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Age of Conan, One Year On

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the still-alive dept.

PC Games (Games) 119

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

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119 comments

First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28008435)

Ah who am I kidding. This isn't first :P

WoW is still better (2, Informative)

GinRummy33 (629101) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008443)

I tried it the first month, then cancelled. I know they've done a lot of upgrades since then, but I don't think they will ever replace World of Warcraft for most people, including me.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008483)

I tried it the first month also, never subbed. Quality and creativity cant be replaced with marketing and budget. This game was proof.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008789)

I dunno, in my experience, WoW was the marketing and budget, and AoC got the quality and creativity.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009169)

Quality? AoC was up there with Vanguard for absolute worst game at launch, ever.

I mean, DX10 support was listed as a release feature. AFAIK it's STILL not working properly. Load times were pathetic, crashes were frequent, a lot of stuff flat out didn't work, class balance was hillariously pathetic.

Maybe now they're getting to what the game should have been released as, but AoC and "quality" don't belong in the same sentence.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010119)

I've been tossing around the idea of reinstalling this behemoth and giving it another go, but a combination of a nearly 40gig install and remembering just how obscenely unbalanced the crap was I really doubt I will bother.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010843)

No kidding. When a game releases with its BASIC CHARACTER STATS not implemented, you know something has gone horribly wrong.

I tried the game again a couple months ago and they have come a long way since release. Of course the 4.0 students aren't the ones who get 'most improved' awards...

Re:WoW is still better (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009667)

I played Conan briefly, but when it comes to quality and creativity I don't think you can rate it ahead of WoW. The world just did not feel "open" to me. It felt like you were very constrained as to where you could go, what you could do, and how you do it.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

audunr (906697) | more than 4 years ago | (#28013863)

Quality and creativity cant be replaced with marketing and budget.

I was at AoC's launch party. It had free food, free drinks and dancing women in cages, and I think the game is great!

Oh wow, it's not WOW?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28008617)

Age of Conan is a completely different game. Sure they are in the same genre, but AOC is trying to recreate the world created by Robert E. Howard in a semi-realistic way.. - The reasons one would like WOW are quite different from the reasons to like AOC. It's like comparing "Army of Darkness" with the "The Bourne Identity" - it just makes no sense.

Anyway, many of the issues from the first few months have been resolved, so there is a growing number of resubscriptions. Worth checking out again.

Re:Oh wow, it's not WOW?? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#28011717)

I have to call bs to this. Each company has an IP. Each one is trying to build a fun game around there own world. Each one has created an MMORPG. If they created and FPS, then fine...but they didn't. AoC is a direct competitor to WoW. It really doesn't matter what world they are trying to recreate. One is going to be more fun than the other and draw more people. It is pretty clear most people find WoW more entertaining. Comparing them is completely justified.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

jwhitener (198343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008659)

Most people didn't really know how to play AoC, given that it's shielding and combat system were totally different.

I bet if you got into the game again, and tried a melee character, you'd be hooked.

The graphics alone are amazing (assuming you have a dx10 card and machine to support it).

Having come from EQ1, then played WoW, and then AoC, I'll say this:

If EQ1 is the baseline, WoW is EQ1 with training wheels, and AoC is somewhere in between. And I'm thinking of the relative level of skill required.

AoC's shielding and directional attacks are just amazingly fun imo. For those that do not want to get into the melee game, the casters play a bit like standard. Although to not learn where combo's land from melee, means you'll be one dead caster:)

Re:WoW is still better (4, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008763)

I played a Guardian for the first 4 months of AoC (as well as a few other classes, but guardian was my main), The combat is utter crap, they billed it as an innovative complex combat system, in reality it is just a reimplementation of 80's arcade game combo systems, The direction attacks make it incredibly easy for those with less lag to take advantage of those with lag, overpowered combos and ridiculously broken stat mechanics. I will give you that the graphics were amazing as was some of the detail put into story lines, but those were not enough to save it, the list of bugs at the time I left was mind boggling, the poor balance, and add in the lack of any real communication from funcom on fixes was just to much. No matter how much they improve the game now it is destined for an bargain bin, The game left a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths, I have 12 friends that played the game with me for most of those 4 months and some long after I left, NONE of them play it anymore.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009105)

The balance was atrocious and that was one of the factors that made me leave after about a month and a half (yeah, I actually left half way through a paid month. I'd had enough). FWIW I liked the combat. I played on a PvE server but some of the duelling videos coming out of the PvP servers were sheer ballet. I'm too old for all that competitive finger waggling but I've a real appreciation of those that can play to that kind of level.

Re:WoW is still better (2, Interesting)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010239)

For anyone unconvinced the class balance really WAS bad enough to warrant quitting. While assassins were absolutely useless twits who could barely take care of equally leveled monsters without cooldowns, any healing class was capable of tearing the very stars from the heavens. They could only be torn down by Guardians, or by exceptionally skilled players in a lesser class(And I do mean lesser). Grouping was also a complete joke. The game plan every single time boiled down to "Let tank pile up mobs, spam aoe, repeat."

Re:WoW is still better (1)

jwhitener (198343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28014871)

"While assassins were absolutely useless twits who could barely take care of equally leveled monsters without cooldowns"

I take it you played until about level 30?:) Assassins are very strong if played correctly.

Healers have been toned down quite a bit, and the ToS is scheduled for their last nerf soon. In general though, sins can destroy any healing class in about 3 attacks.

"Grouping was also a complete joke. The game plan every single time boiled down to "Let tank pile up mobs, spam aoe, repeat."

So you're talking about grouping trash mobs for experience.... well yes.. weak field mobs aren't very exciting. I take it you never actually set foot in a dungeon? Way different ballgame, and imo, way harder than WoW, and on par with EQ1's hardest single group dungeons.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

jwhitener (198343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28014763)

People keep mentioning 'balance', but AoC has never claimed 1v1 balance. They said it was group vs group balance, and that works fairly well.

Re:WoW is still better (2, Insightful)

jwhitener (198343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28014823)

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

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

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

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

Balance is group vs group, not player vs player.

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

Re:WoW is still better (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009407)

The graphics alone are amazing (assuming you have a dx10 card and machine to support it).

Sorry, you lost me there. The game has yet to support dx10 at all, so having a card that supports it is irrelevant. Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones who won the hardware lottery and the game actually worked decently. Many of us, despite having top notch rigs, were incapable of getting decent performance regardless of the settings we used.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 4 years ago | (#28011537)

Performance is actually a lot better now, my GF's aging laptop was able to run
the game at low quality for about 5 fps at launch.
Now the same computer (Core duo 2 ghz with a gfx card approx nvidia 7600) runs
conan on high quality at 15-20 fps.
My gaming rig (Q6600 3 ghz, 9800 GTX, 4gb ram) runs the game on high quality in 1920x1200
with about 100-150 fps.
And DX10 has been in for a few months now.

Re:WoW is still better (3, Informative)

murdocj (543661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009697)

If EQ1 is the baseline, WoW is EQ1 with training wheels, and AoC is somewhere in between. And I'm thinking of the relative level of skill required.

I played EQ1 for years, and in terms of actual skill, WoW requires way more skill than EQ1. The more serious boss encounters in WoW require that everyone in the raid know what to do, when to do it, how to move, and if just ONE person screws up, it's a wipe. What WoW cuts out is not skill, but a lot of sitting and waiting that EQ1 requires. For example, the stuff where a boss in the open world spawns only once every week or so and then guilds have to rush to get to see who can kill it isn't in WoW. Some people may miss that sort of competition, but I sure don't.

Re:WoW is still better (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009783)

HAHAHAH HAHAHA, You are an idiot. WOW raids require you to let your UI do the work for you, always have always will. I played eq1 since its inception, eq1 will always be more skill intensive. Go back to your fischer price mmo.

Re:WoW is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28010443)

At least its not made by $ony.

Re:WoW is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28011729)

sure dude, but really it's you that is the moron. If you ever played WoW you would know that your UI won't move your toon out of the poison gas, or the falling roof or away from the lava bursts, or change to the correct mob as it enrages, etc. And I don't think you can show me a UI that will use your drake in EoE to do anything much either. So go back to your cave and stop trolling already.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#28012599)

I played EQ1 for years, and in terms of actual skill, WoW requires way more skill than EQ1.

roflmao ... gets back on chair...

roflmao

The more serious boss encounters in WoW require that everyone in the raid know what to do, when to do it, how to move, and if just ONE person screws up, it's a wipe.

"A wipe"? roflmao

When did you start EQ? And when did you quit?

The more serious boss encounters in EQ1 "back in the day" required everyone in the raid know what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and if just ONE person screws up, ... they better have an entire backup guild willing to rescue them or everybody permanently loses their gear.

Ok, sure, as it evolved, the level cap was raised, and those original raids got easier, meanwhile, they added features to eliminate the risk of gear loss, etc. And yes, the majority of the subsequent raids... Velious, Luclin, Planes of Power...those weren't generally terribly complicated, and I'm guessing that's when you played EQ1. But around the time WoW launched, EQ was launching expansions like Gates of Discord, and the raid complexity was definitely scaling up, and that was YEARS ago.

And EQ1 today... well... it hasn't gotten simpler.

Comparing WoW today to EQ1 Planes of Power is just wrong.

And the non-raid game? EQ1 has always been more difficult than WoW.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

dabas (1531555) | more than 4 years ago | (#28014391)

eq1 was my first mmo and what got me hooked. I started when kunark came out and got out when they released GoD. Good times, but man, I don't miss 8 hour corpse runs in TOV cuz the only guild necro was MIA. I hear they got some kind of fancy corpse summoner npc now though!

Re:WoW is still better (1)

bryan007 (103063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28012157)

This is basically how I feel. I tried *very* hard to stick with AoC -- The idea behind the design is exactly what I'm (still) looking for in an MMO -- "Skill" based *open* PvP (which was not the case when I played -- I assume this has been sorted out (only need the last press of a combo to hit to deal the combo damage, healers/guardians owning everyone)), gear not making a substantial difference (just grab the appropriate level crafted stuff & go fight on relatively even terms), active defense (shields). They got a *lot* of things about PvP just right (imo).

Played for 3 months starting with launch. A couple of level 60+ toons (Bear Shaman, Dark Templar), a couple of mid-forties (another healer, ranger), and a bunch @ 20ish. The bugs killed it for me (Seriously, when your grouping mechanism doesn't work 1/3 of the time unless all interested group members drop group, log out for 5 minutes, and log back in, you should NOT release your product yet).

It was the most fun I've had online since EQ (fix Iksar pet bug!). But the grouping bug & constant crashes not being fixed (while they worked on more important stuff, like adding the goddamn dance system) destroyed any faith I may have had in Funcom to make it right.

I know it's been a long time, and I'm sure the game is in better shape. But I can't see ever going back without at least a couple free months -- I'm not going to quit my current game just to see if AoC has gotten better, so a week won't give me enough time to re-evaluate it, and I'm sure as hell not spending any more money just to see how things have improved...

Re:WoW is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28008663)

Give me a break.
Can't we just talk about MMOs today without someone coming and bragging "nah it's crap, WoW is better" ?

Re:WoW is still better (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009009)

I tried it the first month, then cancelled. I know they've done a lot of upgrades since then, but I don't think they will ever replace World of Warcraft for most people, including me.

What is the reason you cancelled? Lack of content (unlikely, after just 1 month of playing), bugs and stability, the unusual combat system, lack of depth (very unlikely if WoW is your baseline for comparison), lack of groups or friends, PvP/ganking, poor quests and storyline, or something else?

Maybe some people just have trouble "getting into" the game. I have had the same problem with WoW, I tried it a few times, gave up after a few months every time. And I am still not sure why. The quests were ok, combat was a bit bland but I am not that much into game mechanics anyway, crafting sucks but then again, it does in every game since SWG. Maybe the graphics or the setting just didn't do it or me. And I can imagine that other people might fail to be grabbed by AoC. For those who quit because of stability issues: the software has been vastly improved, and very few people still have serious issues. DX10 has some problems, but it is still in the beta stage.

I've played AoC for a year now, since launch. Personally I agree with the other poster who called AoC the MMO with the most potential. The graphics are gorgeous (if you have a good rig), the classes and gameplay are interesting, quests are generally fun to do, the atmosphere is conducive to roleplaying, and if you pick the right server for your own particular playstyle, you'll probably find a good community. After eliminating the client bugs last fall, the team has been working on extending the content, and delivered a few great patches with another huge one just around the corner. The game director seems to know what he is on about, and the way things are going I expect to be playing for another year.

The one thing I miss is depth. By that I mean the stuff that goes beyond PvP / PvE content, such as a complex crafting system, player housing (and decorating), social clothing (think RP), etc. I do hope they will be adding some of that in the coming year.

Re:WoW is still better (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009123)

"What is the reason you cancelled? Lack of content (unlikely, after just 1 month of playing)"
You could easily max out your character and have at least a weeks worth of grinding under your belt within the first month the game was officially open. Fastest levelling game I ever saw.

Re:WoW is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009433)

Are you fracking joking me. You honestly made that comment, forgetting that when World of Warcraft launched the first level 60 appeared TWO WEEKS after launch. That would mean WoW is the fastest leveling game out there by your standards.

Fail

Try again.

Re:WoW is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28010147)

I never played WOW. My statement stands. Why are you so angry?

http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2008/05/age-of-conans-m/

AVERAGE to max level for AoC was 250 hours according to the devs. Many people did it within a week. Anyway, much love and don't be so angry.

Re:WoW is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009573)

The article clearly stated that it has been updated and improved since then. How do you know that it is still worse than WoW today, when you haven't even tried it since the first month?

Anarchy Online also had a very rough start but was improved a lot over the next months and years.

False Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28008481)

It says on the box that they give included play time with the game purchase. They do not. They still require a credit card to login.

I wasted $50 on the product in store that is completely useless. Not even using it for a coaster. Good scam. They might as well be selling empty boxes.

PvP for higher retention (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008511)

It's interesting that he says player retention improved a lot when they added PvP. I wouldn't have thought that would be a major selling point. I haven't played AoC so I'm not sure what's going on with it. Is it a case of PvP giving players at max level something to do where there previously wasn't anything/much?

Re:PvP for higher retention (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009725)

PvP was supposed to be the main selling point of AoC. That was what they pushed when they first advertised the game. Big battles, sieges, etc. That was where the marketing campaign was aimed. So it makes sense that by adding it they are going to get and retain the players that their marketing has targetted.

AOC on good MMO storytelling (4, Funny)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008575)

Coming up next: the Pope's guide to good sex and the Dalai Lama's tips on cooking meat.

Re:AOC on good MMO storytelling (2, Informative)

malice (82026) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009215)

The the Dalai Lama is not a vegetarian... so he very well may know how to cook up a mean meat dish.

Did they restore large breasts? (1)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008695)

Crucial issue.

Re:Did they restore large breasts? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010743)

They removed boobie? I think the more important issue is why were they removed in the first place, I don't think I want to do business with an anti-boobie company

Re:Did they restore large breasts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28016501)

They removed boobie?

Not really. What happened was this. When you create a character there are slides where you can change the looks of him or her. Parameters like arms, chest, legs, height, and of course, busom. You have a scale that can be adjusted from the initial center (or neutral) position in the positive or negative direction, plus or minus.

What happened was that because of a bug, the value for the bosom parameter was not used so it ended up as neutral.

However no one reported this bug as that the breasts of their character had grown...

ends up talking about WoW (4, Funny)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008699)

Pretty sad that by the end of the interview they are talking about 4 year old WoW content.

Re:ends up talking about WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009519)

Well MMO Gamer is talking about 4 year old wow content. My guess is that is all the interviewer plays.

Morrison didn't bring the subject up, but agreed with the interviewer's comparison of concepts.

You cannot fault a guy for lowering their explanations to the level of which another person can understand. I would blame the other person for not knowing what the heck they are talking about

WOW.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28008707)

I am amazed conan is still alive and hasn't closed down its servers already... But i guess the 3 year test is the real one for MMORPGS after that you know it might be worth your time since people like to be able to sell their accounts on ebay and get a return for time invested.

Blizzard has been doing a great job of this with limited edition items like raid mounts CE TCG and arena mounts(i guess class vs class depending on balance and gear vs gear =true pvp.)

Anyway unless a mmorpg can grow each year for 3 years it will die cause companies must have growth and profitable growth or it is doomed to die and all that time investment by players will be worthless. This is why blizzard mmos will grow because of their limited time items and others vanity crap well the others die out over and over because their is limited life to how long other MMOs will last...

Having played since launch (5, Informative)

jwhitener (198343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008727)

I can say that it is by far the best mmorpg I've ever played.

Well, let me step back:) It is by far the mmorpg with the most potential I've every played.

Currently gear gives you at max, a 25% increase in power overall. The latest patch will push that to closer to 50%. This will give most "wow'ish", or older "EQ1'ish" players a more familiar feeling concerning item power.

This has been one of the harder selling points of AoC since its launch: namely, there seems to be very little you can do to improve you character. Once you reach max level, and even if you raid and dungeon crawl for all the best gear, you are, quite literally, not much more powerful than a naked max level character.

Funcom decided to make the game skill based, focused on pvp, and gear was to be secondary. However, what they found was most players preferred an even mix. Hence, Funcom chose to do 2 things:

1. PVP levels. You can reach up to pvp level 5, which unlocks new gear upgrades along the way. PVP level 5 is VERY hard to get (assuming you don't cheat grr). And I come from EQ1, so saying "hard to get" means a lot here.

2. Patch 1.05 will increase the benefits of gear, as well as give and overhaul to the under used crafting system.

Now, back to the original point: AoC being the mmorpg with the most potential.

It has all the traditional things that an mmorpg has, plus a very real feeling in terms of maturity. That aside, what sets it apart is a feeling of control when in pvp combat.

The thing most overlooked by new players, is the shielding and directional attacks of combos. You see, not only do you have cc (crowd control) and other standard mmorpg moves, you can also choose to direct attacks to certain areas of a person (top left right down, etc..).

The defender can move his shields to block those attacks, and in addition to active blocking, sacrificing endurance/stamina to block more damage.

Thats pvp. In the pve world, the game is fantastic, and getting better each patch. While I do think that raids are a bit too simplistic right now, the general pve is equal to any mmorpg or better, and the graphics are light years ahead of wow or other like mmorpgs.

Re:Having played since launch (2, Interesting)

Bunzinator (1105885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008911)

That kind of PVP is all and good, but for those of us in Oz and other far flung reaches, with normal ping times of 250-300 ms, we just can't compete with the LPBs in the US. So PVP, even if I liked it, would be a total waste of time. As for the game in general, the noob area was fantastic. Exquisite graphics, interesting quests with voice acted interactions, mature content. All this fell apart once you left the noob area. And the notorious 10k ping problem. It became totally unplayable. I left. Did they ever get that 10k ping issue fixed?

Re:Having played since launch (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009655)

Exquisite graphics, interesting quests with voice acted interactions, mature content. All this fell apart once you left the noob area.

It is clear that a lot of love went into the noob area, and the quests outside the main storyline indeed lack voiceover. But the game really doesn't "fall apart" outside the noob zone. I saw this comment from a few reviewers, who probably levelled a character out of Tortage and then got disappointed by the Cimmerian village or Tarantia, before writing their review. I just don't think there is much truth to it.

And the notorious 10k ping problem. It became totally unplayable. I left. Did they ever get that 10k ping issue fixed?

Fixed. As well as the other client stability issues. There's a few players still struggling with this or that problem, but most people play pretty much trouble-free these days.

Re:Having played since launch (2, Interesting)

skeezixcodejedi (1344929) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010999)

I had a long laundry list of issues, but many ewere game _Design_ and not the usual rants about bugs. PVP? There were no real 'enemies' estabnlished; you can be an an open pvp server, which means free for all .. no goal or reason, just people ganking randomly (usually when you were talking to NPCs due to the really bad design of zoom while chatting, and the fact they couldnt' code enough to put an if-statement to disable gank-while-zoomed). Anyway, there needs to be 'war' of some sort designed in, or its just boring. More to point though.. instancing. ITs not an open world.. its a bubble world, with bubbles here or there. Hell, at launch people under ataack could just switch instances and vanish, which killed the whole 'designed for PVP' idea. But its somethign unfixable .. the world is not wide and open and explorable, its a bunch of bubbles with hyperlinks. *MEH* I just assume they've implemented stats and gear and tried to normalize it all, but I could never go back for the lack of PVP design, and lack of real open world feal. We dont' go to MMORPGs for a small world. We go to them for a big immersive world we can walk end to end in. jeff

meh (1, Insightful)

waspleg (316038) | more than 4 years ago | (#28008801)

i played hte first 2 or 3 months

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

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

class balance is a total joke etc.

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

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

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009047)

Maybe at launch it was so bad, I wouldn't know, but as some one been playing the game for just over a month or so now (main at level 39) I am really enjoying it - on a PVE server though, I could never stand endless ganking myself that happens on any PvP area of any game that I've played and by the sounds of it that's what happened to you.

Technically I find it a .. pile of crap, to be polite, and I could sit here for some time explaining exactly why BUT I am really enjoying playing it! I shouldn't be, I should be pointing out it's many faults but as a playing experience it's one of the most fun things I've ever played. Weird huh.

But then I do like Eve as well :) But I don't think you could ever call them remotely similar experience.. not by.. a very long way

Re:meh (4, Insightful)

hyfe (641811) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009155)

Please don't mod parent up.

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

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

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

Re:meh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009403)

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

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

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

Re:meh (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010093)

"Or was it that the most convenient way to travel was by way of death?"

I'd completely forgotten about that. I remember at first I was indignant that people were doing it but by the end I was only indignant if I couldn't find a high enough ledge to jump off to kill myself. Did they ever do anything about quick travel? I left just before they significantly dropped the price of steeds so I had never been able to afford one.

Re:meh (2, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009615)

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

I think the combat system had a lot of promise. It's too bad they released an alpha version of the game which was so bad that it ruined the game's credibility for ever. AoC is known as a flop and they will have a hard time ever getting rid of that stigma.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28013315)

Please don't mod parent up.

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

Welcome to teh internets, population: the world + youz0rs

Re:meh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009353)

i played hte first 2 or 3 months

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anon as I've modded you "Overrated"

Re:meh (2, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010309)

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

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28010681)

I'm giving them a second chance. I was waiting for the year to come up, the same as I do with new MS operating systems. I understand that all applications need time to mature, much like people do. You, however, seem to have not reached that point in your life, yet.

Same Anon. as parent.

Re:meh (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28015079)

Which perhaps goes to show that you should make sure your launch isn't an abomination

Unless of course your game is Abomination Online.

I played it at launch... (0)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009023)

I'm not surprised their playerbase went up--with numbers as low as they had, there's not much more you can go than up.

I'm sure the game is still total garbage. Listen to us (the people that made the mistake of buying AoC)--NEVER, EVER buy a Funcom game. The bugs, the imbalance, the itemization, the missing features, the unimplemented stats, the game would have been comical had I not paid 50 bucks for the box and 15 more for a month's worth of playtime.

Anarchy Online 2 would be better (4, Interesting)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009217)

As much as I applaud Funcom for their work with Age of Conan, I still think they should make a next generation Anarchy Online game instead. The original AO has such a unique, rich world, that is only limited by its EverQuest 1-era graphics and engine.

They make AO2, and I am there.

Re:Anarchy Online 2 would be better (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010029)

I commented positively about AO on Lum the Mad's site once and he or one of the other posters described it as "Spreadsheets Online", which as a former longtime player I thought was pretty funny, and not a little apt. I'd love to see an AO makeover.

Re:Anarchy Online 2 would be better (1)

baldr (1155711) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010995)

Funcom are actually working on upgrading the graphics. (They are changing to the Ogre graphic engine.) It is supposed to be released sometime later this year.

Where's my 360 version? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009259)

If I wanted to play a PC MMO, I'd choose WoW or any of a dozen other better MMO's. You've pissed away the opportunity to be a stand-out on a console to be just another also-ran on the PC.

Re:Where's my 360 version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009605)

wow upset much? You DO know why it is not on the consoles right now right? (hint: rhetorical question)

Re:Where's my 360 version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28014619)

There's always FFXI. :P

Fortunately... (1)

mbulge (1004558) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009311)

Funcom had a pre-release and allowed players to pay $10 or so to download the game and start a week early. A few hours of playing the laggy, buggy mess and I uninstalled. Fortunately then I was able to return the box for a refund.

The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (5, Insightful)

piggydoggy (804252) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009345)

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

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

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

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

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (4, Interesting)

rugger (61955) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009411)

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

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

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

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009699)

They're facing a heck of a battle with the fact that their game sucks. It was billed as a PVP game, yet the PVP is horrendous. If you want a game with actual sieging, player politics, city building, and full loot/ffa pvp (anything less is merely a pve game with pvp tacked on), try Darkfall Online.

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (3, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009813)

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

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

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (3, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009993)

"Funcom is facing a heck of a task battling people's existing prejudices in order to try and convince its 600,000 lost customers that they have indeed made the game playable and fun."
A two or three month free trial for those original accounts that played from the beginning would be a start.

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010105)

That's exactly what killed Hellgate London, they never got over the stench of their launch. By the time the game got axed they'd fixed most of the problems and had a fun little game, but not enough people were willing to give them a second try, or even a first try after reading the reviews.

You'd think developers and publishers would be able to predict that kind of result, but obviously not.

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010397)

Which is why you should really make sure the game is ready before you release it. I'm not saying this to be a jerk. Customers are fickle and will find something else to do if they don't like the experience. Getting them to come back to give you a second chance after you've made their experience so horrible that they took deliberate action to cease paying you for it is a difficult thing to do. It's because it's so so difficult to get players back that you should make certain your launch is a good experience.

What they should do now - if they were smart business folk - is send all the players who started the week or month the game did, but canceled soon after, a free month and an invitation to come back.

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#28011073)

I finally gave in and tried it 2-3 months ago. I think I lasted about 5-10 hours. It just wasn't fun. The 'directional combat system' was basically irrelevant. Sure, maybe it matters later on, but that's not the point. If you want players to stick around, the game has to be fun out of the box. Of course, it also has to stay fun. WoW accomplished that for me for about 3500-4000 hours of gameplay, compared to 5-10 for AoC.

Don't buy this game. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#28012431)

When I think about AOC, I get angry, and think about LIARS and LAZY BASTARDS. These guys can't code a quit button, or a math formula to save his life. And AOC itself is a linear theme park with a bad end. Theres a reason people that has not played the game will tell you "I'll be damned if I give Funcom any money to try it again". And is not what our friend piggydoggy suggest.

AOC is the only MMO I have deleted from my harddisk, and I have played all, even the really bad ones.

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28015497)

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

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you got Funcom-ed!

I don't trust them in the slightest.

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28016603)

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

Ya, the exact same problem they had with Anarchy Online. When you fail to learn from your mistakes you are doomed to suffer the same consequences.

I loved AO, and had considered playing AoC, but when they showed that they had learned nothing from their mistakes in AO I didn't even bother.

Sure, it might be a fun game now, but as like with AO previously, they are years later at a point they should have been at when it launched.

Re:The game is fine; public opinion needs fixing (1)

crowley_dk (636133) | more than 4 years ago | (#28017209)

Once bitten, Twice shy. I wasted my share of money on Age of Conan, and I will not be taking that gamble again. A certain other MMO got it right from the start, and has enjoyed a massive growth since it's introduction. Perhaps Funcom should have waited until they got it right too.

"I played it the first x months" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28009599)

So you don't really know what you're talking about.

Looking for Group (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28009847)

This is the same patch which, due to the sweeping stat and equipment changes, will allow players who have a character at level 50 or higher to create a brand new character already at level 50.

I don't know about everyone else, but the last thing I'm looking for in a party is someone who just started playing his character yesterday, doesn't know how to play his new class and didn't buy half his spells because "he didn't think they looked useful." Lord knows there's been a lot of incompetent death knights in WoW, though mercifully time passing has culled a lot of the chaff by now.

Re:Looking for Group (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28017283)

I know no one likes reading the article or even summary, but... from your own quote:

will allow players who have a character at level 50 or higher to create a brand new character already at level 50.

People who just started yesterday won't bother your high-level gaming a while.

So it's finally out of beta? (1)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010181)

I played it at launch, and stuck through many of the patch cycles hoping it would get better.
It looks *great*, and the first 20 levels (through Tortage) are indeed good fun, but after that it went downhill very quickly.

Each patch fixed one problem and introduced half a dozen new problems. PvP was horribly unbalanced - it was common to be one-or-two-shotted by players several levels *below* you without you being able to do anything about it at all. Players could evade PvP by simply running into water. Major changes were introduced to classes, changes that should have been decided upon well before launch. Elite "grey" mobs would kill you in seconds (this was one of the "improvements" they added). The whole thing seriously felt it was launched a good six months early and we were just paying to beta-test it for them. I didn't play of the siege matches, but all reports at the time were that it was horribly broken (as was crafting). People would engage in PvP just to get killed so they could respawn at a graveyard the other side of the zone, using PvP simply as a convenient method for travel.

Unfortunately, I'm not convinced that all of those issues were fixed. It's a shame, as I went into it expecting great things and thought that the Conan universe had enormous potential for a great game, but Funcom completely wrecked it. If you look at the stock value graph for the time after launch, you can almost see the little spikes where big patches were added, and then see the value drop as people realised how much they had broken at the same time, until it took a nose-dive into penny stocks as players quit en masse.

Had potential, fun for twenty levels, sucked after that when all the terrible problems became evident. Have they managed to turn it into a decent game yet?

You can not use WoW for comparison. (4, Informative)

Bocaj (84920) | more than 4 years ago | (#28010817)

People, please do not try to compare World of Warcraft to any other MMO. Why? MMO's have an interesting social variable that acts as a feedback loop. Warcraft's popularity is partly due to is popularity. Yes the game has to be good, but once you gain a certain momentum people stay with the game because their friends stay with the game. You need a sufficiently large portion of friends to leave for another game before you will, even if you like another game better. This is why you sometimes see a mass exodus from games that don't gain momentum. Guilds tend to ban together and move to another MMO as a whole. Most MMO's have monthly fees which limits most peoples budgets to one game. Humans are instinctively loyal pack animals. We ban together in teams to increase our power. If you think about it hard enough, you can probably find at least one other MMO that you would have played if everyone in your guild switched with you. And don't forget World of Warcraft at release time. Remember the guilds that powered through Molten Core and then had nothing to do but stand around Ironforge looking cool? Many of them would have gladly jumped ship to another MMO, but options were more limited back then. Some even canceled accounts to save money and just waited for an expansion. Age of Conan might still survive, but getting WoW-type popularity means getting people to quit playing WoW, which means leaving friends and abandoning charters you've spent years on. It's a tall order.

Re:You can not use WoW for comparison. (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#28011673)

You're 100% correct that there's a snowball effect in place. I sincerely hope this happens to AoC as well since it's the best MMO I've ever played, thanks in large part to the community. The fact that this game is rated M means there's none of the kiddie attitude of WoW. It makes a world of difference.

Game is *awful*, just awful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28011667)

First, off, let me lead by saying this: I have an 80 Warlock and an 80 Paladin, so when it comes to MMOs, it's no idle boast to say that I'm something of an expert.

When AoC was first announced, I, like most of the savvier players, took a look at the game. It promised stellar graphics, a lush game world, dynamic PvP, and innovative controls (WoW players will realize that these same things were what sold us on WoW). After what seemed like an eternity, the game finally shipped, amongst an enormous advertising blitz. My guildies and I were literally drooling with anticipation.

The game launched. I had pre-ordered the collector's edition from Amazon, so it actually arrived several days before. Once the servers opened, I rushed in headfirst, eager as a young groom to consummate this new MMO relationship.

First, things first: character creation. Scroll through the factions, and then it hit me. No Blood Elves. I checked the calendar -- it said 2008. How does a game released in 2008 not have Blood Elves? Unthinkable! I don't know how Funcom thought we could overlook this, or how whatever passes for a Norewegian FTC could allow this garbage to be released as a "game" when there are no Blood Elves. I couldn't believe it... I was in shock... it was unplayable. How that got past QA is beyond me, but now, I could care less. I uninstalled, and haven't looked back since.

Blizzard has raised the bar, apparently too high for any other company to see. Twelve million players really says it all, I think. And for god's sake: Blood Elves.

Re:Game is *awful*, just awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28014281)

I read about 3/4 of your post before realizing you were not being serious. I'm not sure if that says something about me or you.

Doesn't change the basic problem (1)

fuq2_nick (1557919) | more than 4 years ago | (#28012285)

All of these problems sounds like they fixed the easy issues. They didn't tackle the horrible network code / load distribution that they're using. There's the way WoW does it, which is throw everyone on the big server and have a bunch of child servers to handle PvP combat and things like that based on locality. There's the way WAR does it, which is "oh look funny lag" where you subdivide into lots of little servers (each of which handles a separate area) plus a separate connection for things like chat. Then there's the bloody awful solution that Age of Conan does, which is to just drop people on a given server based on the order in which they logged in. Then have each server handle a subset of the characters running through the world. When a player on Server A wants to interact with a player on Server B in the same zone, you have a problem. If they can't fix that, all of these bandaids and content updates can't solve the fundamental issues.

Too Little, Too Late (1)

Drone69 (1517261) | more than 4 years ago | (#28012919)

I bought the CE when AoC was launched last year. At first I was quite impressed with the game and enjoying it. Then it was time to leave Tortage @ LV 20. Everything from that point on was lacklustre. No NPC voice-overs, no scripted mission sequences, and no cohesive mission storylines. Needless to say I quit the mmo after a 3 month subscription. Other reasons for quitting: No DX10 support although advertised, continuously nerfed "adult" content in the first 2 months, meaningless item stats, drab item appearance/aesthetic, bugs galore, horrid group quest instancing method, aloof attitude from funcom in regards to all issues previously mentioned.

Ever coming to 360? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28013101)

This game was suppose to come to the 360 almost a year ago, what ever happened to that???

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