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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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17. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 9, 2009, 16:58 Tumbler
 
I have been waiting for a free trial for this game a long time now, perhaps if they released one the would get more players like myself.

This is why I continue to wait to try this game again. I own the core game, have an account with a Barbarian at level 30? or so and I'd like to login and play but I'm just not up to spending any money on that.

I realize they have a HUGE game (it's like 30GB or something insane like that) but it seems like they have no interest in getting their initial buyers to come back...

I don't get it, and frankly it makes me not trust them. Even if they had a small fee for a 2 or 3 day trial...which is still ridiculous, just offer a few days free to old players and see if they come back. What in the hell do you have to lose?!

Unless all this news lately is simply paid advertising and this is your last shot at seeing if you can lure people back into pay you for a month or 2. Maybe once you get online you'll realize the servers are empty and there is even less to do now than there was when the game started...

Free trial or close your doors already.
 
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16. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 9, 2009, 14:57 Kxmode
 
I heard vitamin D milk and non-fat milk generally tastes the same. Is that right Funcom?

This comment was edited on Mar 9, 2009, 14:58.
 
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15. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 9, 2009, 02:02 mindbreak
 
I have been waiting for a free trial for this game a long time now, perhaps if they released one the would get more players like myself.

I playes EQ2 for several years cause they offered "try before you buy", well not just because of that but it really helped me decide whether to buy or not.
 
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14. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 21:11 Warskull
 
Was it me or did the stats for the gear make no sense whatsoever

It was a pretty retarded system, for the most part the stats were meaningless. PvP wise, only invulnerabilities mattered. It just ignored defense rating.

Their system was put a bunch of deceptive numbers on stuff that don't actually do anything, be as obscure as you can be, and pray the players never figure it out.
 
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13. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 19:34 wtf_man
 
Was it me or did the stats for the gear make no sense whatsoever.

Well... I wouldn't say "No sense", but "little sense", yeah.

For Armor... Defense Rating is the most important... the rest is very minor adjustments. So, if you get an item with a better Defense Rating, but not as good bonuses... it's still better, for the most part. (Unless there's some proc bonus).

That said... it's still fairly convoluted.
 
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12. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 19:32 zincthallinide
 
How about that Star Wars Galaxies?  
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11. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 18:08 Justin
 
Was it me or did the stats for the gear make no sense whatsoever.  
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10. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 18:07 Ventura
 
They deviated so far off the path of what they promised that's why they lost their playerbase

Huh? It's not why they lost me. They lost me because of overcrowding and not enough content. It certainly didn't have anything to do with gear or skills.

Oh and yeah, I did come to the game for PvE. Quit with the generalisations.
 
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9. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 17:01 Paranoid Jack
 
Damn, does this mean they have yet to fix the PvP consequences? I've been waiting to hear it's fixed... but I've seen more negative than positive since leaving the game two or three months after retail.

So does the game finally have a deterrent to stop the asshole griefers (twenty and thirty levels above me) from repeatedly spawn camping low level players?

And don't give me that QQ shit.
 
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8. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 16:50 sauron
 
Though there are some games that actually have storyline progression along with gear rewards, such as Final Fantasy XI.

Yes, FFXI is pretty gear-centric but many people also play it for the storylines, which are deep and engaging.

I still have a FFXI account but don't log on very often. My gear isn't maxed out on my leveled jobs but it's very good, to the point where obtaining more is kind of redundant. The storylines are the only reason I still play, I just keep the account to beat the new missions as they get released.
 
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Kittens!
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7. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 16:26 wtf_man
 
Well... I don't particularly care for "gear-centric" MMOs... especially ones where you have to organize a ton of people for a raid, probably get killed several times, over hours of effort, and have only a 1 in 20+ chance of getting an "uber item".

On the other hand... loot, in general still needs to be interesting. So, gear should still be important... just more accessible to the general players.

Asheron's Call still has the best loot system ever conceived, and yet uber loot is accessible to almost everyone. It's really weird that no other game copied that system, at least.

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2009, 16:27.
 
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6. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 15:11 Fion
 
Most people play for gear progression more because that's all they know rather then that's the biggest reason why they play. Why do you think so many people play WoW, the MMOG with the most fubar gear system in the genre, because it's all most people know, since the vast majority of it's players simply have never played anything else.

IMHO the problem with AoCs advancement isn't loot, I applaud the reasoning besides loot being a small part of the game and that it's PvP is the most skill oriented of it's kind (especially in 1on1 battles.)

The problem is and always has been that skills themselves have little impact. If they fix skills it will fix loot, it'll fix some of the large issues in PvP and make the game better as a whole. The problem isn't that gear doesn't matter (much,) it's that the skills behind it provide such insignificant benefit 90% of the time that the loot itself is less important as a whole, not vice versa.
 
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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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4. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 14:45 Overon
 
Loot means grinding and grinding means subscription fees. It's no wonder that they are going back to that.  
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3. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 14:10 VultureMAN
 
I think what this once again shows, is that they never listen to Beta Testers. This was all pointed out in beta and instead they did nothing. with release oncce again being immiment[it usually is once you are in Beta;) ] theylistened to the once again glamoured "mmo must haves" and said all is well.


/when PvP raids became kill the raider's clerics, there went any depth to the gaming system. Especially since they usually got one-shotted.

 
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2. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 12:29 Darkhand Brackstone
 
Reading this pisses me off because this is what they promised in the first place!

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to play AOC was that they said "Gear will make a minimal difference it will be about skill". They deviated so far off the path of what they promised that's why they lost their playerbase.

PvP system wasn't ready when the game launched, but did they work on PvP first? No they tried to fix PvE, nobody came to the game for that.

UGH, I gotta stop cause I'll rant forever.
 
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1. Re: Age of Conan Interview Mar 8, 2009, 12:20 smackdaddy
 
Seems to be on target, #1 reason I lost interest was no consiquences for your actions. Dying caused zero penalty, you generally didn't even have to travel far to get back to where you were. I literally just kept rushing large groups to kill 1 or 2 the rinse and repeate, eventually I would kill the required 20. #2 reason was map were far too linear, big zones but only one way to travel them. #3 attributes had zero impact on anything and skills were just required to handle better gear.  
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