between players who buy more add-ons and those who remain loyal to the "original" will grow. That's the only minus I can find in Shrouded Isle. But to be honest, it just doesn't have one and I'm just picking on. Although the game graphically does not match such hits as, for example, Asheron's Call 2, and the player community is still much larger in Everquest, the climate and great RvR system are what DAoC will bring more fans for many years. Shrouded Isle is proof of that.