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Age of Conan Game Update 5 Interview with Craig Morrison and Erling Ellingsen

Posted Mon, Jun 29, 2009 by Cody Bye

Hard-working may be an understatement when it comes to Age of Conan's current live development team. Over the last few months, the developers have pushed themselves to reconfigure a game that - at it's release - wasn't what players wanted or expected. But with the upcoming Game Update 5, the folks at Funcom have not only created new content for their player base with the Tarantia Commons, but they've also completely renovated what they're calling the "RPG system" in AoC, among other things. Few games have seen such extensive changes in their histories, so we sat down with AoC's Game Director and Director of Communications, Craig Morrison and Erling Ellingsen, to find out some of the details in GU 5.

Ten Ton Hammer: How much new content will the Tarantia Commons bring to the game? Will there be new dungeons or raids in the area to explore?

Erling Ellingsen: Tarantia Commons District is the newest outdoor playfield for level 75 and up. You will be able to experience countless more hours of content with a whole new series of quests, outdoor boss encounters scaling from the high rooftops of the district to the dark mysterious graveyard, and the addition of a single-player as well as a 6-man grouped dungeon.

Craig Morrison: The location really adds a lot of new very dynamic game-play elements. We have really focused on adding interesting and exciting elements to the design for these new play-fields and the urban environment of Tarantia Commons has actually added to it even further, street riots and rooftop game-play really brings some new dimensions into play in a way I think players will really enjoy.

Ten Ton Hammer: Can you tell us about the revamps you've made to RPG system?

Craig: That would actually be an interview all in itself I think. There have been a lot of changes in this update, but the premise is straightforward. What we have achieved with this update is to make the item and statistics in the game a deal more meaningful to the players’ progression. One of the major issues many players had with the game when it launched last year was that they didn’t feel a goods sense of progression, and this update addresses that.

You can find all the details of the changes on our community site article.

Ten Ton Hammer: How will the revamped itemization of gear effect gameplay for both PvE and PvP gamers when it goes live?

Craig: As above it means that players can now improve their character more through items. When a player finds different items through their gameplay the choices of what to equip now mean more, and offer many more options for customization. Hopefully players enjoy it much more now that the relative merits of different items are clearer and more obvious for them. So far the feedback seems to be positive.

Erling: I’ve been getting feedback from players who claim that their experience has completely changed with this update. It’s quite interesting to see how much of an effect these changes have had. Being able to understand more clearly what an item does to your character makes a big difference for players, and having more meaningful statistics on your weapons and armor I think makes obtaining items a lot more rewarding.

And we all know that in RPGs finding good loot is a big part of the fun.

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