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News & Features Discussion  » Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures: Recruiting New Soldiers

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45 posts found
  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  11/30/09 12:24:38 PM#1

MMORPG.com Age of Conan Correspondent John Humphrey writes this look at the fan base of the Conan IP that Funcom has to draw from and the new steps that the MMO company is taking to bring them and others into their game.

There are fans that have read the original Robert E. Howard short-stories and poetry, much of which was written between 1932 and 1936 and re-published extensively. Many of the original Howard stories are available to read for FREE online. There are those of us who have followed the "pastiche" writings and books about Conan (non-Howard material), from the likes of Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter, Robert Jordan, Leonard Carpenter, Steve Perry, John Maddox Roberts, and many others.

Read it all here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Redline65

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/06
Posts: 488

11/30/09 12:29:01 PM#2

Even better than the subscription discounts, buy some 60-day time cards from Newegg.com for $9.99 with free shipping.
 

  Crispin

Novice Member

Joined: 3/26/05
Posts: 362

11/30/09 12:34:53 PM#3

Eu or US gamecard? 

  Frobner

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/08
Posts: 663

11/30/09 12:46:53 PM#4

Im not seeing MMORPG.COM allowing other "correspontants" to talk such bull about their games.  I report this topic just to make them realise that they have an obligation to all gamers. 

If ppl want to try AOC then there is free trial.  FUncom failed in delivering a finished game and close to 1 million ppl were fooled into buying their game.  I wonder if MMORPG.COM would allow me to write a detailed article on that?  

And just so you everyone knows...PPL like the op are getting to playfor  free while talking total nonsense - just to promote the  game.  What Funcom forgets tho - time and time again - is that there are ALOT of ppl that actually know the buisness methods that were used and STILL are used at Funcom to fool PPL .

Nothing has changed when it comes to Funcom.  They are still trying to fool ppl to play a crappy and unfinished game.  DX10 has been in "beta" for 6 months now ... and it was put in beta (still unplayable for most players) For buisness reasons - and NOTHING but buisness reasons.

I was reading the November article from the Director.  Not one word about DX10.  NOt one.

  lmzz

Novice Member

Joined: 1/12/06
Posts: 60

?

11/30/09 12:53:37 PM#5

Another overly  AoC-friendly article on mmorpg.com, among the other 100's over the last couple of months. The last paragraph is a complete sales pitch, holy hell. This game is dying, it's a mockery that a new expansion is coming out when you can't even get in a minigame for months on end on the supposed most active server.

Instead of desperate sales tricks, more focus should have been put on improving the game a year ago.

www.excisiongaming.com

Casual PvP & gaming fun for mature gamers

  augustgrace

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 632

11/30/09 1:06:59 PM#6

There is no blind unreasonable hatred here.  No, none at all.

  Frobner

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/08
Posts: 663

11/30/09 1:08:16 PM#7
Originally posted by augustgrace

There is no blind unreasonable hatred here.  No, none at all.

 

And there is no blind unreasonable Fanboy /advertising promotion going on  here either .. No.. none at all.

  Redline65

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/06
Posts: 488

11/30/09 1:08:32 PM#8
Originally posted by Crispin

Eu or US gamecard? 

US, I assume:
 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832141018

  Valentina

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/06
Posts: 1665

11/30/09 1:56:50 PM#9

It's a good article, and alot of people are going to hate and say that AoC is dying and a failed game, but it's not. My server is constantly full of people, both new and old. Several major guilds have returned with hundreds of their members re-subscribing after the free re-evaluation. I definitely will agree that there are areas that need improvement still, but I feel that way about alot of games that have been out for a long time, including WoW and LOTRO.  Age of Conan is a gorgeous game, with a great atmosphere, and deep levels of immersion that other MMORPG's still fail to have. People will complain about the first 20 levels feeling epic, and after that it's more traditional. This was the intention from FunCom all along, and they stated that time and time again. Post 20 plays out like a traditional MMORPG, but it STILL is a league above any other MMO out there, at least you can choose how your character responds to some degree, it's not just a wall of text where you click OK. The world feels more alive than in any other online game I have ever tried, if there is one that does all of that better than Age of Conan than please tell me what it is so I can try it out.

The bottom line is they will not get everyone back, but they have great potential to get a big chunk of returning subscribers, and an even greater opportunity to market this game out to new players, every day there are thousands of people looking to try out an MMORPG. Age of Conan is a young game, and a gorgeous one on top of it all, so it will appeal to new players to the genre more than many of the dated games out right now, especially in the U.S. and Europe. But in order to succeed in this they will need to do a much better job at marketing the game, and have will have to get back out here and be hands on with the community even more than they are now.

  Frobner

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/08
Posts: 663

11/30/09 2:38:06 PM#10

 Im sorry but the latest poster is just lying. Big guilds back and 100 of ppls...

I could claim that 10 big guilds and 1000 ppl left last night.  And I would have same basis as he.

AOC is on 2 week free comback with extra experience bonus.  Stats show that it has very little effect on activity in the game.    AOC went up 10 positions on Xfire but is now slowly falling back to its old self.  

The game is - was and will be a failure.  Thats how it should be considering that the devs of the game lied - cheated and fooled thousands upon thousands of gamers.   Thats a fact.  No matter what the fanboys will try to paint a pretty picture.

And BTW - that picture has a long loading screen... Since the last guy was talking about Immersion.

If players are looking for a new MMO to play long term then AOC is not that game.  AION has the brightest future of PVP games and Im pretty sure that alot of players are waiting for the trial to come out.  

The bottom line about AOC is that it is built on OUTDATED game engine (Anarchy online).  The game is heavily relying on loading screens and high memory usuage.   AOC is using twice as much RAM as other MMOS at this point (WOW; WAR, LOTRO, AION) and for longterm gameplay (2-3 hours without logging) that simply leads to all sorts of problems.  

But this is easy for all to try out. 

  Axeion

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 424

11/30/09 3:11:39 PM#11
Originally posted by Frobner

The bottom line about AOC is that it is built on OUTDATED game engine (Anarchy online).  The game is heavily relying on loading screens and high memory usuage.   AOC is using twice as much RAM as other MMOS at this point (WOW; WAR, LOTRO, AION) and for longterm gameplay (2-3 hours without logging) that simply leads to all sorts of problems.  

But this is easy for all to try out. 


 

so when i came back to aoc few days ago an worked my guardian to 80 .played about 8 hours with out a reboot or loging out an had no problems .does this count as trying your "theory"opion out or does it put me into the fan boy colum?not seen those type problems since  tired aoc in its 3rd month live.

wait silly me any disagrement with a troll means one is a viral hireling of funcom.but their suposed to be doing so poorly on coin then how can they hire all these viral marketing posters?

odd to you claim it uses anarchy online engine yet rpgvault.ign.com/articles/671/671195p2.html reports the only thing from anrachy online was the Auto Content Generator system to create content on demand for missions like dungoens.but the rest is new or rewriten .Particle effects system is new an the Cheetah a shader-oriented proprietary render engine re-written from scratch .

 

"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)

  augustgrace

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 632

11/30/09 3:13:19 PM#12
Originally posted by Frobner

If players are looking for a new MMO to play long term then AOC is not that game.  AION has the brightest future of PVP games and Im pretty sure that alot of players are waiting for the trial to come out.  

The bottom line about AOC is that it is built on OUTDATED game engine (Anarchy online).  The game is heavily relying on loading screens and high memory usuage.   AOC is using twice as much RAM as other MMOS at this point (WOW; WAR, LOTRO, AION) and for longterm gameplay (2-3 hours without logging) that simply leads to all sorts of problems.  

But this is easy for all to try out. 

 

1) Outdated game engine?  This right here seems to suggest you've never actually played the game.  The game has its hiccups and issues, but if you have a decent system it runs well. 

2)  Twice as much ram?  Really....  Never had this problem myself.

3)  Aion is the best PvP game?  Uh, okay....  I'd put any number of games before Aion in the PvP category.  Darkfall and WAR both have better PvP than Aion or AoC.

Sounds like your a bit bitter.  I suggest you actually give the game a chance before spouting your vitriol.

  rerednaw

Novice Member

Joined: 10/29/06
Posts: 23

11/30/09 3:32:05 PM#13

I'm a longtime MMO player.  Been p;aying since the time of MUDs (diku).  I recall the grind of EQ, the skill based UO, the cartoony Sierra and so on. 

I only recently tried Age of Conan.  I am running it with dx10.  The game is gorgeous.  While I realize that graphics alone doesn't make a great game, I would say though that the graphics are on par (or better) with any major MMO to date. 

The combat with combos is bit more action than the usual auto attack spam.  Having to re-align your defenses (shields) on the fly is a interesting dynamic.  Granted so far you don't HAVE to do that , but it does seem to help. 

As a fan of single player RPGs I would say that overall this game plays like a quality single player more than an MMO.  With almost ALL of your NPC interactions as voiced over cutscenes?  How many other MMO's do that?

Now I would still say that the game could be improved...but then I do not know of any MMO that could not use improvement. 

By trying to keep it canon, Funcom did limit themselves.  You have to be a 'humanist' to play the game as all races available are humans.  There are balance issues as some classes are still far more powerful in single player PvE PvP, etc...

I have not been able to figure out how secondary skills work yet (aside from the obvious ones like Running)

I'd probably put this game in the top 10 of the fantasy MMO's out there.  It doesn't have the mass appeal of WoW or even LoTRO.  Still I hope this game does stick around.  Based upon my experience so far I like it more than EQ2 or even Aion. 

Ultimately, the market will decide. 

 

  appel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/23/04
Posts: 53

11/30/09 3:35:24 PM#14

I never had even the slightest issues running it personally, but in my experience an Intel cpu and nvidea was the most trouble free combination out there. Yeah after Tortage, the game felt just like any other MMO, and not a good one at that, albeit I think the graphics are good. If i get an invite then i might try it out again, but yeah it really felt like a rip-off at the time.

  Tarka

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/07
Posts: 1673

Free speech is a right, common sense is a duty.

11/30/09 3:41:13 PM#15

Whilst it is true that the the AOC engine is based on the AO engine, it is like comparing a Model T ford with a CAT truck engine.  The two are very different in their capabilities.  So to claim that the the game is built on an outdated engine is actually false because the AOC engine isn't outdated, only its predecessor is.  The "instanced" design of AOC was obviously a design choice due to the level of graphics involved.  Personally I cannot think of one fantasy "land based" MMO out there with the same level of detail in graphics as AOC, which manages to get away with a WoW style seamless world.  Vanguard even has instanced zones, as does Everquest 2.  All 3 use "realistic" graphics.  Unfortunately the greater the realism, the greater the pressure that is put on the hardware.  Of course, the level of quality in coding can also be a factor. 

Unfortunately, AOC's "instancing" issues are further highlighted by the fact that the zones are actually miles apart on the map in a lot of cases.  It's a shame that FC refuse to deal with this issue in the present zones, but at least its not going to be the same in the expansion (apparently).  However, its interesting to note that Anarchy Online doesn't suffer from this problem so I can only assume that a lack of development time stopped them from originally "fleshing" out the game world.

Coming back to the OP's statements about an untapped source.  I completely agree.  I myself even suggested opening up the Library in Old Tarantia and having clickable books which people can read (and even be linked in with quest chains) .  Within the game world, lore could state that the author of the books was a friend of Conan but has since disappeared.  The npc (who would be incidentally called Robert Howard) would thus be immortalised forever  within the very game which was inspired by his stories.   Like the OP stated, considering that a lot of the Conan lore is free to download, I really cannot see why the owners of the IP (Paradox) would object to the author being immortalised in this way.  Just so long as its done tastefully. 

The whole purpose of this suggestion was to create more content AND to involve players more in Howards stories.  Those who already enjoy his stories could feel a greater connection with the gameworld that they are walking around in.  However this seemed to fall on deaf ears with regards to the devs.

Unfortunately, my perception of FC is that they will do only what they want to do, regardless of what the playerbase is asking for (which I suppose is their right to do so, but that doesn't necessarily make it good business sense).  And if what they are working on just so happens to coincide with what players want, then thats when you hear them say "Look! We do listen to our players".  Sorry but that's not listening.  That's just a cheap way to score points. 

  Frobner

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/08
Posts: 663

11/30/09 5:22:10 PM#16

You kinda said the magic word rerednaw.  Recently started playing ...  I never said one word that AOC didn't look nice.  Hell even in Closed Beta it was nice.   But the facts are - that pretty pictures do not keep ppl playing.  And AOC has HUGE issues in alot of core systems when it comes to gameplay abilites.  Thats why ppl play for 2-3 weeks and then simply quit.  Its simply not worth playing cause there are huge amount of small issues that really get onto ppl nerfs when they start to encounter them for the 100th time.

But hey... thats why Funcom is offering one year subs... To fool ppl into buying them while they think the game is still "gorgeous". 

 

The true fact of the matter is that games like AOC and WAR are only free to play material games.  They are unable to create a game that is stable, "bug free", solid tested released content and with regular intervals.  They have huge balancing issues and many core systems in the games are still beeing swong around with stealth server changes every other week - without beeing tested properly. 

AOC and WAR are in same catagory as Runes of Magic, Atlantica and D&D.  They are of same quality and they should not be chraging more for it... But ofc .. are beeing played far less than those games.  And there is a reason for it.  There are still gamers out there that dont  pay for junk when they can get it free. 

PPL are willing to pay well for quality.  But games like WAR and AOC dont offer that.  So ... look elsewhere for stable servers, fully teseted core systems - and decent balanced games.  BOth AOC and WAR will never be any of this... not to mention that they got ZERO amount of balanced PVE... but thats another matter ofc.

  Lizante

Novice Member

Joined: 12/22/04
Posts: 183

11/30/09 5:37:12 PM#17

Well I came back, liked the improvements and I'm now playing (albeit casually) for $8.25 a month and I'll jump in to Secret World beta and give that a try when I get invited.

There are hosts of improvements to the game, many of which were mentioned in this thread and, like many who actually tried the game recently, I'm looking forward to more polish and the new ("free" for me!) expansion next year.

The one thing that I am not fond of (which has yet to improve) are the group quests and raids.  Every single one of these in the game are all "scripted" -- e.g., the "leader," who's done the quest repeatedly, has his or her script whihc will be followed explicitely as he/she barks specific commands via a third party voice program (usually Ventrillo) -- and, if if you're not distracted, totally brain dead and you can understand English and follow orders, you and your group grind it out exactly the same way everyone else did to complete the quest or raid and maybe, if you've been good and are very lucky, you will get your bright and shiny <item> for your reward.  While the script varies depending on the quest/raid, they are all similiar in that they are all excrutiatingly tedious, boring and long.  Many players run through much of them with one or two level 80 guildies/friends just to get them done and move on.  There are 'way too few "group" quests (FoD area comes to mind as one of few exceptions) where you can actually complete quests that are marked as "group" -- very difficult if not impossible to solo, but which can be enjoyed and completed as a duo or trio -- full group not needed.

I'd like to see attention placed on the quests -- both the current quests (characterizing them properly and  then modifying many so a group party of various sizes has content to enjoy together.  FunCom can review Turbine's LotRO "small group quests" and their modifications of "epic" quests (so they will actually be able to be soloed!) in LotRO's new upcoming Mirkwood expansion for examples and ideas on how this is done.

I love the idea posted above in this thread about offering more content -- the WoW zitsqueezers won't like that because it's more "work" to do all that reading, but in a game rate "Mature" that's not the intended audience anyway -- and additiion of more rich content is guaranteed to improve the player's imersion and enjoyability  of the game by enhancing the Hyborian experience.

Finally, I applaud MMORPG because, like most of the MMO/RPG fan sites and magazines I read and respect, they've continued to provide clear, honest reporting and editorials about our hobby and the games we can play.  While I admit, I was one of many who ran away screaming when FunCom shut down our closed beta server a month or so after releasing the "not ready for prime time" Age of Conan as a half finished beta product.  But I came back and I'm glad I did. 

I feel sorry for those twisted and bitter trolls who continue to serve us whine with their cheese, intersperced with lies, misinformation and half truths simpley because they can't get beyond their bitterness to actually examine the reality of how much Age of Conan has improved.

  Vespers

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/06
Posts: 247

11/30/09 5:46:43 PM#18

From the article refered to by the OP:

"So, other than free trials, what is Funcom doing to try to boost their player base? Well, they've also placed an increasing series of discounts on their recurrent subscriptions: three months (20% discount), six months (30% discount), and twelve months (45% discount). The rate discounts are nearly double what the multi-month service savings used to be. A twelve month subscription works out to be about $8.25 per month USD. Your Veteran Points are earned upon payment for the duration of your subscription, so you can use them immediately to improve your gaming experience with a variety of social, mount, pet, and enhancement rewards. Shortly after discounting all prices, FunCom decided to sweeten the pot with additional perks that add even more value than money savings, although this deal is only good until December 1st, 2009. Extend your membership for three months and get guaranteed beta access to Funcom's new supernatural MMO "The Secret World". Extend for six months and receive an Epic Nemedian Helm (usable at level 40) for each of your Age of Conan avatars that grants a 10% increase in gained experience while worn. Extend for twelve months and your account will be granted a FREE download of the "Rise of the Godslayer" expansion upon its release sometime in the first half of 2010."


This is a total Ad campaign to promote the sell of a particular MMO.
Shame on Dana for reposting this.
I assume that we can now be expecting other MMORPG.COM staff members to promote other various MMO advertisements as well, as singling out one specific MMO to advertise for would be seen as favortism.

This so called review is nothing short of Ad Spam cleverly hidden in the reviewer's personal opinion of the game. In any other instance of Ad Spam, it would have been deleted and not reposted as news by Staff personel.

  haratu

Novice Member

Joined: 4/09/09
Posts: 409

11/30/09 5:56:43 PM#19
Originally posted by Vespers

This is a total Ad campaign to promote the sell of a particular MMO.
Shame on Dana for reposting this.
I assume that we can now be expecting other MMORPG.COM staff members to promote other various MMO advertisements as well, as singling out one specific MMO to advertise for would be seen as favortism.

This so called review is nothing short of Ad Spam cleverly hidden in the reviewer's personal opinion of the game. In any other instance of Ad Spam, it would have been deleted and not reposted as news by Staff personel.

So none of the other posts in the 'news' section are professing the features of a game? The link from the OP was to AoC section, and it was announced in the news section like almost every other game.
 

  Sevenwind

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/07/04
Posts: 2239

11/30/09 6:15:42 PM#20

An interesting read on some of the posts history of some of the critical posters in this thread.

.. .... .- - . - .-. --- .-.. .-.. ... .-- .... --- .-. . .--. --- .-. - .-.-.-

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Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

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