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Age of Conan's "Kinda" Launch and Massive Pre-Orders 582

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the david-and-goliath dept.
While some are already enjoying the joys of Age of Conan via the early launch, many more will soon be enjoying the fruits of Funcom's labor. An amazing 700,000 copies of the game are being shipped to retailers for day one sales and in some locations pre-orders will not be filled due to server limitations. Between this and the new Warhammer game on the way, should Blizzard be worried, or will Wrath of the Lich King continue to hold their competitive edge?
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Age of Conan's "Kinda" Launch and Massive Pre-Orders

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  • WoW's peaked. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <`Satanicpuppy' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday May 19, 2008 @12:50PM (#23464718) Journal
    I think there is definitely room for something new; a lot of people have been talking about WoW's mass market appeal and it's true that it has a great mass market appeal. It's definitely brought the cult of MMORPG to a much wider audience. I wonder how many people though, have really thought through the implications of that?

    The most common implication I've seen tossed about is the whole "WoW has dumbed down MMO's forever, and oh, how I long for the EQ/UO good old days." There is something to that; certainly WoW showed MMO publishers how to make a product that's friendly to the masses. In this case, it's "defer all the annoying repetitive grind until the endgame", rather than forcing you to do it during the leveling process.

    What it also did was pull a huge number of non-MMO players into the mix...Players who've picked up the basic skills, and maxed out a half dozen characters, and are now bored to tears with WoW's pointless and repetitive endgame grindfest. For all that it's different from what came before, it's still pretty typical, and lessons learned in WoW will transfer quickly to other MMOs.

    Basically, they created the ultimate MMO gateway drug. Now a lot of new products are hitting the market, and I think WoW will see a lot of defections as players who've hit the upper limit and gotten everything it's possible to get in the game, start looking for a new challenge and a less happy candy colored world.
    • by Aix (218662)

      In this case, it's "defer all the annoying repetitive grind until the endgame", rather than forcing you to do it during the leveling process.
      Wait, "kill 10 bears" then "kill 10 scorpions" then "find 10 doodads" ad nauseum in order to get from level 23 to level 24 is not the "annoying repetitive grind"? Sheesh, I'm glad I quit playing at level 40. Everybody kept saying "wait until the endgame, then it gets fun."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
        Not compared to UO or EQ...You have all the same problems, but add to that the hefty death penalties, and the larger time sinks, and you understand the true meaning of futility.

        There were times when I played EQ where I was tired, logged on, and then got killed, and sat there staring at the screen while the realization that, if I just hadn't played, I'd have saved myself hours of extra meaningless work.

        The WoW endgame is amazingly tiresome. You have to have a guild, which means guild politics, guild drama. Y
    • Re:WoW's peaked. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw (950608) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:41PM (#23465324)

      I think WoW will see a lot of defections as players who've hit the upper limit and gotten everything it's possible to get in the game, start looking for a new challenge and a less happy candy colored world.

      I think this really sums up WoW right now. It's not that AoC is "better" than WoW, it's that WoW is killing itself with a nearly 2-year release between expansions and game progression.

      MMOers want to continue to progress their character(s). 2 years is FAR too long to give people really something to progress with besides horizontal progression with a couple new dungeons thrown in once in a while.

      Having Beta tested AoC, I think it's an ok game, but I do not see anything in there that I think is "better" than WoW. Except that it's "new". That means new classes, new lands to explore, new quests to do, more levels to grind. That's what people are really going to be leaving WoW for. Progression. If WotLK came out today, AoC wouldn't be so "big" in the news right now, nor would people be "leaving in droves" to play something else.

      I'm sure most of the people who will leave for AoC will be back for WotLK. Until then, I think it's great to eat up the new stuff as well as it being particularly fun to be apart of an MMO launch. Given that a lot of new people start MMOing with WoW, this will be their first major chance to play an MMO from launch. I'm just waiting for the servers to crash at the stress and all the kiddies to come out in droves to forums and start flaming funcom for being worthless programmers. hehe It happens in ever MMO launch.

      • You have to compare your thought about waiting even two years between expansions because it gives a false impression about the game. WOW released a lot of content between opening day and TBC and is doing the same between TBC and WOTLK. Is progression restricted to leveling? If releasing expansions at a regular clip was all it took to be a success then how do we explain the lack of population for EQ and EQ2 now? Yes they are both big but not on the scale of WOW.

        AoC is coming out way way too early. It ju
    • Basically, they created the ultimate MMO gateway drug. Now a lot of new products are hitting the market, and I think WoW will see a lot of defections as players who've hit the upper limit and gotten everything it's possible to get in the game, start looking for a new challenge and a less happy candy colored world.

      One of the aspects of MMO that Blizzard seems to understand really well, but no one else has to date is the value of the networking. All the supposed WoW-killers have technologically limited their potential users to a small subset of what WoW supports. This is understandable to some degree, but they have all taken it to extremes by emulating other games system requirements instead of mainstream games like WoW, the Sims, etc. If 60% of WoW players have a system that can play a new game, can you expect up t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thrymm (662097)
      I had played EQ a long time before skipping off that train for Dark Age of Camelot since I loved the Realm vs. Realm for a time. When WoW came out, I bought it, and it was fun, however eventhough the graphics were awesome, I didnt like the cartoonish look of the toons. That alone didnt turn me off, the fact it was rather easy to race to 60, and when questing people wanted to do green quests more than trying for the red quests for a challenge.

      I went back to EQ 2 years ago when they opened the progression ser
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kagami001 (769862)
      I like happy, candy-colored worlds.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      WoW simply did a few things right that went wrong in other MMORPGs. First, they already had a good franchise name, Warcraft. It's been an established name in the game world, already drawing in a lot of people just simply for the name. This created a sizable basic userbase that included old MMORPG players as well as people who played the Warcraft series so far and decided it's cool to try an MMORPG in that world.

      But what really let WoW take off was that it managed what other MMORPGs didn't get to: Pull your
  • PvP games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shawnmchorse (442605) on Monday May 19, 2008 @12:52PM (#23464732) Homepage
    Just based on the fact that it's a PvP oriented game, I know I'm not really going to be interested in it. Same goes for Warhammer. As someone who has much more fun in PvE play, I appreciate games where I can expect that there won't be huge changes made based on PvP concerns.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just based on the fact that it's a PvP oriented game, I know I'm not really going to be interested in it.

      Actually AoC is not heavily PvP driven if you don't want it to be. Both PvP and PvE servers have a huge amount of PvE content. The only difference between the two are the PvP servers have open world PvP and the PvE servers do not. Their is raiding, dungeons and quests and you could very easily never PvP in the game at all and still have a huge amount of things to do.

      If you like PvP then the game has a lot to offer, with world PvP, PvP minigames, and larger scale seige warfare. If your looking for only PvE

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KevMar (471257)
      People are looing for the next wow killer. The new products know they can not fight with Blizzard directly. But what they can do is make more targeted MMORPGs that can pick up where wow leaves off. WoW can be the gateway drug that gets people addicted.

      AoC and War focus on the PvP side and look to build a solid base that wants that. They will have PvE elements, but if you are a real PvE'r keep looking. AoC does have a good quest system and pulls you into the story. The shinning element is the seige Pv
      • Re:PvP games (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:56PM (#23465528)

        People are looing for the next wow killer.
        People are always looking for the next -whatever- killer. Folks were waiting for the EQ killer, folks were waiting for the DAoC killer, and now folks are waiting for the WoW killer. It seems to me that a lot of people just don't really understand how MMOGs work...

        They're all very similar. They'll have different settings, different themes, different gameplay dynamics... But in the end it's all the same kind of stuff. Kill critters to get better gear and more experience, so you can kill bigger critters to get better gear and more experience, so you can kill the biggest critters to get better gear and more experience... It's all grinding, all of it. It doesn't matter what game or how they try to hide it - all MMOGs boil down to grinding eventually.

        What really makes or breaks a MMOG is the community. The setting/gameplay/quests/whatever will keep people interested for a while... But once you've hit the level cap with a character or two and you're at the point where you're raiding 'til your eyes bleed, what keeps you coming back is the people around you. Either friends that you enjoy playing with or competition to be the best. Take away the community and you just aren't going to have a game that is worth playing.

        There will certainly be some folks who leave WoW (and all the other MMOGs out there) to play these new games. And they'll race through the content to see everything that's there. And they'll raid and get some nice gear and level up some alts. But unless there's a reason to keep playing they'll quickly get bored and go play something newer and shinier as soon as it is available.
      • what you talk about.

        aoc is not pvp oriented. there are more pve servers than pvp servers at the launch, and not only there is mind boggling massive pve content. neither the content is boring like whatever crap was back at wow when i played.
    • in pve servers, you have a huge zone, borderlands, that has ffa pvp in it. guild battlekeeps and other stuff, all battlegrounds are to be in that zone. rest of the world is not ffa pvp in a pve server. but, the thing is, pve server will have the same kind of endgame pvp as the pvp servers. so thats something very handy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)
      I find that people who claim to dislike PvP have very often not tried it for themselves. You say that you enjoy PvE play, but for me there is nothing like going head to head against other players in a free-for-all type world where anyone can attack anyone else at anytime, anywhere, and for whatever reason. It really brings out the realistic and dangerous aspect when there is completely open PvP and that is what makes the games fun and challenging in ways that no AI can presently match. Also, there are not n
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bidule (173941)
        OTOH, you have graveyard trolls who just sit on your body to deny you play time. Their only pleasure is to stop others from having a good time.

        I find that people who claim to enjoy PvP have not experienced that. They have enough play time that losing an hour doesn't bother them, they'll level fast enough that griefers can't catch them and/or they spend so much time in-game that their skills are too good to be an easy prey.

        I was on vent with someone trying the PvP realms in AoC, he couldn't even log off beca
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I played under early launch, and the experience was surprisingly smooth. I had zero server or client crashes. A number of minor graphical glitches, and one bugged quest. Other than that, it was a great experience. Oh, and I was playing on a Mac, running Vista, via Bootcamp.
  • by HomerJ (11142) on Monday May 19, 2008 @12:53PM (#23464744)
    As good as World of Warcraft is for some people, a lot of people I know that used to play it just had enough of it. You play the same game for years, you tend to get bored of it, new content or not.

    World of Warcraft won't be going anywhere for at least another couple years, but I'd expect at least either AoC or Warhammer to get into the millions of users and take a chunk out of WoW's userbase.
    • by Achoi77 (669484) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:31PM (#23465224)

      I believe most likely that Blizzard isn't going to make any sweeping additions untill they see a proven formula that works. Once they see something that works, then they will jump in, begin development, pump millions to polish it up and resume the top spot.

      I pretty sure Blizzard still has their trump card hidden in preparation for the next wave. The 'world pvp' in WoW is a joke, Blizzard is currently just dropping little breadcrumbs in their pvp space to prevent people from defecting too quickly. But right now they still have technical hurdles they have to overcome (how do you have thousands of people in a zone without excessive lag, all the while not causing the servers to die in a fiery mess?), but they have plenty of time, and a good amount of property, and a large enough consumer pool to deliver a desirable product - when the time is right. It's just not at this moment - which sucks for us consumers.

      Once WAR comes out and Blizzard sees that they are beginning to lose subscribers, they will release their new world pvp setting beyond just Northrend. Right now they are just waiting for to someone to press the big red button first.

  • by Mr. Beatdown (1221940) on Monday May 19, 2008 @12:55PM (#23464774)
    Conan will crush it's enemies, see WoW driven before it, and to hear the lamentations of its (very few) women.
    • by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:11PM (#23465004) Journal
      Conan will crush it's enemies, see WoW driven before it, and to hear the lamentations of both its women.

      Fixed.
    • Re:Conan will... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WankersRevenge (452399) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:26PM (#23465166)
      hahahaha ... great quote ... My wife and I just watched Conan the other day. She rolled her eyes when I popped it into the dvd player, but after the first ten minutes she was hooked. At the end of the movie, she said she was surprised that she liked it. Besides the T&A elements and the horrific lines ("Two or three years ago, there were just another snake cult, but now, they're everywhere") and Arnold's wooden stares, it's a great fantasy flick with a great soundtrack. I mean, how many Hollywood fantasy films hold a philosophical question at the heart (what is the riddle of steel). And James Earl Jones was a kick ass villain, using his charisma as a weapon. Check it out again if you have some time to kill.
    • by everphilski (877346) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:39PM (#23465304) Journal
      That's not the Conan I know and love.

      Conan the Librarian: Don't you know the Dewey Decimal System?
  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Monday May 19, 2008 @12:55PM (#23464776)
    And it's a decent game, very buggy (although it was beta) and ran very choppy on my reasonably good machine (4GB ram, 8800GTS 320MB, Core2 Duo).

    For others it ran well.

    The PvP is pretty good -- think of it as a type of "Guild Wars" game. The classes are EXTREMELY imbalanced, where the ones that can 'stun' can stun you for a half hour. You can get DoTs that last a long time, and all you do is cast it, and run away -- eventually the other guy dies.

    World of Warcraft will not be unseated or even touched by this game. It's going to be a rush to try it out, and you'll see everybody go back to WoW. WoW is simple to play (not a lot to figure out, it gets more advanced as you level), it takes a very little power machine, the classes are VERY balanced, and every instance and dungeon is well thought out. It's not to say that the game is that great either -- but the social aspect of WoW is a lot nicer than AoC will ever offer, and it's why they have 9 million subscribers. Because it's easy to group, easy to socialize, and easy to play.

    AoC is a good game for those looking for a 'hardcore' experience, or Guild Wars on steroids. I don't know about WAR, but I'm patiently waiting for beta access (fingers crossed!) to see how it plays out.

    Right now though, I am sticking to WoW.
    • by Cheeko (165493)
      I'm one of the early release players AND I played in the closed beta for about 4 months.

      While the beta did have its minor issues in the end, you can tell that they were definitely holding back on the production client/game in the beta and focusing heavily on testing the game systems.

      The look and feel of the game upon release blows away the beta. The client is half the size and much more stable. I played from launch until the servers came down for the first patch (about 30 hours, minus a few hours to sleep
    • classes are VERY balanced
      NERF ROGUES. Stunlocks FTL
  • My take... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Drakin020 (980931) on Monday May 19, 2008 @12:55PM (#23464778)
    I got in on the early release. Managed to get to Lv 9.

    I was not impressed. The combat system is cool for about an hour or 2 then it's somewhat annoying. Mages are overpowered in that you cast one spell and the enemy dies.

    Also everyone has Hide (AKA Stealth) yeah...everyone. There are some limitations but the ability is still there.

    I think it needs a bit more tweaking, but again I'm not to thrilled with it.
    • by Cheeko (165493)
      Everyone is OP until about 15-16. The point in the early levels is to learn the game.

      Even as a healer I was 1-shotting things up until about 12.

      After that it tails off and you need much more damage to kill things.

      Level 9 is not a good enough sample to judge a whole game IMO.
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Monday May 19, 2008 @12:58PM (#23464816)
    WoW fills an enormous niche. A game like Conan, no matter how great, will likely find it isn't even competing in the same market.

    WoW runs on crap hardware. When something like 95% of your customer base is a "casual" player, that's an important (of not the important) feature. The shitty $400 Laptop or $300 PC you bought from WalMart will probably give you a satisfactory experience playing WoW, and it's likely that the vast, vast majority of WoW's customer's are running on low-end machines. Conan doesn't even have a shot at those customers. They can't even run the game if they wanted to.

    If you want to de-throne WoW, you've got to build a well marketed, feature and content rich MMO that runs on today's low-end machines. Otherwise you are selling to a much smaller market than Blizzard.

    This is nothing new for Blizzard, either. All their games have always been targeted at low-end (mainstream) machines. And they always sell like crazy. This isn't a coincidence.
    • it doesnt lock itself down to low settings however. if you have a high end machine, a crossfire or sli, it gives what you ask for.

      unlike wow, which is set to run on a laptop, and run on an ultra fast gaming pc as it runs on a high end desktop.

      aoc basically makes you able to go to a whole different world with its graphics and realism, whereas wow takes you to l337 land.
  • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:02PM (#23464876)
    I don't think it will make much of a dent sadly. The game is still too unrefined, and the animations are pretty horrible.

    WoW didn't just get mass market appeal overnight - they actually did it by giving gamers a very polished MMO. WoW players complain about bugs all the time, but really its small potatoes to what came before - and none of these bugs are what I'd call critical.
    • I'll have trouble playing another MMO (I quit WoW 6 months ago after playing since beta and raiding since MC was novel) unless it offers the degree of UI flexibility that WoW does. I dislike the UI in most games, but it doesn't bother me too much because I can work around it. I tend to like minimalist UIs if they're not going to be perfect, so something like GTA4 is pretty nice for me. But when I actually care about being competitive, which is something I've only felt in an MMO, default UIs never hold up
    • really, which game is that one you speak of ?

      the aoc im playing knocks the socks off of any other mmo in graphics, detail and setting.
    • by Cheeko (165493)
      Are you judging that off beta or release? While I didn't think beta was that bad, I was amazed at how much better the release client is. They definitely held back in beta.
  • Fancy MMO's MEH... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hyperz69 (1226464)
    Give me my Red Dragon and Exiled. The old BBS days. We had Ansi Colored Text... and we LIKED IT like that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by oodaloop (1229816)
      You and your fancy colored text. Back in my day we had Pong!
      • by Yvan256 (722131)
        You and your fancy electronic ping-pong. Back in my day we had board games!
        • You and your fancy 'board games', back in my day we used to sit around the fire and tell stories, just waiting to die at age 20 from any number of diseases, predators or starvation.
  • Greetings! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I for one welcome our new Barbarian Overlords!
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:10PM (#23464992)
    I dumped City of Heroes after I got my MAC. I was tired of having to log out of Linux to play COH and decided I was just going to dump it entirely and just install WOW on my Mac. I can also play it on Linux via Cedega/WINE really well. Yes this is maybe 10% of the desktop market total but WOW caters to it and as a result is the dominant MORPG for Linux and MAC players. Windows players have a million options to choose from for MORPG's and tons of people fighting for their dollars while 40% of college students are all purchasing Macs and nobody is fighting for this disposable income market.

    Seems like someone other than Blizzard would see the wisdom in supporting OpenGL and this expanding market

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:16PM (#23465052)
    Many of the complaints about the client, animations, and performance have been resolved in just the last few weeks of the beta. The difference in performance is astounding.

    There are many players using mid-range to even lower range systems that are getting very decent performance with the client. As with any MMO of course there are bugs, and as with any MMO they will be corrected in time.

    If you haven't actually played the game in the last week of beta or as part of the early access then whatever opinion you have about it is most likely based on very flawed and incorrect information.
  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:18PM (#23465064)
    I know this was a factor for myself, atleast in the late 20's early 30's age category.

    I played EQ for 7+ years from early beta, I played EQ2 for abit too, but ended up playing DAoC for abit before moving to WoW. I spend years, thousands of hours, played in the lead horde guild for that time, and got completely burnt out just before the first expansion pack came along.. with multi characters all at level 60....

    Once I quit, I have not started a new game, and do not plan to, and I am sure I am not the only one... Those of us who started playing in our late teens early 20's, have probably had enough, especially those of us who finally have families or significant others who demand our attentions, and real life things like going out, playing sports (I mountain Bike) and hobbies (I woodwork), I would just not have time for a game, hell I barely play my Wii or Xbox (original) anymore, I just do not have the time.
    • I know this was a factor for myself, atleast in the late 20's early 30's age category.

      I played EQ for 7+ years from early beta, I played EQ2 for abit too, but ended up playing DAoC for abit before moving to WoW. I spend years, thousands of hours, played in the lead horde guild for that time, and got completely burnt out just before the first expansion pack came along.. with multi characters all at level 60....

      Once I quit, I have not started a new game, and do not plan to, and I am sure I am not the only one... Those of us who started playing in our late teens early 20's, have probably had enough, especially those of us who finally have families or significant others who demand our attentions, and real life things like going out, playing sports (I mountain Bike) and hobbies (I woodwork), I would just not have time for a game, hell I barely play my Wii or Xbox (original) anymore, I just do not have the time.

      WoW will also be many people's first MMOG. Sure, there are folks like you (and me) who started playing these things a few years back and don't really have the time anymore because of friends/family/work/whatever. But there are also plenty of people who are just now entering their 20's and 30's and have plenty of time to spend on MMOGs.

  • What's the appeal? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drsquare (530038) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:18PM (#23465066)
    OK, I downloaded the trial of World of Warcraft a few days ago to see what all the fuss is about. The game seems to work as thus:

    1. You see a mob walking around.
    2. You right click on it, you fire a few arrows at it, it runs towards you, you automatically fight it.
    3. It dies, you get some xp.
    4. Do it a few more times and level.
    5. Goto 1.

    I got up to level 6, and that seems to be all the game really has. You get more powerful with each level, and better equipment, and can fight more dangerous things, but the game's still exactly the same. Instead of clicking on a level 1 boar, you click on a level 6 scorpion or something. Does it actually get more fun when you get to the really high levels? The combat system is awful, worse than Golden Axe which is like twenty years old. All this modern technology and it's like playing an old text-based MUD: "you hit the boar for 10 points of damage, the boar hits you for 5 points of damage etc."

    It's very slow walking around, and there isn't much of interest to look at. There are a couple of small villages, some dirt tracks, and not much else.

    Quests seem to be either:
    1. Kill ten things, bring its drops back.
    2. Carry something from one place to another.

    Apparently this is the greatest ever MMO, ten million players, bigger than Jesus etc. and I was completely underwhelmed. The graphics are pretty uninspiring, the world is a bland orange with no real features or vegetation: you sort of expect roadrunner to go past at any moment. NPCs just stand around doing nothing other than giving you quests, other players don't even talk to you, it's like playing a single player game.

    I tried Everquest 2, which is pretty much exactly the same game but with better graphics and a worse interface. Are all MMOs like this? If so I really don't see why they carry so much interest.
    • by mdm-adph (1030332)
      I gather from your post you experienced all of this alone, right?

      The joy of an MMO is, believe it or not, playing with other people. If you find a good group of people to hang around with, it can be an absolute blast. I seriously don't care what the game looks like -- I've met so many interesting people from all around the world through MMO's like WoW, and I wouldn't trade that social interaction for all the fancy DX10 LEET HD BLOOM effects in the world.
    • by morari (1080535)
      Yep!

      That ridiculously boring combat system is the main thorn in every MMO's side. Clicking an enemy only to watch as you automatically take turns attacking is not fun or interactive in the least bit.

      Age of Conan does seem to want to rectify this to some extent. How well it turns out is anyone's guess though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Endo13 (1000782)
      Congrats, you played an Orc hunter to level 6. That's like reading the title on the cover of a music CD and deciding you know all about their music and that it sucks.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Endo13 (1000782)
        Whoops, sorry for mistakenly assuming your hunter was an Orc. Clearly it was a Troll.
    • by paitre (32242)
      Sounds to me like you started off as an Orc or Troll.

      Their starting area (Durotar) is -deliberately- barren - it's supposed to be. The Orcs were driven into one of the more desolate parts of the world after the second war, since it was about the only place they could find some peace and quiet.
      If you want cool shiny graphics and lots of eye candy, start off with a Blood Elf. Even the Tauren area is pretty neat (but then, I -really- dig the American Indian 'flavor' to the lore around that race).

      But that all s
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kildjean (871084)
      The main appeal of a game like World of Warcraft is the story behind every nook, character or issue in the game. Back when wow was just "the old world" it was a different blend of graphics, an interesting story that by the time you get to lvl 70, you see why the alliance is fighting the horde and why the horde is not at all that much "evil". I play a game for the story and background it had. Vanguard had all the uuuuh ooooh ahhh a game can have... better graphics, a world so huge you would get lost... in
    • Lots of your comments are spot on, but the game really does get better. The biggest complaint you seem to have is that you right click and auto-kill things. At more advanced levels of the game, you might use 10 special (manually activated) abilities in a single solo fight, some of them requiring very precise timing and contextual decision-making.

      If your only goal is to level or finish a quest, you might use fewer abilities and not have to think, but if you somehow get into the game (I'm sort of baffled at
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brkello (642429)
      Yeah, if you read 10 pages a book and stop you probably won't get it either. The first part of the game starts very slow for casual people to get the hang of playing. Getting to level 6 takes about an hour so you really don't have much of an idea what is going on after playing so little. The higher level you get, the more skills your learn and the more interesting combat becomes. Some classes are more interesting than others and some suit different types of play styles.

      I don't think everyone has to lik
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by EQ (28372)

      Does it actually get more fun when you get to the really high levels? It's very slow walking around, and there isn't much of interest to look at. There are a couple of small villages, some dirt tracks, and not much else. Are all MMOs like this? If so I really don't see why they carry so much interest.

      Its like sex.

      Yeah, you can do it by yourself like you did. But its repetitive and boring, as you found out.

      Its a lot more fun with someone else. Especially if they really know how to play well.

      And you saw only the beginner area. You missed all the exciting advanced content, plus as you get better at it, its a lot more enjoyable. ;-)

  • ...I don't think Blizzard has anything to worry about (1.7Mhz P4, 512MB RAM, 32MB Geforce 2 -- 20-30 FPS). WoW plays wonderfully on integrated video -- it's one of the few games that does.
  • by morari (1080535) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:20PM (#23465096) Journal
    I don't like MMOs and never will. The very fact that I have to pay to play the games keeps me from caring. Outside of that however, I find that Age of Conan (in theory) fixes a lot of the problems inherent within popular MMOs. The most obvious of these problems being the ridiculously dumbeddown combat. Clicking on an enemy and watching as your character takes turns attacking it is not fun. I don't know how well Conan's system works, but real time, actual skill-based combat is sure a step in the right direction anyway you slice it.

    Robert E. Howard's "Hyborian Age" is the perfect setting if done correctly. It certainly puts to shame all of the weak "high fantasy" out there. It's just a shame that it's being relegated to an MMO which may or may not even catch on with the population.

  • The Answer is No (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moore.dustin (942289) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:30PM (#23465200) Homepage
    ...and it is an emphatic No.

    WoW brought non-gamers into the fray and can boast 10 million users as a direct result of tapping a new market of non-gamers(Non PC Gamers at least). Wow did not turn these people onto PC gaming on a larger scale though, it isn't opening doors for others genres (or games in this case) to get these users. These users playing WoW, that would have otherwise not be playing anything on a PC are, 1) Not looking for another a new PC game and more importantly 2) are still very happy with what WoW is giving them given the longevity of its sustained user base. If a company wishes to tap the same users that made WoW wildly successful, they have to earn it! Blizzard created its new market by drawing people to their game and other companies will have to do the same. The point here is that a company cannot just make a game and sell a bunch of copies early on and claim to be challenging WoW. Instead they have to start well, sustain growth AND THEN they may be able to draw the new coveted market Blizzard has cornered at present. Let us not forget that WoW did not really take off with the Average Joe for a good 12+ months after it went gold(at least).

    These other games may get some of the gamers that knew the genre's(MMO) landscape before WoW and actually care to try other MMO's. They will not eat into WoW's new bread and butter - in fact, they are all just scurrying around for the crumbs.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday May 19, 2008 @01:32PM (#23465232)

    I don't think it likely either of these will dethrone WoW. First, the system requirements for both seem to be missing the "midrange computer from two years ago" that is the normal target for mainstream games. As such, they're only hitting the relatively small "extreme gamer" market. Next, there is no support for the Mac, which cuts out 14% of the total US market and much more of the game buying market. Third, losing a small portion of the market because of requirements can lose you much bigger portions of the market because these are networked games. If just one person in a group of friends has a Mac or a lower end PC, the entire group may well decide to stick with WoW or some other game that they can all play (especially if that one player is the cute co-ed gamer in the dorm).

    Really, there is nothing wrong with either of these games, but they just aren't targeted at the same demographic as WoW, or if they are they are very poorly targeted. Some day someone will come out with a WoW-killer but I don't think either of these are even viable candidates.

    • First, the system requirements for both seem to be missing the "midrange computer from two years ago" that is the normal target for mainstream games.

      Required OS: Windows Vista/XP Processor: 3GHz Pentium IV RAM: 1GB RAM Video Card: Shader Model 2.0 and 128MB RAM: NVIDIA GeForce 5800 or ATI 9800

      Outside of the 1 GB Ram, the requirements are for hardware that is many years old at this point. The requirements don't even require a system from 2 years back. The CPU and Video cards they require them would have been old hat in a system back in 2003.

  • End Game... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SoylentRed (1246018)
    There are a few things I find myself hoping for in AoC.

    1st - as I've gotten a bit older (Yay... 30 in a week... And yes I know - 30 isn't old... I said older...) I have far less time to play MMOs. From what I understand the leveling time in AoC (when compared to other MMOs) is far less to get to top level. (Last I heard from beta was about 3 days of /played time to get from first to last level... and this didn't change for release.)

    2nd - raiding for me isn't an end game solution. Yeah - I played WoW -
    • by Skadet (528657)

      (And yes - I understand they system has changed now that BC is out and it is better - but what do you do...)

      Let me emphatically tell you that it is NOT better.

      I was in a Hyjal/BT guild for some time, and it's more of the same. When I first hit 70 and ground Kara over and over and over, I figured, "Man, Tier 6 content must be so much better and interesting than this stupid grind!!"

      It's not.

      It is EXACTLY the same, and generally BT (and Archi in Hyjal) is even harder -- as expected, but artificially so

  • and still is. i got into early access and i can say that im gonna be in for a loooooooooong time. (forever, if they keep the in game content top notch in expansions, like they have done for launch). ive never been a fanboi of anything, ever. so you can read what i type below as the sincere experiences of a gaming veteran.

    im an uo, swg, wow veteran. (not counting countless other brief stints like eve, potbs etc). though i enjoyed some or many aspects of all these games, none of them whacked my mind outta
  • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Monday May 19, 2008 @02:28PM (#23465942) Homepage Journal

    What will kill WoW, in the MMORPG market, is a game where much the content is generated three ways: carefully designed by the developers, randomly generated by the game, and created by the players themselves.

    Imagine a game where you can design you own swords and armor, or build your own houses. Players can build their own cities, running markets and shops (perhaps the shopkeep can be one of their 'alts', or their player when they are not online) -- even set up their own questgivers (perhaps you need some number of rare items to build your own magic device). Toss in the random spawning of troll villages in the boonies, or brigands on well travelled roads, and combine that with an epic main storyline created by the game designers with the usual castles and quests.

    Until we get a game with more dynamic content -- mainly, random and user generated -- I can't really see anything displacing WoW. That game just does to many things right, and not one of its competitors appears to be building on that.

  • by initialE (758110) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:12PM (#23466582)
    It says here [wikipedia.org] that Conan is 61. But then again it says here [wikipedia.org] that Conan is 45. So I guess I have to shell out a few bucks and play the game to find out what is the age of Conan.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday May 19, 2008 @09:39PM (#23470274)
    from what I read, it's utter crap.

    It certainly does not qualify as an RPG.

    Particularly: it combines the twitchy experience of an fps with the annoyingly complex button combos of a fighting engine.

    This game is for the CS/Halo3 crowd and the DOA version X crowd.

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