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Reader Comments (12)

Posted: Sep 26th 2010 4:39PM Seffrid said

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Excellent write-up, thanks Jef. The Anvil of Crom is easily the highlight of Massively, and AoC one of the most under-rated MMO's today.

While I have a year's subscription running I rarely look into the game these days, not entirely sure why, but I did do so the other night and funnily enough had a few fights with my lvl 23 Barbarian in the very zone you've written about, between the initial caravan and the Great Wall. Very atmospheric and looking more detailed distance-wise than when the expansion first launched. I guess that as the population thinned out Funcom opened up the clipping plane a tad.

I think perhaps my main problem with the game - which runs smoothly and looks amazing on my high-end machine so it isn't that - is that for me as a largely solo PvE player there is only the questing and adventuring to do. If the harvesting and crafting were beefed up then I'd find more of interest, but it is rather a grind without anything else and I'm not remotely interested in PvP, nor indeed in grouping (other than with a friend or my son as is the case in EQ2) and as for guilds, well I've been there and done that. I guess I have a bit of an excuse for not wanting to over-socialise in these games as I'm of a different generation to most players, and I find that my preferred playstyle works well in other MMO's but in AoC there aren't enough options outside of simple quest-related combat to keep me interested as a primary MMO, whilst I can dip in and out of it as a secondary one happily enough.

More to the point, Anvil of Crom keeps it very much in my sights, and that is always a good thing. Keep it up Jef!

Posted: Sep 26th 2010 5:01PM Jef Reahard said

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I feel your pain on the harvesting and crafting, they are really simplistic compared to most other AAA MMOs. I'd love to see Funcom devote some energy towards revamping those systems, and adding a few fluff things like appearance slots, housing, etc. If they do that, I'll probably stop playing a bunch of other games on the side.

As much as it's fashionable to bash on FFXIV, I'd be in heaven if AoC would implement similar harvest/crafting mechanics, as they're an integral part of that game and not an obvious afterthought.

Also, thanks for the kind words and for reading.

Posted: Sep 26th 2010 5:32PM DarthDan said

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Totally agree. I would be happier than a hog rolling in hot mud if they would let us inhabit the world in player housing and have some in-depth crafting to do when not grinding. One of the faults in this wonderful game is that, when not grinding, there is simply nothing else to do. A good game needs to have another mode of playing or inhabiting, such as in-depth crafting or decorating your player domicile, when not "doing the grind". And while the grind will keep some players, actually living in the world will keep others.

Great article, Jef. Your toon looks smexy in that armor.
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Posted: Sep 26th 2010 5:51PM (Unverified) said

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Approaching the great wall the first time, accompanied by the awesome, cineastic music was simply one of the best/atmospheric moments i had in any mmo. breathtaking.

i'm absolutely with you that crafting needs some serious love on the other hand.

Posted: Sep 26th 2010 8:56PM wjowski said

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In all honesty AoC'd be better off without tradeskills. They don't fit in with the heroic-fantasy themes of the Conan series at all.

Posted: Sep 27th 2010 2:21AM Jef Reahard said

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Eh, I'd have to disagree with you there. Someone's got to make the armor and the weapons, they don't just appear out of thin air. Sure Howard may not have written about a blacksmith, but he did create a fully realized world where they existed.

It seems like newer MMOs are going this simplified route of combat, combat, and more combat, when the genre offers so much more potential. Action games are great, but MMOs should be more than that. Heroic fantasy just doesn't work when you've got 1000 other people running around with you on the same server, most of whom also want to be "The One."
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Posted: Sep 28th 2010 8:02AM Equillian said

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Actually, I agree completely. Conan is all about the heroics. It's entire goal is to make you feel like the hero of your own story.

Tradeskills are the one underdeveloped part of AoC.

From a story perspective, let some unknown bastard make my sword. If he's lucky, I won't kill him with it.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2010 12:46PM DarthDan said

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@ Equillian

While it's fine that you're getting everything you want out of the game with combat, combat, combat, there are a plethora of other players who seek something more, or at the very least, something to do when we're tired of the grind. Alternate modes of play, such as a solid crafting system and interactive player housing, are the key to a successful game's longevity.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2010 8:02AM Equillian said

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@ Darthdan

Many games out there don't have either a solid crafting system or player housing (forget interactive, or even good). Some of those are even really good. For you, I make this list of stuff I've found to do in AoC that isn't simply 'leveling through'.

Learn to Dominate the Trader's Post. (I've gotten quite good)
Find a good guild.
Roleplay
Explore the different areas.
Read the quests.
Apprentice a complete noobie and show him part of the game he's never seen.
Apprentice a noobie and watch his joy as you show him 'how epic mode is done'
Save a stranger.

Posted: Sep 27th 2010 3:38PM Lateris said

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I have to agree Jeff- I appreciate crafting but prefer the SWG model on how an interface plays a major part of the crafting with a nice GUI. To this day AoC has more potential then most of these MMORPG's. And I detest the markets direction without crafting.

Posted: Sep 27th 2010 3:46PM Jef Reahard said

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My whole thing is that more options, whether they be crafting depth, fluff, or whatever, is never a bad thing. Many people are seemingly satisfied with the status quo, and that's ok, but if AoC really has 50 developers working on it as Morrison recently said, why not spend a bit of that manpower making a larger, more immersive gameworld?

All of that stuff that Equillian listed above is available to do in every MMO. AoC needs things to set it apart from the crowd and keep people hanging around once the novelty of the combat button-mashing wears off.

Conan isn't solely about the heroic experience unless you're looking at it with blinders on.

Posted: Sep 30th 2010 11:17AM DanielViverridae said

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I agree with the commentators above on the subject that the game could use some more pve aspects, being it housing (RP-ers would go crazy!), crafting or what else. Guild renown levels introduced some of that, but it was still only the first step (in the right direction, thankfully).

Being a member of a once rather huge guild, I've seen so many ole players leaving or spending less and less time online after the Khitai graze wore off, because there's simply "nothing new to discover" any more. Raiding and grouping every single night grows tiresome, pvp is dead in our server after the mining updates, and when u're not much into RP, the only thing left to do is to repeat the Khitai quests you've done a 100 times and are exactly the same, or grind mats for trader/guild city.

Game developers can not keep up adding new and new content to the game, so maybe a system that would allow us – the players – to do it, would be a solution :)

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