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

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the david-and-goliath dept.

Role Playing (Games) 582

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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582 comments

WoW's peaked. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464718)

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.

Re:WoW's peaked. (-1, Flamebait)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464848)

"... start looking for a new challenge and a less happy candy colored world"

What about the real world?

(said with a bit of sarcasm and a tad seriousness)

If the only reason to leave WoW is to play another MMO game, then, maybe... Have you have played WoW for several years and still want more "challenges" why not "Get a life"? *sigh*
Seriously!

Re:WoW's peaked. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464964)

Too much leisure time is one thing, but most people blow some time on pursuits that are purely pleasure, and WoW is no better or worse than most of those. I used to play WoW; I played a lot during a period where I was freelancing and doing contract work. Played a lot less when I started in on a full time job. Less still when my first kid came along.

If I can find time to play WoW, have a full time job, a kid, and a social life, what's the problem? People always treat it like there is some character flaw in playing an MMO, but they ignore the fact that the person'd be playing some other game, reading a trashy novel, or slacking in front of the TV.

Re:WoW's peaked. (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465154)

Unless you are playing quite often, it's simply not worth the subscription fee. That is assuming it's worth the price to begin with, which may be debatable given the continuous expansion packs that eventually become necessity. That's how I see it at least. If I had no life and could play it for several hours a day almost every single day, then the subscription price might be justified (assuming the combat wasn't of the boring click-n-wait variety). But since that isn't the case, it's essentially just a waste of money.

Re:WoW's peaked. (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465228)

Why is it that 2 trips to the movies, lasting MAYBE 6 hours tops, is treated as worth $14.95, but a game needs to be played "several hours per day every day" to meet the same value? We'll assume 30 hours per week as a nice approximation of "several hours per day every day". What you're then saying is that an entertainment venue is too expensive to you until it gets below $0.50 per hour. Just how broke are you?

Understand that I'm not questioning whether or not you want to play the game in the first place - that's a fine and legitimate reason. But you've taken a different stand that it's not worth it to people who DO want to play a limited amount of time.

Re:WoW's peaked. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465434)

oops. Meant to write "30 hours per month", not "30 hours per week". The math works as I intended but I used the wrong word there.

Re:WoW's peaked. (2, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465530)

To be fair, I rarely go out to the theater in part because movie tickets are horrendously priced. I don't have any sort of television subscription for similar reasons. Just because something is of comparative value doesn't necessarily mean that it's a deal.

The other thing is that you must first go out and purchase the game before you are even hit with the subscription fee. The game is probably cheaper now than it was originally to purchase in store, but that's still an initial investment on top of a monthly subscription fee. Add to that the growing number of expansion packs that are needed for the entire experience and you could have already bought one or two games that don't require a monthly fee. Furthermore, everyone I know that plays an MMO pays for two accounts so that they can play with their wife or husband.

This is just how I see it however. I'm more than willing to accept that many people see it as just another competitively priced form of entertainment. I just wouldn't be able to think of it in that light myself if I were considering a purchase. I'd much rather pursue something along the lines of Morrowind or Oblivion, which can easily provide hundreds of hours of gameplay with room for even further expansion byway of user created mods. The only thing you would really be missing is multiplayer (which is a shame, the Elder Scrolls would be great with two or four person LAN play).

Perhaps I am just more value orientated than most? It's hard to tell. I have a NetFlix subscription, but that's $15 for two (or more) hours of entertainment a day. I get "three at a time" and send them back pretty quickly, which results in six discs per week. That's is a time and price range pretty on par with what I was originally talking about as far as MMOs go.

Re:WoW's peaked. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465244)

Huh? The subscription fee is like $15 a month. That's less than two movies at the theater (assuming you don't buy snacks), or a evening bowling, or a new hardback novel. Those other things are six to ten hours of enjoyment, tops, which translates to just two to three hours a week of WoW for the same thing.

Break that up into an hour Saturday morning while the kids watch some shows, and a half hour twice a week while waiting for dinner, and it's a downright reasonable way to spend free time. It's the same price or cheaper than many other options.

Re:WoW's peaked. (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465314)

Unless you are playing quite often, it's simply not worth the subscription fee. That is assuming it's worth the price to begin with, which may be debatable given the continuous expansion packs that eventually become necessity. That's how I see it at least. If I had no life and could play it for several hours a day almost every single day, then the subscription price might be justified (assuming the combat wasn't of the boring click-n-wait variety). But since that isn't the case, it's essentially just a waste of money.
Obviously, to the folks who do pay the subscription fee and do play the game, it is worth the fee. Regardless of how much/little they play.

There are folks out there who pay multiple hundreds of dollars for a bottle of wine or a cigar. There are folks spending $100+ a month just for cable television. What's wrong with spending $15 a month on WoW, even if you only play for an hour or two?

Worth is highly subjective.

Re:WoW's peaked. (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465168)

Totally agree. People need to learn to let others live the way they want to. To too many people someone spending 3 hours bored out of their mind at a local bar is somehow fundamentally better than that same person having fun for 3 hours in an MMORPG. Sure YOU might prefer one or the other, but why worry about others who happen to take pleasure from different activities than yourself?

Re:WoW's peaked. (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465274)

"... start looking for a new challenge and a less happy candy colored world"

What about the real world?

(said with a bit of sarcasm and a tad seriousness)

If the only reason to leave WoW is to play another MMO game, then, maybe... Have you have played WoW for several years and still want more "challenges" why not "Get a life"? *sigh*
Seriously!
Why is there always such negativity associated with MMOGs? Why is there always the suggestion that people should stop wasting their time and go do something else?

Most folks have some leisure time. Some people have more than others...but most folks have at least a little. And generally speaking folks will do something fun with that time. Some people read books, others watch TV, some play board games, some go out drinking, some play video games, some listen to music, some make music... Why is any one of these wastes of time any more or less acceptable than any other?

Re:WoW's peaked. (1)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464886)

Basically, they created the ultimate MMO gateway drug.
Totally spot on. I've always been in RPGs and people I know who hated the genre got into WoW and were playing religiously. Personally I never enjoyed it that much because of the reasons you stated.

Hopefully you're right and with the demise of WoW we'll see more interesting MMORPGs that have the same draw of the number of people that made WoW worth playing.

Re:WoW's peaked. (1)

Aix (218662) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465318)

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:WoW's peaked. (5, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:WoW's peaked. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465494)

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 to 60% to switch? Likely, no, because almost all of those 60% want to continue playing with their friends, one of whom at least probably does not have a system that will run the new game.

The formula for a real WoW-killer is a system that will run on a midrange system from two years ago (a little higher than Wow's requirements but nothing like AoC and about what Blizzard targeted when they released), which has a Mac version from day one, and which still keeps the learning curve relatively low. Running on consoles is a step in the right direction, provided they can interact with PC users. Finally, it needs to keep from changing the basic features that appeal to the mainstream (like not primarily PvP). On top of that there is plenty of room for innovation with better game play, more user content, the ability to buy third party content, etc. But the key is not to lose the ability for people to keep playing with their friends in a casual way... and that is where every single so-called WoW-killer has failed to date.

Re:WoW's peaked. (2, Insightful)

Thrymm (662097) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465544)

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 server and outdated graphics aside I don't know how I ever left, gameplay and challenges still meet my needs there.

But to be more on point, theres always room for a new comer, if they fail, they fail. How many have come and gone already? Many.

PvP games (4, Insightful)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464732)

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:PvP games (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23464940)

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 you won't be disappointed. I've been playing the beta for several weeks without doing any PvP and have had no lack of stuff to do. From what I've seen stated even the seige warfare will be open to PvE only players, with your enemy being played by NPC's instead of other players.

Re:PvP games (2, Insightful)

KevMar (471257) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464970)

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 PvP for AoC. If that fails, the game will die. If AoC fails at raid PvE content, few people will care and will be willing to wait for them to get it right.

WoW does alot and it reaches alot of people. These other games can target a select group and shift the game to their needs. WoW has PvP, but it is forced and added on late in the game. Thats why AoC and War are targeting those parts of the game. WoW has a lot of players asking for more when it comes to PvP.

Re:PvP games (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:PvP games (1)

Keill (920526) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465182)

Ditto here...

Though I also need a bit more variety in my PvE gameplay, which doesn't seem to exist yet - (got bored with EQ/AO/SWG/WoW etc.

The funny ting is that the only game I found that I liked is a PvP one (Eve Online) which is funny...

Re:PvP games (1)

underpants_gnome (1226602) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465188)

Unfortunately WoW fits in your description, given that Blizz wants to transform the Arena into some "e-sport" thing. =/

Re:PvP games (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465356)

I really don't have much direct experience with WoW. I tried it briefly when it first came out and it just didn't grab me. My wife plays it though.

Lord of the Rings Online and City of Heroes are the two games I have played that were concentrated on PvE, and didn't really seem to let PvP concerns affect that. There is some PvP in both games (now), but they're obviously just side areas for those that enjoy that sort of thing. I'm fine with that...:-)

No, there is pvp for both pve and pvp (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465546)

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.

Early Launch went well (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23464738)

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.

Re:Early Launch went well (1)

SoylentRed (1246018) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465572)

What mac? I have a dell it's running terrible on (but it's my fault - and I am backing up to wipe it out - I'm also copying the game over now to the vista in my bootcamp on my macbookpro. :) Hoping that runs it better lol...

Yes, probably a problem for Blizzard (3, Informative)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Yes, probably a problem for Blizzard (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465074)

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.
People were saying this when the game came out, but it's simply wrong. Yes, a bunch of people will leave for Warhammer - The population of WoW players will still grow, just like it always did. WoW is as strong as ever, with around 10 million subscriptions, and another expansion around the way. It is getting somewhere.

Re:Yes, probably a problem for Blizzard (4, Interesting)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Conan will... (5, Funny)

Mr. Beatdown (1221940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464774)

Conan will crush it's enemies, see WoW driven before it, and to hear the lamentations of its (very few) women.

Re:Conan will... (4, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465004)

Conan will crush it's enemies, see WoW driven before it, and to hear the lamentations of both its women.

Fixed.

Re:Conan will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465240)

Conan will crush its enemies, see WoW driven before it, and hear the lamentations of both its women.

Fixed more.

Re:Conan will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465398)

Conan will crush it's enemies
I hardly call that "fixed".

Re:Conan will... (4, Interesting)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Conan will... (3, Funny)

everphilski (877346) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465304)

That's not the Conan I know and love.

Conan the Librarian: Don't you know the Dewey Decimal System?

I played AoC's beta... (5, Informative)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I played AoC's beta... (1)

subsoniq (652203) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465262)

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).

people who are in the early release and downloaded the RTM client (with huge patch included!) have said the new client is worlds apart from that open beta client. for some boneheaded reason Funcom released an open beta client with full debugging code compiled in and turned on. Not a smart move for an open beta just 2 weeks before launch where you're trying to generate buzz about the game, and people have to subscribe to an annoying service to get the client. still, while the early release people aren't seeing any issues right now, we'll see what happens at release time when hundreds of thousands of players try to get on. the client may have been cleaned up but we haven't seen what the servers can handle yet.

Re:I played AoC's beta... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465328)

May well be true, but honestly... it still takes a beefy machine to run the game well.

It will not run like WoW runs, on a piece of crap machine and still quite playable.

And to relate TFA -- it means AOC won't make any competition to WoW.

Re:I played AoC's beta... (1)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465348)

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) without a single crash or freeze.

Occasionally you will run across a bush thats shaped strange or similar things, but they appear to be few and far between and largely trivial polish issues. In MMO terms this has been a pristine launch, though admittedly it was only a small subset. The real test will come Wednesday.

From a technical perspective the game is exceptional. I'll leave the deeper content debate for another time, but I'll say in short that I think you're underselling the PvE. The beta again held back a huge amount of the lore/story elements so as not to show all its cards. Any fan of the Conan lore and/or fantasy in general will probably find the storyline progression and heavy quest centric leveling to be very fun.

Heh, I probably sound like an ad or some wicked fanboi. In either case, I wouldn't discount the game. I think 1 mil subs is probably a reasonable possibility. Not going to unseat WoW, but still an achievement for any MMO. The month free play will probably hook more people than you think.

As a side note I'm also seeing a HUGE WoW backlash in the AoC forums and even in game in some guild names. It would appear that there is a very disgruntled subset of WoW players who were waiting for ANYTHING good to come out for them to go to. Seems like every time something new came out it was seriously flawed and those people stuck with WoW. I think finally they have a viable alternative.

Re:I played AoC's beta... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465498)

I have been in AoC beta for months. The game is great. The amount of work done in the last month has been nothing short of amazing.

The biggest seller to me is getting away from all of the 12 yr old WoW players. WHile I am sure there will still be many who use their parent's cc to play, I hope it will not be anything like the joke that WoW is.

Re:I played AoC's beta... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465504)

The game doesn't have to beat WOW to be a success. Being second to WOW still makes you alot of cash. This game is very good and should be around for years as well. IMO.

My take... (4, Informative)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:My take... (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465196)

The stealth makes sense. Everyone should have some basic idea about how not to be seen.

Re:My take... (4, Funny)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465280)

Everyone should have some basic idea about how not to be seen.
All I know is not to stand up. Is that the trick is this game?

Conan hardly competes.... (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Conan hardly competes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465172)

With a player base of 10 million, taking on WoW is a huge financial endeavor with a high probability of failure. One (or both) of the following will kill WoW:
  • Another Blizzard product. Unlikely if Blizzard maintains the expansion strategy.
  • An MMO with truly user-generated content. Spore will be nudging the genre in this direction. Blizzard knows this is coming, Rob Pardo (a Blizz VP) was on a GDC '07 panel [1up.com] discussing this.

Blizzard is stepping up the pace on expansions, it's been their aim to release one per year. They will likely announce another expansion later this year at Blizzcon '08 (they announced the previous expansions at Blizzcon '05 and '07).

it runs on low end machines (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465486)

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.

Re:Conan hardly competes.... (1)

Aerynlore (972358) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465500)

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.
It's more than this, though. World of Warcraft came with several million fans before the game was even released. By the point WoW came out, Blizzard had plenty of people drinking the Blizz Kool-aid from playing the Starcraft and Warcraft series. Blizzard could have put together a box with a pretty picture on it, labeled it as "Our next game" and sold it for $60 and people would have still bought it.

WoW's biggest initial leap forward was the fan-base that came with having Blizzard's logo on the box. There are very few companies that have the kind of 'brand loyalty' that Blizzard does in the PC gaming market, especially in the fantasy genre.

REMEMBER BNETD! (1, Troll)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464830)

Don't forget people, Blizzard is evil [eff.org] .

They were one of the early abusers of the DMCA hammer, and they used it to shut down reverse engineering of the server protocol that would have allowed widespread modifications of the Diablo 2 engine.

Blizzard does not allow mods like Valve does.

Re:REMEMBER BNETD! (1, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464890)

> Blizzard does not allow mods like Valve does.

Refresh my memory, which MMO does Valve run?

Re:REMEMBER BNETD! (3, Informative)

Lunatrik (1136121) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465516)

> Blizzard does not allow mods like Valve does.

Additionally, you must be using a fairly narrow definition for "mods". I played a number of incredibly clever maps for both Starcraft and Warcraft 3 - while not total conversions like Valve allows for, I would certainly define some of the upper tier maps as "mods".
Not to say Blizzard isn't evil.. they nerfed my priest!

Re:REMEMBER BNETD! (1)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465080)

They were one of the early abusers of the DMCA hammer
How was it abuse? My experience with Blizzard's games leads me to believe they want to deliver their products with as few hitches and hiccups as possible. Adding mods to Diablo 2 would make the hitch and hiccup prevention far more difficult.

Re:REMEMBER BNETD! (0, Offtopic)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465144)

Refresh my memory, which MMO does Valve run?

Hey mods, fuck you.

Re:REMEMBER BNETD! (0, Flamebait)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465260)

I suppose there's some ironic justice in textually flipping off the community of mods when the first copy eventually got modded up again, making me look like an idiot. C'mon guys, justify my nerd-rage! ;)

Blah. I need to take another extended slashdot break.

Re:REMEMBER BNETD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465294)

Mod parent down. Whining -1

Re:REMEMBER BNETD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465472)

I am glad they did. Fuck you, you stupid hippie.

From what I've seen of Conan... (2, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:From what I've seen of Conan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465058)

the animations are pretty horrible
What? What game are you playing? Or, what game are you comparing to? My experience in AoC the past two days has been that the animations (melee, caster, emote, run, walk, swim, jump, quest dialog, creature, you name it) are excellent, at least compared to WoW. A lot of that is the much higher poly count, but it's also the skill of the animator.

Take a look at an AoC character while emoting "/clap", for an example of what I mean. The character claps, nods his head approvingly, changes facial expression appropriately. Muscles move believably.

Re:From what I've seen of Conan... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465282)

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. MMOs by design offer vastly different types of characters, and what's good for 90% of them won't be good for me. Being able to design my own UI, or use a popular and configurable one, allowed me to perfect my playing experience in WoW like in no other game. I'd love to play another MMO, this time for ~5 hours a week instead of...well, much much more than that, but I don't think I'd be able to get over a preconfigured UI.

Re:From what I've seen of Conan... (1)

gyranthir (995837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465378)

AoC plays much like Guildwars did. It's terribly linear, and boring. It had some potential but it fell apart as development went along. It will probably pull more than Guildwars did, but still won't be the mega-hit that WoW was. Warhammer still holds some potential but it has very stiff competition.

please stop the bullshit (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465454)

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.

Fancy MMO's MEH... (2, Interesting)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 5 years ago | (#23464914)

Give me my Red Dragon and Exiled. The old BBS days. We had Ansi Colored Text... and we LIKED IT like that.

Re:Fancy MMO's MEH... (2, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465008)

You and your fancy colored text. Back in my day we had Pong!

Re:Fancy MMO's MEH... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465350)

You and your fancy electronic ping-pong. Back in my day we had board games!

Re:Fancy MMO's MEH... (1)

Digestromath (1190577) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465514)

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! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23464942)

I for one welcome our new Barbarian Overlords!

Linux and Mac compatible?? (3, Interesting)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:Linux and Mac compatible?? (0, Troll)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465452)

Indeed, I really hate this "Windows owns 95% of the marketshare" myth.

It really is a myth, as far as games are concerned:
- the marketshare numbers we keep hearing about are not about installed base, but sales
- even if we go with these numbers, it's still wrong because it counts Windows servers and corporate desktops and laptops
- it counts all users as being a possible market for games, which it isn't

As you say, if 40% of college students are buying Macs, why the hell are game companies so stuck up on the "Windows has 95% of the market" mantra? Are they all stupid, or what?

That's like all these game developers who keep saying that the Wii is inferior hardware and isn't really a next-gen system (but they still continue to make PS2 games anyway). So what, that's the best-selling gaming system right now, apart from the Nintendo DS, which is not only another Nintendo system, but even more "inferior" specs-wise.

If the gamers have Macs and Wiis, then make games for these systems!

Beat WoW? What? (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465050)

Nothing will beat WoW for a while. Just about every MMORPG released in the last 2 years were said to beat WoW, spawning hordes of fanboys who would come on the forums only to say "LOTRO will kill WoW! Vanguard will kill WoW! X will kill WoW!" and they were always wrong. At this point saying a game will kill WoW is simply a laughable trolling attempt intended to 'scare' blizzard into changing the game mechanics so that said person can stay on WoW, even though they would either way.

Re:Beat WoW? What? (2, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465140)

You're absolutely right. I myself finally quit playing WoW, but it's a pretty safe bet they got 10 new subs at the same time to replace mine. Their number of subs is still increasing. Ten million and counting (if not 11 mil by now). I wish there were another better MMO coming soon to replace WoW, but there's not. Nothing anywhere on the radar will even make a dent. AoC and Warhammer will both have less than 500K subs at the end of this year, and WoW's number will still be going up as well.

AoC has come a long way in just the last two weeks (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

I think WoW will be many peoples last MMO game... (4, Insightful)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I think WoW will be many peoples last MMO game. (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465576)

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? (3, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:What's the appeal? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23465148)

um, have you looked at other parts of the world in WoW? It seems you are making a judgment on once very tiny part of the game? level 6 is all you went to? That can be done in like what an hour? I think before you trash a game you actually look at more of it then one small area.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465160)

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.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465206)

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:What's the appeal? (2, Funny)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465210)

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:What's the appeal? (2, Funny)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465236)

Whoops, sorry for mistakenly assuming your hunter was an Orc. Clearly it was a Troll.

Re:What's the appeal? (0, Flamebait)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465220)

> The graphics are pretty uninspiring, the world is a bland orange with no real features or vegetation:

The quests are indeed boring, but, ah, the rest of the world doesn't look like Durotar. But you did play EverQuest "Study On The Color Brown" 2, so I guess you can be forgiven for thinking other MMOs do all look the same throughout.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

paitre (32242) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465308)

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 said - it doesn't get fun until you start making friends, or play with friends. A good friend of mine quit the game entirely recently because most of her IRL friends quit playing, or moved to different guilds/servers.

It's the people that make the game fun. And WoW has a lot of 'em.

Re:What's the appeal? (2, Insightful)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465332)

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 the end it sucked. Not all games are made to satisfy everybody, and while wow is not perfect, its a damn good example of what to do in order to become #1 (or achieve 10 million subscribers). I bought AoC for my GF to play. For the hecvk of it... but i dont think its going to take our attention from wow. I dont knopw yet because we havent played it. But I doubt it. I think WAR is going to be more of a challenge for WoW than it is AoC. The other thing I like about Blizzard Games is that they all run natively on macs. Why can't other mmo companies develop their games in OpenGL like Blizzard does, and to have that tiny 10% nook of the mac market is anyways like 1 mill or 2 mill players in the pocket. I think if you only played till level 6, you missed about 99.9% of the world wow has to offer. When you get to lvl 65 or 68, lay out your critics, and it will be more balanced and objective, till then, you are just criticizing a book by its cover.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465344)

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 how many people, like me, did) then you can actually care about making yourself 20% more effective by thinking on your toes and strategizing beforehand (pvp is one of the more obvious cases of this).

Most MMOs are like that, and if you don't seem to like it right away, don't bother trying to make yourself like it. It's an expensive and time consuming hobby.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

Jthon (595383) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465410)

I know I'm just feeding a troll, but I think you need to take a closer look.

It takes maybe an hour or two to hit level 6 in WoW. At this point you haven't been introduced to more than couple skills, and talent points don't even become available until level 10!

Blizzard purposefully slowly introduces you to all your skills so new players are not overwhelmed. Once you hit around level 20 you have most (but not all) of your class defining skills and gameplay is much more active than just watching some text scroll by.

What class are you playing? Everyone seems to say you just click on a guy and watch yourself autoattack but that's not the way most classes should be working.

Rogues should be using up those engergy points building combos and doing finishing moves, mages/locks/priests/druids have to actively cast spells etc. Perhaps you only tried out a warrior which is pretty slow early on.

As for the boring brown you must have started in durotar on the horde side. That is sort of a a drab boring brown, but as you move around you'll find the different areas are all quite different. On the side you started with Durotar/The Barrens are a bit drab, but if you go visit the undead you'll their starting zone looks completely different. Or go start a blood elf and check out Silvermoon. You'll soon see that the various landscapes in WoW are fairly different.

Considering I can play WoW on a 6-yr-old laptop... (4, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465090)

...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.

Age of Conan Does Look Interesting... (3, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465096)

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.

Re:Age of Conan Does Look Interesting... (1)

yli2008 (1291962) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465376)

Fighting AI-controlled bots is not fun? Really?!

Instead of talking about something which you implicitly have very little experience in, you should check out WoW's PvP gameplay. Try a google for arena 3v3 matches: very skill-based, with an extra emphasis on teamwork and coordination.

The Answer is No (2, Interesting)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465200)

...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.

System Requirements Indicate WoW will Remain King (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:System Requirements Indicate WoW will Remain Ki (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465414)

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.

Something new? (1)

ichwillauchwassagen (1074216) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465362)

So this is another "normal" MMORPG. It might have a darker setting and more action-oriented combat, but it still looks much like WoW to me.
WoW has set some kind of standard for MORPGs, but i am not sure, this is good. WoW IS a fun game to play, but it is not really an RPG. There are no real "characters" but avatars with mainly combat-relevant stats. The world is somewhat non-continuous, with the instances, etc.. Every player character can resurrect immediately, but you are allways send on quests to kill enemies in order to "end that threat" but when you visit them again, they are reborn, just like the players. And as far as I know, most of these points are similar in Conan. And they are similiar in most other MMOs like LOTRO.
I think all that makes sense for WoW, but it is not what I expect from an RPG. I want a continuous, consistent world so i can empathize with my character and its adventures.
So, why is there no game for "traditional" RPG fans? A game where combat is just one apect of... well... roleplaying. A game where things like social interaction, fame, alliances, etc. matter more than how much dps your sword does. Why does no developer try things like permanent death (of course it wouldnt make sense for WoW, but it could make sense for a real RPG, it works in pen and paper games, too)? Why do enemies have to be reborn instead of being replaced by new ones? Why are game masters only there for troubleshooting instead of creatively influencing the game world? Why does no one try a new approach to online roleplaying? Everyone just publishes new WoW-clones to compete with the most succesful online game.

End Game... (2, Insightful)

SoylentRed (1246018) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465370)

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 - did the grind to level 60 - went on a few raids to MC - then quickly realized the amount of time I would need to devote to sitting in the same dungeon OVER AND OVER AND OVER to get the gear I wanted. Only to find myself signing up for raid nights in the next tier dungeon to do that over and over and over. (And yes - I understand they system has changed now that BC is out and it is better - but what do you do...)

That being said - raiding dungeons cannot be the only end game for an MMO... And if that is - all you get is a group of people who max out their gear then sit in the big cities doing /flex over and over for people to see how cool they are. I am waiting anxiously to see if AoC will pull through on the city siege aspects of the game.

Having a player city you and your fellow players get to build up and have to defend against attacks is something I would love to rally around...

Re:End Game... (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465536)

(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. If one person in your 25-man screws up, you're all dead. Any person, any class. Full wipe.

Thankfully, I really like PvP. I gave up endgame raiding for Arenas and battlegrounds. Still a grind, yes, but at least it's on my terms now... I only grind when *I* want to, not when 24 other people say I should.

Age of conan has been a blast (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#23465444)

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 like aoc did.

tbh i didnt expect that much effort, care and love put into a game. this game has more polish on one of its fingernails than wow has in its entirety.

quests feel like not a mmo, but playing kotor (some odd, version of it passing in prehistoric times, definitely). i forgot i was in a mmo, leveling and such and newbie etc, but totally got hooked up with the storyline, and the cinematic quest thing they got going on in there.

the destiny quest line is astounding. you climb rooftops at night, sneak to eavesdrop conversations, break into shops, whack out people out of the still of the night. its not like playing a game, but watching an interactive movie in which you are the leading actor. i was level 13 without even realizing i was advancing.

graphics and realism of the world is mind boggling. you can boast 3.5 km view range if you do have the computer to handle it. detail is so that the stitches and pads on a padded armor armpiece will be twinkling under light effects. stuff seem better than the best drawn, painted colored conan comic, and they look REAL.

music is good, so good that it sometimes gives you the goosebumps.

gameplay ? boy. it feels like playing an arcade instead of a mmo that has turns and queues and stuff and all that. you may find yourself getting excited and moving your head here and there with your barbarian's moves. and when it comes to that, aoc barbarian is one of the most fun classes i ever played in any game. get a 2 hander, jump in out of stealth, start swinging the death dealer - oh boy.

launch was probably the BEST in entire mmo history. with only 1 hour delay, they have succeeded in providing everyone with undisrupted gameplay on the first day, everything went smooth. it was so that all trolls and ex beta testers that were babbling in the forum all shut up, and instead thank you topics started to pop up every 10-15 minute. everyone was amazed how they were able to fix the beta client that was very problematic a week ago so fast that the game smooth like butter at launch. not only that, they stuck with what they announced - they needed to make 2 hour maintenance at the launch after the first night, then they announced they needed to extend it one hour more, and when the time came, all servers were up like a clock and never went down. on both saturday and sunday. no single glitch, no accidental log out, no drop out, nothing. undisrupted gameplay for 8 hours until morning. many people who had to go to their jobs on monday had gone without sleep.

the game quest/storyline/gameplay captivates to such an extent that entire guild forgot each other, despite we have all decided which server to roll a prior, rolled at the same time, got in at the same time and found each other. all of them got hooked up on the quests and following the story. theres little talk in general chat channels despite this being a game launch and guilds were not around on first 2 days yet, probably because of that - people are playing some kind of Thief (the game) in multiplayer.

in the end, it was worth the wait. aoc is a f@cking stellar game. i assure you it knocks the socks off of ANY mmo out there, bar none.

i want to thank everyone who had participated in the making of this great game of our times, from the artists to code grunts, to network people to beta testers to lore masters. thank you for producing something that is worth the wait, and worth to pay for.
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