|One of the front gates of Tir Na Nog, the Hibernian capitol city.|
a thread on the official "unofficial" DAoC boards where a player pointed out that you can still actually level doing PvE, and posted a guide for how to do it in Hibernia (one of the three realms). The only response he got was pretty close to "Why the hell would you do that?" All of this is a shame, because there is a genuinely great PvE game to be had in modern DAoC if you look for it.
|Swimming around underwater near the ruins of Atlantis. If you level doing PvE, you will spend a surprising amount of time underwater.|
|Riding a nightmare steed in Volcanus. As you go up in chamion levels, many different types of horse become available, ranging from normal horses to more exotic varieties.|
|An enchanter fresh out of the newbie instance wearing the gear he got there. Notice that his pet, standing behind him, is better dressed than he is . . .|
|A level 50 enchanter wearing the free set of epic gear he got at level 50 from the Hibernian King. The steady trickle of gear that is both better looking and more powerful as you level gives the PvE game an addicting sense of progression.|
*There aren't a ton of players, but the server does have more hardcore multi-boxers than I've seen in any other MMO. On the somewhat infrequent occasions that you stumble across someone else, there's a good chance it will be will be a single player running 3-5 characters.
PvE leveling for new players. Everything from how to set up your hotbars when you first start to a quest path to the cap and optional side quests as you level. It covers all three realms and both Ywain and Gaheris.
How to get your first artifact. Artifacts are powerful magic items that gain abilities as you level them. The process of acquiring artifacts is a bit arcane, and the game itself doesn't give you much clue that they even exist on a normal play through.
Champion Levels. This is an essential but poorly documented advancement system that opens up when you reach the level cap.
Mounts. Another really important system that isn't well documented anywhere else that I could find.
I have a few more guides planned, but it's not a project I have the spare time to support as much as I'd like. The main reason I put the guides up is so that web search engines can find them. A lot of the resources for DAoC currently available on the web are badly out of date in the modern game and/ or don't really help much unless you already know most of the basics. Dated graphics and steep learning curve with nary a hand to guide you equals a game doomed to obscurity. I hope my site helps out with the lack of guidance for new players at least a little bit.
No post on DAoC is really complete without at least touching on the PvP. There are a few MMOs that also offer three faction PvP, but none I'm aware of where that's the primary focus of the game and the player base. One of the main areas where you can see this difference is in class balance. Classes are designed to be roughly balanced with their mirrors in other factions (if they have one), and to make for a fun and varied PvP playing field. No attempt is made to achieve balance among characters of different roles, or really to balance classes in PvE. The PvP on offer is ruthless, very often completely unfair, and surprisingly fun. Knowing what fights you are likely to win and being on the side that can get organized well enough to bring the most bodies is at least as important as gear or skill. If you are a huge fan of well balanced battleground style PvP, it probably sounds terrible. However, it really has a very different feel from PvP in most MMOs. The persistent PvP areas feel much more like real places than an instanced battleground that despawns after a match ends.
It's also less hardcore then you might think. Death is pretty painless, there is no real penalty for getting killed. It isn't EVE where one bad choice can make months of progress disappear like a fart in the wind. Victory, on the other hand, is absolutely elating. Hitting new realm ranks and earning realm abilities feels very rewarding. The primary PvP map (Frontiers) is enormous, with tons of objectives to fight over. There is also keep warfare complete with battering down doors, siege engines, and some classes being able to infiltrate keeps by climbing the walls. All of this is embedded in a full featured MMO, with crafting, housing and fun PvE content ranging from solo quest chains to raiding. Overall, I'd say that if you can get past the dated graphics and a steep learning curve, Dark Age of Camelot is absolutely one of the best MMOs on the market today. The main server, Ywain, is also extremely active and the players there are generally quite welcoming.