Monday, October 20, 2008

Age of Conan - The communication is key

And luckily the new Game Director knows this.

We as subscribers have been treated to another update and discussion on Patch 3.0, and the goodies involved.
A few are major standouts, and makes me truly excited..

1. PvP Update part II
This adds the criminal system which changes the dynamics of PvP overall.
Called the Consequence/Notoriety system, the player who decides to murder new players on a regular basis gain "Murder" points.

As Craig describes it
"If you take part in anti-social actions in PVP, picking on weaker foes and such you will find yourself accruing ‘murder points’ that will eventually mean the attitudes of NPCs in the world will change towards you"

Now, of course this could be detrimental and blocks a need that, for some reason, certain anti-social players partake in.

No access to major NPC's could ruin a players game.

Luckily they instead will be turning this into a new game of sorts, as these players will have access to "Bandit" camps with quests, rewards and vendors specific to this type of player.

The RP-PvP server could be a major hoot with this new addition.

2. Changes to Trade-skills
Also known as the PvE additions.

This expands a major section of the game that some players have had issues with..
Crafted goods and their need, and expansion of itemization.
‘Base’, ‘Culture’ and ‘City’ armors and weapons recipes will give weapon-smiths and armor-smiths many new pieces to craft.
The recipes for these items include new resources that Alchemists, Skinners, Weavers and Woodcutters will have to provide.
So now, working together with other player crafter's and gatherer's is encouraged and even necessary.

Craig discusses the reasoning for this (as if we did not know...)
"Listening to player feedback made it clear to us that especially the Alchemist profession had to get an overhaul in terms of the too high number of available alchemy recipes and needed resources to craft these sorts of items. With this update the number of alchemy resources has been reduced by about two thirds and existing recipes have been adjusted accordingly. This will make crafting for alchemists much more enjoyable and allows this profession to focus on crafting specific items and potions as an unnecessary high number of different recipes and resources made it hard to actually find what was needed."

This will be a major as the armor and items were a detriment based on their visual styles. The abundance of changes should add more uniquity to an already gorgeous world.

3. Combat Updates
Another major change.
As I have discussed in a previous post, a change to the speed, damage and overall feel to combat is taking place.
From melee to heals, this is almost an overhaul.

This is pretty soon in the game to be making such changes, but it does eliminate a major problem in the games higher levels, and specifically PvP.

The one-shot kill.

Craig expounds upon the reasons...
"Firstly the way how crowd control and immunities work has been adjusted. This change now will cause players to break stuns, fears, roots, snares and charms when they have lost a certain amount of health. This should give players a fair chance to withstand these spells and fight back."
"We have also received feedback that too many combos were too long to perform, where players felt that hitting directional keys was dominating the game-play more than it should. Reducing the number of steps on the longer combos should hopefully rectify this feeling."
"Obviously this move does affect the potential damage players do, and given that we also wanted to start addressing the effectiveness of healing in combat. We approached this by giving some classes utilities to make the healing of others less efficient. As a result, the Ranger, the Demonologist and the Herald of Xotli have all received healing debuff abilities. This is obviously an area that we will track closely and if additional changes are required it will be an area that continues to get tweaks and adjustments."

There is no doubt, these changes are major, and we kept seeing something said by Craig that really hits home.

"Player feedback"

The fact that they are willing to gather the feedback and rework issues with the game really shows the commitment Craig has toward the game.
As well, the forums are abuzz with these changes, meaning people ARE talking, and less "attacking" and spam posts are taking place.

This was a major issue in the forums, and for good reason.

Gautes ignorance of the player was detrimental to the overall success of this game.
It may never recover those original numbers, but I think Craig can make enough of a difference to bring back those who DID like the game, but hated the treatment of Funcom toward the ongoing development.

This is great stuff, and with new PvE content being tested, and other fixes for Massive Siege PvP, and more....the game is progressing to where it should have been at launch.

Good work on Craigs part.

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