Baby Come Back
Falling in Love With Age of Conan All Over Again
It has been a arduous five months since the release of Age of Conan for the
players, for the fans, and undoubtedly, for Funcom as well. For the loyal, we've seen a pre-release
hype build unlike any other MMOG to date, followed by a rather disheartening
trend of watching friends and guild mates move on in droves. Why do so many
still hang on to what others have deemed a sinking ship?
Well aside from the glaringly obvious fact that plenty of people enjoy playing AoC
(shocking I know!), I can really only speak for myself.
I like this game. I enjoy so many aspects of it and while I know there
are things to be done to make it better, I can still see the potential just
right there on the very edge of being. We all fell in love with something.
Sure, it could be akin to meeting that gorgeous gal over the internet and
declaring your unending love before you've met her and found that she's not
quite as hot as you first thought she was. It doesn't take from the
feeling of knowing that there is something there. Age of Conan might not
be what we all envisioned, things rarely are, but slowly we are seeing that
potential make its way out from under the hazy clouds of technical bugs and
questionable design decisions to reveal the game that we had all hope for so
anxiously during pre-release.
I'm not going to dwell on past mistakes though as that has been
quite enough. What I'd like to do here is let the public know the amazing
growth that Age of Conan has been experiencing and what the future might hold
for one of the greatest games ever to be created.
The Ghost of Gaming Past
Updates have been a consistent part of the game since release. It
started out with mostly minor fixes and tweaks from common bugs but the most
notable change has been the actual playability of AoC. With frame rates
going up and technical issues going down, gone are the days when players will
simply call it a day out of frustration. The average user will experience
much better performance these days and while the graphically taxing portion of
the game is still there, slideshows of the beautiful landscape are lessened with
a few adjustments to the video settings. Overall, this has been the
biggest improvement thus far allowing players with older comps that just meet
minimum requirements to still have a reasonably good and stable experience!
Another big change has been the overhaul of the PvP system. Let's face
it, some players come to various MMOGs to experience Player versus Player combat
and if a game lacks in that arena, you risk losing an entire sub-set of players. Funcom is understanding this and they are working to make improvements to the
PvP system that had players everywhere drooling many months ago by adding a
truckload of tweaks and small fixes along with
PvP specific gear and future plans to add more details and a notoriety system that will ease some
of the imbalances.
There are a whole slews of other much hoped for changes such as the fixes to
gems, class issues, and crafting fixes that we will be seeing much more of over
the next few months. Really, so much has been addressed that I'd urge
those who have been away a while just to
browse the update
notes to get an idea of the massive amounts of work that has been poured
into the game recently.
What has been accomplished up until now is just the beginning. So much
more is planned...
The Future Looks Bright
If you haven't heard, Age of Conan has a new Master and he's whipping this
puppy into shape! If there has been anything that AoC fans are hungry for, it
is a Game Director and developer team that would listen to the cries and pleas of the public and
we have been granted this. Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison has taken the helm
with the promise to focus more on community feedback and his plans are
Earth shattering to say the least.
First up, PvP will continue to get major attention which is good news for
all. Another aspect of the game that is getting some love is the crafting
system. Crafting in AoC, until now, has had some pretty serious
difficulties that has made a portion of the game that many player just outright
avoided. Striving to make crafting a more viable part of gameplay we are
changes to recipes, the addition of new recipes, and uniquely crafted items
such as culture armor will make crafting more user friendly and more worthwhile.
The importance of handing players a useful system that will enhance the game
experience is untold. With both the PvP and crating alterations, the
secondary aspects of Age of Conan will soon be one of the brilliant spotlights
of character advancement.
Mid and upper levels zones have come under scrutiny lately and while it seems
character stats, crafting, and PvP are at the forefront current, I won't be at
all surprised to see playable content eventually becoming a point of interest.
With much of the players at mid-level and cap, the importance of giving PvE
players plenty to do is going to eventually be a priority. The demands for
more quests and more high levels content will hopefully be fed giving players
who adore straight up adventuring through the lands much more to hurrah for!
Other bits that are being worked on but we still haven't heard a whole lot
about is the implementation of DX10 which we should be seeing shortly and the
plan on server merges. Server merge has been something that has been on
the lips of players often lately and if this happens, it could mean a lot for
player communities and marketplace interaction. Keep an eye out at
Ten Ton Hammer and we will be sure to
sound the alarms when more news trickles out on these important topics.
So what does all this mean for gamers? In a nutshell, it seems that
Funcom is paving the road to begin wooing back the jilted players. Not an
easy task to be sure, but with the change up in leadership and a push to make
good on past promises, Age of Conan could still have a chance at being what we
had all hoped for those many months ago. As the shine wears off newer
games, and the older games work feverishly to cling to their current following,
plenty of gamers will be without a home until the next generation of MMOGs hit
the shelves. This is the perfect time to re-hype this fabulous game that is
still building towards its full potential and a perfect time for players to give
Age of Conan another look.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Age of Conan: Unchained Game Page.