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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: May 2nd 2008 6:00PM (Unverified) said

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It seems to be, after only a few hours in AoC beta on a "lower spec" system, they could make the game more playable with just a few more graphics options.
Stop with the flowing plants.
Allow me to disable virtually everything, including the desity of the plantlift.
I don't care if the game looks supre crappy on setting I choose. Every MMO I play eventually gets turned way down for raiding ect so if I choose for it to look like crap and still play, because I love the playstyle, then let me!

So far AoC is fun to play and I like combat and I understand this is beta so I am willing to put up with it. But, AoC, read your boards, read this post, make it more playable on lower end systems.

Great article by the way.

peace,
Ghreen

Posted: May 2nd 2008 7:24PM (Unverified) said

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Try pressing CTRL \ while in game. This will bring up the Graphics Debug Console. There are alot of options available, and be careful, because pressing the wrong thing can crash the game and your computer. (Eat memory is one such option.)
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Posted: May 2nd 2008 7:24PM (Unverified) said

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I have heard (and want to believe) that AoC's beta client is running so slowly now because 1) it's in debug mode and 2) the graphics are not yet optimized. I've also heard there are conflicts with some sound cards (interrupts maybe?) that is affecting the display performance. In these cases, turning the sound off seemed to help.

Posted: May 2nd 2008 7:24PM (Unverified) said

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Having too-high system requirements may be a big part of the "fail" factor of recent MMO's. Everyone wants their game to look insanely great, but they fail to realize that the consumer is the one who has to pay for that quality with an expensive system.

Better to go with entertaining stylized visuals with low system requirements. Instead of trying for realism, pump up your art budget and go for emotional quality instead, fabulous art and design instead of GPU-destroying realism.

Posted: May 2nd 2008 7:24PM vicryixiv said

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I played last night. The game took an unforgivably long time to load the first few times (it got better and better) and i have a pretty good machine.

I know its a beta, but based on what i saw, i would NEVER pay money for this game because the performance was abysimal. SWG has a phenomenal engine if you could max the settings and i never got the lag and slowdown like i had for AoC.

The game feels very flat compared to wow and the graphics are not nearly impressive enough to warrent the length of loading time and the slowness. Its sure as hell not Crysis.

They have a big problem on their hands.

Posted: May 2nd 2008 8:02PM (Unverified) said

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Not only are the system requirement incredibly high, but a lot of very nice computers that are well over the system requirements are still having problems. As I posted on another blog today, a game with very high system reqs coupled with problems above the reqs is going to spell financial disaster. Plus, that's not even taking into account any bugs or server/networking issues.

Posted: May 2nd 2008 8:07PM Merc said

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Ok....the game in in BETA so please save your negative comments for after the official release on the 20th, otherwise send in those bug reports. There seems to be so much negative pre-judgment going on its fairly sickening. Its almost seems like fans of "game X" are just praying this thing is a failure. These guys put a ton of work into this thing and I can assure you it is fun as hell. If you can not play a cutting edge MMO on your computer the upgrade or stick with what works for you. Let these guys do their job and if they don't then, by all means, get on every forum and give them hell. Otherwise please give your beta key to someone who wants to be constructive.......

Posted: May 2nd 2008 8:22PM (Unverified) said

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If this were an early, technical beta I'd agree with you, but at this point they're in open, pre-launch, "lets show the world what our game looks like," 12th-hour beta. I haven't actually played the game yet, so I can't say either way, but I've read many reports of people having trouble with the hefty system requirements. I'm not sure how extra bug reports that say "Hey, your reqs are killing my machine," are going to help Funcom at this point, and I'd hardly call having trouble running the game a "negative pre-judgment" -- it's just an honest appraisal of the trouble some people are having.

I want this to succeed as much as anyone else (I love the Conan stories and am looking forward to playing in Hyboria). I'm sure it's fun, and everything I've heard about the gameplay agrees with that.

That doesn't change the fact that I think bleeding edge graphics hurt launch numbers and are bad for games in the long run, especially if it makes the game somewhat unstable after launch.

I'll have more to say once I've actually gotten in an tooled around.
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Posted: May 3rd 2008 2:02AM Pagan said

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I'm in General Beta, and the issues I've read about in the last 24 hours are either non-existent (the severe loading times between zones) or very minor. I'm not sure what's different about the open beta client, but I suspect the problems are a mix of the ob client and the volume of traffic to the server. AoC plays very well for me. Not perfect but entirely playable and worth a purchase based on my Gen Beta experience. It's tragic that this open beta is the first introduction to AoC for most people, because I think AoC is a good addition to the MMO genre, and some might write the game off (understandably) based on this bad experience. Hopefully Funcom figures out why this ob client is behaving the way it is and fix it asap.

Posted: May 3rd 2008 2:03AM (Unverified) said

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Safe to say, Funcom still have work to do on the AoC client. It still has bugs that hurt performance and a few fairly major crashing issues. It's also fair to say if you expect to run it on full settings (like you do in WoW) and don't have a spanky brand new system you are going to be disappointed.

For me the game runs quite well at nearly full settings (25-30+ fps, not brilliant but very playable). Loading times cant be called fast, but are tolerable (10-30secs for a new zone loading). The worst issue for me is the client hanging once in a while when new textures are loaded in. It maybe for only a second or two, but its something they need to fix before launch. And that is exactly what they are saying! Its not finished, they are still patching and yes it really is still beta, not matter how open to the general public it may be.

Please remember that the vocal minority make up the vast majority of posts on any forum and although I'm sure lots of people are having problems (including me), its not all doom and gloom for AoC.

Posted: May 3rd 2008 2:03AM (Unverified) said

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Funcom is being Funcom ... they pulled the exact same thing with Anarchy Online. They lost a large chunk of their player base in the first months because they got "frames per second" confused with "seconds per frame" ... Just hope they don't pull some of the other crap they pulled with AO, like GMs annoyed at tickets summoning your character to 10,000 feet and letting it fall to its death.

Posted: May 3rd 2008 2:03AM Suspiro said

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Totally agree with this post. My buddy and I were just talking about this earlier today. His machine can't handle AoC so we might not get to play together.

Posted: May 3rd 2008 10:10AM (Unverified) said

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I'm not a big fan of WoW's stylized graphics, so personally I can put up with fairly high system specs. I don't really want "realistic" per se, but stylized more akin to something like Assassin's Creed and other games where animation impresses more than a pretty screenshot. That's definitely my preference and I realize it takes a bit more horsepower.

I'm pretty sick of Blizzard's particularly cartoonish style.

Posted: May 3rd 2008 8:51PM Azazel28 said

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Just because you have the option to play on very very very high settings does not mean you should. Oddly enough the game at low settings looks better then WoW or EQ2 at higher settings, IMO (besides a few textures).

On most 2-3 year old machines medium settings will suffice and give you a great performance boost. If oblivion can swell well on the PC why can't an MMO, I know about accessibility, but that is why their are options to turn things down. The company is not making you DO ANYTHING, you are the one that has to have the the best graphics that particular games offers. I do not understand that, if game X has older graphics but runs great on your shitty machine then why not run the new game comparable to game X that ran great on your shitty machine. Do not expect a huge graphical upgrade unless you spend the cash to do so. It is like an Xbox owner wonder why he can not have the graphics of a 360 owner....new generation, new system.

Posted: May 3rd 2008 8:51PM Azazel28 said

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I think many of you are forgetting the horrible launch of WoW, on many servers the game was unplayable. About two weeks in the launch they finally got their servers able to handle the influx in players.

Also, there were areas that were completely misisng from the game that is even in the instructions manual one of which was the PvP system and Honor, not to mention a slew of other things that were left out of the game.

There was a plethora of bugs that literally crashed my system as well as many others on the message boards. Good luck alt+tab at the time, because it would crash your system. WoW had a few memory leaks after long play periods word crash certain AMD chipset. If you people think that WoW was perfect then you did not join up until past the 6 month mark.

I played WoW for the first 18 months it was launched and it was very very rough for the first 5-6 months. After 2 large patches the game became something that was to be desired.

Also when we are comparing graphics of a game that is well over 4 years old, accessibility is an understatement. When I first bought wow I had an ATI 800pro w/ 256MB of Memory and it was difficult for me to get over 35FPS on high settings, do not even mention the crawl on my system when I went into town....the entire game would freeze for 30 seconds. I now have an 8800GTX and playing AoC I get some very similar issues that WoW had, yes I would say my average FPS is about 30 (so slightly lower then that of WoW at very high settings).

Posted: May 3rd 2008 8:51PM (Unverified) said

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"Not only are the system requirement incredibly high, but a lot of very nice computers that are well over the system requirements are still having problems."

Which really ought to be demonstrating the fact they have performance issues that aren't directly hardware related. From what I can tell, client performance is directly connected to server performance (blocks on network read or something). Given this is a stress test beta, and the servers are begging for mercy around now...

Posted: May 4th 2008 11:43AM (Unverified) said

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Hands down, this guy didn't do his homework. This isn't a preview, nor is it anything close to the closed beta version. If you do not have access to the closed beta version, you have nothing to say. If you do have access to the closed beta version, you can't say anything (NDA). This is a very old version of the game, horribly incomplete and unbalanced. This isn't simply an opportunity to give you a chance to be in any kind of beta at all, it's a STRESS test and nothing more. It's OPEN beta because they need a lot of people in the beta. I can see you're not in the closed beta, and the reasons are obvious.

Posted: May 4th 2008 11:50AM (Unverified) said

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At the time of writing this post, I hadn't played the game at all yet. I was discussing what I think is a larger issue in the industry based on the reports and comments of numerous other bloggers in the beta, and based on what we've seen previous games do.

That said, I played Age of Conan all day yesterday to get a feel for it, and I have no idea what those other bloggers are talking about.

While I stand by my article's point that companies shouldn't bring your system grinding to its knees, Age of Conan doesn't.

It ran as smooth as silk on my system -- no CTDs, no framerate issues, great performance, and nice settings. Funcom has nothing to worry about from this particular issue.

Watch Monday for an apology to Funcom and my impressions of the beta.
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Posted: May 4th 2008 11:43AM RancidMilkMan said

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It has nothing to do with your graphics. You have a slow CPU. It isn't their fault you have a slow computer. If you're a hardcore gamer go overclock your rig.

Posted: May 4th 2008 11:50AM (Unverified) said

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My CPU speed is fine. Many people's aren't. I'm tired of the idea that we need new computers every year to play the latest thing. It's expensive -- if I spend $1500 every 2 years to get a new rig, that's like buying a PS3 and a few controllers (at launch) every single year.

That's ridiculous.
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