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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

Overwhelming response, Open Beta, and Cheetah 2

Posted by Athelan Tuesday January 15 2008 at 12:16PM
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First I want to thank all of you for the great feedback and excitement of those who have stopped by to read the new blog. Second, even if it is re-hashing what many of you already know I want to re-quote/link to the Open Beta message clarification posted by our Community Manager Pharamond.

Looks like there was a miscommunication/misunderstanding at the show.

We are planning to have an open beta for the game as we get closer to launch, however, it will be through specific partners and require an application/registration process, much like most of the other betas for most other games.

We will be limiting the number of keys we release to a manageable number at any given time, rather than subjecting people to queues and loading screens and so on. By "a manageable number," we mean tens of thousands, not just a handful.

We’re also ramping up some of our tech test betas, and, of course, we’ll be doing key giveaways, inviting forum veterans, and inviting more people to the current, closed stage of beta as we ramp up for launch.

So, yes, there will be a wider-scale open beta, but it will require an application/registration process and won’t be as simple as “press button, get key,” which is what we wanted to say.

Shannon 'Pharamond' Drake
Community Manager – Funcom[/quote]

(Looks like Keith already beat me to it and made an article about it)


I am trying to answer some of the repeat questions I see in comments. Now understand I simply won't have time to get to everything, or might not have the answer for something right now. There will be a system in place soon that will help in cataloging these answers but I will leave discussing that for another time.

Cheetah 2 is what we refer to as an internal development milestone for our optimization pipeline (lots of big words there) it is the next huge leap towards final optimization in our proprietary Dreamworld engine. It is already present in our "Test Live" environment which means QA is testing it so I will guess it will be present in the Beta within a matter of a week or two. Completely off the top of my head speculation of course. Just to give you an idea as to the improvement, a camera path (a flying route that the camera follows) flying over Connal's Valley used to run at a decent 20-35 fps most of the time for me with an occasional chunk on huge vista's or loading. In the new engine I was seeing no lower than 25 FPS ever and that was with over 800 NPC's in the playfield all loaded to be present at once. Normally the playfield only "awakens" NPC's who are close to the player to save on performance. Without forcefully loading these NPC's my framerate shot up to a high of 128 fps on a single 8800 GTX card, and this was on XP in Dx9


Random answers now on questions cherry picked out of comments.


There have been talks of ongoing storyline quests to follow the destiny quest. These are however enormously time intensive and will take time to implement and likely be seen after launch.


We still plan as far as I am aware to have PvE, Role-Play PvP, and PvP servers at launch but not list of server names or number of servers per region information is available.


A PvP server in Conan is at its base a server where open PvP is enabled in all areas except hubs. There are zone line and "just died" protection systems in place and you do not leave a tombstone in PvP.


As far as testing Sieging, testing continues and the max current numbers we have tested is in the 200-300 range with plans to test higher. The game actually handles lots of players very well, NPC's are way more expensive which is why we have limited NPC's being present in the siege PvP areas.


You hit all enemies in a cone in front of you in Age of Conan with every attack. Not just a single target.


I am not aware of what/who will be offering EU Pre-order bonus's


Conan is not a seamless world meaning we have zones or playfields. The world itself primarily consists of non instantiated outdoor areas, with smaller instantiated quest areas and dungeons leading off of it.


The game was always designed with scalable use of content, but this does not mean everything is dynamic based on the group size going in, we have dedicated time to making areas for solo play, small group play, full group play, and multiple group/raid play.


I haven't played much TF2 on the Funcom server since the game came out because I really suck at it and my poor little Engineer turrets keep getting killed.


and to close of this post a little self gratuitous shot of me and my wife from the wedding

My wife and I