Much fun had, but it looses it's charm over time.

User Rating: 7.1 | Dark Age of Camelot: Shrouded Isles PC
I played Dark Age back when it first came out, and I'll admit, I have not touched the game since the many expansions began to come out. So I'm sure others will point out that some things have changed since then. My primary character I played with was a human beserker. Which, was quite fun for a time. DAoC has a well-designed game world, with lots of great visuals and monsters to fight. Combat is definitely more interesting than EQ or other MMORPGs as it has a combo system for the melee classes. The towns are interesting and there's lots of things to do. That is, until you realize you are once again on the level train, always working just to earn that experience and get either: a) That next new ability. b) That next magic armor/weapon. The quests, admittedly are better than EverQuest, with more story put into them. Exploration of your realm will fill up your first 20 levels of gameplay (and 10-20 hours of gameplay). Once you hit 20, it's expected you begin to spend your time on the "frontier" and in realm vs realm combat (of course, this is optional and you can spend the remainder of your days simply killing one bad AI creature after another). Crafting was one welcome addition I found to the game however, though again, you are essentially just repeating the same moves over and over to make money in a virual world. I felt like I was working a job rather than playing a game, and after rising quite high (700) in my smithing, I decided to call it quits and concentrate on combat/adventure. I then began going to the battlegrounds (sort of like a practice frontier, but with nothing at stake except your time and energy). This is probably the best part of the game, as you aren't severely punished for dying and you are only interacting with other people. The frontiers themselves were cut-throat, with each realm constantly vying for controls of various keeps for better abilities and prestige. However, like most MMORPGs the game has balance issues. Far too many classes have advantages over others, which is a definite problem when you take into account that the majority of the time you will spend with this game is in Realm Vs Realm combat. Even in a generalized sense, ranged classes have a MASSIVE advantage over melee fighters, and I found I was spending more and more time in the game simply dead on the battlefield after being shot down via arrows and spells. I found that many of the people I played with spent a large portion of their time simply on the social aspect of the game, and in retrospect, it was just IRC with other things to do layed on top. Then again, that's something I've found with my MMORPGs. DAoC was a good time, but it gets old eventually (at least it did to me). Time can probably be better spent elsewhere.