Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Age of Conan - Retrospect

Downtime this morning has me sitting back and thinking about what Age of Conan has been doing for the last year.

Thats right, it has been a year (May 20th is actually the anniversary) of Funcoms niche MMO title, that has struggled along after a horrifying launch.

Everyone believed Funcom maybe could have learned their lesson. Anarchy Online, their previous game, was considered one of the worst launches in MMO history. Maybe Age of Conan with the really cool tutorial area and some of the best graphics, and a new style of combat could be the next "WoW" (oh how that title got overused last year...).

Instead, decisions by Gaute Godager on the actual gameplay having little to no reliance on gear, the client was quite unstable, and the priorities of Gautes team leading to more failures as the game progressed, netted the game a huge loss of population.

But, Gaute was let go (of his own accord...sure..), many changes took place in Funcom (many important players left) and the game was taken over by Craig Morrison, who has cited as the one who made Anarchy Online playable.

Trials are now underway, DX10 (which was to have launched when the game did, but took almost 6 -8 months) is on the main servers. New content galore to fill out the level based questing, to make an excellent PvE game..stability has been key, and the game has become a fun ride...yet..

Where does the game stand? Dedicated players like myself are sticking it out, as we see something unique here not available in the other games. But, worries of patch 1.05 still has many rumbling. It could fix the game even further, or destroy it as well. The loot will become more important, leveling will be pulled back to take longer (the game does have a very easy level curve right now), and many changes to PvP which could change the way everyone plays...almost makes the game a whole new experience as well.

On May 15th the quarterlies will come out which should give us an idea of where the game stands financially (did it finally make a profit?..probably not), and speculation is that May 20th will see 1.05 hit live (though I doubt that).

My question is...can Age of Conan get another year?


Rory said...

Depends if the patch is an NGE equivalent. If they radically change things and it puts players off in their droves then it's a dead game walking.

Anjin said...

I tried AOC for a month, but didn't stick with the game. Too much else to play and it didn't get its hooks in me. Rory's point that this might be the next NGE is fascinating. Hard to tell how radical this update will be. However, I think there is a genuine need fix these systems. The impetus behind SWG's update stemmed from other concerns.