Thursday, July 23, 2009

Age of Conan - Calm before the storm

Taking a detour from my run of posts about variety of gear to discuss a serious issue.

It all has to do with my motto for this page "Age of Conan Gamer, Funcom Hater".

I was saddened to learn that a long time player (has been on the Set server since launch, and helped lead the largest guild on Set, Fellowship of Souls) was banned from the forums, and subsequently took it upon himself to unsubscribe from the game.

His name was Thotholyte!

You can read his VERY amicable post about his leave here. THOTH SETS OUT

I had seen how this took place though, and wish to share the issue. As there is no history on this, thanks to the fact that most posts by this person have been deleted back to a certain date, it is hard to follow what may have been said. Based on what I read, I will share the story.

It started with Thoth offering his services to the company to help drive events. As most who play Age of Conan may know, the way the game works is most offerings are sandbox like, unless you follow the direct path to level.
You can craft, you can level, you can adventure, do dungeons...but, most "downtime" style events were just not present.
Especially after the one year anniversary that Funcom blew off all long time players with their "non-event" (the story went that Conan was to make an appearance, much hoo haw was made about the event by Funcom...yet nothing happened, and Funcom blamed the players for misunderstanding what the event was supposed to be...a player driven event...whatever).
Thoth offered his services to help work on events, as he had created so many for the guild, Fellowship of Souls (Amatheon was with the guild until level 80, and then Tabari, my HoX belongs to them now)...from horse races, to scavenger hunts, contests for was incredible all this guy did.

Well, to continue...this was never followed up on, as is normal for Funcom.

But, as this was happening, the guild was really starting to kick in...with over 1400 members, and Thoth started a final push to be the first guild with a Tier III city. No other guild had one yet on the Set server.

Thoth wanted to make this a special event, so sent in a petition to see if a GM or Funcom employee could get involved. Be there when it is complete for screenshots, etc.
I know for a fact there are very few of these Tier II's on any server, and this would be the first on Set.
Well, it seems someone agreed, and Thoth followed up to make sure they would show, and had a name (escapes me at this time...and it was deleted, as GM names are not allowed on the forums I guess...need to go look at the Forum rules about that).

Guess what happened next. show.

So, Thoth went to the forums, complained about the fact that Funcom blew off an opportunity to show they cared (his words)...Craig Morrison, Game Director came in and closed the post.

Now, who is to say who was right and who was wrong. We cannot know for sure.

But, when a player has been supportive of the game though as he puts it..."did not like the game THAT much"...but liked the guild and the concepts of the game, has been here since launch, and suffered through all the issues and concerns...I find it difficult to believe what Funcom did was right when that player finally says "I'm done".

We may never know what truthfully happened, and I hope I can garner more information from Thotholyte.

Until that time, I will mourn the loss of someone who stayed dedicated to a game no matter how awful the company treated him (or any of their customers for that matter).

Makes me wonder how the guild will do now.

So, I stand firm with my belief. It becomes quite difficult to play a game that I love so much, yet watch it be ruined and destroyed by a company just trying to make a buck.


Hudson said...

I have to say one thing in defense of Blizzard: they usually do not delete posts, so it is sad to see Funcom do that.

Anjin said...

That's unfortunate. One step forward and two steps back for that company. (Assuming of course he wasn't being a jerk about it.)

Jayedub said...

Say what you want about Matrix Online(personally think the game is awesome), it had one of the best player base of any game I played. One reason MxO survived this long was because of the events that players would setup constantly.

Longasc said...

They have a very bad habit of banning people if they are addressing issues. This already happened before release, people had serious criticism, and it was rather deleted than taken serious.

Maybe they should have, then there would be no need for re-evaluation.

It is also a slap into the face of the community that they make such promises and then do not show up.

Closing the post was also no proper reaction.

What kind of forum ban was it, the usual 1-3 days out or a permaban?

I mean I only heard your version of the story so far, but I trust you enough to believe that this was really a tragedy.