I do not think game companies are understanding that this is not 1999 any more. Back then we had no choice on the games we played. We had UO, EQ, and AC. Not any more. They just don't get it. It is over their heads. Clearly many of the guys in charge of these companies think they can put anything on the market and gamers will play it when clearly that is not the case. How do we know this? Because we can look back at the numerous failed games produced by game companies throughout the MMORPG industry.
I mean where do I start this list of failed games? Why did they fail? Simple the companies either failed to deliver what they promised, like Turbine with AC2, or Sigil with Vanguard. Look at the titles of so many others, Auto Assault, Matrix Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Tabula Rasa, Rysom, Dark and Light, Mourning, I can list a half dozen more...and yet the companies producing these games don't seem to learn from one another as they should be.
These games are failing because they are not finished. They are full of bugs, broken game play mechanics, launched with missing features and poorly implemented ones. Is it any wonder. Ask yourself this. I know this analogy has been tossed out before, but if you went into a car dealership and they wanted to sell you a car that was missing standard or had substandard features...would buy that car? No you would not and that car company would be out of business really soon or would be hard pressed to get people to buy their product.
Same goes with these games. I know WoW's launch was not perfect...in fact it is in my list as one of the worst launches in MMORPG history. The difference is Blizzard stepped up to the plate and fixed there game in short order. I might have had problems logging in and playing the first week that WoW launched, but I can tell you from my experience it was but one week that it was that way. From then on it was pretty smooth sailing. The game run very well and the game features worked as intended. Like crafting, gathering resources, quest....etc, etc, etc....not the case in Age of Conan.
Yes....Funcom's launch of Age of Conan was pretty smooth for the most part. For me it launched without a hitch despite the 1 hour or so delay that first day of early access. However, the game we were promised from that point on was not there.
Sure the first 20 levels are great. Repetitive...but great nevertheless. However, things go downhill pretty quickly from there and once you hit level 40 the bad things in the Age of Conan become more and more apparent. It starts to become a chore to log into what should be a fun game throughout.
When basic features you advertise about the game and hyped on game websites using HD streaming web movies to show your game...you misled us - you lied in other words. Where are the sieges you said we would be able to participate in? Where is this economy driven buy players? Where is all the different armors you marched in front of us in videos. What about the PvP part of the game you advertised and still advertise on your box you sell the game in?
Makes you wonder how a company like Funcom who had such a terrible experience with their first entry into the MMORPG market could do it all over again? Anyone remember Anarchy Online? What a horrible launch that was. Took Funcom months to recover from that fiasco. They still have not fully recovered. Because even given the game way they cannot pull in players. Is Anarchy Online a good game? Yes...now it is....but...first impressions are everything and you burned to many players the first time around. You were given a second chance and now instead of delivering a fun and enjoyable game this time around you're back to delivering a mediocre product that is half of what we were promised.
Gamers do not tolerate this kind of thing any more. Sure you'll keep a few fans playing over the next month, but even the hardiest of die hard fans will eventually take off the rose colored glasses and realize that you failed them. You failed to deliver the product you promised and lost to many players to make the game fun for those that remain. Causing more to leave. Then comes the server merges. Like EQ2, Vanguard and so many others before...because you will be having a hard time getting new players and the original players may never return.
Funcom should really be monitoring their own forums and the forums of gaming websites like MMORPG.com and Vault Network. The number of people posting that they have cancelled their accounts after the first free month is staggering. So much so that your own mods on your own official forums are hard pressed to keep up with deleting them all.
Why so many cancellations after a stellar launch. Because Funcom first impressions are everything.
Ny suggestion to Funcom.
Fix your game. Stop breaking it. Stop making it "unfun" to play. People are fed up with the nerfs, the changes to basic game play like the "grey MoB's" and elite bosses being made stronger and stronger. Giving players something and then taking it away, especially when the players were having fun with that part of the game is absolutely mind blowing. It's a game Funcom...it is suppose to bring joy and fun to the people that play it. Not anger, frustration, and contempt. Right now that is what your game garners...anger, frustration, and contempt. Thus the cancellations will continue as more and more people experience the game you like to refer to as a game.
Funny thing is we wish to play your game....we really do. We want it to succeed just as much as you do, but if you keep breaking and and making it unfun to play - who is going to wish to play it?
Note: It is a sad commentary that I have to write such things about these games we all love to play. I really wished that Vanguard had been a better game. I really had hopes for such games as Star Wars Galaxies and Everquest Online 2 and now Funcom's Age of Conan. But as long as these game companies continue to make games that are broken, bug riddled and make them so aggravating and no longer fun to play...well then it leaves gamers like me having no choice but to write about games that had so much potential and were given a golden opportunity by many a gamer only to watch a game company like Funcom destroy there own game and suck the life right out of it. As another side note. Let's all hope and pray that future game companies learn something from games like Vanguard, Tabula Rasa and now Age of Conan. Because for everyone of them that fails, it'll be harder and harder for new and better games to come to market. Investors are not going to keep throwing away their money on such a risky venture.
If Funcom cares - here is a list of all the things that need fixed from your own Forums.
Players List of Game Concerns <<<< From Funcoms own Forums
Players Patch Wish List <<< Copied From the EU AoC forums on 6/26/2008