Age of Conan feature discussion

Fedaykin98 wrote:

The more I think about it, LOTRO's generous beta system is a great idea, not just because it helps guarantee a smooth "launch", but because it builds crucial word-of-mouth. Here's hoping Funcom feels the same way with Conan.

How is LOTRO going? I'm not all that excited about it, so I think I'm just going to skip it and wait with twiddly thumbs for the next train.

I opted out of LOTRO after playing for 10 minutes and thinking it was exactly like WoW, but with LOTR's flavor (and I'm not a big fan of LOTR's flavor).

Conan, please invite me soon! I long to crush my enemies...

Too early for me to get excited about. And October launch just screams they'll rush it for Christmas even if it's not ready in my opinion. I personally think huge open betas are a bad idea financially for the MMOG market as your core players will play the beta for 2-3 months and by the time the game comes some of them will already be bored and only play for a month or two. I guess this can be minimized by limiting beta levels to say a third of the 'live' levels.

A friend from work mentioned this to me this weekend. The FAQ has some interesting highlights that are definitely worth exploring. The combat system says that you "perform the strikes yourself in one of six different directions." It'll be interesting to see how they implement this. It kind of sounds like how the lightsaber fighting worked in Jedi Outcast...only hopefully better. Mounted combat could be pretty fun. These "battle formations" could lend some great tactics to cooperative play.

There's definitely no chance I'll be upgrading to Vista anytime soon. But they have said the title will play on XP so if it still functions well on my rig then I'll probably take a peek and see how it is.

DeepSea wrote:

There's definitely no chance I'll be upgrading to Vista anytime soon. But they have said the title will play on XP so if it still functions well on my rig then I'll probably take a peek and see how it is.

Good to hear from you, Deep! I've just today come to think that DirectX 9.0 versions of games will be standard for a long while - any game that wants to succeed has to support it, and since by far more customers will be on 9.0 rather than 10, I expect that we'll see well-supported versions for 9.0. The whole idea of Dell reversing themselves on their phase-out of XP due to customer demand is unprecedented, imho.

That said, I dunno how Conan or many of the other games I'm anticipating will run on my current computer...and whether my better half will be understanding of an upgrade.

I'm not upgrading to Vista anytime soon either, my pc's running fine on XP and I have no need to try to "improve" it.

The two games I'm most interested in that will hopefully have full DX9 support alongside DX10 support are Hellgate: London (we wants it! we neeeeeds it! must...have... the Precious!) and Conan. So hopefully they do the sensible thing and make sure the games run great and look good on DX9.

There's a good preview article up at Eurogamer. Lots of info on what the finished product will look like. I'm interested all over again.

Guilds, for example, will be able to build their own cities in the game - an endeavour which will require that they collect all the resources, such as wood and stone, required to create the various buildings. Castles, too, can be built and occupied by guilds - and can also be besieged, in massive set-piece PvP battles which incorporate trebuchets, catapults and legions of footsoldiers.

We're going to need to get on that. GWJ will need a castle.

I find the guild housing/wars aspects of AoC to be very interesting.

Is it too early to discuss guild names? It occurs to me that a guild name counts for a lot, and that one leaves the door open for any future eventualities by choosing a good guild name, because there are bound to be cool people in the world of AoC who have not yet heard of GWJ. Some of them will be idiots like myself who care about guild names (much like I foolishly care about the way my WoW characters look, and eschew armor that I deem unfashionable - which is hell on a Paladin, brother).

For instance, if I was looking for a WoW guild, I wouldn't join a guild with a mis-spelled name even if it was founded by Miss November. Similarly, I wouldn't join a guild with a totally lame name, or one that was a little TOO serious. I would consider a name that appealed to me from an RP perspective, like Servants of Anubis or something. I would definitely join a guild with a name that demonstrated a sense of fun/humor, like (real guild names here) Goonies Never Say Die or (best name ever) I Just Crit Myself. There are also some fantastic drinking-inspired guild names like Guardians of the Keg or Crusaders of Drunken Might, but I don't know if everyone is cool with that.

I know the LOTRO guild has a name that fits the lore and (once decoded) is also funny; I think that's probably a good idea. If we need to reference GWJ, I'd suggest something like Disciples of Stan or Guardians of the Weiner. I could totally be an Inebriated Pastafarian.

Gah this game needs to hurry up and come out or have a fileplanet beta or SOMETHING. Playing LOTRO is killing me when I want to be hacking things to pieces with a giant sword and splattering my screen with blood! The more I hear about this game the more I want to play it. I am just hoping Funcom learned their lesson with AO and manages a smooth launch. I really want this to do well as I would love to see more violent and "adult" themed MMOs. I can only pick flowers and deliver pies for so long before I start mourning the "good ole days" of MMOs when you could actually kill quest NPCs if they annoyed you...

I also read somewhere that they may have a more hardcore ruleset server with a bit more open PvP. Anyone that would be interested in something like this should they have something available at release? I know these types of servers tend to attract the worst parts of the MMO crowd but I just love open PvP. Something about knowing that every single time I bump into someone that there may or may not be hostilities just makes the game feel more.. "real"?! I am not really interested in killing other players maliciously I just love the whole "tense" social dynamic. I will most likely be on this type of server if there is one at release.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I'd suggest something like Disciples of Stan.

That's awesome.

mven wrote:

Something about knowing that every single time I bump into someone that there may or may not be hostilities just makes the game feel more.. "real"?! I am not really interested in killing other players maliciously I just love the whole "tense" social dynamic. I will most likely be on this type of server if there is one at release.

That is something that interests me intellectually as well, but my one experiment in the realm I abandoned before gathering any real data. Heinlein suggested that a society in which anyone might kill anyone else at the drop of a hat actually becomes rigorously polite, but I don't think that is the case in a virtual society.

This topic probably deserves its own thread, but my short answer would be that unless they offer free transfers to non Free For All PvP servers, I wouldn't want my main and all my friends to be on one. On the other hand, there are tons of annoying beggars and such in WoW that one would love to kill if only you could attack your own faction.

GWJ will need a castle.

Goodgerstan Keep!

Come AoC, I really can't see myself playing on anything except a PvP (pref. FFA PvP, not factional/racial/level restricted/etc) server. I really miss playing just straight up PvP based games (UO, Lineage/LII, AC/DarkTide, etc). In a combat based game like Conan, this absolutely must be the norm imho.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

That is something that interests me intellectually as well, but my one experiment in the realm I abandoned before gathering any real data. Heinlein suggested that a society in which anyone might kill anyone else at the drop of a hat actually becomes rigorously polite, but I don't think that is the case in a virtual society.

See, for example, feudal Japan.

The difference is that when death is a temporary condition, it's much less of a deterrent. The better tey do at making death stick, the better it will be, IMHO.

Another problem is levels. If your game has levels, then it's not a true free for all. It's big fish abuse little fish. If everybody could trully kill everybody, then perhaps a full open PvP would work, for once.

wordsmythe wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

That is something that interests me intellectually as well, but my one experiment in the realm I abandoned before gathering any real data. Heinlein suggested that a society in which anyone might kill anyone else at the drop of a hat actually becomes rigorously polite, but I don't think that is the case in a virtual society.

See, for example, feudal Japan.

The difference is that when death is a temporary condition, it's much less of a deterrent. The better tey do at making death stick, the better it will be, IMHO.

...and the early American West.

BlackSheep wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

That is something that interests me intellectually as well, but my one experiment in the realm I abandoned before gathering any real data. Heinlein suggested that a society in which anyone might kill anyone else at the drop of a hat actually becomes rigorously polite, but I don't think that is the case in a virtual society.

See, for example, feudal Japan.

The difference is that when death is a temporary condition, it's much less of a deterrent. The better tey do at making death stick, the better it will be, IMHO.

...and the early American West.

I often wonder what the West would have been like if there weren't any drugs or alcohol available.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
mven wrote:

Something about knowing that every single time I bump into someone that there may or may not be hostilities just makes the game feel more.. "real"?! I am not really interested in killing other players maliciously I just love the whole "tense" social dynamic. I will most likely be on this type of server if there is one at release.

That is something that interests me intellectually as well, but my one experiment in the realm I abandoned before gathering any real data. Heinlein suggested that a society in which anyone might kill anyone else at the drop of a hat actually becomes rigorously polite, but I don't think that is the case in a virtual society.

This topic probably deserves its own thread, but my short answer would be that unless they offer free transfers to non Free For All PvP servers, I wouldn't want my main and all my friends to be on one. On the other hand, there are tons of annoying beggars and such in WoW that one would love to kill if only you could attack your own faction.

We just need to only look to UO to see if allowing people to kill each other at the drop of the hat made for polite people and the death penalty was fairly stiff to many people.

maladen wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:
mven wrote:

Something about knowing that every single time I bump into someone that there may or may not be hostilities just makes the game feel more.. "real"?! I am not really interested in killing other players maliciously I just love the whole "tense" social dynamic. I will most likely be on this type of server if there is one at release.

That is something that interests me intellectually as well, but my one experiment in the realm I abandoned before gathering any real data. Heinlein suggested that a society in which anyone might kill anyone else at the drop of a hat actually becomes rigorously polite, but I don't think that is the case in a virtual society.

This topic probably deserves its own thread, but my short answer would be that unless they offer free transfers to non Free For All PvP servers, I wouldn't want my main and all my friends to be on one. On the other hand, there are tons of annoying beggars and such in WoW that one would love to kill if only you could attack your own faction.

We just need to only look to UO to see if allowing people to kill each other at the drop of the hat made for polite people and the death penalty was fairly stiff to many people.

I was super nice in UO (with the character I cared about)!

wordsmythe wrote:
maladen wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:
mven wrote:

Something about knowing that every single time I bump into someone that there may or may not be hostilities just makes the game feel more.. "real"?! I am not really interested in killing other players maliciously I just love the whole "tense" social dynamic. I will most likely be on this type of server if there is one at release.

That is something that interests me intellectually as well, but my one experiment in the realm I abandoned before gathering any real data. Heinlein suggested that a society in which anyone might kill anyone else at the drop of a hat actually becomes rigorously polite, but I don't think that is the case in a virtual society.

This topic probably deserves its own thread, but my short answer would be that unless they offer free transfers to non Free For All PvP servers, I wouldn't want my main and all my friends to be on one. On the other hand, there are tons of annoying beggars and such in WoW that one would love to kill if only you could attack your own faction.

We just need to only look to UO to see if allowing people to kill each other at the drop of the hat made for polite people and the death penalty was fairly stiff to many people.

I was super nice in UO (with the character I cared about)!

And I made nice with MDK guild so that I would stop getting Pked... it wasnt a matter of being nice or being able to do it... my computer made getting PKed very real for me...

I believe Age of Conan will turn out to be a game which does not deliver a proper MMORPG experience. It will have the initial "hey this is cool" influx of players, but the tide will fall as quickly as it has risen. The combat mechanics will get stale, and there will be no depth/polish to the rest of the game to fall back on. Warhammer Online will be the next big thing in the MMORPG genre, not this.

I think of the two Conan had by far the most potential. I just don't think Funcom will be able to pull off everything they've promised. Warhammer I think will be the bigger commercial success. The Conan IP simply doesn't have as many hardcore diehard fans as Warhammer. I don't think either game will do ridiculously well in the long run. I think Warhammer will run really well and be mostly functional at release. Mythic did a great job of getting DAoC up and running and mostly bug free at release (I am discounting the fact that most of the content was missing and there were HUGE balance issues). I think Conan at release will be missing a ton of features and be fairly riddled with bugs. I would say something close to the level of what was seen in Vanguard. Of course once I have toyed around with either game in beta I will be able to form a more definite opinion. There isn't a huge amount of information about either game thus far which IMO is not a good thing.

As far as the longterm is concerned Warhammer will be commercially successful imo as it will appeal to a large number of DAoC fans as well as the Warhammer crowd. A lot of people do like the whole RVR thing (I think it sucks) so I can see these folks liking the similar PvP game Warhammer will provide. I don't however think this will be "the next big thing". I don't think Warhammer will have enough going for it to differentiate it enough from WoW to attract a large number of fans outside of its core group. I also don't think Mythic is as good as Blizzard so I do not think they will be able to deliver a more impressive game. I know given the option to continue playing a game where I already have a well developed character vs playing a game that is extremely similar starting from scratch is a pretty easy one for me.

Longterm for Conan is kinda up in the air IMO. Funcom has managed to ressurect AO and keep it up and functional over the years so they may be able to pull off a bit of financial success with Conan as well. If they have another launch like AO's I think at best this game could see success on the level of EVE. If they manage a clean and successful launch I think this game could hold a steady fan base. The environment itself is just so much more appealing (at least imo). I would love to play a more "adult" themed MMO (no I am not referring to boobies!). I think a gritty harsh world and supporting cast would be awesome. I think the Conan IP and Funcom are both capable of delivering on that front. The big question here is whether or not the gameplay and/or amount of content can support it. *shrug*

On the PvP discussion I think people do tend to be a bit more polite on an FFA PvP server. There is always that unattractive "ganker" element and the people trying to prove how "l33t" they are by playing on a more hardcore ruleset. This is also typically WAY more prevalent at lower levels. On most FFA PvP servers I have tried the further I have advanced the more politics tends to replace random ganking. Politics meaning that you kill members of certain enemy guilds on site, avoid pissing off guilds you have no prior relationship with, and tend to help (or at least form some sort of non-aggression type agreement) guilds you are on friendly terms with. You still have the gankers but they are fewer in number or members of guilds that everyone kills on sight. It is not always a wonderful happy experience on these types of servers but to me the added politics and strife just keeps it interesting. I have yet to play an MMO where the AI didn't get stale after a while.

mven wrote:

I also don't think Mythic is as good as Blizzard so I do not think they will be able to deliver a more impressive game. I know given the option to continue playing a game where I already have a well developed character vs playing a game that is extremely similar starting from scratch is a pretty easy one for me.

There are a lot of improvements in Warhammer Online over the WoW generation of games. It may be "extremely similar" in setting, and in the fact that it IS a MMORPG, you know, with leveling and inventory and quests, but they're really trying to break the mold. Check out some of their developer videos.

I am looking forward to AoC and I actually believe that those that can handle the game will continue to play it over Warhammer. From what I read on Warhammer, even though the storyline has always appealed to me, I think it's just going to end up being just another cookie cutter MMO underneath all armies and unique command interface. I just don't see a whole lot of meat to the game. While I actually see myself getting immersed in Age of Conan.

I should also point out that guilds are extremely important in Age of Conan. You want to be part of a larger guild. Essentially taking your own guild, in this case GWJ, and make alliances with other guilds to become one massive guild. The larger the armies the more the benefits and the more powerful your army is when competing for player owned land. I see the game being a Warlord in charge of a group of smaller Lords who all have their own guilds. A true feudal liege system. Remember Asheron's Call in something similar but I don't know if there are stat bonuses for larger pyramids of followers.

So anyways should think about joining a larger faction for added kick in AoC. I know my personal guild will be doing exactly that and already have a SWG guild which we know that we are going to join up with. Sub-guilds within mega guilds.

kilroy0097 wrote:

I am looking forward to AoC and I actually believe that those that can handle the game will continue to play it over Warhammer.

I don't think anyone will have a problem handling AoC really. Unless you mean putting up with a game that is generally subpar just to experience some degree of uniqueness while hoping the Devs eventually iron everything out (which is possible as they did a pretty good job of that with AO). Go watch all of the Conan videos and then consider the fact that the game is a lil over 3 months from release. The videos are displaying pretty much the same character or two running around just mowing down mobs. The gore which they are making such a big deal about looks terrible. It's the exact same blood splatter with every single hit. It looks worse than old school mortal kombat blood. Character/NPC collision detection looks pretty bad as well if it even exists... There is very little if anything in the way of group combat, casting, PvP, sieges, bar room brawling, etc being shown. Hell I have yet to see a video of a female character model in action... Etc etc. These are all things that should be well under way or completed by this point. Also a lot of the videos even with just one PC in action seem pretty choppy. This is scary considering the way AO released haha.

As far as the game being more hardcore. It really won't be imo. It has essentially the same zoned style PvP as Warhammer where you can simply avoid it if it doesn't appeal to you. Hopefully there will be FFA servers with no safe zones as this will appeal to me much more than what the regular servers will provide. Regardless one of the major appeals of Conan is that it isn't the usual Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, etc game. The world is gritty and dirty and the lore is a bit more mature than what you find in most games. The combat should be a bit more fun (at least in short doses) than the usual auto-attack and watch the mob die you find in most MMORPGs. Though from most of the reviews I have read the folks getting to try it out are saying it really amounts to about the same thing as every MMO. It just feels a little different when you are getting used to it but still has more of the overall "turn based" feel of behind the scenes dice rolling than the quicker responses and "personal" feel of the typical action game.

I dunno I am still hoping Funcom can pull this off. I guess we will soon find out for sure if they are just being sneaky and have everything under control behind the scenes. They should have learned from their experience with AO just how much a bad launch can hurt so maybe they will have the good sense to push the game back further if it is not ready for release. As hyper as I am about this game hitting the shelves so I can drop the utter boredom of LOTRO and pick up a game I am interested in again I really want them to do a good job with this one. Thus far there is very little in the way of non-tolkien-esque mmos on the US market and I really want this to do well. It's just that I am finding my faith a bit shaken the closer it gets to release : /

shihonage wrote:

There are a lot of improvements in Warhammer Online over the WoW generation of games. It may be "extremely similar" in setting, and in the fact that it IS a MMORPG, you know, with leveling and inventory and quests, but they're really trying to break the mold. Check out some of their developer videos.

I have watched a good number of the videos and aside from Paul Barnett being extremely excited about the game I really haven't seen much that is just jumping out at me as being revolutionary. They essentially have created the exact same game as everyone else and thrown in a sort of tiered battleground system? What else is really new about it? I don't really believe the whole "war is everywhere" line. I have yet to play any game with seperate PvP/PvE areas that has ever made me feel like war is anywhere much less everywhere. It essentially sounds like it will be a less fleshed out version of WoW with a tiered battleground system that does sound like it will be somewhat entertaining. It will allow you to level solely off of PvP the way DAoC does which is nice again but the "RvR" style PvP really doesn't add much more to a game than DAoC or WoW style battlegrounds do in my opinion. It always seems to make PvP into a side/mini game rather than something that pervades every level of gameplay.

Maybe I am missing something. If you have some specific videos or game play elements that you think sounded interesting let me know. I will gladly look at what they are putting on the table. I admit I am somewhat biased towards the whole zone based RVR style PVP as I disliked the implementation in DAoC so much. Regardless I will probably buy the game. I tend to pick up just about every US release or major Asian port just to check things out and see if they have brought anything new to the table. I just find myself having a hard time being as excited about Warhammer as I have been about Conan even considering the fact that I am starting to have some serious doubts with regard to AoC. *shrug*

One of the things that sticks out to me about Warhammer is intelligent quest givers. The idea that you have to fight bears to get to a quest giver that wants you to kill bears and gives you credit for the ones youve already killed on the journey to meet him/her. It may be a small example but it gives hints to lines of thinking and creativity that I like.

It does bother me that AoC has a few snippets of scenes with the caster classes. Well I should say only one class and one spell has been shown. They did mention that right about now they should have videos of how pets work.

I havent seen anything but a brief mention of archery or other non-magical ranged classes. They basically said that there will be ranged combos like that in melee combat and there will be the stereotypical snare arrow.

shihonage wrote:
mven wrote:

I also don't think Mythic is as good as Blizzard so I do not think they will be able to deliver a more impressive game. I know given the option to continue playing a game where I already have a well developed character vs playing a game that is extremely similar starting from scratch is a pretty easy one for me.

There are a lot of improvements in Warhammer Online over the WoW generation of games. It may be "extremely similar" in setting, and in the fact that it IS a MMORPG, you know, with leveling and inventory and quests, but they're really trying to break the mold. Check out some of their developer videos.

Like mven said, there really aren't a whole lot of improvements over WoW and like styled games. WAR is improving on DAoC, in the same way that LoTRO is improving on AC2 and other Turbine MMOs.

fangblackbone wrote:

One of the things that sticks out to me about Warhammer is intelligent quest givers. The idea that you have to fight bears to get to a quest giver that wants you to kill bears and gives you credit for the ones youve already killed on the journey to meet him/her. It may be a small example but it gives hints to lines of thinking and creativity that I like.

Deeds in LoTRO are identical to this. As you kill various mobs, you'll get deeds to continue doing so. LoTRO even breaks it down by zone, so you'll have the same deeds in the Shire as you will in other starting zones.

I think that WAR is going to be very well done, lots of polish and shine. I don't think that it's going to set any records or redefine the genre in the manner that WoW has. It's going to appeal to folks who enjoyed DAoC and to folks who have played a lot of Warhammer Fantasy, or WH Fantasy RP on the tabletop.

From reading and listening about AoC, I think that it's pushing towards being the new UO, or maybe SWG set in a fantasy realm. Player cities, sieges and things of that nature. Lots of combat, and it's definitely looking to be a darker, more adult themed MMO than anything we've seen to date, with the possible exception of EVE.

This new cinematic trailer of theirs makes me want the blood of war. Me likey


Age of Conan Cinematic Trailer

They actually put out a few more videos over the past week of some gameplay and some E3 interviews and while nothing was really extraordinary in any of the videos I watched it doesn't look like AoC is totally behind the curve of where it should be at this point. The combat doesn't look as good as I had hoped it would by now. The blood splatters still seem a bit weird and while just watching a character go through the motions of attacking does look pretty damned cool when they are actually fighting something a lot of the moves look out of place and even awkward. I know MMOs are a long way from delivering something where attacks and defense and what not actually look somewhat realistic but I had hoped maybe AoC would have done more of it. Essentially all they have is cooler looking attack animations which land on mobs with not much in the way of noticeable effect aside from the strange looking blood splatters.

They went into some more detail about how pets (at least for necromancers) will work. They apparently have some sort of an 8 point system and each pet has an assigned value. The baby bone scorpions you can summon have like a point value of 1 whereas some meaner ghost pets have a point value of 4. So you could have 8 scorpions, or 2 ghosts, or possibly 1 ghost and 4 scorpions. The combat animations for the pets looked a bit weird to me. In most games I am used to pets having a more "individual" (?!) AI. As in if you had two skeleton pets, charms, whatever, they would each fight as a seperate entity. The scorps they demo'ed looked like they all attacked at the exact same time and on the exact same mob sorta acting as one pet. Like not just all were directed at the same mob but as in their attack animations were all simultaneous. Hopefully they will implement some sort of more granular pet control.

In terms of graphics/art I think the game does look pretty cool. I really like the way the world looks and if they can improve upon some of the animation awkwardness (especially that goofy looking blood!) and character models I think things will at the very least look pretty cool. Honestly though it could look like ass if they could deliver on all of their promises and have it run reasonably well. An FFA PvP game that allows for constructable/destructable structures is sexified imo.

On Warhammer I am sure they will be adding in all sorts of nifty things in terms of questing, character abilities, pvp point keeping, etc. I just think the game as a whole will play out exactly like previous games so I have a hard time getting excited about it : (

Where are these videos of the necromancer's pets?