Right now Age of Conan is dealing with an image issue. Players who try the game or are interested in the game are met with the group I will call the "Brow Beaters".
Thanks to Funcoms terrible launch and of course having experienced a bad launch before with Anarchy Online, there is this contingent, if you will, who make it their plan to make sure others know about Funcom. By attacking Age of Conan in many different venues, they honestly believe they are doing a duty to future prospective players.
I want to share some of the tripe that is spewed by these types of people to give you an idea of how this looks.
"With the vast amount of problems in this game you may want to ask why a handful of people advocate this game if it's so bad."
This person goes on to state that anyone that says the game is any good at all, is on Funcoms payroll. The reason? Because Funcom advocates "viral marketing".
What I don't understand about this is...why does this person believe that Funcom is alone in wanting to market virally. Viral marketing is a huge gimmick that many companies want to do...but, why is it that if someone enjoys the game, they are part of this "viral" push?
Another item they note is if you are from Norway, you are on a marketing push for Age of Conan as well.
"Everyone knows AoC has about 50k-100k subscriptions."
Another attack ploy has been to quote low subscriber numbers to make it look bad for Age of Conan. Whether these are true or not...no one knows, as subscriber rates have not been posted.
We DO know a large population of the game left, where a server merge had to take place...yet, no further merges have been done (to see how this works, look at WAR, who has already merged servers two or three times. Never a good sign. Or look at LOTRO, which has sat stagnant...no growth of servers or loss of servers. The game is doing fine...btw.).
So, maybe GROWTH is not enough for AoC, but also, quoting numbers out of the magical lala land you live in does not equal facts either.
We just do not know how many players there are, and Funcom is not sharing, and really does not have to.
Other issues exist. For example, there are players who come into the game, and just go on and on in global chat about how they hate the game. If you hate it so much, why login?
The Age of Conan forums are full of people complaining. Fair enough...complaints are good...but these are usually rants and attacks moreso than bullet point type arguments for the issues at hand.
If your message includes the words "Failcom", then it is a rant, and needs to be deleted.
I could go on, but really, we get the gist.
There was a time when we could make decisions about the MMO's we play, but now we all have grown so opinionated (myself included) that we let it obstruct the game progressing in it's success or failure.
If the game will survive will not depend on the Brow Beater or the "Fanboy" anymore. With the MMO genre being such a deluge of half baked products now, no one game will be a right fit. They either are broken or are old or are not any fun.
What we must do is find the one game we DO enjoy, and hope it brings us pleasure. For now, Age of Conan does this for me, no matter the little glitches or bugs.
These Brow Beaters? They need to go back to whatever game they enjoy, and leave the gaming to those who are having fun (fanboy or not)