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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

Beta Diary Updates, and the future of the FAQ

Posted by Athelan Wednesday January 30 2008 at 12:26PM
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So just when I was working with the MMORPG guys to figure out the image hosting so I can start a Beta Diary we get a huge client patch on the beta and I am still downloading.


I have a whole one screenshot of my brand new Aquilonian Priest of Mitra named Athelanna standing on the beach and that is it. But look forward to updates on that soon.


We also with the new website will be updating the current FAQ and expanding its features. In addition to the FAQ we have now we hope to have a much more in depth information resource for you guys the fans to dig up the facts easier.

throckmorton writes: Cool, looking forward to the screenshot. And a new huge client patch for beta is always a good sign things are moving forward. Any word on what the patch contains? Wed Jan 30 2008 12:58PM Report
Jupsto writes:

cool. look forward to it

Wed Jan 30 2008 12:58PM Report
Vanark writes:

Ah, a beta diary with screenshots. Sounds great. Thanks Athelan!

Wed Jan 30 2008 1:48PM Report
BadSpock writes:

Just a question.. you probably aren't even allowed to answer it...

How worried are you guys about Warhammer Online?

It's kind of a big battle between Age of Conan and Warhammer for the #2 spot in the MMO world ?(because with a new expansion on the way World of Warcraft will still reign supreme)

I know you are offering different things, so far it seems Conan is more PvE oriented with some healthy PvP action, and Warhammer is the opposite.

Like I said, I'm sure you have to get approval for everything you write in this blog, and probably can't answer my question...

But if you can, I'd like to hear why YOU think that Age of Conan is going to beat out Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning as the "next big thing."



Wed Jan 30 2008 5:17PM Report
Iijs writes:

It's like they always say, 'Patch news is good news.'

Wed Jan 30 2008 6:56PM Report
StrikerBP writes:

Hi Athelan and all others! First I'd like to say that I cant wait too about getting more GOOD news about the developement of the game. I put good in capital there because I almost stopped looking at the main forum because of the negative post there is everyday since another delay was announced, just to clarify that. :) There is an unanswered question in my head for a long time now and I always forget to ask every time I come read the blog here. I thought I heard or read somewhere that Funcom wants to have a more mature audience. I myself play games for over 30 years and I can say I am waiting for about 20 years for a game similar to what I think Conan will be.

1 - Why prefering a Mature rating instead of Adult Only rating?

I think not caring at all for the rating and do the game like you wants it to be would be the way to go. Now am not saying it is not like that but I just would like you to tell me frankly.

 2 - Will there be anything different in the content (nudity) for the US game because you wanted to fit in the Mature rating here?


Wed Jan 30 2008 7:19PM Report
Athelan writes:

You have to understand that an AO rating covers everything. We could be talking about Virtual Jenna or something full on porno, in this case we are not we are doing our interpretation of the world of Conan which includes some nudity that can put it into an AO rating if we show things like nipples so we have to partially censor it.

As far as I am aware WAR is delayed until sometime after Age of Conan for some time, and while people tend to think all of us game devs are extremely competitive. The truth is a good game will succeed regardless of what other games are doing, and we as gamers who slave away in this industry all want to play good games.

Wed Jan 30 2008 8:14PM Report
eric_w66 writes:

"which includes some nudity that can put it into an AO rating if we show things like nipples"

No nips? Heh. Might as well not display the virtual jubblies then ;)

Thu Jan 31 2008 12:18AM Report
Drummos writes:

Sounds cool.  Something to keep me busy while I'm waiting for the release.

Thu Jan 31 2008 12:21AM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

Ahhh an updated FAQ is a dream come true :)

Thu Jan 31 2008 4:55AM Report
BadSpock writes:

Thanks very much for the answer, I look forward to the updated FAQ and any other ew information on AoC


Thu Jan 31 2008 7:52AM Report
Elberath writes:

Thanks for the info, I am surprised to hear about the censoring piece because of games like Conan, and God of War that have such things in them and are rated mature.

Most online games on the ESRB rating box clearly states that rating may change based on online material.  Which encloses such things as obscene chat and leaves the potential for online gaming experience to vary from what is the rating on the box.  Just curious if unlockable download options that do not come with the box but clearly state there mature nature could be possible to provide the full Conan experience for those who chose it.

Thu Jan 31 2008 8:08AM Report
Athelan writes:

That statement is just to get around the fact you cannot be held liable for the behavior of others in an online game as a company. Believe me we can turn on and off the different things the ratings boards find questionable and we show them the version with "everything"

Thu Jan 31 2008 11:17AM Report
StrikerBP writes:

Ok well, I am not saying that I want to see a porno game here but some sexyness is fun when you play a game like that. There is lots and lots of reason why I will play AoC but one of the most important is that I have a new pc I bought last year just for that game with a DX10 card, 4 gig of ram etc... the big kit that cost me 5k can bucks.

But my point here is, the rating will always be there and we will always see kids of 12 - 14 years old leaving computer store with Mature rated games and with their parent alot of the time if you please. :)

So I think privatising the adult player for those kids that will play the game no matter of its rating or contents is not fair. Also, I am sure you are aware that one day another company will make another game that might show a bit more than AoC and also made for DX10 etc.... you know like me that technology dont go backwards. Now if you tell me I will be able to get something that will permit me to unlock what is censored that is fine. If not I will play the game anyway it is pre-ordered and I have no intention to cancel it, though as I said, when another game comes out that covers all my needs then......

My opinion!

Thu Jan 31 2008 3:04PM Report
Drayen32 writes:

Hey there Athelan.  I think what your doing is incredible, finally theres a developer thats not committed to keeping the fans completely in the dark about their game and salivating for even the smallest bit of news.

You might have covered this question already and for that i appologise but..

In the first 20 lvls of the game where allot of the soloing is done, will we still be able to communicate/group up and see other players?  For example if you were playing a new char and you had a friend who was lvl 40 would you be able to grp with them and meet up somewhere, trade with them receive mail, go drinking with them?

Or will it be completely cut off from the rest of the game world like the prologue part of LOTR Online?


Thu Jan 31 2008 3:53PM Report
Elberath writes:

Hmm seems like such a waste to have created so much great content and unable to distribute an unrated version over direct download.  I am still likely getting it just thought this was an interesting topic.  Keep up the good work

Fri Feb 01 2008 9:04AM Report
Athelan writes:

It's not like there is content that is being excluded when it comes to nudity, its there to properly present the world as it was in Howard's writings, but its a little bit of frosting on the cake not the whole thing.


You can play with others during levels 1-20 and have full chat access as well.

Mon Feb 04 2008 10:28AM Report
Athelan writes:

Trust me people will add their own sexiness to the game. Anyone who has ever worked in customer service in an MMO can tell you that as "cyber" is very common and often uncomfortable for a customer service person who is responding to a petition.

Mon Feb 04 2008 10:29AM Report
diriel writes:

@ Athelan,

Hello, I have been watching in  the shadows for a while. I am a Long Time gamer. Started online gaming back in Sierra's: The Realm - alpha 3 if memory serves me. You are correct about "cyber", as a former "guild leader" I was one of the first people back in EverQuest 1 to hear about various complaints. Usually before CS heard about it.

My take on basic nudity: If it is acceptable on a public beach in most of Europe then it should be "Okay" as part of a  ON / OFF filter setting that can be flagged by the Parent or Adult player. Kind of like the cuss filter setting. For me it is really no big deal. BUT it would be refreshing as it would be something "New". Lets face it "frosting" is part of the cake you pay for and wish to eat :) I have been considering re-installing WinXP and app'n for Beta. This game sounds genuinely interesting. After about 1.25 year absence in online game's (from EQ1 - i have 2 lvl 75 characters there) this sounds like that breath of fresh air i have been looking for. WoW was nice for about 30 levels until i figured out the level of challenge was not sufficient at the top end ( i hear nowdays with recent expansions that *MAY* have changed ) still I would prefer something more like AoC.

Have a good one,

Mon Feb 04 2008 2:24PM Report
LordRussell writes:

Athelan ~

Thanks for paying us attention here.  My questions is if there are no nipples then why have Nudity even on the box?  Also why do other games i.e. Gods of War have nipples in but only a M rating?? 


Tue Feb 05 2008 4:40PM Report
ShotgunJoe writes:

Nipples are not censored guys. Pharamond clarified the mistake and Athelan is just doing damage control on this. The fact is theres no legitimate reason they can exclude or censor the game based off the rating board. The ESRB rates M as partial nudity (which includes areolas) . Theres countless examples of this in current games sike God of War, Conan and Mass Effect.

All that ebing said, the NA version and EU version are stated as the same. The only censored version is the German version to comply with thier laws. The US has no laws on video games at all.

Thu Feb 07 2008 12:15PM Report
Vashner writes:

I have not been this excited for a game release in 2 years. Age of Conan looks like it has the potential to recapture that magic that so many of the carbon copy mmo's of today have lost. The delay is acceptable because it shows that Funcon is listening to it's testers and going to ship a better product. Lessons learned from Past MMO launches including AO.

Fri Feb 08 2008 1:45PM Report writes:
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