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Message From the King

Glen "Famine" Swan from Funcom's Age of Conan answers questions, and discusses the game, life, and the industry. Let us know what you would like to hear about.

Author: FC-Famine

GDC and PvP Beta

Posted by Athelan Monday February 25 2008 at 10:21AM
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Last week was GDC as I am sure you all know. And hopefully you have been enjoying the stuff we were able to show. It was also exciting that Gaute made it over for this since I have not gotten to see him in person since returning to the US last June.

Since Gaute was coming it was unsure about me being there. But on Tuesday I got asked to come up and help. It was pretty cool as four of us played with the main presenter which was Erling Ellingsen who was playing while Gaute Godager the Game Director spoke.

Everything went very well and the client performed well and was very stable. We had a few lockups/crashes but we think those were due to some sound driver issues on one machine and over heating on another.

We showed off group gameplay in a "social" dungeon as Gaute likes to call it, the type of dungeon we are all familiar with from older MMO's like Everquest. We of course also have instanced areas but having some dungeons that are not locked away and private is key.

We also got to show off mounted combat again for the first time in a long while (oh yeah I got to pimp the war mammoth!) That was a lot of silly fun trampling over all the npc's we would spawn.

Lastly we showed off some city building, and while we were cheating I was really impressed with the scale as far as how much land area the citie's cover. When we first decided the locations would be somewhat pre determined I had reservations but those are gone now.

I took some pictures but am not sure how to host them into the blog.

I was playing a level 80 Priest of Mitra and actually really liked it. The mix of holy nukes with some crowd control was great. I enjoyed the AOE knockback and the stun and mez.

And the other thing I wanted to share with you guys if you did not already know is we recently wiped the General Beta and put up our first PvP server for testing. The ruleset right now is very simple only limiting PvP so it cannot be done inside Tortage or in the main NPC cities like Khemi and Tarantia.

Pyrostasis writes:

**Raises hand for beta**

Glad to see some pvp testing done, I have extremely high hopes for this game.

I hope the testers are pushing it hard and getting the kinks cleared for those of us who are waiting on release.

Mon Feb 25 2008 11:43AM Report
ashamita writes:

are you going to invite more people to beta , now there is a new server up? :)

Mon Feb 25 2008 12:10PM Report
Carpface writes:

So it was you on the Mammoth, heh.

I hope you have a broad spectrum of rerolls on the PvP test server.  What measures are you taking to make sure as many balancing issues and PvP bugs are buffered out before launch?  Are you planning on testing siege combat on the server extensively as well?

Mon Feb 25 2008 12:39PM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

Hey Jason, great to hear you made it to the event.

Did you get a chance to look around when not having to entertain with Conan? Did anything peek your interest at all?

I think its great that 3 months from launch PvP servers go up for testing - lots of time to work out kinks,balancing and looting options.

Good stuff with the mammoth control too =)

Mon Feb 25 2008 2:53PM Report
Athelan writes:

I did not get to see anything, but that is typical.

More and more people will be let into beta as time goes on. We keep adding people all the time.

What measures are we taking? Thats a bit of an open ended question, the whole purpose of having a PvP server up now is to be able to identify and respond to issues, could you really ask for more?

Mon Feb 25 2008 4:19PM Report
Thornrage writes:

Good news!

All the interviews and videos are making me go insane because I want to play!  Thx for the updates!

Mon Feb 25 2008 4:55PM Report
CalDruid writes:

Athelan,

One thing coming out of GDC that really concerned me was the revelation that only the top 8 guilds (may be off on the number) would have access to the endgame siege warfare.  Is this true?  It seems like this would punish non-hardcore PvP and casual players who would also like to participate in one of the main draws of AoC.  Did I misunderstand this?  Will siege warfare be made available maybe as a cooperative quest for casual players not in top ranked guilds?  I really hope this is something Funcom will address.

thanks!

 

Mon Feb 25 2008 4:59PM Report
Athelan writes:

Gaute's terminology was typical norwenglish. We are not limiting participation in the seiging. You must have a fully upgraded crafting village in order to take a battle keep, besides that requirement it is up to you to best your opponents. Now hypothetically the 8 best PvP guilds on the server will hold the Battle Keeps but it has nothing to do with some sort of rating system on our part.

People who are not members of the top guilds can go after the smaller objectives or sign up as mercenaries in order to participate. There is no exclusion to participation, just the fact in a player vs player competitive environment you can't force things where every type of player will be the winner. Thats up to them.

Mon Feb 25 2008 9:03PM Report
vajuras writes:

Hm, those features sound pretty good. The part about a full pvp server gets my attention I must say :)

Mon Feb 25 2008 9:29PM Report
superdudem writes:

 

How well is the skill on playing the role of your class balanced with raiding gear? Will players be able to gain experience for killing another player also? Are the benefits from pvp equal to raiding?? Or is AoC raiding gets you gear and the pvp is just there kinda mmo. I'm hearing mixed things from beta testers. Honestly I don't have the time for raiding and it really is depressing hitting top level and guilds reject you for having a life. What will be the options for a casual player to obtain gear?

Tue Feb 26 2008 2:08AM Report
wolfmann writes:

It's called "Norwengrish" :P

Tue Feb 26 2008 3:30AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Athelan, from one blogger to another here, you can post pictures inside your post by using the picture icon and pasting the link into the box that pops up.   You will have to have the images hosted somewhere like Image shack, as they can't be hosted here directly.

My guild will be excited to hear about the PvP beta as we intend to play on the FFA servers.   It's been a long time since we have found a game that wasn't a trainwreck that had true PvP servers, not that watered-down WoW crap.   If your looking for a few dozen testers, all members of my guild have applied to the beta and are hoping to get lucky :)

 

Tue Feb 26 2008 7:41AM Report
Athelan writes:

Firstly you are only going to see "Beta leaks" come from people who are upset about something and want attention. They very rarely are objective and going to present the good things and blow out of proportion the negative ones because they have no idea what is being done to address them.

 

Second, playing your class is important, gear is also important but with the separation of PvP and PvE stats as we have talked about before (PvP stats are additive) raiding gear will not be the best PvP gear, it will still be good gear but most likely crafted gear will be best for PvP. You can gain and lose PvP experience in PvP but will not change your PvE exp or level.

Tue Feb 26 2008 11:18AM Report
Carpface writes:

What I meant to ask was whether or not there was any specific dev intervention to make sure players AREN'T getting along, like events etc., but you answered my question.  Let the dogs roam wild! ;P I'm just concerned only because so many other games have been launched with balance issues.  So I guess , pending its implemented, sieging will get the test treatment if the players on the server get that far?

Tue Feb 26 2008 12:04PM Report
Athelan writes:

In all honesty without this sounding wrong, no matter how hard you work on balance, and how close to your balance spreadsheets you are people will feel things are imbalanced in one way or another.

 

Its like playing an FPS and the first time you go online you get killed over and over by guys using a certain weapon and you swear that it must be overpowered, then you try it later and realize its good but not great and its just the other guys skill was way above yours. Same thing happens in MMO's over and over, the grass is always greener in someone elses pasture, even the classes everyone else might claim are overpowered will often have their own whines and complaints about how they lack something someone else has.

Tue Feb 26 2008 3:54PM Report
furrypalal writes:

Good info even in the comments here Athelan! This is kinda along the same lines you have been talking about here...I was just wondering why the pve city attacks were being consider to be dropped?(I know they aren't for sure dropped just curious) I really enjoyed Anarchy online's Alien city attacks that was one of the cooler things I have done in an MMO and I was hoping to do something similar in AoC.

I could ask 100 questions more but I'll leave it at that. We all appreciate this blog keep it up!

Tue Feb 26 2008 4:33PM Report
Athelan writes:

The scope of what we wanted to achieve for PvE city attacks was much greater than Alien attacks in AO that is why it has come under scrutiny as to what we can do with it.

Tue Feb 26 2008 4:57PM Report
attentivevow writes:

Hey Athelan,

I would really like to see a blog focused on how Age of Conan is going to support role-players. As far as emotes (interactive 2 people emotes anyone?) player/city housing (As of right now there are *no* social hubs in the guild city outside of the keep? Can we get a Tavern PLEASE!), Tools to find other Rpers, Details on the RP PvP Ruleset (Will /say, /whisper /shout be rp enforced like WoW, DAoC?) and in the future how is conan going to support Role-players? This game seems like it is very unsupportive considering the cult-like following REH's literature has.

Do not underestimate the power RPers have on a game. LoTRO is basically staying afloat just on them! ;)

Hope you get around to addressing the RP Community's concerns. Cheers!

Thu Feb 28 2008 11:36AM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

Jason, Nice TenTonHammer interview,it looks like married life is treating you well! I think I last saw you in a video before you was married.

Thanks for the answers to the questions in that video and for taking the time ~ feedback is really appreciated!

http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/27421

Thu Feb 28 2008 8:18PM Report
TeranHawkins writes:

Anything yet on requirements to run the game.  I've got a single core processor and am worried I wont be able to run this game without dual core, or will get lag/poor framerates.  Everything else on my pc is high end but that.  This close to release i would think you'd have something about it.

Sun Mar 02 2008 9:44AM Report
Wuzit writes:

Screw the RPers..there are plenty of other games to be a fairy in.  Us PvPers (PKers) need a good meaningful pvp based game thats not currently on the market.

Thu Mar 06 2008 12:22PM Report
svicente writes:

Wuzit, may I  point you that there are even more other games to be a hard-core PVPer in?

Want really badly PVP without RP? Just go outside and play some sport, best PVP in the world, or do you prefer to be an ineter PVP? ;)

Sun Mar 09 2008 5:21PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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