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New Zealand Home-Dweller

A New Zealand take on all things gamely.

Author: Roleplaying

Clerk Warns Off AoC Purchase

Posted by Roleplaying Monday June 1 2009 at 2:48AM
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I went out of the house today ("yeeeyah!") to purchase Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (PC).

I walked straight up to the counter and was greeted by a friendly store-clerk whom I have never met before. I say friendly because I'm giving that whole 'benefit of the doubt' thing a go this week. So I say to the guy, "Hi, do you have a copy of Age of Conan for sale?". After a quick check of what I was after, he then gave me his personal hard-word on the game. I reached out for the box, but he insisted he get his message through to me first:

"This game's got no future. In a year from now, the server won't exist. You see, they've (Funcom, I assume) merged all the servers together - and still, you'll be playing with 12 people at any one time... tops. I don't recommend you buy this game, but of course (here's the kicker!) it's up to you."

Obviously I had researched Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures during several weeks of window-shopping around on such 'sites as this and had seen the rants about bugs and imbalance in the early stages of it's released life. However, this was the first time I had been confronted with a warning of low population and seemingly inevitable closure. It kind-of shocked me, coming from someone you vendors games, all-be-it as a pawn in a much larger retail chess-board. The store was EB Games, though I don't feel it matters greatly. What may be of immense importance is the fact that I hail from and am currently living in New Zealand. Is this issue commonly felt in my own Oceanic/Pacific gaming community, or is it a reflection of the over-all Age of Conan experience?

In the end, I did not purchase the game. Though in the near-future, I may (regardless of this new-found web of worry). Oh - as to downloading the client to play the fabulous 7-day trial, my "cap" would not allow the speedy completion of such a task. Hey, this is Aotearoa I'm talking about.

I would love to hear your feedback, my apologies in advance for gramatical and unforced errors on my mortal behalf.

Mystik86 writes:

The clerk was obviously misinformed or has never played the game himself. There's many more players than you think around at any given time. It's got the subscription numbers to provide some interesting gameplay with many other people. I have to say my experienced there was amazing-the roleplay was great (even though it mainly revolves around guilds and their use of the game as their preferred platform).

The only things that this game truly suffers from are the "instanced zones" and the crafting. Everything else just works wonderfully. I should add that there is another possible downside to AoC and that's the higher specs required to enjoy it.

Mon Jun 01 2009 4:06AM Report
Eindrachen writes:

If a game store clerk actually came out and discouraged you from buying that specific game without recommending anything else specifically (i.e. if he wasn't trying to steer you to their own preferred game), then I'd definitely urge caution on that game.

That's like going to a movie theater and the box office clerk telling you not to pay money for one of the movies because it sucks.

Mon Jun 01 2009 4:21AM Report
Roleplaying writes:

Awesome, feedback already!

No, he didn't offer any other game titles... which made his comments seem more of a stern warning than a professional remark. I've heard this game has come a long way since it's release. Maybe he was one of those dissapointed with AoC at launch, I'll have to ask if I see him at the counter again. It could just be an Oceanic thing... Is there a seperate community for Oceanic players? (If so) Are PvP instances inter-sourced from Oceanic and US/EU servers' population pools? (IE. battle-grounds in World of Warcraft)

Mon Jun 01 2009 4:50AM Report
Rebn77 writes:

The AoC population is rather low.  I recently resubbed and have actually ran through whole zones without running into a single player. It doesn't make for very good pvp.

Mon Jun 01 2009 8:55AM Report
wyrde writes:

I was on Wiccana when I tried out AoC. There were very few times when there wasn't a constant stream of (surprisingly civilized) chatter on the trial global channel. There were a number of times when I had to compete with others for quest mobs, but quite a few times when I'd see others around but it wasn't crowded enough to count as competition. Quite a few people that upgraded to a subscription stayed in the trial channel to continue chatting as well.

While it's true that they've recently merged the servers, they aren't down to just one. I'd say the population is fairly decent. That's for a US server, of course (regarded on the forums as the best for role playing). Not sure where you'd end up due to product localization.

As for the software itself, it did crash on me a couple times during the two weeks I played (I wasn't able to get the crashes to repeat so either elusive bugs or bad luck). Performance in general was outstanding. I'd see upwards of 150FPS in instances (even crowded ones) and the major cities stayed above 40FPS. Graphical glitches were rarely seen, pathing seemed quite good, and overall the game client was a pleasant experience.


Mon Jun 01 2009 5:23PM Report
daltanious writes:

On Chrom (PvE) at any possible level there is always enough population around. I know this because in last month i have roled for test few new alts (unfortuntely had to delete few because of great idea of FunCom to limit possible alts to only 8) and now they are all around 40. In all this time no problem with low population. And no problem up to 47 with my other alts.

Despite bad start, game is coming better and better. To me Wow is still best game ever, but now on second place is firmly AoC.

I do not think comment from clerk was fair. More then being informed or misinformed i would say he was one of trolls we can see on forums. Also, if he wanted to be hones, he should warn you that about 90% of ALL games one buy are not worth money one spend.

If you have any doubt ... download trial ... should suffice to get grasp on game. Then you eventually purchase licence and just upgrade trial account. But if not ... it does not matter. Simply rerole.

Tue Jun 02 2009 2:12AM Report writes:
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