Thursday, October 16, 2008

Age of Conan - Eurogamer review and Patch 3.0

This week, Eurogamer has decided to re-review Age of Conan after 4 months.
This confused me, as the norm that is discussed for games to get their kinks out is 6 months. At least this is the noted timeline from many sites and players as well as forum discussion (how many times were you told a new MMO needs "6 months" before it is ready...hate that statement!!)

Anyways, as you may guess the review is not good, but it is reasonable.

Some noted comments are...

"Funcom has consistently disappointed its players in terms of content delivery"

"Major overhauls were coming, we were told. Really soon - any day now, in fact. New zones, a new player-versus-player system, class updates"

Just a couple there...read the full review for more in depth analysis of the problems..and the good...

Yes, there is good.

This summation says it best, as it is how I feel.

"And yet... Despite all of this, Age of Conan remains, somehow, a compelling game. Its world is undeniably beautiful, albeit somewhat small and restrictive compared to many of its rivals'. The combat system is still hugely entertaining - fast, visceral and immediate, in a way which no other MMOG has quite managed - and some of the classes, like the Herald of Xotli and the Demonologist, are genuinely innovative hybrids that are great fun to play and master. Moreover, Conan's lore is appealing - his world a fascinating one to explore."

"Age of Conan remains one of the most innovative and interesting additions to the MMORPG family in recent years..."

Yet, time may have been a cruel mistress here.
Funcom had their priorities in the wrong place and let the game suffer for this.

But, this brings me to patch 3.0.
A lot of people are calling this the PvE patch.

With enhancements to how items and combat works (faster attacks, streamlined combos) with adjustments to crafting (new recipes and itemization features) and just yesterday the addition of level 55+ content called the Ymir Pass....

This patch packs a lot in...

And to see how Craig Morrison, the new game lead, is handling things, there are several notes to the communications...

First an article Q&A was posted about the crafting system here.

As well, the Testlive forums (which are only accessible to subscribers) is full of data kept out of the messy General forums. A full thread discussing the Ymir content and the Combo changes is quite informative with posts from the developers.

I am unsure of the stake that Gaute had in Funcom as a whole, but his mucking about with AoC cost subscribers big time. Delays and patching of issues which no on cared about proved to be detrimental to the game as a whole.

Luckily, since patch 2.0, the game has been running smooth at least. People are still playing as they must believe the same way I do or Eurogamer does.
This game tried to make a difference. And it shows in how you play and how the various mechanics work.

My thought is if Patch 3.0 can be out within the infamous 6 month window, then it could make the game even more worthwhile as a whole.

As Xfire shows, the playerbase has found a niche in Conan, and is holding steady.

Now, I am excited about this new content...lets get it to live as soon as possible people.

Cheers.

1 comment:

adingworld said...

There is certainly an appeal of the worlf of Hyboria which I think Funcom did well.

I think they realised too late that being enthusiasts and bringing some of the elements of the game to life is does not make a person suited to lead a major development project and lead a successful service business.

Hopefully they have realised this by now and that they will actually be able to turn things around a bit.

I think they are probably still in a better position than Vanguard and I think there are many who hope that it will get better - but they need to prove it before people will start to get back in numbers.