June 25, 2008

Epic Fail 2: Second Age of Conan Siege

Openedge was kind enough to point out that a second siege occurred in Age of Conan. According to him it went "much better", but I'm not quite sure our idea of "better" are exactly the same. For example: to me filet mignon is a much better cut of beef than sirloin. To Openedge, cube steak is better than ground beef, because its not ground as much. See what I did there?

From all reports on the second siege, the only aspect to improve, was that it was semi-playable this time around with top-end gaming rigs reaching an astonishing 15 FPS. Everything else STILL did not work. Walls were still exploited, and when the legitimate way to get through a wall, by smashing it to bits occurred, the attackers could not get past the now demolished structure. Siege weapons sat idle.

Really, I could go on and on with the list of problems that AoC's siege warfare has currently, but it isn't worth the typing. The fact is: AoC's end-game siege warfare was not ready at launch. This is fine for the hardcore guilds currently battling each other. They expected as much, are used to such failures, and will battle on into the future.

Problem is, the hardcore guilds are going to quit, regardless of whether sieges get fixed or not. I've played with every single hardcore guild listed, both against and alongside them, and none of them has stuck in any MMO for any length of time. Sure, their name lives on, but rarely do the mainstay players and leaders of the guild last long. There is always a greener pasture to look forward to.

What happens when these early adopter guilds decline? Does Funcom have the system fixed by then or will the majority of AoC players walk into a disaster? I'm not going to sit around and say Funcom can't get it fixed, but I will chastise them for leaving it in-game in such disrepair. It definitely nailed the coffin shut in my mind. I will never play Age of Conan.

I spent a lot of energy arguing that AoC was a direct WoW knock-off and that the only defining features of AoC were not complete, would not work, and are exactly in the state that beta testers predicted them to be.

AoC has proven beyond a doubt that it is a WoW clone, a barely-capable WoW-clone at that. The PvE game is almost an exact copy, which is fine, but the features meant to define AoC as a non-WoW-clone, just are not ready. Will Funcom fix them and develop AoC into a long-standing MMO for their core audience? Probably, but don't expect any more massive interest in the title. Launch was as good as it will get for AoC.