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Age of Conan: Upgrades Dev Journal

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

With the announcement today of the game's 7 day free trial, Age of Conan Game Director Craig Morrison writes this overview of the upgrades made to the game since launch.

With the impending launch of our trial offerings I have been asked to sit down and summarize the changes that the game has seen since the launch last year. I think the first thing I can say was that actually compiling this letter into a digestible size for you all was actually another good affirmation for me as to the effort the team here has gone to in order to realize the potential of Age of Conan. I am very proud of the efforts that have been undertaken since launch to address the various issues identified by our players, as well as the improvements and additions that we have made to the game.

Read the Upgrades Dev Journal

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • TrashcantoyTrashcantoy DragonstonePosts: 827Member

    well seeing all this bits of information from FC its obvious they aint denying that the launch was horrible and premature. i think ill grab a trial key now since ive heard more positive sounds lately..

    MMOs currently playing: -
    About to play: Lord of the Rings Online
    Played: Anarchy Online (alltime favorite) and lots of f2p titles (honorable mentions: 9Dragons, Martial Heroes, Dekaron, Atlantica Online)

  • PunisherPunisher Chicago, ILPosts: 23Member

    Think its a little too late now for FC. They burned alot of people during launch and I dont think anyone really even wants to give them a chance anymore. I did love the graphics in this game very much but the butchering of class balance they did was just bad. Tanks couldnt even tank lol. I may give it a try though Id rather resub a month and give it a go than try the lame 7 dial trial. Its good for new players though.

  • LizanteLizante Midcoast, MEPosts: 182Member

    It seems total lack of common sense to me that FunCom offers the 7-Day Free Trial, aimed at new players, and is not offering a free month (or at least a free week/10 Days) to try to lure former players back to the game.

    Hello?  FunCom can you spell "marketing"?  Is Ellison still working for you?  If so, put him to work!  It's not hard, really -- just look around this MMORPG.COM site --> LotRO, EVE, DDO, DAoC and a host of other "successful" MMOs have not only offered "welcome back" free play to players with cancelled accounts, in many cases, they were so successful that many are repeating their free play to former players on a regular basis. 

    I just assumed FunCom would offer the marketing plan to lure former players back to experience the "much improved" AoC game after Update 5 and/or when DX10 finally goes to live servers -- not put the cart before the horse like this with a 7-Day free trial for new players?  Oh well. 

    It doesn't take an MBA in marketing to know that you just *might* have more success in getting more people to play your game if you *first* concentrate on the people who actually purchased AoC, played the game and quit.  Latest figures show there are over 600,000 copies of the AoC game client that were purchased, yet remain unused and are gathering dust ATM.  I hope Mr. Ellison is listening -- lure a bunch of those players back -- all it takes is a little imagination.  I guarantee some, and just maybe quite a few, will stay, reactive their accounts, and play -- and those that do will likely draw friends to play AoC with them, as well.

    Ain't rocket science.

     

  • abalabal fdsdsfdsfsdfPosts: 169Member Uncommon

    I'll keep it simple.

     

    These trial's are different from the VET winback campaign that they're also planning on doing. One is aimed at new players and the winback campaign will probably start after 1.5 and DX10 final release and will take care of providing former players the ability to use their old accounts to test new features, content and optimization.

  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member
    Originally posted by Lizante


    It seems total lack of common sense to me that FunCom offers the 7-Day Free Trial, aimed at new players, and is not offering a free month (or at least a free week/10 Days) to try to lure former players back to the game.
    Hello?  FunCom can you spell "marketing"?  Is Ellison still working for you?  If so, put him to work!  It's not hard, really -- just look around this MMORPG.COM site --> LotRO, EVE, DDO, DAoC and a host of other "successful" MMOs have not only offered "welcome back" free play to players with cancelled accounts, in many cases, they were so successful that many are repeating their free play to former players on a regular basis. 
    I just assumed FunCom would offer the marketing plan to lure former players back to experience the "much improved" AoC game after Update 5 and/or when DX10 finally goes to live servers -- not put the cart before the horse like this with a 7-Day free trial for new players?  Oh well. 
    It doesn't take an MBA in marketing to know that you just *might* have more success in getting more people to play your game if you *first* concentrate on the people who actually purchased AoC, played the game and quit.  Latest figures show there are over 600,000 copies of the AoC game client that were purchased, yet remain unused and are gathering dust ATM.  I hope Mr. Ellison is listening -- lure a bunch of those players back -- all it takes is a little imagination.  I guarantee some, and just maybe quite a few, will stay, reactive their accounts, and play -- and those that do will likely draw friends to play AoC with them, as well.
    Ain't rocket science.

    Check out the video interview with Craig Morrison, i think you'll find that they're going to do this.

     

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • SidereusSidereus Rimouski, QCPosts: 316Member
    Originally posted by Punisher


    Think its a little too late now for FC.



     

    I will only say this : it's never too late ! and it's not over til it's over.

    Maybe, and this a BIG "maybe", AoC will do like EvE did...slow launch and gradually gaining popularity

    note that I did not see EvE's launch though.

    QUESTION:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xridnasa:
    -
    What's a "grocery store"? Is that like McDonald's?
    -
    ANSWER:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sidimazz:
    -
    Kind of, just without the rapist.

  • SilenseSilense Olney, ILPosts: 16Member
    Originally posted by Punisher


    Think its a little too late now for FC. They burned alot of people during launch and I dont think anyone really even wants to give them a chance anymore. I did love the graphics in this game very much but the butchering of class balance they did was just bad. Tanks couldnt even tank lol. I may give it a try though Id rather resub a month and give it a go than try the lame 7 dial trial. Its good for new players though.



     

    They've drastically imporved class balance and will be even more so come 1.5 patch, i would give it a try.  What you have to lose at this point except time and that cant be a big priority if ur on the forums or play an mmo.  Just resubscribed myself and am thoroughly enjoying it.

  • RabenwolfRabenwolf Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,445Member

    all this was supposed to have been done by last june. 9 months ago. Funcom gives a release date, add 9 months to it and many broken patches later. The pvp mechanic is still broken, race never mattered as it should have. The instancing of same zones prevents it from being massive and multiplayer at the same time.

  • syranekosyraneko fguraPosts: 16Member
    Originally posted by Lizante


    It seems total lack of common sense to me that FunCom offers the 7-Day Free Trial, aimed at new players, and is not offering a free month (or at least a free week/10 Days) to try to lure former players back to the game.
    Hello?  FunCom can you spell "marketing"?  Is Ellison still working for you?  If so, put him to work!  It's not hard, really -- just look around this MMORPG.COM site --> LotRO, EVE, DDO, DAoC and a host of other "successful" MMOs have not only offered "welcome back" free play to players with cancelled accounts, in many cases, they were so successful that many are repeating their free play to former players on a regular basis. 
    I just assumed FunCom would offer the marketing plan to lure former players back to experience the "much improved" AoC game after Update 5 and/or when DX10 finally goes to live servers -- not put the cart before the horse like this with a 7-Day free trial for new players?  Oh well. 
    It doesn't take an MBA in marketing to know that you just *might* have more success in getting more people to play your game if you *first* concentrate on the people who actually purchased AoC, played the game and quit.  Latest figures show there are over 600,000 copies of the AoC game client that were purchased, yet remain unused and are gathering dust ATM.  I hope Mr. Ellison is listening -- lure a bunch of those players back -- all it takes is a little imagination.  I guarantee some, and just maybe quite a few, will stay, reactive their accounts, and play -- and those that do will likely draw friends to play AoC with them, as well.
    Ain't rocket science.
     



     

    Wow that be nice i would be enticed to try again and check by myself the state of the server

  • googajoob7googajoob7 londonPosts: 866Member

    i recently picked up conan and a 60 day time card on ebay ( 90 days total ) for 15 pounds which seamed a bargain . i essentially thought even if it is a bad game with few people playing it . it might be a bit of fun to play because i was bored to high heaven with warcraft . its actually turned out to be a lot more of a pleasant experiance than i thought it would be . i did try it on a buddy key last year but found it crashed so much it was nt worth playing . the game world seams pretty busy to me . i d heard reports you can go for ages without seeing another player which just is nt true of the server i m on . i cant say what its longevity would be like or endgame . but i m having fun at the moment which is all i care about in a game . instancing does nt really bother me too much although i prefer game worlds that are more free range . i would nt say its the best fantasy mmo about but to be honest i prefer it to lord of the rings and everquest . i think a welcome back trial for old players would be a wise thing to do as well .

  • DarterDarter East Coast, MDPosts: 57Member

    I recently revisited AoC after deleting my character and quitting in disgust 9 months ago. I have both positive and negative things to say about my experience during my return.

    Positives:

    1.  The game world is beautiful.  In the dx10 test phase I am able to see the flora and shiney metal etc. on my low end system.

          I have all the dx10 options turned off except "specular on ocean", yet I still can see the flowers and the sparkles.  I have grass enabled in the Advanced options.   Most of my sliders are tweaked to the lower ranges.

           I get 10 fps in areas with large bodies of water, 15 to 23 fps in other areas.  I am able to perform well in full group boss encounters without appreciable lag issues.

    2.  Voice acting is being expanded past Tortage.  This was a big let down for me at launch.  Hopefully the devs will continue  this trend.

    3.  The guild city npcs are in.  They were not in during launch.

    4.  Customer service response time has improved immensely.  I have placed four petitions, and recieved a response on each one within an hour of placing the petition, even when being number three in line.  During launch I was first in line with a petition for 2 days with no response.

    Negatives:

    1.  No way to change chat colors without using an outside program.  The light grey global chat is very hard to read.  If outside parties can design a program to allow changing of chat colors, so can Funcom.

    2.  Guild city merchants offer items for same price as public merchants.  Guild cities should offer at a discount as a perk for being in a guild and putting in all the time and effort to build a city.

    3.  I experienced a bug/exploit in the trade system that the devs can't seem to track.  If I place several like items on trade individually for the same price, I have a chance of not getting my money for the sale.  This has happened to me several times.  It was reported and investigated.  The devs can't prove what I am saying is true therefore will not reimburse me for lost monies.  (i.e.  they think I am lying?)

    4.  Group members can be tracked on the map, but not guild members.

    5.  Crafting should begin at level 20 just like harvesting does.  Weaponsmithing is practically useless until very high levels.  Drops are easy to get and better quality.  Armorcrafting is borderline, as some of the gear may be equal to or better than drops.

    6.  This is the biggie as far as I am concerned.   Funcom sets the guild priveleges by rank.  The first three ranks get nothing.

          The fourth rank can promote/demote and invite/kick.  The fifth rank gets all that and the ability to edit/change the message of the day, guild bank access, and ability to set guild pvp window times.  Sixth rank is guild leader.

          I picked up a new member who was a refugee from a "lost" guild.  He found out that someone with kick priveleges had booted a majority of the members, resulting in chaos.

          Guild leaders should be able to assign priveleges by rank as they see fit.

          My preference would be this:

          rank 1 and 2 - none

          rank 3 - invite

          rank 4 - invite, promote/demote ranks 1,2 and 3.

          rank 5 - Invite, promote/demote ranks 1 through 4, change motd, guild bank access, pvp window times.

          rank 6 - all priveleges.  IMO only the guild leader should have kick priveleges.

          Again, guild leaders should be able to assign priveleges as they see fit within thier ranks.  You may not agree with mine and that's cool.

    I haven't gotten into the pvp yet, so can't comment on it.  Based on what I am seeing in global chat, it may be hard to round up enough people to start up a pvp instance at times.

    All in all, I will stick around.  At least until I see how Star Wars The Old Republic pans out, and maybe beyond.  ;-)

     

    Final head's up:  the dx10 test wants to open the game in windowed mode.  You are supposed to be able to set it to fullscreen in the patcher settings window.  That does not work for me.  I have to go to the AoC file, open the simple patcher file and bring up the settings window from there, then open the settings window on the patcher and select both fullscreen options in order for it to work.  The are both the same setting window.  Wierd, huh?

    Author of the Amazon kindle book, The Clan and the Crown

  • cosimustacosimusta Dallas, TXPosts: 25Member

    Sounds like the'yre just getting up to where the game was suppose to be at launch, and like some of the promised features for the future, still not in the game.

  • Brigand1976Brigand1976 derbyPosts: 1Member
    Originally posted by Silense

    Originally posted by Punisher


    Think its a little too late now for FC. They burned alot of people during launch and I dont think anyone really even wants to give them a chance anymore. I did love the graphics in this game very much but the butchering of class balance they did was just bad. Tanks couldnt even tank lol. I may give it a try though Id rather resub a month and give it a go than try the lame 7 dial trial. Its good for new players though.



     

    They've drastically imporved class balance and will be even more so come 1.5 patch, i would give it a try.  What you have to lose at this point except time and that cant be a big priority if ur on the forums or play an mmo.  Just resubscribed myself and am thoroughly enjoying it.



     

    I played at launch and quit due to the horrendous lack of content, grabbed a trial code to see how it felt and enjoyed it. Got to 17 on an assassin and went in White Sands which is now where all the lvl 25s camp out looking for easy PvP xp. Wow (the expression not the game) it was never like this before, now that they have a reason to be jerks, jerks is what they are going to be. The fact that White Sands and the Underhalls are no go areas for the trial players makes this whole trial a waste of time. Oh and this was on a RP-PvP server, I guess they were just roleplaying jerks.

    Sad really, simple things like PvP xp errosion for gray kills would have fixed this

  • ShadowsladyShadowslady Tempe, AZPosts: 149Member

    there is still one thing still wrong and they FIXED a lot. I  since have returned to the game and I love it. Practically all the dungeons are level 80 ones.

     

    If they could just focus on adding a whole bunch of instanced dungeons ( with rez pads  ) to levels 20-30, 40-50 etc and then make some sort of matching system.

     

    With AoC, you kind of need a few different roles,  DPS, Healing, Tank etc. you could make some sort of proggie that helped fill them per type. finding parties for even the current dungeons is impossible and since everyone in the game is 80, it makes it even harder

    Shadowlord Sage
    CmdrAkbar

    Napa Valley, UO, 1997.

  • LizanteLizante Midcoast, MEPosts: 182Member
    Originally posted by Stradden

    Originally posted by Lizante


    It seems total lack of common sense to me that FunCom offers the 7-Day Free Trial, aimed at new players, and is not offering a free month (or at least a free week/10 Days) to try to lure former players back to the game.
    Hello?  FunCom can you spell "marketing"?  Is Ellison still working for you?  If so, put him to work!  It's not hard, really -- just look around this MMORPG.COM site --> LotRO, EVE, DDO, DAoC and a host of other "successful" MMOs have not only offered "welcome back" free play to players with cancelled accounts, in many cases, they were so successful that many are repeating their free play to former players on a regular basis. 
    I just assumed FunCom would offer the marketing plan to lure former players back to experience the "much improved" AoC game after Update 5 and/or when DX10 finally goes to live servers -- not put the cart before the horse like this with a 7-Day free trial for new players?  Oh well. 
    It doesn't take an MBA in marketing to know that you just *might* have more success in getting more people to play your game if you *first* concentrate on the people who actually purchased AoC, played the game and quit.  Latest figures show there are over 600,000 copies of the AoC game client that were purchased, yet remain unused and are gathering dust ATM.  I hope Mr. Ellison is listening -- lure a bunch of those players back -- all it takes is a little imagination.  I guarantee some, and just maybe quite a few, will stay, reactive their accounts, and play -- and those that do will likely draw friends to play AoC with them, as well.
    Ain't rocket science.

    Check out the video interview with Craig Morrison, i think you'll find that they're going to do this.

     

    I know what Craig said.  To clarify my point a bit more, I think FunCom should have reversed it, e.g., doing a "Welcome Back" first, versus the "free trial."  Thinking further on this, however, FunCom's reasoning may be that they quite arguably have a much better chance of getting more former players back to the game -- and keeping them -- after the "5" update.  My personal update: I've returned to the game as of last week with a 3 month subscription.  News at 11.

     

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