Monday, June 9, 2008

Age of Conan...

goes to show that MMOs are extremely profitable with unique selling points, acute marketing strategies ("the hype") and a nostalgic storyline. With these in your ammunition package, you can simply don't bother about UI, leave your attributes system hanging in the balcony and still sell 400,000 copies of your game on the first week! Just wow! Get real, I'm very unimpressed by the ethical stand-point of Funcom. What an extremely unpolished MMO that has neglected so many critical areas upon release.

Believe me when I say WoW is so successful because of its insanely user-friendly UI. AoC did not pick this up. Now, I understand that FPS game designers struggle with UI because apparently, it kills the 'feel'. I do think at some level yes, it is true, but it's largely because of FPS gaming habits. Most FPS dumbdown their GUI, which is fine because the focus of traditional FPS games has been to aim and shoot. In Dark Messiah and Oblivion you swing your baby and you don't really need a GUI for that yes. But hey in an MMO you socialize to gain political leverage (I'm making my point serious here). Keeping quiet and not participating is not real gaming and in some way, really phoney as well... Not having a decent chat interface for your paying subscribers is a gargantuan insult to the bread and butter of mmogaming period

Yet another critical mistake by the devs - sticking to traditional quest design. Come on, EQ did it, EQ2 did it, WoW did it, even small MIC (made-in-china) MMOs have done it. Yes, I give AoC high marks for being able to tell stories through their quests, but the whole system of quest-for-XP is so blatantly plagiarized and cliched. Can someone bring in an idiot so we can a different perspective already?

It was quite fascinating to hear somewhat professional voice-overs (when I wanted to) on every NPC I talked to. There was finally some level of emotion coming from an MMO, not the cheap player-based drama that MMOs commuters have been feeding on. But I'm sorry to reveal that all that voice-over in AoC disappears after lvl 20. Kudos to Funcom, they're Republicans now.

I hit lvl 53 after 1 week of play. Not bad I think. If I went harder I could have hit 55 (assuming I had no current knowledge of the game). It's definitely possible to grind to 80 in like, 100 hours of played time or less, but that kinda defeats the purpose anyway. I'm sure eventually someone would find an exploit to get 80 within 24 hours or something ridiculous like that. Athenelol

On a final note, the specs required are too ridiculous. I certainly do believe that their artists fcked up the texture sizes. It takes a couple of seconds to load scenes on a 8600 with extremely compromised video settings. It cannot be that way, and I believe that it's not the fault of the engine infrastructure too, just poor optimization...

By the way, I'm blogging tonight because servers are down lol. This patch better be good hehe and catch my aoc rants next time! ^_~

1 comment:

Gallstaff said...

Hey Leo its Gallstaff, I just started playing AoC as well, im on Bloodspire server with the name Nobuhara.
About the 3d Engine its shithouse im not sure if ill resubscribe when my free month is up. Cause I got a 8800GT with a 3.0Mhz Dual Core and it runs rly shithouse.
I saw nerfette on bloodspire too, anyways peace.

PS. Island won my copy of conan from a competition from IGN, Lawl.