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News & Features Discussion  » Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures: Post 1.5 Interview

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Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

OP  7/03/09 8:31:52 AM#1 recently had the opportunity to sit down with Funcom's Craig Morrison to talk about the launch of the most recent update to their flagship game, Age of Conan.

How was 1.5 received by the game's community when it finally launched?

Craig Morrison:

I think it has gone very well all things considered. Most players seem to appreciate the new build of the items and that they can now easily see how the items tie into their character. Likewise I think the new content has been very well received ad people are really enjoying the experience in Tarantia Commons, and the guild changes have also been welcomed.

Of course there are some things that need to be addressed, as we knew there would be, and, as we knew it would be, it is in the class balance area that most of the feedback lies...and of course in that area the feedback is never anything short of vocal!

We had always known, and been quite upfront with the community in advance, that there would be some things we had to address after the update was released to the live environment. With something on this scale we knew that there would be elements that would require additional tweaking and adjusting and were prepared for that. As we also expected the greatest challenge there is in the class balance.

The follow-up to the update is very important so we can adjust the areas of the balance that weren't quite right 'out of the gate' as it were. That is what we are already working on now, I think with the new systems we didn't quite get the relative strength of the spell using classes against the melee damage in PVP. That's the main area where the feedback is very vocal, and rightly so, as that area is the part that does still need further adjustment.

I think in PVE things have come together quite nicely by and large and there is less to tweak there, which is encouraging, we do know though that we have to make the adjustments for PVP promptly and properly so that we ensure the PVP game-play is also as fun.

There are also a couple of the raids that are not quite there yet in terms of having the correct difficulty and we will need to tone them down a notch (although several guilds have already surprised even us and defeated those encounters with a dedicated effort even before we tone them down. They still need adjusting of course, but there were some mighty efforts by those involved in those kills!)

Read the Post 1.5 Interview

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/08
Posts: 1984

7/03/09 10:51:00 AM#2

Good read,

Craig is honest, though one of the biggest weakness of the game is the lack of semless world but guess he can't say that.


I wish the next step would be UI revamp and character look customization with dyes and social clothing.



Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 1864

Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!

7/03/09 12:37:18 PM#3

SWG NGE comparisons?!


Why would anyone try to put that SOE millstone around the neck of AoC? I am currently playing it again and I must say that I am really enjoying the changes even though AoC has always had the best combat system of all time anyway.


Good job Funcom...I think you now have a winning product. Now, just tweak some other things as Deewe mentioned and all will be good.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/05
Posts: 386

SOE you broke my game!

7/03/09 1:20:55 PM#4

I can see what he means about the combat upgrade because I played SWG from july 23, 2003 (launch) till November 15th(nge) and ya they screwed the playerbase with that one, I still hold out hope that one day they will give us a classic server. Anyways I also bought this game at launch and left after the first 2 months. It seems like lots of people are returning to this game. Last week i downloaded the trial after update 1.05 came out and 4 days later me and my buddy both resubscribed, so that tells me that things are lookin good and the waves of people r commin everyday There already planning update 1.06 and I read somewhere that they were gonna pubibly announce the new expansion next month. So if anyone wants to try it out again I would recommend it cause it got me hooked again.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/08
Posts: 98

7/03/09 4:52:51 PM#5

Bah. Not even radical - it feels like totaly different game now.

PVP totaly changed, the only real thing in AOC is a mess now. They doubled HP for all classes while reduced DPS. Whatever fun it had as fast fighting player skill based action is gone now.

Everyone who still play aoc now calls it "age of casters". There's new single-use option to create lvl 50 character and if you go to any 50-60 lvl zone you see that 80% of ppl rolled new Demonologist (mage) or Hox.

Mages can now tank Melee classes and pack tons more DPS. Minigames are slow and boring - you need a few people to focus someone to take him down, sometimes you just can't (it takes 3-5 sec for him to get back from res point).

And a lot more "fun" stuff.

Playing for 1+ year i realized it's finaly time to go. I had all the real fun possible in this game thanks to it's great combat system which though never 100% balanced was fun at least.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/06
Posts: 1684

7/03/09 6:44:28 PM#6

Good changes, yet again. But I give them another several updates before they need to think about doing the whole marketing thing.


EVE Online Correspondent

Joined: 8/11/08
Posts: 29

7/03/09 7:20:12 PM#7

I played for a month around Christmas and I thought it was a pretty good game, but it had some problems. I'm not a hardcore power leveler so the lack of end game content that so many were complaining about never was a problem for me (I only reached lvl 40) However I wanted more customization to make you look unique, voice over for all quests not just some and some other things. Basicly more stuff, more options. Speaking of SWG I liked how you could own a house there and decorate it, I wish AoC had that.

1.5 is the big DX10 update isn't it? How does it look? I have a 8800GTS 512 so not sure if it's powerful enough. I played on high before and it mostly ran fine, but I guess DX10 mode is more demanding?


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 1864

Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!

7/03/09 10:52:59 PM#8
Originally posted by ssjdagas

I played for a month around Christmas and I thought it was a pretty good game, but it had some problems. I'm not a hardcore power leveler so the lack of end game content that so many were complaining about never was a problem for me (I only reached lvl 40) However I wanted more customization to make you look unique, voice over for all quests not just some and some other things. Basicly more stuff, more options. Speaking of SWG I liked how you could own a house there and decorate it, I wish AoC had that.

1.5 is the big DX10 update isn't it? How does it look? I have a 8800GTS 512 so not sure if it's powerful enough. I played on high before and it mostly ran fine, but I guess DX10 mode is more demanding?


I have the same video card and I have no problems at all playing AoC. I even have most settings on high.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/08
Posts: 78

7/04/09 12:17:50 AM#9

no video ? shame


Old School

Joined: 6/07/04
Posts: 2232

7/04/09 2:34:19 AM#10

I just finished a new 7day trial and have subbed for a month to hold me over (probablly until Aion). I got a brand new box for 5 quid off ebay. I am liking it, but to be honest I liked it before for the first monthat launch. (I am a bit of an MMO butterfly). I don't see an awful lot different it still feels the same. They have messed a bit with skills and feats, in PVE spell slingers feel fine maybe melee and healing needs a boost. The official forums are full of whine and best taken with a pinch of salt though it will inevitably take some months to get the new patch balanced. That's likely to piss of the vets I guess. Seems like in many cases they have made 'the other tree' viable at the expense of messing up the first one.

The whole shift towards a more item centric game dosen't bother me either way but if it means the 'endgme' is endless instance runs or mindless PVP grind for a new +33 item I personally want to participate.  Mind you that is true of most MMO's nowadays (including the elephant in the room).

  User Deleted
7/04/09 3:31:29 AM#11

Unless they do a massive relaunch event, AoC will never ever have higher subscription numbers. People already looking into newer and more exciting games such as Aion, Fallen Earth, SWTOR. AoC is history, and will continue to be one with their current development/marketing scheme.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/08
Posts: 3

7/04/09 6:18:01 AM#12

Well just wanted to put in my 2cp worth of thoughts on the 1.5 patch. I have an 80 Demo that I have been playing for 3 months. I tried a Barbarian, Conqurer, and Necro before I settled on the Demo. I think our class is very strong damage wise although were are still very squishy which is fine Im a cloth caster. I would say the biggest issue right now for a caster is resists and some type of change they made with stuns/knockbacks/silence. The resists are very high I mean a mob 5 plus levels below my character IMO should not ever resist my spell. But I would say all mobs no matter what level seem to resist 1 or 2 times per kill which I could live with on a lvl 79 thru 82 mob but not when Im farming a level 62 mob for a alchemy drop I need. Now as for the stun issue, before 1.5 if you got stunned/knockeddown/silenced you got immunity from that for say 30 seconds. Well now they have seperated those three things and I have actually been in a fight with 3 mobs where I got all 3 things done to me in one fight that ultimately ended in my dying because I was unable to do any type of damage for a good10 to 15 seconds. I feel as if they have made it possible to in some sense be stun locked my NPC's for far to long.

Now as for my free level 50 character I made a Prist of Mitra because our guild needs a few more healers at times. At level 50 my POM gets resisted so much that I spend most of my time dead or running. I realize its a new class for me but I believe they just went to far on the resists.

As for the comments on the raid stuff I would agree that they made them far harder than they were in the past. My guild used to do the Captain in Killickis with 12 people and we might wipe a few times but we could pull it off. Last night we did it with 20 people and we wiped 5 times before we barely managed to beat him.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 424

7/04/09 2:01:07 PM#13

big improvemnt for me been about year since played. runing 260geforce 896 x2 in sli running in dx9 with no shadows on high detail 1900x1200 its so slick its unreal from 39fps to 110fps .i go dx10 fps drop like rock under 30fps ,if have shadows oin in either mode distance flickers oddly.but that aside way i have it set up normaly is unreal improvment .

game play is bit slower on combos less twich which i like my self.left wow as my scond game to try this again main game is eq1 so its bit jaring going from aoc grfics to eq at times far realy liikeing the changes i have seen.cant wait to try some of the new zones.aoc isnt for every one that can click a mouse ( ala  wow) still takes skill in your build an way you want your attacks to go.combat reminds me of highlander the card game with the dirctional atacks..very good turn around imho.

"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." — Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant (1933)


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/09
Posts: 7

7/04/09 4:20:19 PM#14

I can understand people being upset over balance, casters are way too overpowered atm. But lets be honest, no rpg multiplayer games are perfectly balanced and balance is and allways will be an ongoing process in these games. The gamedirector has admitted that casters are OP and says they're looking into it.


The patch on the whole though was very much needed and a good addition to the game. Stats on gear are much easier to understand now and you can actually see and feel the difference when you get a decent upgrade. If they manage to tone the more extreme cases of unbalance over the next few weeks I'd dare say the game is where it should have been at launch. Im back and enjoying it right now, will see how long the game can hold me this time around with the foundations finally layed down.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/22/09
Posts: 1

7/05/09 1:54:15 AM#15

I've played AoC since launch, or I guess I should say played. Since 1.05 i'm currently on hiatus, waiting for something to change...  For a long time now AoC, has stood for Age of Casters, and frankly nothing has changed. I played AOC 70% for the pvp, 30% for pve and the other fun stuff. Demos and Necro's dominate even more now than before. And yes, I do have a Necro.

Factor in that the first 3 sieges that members of the guild I'm in, fought in crashed 15 minutes in to them and pvp is borked, unless you want to mini-game over and over. But with bugged BK buffs still hanging around that's not as fun as it sounds.

I honestly haven't delved into the PvE changes of 1.05, I didn't do the Tarantia Commons yet. Still, running solo pve content isn't that hard. I have 6 level 80's.

What AoC is missing is good melee to caster balance, decent pvp battlefields and objectives, pvp zones that don't crash and some fixes to long existing pvp bugs. Along with a lot of little things like a decent guild UI that allows you to assign abilities to ranks, rename ranks, social and customizable gear enhancements and all those things that make a game sparkle. Without a doubt it has the potential to get there. The thing is with so many other good to great MMO's coming out can FUNCOM pull it off before they hemmorage so many players that they have to close the doors?



Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/19/05
Posts: 316

7/05/09 2:06:26 AM#16

DX10 still runs like crap


I have about as high end as you can get and the game still needs a lot of work engine wise

for high end memory people (12 gigs here) the loading screens still take too long

they messed up the shadowing system on SLI machines in 1.5, on a large number of systems you can't run with shadows enabled...


They need to get a 64 bit client running to take advantage of high end memory systems

their dx10 code is garbage, fps goes down far too much for in a code base that's better than dx9

SLI code is crap.. (three 285's and it doesn't run flawlessly?)

The view distance bar doesn't go far enough so you can't see everything, stuff in the far off distance that you should be able to render is greyed out.


For a game that is targeted to look the best, they certainly didn't do the necessary code work to take advantage of all that looks nice in terms of hardware optimization.


Did I mention it says dx10 on the box?    and they just now put a test version of the code in?



Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5648

7/05/09 2:10:57 AM#17

I see a lot of promise in AoC, but the goods have not quite arrived yet. I hope it does not go the way of Vanguard, the bugs never being sorted out while new content (also buggy) keeps being added.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/11/04
Posts: 28

7/05/09 3:32:59 AM#18

I dont get it. Its very strange to see how ppl in AoC see all things around 1.0.5. A lot of players likes it that i know. Im on Fury. I dont understand how someone can say AoC is history. Man ... every older MMO is history in a front of new MMOs in a way to be released, that have great potencial. Lotro is still great game and a lot of players left into Warhammer, Everquest 2 is still great game and a lot of players left into lotro at release. A lot of  WoW palyers now are in AoC and Lotro. PPL are going through. If u have like MMOs u feel exigence to test them all :) ...

I like play a game that i love. Lotro was one of my most favorite MMOS ever. I have played it 1,5 of year. I still ike it, but i like a bit WoW too so after this 1,5 i played some months more wow. After these months i played now fifth month AoC and i like it. I dont think that MMOgameing is about camping in one game. For a lot of players its a 4 years long camp in WoW ... or another game. I play currently game if i have taste on it.

AoC isnt history .. a lot of new players still going into game. Only in our guild, we have 20+ new players in last 3 weeks. From it its around 10 old players reactivated and second half are new completly fresh players from WoW and Lotro the most.

All of us we have like 1.5 patch. I think its more complexity game now and its good. It not only about gank now. I like PVE much more now. We have good group of players from may be 5 different guilds and we are going through instances. Its fun for all of us. Its bitter much harder to play without fails and mobs are little bit thougher.

New itemization is good and player stats are on of the best and deepest ive ever see in MMOs. Only in may be Anarchy Online is more number around stats now :D ... and EQ2 and these more mature games ... finaly it looks much like MMOrpg and not like some kind of GuildWars game ...

I have ranger alt and i must say hes much lesser on DPS than was before patch. But im sad for this? no. I like it .... fight is more about think what next skill i will use now. Not only assasination after assasination. Kill them all hided from behind. It was fun for a lot of these who now tolking about what the hell is going on nooow in PvP .....

Only thing i dont like is bad balance of some casters. But i hope its going to be better in next patches.


Great work Funcom ... game looks now much more palyable since release.  Only please in the first steps, now work on balances in PvP and then will be great to work on highend individual content like more deeper crafting, player housing, activities like herbalism, fishing, etc.... things that are important to feel ingame some smell of virtual living. What is important for a lot of players. To feel ingame virtual life. You are on a good way.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/03/05
Posts: 177

7/05/09 4:15:33 AM#19

The update has almost totally ruined raiding, which now has a difficulty spike as high as a high thing, and people are getting royally pissed off with it. To say it needs tweaking is a pretentious understatement. To say it needs re-adjusting is a brilliant observation, but why did FC not listen to the complaints from test server users? Why gayly go ahead and destroy the raiding experience when you were warned?
Fix your patch FC before you alienate the long-term players, the very people who have kept the game alive.

....And stop telling us how wonderful the update was....


Novice Member

Joined: 5/08/06
Posts: 316

7/06/09 3:35:15 AM#20

This update killed Age of Conan for me.


The poorly thought out pvp consequences of what they did, made age of casters even worse.



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