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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Nov 15th 2010 11:25AM Birk said

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What exactly is endgame all about in AO? Raiding spaceships?

I can't believe I never played this game. It sounds so cool, but I'm afraid I'd be coming in to a bit late...which is to say, I'd be a little disenchanted with the graphics, I'm afraid.

As per the topic...while I am totally pro-cash shops for things like content and cosmetics, the whole idea of buying items so that you can catch up to high-level characters sounds like a bad exercise in design.

Why not just up loot drops, or experience gains or something? Making people pay for items on a 10 year old game is a little...well, perhaps someone else has something nice to say about the topic.

-Birk

Posted: Nov 15th 2010 2:03PM (Unverified) said

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The basic game is free to play, so this just itemizes that a bit more than has been the case. This is only news because Funcom is changing the way their stores work. You'll now buy funcom pionts (are whatever) instead of buying specific AO points.

The catch-up items are limited to accounts with max level characters. Making a second character easier. XP potions will have full availability though. The game can be a serious grind with 200 free levels, plus 20 more for paid accounts. While I'm not a big fan of cash shops, this is well thought out, and appropriate for this game.
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Posted: Nov 15th 2010 9:03PM Birk said

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Wow that is a huge amount of levels. How does it play these days? Is it much fun?

-Birk
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 2:12PM Derf said

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I'm back in the game after 5 years away. There are two servers, I went to RK1, as opposed to where I was when I left, which was RK2. In essence I'm starting out as a new character. It has been good, and I'm enjoying it. I'm at the stage where I could get really easy levels through various high xp teams, but I'm taking my time and learning how to play my character. One of the neat things about this game, is that you're not punished for grouping, you get roughly 2/3 of the xp compared to a solo kill and the killing is quite quick in a group.
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Posted: Nov 15th 2010 12:43PM kaelidancer said

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I play AO, and I've played off and on since 2001 or so - I love it precisely because of its classic style MMO charm... but I suppose it could be a little offputting to new players.

As far as the XP and token cash shop items go, I think veteran players will utilize these more than newcomers, as vets are constantly creating new alts to experiment with builds and explore the changes that have been made to the game over the years, and many of them will definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity to speed development along on those new characters.

New players coming into AO for the first time, I'd honestly warn them away from spending any money in the cash shop right off the bat. AO rewards patience in new players - don't leave the Newbie area until you've done everything there. Try different weapons. Read profession guides so you'll spend skill points wisely. Once you're level 10 or so you can enter the game proper, but even then - don't rush. Take your time and get accustomed to the way the game works. AO Classic is free, and offers plenty of content (especially if you're brand new) - the mechanics are rather complex and you'll want to be very familiar with them before you start buying expansions, or paying for items that will speed up development.

Of course, there are fun social items in the cash shop too, but that's another discussion entirely.

Also, new players are very much welcome in AO. The newbie area's always busy and usually friendly (usually), and though the game is clearly from a different era, it really is an engaging and immersive experience for those who haven't been too spoiled by the flashy graphics and themepark mechanics :)

Posted: Nov 15th 2010 1:19PM karl234 said

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Posted: Nov 15th 2010 1:55PM kaelidancer said

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This is true, but the Phasefront store is mostly high-end vehicles and hoverboards and such. This is the first time any XP stims, etc. will be offered, and also the first time said shop will be available outside the game itself. The Phasefront vendors in-game will be converted to an in-game web browser of sorts, locked to the webshop.
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Posted: Nov 15th 2010 2:11PM Dumac said

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That shot looks awesome. I take it that AO got the engine update? I haven't been following it closely but i know they were talking about it for a long time.

I tried AO a few times years ago, never making it off the newbie area once. I had no idea what i was doing so i gave up. Maybe i ought to give it another try...

Posted: Nov 15th 2010 2:22PM (Unverified) said

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Newp. Engine is still the same. Been playing AO for about 8 years now... but I am done. I've finally given in and just cancelled my three accounts and I am just going to wait and see how this fiasco turns out.

AO is a brilliant game, don't get me wrong, but the company backing it has some serious priority issues.
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Posted: Nov 15th 2010 10:00PM alucard3000 said

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The new engine is supposed to be implemented sometime in the first part of 2011.
I wish they would make it possible to do more keymapping that is my biggest problem with the game atm.I like moving and steering with my mouse-which you can do but instead of rmb+lmb its rmb+mmb which I find awkward.And I dont really care for keyboard turning(wasd)
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Posted: Nov 15th 2010 2:29PM pcgneurotic said

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AO Classic is free? Wowzers, I have to check that out. I wonder if my old trial characters are still there.

Posted: Nov 15th 2010 3:03PM kaelidancer said

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It sure is! Come join us, and look me up if you stay Neutral - these days I'm usually playing a new lowbie character named Krisalee :)
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 3:04AM pcgneurotic said

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Awesome, thanks! :)
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 2:37AM ed511df3 said

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There's times I miss playing AO. My main account has been inactive for 4 years because I pulled a completely boneheaded move. They were offering a free upgrade to all expansions, with a free 30 days to try out all of the new stuff. I upgraded my account, played for a few days, then walked away for a few months. I discovered that since I upgraded my account, I was no longer able to revert to being a froob, despite the fact that I had no items that were expansion specific, nor had I even walked into any expansion specific areas.

4 years in regular froob land, and I never even got to take advantage of what the expansions had to offer. And as I don't care enough to pay for an account, I never will.

Posted: Nov 16th 2010 2:41AM Ogged said

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I think the term "endgame tokens" used by the author is grossly misleading.

Tokens - used for upgrading sided tokenboards - are useful from level 1 and are usually collected by running missions (regular 'classic' leveling) or later on by grinding weapon collection missions.

Victory Points (VPs) are used to buy armor sets, which are - except for a few select pieces - worthless to 'endgame' players.

So, Funcom doesn't really sell 'endgame' stuff for cash.


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