Sunday, December 7, 2008

Missing the big picture...

SO, people have started sounding the death knell for Age of Conan.

Over on Kotaku, a writer who probably should have the  by line "WOWFANBOI" writes:


With Wrath of the Lich King out, everyone's forgotten Age of Conan ever existed."

He pulls half his article from a better writer over at Vox ex machina.

However in the end, though they get the big picture right, that  AoC is in its last gasps, they get the details all wrong.

The assertion that the post 20 game was ugly and uninteresting is sheer nonsense and reads like someone who got to the level 20 change-over and quit.  There IS a bit of a learning curve at level 20.   The world opens out.  Rather then hand holding you through a tight series of in-your-face quest assignments it becomes much more of an exploration game. 

If you take the time to explore though you are rewarded with FANTASTIC vistas that are much more visually awe inspiring then anything either in the pre-20 game or WOW.   The quest design ranges from good to epic.  AoC gave me moments of true cinematic experience in the quests-- something not other game has done before or since.  Yes, the voice acting that's in the pre-20 quest assignments disappears.  its not something I missed very much.

Why then is it dying? Why did I quit if I liked its design so much?

The answer is failed management.  A management that ignored the majority of the voices of its users and instead obsessed on the hard-core PVP minority.. It is thus not surprising that the game evolved into a game where "In the end, all that is left are guilds of gankers, hiding in grinding caves and waiting for someone to unstealth. "  This the game of the hardcore PvPers.  And as many MMOs have proved before it, that's a very small community.

In the end, no matter what the WOWees might claim,  WOW succeeds and AoC fails not because of great WOW quest design. Or even good WOW visuals.  But because WOW caters to the majority, the PVE players, where as AoC dissed them.

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