Monday, July 28, 2008

A short positive on Age of Conan

Its nice to be able to start my new blog on a positive note. As you might already know, I've given Funcom a hard time over all the issues surrounding the Age of Conan MMO. The most grief I've given them however has been with how abysmally they have handled their customers.

I still think there is room for huge improvement, particularly in how they handle their forums (which I have formally resigned from participating in because there is no apparent real value other then an opportunity to argue with twelve year olds of all ages.)

I do have to admit though I have seen some recent signs of improvement. Two things stick out in my mind. The first is a few GUI improvements. The last patch brought an emote interface that is so well designed, and so different from the rest of the GUI, it almost looks like it doesn't belong. This little nod to the roleplay community is a big deal to many of us not just because it makes Roleplay *much* easier but because it is the first sign from Funcom NA that they actually care at all about role players. AOC really has he makings of a good Role play game, but it needs attention to the needs of that community to bring the potential to reality. This is a good first step. (Though I am still utterly dumbfounded as to why they continue to ignore the massive outcry for a dedicated role play-PVE server.)

Secondly, in game customer service has vastly improved. I have gotten stuck in places on the map I where I couldn't move twice in the last week. In both cases, a /petition for GM assistance was responded to promptly (within 15 minutes), politely and helpfully. This is a very encouraging sign.

I think AoC may turn the corner yet. But it still has aways to go. And the aloofness of the development team continues to hamper them in their community relations. Time will tell if that is fatal or not.

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