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Age of Conan - Update 6 Q&A with Craig Morrison

Updated Wed, Dec 09, 2009 by Medawky

Time,the measurement of which ultimately controls everything about our lives, seems to be in an increasingly short supply. Nowhere, in the gaming world at least, is time more critical, and more of a factor in success, than in the MMOG. Games, and the developers who make them, are given precious little of the aforementioned quantity with which to meet the high expectations of their exceedingly fickle fan bases. While many recent releases have either pulled the plug or settled into a defacto acceptance of their product’s station in the gaming hierarchy, a couple titles have risen to the challenge and aggressively fought to keep their games moving forward and recapturing some of the launch day magic. Funcom’s Age of Conan is leading that charge with sweeping additions and a new expansion, Rise of the Godslayer, in the works. We sat down recently with Craig Morrison, the games Director and Executive Producer to talk about the renown system and other changes in store for the game:

Ten Ton Hammer: High level guilds can get team-based PvP arenas through the renown system. What sorts of games can be played in these arenas, and does the owning guild have any sort of advantage when competing in them?

 Craig Morrison: These arenas are really just for fun. They are intended to give guilds a PVP environment that they can control access to and allow them to have fights on the terms they want. The system in the arena allows players to choose how many they want on either side of a fight to the death, it might be one on one, six on six, or even one on many if they want to! There aren’t any rewards, or advantages to the guild themselves, like I said this is mainly a fun toy for the PVP players to use for their own fights and tournaments without having to worry about outside interference.  

Ten Ton Hammer: Are there any other new buildings that will be rewarded for guild renown?

Craig: Players will be able to get a brand new tavern building for their guild city. In addition they will be able to earn a new social instance, which is themed to their culture, which appears beneath their existing keep.    

Ten Ton Hammer: Can you give us some examples of some of the new decorations available through renown?

Craig: There are a variety of banners and environmental objects like shrubs, sculptures, and totems. For the more macabre amongst you there are even some corpses that can be strewn around.

Ten Ton Hammer: Has guild city land expanded, or will the new buildings take place of older ones?

Craig: The new building appears in a completely new slot, so you won’t have to replace anything in your city.

Ten Ton Hammer: In the IGN article, it was mentioned that mounts and companions will be renown rewards as well, and can be shared by the guild. How does this work? If someone takes out a mount for a run, will it be unavailable to others?

Craig: The renown ranks open up quests that can then be done by anyone in the guild so they can all earn the rewards. So access to the rewards is shared and it is then down to each player to seek out the rewards they want to get for themselves.

Ten Ton Hammer: How do the renown-rewarded mounts compare with other mounts in the game?

Craig: The main difference is in the visuals; we didn’t want the new mounts to take the place of the old ones. The new mount gives players another option.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are the renown rewards free once you’re of sufficient renown level, or are they simply unlocked, and you’ll still have to buy and/or build them? And if so, where can they be purchased?

Craig:  A combination of all of the above! Some will unlock quests that you have to complete in order to get the reward, some will unlock vendors and some will unlock new buildings. The vendors and quest givers will appear in your guild city.

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