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Age of Conan, One Year On 119

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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  • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @04:46AM (#28008763)
    I played a Guardian for the first 4 months of AoC (as well as a few other classes, but guardian was my main), The combat is utter crap, they billed it as an innovative complex combat system, in reality it is just a reimplementation of 80's arcade game combo systems, The direction attacks make it incredibly easy for those with less lag to take advantage of those with lag, overpowered combos and ridiculously broken stat mechanics. I will give you that the graphics were amazing as was some of the detail put into story lines, but those were not enough to save it, 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 on fixes was just to much. No matter how much they improve the game now it is destined for an bargain bin, The game left a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths, I have 12 friends that played the game with me for most of those 4 months and some long after I left, NONE of them play it anymore.
  • by Bunzinator ( 1105885 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @05:17AM (#28008911)
    That kind of PVP is all and good, but for those of us in Oz and other far flung reaches, with normal ping times of 250-300 ms, we just can't compete with the LPBs in the US. So PVP, even if I liked it, would be a total waste of time. As for the game in general, the noob area was fantastic. Exquisite graphics, interesting quests with voice acted interactions, mature content. All this fell apart once you left the noob area. And the notorious 10k ping problem. It became totally unplayable. I left. Did they ever get that 10k ping issue fixed?
  • by Vandil X ( 636030 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @06:06AM (#28009217)
    As much as I applaud Funcom for their work with Age of Conan, I still think they should make a next generation Anarchy Online game instead. The original AO has such a unique, rich world, that is only limited by its EverQuest 1-era graphics and engine.

    They make AO2, and I am there.
  • by rugger ( 61955 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @06:51AM (#28009411)

    This isn't a post to bash Vista or AoC, just pointing out the similarities between the two.

    Both had horrendously terrible releases, and while the products may have ended up reasonably solid after much fixing and tweeking, nothing is going to fix the bad release publicity.

    Maybe this is a message to publishers that releasing a half-finished product, then fixing it later, is really a terrible terrible idea that should be avoided at all costs. Microsoft certainly is trying VERY HARD to avoid the mistakes of vista with windows 7, even though they are quite similar OSes.

  • by slackbheep ( 1420367 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @08:45AM (#28010239)
    For anyone unconvinced the class balance really WAS bad enough to warrant quitting. While assassins were absolutely useless twits who could barely take care of equally leveled monsters without cooldowns, any healing class was capable of tearing the very stars from the heavens. They could only be torn down by Guardians, or by exceptionally skilled players in a lesser class(And I do mean lesser). Grouping was also a complete joke. The game plan every single time boiled down to "Let tank pile up mobs, spam aoe, repeat."
  • by skeezixcodejedi ( 1344929 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @09:52AM (#28010999)
    I had a long laundry list of issues, but many ewere game _Design_ and not the usual rants about bugs. PVP? There were no real 'enemies' estabnlished; you can be an an open pvp server, which means free for all .. no goal or reason, just people ganking randomly (usually when you were talking to NPCs due to the really bad design of zoom while chatting, and the fact they couldnt' code enough to put an if-statement to disable gank-while-zoomed). Anyway, there needs to be 'war' of some sort designed in, or its just boring. More to point though.. instancing. ITs not an open world.. its a bubble world, with bubbles here or there. Hell, at launch people under ataack could just switch instances and vanish, which killed the whole 'designed for PVP' idea. But its somethign unfixable .. the world is not wide and open and explorable, its a bunch of bubbles with hyperlinks. *MEH* I just assume they've implemented stats and gear and tried to normalize it all, but I could never go back for the lack of PVP design, and lack of real open world feal. We dont' go to MMORPGs for a small world. We go to them for a big immersive world we can walk end to end in. jeff

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone