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Age of Conan Interview

RPG Vault's Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Status Interview - Part 2 talks further with Funcom's Craig Morrison about the state of their Conan the Barbarian-themed MMORPG. One of the topics ids their efforts at improving customer retention by re-thinking the game's item-centric RPG system:

Age of Conan was designed not to be item-centric. However, our analysis showed we probably went too far in this direction, relegating gear to a position where players didn't see it as a valid progression path, which I think is a fundamental weakness for an RPG system. So, we didn't quite get it right, and what we're doing now is trying to find the correct balance and improve it to provide better progression drivers and to allow our designers to make more challenging and varied gameplay.

In addition, the players felt the core attributes (Strength, Dexterity, etc.) didn't have enough weight in their characters' progression. Again, when we broke it down, we agreed with this feedback, and set out on the RPG system revamp to address this too, with the goal of making both equipment and attributes better and more useful without going too far down the "items mean everything" road. They will mean more after the changes for sure, but hopefully, we'll find the right balance.

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5. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 14:59 beigemore
 
As sad as it is, gear progression is what most people play mmo's for.. including myself. Though there are some games that actually have storyline progression along with gear rewards, such as Final Fantasy XI.  
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