Nina Sund, Content Designer/Writer for Anarchy Online
This time I’m going to put on my designer/marketing hat and
answer Ten Ton Hammer’s own Cody
“Micajah” Bye’s question. He asked what
an old Anarchy Online
player would enjoy in the game today if he/she was to return. Thank you
Cody, it’s a brilliant and difficult question!
Over the years, the Anarchy Online developers have made hundreds of improvements to their game.
We see old players returning to AO all the time. Some have been gone
for years, others only a few months. Those who haven’t played
the game in several years and return now probably spend the first time
just to re-familiarize themselves with the controls, the game and the
classic content. Once they have that, the fun of re-discovery begins!
The last year and a half we have done a lot of changes, improvements
and additions to Anarchy
. That is really the beauty of having an online game
of this nature, there is always the opportunity to add new stuff!
I think that different parts of the new content appeals to different
people but I think over time there is always something new that will
appeal to you regardless of the way you like to play the game.
The most significant update to AO is the availability of team instances.
Probably the most significant update, especially for higher level
players is that there are now several team instances in the game. These
are small playfields that are locked to one team so that in any
situation, a maximum of 6 people can be in the same instance. It
provides a lot of freedom, both for the monster encounters and for the
experience as a whole. A limit on how many people can go in at a time
makes for a more fun challenge and there is no danger of negative
things like kill stealing for example. The team instances have been an
unsurpassed success and returning players are very happy about it.
Of the major changes the next one I think is significant is the rebuilt
PvP system. We understand that PvP in AO used to be unapproachable for
a lot of players. We wanted to change that and improve the structure so
that it would be easier for more people to have fun with it. Today, the
PvP system has three different ladders; one for solo achievements, one
for team achievements and one for duels. This means that if players
aren’t interested in mass PvP but would like to duel
one-on-one without the interference of other people, they can. We added
several new titles with the new system, and without promising anything
specific, we may even offer some sort of PvP rewards in the future!
Hundreds of new quests and rewards have been added.
We have also spent a lot of time adding in hundreds of new quests with
new rewards we have added. Every patch cycle the last year has had a
number of quests added to either Rubi-Ka or Shadowlands. When AO
launched a lot of the focus was on the auto-generated content, which is
great for repeatable content, but didn't allow us to tell the story of
the game as much as we could have, so we have addressed that with these
new quests. We mean to continue this practice both in regular patch
cycles and in booster packs in the future. Our focus on storytelling
and quests will continue, as we improve the game play and game world.
Of course there are always a lot of other changes and improvements
include hundreds of exciting new items, changes to PvP balance, awesome
hover bikes/hover boards and correcting problems within the professions.
We have improved the social aspect of the game recently by enabling a
social tab so people can hide their armor and show their clothing style
instead. We are also adding a command that will let people visually
show their fellow players that they are role players. All of these are
fun sides to a game where combat in one form or another is usually the
main focus of gameplay.
Bikes and hoverboards are also a major addition to AO.
Everything we have done the last year and a half should hopefully be
tempting in one way or another to former players who are considering
returning to AO. For those who come back after a short break, the
difference may not be so big, but even they should notice a bundle of
new content added to the game.
As I mentioned in my first journal entry, Anarchy Online
the first MMO I played, and this is the situation for many of our
players, old and new. People have made close friends with people they
met in the game, found their real life soulmate and started a family,
and amassed tons of good memories from playing. These things are
valuable beyond any measure and will always be important reasons for
At the end of the day, it is the personal feelings people have about AO
that brings them back. No one would want to play a game they dislike,
no matter how much content has been added to entice their return. Old
love never dies, as they say.