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Age of Conan: Unchained: Fourth Anniversary Interview with Craig Morrison

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,581MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It's hard to believe that it's been four years (on May 18th) since Funcom's Age of Conan launched. We caught up with Game Director Craig Morrison to talk about where AoC has been and where it's headed. Check it out and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.

MMORPG: What are your memories of launch? At that time what was the best part of the game for you?

Craig Morrison: I wasn't actually on the team when it launched, so I was a spectator and player. Some of us on the Anarchy Team at the time were busy playing through the content, just like the hordes of players that descended on Hyboria at the start. I think we were all a little overwhelmed at how successful the game had been at attracting players. While of course, it was those expectations that ultimately left some players feeling that the launch hadn't delivered, it was still quite an amazing accomplishment for a studio of our size. I think the only games that sold more copies that year were the Sims and Spore, so for me, stepping into that situation, and managing such expectations from so many people after the launch, was quite challenging. I went from managing two teams of fifteen people or so (Anarchy Online and Pets Versus Monsters) to heading up a project with over two hundred staff. So the game has been a huge part of my life for over four years now, it's been an amazing journey.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Age of Conan: Four Year Anniversary Interview with Craig Morrison.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    I have to agree with Craig, I still think AOC is the benchmark for graphics, same goes for the sound, its the single best score of any mmo to date without question.

    Interesting interview overall even though I don't play AOC anymore:)

     



     

  • BarCrowBarCrow Tampa, FLPosts: 2,212Member

    I agree..AoC is still the top for Graphics and music ..

    Though TSW seems okay on general graphics and the sound and ambience is really really good....it could use AoCs animations for sure.

     

     

  • BigHatLoganBigHatLogan Bellingham, WAPosts: 688Member

    "single server technology" for the dreamworld engine.  Sounds like they are considering moving all their servers into a big shard like EVE.  If the dreamworld engine can handle that then I could see an AoC renaissance.   Sounds cool. 

    Are you a Pavlovian Fish Biscuit Addict? Get Help Now!
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    I will play no more MMORPGs until somethign good comes out!

  • CujoSWAoACujoSWAoA Nooo, AKPosts: 1,781Member

    Morrison has done well since taking over AoC.

    Its really a great themepark MMORPG.

  • DJJazzyDJJazzy louisville, COPosts: 2,053Member

    Still the best looking mmo out there in my opinion.

  • marz.at.playmarz.at.play Mississauga, ONPosts: 912Member

    Great game if you subscribe, otherwise the F2P model is essentially a trial up to max lvl 80, then pay if you want to continue playing. Shame really as that is what's preventing me from coming back full time. Being a former subscriber I was hoping the F2P model would be more similar to LOTRO or even better, Aion.

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  • pasarmalampasarmalam klPosts: 7Member

    LOVED AOC PVP SO MUCH :) graphics AWSOME . loved the mini games.unfortunately I tried aion when AOC was going down.. nvr looked back but I wish i had more people back then to gank :P so had to leave due to dead servers.

    Miss all my chars had a blast with my Hox .. 

    Hope ncsoft comes out with another game like AOC it would be so awsome.

     

     

     

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,142Member Uncommon

    Despite so many problems at start and for long time after ... I enjoyed really a lot Aoc. But after returned after long time I do not have any feeling toward Aoc any more. Guess also because many better games with better graphics (not to mention despite this virtually no lag which plagued Aoc client), virtually no bugs, ... appeared (Rift, Swtor, ...). But what I really hated was for my mele alts to spend FIVE (as I remember) buttons for directional combat instead for spells. And spells or abilities had nothing special, just button mashing. In other games one must really calculate and plan what use in which order, .... However have enjoyed really a lot at time.



     

  • paul43paul43 OsloPosts: 119Member Uncommon

    No teases for the adventure zone? Bad Craig!

  • kevjardskevjards carlislePosts: 1,463Member

    Here's a thought,given all the knowledge and what went wrong with AOC launch,what about a follow up mmo with all those lovely fatalities.only this time a lot more polished than the release was .now would'nt that be great..i stopped playing at 7xlvl 80.

    still by far the best looking mmo on the go,and i used to love the dungeons.p.s your f2p model sux.but i did sub for 3 yrs.not bad,normally i stick with mmo's i like for 2 yrs.only other game to hold my attention for that long was lotro..been playing that since  release.

  • Insane666Insane666 gdanskPosts: 66Member Uncommon

    @ above poster, craig morrison and whole FC finnancial division:




    AoC's f2p model indeed sux @$$ really bad, the model in AO is only a tad better, if FC would implement something more like, lets say, Fallen Earth ( or any other simmillar in a few other games ) you would attract way more players, wich i wish especially to my beloved AO

    Games previously played: AO, AoC, Aion, AoW, Eve, SWTor, WaR, STO, TSW, DCUO, FE, BP, ProjectEntropia, FootballSuperstars!

  • Insane666Insane666 gdanskPosts: 66Member Uncommon

    ps. i say this as a serveral years long FC customer, who spent on Funcoms game's box prices+subscription rates allone something arround 2k euro's, not some1 who just wants it all for free

    ( sorry for double post, w.e. i did it just wasnt showing the post scriptum in the post above, so i had to divide it in two )

    Games previously played: AO, AoC, Aion, AoW, Eve, SWTor, WaR, STO, TSW, DCUO, FE, BP, ProjectEntropia, FootballSuperstars!

  • ShadanwolfShadanwolf Posts: 2,114Member Uncommon

    Half the years is almost gone.And the crafting redesign thats been talked about for the last 12 months is.............(                ). Where ?

  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member

    Meanwhile, funcom is spending twice as much as they make. They lost 16mil in 2011.

     

    http://l3cdn.funcom.com/funcomportal/pdf/investor/2012/funcom_2011_annual_report.pdf

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,906Member Uncommon

    Four years old and it still sets the bar for a rich graphical environment.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mCalvert

    Meanwhile, funcom is spending twice as much as they make. They lost 16mil in 2011.

     

    http://l3cdn.funcom.com/funcomportal/pdf/investor/2012/funcom_2011_annual_report.pdf

    No kidding! with The Secret World still being in development. /shrug

  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member
    Originally posted by JeroKane
    Originally posted by mCalvert

    Meanwhile, funcom is spending twice as much as they make. They lost 16mil in 2011.

     

    http://l3cdn.funcom.com/funcomportal/pdf/investor/2012/funcom_2011_annual_report.pdf

    No kidding! with The Secret World still being in development. /shrug

    That doesnt make it look any better for Conan, which is slowly declining. They could shut it down today and people probably wouldnt care.

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mCalvert
    Originally posted by JeroKane
    Originally posted by mCalvert

    Meanwhile, funcom is spending twice as much as they make. They lost 16mil in 2011.

     

    http://l3cdn.funcom.com/funcomportal/pdf/investor/2012/funcom_2011_annual_report.pdf

    No kidding! with The Secret World still being in development. /shrug

    That doesnt make it look any better for Conan, which is slowly declining. They could shut it down today and people probably wouldnt care.

    Why? Just because you don't like it (I don't play it either anymore), doesn't mean they can just shut it down. There are a lot of people currently enjoying AoC since it went F2P !

    And a lot of people (me and my gf included) are going to enjoy TSW.

  • LuckyDuckyLuckyDucky Seattle, WAPosts: 269Member
    Originally posted by mCalvert
    Originally posted by JeroKane
    Originally posted by mCalvert

    Meanwhile, funcom is spending twice as much as they make. They lost 16mil in 2011.

     

    http://l3cdn.funcom.com/funcomportal/pdf/investor/2012/funcom_2011_annual_report.pdf

    No kidding! with The Secret World still being in development. /shrug

    That doesnt make it look any better for Conan, which is slowly declining. They could shut it down today and people probably wouldnt care.

    You mean you wouldn't care. A lot of people play and enjoy AoC. I would miss the game big time if it shut down, even though I am not playing much at the moment, I recognize a great Conan game when I see one. I  got a tremendous amount of enjoyment from the game the entire 2 years I played it. I want to be able to return to AoC and get back into some more Conan action. I do not want to hear the game has shut down. That would be a huge loss, we would never see anything quite like it again.

    "The Pen Is Mightier Than The Demo"

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon

    I still play Age of Conan when I get that bloodlust that lotro can't fulfill.  It's a great game.  I have to agree that the f2p isn't the best, I like lotro's or DDO's more, but I have a subscription, so it doesn't matter much.  I've done 2 beta weekends in TSW and I still like AoC a million times more.  If they would've taken the combat from AoC and added it to TSW, then we'd be talking about one of the greatest games ever :)  Shotgun blast to the head = no head left fatality YES PLEASE!  I wasn't very hyped for TSW, but it isn't the game for me.

  • WolfmeisterWolfmeister tulsa, OKPosts: 48Member

    If there arent 20 lockouts going like in The Secret World, I might come give it another try.

     

    I played right after launch but RL got in the way, had to give all gaming a break. 

     

    Got distracted with other games whenver I got back.

    We are the Founding Fathers in this virtual world in which we create. As such it seems we must do what our Founding Fathers had to do.. in order to let our fellow gamers have a fair shake.

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