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Age of Conan Dev Talks Problems, Future Plans

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the polishing-is-an-endless-task dept.

Role Playing (Games) 83

Jørgen Tharaldsen, Funcom's product director, recently spoke about some of the problems with Age of Conan and how they are planning to make the game better. "I think it's okay to say that we simply didn't deliver as good as we should have on all the launch features." He goes on to talk about how they're working on improvements to the PvP system, tradeskills, and class balance. Tharaldsen also spoke with Strategy Informer about the development of the Xbox 360 version of the game, which he said was "not our key priority as there are a massive amount of PC gamers already playing the game, and we rightly have the focus on them."

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And why would you make a 360 version a priority? (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25304737)

Let's face it, the real MMO money to be made is on the PC. With the PC version, you get to compete with hundreds of other MMO's, including World of Warcarft. With a 360 version, all you would have to compete with would be a crappy Final Fantasy MMO. And how could you possibly make money being the best (and pretty much only) game in town? No, better to focus on the PC and get lost in the sea of better competitors. Yeah, that's the smart move to make.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25304813)

Unfortunately, for my money, AoC suffers the exact same problem that FFXI did (I played them both very briefly before encountering said problem).

Very pretty, no fun. And definitely not work 35 GB.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (2, Insightful)

MarkovianChained (1143957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305477)

I had a hard time getting engaged in the game past the first month (though I might go back now that they've fixed a lot of issues), but it was at least fun taking in a new world and playstyle, even for just a month.

I'd be less worried about the 35 GB (which is worth about $5 today, and is returned upon installation) than the $50 spent on the game -- but then again, I've paid more for less before, so I don't really count it for loss.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328745)

I'd be less worried about the 35 GB (which is worth about $5 today, and is returned upon installation)

Just for the edification of those who may misunderstand: 10GB is returned upon completion of installation. The remaining 25GB is returned upon completion of UN-installation.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (3, Insightful)

TheLuggage2008 (1199251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25304933)

"...there are a massive amount of PC gamers already playing the game, and we rightly have the focus on them".

As stated, Funcom is choosing to work on improving the product already delivered to PC gamers, people he notes are already playing the game, rather than dropping what they admit is a less than perfect product simply to whore out a console port to be a large, mediocre fish in a small pond. Any company willing to improve the lot of their existing customer base over turning a quick buck at the same customer's expense is to be applauded in my opinion. Frankly, I'm surprised that you could be so snide about a company taking action that speaks to values other than devotion to the all-mighty dollar.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25304985)

With the PC version, you get to compete with hundreds of other MMO's, including World of Warcarft. With a 360 version, all you would have to compete with would be a crappy Final Fantasy MMO.

Thats exactly the problem. Console MMOs end up being a watered down crap attempt at making some console game into an MMO so you're competing with every other console MMO out there.

There are a lot of different PC MMOs out there. They're generally much better and not just some watered down crappy console game made into an MMO. They're also not all the same. World of Warcraft doesn't compete with Eve Online or a lot of the other MMOs out there. They're very different games from different genres targeting people with different needs & interests.

Also, the Xbox 360 has sold 20 million units? of those, how many are connected to the internet? A tiny number compared to how many hundreds of millions of PCs are on the internet. The PC has been helping people communicate with one another online for years. Theres enough PC users around for AoC to becomes 10 times the size of WoW.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (3, Interesting)

Caboosian (1096069) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308591)

Also, the Xbox 360 has sold 20 million units? of those, how many are connected to the internet? A tiny number compared to how many hundreds of millions of PCs are on the internet. The PC has been helping people communicate with one another online for years. Theres enough PC users around for AoC to becomes 10 times the size of WoW.

Well, there's an inherent flaw in your logic. While, yes, AoC could potentially become that large on the PC, it won't. The reason? Well, just because a PC is connected to the internet doesn't mean there's a gamer sitting behind that keyboard. With a console, your odds of landing a hardcore gamer are significantly higher.

Furthermore, the prevalence of MMOs on PCs causes problems. In general, many people don't play more than one MMO at a time, and if you're competing against WoW, Guild Wars, EQ, etc., your market size shrinks considerably. Consoles are essentially MMO free. If you make a killer MMO work great on a console, there's a serious untapped market to be had.

That there is the problem. Console MMOs suck, because everyone refuses to build from the ground up for them. If you design a game with solely consoles in mind, you don't (always) get "watered-down crap". Sometimes, you get a fantastic game with a sweet concept (best example: EndWar). Trash consoles all you want, but they are getting some really cool innovation, and innovation sells (whether that be on PC or console).

Finally, there is one HUGE incentive for developers to switch to consoles; piracy. Say what you want about it, but piracy is a cancer on the PC market. Is your game actually going to do well, or is it gonna get pirated to hell and back? Will you even make a return on that investment? Consoles have significantly lower piracy, and that makes them a safer bet.

Mark my words; console MMOs will be huge. Someone will hit it big sometime, and it will rock the gaming market. It'll be that console generation's Halo; it'll prove (once again) that consoles are viable not just for genre x, but genre y too. You just have to work with them.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25309217)

Well put, only I doubt piracy is an issue with MMOs considering they're either completly free, or the software itself is free (well eventually) and the only thing you're paying for is accessing the servers. Dunno, perhaps you meant cheating? I mean heck that third paragraph would work just fine with piracy replaced with cheating.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25309803)

Finally, there is one HUGE incentive for developers to switch to consoles; piracy. Say what you want about it, but piracy is a cancer on the PC market. Is your game actually going to do well, or is it gonna get pirated to hell and back? Will you even make a return on that investment? Consoles have significantly lower piracy, and that makes them a safer bet.

That's all great, but that isn't a problem you have with mmo's, you can't copy the game and play, you need a unique key (ie cd key) to create an account, and it's the account your paying for, not the game. You can give the games away, copy it as much as possible, but it's still useless without account. MMO's have a much lower piracy rate then a console... Console mmo's will never been huge, for a reason you stated above, unless it's made for the console from the ground up, it's not going to sell, just look at phantasy star online, that was obviously made for consoles, on pc's it just outright sucks (and then there's the gameplay....).

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25317613)

How exactly is piracy on a console going to be any different than a PC for an MMO. That is almost as silly as saying console gamers are more "hardcore" gamers. To be honest, hardcore games don't want watered down crap, and I have a hard time seeing how you could not have it watered down on a console with, what, 8 buttons. They should make a basketball or football MMO for the consoles. That is about the right audience for it.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25310401)

so you're competing with every other console MMO out there.

Hmm, exactly what current-gen MMO would they be competing against now?

World of Warcraft doesn't compete with Eve Online or a lot of the other MMOs out there.

I'd guess all the MMO developers who *don't* have 10 million monthly subscribers would be pretty surprised by this news.

Also, the Xbox 360 has sold 20 million units? of those, how many are connected to the internet? A tiny number compared to how many hundreds of millions of PCs are on the internet.

The correct answer is: At least eight million of those. [wikipedia.org]

Here's a question: of those hundreds of millions of PCs, any guesses as to how many of them can actually play a modern videogame like Age of Conan? I believe it will likely cut that number down substantially.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (2, Insightful)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305061)

I'm going to agree with you here, sarcasm or not as I'm a bad judge of this. If they admit they've problems with the PC version, why go ahead with an admittedly already less than stellar version of the game port to the 360? Downloading patches hurts, no matter where they come from, but only in the sense they cause a delay in me getting my fix.

I kind of want to address the FFO part of your post. Have you played the FF MMO on the 360 (or PC)? This game is so niche it's not even funny (opinion here folks, don't kill me). I like to tinker with the MMO but a long install followed by a testicle imploding game update from the FFO mothership was enough to make me not want to play the game five minutes in cause my attention (short as it is) was already taken by something else. Yay, a few hours and I'm in game! I feel that if another MMO made an honest attempt to be console friendly in its controls and provide a wide user base using the existing PC user base, it would give FFO that kick to the nuts it has needed. All they need to do is smooth out it's wrinkles (large as some may be) before they port it over. The stories and especially the use of camera angle during NPC conversations make you feel more of a 'world shaping' part of the game. It could still be better though.

Visually, Conan is a very stunning MMO. It would make a very beautiful game on the 360. I hope if they push it to the 360 they let the players on different consoles/PC mingle. What will probably happen is it will get lost in a sea of competitors like you say, and be another FFO game where Conan fans can come to get their fix. On the PvP front however, I still give that title to Warhammer (yes, bias).

Whatever you play, make sure you find it fun.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

thalassinos (1006625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25317481)

They have a PC game with problems. They can fix the game on the PC by issuing patches. They can even improve and polish it, making it a better game

If they publish the game as it is now for the XBox360, it will suck and they will have no way of fixing it.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25317895)

They have a PC game with problems. They can fix the game on the PC by issuing patches. They can even improve and polish it, making it a better game

If they publish the game as it is now for the XBox360, it will suck and they will have no way of fixing it.

I am fairly certain they can patch the game if it were on the 360. It would just be a bitch of a patch tho.

Re:And why would you make a 360 version a priority (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25318277)

If they had designed it from the ground up as a console MMO, they could be rolling in cash right now. Instead they took the same old route everyone else does and blew their chances at being anything more than another forgotten wannabe-WoW-killer.

one word.. (3, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305195)

keyboard.

What's the point of being in a fantasy world with millions of other people if you can't communicate effectively with any of them?

And yes, I know there are keyboard attachments of various kinds for the consoles, but have any of them ever really taken off? They defeat the purpose of the console.

oops! (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305229)

this was supposed to be a reply to the parent

Re:one word.. (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306803)

All the current gen consoles take ordinary USB keyboards, I think.

Re:one word.. (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307307)

Voice chat. Not great for things like trade channels but better than typing for group and raid play. Most guilds in PC MMOs use voice chat in one variety or another.

That said, a USB keyboard would also be pretty much required. Both the Xbox 360 and PS3 can use a standard USB keyboard (I think the Wii can too).

Wii & keyboard (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#25309359)

(I think the Wii can too)

Yup, I confirm. After a firmware upgrade. One of the official upgrades added support for USB keyboard, which is useful, specially if you have to enter Wifi keys, etc.

Re:one word.. (1)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 5 years ago | (#25309737)

Millions of PSO (Phantasy Star Online) players disagree with you.
The DreamCast's keyboard was widely available.
PSO for the Xbox had an (exclusive) USB adapter sold with it.(in addition to Xbox Live audio chat)
The Gamecube had a combo keyboard/pad designed for it.
etc ... etc ...

Re:one word.. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25312987)

Unlike most PC MMO's, a console MMO (especially for the 360) would have voice chat already built in. And even if you didn't like VC, you could always buy a keyboard (I think the 360 controller even has an optional keypad for the controller).

Re:one word.. (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25314363)

Heh, I can hear it now..

"ELLL EFF GEE! ELL EFF GEE!! LVL 16 WIZARD! WHY DOES NOBODY WANT TO GROUP WITH ME??:

It's annoying enough on the screen, but can you imagine having to hear that shit all day?

Re:one word.. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25318223)

Yeah, but VC is untouchable at the guild level. Trying a real WoW raid without VC is an exercise in frustration. And with a console, at least it doesn't require a third-party VC app.

Re:one word.. (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25319019)

I think companies are a bit cautious about adding voice chat support, especially if the customer is going to end up in situations like this [youtube.com] . Might not make for a positive experience.

Re:one word.. (1)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25319969)

And yes, I know there are keyboard attachments of various kinds for the consoles, but have any of them ever really taken off? They defeat the purpose of the console.

How about them there keyboards and mice that attaches via usb? They're pretty popular amongst computer-users, why wouldn't they become popular amongst console-users if game-makers took the time to actually add sane support for such devices?
The various keyboard attachments you mention have usually been proprietary, expensive, low quality and unsupported.
With usb, you remove all weaknesses except for "unsupported".

The main strength of consoles is the "instant play" capability. Adding a keyboard as a possible game-controller doesn't alter this.

Re:one word.. (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25320157)

With usb, you remove all weaknesses except for "unsupported".

The main strength of consoles is the "instant play" capability. Adding a keyboard as a possible game-controller doesn't alter this.

But it does alter the fundamental experience of playing games on a console. The difference is PC gamers expect depth in their games, whereas console gamers are more interested in instant access, intuitive controls, and shiny special effects. How many people do you think would play Halo with a keyboard and mouse if it was available to them? I might, but I'm one of few. There is a place for both console and PC gaming in this world, and the target audiences have always been very different.

People are still playing this? (4, Informative)

RocketScientist (15198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25304819)

The only thing they got right over WoW on launch was their server capacity. It was a very stable experience with no lag. This is because of their very nice instancing architecture. It works really really well. While WoW may set the standard for polish and finish on games, AoC definitely did a great job on server capacity. Hats off to your ops team.

However, Funcom managed to screw up almost every other aspect of the game, from UI layout to weapon speed, at launch. Itemization at low levels, lack of quests in middle levels, guild housing that just plain didn't work, and so on. Females had a lower weapon speed than males, because it took more time to animate the jugglies. I have a very hard time believing there was any QA done on the game despite the long beta period.

Re:People are still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25304857)

Silly rabbit, everyone knows that beta is just a term used to describe the act of building hype.

QA? Nowhere near cost efficient! Why bother with it, when we can release now and give a patch later?

Re:People are still playing this? (0)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25304877)

Are you kidding about WoW having proper server capacity on launch? If you played on any of the original servers during launch, the stability was horrid.

Now if you played on the servers that they rapidly added in the week or two after launch, it was much better.

There were a dozen or so servers that had terrible problems for the first 3-6 months of the game. My server (Kil'Jaeden) was only remedied once they moved it to a different cluster.

Re:People are still playing this? (3, Informative)

ibsteveog (442616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25304911)

Read the GP again. His point was that the one thing AoC got right was the server stability, and said that they did it better than WoW, implying that WoW was poor.

Re:People are still playing this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25304953)

Also, they let Jews play. I couldn't get into the game at all what with the constant smell of gefilte and lox in the air.

Re:People are still playing this? (1, Troll)

Doc, the Weasel (827155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305009)

It's easy to get server capacity when no one logs in to play. Not much of an accomplishment.

Actually (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305039)

At launch WoW's capacity was fine. For about a month everything was good. Their problem was they didn't think it would grow as big as it did, and certainly not as fast as it did. That isn't to say they dealt with it well once it became a problem, but it wasn't a launch problem, it was a problem a bit later when people really discovered it.

The difference, of course, is that as you noted WoW is fun, AoC really isn't. So with WoW they didn't realize that there were so many people who'd like to play MMOs but hadn't encountered a good one. Thus sales took off and crushed their infrastructure. Their initial sales were nothing compared to what was to come. It has basically been nothing but growth. With AoC it was the opposite. They figured they'd steal tons of WoW players, and so were prepared on the infrastructure. However the game isn't good, so it has had trouble keeping people. Thus they may well have seen their peak on launch, and it'll only go down from here until it stabilizes.

Re:Actually (1)

zannox (173829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305519)

When WoW was launched the first time,(The game on the users PC) it asked what your time zone was. It would then dump you into a server (Eastern Time Zone had Bloodhoof, Central had Garona etc) Thus everyone wound up on the same servers. It wasn't until a patch or two later that that was removed. That is what lead to 4 realms being WAY over populated and the others untouched. At least in the US.

Re:Actually (1)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305559)

I had a much different experience than you've described at the time WoW launched. There most certainly were significant issues with the higher population original servers within a day or two of their opening (I was on Stormreaver). From general login issues to mail/auction house lag to the ever-popular stuck-in-looting-animation bug left over from beta. Some of these went away after queues were implemented, but not all.

Aside of that, though, I absolutely agree. Even with the issues, WoW was fun. AoC was not. Case closed.

Re:People are still playing this? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305303)

In spite of the beta period, and the number of people in it...we could all see, a month before launch, a week before launch, a day before launch... it wasn't going to be ready, the patches were coming in too slow.

Even that, maybe, could be tolerated. But the gameplay was lame, some basic concepts were way off, the combat was a confused attempt at visual realism but "real time", the net result was suck. The game felt like it was being designed for the console in terms of focus on graphics and style over functionality and depth of gameplay. The controls were overly simplistic, and brainless. Yet it called itself a mmog, acted in a few ways like a mmog. It has multiple personality disorder on many levels.

The game needed another year or two to bake in the oven, some good professional therapy, and a clear direction. Instead it's basically stillborn. There is/was some potential in the game, but there are also so many competitors, and no reason for John Q. Public to invest the montly fees required to bring this game to launch readiness. Let it die.

I know you're kidding, but... (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306405)

The game needed another year or two to bake in the oven, some good professional therapy, and a clear direction.

1. I know you're probably trying to be funny about "some good professional therapy", but they did exactly that for Anarchy Online. After it lost 2/3 of the initial (pitifully low) peak of players, and fast, and their first attempts at fixing it didn't do anything to stop the exodus... they actually hired some external consultants to tell them what's wrong with the game and how to fix it.

Those external guys actually managed to double the number of players, but it was still at 1/10 of the number, say, EQ had. And it went downhill from there again. I guess even pros can only do so much to polish a turd.

Still, just saying, they literally got some professional therapy for their game. 'Cause their own designers weren't up to the task.

2. What amuses me even more, though, is that someone actually gave them a big franchise and a big budget to make... their _third_ failure. Because apparently the turd that was AO, plus one failed and canceled MMO project, counted as being the guys with experience in making MMOs.

They're not even the only ones in that aspect. It seems a disturbingly common thread that some guys fuck up a MMO and then someone gives them a big bag o' money to make another one, 'cause, you know, they now have experience.

It's like asking Michael D. Brown to lead another disaster relief after fucking up Katrina (he was FEMA director back then), on account that he's got the experience now.

I mean... Hello? Doesn't having royally fucked up, and lack of any actual success or of having demonstrated any skill, count for anything?

Heh. Just mark my words. I predict that they'll claim that AOC was an award-winning, critically-acclaimed, genre-defining success. (Why not? They did claim exactly that with AO, when the number of paying subscribers had dived to 12,000.) And someone will give them another big budget, because now they have experience with working on _three_ MMOs.

Maybe it's some publishers that need a good professional therapy, really.

Re:I know you're kidding, but... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25318175)

I just hope that Bioware is smart enough to hire the guys behind Star Wars Galaxies to help them with their new Knights of the Old Republic MMO. After all, they have a lot of experience working on a Star Wars MMO.

Re:People are still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25309029)

Um, WoW wasn't even *playable* for the few month or two when it first came out.

So far, in every other MMO I play, I really miss the layout and look of the WoW chat interface. The functionality and color coordination was the best by-default interface I've yet seen.

Blizzard always has been top notch on the controls...

Re:People are still playing this? (1)

Yeorwned (1233604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25312969)

Did you even play at launch? Loading times we're horrible and servers being restarted several times a day was absolutely insane...Conan's launch was extremely smooth but counted on the fact subscribers would continue to pour in, which they did not.

You will never see a 360 version or DirectX 10 (5, Insightful)

utahraptor (703433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25304967)

Funcom lies like the truth tastes bad. If you purchase the game it says it features DirectX 10 and 64 bit enhancements and in game drunken brawling as well as dual core optimizations. All of those features are missing.

AoC early bugs lol (4, Insightful)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305071)

My personal favorite was a patch note to the effect that:


Coins taken from the bank will now be added to the coins in your inventory instead of replacing them.

I mean even with drunken, meth-addict monkeys doing testing how does THAT make it into the live game????

I gave up.

He, funcom? You want to know how to get people back into the game? Everyone who actually went out and bought the game, give them 2 free months. I'll come back if you do that and not before.

Re:AoC early bugs lol (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305205)

"Coins taken from the bank will now be added to the coins in your inventory instead of replacing them."

I mean even with drunken, meth-addict monkeys doing testing how does THAT make it into the live game????

Given the current state of the economy, you should be thankful it didn't subtract them.

Re:AoC early bugs lol (1)

complexmath (449417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306581)

The bug that annoyed me the most (and it still exists) is that it's impossible to remap the WASD keys from their default action. The UI supports this but when you try it the mappings get all screwed up. How can a game leave beta with issues like these?

That said, I like the combat mechanics in AoC more than any of the other big MMOs (except Guild Wars, if you consider that an MMO). They'd have a pretty solid game on their hands if they polished it a bit.

Re:AoC early bugs lol (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306969)

That's better than mine - "Light, Medium, and Heavy armors will now protect the character proportionally more".

I mean, I understand some trivial stuff would slip through the beta process, but nobody noticed that ARMOR wasn't working? When the game is all about combat?

It's dog eat dog in MMOs (3, Insightful)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305253)

... and any new MMORPG is wearing milk-bone underwear.

It takes 2-3 years to get a product designed, written, art and models done, network code debugged, levels and scripting designed, UI and plugin code writtent, infrastructure installed, and anti-cheat security implemented. It's a lot of crap, and takes a LOT of money.

The competition has 3+ years of polish and debugging.

Is your new game really going to justify all the expense above? Is your new game going to be polished? Because a fanboi can claim "oh, it's a new game, of course there are bugs." So... uh, why play it when you can play an older, polished one without as many bugs?

New games have to deliver polished, bug-free code, and it has to be fun to play.

AoC did not deliver those things... Instead they got a lot of the requirements right such as cool models and art for the 1-20 range, but dropped the ball heavily on content, bugs, and "fun factor".

If there was no competition, they would've done fine (like they did with a horrible Anarchy Online launch with tons of bugs, unplayable lag, etc). They do not have the same privilege to screw the pooch like they did with AO.

I'm not sure AoC can recover, but they do have many parts of a potentially excellent game.

Consumers rightfully should not buy craptastic ship-now-patch-sometime online games. Yes, you can patch it as you go, but AoC demonstrates that shipping crap and trying to patch it into something good doesn't get rid of the consumer disillusionment of opening a shiny new box of crap.

Re:It's dog eat dog in MMOs (3, Insightful)

Aereus (1042228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305869)

I think the major baffling thing to this is Funcom did it AGAIN. You think they would have learned from Anarchy Online, that you just can't release a buggy and/or content-lacking game and hope to "patch it in later".

First impressions matter in games just like with people. Releasing a game missing content or with major mechanics like banks, mail, and stats not working is virtual suicide.

Re:It's dog eat dog in MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25306559)

The 1st 20 levels of AOC were amazing, great storyline until you left your first town.

Then it all became repetitive, stupid and buggy as hell. You started to forget that your amazing boobies were there bobbling in your face. You cared less about whether your person had clothes or not.

Things such as "stats" on gear having 0 effect in the game were pretty lame. When word of that came out it was the nail in the coffin for me. There was no reason to wear any gear at all since it did nothing till they patched it in.

Re:It's dog eat dog in MMOs (1)

typidemon (729497) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307555)

New games have to deliver polished, bug-free code, and it has to be fun to play.

Excluding the fact that there is no production code that is entirely bug free:

It's simply not realistic to expect a game with the complexity of a MMO to be entirely bug free. Especially when you consider many bugs simply won't appear until you get exceptionally heavy loads, or might only happen, infrequently, to 1:500 users.

Besides, using this logic, nobody would have played WoW on release. I mean, WoW was anything but a perfect gaming experience on release. We don't expect perfection in anything else, why do we expect it for gaming?

I'm not saying that games shouldn't worry about producing quality products. What I'm saying is that the metric for quality isn't simply "bug free", "deep content", it's "Is this game entertaining for the vast majority of people".

Additionally, what you're forgetting is that Software Development that is as complicated as MMO construction isn't like Civil Engineering. It's not like building a bridge, where all of the engineering and interaction requirements are known. Instead, every new MMO solves new engineering and interaction problems and as such, has to attract early adopters and then bridge the gap to get long term users.

Unlike a bridge, we don't build MMOs for known use cases, our MMOs evolve based on what appears to be the long term users. Because of this, we can't design a totally finished product and expect it to succeed. If we did, we'd keep producing re-skinned WoW, just like Hollywood re-skins the same shit action movie over and over.

Again, I'm not saying that MMOs can produce garbage and expect us to buy it. What I am saying is that we can't be unrealistic in our expectations if we want stuff that is new and interesting.

Re:It's dog eat dog in MMOs (1)

Il128 (467312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25309233)

"It's simply not realistic to expect a game with the complexity of a MMO to be entirely bug free."

Complexity? Cleaning drinking water is more complex than a MMO and clean water costs a lot less to make too.

I wish I were kidding.

You take clean water for granted and worship MMO games... Therefore you're trying to say that making a God Damn game must be the hardest thing in the whole world to do!

Well, it's just not true. Accounting software? Ever even noticed? Taken for granted is it?
Game designers and programmers are considered lazy bums by true software professionals.
Meanwhile the real programmers will keep your bank, hospital, police and every other essential service you take for granted running bug free and we might even occasionally mock the "pretty boys" of programing once in a while, because they're skills are a God Damned joke.

Re:It's dog eat dog in MMOs (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25310417)

Haha... bitter much? Your Full Sail degree didn't get you anywhere and you now spend your days making Microsoft Access databases for middle management?

MMOs are a helluva lot more complex than most of the IT/workflow/papertrail software that you're talking about. I've worked on business software for half my career. I know. I've also worked in robotics R&D, computer vision (just illustrating that I have relatively broad experience here), and I'm currently working for a games company on a commercial MMO. The complexity of a system is directly related to the number of interacting factors - even a simple MMO contains thousands of such, compared to the few dozen of your average commercial database.

Clean water, by the way, is a simple matter of pouring it through activated charcoal.

Re:It's dog eat dog in MMOs (1)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25311101)

You might want to check out http://thedailywtf.com/ [thedailywtf.com] before making any more of those statements.
Oh, and it's "their skills", not "they're skills".

But not all faults are bugs (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25312661)

AoC has finishing moves, certain critical hits spark an animation showing you killing the enemy with a single attack, chopping of their head, sticking your sword in them and laughing in their face etc etc.

Nice, except it only works on human opponents since of course the animation needs two actors to work.

But for some reason, the game did NOT make all human enemies the same size. Fair enough, you need some variety, but still, the animation needs to align up. So during a finishing move, you and your enemy would grow/shrink to match up to play the finishing move.

Is this a bug? No, it is a "what the fuck were they thinking" situation. It breaks all immersion, it is just plain silly, you might as well run the entire game in wireframe mode. Why not have big hand at the end of A New Hope reach out replace the deathstar witha firecracker to show it exploding?

The bugs, people can life with. it is the design mistakes that are the real killers.

R.I.P. (4, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305469)

Age of Conan is a dead man walking. World of Warcraft is solid and polished, although getting a bit... drab if you've been playing it for a while. While I haven't played it; most people I've talked to thought Lord of the Rings Online is a pretty good game. Aside from that you still have EQ2, Eve, and FF Online. So what exactly is this game going to give us that these other games don't? Alright... boobies.

Anyway, it's easy to see that you're going to have to go for some sort of niche and as it just so happens World of Warcraft is dropping the ball big time in PvP. Warhammer is all over this, and I think this is why that game will survive. Age of Conan? Just having a game online isn't going to cut it anymore. You've got to offer something better or different, and Age of Conan offers neither.

The Alternatives (3, Informative)

PrimalChrome (186162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307125)

Just to list a few :

EQ - Will run on just about anything with a 3d card. Huge world with many expansions already live. Death penalties require real dedication...not the best for the casual player.

EQ2 - Very fun game since they did their revamp. Friendly to casual players, but is a more complex game than WoW.

Eve - Amazing scope for an MMO. Hard to establish yourself unless you have friends already in game.

FFOnline - Do not start unless you have a good group that will be levelling with you, or already know a guild starting new alts.

WoW - The defacto standard for casual gaming on less than bleeding edge systems. The expansion in November should boost populations.

Warhammer Online - New MMO, still has some bugs. Only of interest to the PvP or RvR crowd. Possibly the best PvP MMO implementation yet.

LotRO - Beautiful world, but you get sick of killing boars at level 1...level 5....level 10...level 15...ad infinum. Very limited in variation due to restrictions of canon.

Re:The Alternatives (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308847)

I'll have to respond AC, since I've been using Moderator Points on this subject, but my comments on your list:

EQ - spot on evaluation. There are too many time sinks and other things that restrict content. For the hardcore gamer more than a casual player. Still, the king for 5+ years of the MMO landscape.

EQ2 - again, a very accurate description. It is a much more complex game than WoW, but it offers a lot more for a lot of folks. A more mature player base is one of the added benefits. A much better expansion rate than WoW.

EVE - MMO for the hardcore crowd. Bring LOTS of friends.

FFOnline - the gold seller's paradise.

WoW - The BIG CHEESE of MMOs. Or, as my wife calls it, "MMO for dummies". Lack of expansion content is starting to hurt them some, as are the continual moves to force more folks into the Arena model of PvP. Probably the game that has blended PvE and PvP together the best, but the PvP aspect still causes too many problems to trickle down into PvE. The most immature crowd of the major MMOs.

Warhammer Online - Sure, it has some bugs and they threw out a lot of content late in the beta due to monetary concerns, but it hasn't been all about PvP/RvR so far. Many people are finding that the PvE aspects of the game are really very good. The whole "Public Quest" (PQs) model has been quite popular, and I expect you'll see that show up in more games soon. It's been a surprisingly good game that is drawing a lot of folks that aren't from the PvP crowd into game. In fact, I hate PvP, and the only reason I'm not playing it after the beta is that my wife wouldn't like it.

LotRO - Boredom killed this game for most folks. The beta crowd knew something was wrong when the healer class was also the best DPS class for way too long.

CoH/CoV (you forgot this one) - groundbreaking MMO for a lot of reasons, but the repetitiveness of the grind made it lose too many players. Probably the smoothest launch of a greatly anticipated MMO as far as I recall. Still the absolutely best character generation of any MMO. Most folks lost at least an hour creating their first character's costume. A better quest model and more diversification of mobs to fight would have enhanced this game. Most folks really wanted to love this game, but the redundancy killed it.

AoC was doomed by a combination of budget concerns, too much anticipation by rabid Conan fans, and a poor attention to the kind of details players want. Those first 20 levels were a lot of fun, but then the game became crap. No tradeskilling until level 40 meant you missed out on that extra something to draw players in.

Re:The Alternatives (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25312899)

WoW - The BIG CHEESE of MMOs. Or, as my wife calls it, "MMO for dummies". Lack of expansion content is starting to hurt them some, as are the continual moves to force more folks into the Arena model of PvP. Probably the game that has blended PvE and PvP together the best, but the PvP aspect still causes too many problems to trickle down into PvE. The most immature crowd of the major MMOs.

On the upside, those of us with jobs and other commitments can actually (slowly) move forward in WoW. Those of us who started about a year ago, are just making our way into the Tier 5 content (current content tops out at around Tier 6 1/2 in difficulty).

The emphasis on Arena PvP, however, is troubling in the upcoming expansion. A lot of us have no desire to do arena, but find it enjoyable to go to a battleground and be one among 40 (in Alterac Valley). If we're forced into doing arena PvP in order to obtain gear upgrades from the BC PvP sets... it's not going to be pretty.

(Arena PvP is a zero-sum game. Losing games lowers your arena rating, locking you out of the ability to purchase better gear. Which leads to losing even more games because you're outclassed on gear. In battleground PvP, you still earn honor and battleground marks, although at a reduced rate, allowing you to eventually purchase better gear.)

(shrugs) WoW gets things about 90% right for casual gamers. And if you play on an RP server, there are additional policies and rules in place that can eliminate a lot of the immaturity found on other realms. But only if people report the violations to the GMs.

Re:The Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329049)

The problem is that the RP servers seem to find even MORE stupidity than the non RP servers.

I've been on Argent Dawn (RP server) and seen a group of players create humans with names like "Kneegrow", "Friedchicken", "Watermellunz" and the like, then start making racist comments, and it takes GMs hours to knock them offline.

So, being on a RP server means squat.

I have to take exception with (1)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25312935)

one of your points: (quoting)WoW - The BIG CHEESE of MMOs. Or, as my wife calls it, "MMO for dummies". Lack of expansion content is starting to hurt them some... Emphasis mine.

The lack of expansion content is NOT really hurting World of Warcraft's main player base - the casual gamers. What the lack of expansion content is hurting are the uber-rabid, crack snorting, MMO-heroin to the vein, hardcore "giveittomenow gottahavenewcontentsincei'mdonewithalltheotherstuff" players. You know, the people who - unless given a steady diet of new content - will leave and go to another game to get their fix.

Guess what? Those people do NOT make up the main player base. They make up the MOST VOCAL player base and yet, they should be ignored. Why? No matter how much new content you foist on them they will leave your shiny game for the newer shinier game. But, along the way while you've been feeding the mmo-heroin addicts new content, you've started losing your REAL player base that faithfully pays you every month and has no intention of switching games (unless you force them to by ignoring them or marginalizing them) - the casual gamers. Those rabid eatallcontentfast players that leave for another game? They'll be back as soon as you release new content or they've consumed all the new game has to offer, I guarantee it.

My proof? Check out Star Wars Galaxies. They completely fucked over their core player base - first in favor of the "hard core, I consumed all content" players and then again to make the game more like WoW (among other catastrophes). Check out some of the dissatisfaction within World of Warcraft with your casual players going "WTF? I only have two level 70s and now I'm going to have to work ANOTHER 10 levels onto my low-level alts? I don't have time for this shit..." This is one reason the new content for World of Warcraft will have raids that can be done at either the 10-man OR 25-man level. No more need to be seriously hard core to get uber-loot and phat purplez, unless you choose to. Sure, the 25-man gear will be slightly better but I'm willing to bet not unbalancing better.

WoW is doing pretty well on all fronts. Even if they were to lose 5 to 10% of their players due to no new content for 18 months (those hard core players) they would get them all back when a new update came out. In this casual player's opinion, the new content is coming out fast enough (almost too fast) and I'll still give up my $14 per month to the Warcrack machine '-)

Re:I have to take exception with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329209)

As the person you are responding to, and still posting AC to protect my moderations...

I'm a casual player. The wife and I played WoW at launch and it took us 9 months to reach lvl 60, duoing most of the way. We played almost every day (back then, no kids) but weren't playing for 5hrs at a stretch. It was play for 2-3hrs a night, and then on weekends, we'd sometimes pull 2 4hr game sessions, tops. And in 9 months, we had leveled our mains to 60, and were then bored out of our freaking skulls with the lack of end-game content that didn't involve large raids or PvP. We don't PvP, and our guild didn't have the manpower to pull off even a 10 person raid most of the time.

The expansion rate that Blizzard is using is horrible. They should be releasing an expansion at least once every 12 months, not once every (almost) 2 years.

Even for the most casual player that had a level 60 or 2 when BC came out have gotten those toons to 70, and maybe another one. And with the recent exp changes they put in, it's not hard to level a toon up to 60. Only playing a average of 2hrs a night most days, I've gotten a shaman to lvl 44, and we re-activated our accounts on July 25th. I also have 4 other toons in their 20s, and a 5th toon that is in the teens.

SW:G is a poor example, because it was a colossal failure from the outset, and expansions weren't going to make it better. WoW was a unprecedented success, but lack of keeping the average gamer happy with new content will eventually catch up to them.

Look at how many WoW players went to try AoC, only to find it was total crap. Look how many went to Warhammer Online? Look how many are currently playing EQ2.

I'm sorry, but in 3 years playing EQ2, I got one character to max level (70 at the time), one to 63, one to 44, and several in their 20-30's, when the most recent expansion raised the cap to 80. Shortly after that, we had our second child, and we stopped playing for a while, then retired from the game. 3 years, playing about the same amount of time a night as I now play WoW.

WoW is MMO for dummies, and leveling is very easy. Getting a toon to 60 doesn't take much time, and the distance from 60-70 isn't that great, either. After that, it's all about gear grinds and PvP. Well, gear grinds did in EQ, and PvP (especially the Arena model) rewards the power gamers.

Yes, they need more content.

Re:The Alternatives (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336445)

The death penalty in EQ is way overdramatized, given that you pretty much always are grouped with someone who has a 90% or better rez. The main problem with EQ when I played was that most of the time you sat in spot and killed the same stuff over and over and over again. It wasn't hard, it wasn't "hardcore", it was just monotonous.

I wouldn't describe WoW as "casual". Yes, you can get into it, play for half an hour, and get out (in EQ you'd have been yelling for a group for at least that long) but if you get serious and run instances and do raiding, you're going to be at least as hardcore as EQ.

Re:R.I.P. (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307265)

So what exactly is this game going to give us that these other games don't? Alright... boobies.

I used to complain about all the griefing that was going on on this game until I realized that it was the only fun to be had.

*Everything else* sucked about the game. The graphics were pretty, but not that amazing (LOTRO's better), the quests boring, the voice acting bad and unnecesary and the storyline ridiculous for a multiplayer game (so I'm "the chosen one", right?).

Not to mention that the "zonified" world felt like a huge step backwards. And I don't mean the instances, but going from a zone to another meant a loading screen (?!).

I played until lvl 25 or so and uninstalled it and never looked back.

Warhammer on the other hand is so frigging fun even when I'm getting my ass handed over to me.

Lotro explained (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25312437)

Lotro is the least ambitious of all titles. It is the game that tries nothing new, nothing original, nothing ground-breaking.

What it instead delivers is simple. It works.

It is the volvo of MMORPG's. It will never get the chicks like a McLaren or inspire the love of a volkswagen, but it simply works.

Lotro ain't the best, it is just that everything else if worse.

WoW, to many 12yr olds.

Eve, to competitve.

AoC, to buggy.

Vanguard, aged incredibly badly.

SWG, patched to death.

Warhammer, we shall have to see.

Lotro by no means is perfect, but if what you really want is an easy fantasy MMORPG that is just fun to play with just enough depth to keep things intresting, it delivers.

The goat famously said that AoC was Steak and Wine vs WoW's Hamburger and coke.

Lotro is no steak and wine, it is a McD Hamburger and Coca Cola. There is reason those two brands are the biggest in their field. WoW is huge for a reason, lotro just caters for those who want WoW, with less grind and less 12yr olds.

Re:R.I.P. (1)

Yeorwned (1233604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25313123)

Conan's #1 feature is the graphic engine, which no other MMORPG can even get remotely close to. If you think the engine blows, I would refer you to that trash desktop you have. No, an 8600GT is not a top end card...or even a middle tier card anymore.

Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (4, Insightful)

Hausenwulf (956554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25305951)

You really only get one chance to impress gamers. If you lose that initial wave of players, it's almost impossible to get them back. Reports indicate AoC has lost nearly half their initial players.

So, no matter what they do to the game, it's like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It's still going down.

Re:Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308757)

It's actually even worse than this. The game will maintain its image of a buggy content-free game no matter what changes they make, but said changes may in fact scare off more of the remaining player base, like what happened with SWG.

Re:Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25310303)

So it is going down, we all know that. Everything goes down sooner or later. The thing is, AoC has made money and is still making enough money to finance more development.

While we all know we are going to die sooner or later, some of us does a bit of excercise in order to avoid a heart condition at the ripe age of 45, instead of shooting our heads off at 20, leaving a note saying "I'm done for anyways. I'm heading off for life 2.0"

As long as there is some sort of evelopment (no d) old players who havent jumped the ship by now will probably hold the fort a bit longer. That Funcom still keeps developing Anarchy Online (some call it flogging a horse after it has been served as Cheval d'Jour) should count for something. That means it is a company that sticks to it, even when there are just 2K paying customers and 20K moochers. And while Age of Conan is still around, perhaps every now and again some old player reactivates his account for a month or so and finds out that the game is now better than he remembered.

Re:Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25311157)

This is VERY true.

The instancing killed it for me (2, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25306123)

I was looking forward to trying this game out, but almost immediately after getting it set up and patched I decided I would never end up playing it - simply because everything was instanced, and nothing destroys the suspension of disbelief better for me than having to wait to load into an instance, or being aware that I am in an instance and the world around me is only so many yards square in size.

There were other elements that bugged me, but the continuous instancing combined with new-game lag did it in for me.

Now playing WAR, which while it does have instances is at least a fun game.

I long for someone to make a true sandbox like game, a la the original Star Wars Galaxies again, but I doubt it will happen, simply because if WOW doesn't do it, no one will gain support for attempting it again. sigh.

AoC vs. Warhammer (1)

thinktech (1278026) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307691)

I played AoC for about 10 days before I canceled and realized it was really poorly done.

Warhammer in my opinion has redefined how to launch a MMO. It made me see how really bad AoC was and there's no way that I would ever waste my time revisiting AoC. Even another free month wouldn't be worth the time to reinstall it.

Re:AoC vs. Warhammer (1)

Satanboy (253169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25307989)

I gotta admit, Warhammer is pretty damn amazing. I look at it to only mature and get better.

What I saw of AOC, it was nice on the surface but there was a lot of murky issues that I could tell would bubble to the surface and drive me insane.

Re:AoC vs. Warhammer (1)

smegged (1067080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25308095)

Yet Warhammer is still not perfect, and if it is to become a giant it needs to fix a few things, not least of which is the animation glitches. In fact the animation glitches and performance issues are so bad that they can be quite jarring and disconnect your feeling of immersion.

I love Warhammer so far and thought that it had a great launch, but to retain customers they will have to polish the rough edges.

Re:AoC vs. Warhammer (1)

Satanboy (253169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25334799)

I agree with you wholeheartedly, I see some of the animation issues etc, but honestly they are not half as bad as with many current MMOs.

I'm sure these things will get ironed out over time. AOC had core gameplay mechanic problems and I think that left a lot of problems for devs at the beginning. Animations and models can be updated, core mechanics are tough to redo once the systems in place.

Re:AoC vs. Warhammer (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 5 years ago | (#25313735)

"Warhammer in my opinion has redefined how to launch a MMO"

Warhammer installer for everyone in oceania was broken and once installed there was no way to start the game, the .exe didnt work.

Lots of complaints about AoC bugs, but it least it could be started without having to download files from third party sites.

I suspect warhammer is the worst launch of any notable MMO, but despite its disastrous first few days its a great game that might even challenge WoW.

Re:AoC vs. Warhammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25337865)

In that region, the WAR release was bad, but in the EU and the US, despite some major failures from GOA in the EU open beta, was the smoothest MMO launch I've ever witnessed. The servers came up _early_, didn't crash, weren't overloaded, and there have been frequent and effective patches.

There are still a lot of bugs, and a lot of work to be done, but besides a few issues, it was undoubtedly one of the smoothest MMO launches, if not the most, to date.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25308227)

The thing they are missing is that they fucked the game so hard...The game was BEAUTIFUL....but the nerfbats of doom really killed it in the end.

Myself and my friends are having far too much fun with WAR now to bother ever going back to Conan.

20 levels (1)

my_name_is_steve (455393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25311893)

The problem with AoC is that the first 20 levels was a lie. After that crap on a stick in your butt.

Age of Conan is OLD (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25312353)

I am a player who still longs for Star Wars Galaxies pre-'doc buff', tried Everquest 2, a bit of WoW, varioues Free-to-Play and is currently a lifer in Lord of the Rings Online. I tried AoC for 3 months, or rather, I bought 3 months, tried it for two.

The game was started BEFORE WoW came out. Remember that WoW by now is a very old game indeed. MMORPG's ain't all that old to begin with and AoC was pretty much started in the early days.

The best explenation I have come up with for AoC is that the dev's locked themselves up five years ago and never came out. The game just didn't learn from the developments that happened. Not from WoW, but also not from the SWG NGE, Dark&Light, SOE's constant misses, Lotro smooth launch etc etc, Vanguards dismall failure.

AoC launched with almost year 2000 like values. The screenshots look pretty but the interface is... well crap. Crap tastic. So crap that crap doesn't even begin to describe it. It doesn't do anything for game, it ain't just ugle, is unwieldy, makes the game hard to control and doesn't give the players the options they have come to expect.

The odd thing is that the map display is very useful, precisly indicating where each quest area is. Clearly someone at AoC went into the development dungeon 5 years ago having looked at the MMO's and their pisspoor maps of that age and came up with a clearly superior solution. But with no outside contact for all those years, they didn't learn that uses would expect a better UI in all areas in 2008.

Other problems like the famous female attack speed, (females attack slower because their animation is longer) show that the game really had no testing. Did NO dev notice that female toons needed longer to kill enemies?

While the game is pretty, most dungeons looked like the first amateur levels designed for the first Doom game. Nothing but HUGE square corridors filled with enemies, all the same. No setup, no scripts, settings, no atmosphere.

And then the real killer. The game was bugged, resource hungry, memory leaking, with a lousy interface but hey, that never stopped an MMO before.

No, what killed the game was Funcom. They denied all problems. Female attack speed quickly identified? If you mean two months after launch, yeah sure, that is quick. NOT.

Problems were ignored, things that didn't need fixing nerfed and solutions introduced that just took all the fun out of the game. The "grey elite" has to be one of most ill advised nerfs in the history of gaming. To stop gold sellers (Funcom came up with a far better way to kill them, no more players and all in game items being WAY to expensive in real money, 1500 euro for a horse) they made enemies below your level HIT HARDER. They also made every enemy in group content an elite. This meant that a game that is OUTSIDE about you slaughtering waves of enemies suddenly becomes a 6 players on 1 enemy type game. No fun. The messy finishing moves disappeared and every dungeon just became a long boring crawl. Because of the way healing works in the game none of the elites was a challenge, just of staying awake.

And now, the server merges. So much for all the fanboys claiming that there are still plenty of players and nobody has left. Server merges are the death of any MMORPG. If you number slightly decrease people just move on their own, you only need to merge servers if their is an exodus and you can no longer afford to keep redundant servers running. It is basically saying, the people left and we ain't going to get them back.

No, AoC is the third failure of Funcom and this makes me sad, because The Longest Journey developer is working on his own MMORPG and it is also being done by Funcom. Luckily not by the goat who has been shown the door but still. Funcom has had its three strikes (they had a cancelled MMO between Anarchy Online and AoC) a fourth is hardly likely to be different is it?

Hint to anyone working on a MMORPG. PLAY OTHER MMORPG's and LEARN FROM THEM! You don't have to make a WoW clone, but understand WHY people play WoW.

Re:Age of Conan is OLD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25314881)

Only retards cared about the attack speed. Notice people played them up to that point and didn't care? Notice they kept playing female characters? I think you've noticed neither and you whine about female attack speed like a little baby

I am an AOC Player. (1)

Om (5281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332441)



So I'm at work today, and I hadn't checked games.slashdot.org in a while and I go there. I see some fairly positive press on the game that I play; Age of Conan. Then I see there are 50-some-odd comments. After what I've been through in defending AoC across this internet, I asked myself, "Dare I? Dare I read this thread?"

Well, dare I did, and once again I just shook my head. I was completely unsurprised to see that the entire thread was largely negative towards the game, just like every other comment-driven site on the Net. I have come to the realization that it is now chic to dislike this game, and that is the most unfortunate thing of all. It's not just the negativity that irks me. I mean, I get it that some people don't like the fundamental aspects of the game. It's 90% of the other writers out there that post in this hyperbolic fasion and absolutely 100% subjective. Saying things like 'worst game ever' and 'UI is totally sucky' is just an opinion. Others I read are straight up lies. I mean, absolute fabrications about certain aspects of the game. I just don't get it. I don't get the animosity. I don't understand why people care to hate this game so much, if that makes any sense. It boggles my mind.

Anyway, I want to tell people who are interested in this game to please give it a shot. Try to not be blinded by the almost constant stream of negativity that you read around the internet by players with a chip on their shoulder. This game has a graphical depth that is unparalleled. The music at times is haunting, and the combat system is visceral and dynamic. The fundamentals of this game are sound and unique, and over time, I am confident it will continue to be rewarding as fixes and content get added to the game. It is a good game. It is a unique game. Nothing out there compares to it's combat system, and class system. I look forward to seeing it flourish once again when the time comes and people meander back to see what's new. I will let the game speak for itself, but it's up to you to come in with an open mind, and not clouded by someone else's loud, obnoxious opinion.
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