Thursday, October 1, 2009

Age of Conan - As we go into October...

Age of Conan players are left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

With the announced layoffs, it seems that the forums have started to fill up at the community site for AoC with discussion of where Funcom is headed with Age of Conan.

Several posts really speak out for how everyone is feeling both in the community and in the game as well...

This last thread speaks volumes.

What the issue boils down to is priorities of the Funcom staff.

Many surveys have gone out, and many times the forums fill up with the same concerns after this happens.

Not enough endgame and not enough PvP fixes.

The first issue is that the raids have been relatively the same (except for fixes to certain raids that already existed but were a buggy mess). As these raids grow stagnant, the team has been working on??...

Another 6 man dungeon.

If we look, most content has been new dungeons for small teams. It is getting old for many.
Guild Tools was another gripe that has been on the forefront of player concerns. We may not see any Guild changes (like the Renown system) until the end of the year.
Finally, PvP has done absolutely NOTHING since the new "Criminal" system went into place last year (around September actually)...except again for some "fixes".

Is Age of Conan just in maintenance mode? And how can they continue in that aspect with "The Secret World" being delayed?

Is the main push now for the free to play MMO that Funcom has been working on? As we can see, the Free to Play market is becoming lucrative for many companies (overseas and local to the US, like Dungeons & Dragons Online, which has seen a massive jump in the number of players since going free)..

Or is it that Age of Conan's issues continue to cause havoc for the team as they try and add new content? For example, the next patch is to include the Iron Tower which has been discussed for several months now (in the Tarantia Commons district which was added several months ago), yet the first iteration to hit Testlive is buggy beyond belief (with complaints of all bosses being bugged, issues with lighting and shading, etc...).
And for the Iron Tower, Funcom has put T3 raids in "dev" mode...meaning it will not show up for some time..

Vets are the main concern now, as with new games launched like Aion pulling scrips from EVERYONE who is a fantasy nut. Fallen Earth and Champions Online and their niche playing in those worlds...the vets who love the game are the ones Funcom should be concerned about pleasing.
Yet, all they will offer vets are rewards in the new vet program...which are things like horses and bags (which most vets have), Cassilda following you around and cheering you on like she does in the tutorial island (annoying) and BREAST ENLARGEMENT POTIONS...yea...everyone needs those.

So, with layoffs, this may not be a concern for Funcom, as moving to Canada allows them to take a huge tax break and really get motivated...but so far a lot of the team is not leaving Norway (as who wants to leave one of the top 5 best countries to live in?..I think it was #2 - SOURCE)

So, really...where does this leave Funcom...and where does this leave Age of Conan?

Looks like scary times for AoC and those who love her, thanks to a company so many do not love...


Anonymous said...

Well, the live team may possibly not be that large and they may have the bulk of the people with AoC in their job description working on the expansion.

After all, they are not likely to get many new or rereturning players without a major update - which an expansion provides. And it also provides a change for some additional income.

It is a quite similar situation for City of Heroes/Villains - the amount of content additions has not been that much in the past 1 - 1 1/2 year, most changes are quality of life changes and improving features to better compete with Champions Online.

The bulk of the effort seems to go into the new expansion, which will likely be necessary to not lose too many players and perhaps gain some also.

Funcom is likely in a quite similar situation.

Dickie said...

I'm with you on the Breat Enlargement potions... I mean those vet rewards don't even sound that interesting, and those potions are downright offensive:

Slith said...

every little thing takes them forever to develop

and they keep showing those 6man instances down our throats when people are hungry for more pvp and raiding.

Its like mr. Game Director got his mind set on Iron Tower and he is going to push it through even if it bleeds out the playerbase.

Tempest of News said...

And Iron Tower may just be the last straw for many...I have yet to see a new build on Testlive, it is buggy beyond compare, and raid content is dried up for many...

Luckily I still have stuff to do as my family is playing and we are building a city...but, that will last only so long.

AoC will be empty soon, and they will only have themselves to blame.

Anonymous said...

They say "Good things come to those who wait" but, just how long are we expected to "wait". I really enjoy this game. Although i must say this. The whole Iron Tower thing has put a bad taste in my mouth. Six man instance instead of T3 raiding. With a outlook like this, thing's don't bode well for Funcom.