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Age of Conan: Unchained: The Year Ahead Interview

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,638MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Last week, we featured an interview about the Age of Conan: Unchained House of Crom update. This week, we sit down with Craig Morrison again to talk about Age of Conan: Unchained and the dev team's plans for 2012. Check it out and then leave us a comment or two.

Tell us how 2011 was for Conan? What changes are you happy with?

I am very proud of what the team accomplished in 2011. It was an amazingly busy year for the game. Between the business model conversion with the new Unchained version, the Savage Coast of Turan adventure pack, and the fantastic content updates we managed with the Refuge of the Apostate, the Pai Kang Districts, and the new scaling daily instances in The Forgotten City and The Breach, we really added a massive amount of new content in 2011. The team worked amazingly hard to achieve all of that, it really was a good year for the game.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's Age of Conan: Unchained - The Year Ahead Interview.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • Destiny2010Destiny2010 bahPosts: 327Member Uncommon

    I look forward to another year of playing here, crafting seems exiting to get a new look at also.

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    When people say mmos can not look as good as single player games, they are wrong.  Age of Conan is a beautiful game.  Some games you play for a long time but you only take a screenshot or two.  With Age of Conan you're always taking screenshots because its so beautiful.

     

    When I first played this game at launch, I had massive performance issues.  But they optimized and I got a new pc, and long story short I had a nice time playing AOC till I got to end game.  Long rep grinds which aren't unique to AOC just do not hold my interest.

     

    The combat is different and fun once you get used to it.  The dismemberment and decaps were over the top in a good way though.  Nothing more satisfying that lopping the head off of your enemy, especially after a really hard won fight.  It's like the cherry on top of the ice cream....not really necessary, but satisfying in an inner child sort of way.

  • VegettoVegetto WorcesterPosts: 841Member

    I would be playing now if it wasn't for the thought that it would take me several months of levelling before i would be able to interact with other people :/

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  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Trenton, MIPosts: 684Member

    This is the problem with PvP: Incentive.

    In most games, I feel pressed into playing those horrid Battlegrounds due to their reward incentive. I view it as a cheap and lackluster solution.

    Someone needs to design the perfect World PvP game, where killing the enemy and controlling territory means something.

  • kevjardskevjards carlislePosts: 1,463Member

    Originally posted by Vegetto

    I would be playing now if it wasn't for the thought that it would take me several months of levelling before i would be able to interact with other people :/


     

    it does'nt take that long to lvl and once you hit lvl 30 there is whats called offline levelling..it gives you i think 1 lvl every 3-4 days..you could have a lvl 80 in no time at all.

  • BlackbrrdBlackbrrd KongsbergPosts: 811Member

    Originally posted by Vegetto

    I would be playing now if it wasn't for the thought that it would take me several months of levelling before i would be able to interact with other people :/

    Buy an account, there should be plenty of them around! ;)

    Other than that, the leveling experience in AoC is very, very good with the right class. It took me 9 days /played taking my time three years ago, it probably takes 6-7 days /played now if you rush it. You can buy xp-potions if you are really impatient.

    When you get your first character to 50, you get a free level 50 character of your choice (at least as a subscriber), so if you get bored by the first class you pick, you can switch after level 50. :)

  • Dren_UtogiDren_Utogi OuterSpacePosts: 1,713Member Uncommon

    Game is utter garbage.

    reviews are !@#$ing stupid. Play what you love.

  • NephaeriusNephaerius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,539Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Vegetto

    I would be playing now if it wasn't for the thought that it would take me several months of levelling before i would be able to interact with other people :/


     

     Actually you can hit cap pretty fast.  I only played around launch and up to 6 months afterwards and I think I had 3 or 4 80's already and most were geared out in T2 (the best available raid gear at the time).

    Steam: Neph

  • MacroHardMacroHard Fairfax, VAPosts: 104Member

    haven't played the game, but the graphics are well done based on screenshots.  Also, they make me want to play just to explore.  Unfortunately, that's not enough.  I wonder what the player base size is for AoC?

  • kevjardskevjards carlislePosts: 1,463Member

    Originally posted by MacroHard

    haven't played the game, but the graphics are well done based on screenshots.  Also, they make me want to play just to explore.  Unfortunately, that's not enough.  I wonder what the player base size is for AoC?

    i,ve heard something around 75-100k before f2p..could be more now..well should be..there are'nt many servers but they hold a lot of peeps so no shortages of people to grp with.and the classes are fun so peeps keep makin chars to lvl..i got 6xlvl 80 has i said in previous post.

  • cippalippacippalippa MilanoPosts: 109Member

    @I_Return:




    I think the opposite, AoC is tghe most underrated fantasy game on western market.




    The good:











    • best fantasy IP, mature public oriented, no fluffy/pointed ears, non perverted looking children avatars, no dwarfs, no flying shitcopters







    • great (really great!!!) visuals and ubertastics musics, tho for the visuals you might need a bit of computer power to play at max settings







    • great classes, great lore behind and different play style







    • nice PVE encounters







    • combat is at least a bit action oriented, not the greatest, could be worked







    • gore, decapitations, mutilations, head cracking







    • boobs







    • zombies












    the bad:












    • slow slow slow developers







    • deaf deaf deaf community manager/devs







    • greedy greedy greedy f2p model, some prices for cash shop items regarding especially quality of life are obscene, and should be included in the core features for the subscribers







    • the game evolves very slowly, time pass by, and looks old and older as the game directors don't thinks that game they designed 4+ years ago deserve an update to some more modern paradigm of MMO gameplay, interface, technology, rule-sets. Hopefully this year should rain action oriented MMOs and we will see some more competitors on the market and maybe, just maybe, they will awake and stop chocking the good of this game.












    the neutral that you should know:







    PS: MMORPG.COM PLEASE FIX THIS EDITOR, OR JUST CUT THE CRAP AND USE A NORMAL EDITOR IF YOU CANNOT SET AN ADVANCED ONE IN ORDER TO WORK CORRECTLY!!!!

     








    • this is a PVE oriented game, PVP is secondary








     




     

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    AoC is dying again.

     

    Seriously. Let it give a rest, this game it's way past it's best times.

  • NethermancerNethermancer Toronto, ONPosts: 520Member

    I loved this game until Morrison took over. I left when he put out tag, story time and horse racing instead of fixing the HUGE amount of bugs and bad game design issues.

    Playing: PO, EVE
    Waiting for: WoD
    Favourite MMOs: VG, EVE, FE and DDO
    Any person who expresses rage and loathing for an MMO is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

  • paul43paul43 OsloPosts: 120Member Uncommon

    It's a good game, unique next gen combat and lots of blood and gore. Getting groups for low group content is a problem as it is in most other mature mmorpgs. Most people are at lvl 80.




    The good thing is that Funcom has not increased the level cap, so once your 80 all the content is available.(Five tiers of raids, and 20 or so dungeons) The amount of armor sets available at 80 is huge, and now with vanity armor it's rare to see two players looking the same. Armor variation at lower levels are a little better than before  with vanity armor, and itemshop gear.




    The things I see as the biggest problems are that the economy is broken, there is only a few things you can farm and sell, items you obtain from (solo)dungeons or while out questing is for the most part worthless.




    This means that normal players usually dont make any money except from quest rewards and they think twice about everything they buy, which means there is very little activity at the trader.




    It also takes a long time to catch up, to get gear and learn your class and game mechanics we're probably talking 6 months+ before you can start raiding the higher raids T3+. (Unless you get considerable amounts of help gearing up and learning the game).




    In other games it usually takes less time before you can start raiding on the newest content, about 2 months tops after reaching max level.




    For casual players there's not that much to do after T2, so there is a real need to get some more casual friendly content. Hopefully a new T3 casual raid instance, as Toth Amon isnt suited in my eyes atleast.

    What I hope they fix:

    - Economy / crafting  (What I've heard about crafting so far sounds good).

    - Make sure all NM dungeons (Khitai) are available to beginner players, currently there's atleast 3 that's not used. Because of bugs, or too hard. They shold also consider making low tiered epic items drop rarly from NM dungeons.

    Make sure there's progres past T2 for casual players, make sure that dungeon is FUN too. (ie: Not Toth Amon's).

    Allow people to gear up faster, and in more ways, ie: crafting and more faction gear/ or token gear.

     

     



     

  • lalartulalartu SeoulPosts: 444Member

    Originally posted by precious328

    This is the problem with PvP: Incentive.

    In most games, I feel pressed into playing those horrid Battlegrounds due to their reward incentive. I view it as a cheap and lackluster solution.

    Someone needs to design the perfect World PvP game, where killing the enemy and controlling territory means something.

    ahem...you mean sort of like DAOC?

     

    it's been out for ages, mate:)

    Join me on Twitter @WhatDaMath
    http://twitter.com/WhatDaMath
    I review lots of indie games and MMORPGs

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,781Member Uncommon

    all i want is voice overs outside of Tortage.... hell funcom, i would voice over all characters for beer, males and females

    image
  • Dren_UtogiDren_Utogi OuterSpacePosts: 1,713Member Uncommon

    Let me rephrase what i said :

    Funcom is garbage.

    PVP is a joke.

    The PVE is a joke.

    The community is complete garbage WoW rejects

    If that what your into, a crap developers catering to the bottom of the barrel, more power to you,

    reviews are !@#$ing stupid. Play what you love.

  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    Sounds good, I'm looking forward to see what they come up with this year:)

  • ShadanwolfShadanwolf Posts: 2,114Member Uncommon

    The greatest RVR game system ever... Dark age of Camelot stands as a wellspring of ideas for AOC....and is consistently ignored by Funcom,Bioware,Trion and others.

    Crafting has been a disappointment since beta.A big disappointment. I will play the game with all its shortcommings WHEN they stop talking and start doing something to fix crafting.

  • wormedwormed Calgary, ABPosts: 374Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by precious328

    This is the problem with PvP: Incentive.

    In most games, I feel pressed into playing those horrid Battlegrounds due to their reward incentive. I view it as a cheap and lackluster solution.

    Someone needs to design the perfect World PvP game, where killing the enemy and controlling territory means something.




     

    Check out Dominus. It is a PvP-centric game where crafted items will always be the best items around, plus there is decay. Thus, making crafting and material gathering extremely and always important. Also, at the highest level it is all open world combat. Essentially, DAoC was a huge influence.

    Check it out.

  • DJJazzyDJJazzy louisville, COPosts: 2,053Member

    Originally posted by I_Return

    Let me rephrase what i said :

    Funcom is garbage.

    PVP is a joke.

    The PVE is a joke.

    The community is complete garbage WoW rejects

    If that what your into, a crap developers catering to the bottom of the barrel, more power to you,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

  • KaezKaez Nepean, ONPosts: 80Member
    Just finished playing for the first time and I have to say I'm impressed. Combat (combos, no-tab target required, etc.) Was a lot of fun. A nice change. Maxed gfx look really good too. I might play this a little more ;)
  • smh_alotsmh_alot Area 51Posts: 976Member
    Originally posted by I_Return

    Let me rephrase what i said :
    Funcom is garbage.
    PVP is a joke.
    The PVE is a joke.
    The community is complete garbage WoW rejects
    If that what your into, a crap developers catering to the bottom of the barrel, more power to you,

     

    ? Shrug. Yeah, well, to you, maybe. To me, not at all: I had an awesome time in AoC. After the first months, game played as smoothly to me as other MMO's, I hugely enjoyed the PvE on my melee combat chars, graphics, animation and atmosphere were top level to me incl some of the best ingame music I've heard in MMO's, and the server I was on was awesome, with many great people on it. Definitely not the bottom of the barrel, I think AoC might even make my personal MMO top 5 in terms of gaming fun I had.
  • GetzMangoGetzMango CT USAPosts: 178Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by I_Return

    Let me rephrase what i said :

    Funcom is garbage.

    PVP is a joke.

    The PVE is a joke.

    The community is complete garbage WoW rejects

    If that what your into, a crap developers catering to the bottom of the barrel, more power to you,

    You don't have to like it, but to make hyperbole filled statements like this is just silly and it makes you look childish. <shrug>

    I played at head start, quit after a year or so, came back recently and have been enjoying it quite a bit. It's not prefect, far from it, no game is. It is however worth my time and money for the time being.  I'm happy to see things are still happening, slowly... but happening the same.

    +2bits

    Every MMORPG is AWESOME, until it's released!
    I don't want a game so much as I want a WORLD!
    --
    o·pin·ion –noun
    1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
    2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

  • MickyBoozerMickyBoozer Portland, ORPosts: 7Member

    Take away reward and players don't actually seem to PVP simple for the enjoyment of it ." -Craig Morrison

    This mentality is why the pvp has been such a huge failure in Age of Conan, Craig doesn't like PvP. At no point EVER was effort put into improving fair and balanced skill based PvP after Craig took over the game. Shrines of Bori was designed to allow small groups to PVE FARM for pvp gear that is BETTER than gear you can get from actually pvping, just let that sink in for a second... you have to farm PvE resources for hundreds of hours while avoiding actual PvP to have the best PvP gear in the game.

    Over 3 years we have had ONE battleground map added to our options while they have developed four entire tiers of raid content and over twelve unique six man dungeons. Every class revamp has dumbed the game down to be less skill based and more gear based.

    The "CC Revamp" was nothing more then buffing Range class CCs and nerfing Mele class CCs so that even if you play better and perfectly execute your CC on a mele class the Range class will ALWAYS land his CC first even if he is slower then you.

    Hey Craig, tell us about the Ranger class some more, the only one you play. Tell us why you considered melee CC canceling an exploit, but Ranger combo molding Traps into their Damage combo cast bars is NOT an exploit? Please explain to me how Rangers combo molding CC is okay but melee combo canceling is not okay? Please explain how a instant cast 360* degree root or knockback that can be MOLDED INTO ANOTHER COMBO WITH ZERO ANIMATION is balanced, but you had to remove Barbarian stunning punch 2 from the game, even with a prestep added to it because it was "too strong". Tell us why your development team banned people from the test live forums for discussing issues with the ranger class during the trial phase of the CC revamp.

    Your Ranger pet class and your PvP dev's Gaurdian pet class revamps, followed by a CC revamp from Devs who DON'T EVEN PLAY Barbarian Conqueror or Bear Shaman cut your PvP population in half last year. You let rangers shoot through walls for 3 months... WHAT THE F***?

    So what did you guys do to fix this? (Besides actually admiting your mistakes and rebalancing the classes) You put out a "hardcore pvp ruleset" server. Is that really what happened though? Looking at it closely, you guys ALSO put out the f2p item store with that same patch though. You guys ALSO put PvP gear, AA experience, Faction Rep, and Skill Books for sale on all at the same time you launched this new server. The new pvp servers were cash cows to close the quarter out and pay for your MMO The Secret World and you know it. If you cared about creating world PvP you would have put the hardcore ruleset onto the existing PvP servers. Instead you wanted to sucker your long term PvPers into paying you more money because they were bored with your lack of content. Getting people to pay you more because they didn't recieve the service they paid for in the first place, truely a Devil's trick from a scumbag developer.

    The US servers' Pvp is on its deathbed now as a result of your short sighted actions these past two years. I know you are bad at Pvp and just don't get it, you never will. I know you have preasure on your from people holding the money, and being dishonest and manipulating your customers makes you look good to those snakes. You had an amazing core of a game that set the standard for melee combat in mmos, but were so damn clueless you didn't even know how to play it, much less develop content with meaning and balance that fit inside of it.

    -80 Barbarian, Conqueror, Bearshaman, Gaurdian, Ranger



     

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