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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.
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?
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