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Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures: PvP Interview

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com's Garrett Perkins recently spoke with Tim Donks, the developer in charge of PvP for Age of Conan. Some players might better know him as “Didek” from the test live forums, about the past present and future of PvP in AoC.

MMORPG.com:

First off, Tim, tell us a little about yourself. How did you end up being the dev behind the player versus player aspect of Age of Conan, and how long have you held the position? Also what are some contributions to the game you have made so far that players would be familiar with?

Tim Donks:

I am from the Netherlands and have been working for Funcom, here in Norway, for about a year and a half now. My main responsibility is the PvP in Age of Conan, and I do this as part of the live team. During the last 12 years, I have played all sorts of MMO titles. It started with Ultima Online, followed by EverQuest for quite some years - some slight detours to Anarchy Online, PlanetSide, and Dark Age of Camelot. Eventually, I ended up in World of Warcraft and Age of Conan. I actually enjoy PvP in quite a few different games; this can be in MMO games, but also in First Person Shooters, such as the Battlefield series.

I was actually following the development of Age of Conan as a fan, before I was hired by Funcom as an AI designer. When I started here at Funcom, I was put on the dynamics team. The primary responsibilities of this team involved resource gathering, tradeskills, player cities, and Massive PvP. Slowly, during the months after launch, my responsibilities shifted to a point where I was in charge of the minigames and eventually the rest of the PvP systems. Because of my previous responsibilities, most of the changes that the players are familiar with affected the sieges. An example of this is the introduction of the PvP resources. Other things that I contributed to was the reintroduction of resurrection point selection for PvP deaths, various changes done to the guards so that they are less disruptive, and the changes done to the PvP minigames. I ended up in the position late last year and hope to keep it for quite some time, as PvP is definitely one of the most interesting systems in Age of Conan!

Read the PvP Interview

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • pekshmaerpekshmaer hn, WVPosts: 58Member

    Great interview with a lot good informations XD I think AoC is the one of the greatest  improvement on market today with a lot of potential. Funcom hardly work every day and it can be seen. Recommend to anyone XD

    hmm

  • AmazingAveryAmazingAvery Age of Conan Advocate UK to CanadaPosts: 6,999Member Uncommon

    Good questions and answers. Nice to see Didek come and talk more openly.

    He has a good working reputation with the test sever crowd.

    image
    Conan Vids Corsair 800d Case/i7 930 @ 4.4ghz/EVGA x58 760 Classified/Corsair Dominator 12GB 1600/Corsair HX1000 PSU/GTX 580x2/Intel X25-M SSD/2x WD 1TB Blacks/Corsair H90 cooler / 1x 28" 1900x1200 monitor/ G-19 Keyboard/ G500 mouse

  • SertorianSertorian TrondheimPosts: 7Member

    Great ideas, now just get them into the game ;)

    And i know this is brought up everytime AoC's pvp is discussed, but the siege lag/performance is still far from good enough.

    There's so many things with AoC that i think is almost there, but not quite.

  • Evolution8Evolution8 Lancaster, CAPosts: 128Member

    Should of thought about this long time ago before 95% of the playerbase cancled , Sadly the game has awesome graphics but a bottleneck PvE system that drove everyone away, Content was promised at a certain time but never given and PvP balance was way out of wack, no communication to the players killed the game and I don't ever plan on playing again..Sorry Funcom hope you learned your lesson

  • Punkins1234Punkins1234 WuppertalPosts: 17Member

    WE WANT ASSASSIN REVAMP!

     

     

  • AmazingAveryAmazingAvery Age of Conan Advocate UK to CanadaPosts: 6,999Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Evolution8


    Should of thought about this long time ago before 95% of the playerbase cancled , Sadly the game has awesome graphics but a bottleneck PvE system that drove everyone away, Content was promised at a certain time but never given and PvP balance was way out of wack, no communication to the players killed the game and I don't ever plan on playing again..Sorry Funcom hope you learned your lesson



     

    I just want to say that I think they learned a lesson one that can be seen in the replies from the interview. Content was late coming but did come in many area's, many, many pages of patch notes attest to balance. The whole question of balance is always going to be an ongoing one, just like in every other mmorpg I play, some years later in some I still get the massive overhaul patch notes. As for communication this what we have here is something that especially from Didek has been coming out forthwith (and a lot on his own time) for well over a year now, but especially since the start of the year.

    Sure things were not perfect in the past, and sometimes right now there is not as much transparency as I would like but things are much, much better, I can only speak from experience myself, but I'm sure it goes for a few too.

    image
    Conan Vids Corsair 800d Case/i7 930 @ 4.4ghz/EVGA x58 760 Classified/Corsair Dominator 12GB 1600/Corsair HX1000 PSU/GTX 580x2/Intel X25-M SSD/2x WD 1TB Blacks/Corsair H90 cooler / 1x 28" 1900x1200 monitor/ G-19 Keyboard/ G500 mouse

  • captkeebzcaptkeebz San Marcos, CAPosts: 1Member

    I agree with Evolution8. I thought this game had been closed. Can I get my money back ;)

  • FC-FamineFC-Famine Funcom Community Manager Durham, NCPosts: 278Member
    Originally posted by fred2911


    WE WANT ASSASSIN REVAMP!
     
     

     

    It's coming! Next class focus! :)

    Glen ''Famine'' Swan
    Senior Assistant Community Manager - Funcom

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,180Member Uncommon

    Funcom games come out very rough on the edges and slowly get better.  Look at AO, once they got all the bugs out finally it was a decent game.  I think you will find that with Conan eventually.  The game is certainly much better today.

  • SurgemcgeeSurgemcgee Howell, MIPosts: 1Member

    I think people like evolution8 were hurt by the initial lies of launch, but don't bad mouth Funcom, they have shown dedication to their games and deserve a chance to make good on there promises. I want to know if there is  Directx 10 progress being made.

    GODD WORK FUNCOM! Your efforts are appreciated.

  • AmazingAveryAmazingAvery Age of Conan Advocate UK to CanadaPosts: 6,999Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by FC-Famine

    Originally posted by fred2911


    WE WANT ASSASSIN REVAMP!
     
     

     

    It's coming! Next class focus! :)



     

    Awesome!!

    image
    Conan Vids Corsair 800d Case/i7 930 @ 4.4ghz/EVGA x58 760 Classified/Corsair Dominator 12GB 1600/Corsair HX1000 PSU/GTX 580x2/Intel X25-M SSD/2x WD 1TB Blacks/Corsair H90 cooler / 1x 28" 1900x1200 monitor/ G-19 Keyboard/ G500 mouse

  • seawolf1seawolf1 marietta, OHPosts: 5Member

    PvP is a lot of fun in AOC.  Overall i think classes or probably as balanced as any game I've played.  I like the mini games when I can get in without being in some pug vs premade.

    Larger minis would be fun. 

    Sieges are the biggest disappointment in the game for me.  Disappointing because after a year + of playing I've only been able to get into like two.  My choice is to either live without Sieges or join one of the 2 or 3 zerg guilds which are full of asshats.

  • PVP is not my thing personally, I could live without anything other than the minigames, but it is good to see an indepth and frank interview. Maybe a little narrow in focus and I can't say I agree with all his opinions, but like I said I am not a real PVP fan so that is probably not strange :p

  • Punkins1234Punkins1234 WuppertalPosts: 17Member
    Originally posted by FC-Famine

    Originally posted by fred2911


    WE WANT ASSASSIN REVAMP!
     
     

     

    It's coming! Next class focus! :)

     

    oh thanks Famine ! by mitra!

    this pain will end!

    please revamp us with care and love!

  • biogermbiogerm somewherePosts: 169Member

    a few month ago ive won a 30 day free account to AoC from mmorpg.com (ty btw for that), ive gotten my pom to lvl 75 at those 30 days. the gfx was amzing,( i have a dull sli 9600 gt so no prolem on my machine side), and i have to say this game have some nice features into it. the newbie island was prob the beast part ni the game, very nice feeling around. i found the whole daily quests bit boring, but its an easy way to gain xp i guess. as for pvp,( i was on tyrany server) i found the game a bit lacking, what i mean is this. l love pvp, played gw over 4 years and counting for the single reason that u can log on and pvp whenever i want. in AoC the mini games most of the time were empty, or ive got a pug team vs. a guilds group. as for my worst time, mostly it was the random ganking anywhere on the server, with the pvp ranking lots of people just slay anything to gain pvp lvl. some guild in white sands (the low lvl pvp/pve area) just camp the boat and hide in groups. i just felt as the whole pvp ranking system made the game even more "gankfest" then it was to begin with.

    i have played open pvp worlds (perfect world for one) but even in open pvp servers there should be something that prevent people from "over pking". the murder system is not one.

     

    beside all that the cummunity was one of the worst ive ever seen in a game. not alot of people helping, tons of griefers guilds.

     

    in the end, even though the game itself worth playing, the pvp/players just didnt feel fun.

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  • konz3nkonz3n TabacoPosts: 11Member

     I also won a AoC account from their contest with Eurogamer and I thank them for that. Having intrigue by the aftermath of the launched, it had. Then I was so amazed that the game is great, not the typical mmo that you command a skill then just watch it animates. It's the first mmo I played that everything I do is have this gut feeling that you're actually doing it. And it feels great, although little downside is the account they distributed is EU accounts, and my ping is higher on EU servers w/c brought me to play US. Great thing is I'd tried it before jumping into the game. Unlike my bad experienced in WAR is worst of the worst. A F2P mmo can even match w/ WAR's gameplay and overall package. 

    I played AoC in HD4670. Now, I'm saving money for new videocard, I don't want to play AoC in limited visuals. I wann aplay it on all max settings. Hopefully this Holiday I may be able to grab a HD5850 or settle for the HD4870. Yes, its cheaper because I'm not the guy  that swims with all the money in the world.

    image

  • Evolution8Evolution8 Lancaster, CAPosts: 128Member

    I lost allot of good friends by playing this game, after about 30 days it got so boring and everyone was grouped and Solo pvp was laughable cause everyone was always grouped standing around doing nothing, the Raids where bugged all to hell, after 20 attempts to kill the dragon (Can't remember it's name) 140 active members in my guild dropped to about 20, was forced to drop guild and join a more active guild, rinse and repeat tell finally no friends where playing anymore, they all moved on to other games but the core of my guild where together for 8 years and because of AoC they are all gone.

     

    Was invited back for a 14 day trial, logged in and tried to PvP but the current playerbase and all the PvP gear they had it was impossible to kill them, instantly I deleted the game cause returning players have 0 chance at survival in PvP cause the armor is way to good, giving new players no chance at gaining PvP experience and getting griefed right off the server, my assassin who use to kick ass was getting owned so hard it was pathetic, hitting people with everything i had and only taking them down maybe 20% in health and then they turn around and 3 shot me, was not good marketing to invite returning players to a slaughterfest..

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