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Age of Conan, One Year On 119

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-alive dept.
One year after its rocky launch, Age of Conan has stabilized and seen a growth in its player base, reports FunCom. What's more, they say, is that players seem to be playing for longer periods of time as well. Game Director Craig Morrison said in his May letter that work on the next major update, 1.05, is nearing completion, and provided some more details about the new features. This is the same patch which, due to the sweeping stat and equipment changes, will allow players who have a character at level 50 or higher to create a brand new character already at level 50. Reader Kheldon points out a two-part interview with Morrison in which he discusses the laundry list of changes they've made in the past year to improve the game, as well as some broader thoughts about storytelling in the MMO genre. FunCom also released some early details yesterday on two new, free-to-play MMOs they're working on, one of which is browser-based and one of which is Java-based.
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Age of Conan, One Year On

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  • meh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by waspleg (316038) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @04:55AM (#28008801) Journal

    i played hte first 2 or 3 months

    this game is really really bad, it only has a player base because of tits and stupid kids who like to sit in huge groups at the entrances to low level zones and kill lowbies over and over and over

    what killed it for me after defending its shittastic launch was that every subsequent patch introduced more problems than it fixed, like 10k ping spikes and CTDs where there were none.

    class balance is a total joke etc.

    the only thing i miss and think should have been put in to other games is the horse-sprint

    i only know one person who still plays, and they're a huge EVE fan too.

  • Re:meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hyfe (641811) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @05:53AM (#28009155)
    Please don't mod parent up.

    Conan is an enjoyable game. I'm not playing it currently, as the wast majority of people here, as it isn't really my type of game.. but still, it's an enjoyable game. If you're wondering about playing it, try the 7-day trial. It's free.

    That said, I'm sick and tired of whiners making uninformed, poorly written posts. The Conan forums were full of them a month after launch. Why?! It's not going to help, it's not going to solve anything and it's ruining the forums for the people who actually play and enjoy the game.

    Furthermore, why on earth are native speakers the ones with the most spelling mistakes? When they're ranting, can't they include some details on whats wrong, instead of just " tihs game suxx".. so atleast the people reading would get some information and some basis for discussion? Seriously, why are so many people acting like utter retards?

  • by piggydoggy (804252) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @06:36AM (#28009345)

    If you read the negative comments here, you can easily spot the trend: "had high hopes, preordered the game, played for a month, it *sucked*, and even though I haven't touched it for a year I'm sure it still sucks (because I'll be damned if I give Funcom any money to try it again)".

    At launch the game wasn't finished and complaints were grounded in reality. But the fact that Funcom has worked hard on the game for a year, fixing problems, adding content, rethinking bad design decisions and actually ended up with a polished, *genuinely good* MMORPG has gone completely unnoticed.

    AOC's main problem isn't the game, but its public perception that was throughly ruined by the game's post-launch half-bakedness. If you ask newcomers who've just signed up to AOC about how they feel about it, they're usually having fun and are very much puzzled about the hate it's getting.

    Funcom is facing a heck of a task battling people's existing prejudices in order to try and convince its 600,000 lost customers that they have indeed made the game playable and fun.

  • Re:meh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @06:37AM (#28009353)

    i played hte first 2 or 3 months

    this game was really really bad 9 or 10 months ago when I last played, it only has a player base because of tits and stupid kids who like to sit in huge groups at the entrances to low level zones and kill lowbies over and over and over 9 or 10 months ago when I last played.

    what killed it for me after defending its shittastic launch was that every subsequent patch introduced more problems than it fixed, like 10k ping spikes and CTDs where there were none which were present 9 or 10 months ago when I last played, but could be patched now. I don't know, though, because I haven't played in 9 or 10 months.

    class balance was a total joke etc 9 or 10 months ago, when I last played.

    the only thing i miss and think should have been put in to other games is the horse-sprint

    i only know one person who still plays, and they're a huge EVE fan too.

    Fixed that for you. Tenses corrected in italics, additions in bold.

    Anon as I've modded you "Overrated"

  • Re:meh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @06:50AM (#28009403)

    You ask why people whine? Could it be the fact that some of the promised features wasn't delivered? (Bar brawls, directional combat that mattered, DX 10 support).
    Or was it that the most convenient way to travel was by way of death?
    Could it be that PVP was all about preloading your combos while running around and then hitting with the last strike, because the others didn't really matter?
    Could it have been lack of content at some levels meaning that everyone (except those who's classes happened to be broken at launch so that they could stack their almost free damage spells in absurdum) had to gind the same mobs over and over to advance.
    Not to mention that a few areas would cause your computer to crash.

    There are a few of my issues with AoC, and then I haven't even mentioned that male characters where better than female characters because of a bug, or that armour didn't have any noticeable effect... The Game was horrible at launch and horrible two months in. I know, I was there.

    It might be better now, but don't call those who bash the release misinformed.

  • Re:meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @07:27AM (#28009615)
    Just because someone doesn't like the game doesn't make them whiney or uninformed. My guild that I played SWG and WoW with moved to AoC at launch... and within 3 months people started moving back to WoW. I made the mistake of paying for 6 months worth of AoC when I first created my account, about 3-4 months in I was completely bored of the game. The class I chose was horrible playing solo (barbarian). I can't remember what level I reached but I didn't come close to hitting the max.

    I think the combat system had a lot of promise. It's too bad they released an alpha version of the game which was so bad that it ruined the game's credibility for ever. AoC is known as a flop and they will have a hard time ever getting rid of that stigma.
  • by murdocj (543661) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @07:58AM (#28009813)

    At launch the game wasn't finished and complaints were grounded in reality. But the fact that Funcom has worked hard on the game for a year, fixing problems, adding content, rethinking bad design decisions and actually ended up with a polished, *genuinely good* MMORPG has gone completely unnoticed.

    The problem is that the initial impression from launch is the impression that people are left with. It's a constant problem for all MMOs, not just AoC. Releasing a buggy, incomplete MMO pretty much guarantees failure, because the people who are excited about it are going to jump into it and come away very disappointed. It's not hard to predict this, anyone who is familiar with the industry understands this. That's one reason that WoW succeeded where other games have failed... it worked well, right from launch. I got into it about a month after launch and one of the things that made it work for me was that it just... worked. After playing EQ1 for years and just accepting the fact that the world was buggy, having a game that you could just play and enjoy was quite a revelation.

  • by montyzooooma (853414) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @08:23AM (#28009993)
    "Funcom is facing a heck of a task battling people's existing prejudices in order to try and convince its 600,000 lost customers that they have indeed made the game playable and fun."
    A two or three month free trial for those original accounts that played from the beginning would be a start.
  • Re:meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thaelon (250687) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @08:50AM (#28010309)

    Which perhaps goes to show that you should make sure your launch isn't an abomination, or otherwise you'll lose a bunch of players who won't give you a second chance.

  • by jwhitener (198343) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @02:13PM (#28014823)

    "The direction attacks make it incredibly easy for those with less lag to take advantage of those with lag"

    Since when has lag not effected game play? If you have a laggy connection, you'll be at a disadvantage in any game.

    "the list of bugs at the time I left was mind boggling, the poor balance, and add in the lack of any real communication from funcom"

    The list of bugs at the 4 month point is drastically smaller. They had a smoother launch than most games. Most people who complained about the bugs were comparing 4+ year old games to the new AoC. Not fair.

    Balance is group vs group, not player vs player.

    Funcom communicates on the test live forums more than most game companies. If you think they were lacking in communication, it is probably because you were expecting the devs to post in the general forums, which they do not. Get on the testing forums, and you'll see multiple posts per day per dev.

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