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Reader Comments (29)

Posted: Jun 26th 2011 12:29PM Sorithal said

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It's not really -that- surprising that AoC is having trouble. Especially since it seemed the only real selling point they put out when it first came out was this: "ZOMG BLOOD GORE AND NUDITY!"

Posted: Jun 26th 2011 12:46PM Kaoss said

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@Sorithal
Wasn't the combat or kick-ass graphics or anything...... =.=

I agree with the author though. When AoC first announced it was going F2P I was really pumped, but since then Fallen Earth, Rusty Hearts, Dragon Nest, Team Fortress 2, CoH and a plethora of other games are joining the F2P world, most are better than what AoC is offering in terms of bang for your buck and I've found that i'm just less psyched for it now seeing as that they still haven't given a release date and who knows it might be the end of the year before it actually makes the transfer to F2P, really not going to wait for this game to come out before I invest in an MMO if there's no indication of how long until it actually comes out.
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:14PM Lateris said

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We need to new zones along with the other items Jeff is referring to.

Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:56PM Jef Reahard said

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@Lateris

Some of that will coming with the movie content, looking forward to seeing that (but getting impatient, lol).
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:20PM Sente said

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They need to find a good balance with giving people something for "free" and still give them some incentive to come back and pay them some amount of money. If you do not have a lot of variation in things to do, one would have to assume that people only will play shorter periods of time or just shorter sessions every now and then.

DDO was not the first title to make the F2P conversion though; Anarchy Online did that before, in late 2004/early 2005. However, once you switch to the premium (subscription) option in AO, you can not switch back.

Posted: Jun 26th 2011 2:03PM Jef Reahard said

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@Sente

Yeah, and really AO's f2p option passed completely under the radar of almost everyone but folks who were already into the game. DDO's business model switch literally saved the game, and opened the floodgates for all the imitators we're seeing now.
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:20PM mrdryden said

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Don't sell AoC that short. I was heavily involved with it from FC's early announcements on it right up until the 6 month mark of it going live; it has (had?) a lot of things going for it.

Tons of atmosphere and immersion if you've read the REH Conan stories, first off. It really respects the IP, unlike some I can think of (STO*coughcough*)

The combat system is to this day still the best one I've played, it's a great mix of twitch and standard 1,2,3 style MMO play; not too heavily in either direction, which is a criticism I have about Vindictus.

It's a beautiful game, the only one that gives it a run for it's money in the art direction department IMO is LotRO. Some of the best and most relevant music for the genre, excellent stuff.

And it had RP! For such a brutal serial killer simulator as some say, there was more RP than you'd imagine (on Wiccana, at least) it to have. Many people find it quite surprising, but AoC has a great IP to work off of, and they really do capture the feel of being in the universe of the books.

And yeah, there was the nudity; which is to say, a very harsh and cutthroat vibe going for it. I distinctly recall one of the quests featured a prostitute who sends who off to kill someone who wronged her and retrieve some loot he stole, but it turns out she lied about the item you are retrieving and it's actually just drugs he stole. Now if that's not hardcore, I don't know what is. :D

Now I heard that the expansion is a huge grindfest and at some earlier point FC decided to put AoC on the WoW-style gear treadmill? Anybody played it recently to comment on that?

Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:53PM Yellowdancer said

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Ya know, I don't have a hate for the game. Its just simply I don't care that it even exists. I think that's their major hurdle. To get people to care about that game beyond the handful that play it today.
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:58PM Jef Reahard said

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@mrdryden

The expansion was a huge grindfest but to Funcom's credit, a couple of the more recent patches have made it a bit more palatable. The faction grind isn't nearly as bad as it was earlier this year.
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:43PM (Unverified) said

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It's been crashing and burning for a long while now, F2P is the death rattle, just let it die already.

Development companies need to use AoC management as a What not to Do training course.

Posted: Jun 27th 2011 12:30AM Faction 3 said

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@(Unverified) I'd say WAR is FAAAAAAAAAR worse off than AoC will ever be. I began playing AoC last month just based of off Jefs article, and with all the other bullshit MMO's i've played, AoC is actually refreshing and unique. I enjoy it immensely.

Try playing games like WoW & Rift and tell me that AoC is'nt something different.
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 1:48PM Deadalon said

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PPL should remember AOC for what it was. Unfinished game that should not get a foothold cause gamers want a good solid game on release. Not games that have missing features and broken and bugged gameplay.

Posted: Jun 27th 2011 12:51AM Sente said

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DDO certainly made a much bigger splash, in particular since they made a big revamp in one big bang. Funcom had a number of smaller changes and still does not have as an extensive revamp as DDO had.

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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 2:44PM BigAndShiny said

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Well actually i'm loving AoC at the moment as a new player. I believe my playing buddy said today that despite being IN the SW:TOR beta, which i can confim, he is rather playing age of conan, which says something.

The music is better than any single player rpg (bioware or not) that I've played and the graphics are gorgeous. Quests are entertaining, I haven't encountered grind yet, and combat is fun even as a magic character. Im loving Age Of Conan. Once I got used to no voice acting, I truly feel like im in a proper deep fantasy RPG with the great enemies and quests.

The fact is that apart from the space minigame and the class stories which aren't that great (i can confirm) i would rather play AoC than SW:TOR, no joke.

Posted: Jun 26th 2011 3:04PM Vagrant Zero said

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@BigAndShiny My twice removed best friend's uncle's kitten's dog said blah blah something about an unreleased MMO.

I can confirm.
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 3:22PM BigAndShiny said

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@Vagrant Zero
i have played the game for a number of hours between levels 11-16
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 3:25PM BigAndShiny said

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@BigAndShiny
And how can your kitten have a dog?
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 2:56PM bobfish said

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You spend 90% of your time in an MMO fighting... I think AoC having far superior combat, pretty awesome instances and raids and good PvP will be enough to be honest.

Admittedly though most of the really good content is in Godslayer, which isn't free.

Posted: Jun 26th 2011 3:24PM Jef Reahard said

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@bobfish

It wasn't always that way though (I'm speaking about the 90% fighting bit). And it wouldn't have to be that way now if players would stop accepting it as the norm and thereby enabling developers to keep shipping combat lobbies that are mislabeled as MMOs.

Tbh MMOs will never be great combat games in the way that dedicated combat games are, and I think it's funny/sad that most players are determined to reduce them down to that.

If you look at the (de)volution of this genre, it started out as these big, open-world games where combat was one of your options. Now, because they're all combat-focused, they're all small instanced affairs because engaging/action combat isn't technologically feasible in a big MMO world. Quite a waste of potential really.
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Posted: Jun 26th 2011 3:00PM Seffrid said

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AoC is a wonderful looking game, and has a lot to offer. It would have even more to offer if it just had more to do than quest-related combat. It's a shame they haven't upgraded the crafting in the time since launch, and added a few extra activities like collection quests - or even something original!

As for what it was, apart from a broken quest in the first week (which got fixed), I don't recall experiencing any broken and bugged gameplay during any of the periods in which I've played the game. As far as missing features is concerned, I imagine that Deadalon is flogging his usual dead horse about DX10 which anyone who'd followed the game in the run-up to launch or had done a smidgin of research before buying would have known was delayed.

Not for the first time with MMOs I wonder whether half the people complaining about the state of this game at launch were even playing the same game as me, it was a pretty solid game in my experience but perhaps I was just lucky - as I was with Vanguard, SWG, AO and various other games that my middle of the range unclocked machine at the time seemed to have no trouble running smoothly!

I hope Funcom can build on AoC's viability and make it a highly successful AAA game, it has the potential to become that, and it's really only those few ex-players with permanent chips on their shoulders who remain blind to its advances thus far and its potential for the future. Its main problem is going to be the amount of competition these days, not least in the F2P market but to be honest it does offer a degree of originality and distinctiveness that the typical shallow F2P clone does not, and for that reason alone it deserves to do well. I think it will, provided Funcom can provide the additional variety and depth of content it desperately needs.

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