Age of Conan: How an MMORPG Dies

Posted by | November 29, 2008

The MMORPG Age of Conan was released by Funcom right around the middle of May in 2008, probably to avoid getting steam-rollered and plowed under by the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for everyone’s favourite fantasy juggernaut. In less than a month of blistering sales fueled by desperate gamers trying to escape the pull of Warcraft, Age of Conan had gathered up over 700,000 subscribers in its muscled and well-oiled arms.

Six months later Funcom was quietly merging servers and banning anyone who talked about subscription numbers on their forums. Age of Conan is now, for all practical purposes, a walking and half-naked corpse shambling toward a dark horizon. So what happened? How did Age of Conan die?

The quick answer? It was never alive.

When you first login to Age of Conan, you’ll wake up on the shores of a lush island, overflowing with quests, voice actors, plotlines, and wonderful vistas. Even bitter veterans who wouldn’t piss out Funcom if the entire company were on fire admit that this starting zone, Tortage, is a great experience. Tortage lasts for about twenty levels out of eighty. Then, you step away from the jungle harbours and into the wide world, and that’s when Funcom shouts “Sucker!” in your face before running off laughing into the night with your money. They give you the finger the whole time.

You see, a few things were lacking after Tortage. Those wonderful vistas transform into dirt and rocks, mostly because the DirectX 10 support listed on the box isn’t actually in the game. Instead, Funcom took the graphics overhead DirectX 10 would have used, and plugged it all into the famed Realism Brownifier. That’s right, in the harsh world of Conan, real graphics are brown and dirty.

You might also discover the barren lands are short on things to do, since all those Tortage quests which brought you up to level 20 are gone. From here on out, most of your questing will involve going to the proper Place of Great Respawn and grinding mobs like you were filling up a resume to take some Chinese gold farmer’s job. The dust and dirt must be really hard on the lungs, too, since the vast majority of quest givers are mute. Voice acting, it seems, was too much a courtesy for Funcom to extend after the trial period.

But hey, at least your character isn’t wearing a clown suit like those technicolour lollipop bastards over in Azeroth. That’s true enough, but you better like that brown, realistic outfit, because you’ll be wearing something just like it for the rest of your career. Not that it matters what bonuses it gives you. Character stats didn’t work at all when the game released, and bonuses on gear were so low you’d need to twink out a full suit over a single bonus to even see a 1% increase in your abilities.

Fortunately, you’ll be able to move around those desolate zones easily enough, what with how dying and rezzing is actually a faster way to travel than going there through the game.

And you will die, make no mistake. The combat system relies on position and combos to deal your best damage, but the great part about this is that while you’re pressing the four buttons and swinging around the five attacks for your combo, the other guy just walked away from you, got into position behind you, and sank his sword into your spleen. Oh, and two classes can close in on you under stealth. Doesn’t everyone love getting ganked by Warcraft Rogues? In Age of Conan, there are two different flavours of teabagging rogues to sample and savour.

To their credit, Funcom has tried to fix the problems of their newest flagship game, but it seems whoever actually built Age of Conan has gone on to other pastures, or perhaps their next life. The remaining crew’s attempts at repairing the game can be likened to dozens of monkeys eager to help out with an especially critical moment of brain surgery. It was messy, things got broken, there was alot of hooting, and something nasty was left dripping off the walls.

Gaute Godager, the Producer and Game Director even resigned, leaving Funcom after sixteen years with the company over how the game was handled post-release. Without Godager’s influence as a unifying force, the game sunk further in the pits of hooting monkeydom.

Suckered in by the newbie zone, 700,000 souls subscribed. Faced with the rest of the game after level 20, they unsubscribed. It all lasted a bit over two months.

In the end, all that is left are guilds of gankers, hiding in grinding caves and waiting for someone to unstealth. What began among the jeweled towers of Aquilonia ends then, here in caves and dirt. And brown. Lots and lots of brown.

110 Comments so far
  1. Openedge1
    November 30, 2008 7:34 am

    You forgot the tags “Personal Opinion” as well.

    A lot of what you state is very much what has happened to the game, yet, there is so much in this post that screams “Because I hated the game”…which felt like it should have been added to each line.
    Suckered in by the newbie zone, 700,000 souls subscribed. Faced with the rest of the game after level 20, they unsubscribed.
    Sure, a lot HAVE left the game, yet this sounds like everyone left except for the guilds.
    If you would frequent the forums, you would note quite a few NEW people entering. So, it is definitely in flux right now. But, not dying, like say Tabula Rasa.

    but the great part about this is that while you’re pressing the four buttons
    This shows a lack of knowledge on the current game. This has been MASSIVELY changed to lower key combo’s for skills. Two keys for the majority with upgrades also being two keys, and except for level 80, stays that way. Yet, at 80, 3 key combos are the max.

    Also, changes to the res pad travel is gone, more content has been added for mid level, with high level on the way. Finally, DX10 is moving to the testlive servers this month.

    Opinion pieces are cool, but should be noted as such, and also that your opinion is based on the game that launched, and not how it is now.

  2. Nelson Williams
    November 30, 2008 3:04 pm

    Hey there. Thanks for commenting.

    Yes, to a large degree these articles are personal opinion. Especially a post-mortem on a game. Funcom hides any real info well, so we on the outside are trying to dissect a sort of black box.

    I don’t play Age of Conan. Never have. But I do keep tabs on the video game community, and those who did play the game have their concerns and reasons for leaving, and it’s those reasons which make up the bulk of, yes, this opinion piece.

    Also, we agree here. This article is based on the game that was launched. Age of Conan had such promise, and it sold like hotcakes and orgasms. I would have loved for it to be great. I’m a gamer, I want more great games out there, yes? But it wasn’t. The game wasn’t finished, and would never get the chance to be finished because the vast majority of those early subscribers didn’t like paying a monthly to beta test a game that essentially ended right after Tortage. Not when Warcraft was waiting to welcome them back (with a unicorn zebra!).

    Age of Conan is a lesson. Funcom promised big, delivered little, and paid the price for their mistakes. Seen Funcom’s stock value lately? So that’s why I claim that Conan was dead before it even hit the shelves. Funcom killed it in the womb.

  3. KingJames
    December 3, 2008 2:41 pm

    Unfortunately for Funcom the people who financed the project forced them into an early release because NO ONE in beta said the game was ready for live. As a matter of fact 99 percent of them said if you release now the game will not make it. The lesson to be learned in all of this is if you don’t release a polished MMO people will not stay. This game was barely fit to go into beta let alone be released with well over 50 percent of the game broken or missing. It’s sad they let this game fail as it was being looked at as the next huge MMO. Funcom lied so much to try and hang on to subscriptions and in turn made it to where I will never buy another Funcom product as long as I am a gamer.

  4. NikoLane
    December 3, 2008 4:05 pm

    Thank you for writing the above commentary. You pretty much hit the nail on the head for the most part. I limped along to Level 77 with Funcom for a good long while, dealing with all the game’s issues. I left when they managed to make the only area of 70+ mobs (Keshatta) tougher to take down and at the same time breaking my HoX’s abilities to function (breaking fire damage). I gave it a good run but, in the end when that “new game” came out I have never been back to AoC. I had really high hopes for AoC, it’s a very sad story indeed. –Niko

  5. Ainotna
    December 3, 2008 5:29 pm

    Most of the concerns you brought up aren’t concerns at all anymore. Try playing the game and then talk.

  6. Conan
    December 3, 2008 5:37 pm

    Quote = “I don’t play Age of Conan. Never have. But I do keep tabs on the video game community….”

    Your opinion means nothing until you have played the game. You need to play the game to understand why this game holds sooo much potential for the future of MMO’s. If you have played Wow…and then you play AoC, you will realize how refreshing it is. The game is breathtaking to say the least. Although there are still many issues present, this game is truely one of the most amazing mmo experiences I have had to date.

    A lot of people have been resubscribing recently. People are leaving Warhammer and aren’t willing to go back to WOW. People are beating WOTLK and feeling that it’s just more of the same. People that had previously played AoC that had a bitter experience are once again enjoying it now that a majority of the main bugs and lag issues have been fixed.

    The future is looking bright….
    -DX10 is just around the corner.
    -AoC is going to be the worlds first CUDA enabled game.
    -Expansion pack is already being made
    This game is no where near dead

    Our server (Doomsayer) has had tons of new guilds form within the last 2 weeks. Guild cities are being constructed all over the place, the player base is growing again for the first time since the release of AoC.

    Posting an article based of the opionions of other peoples opinions mean nothing. Write an article based on your own personal experience.

    December 3, 2008 5:49 pm


    SHENANIGANS ! on this whole article …

    Folks … come on over to the AoC forums and see what’s going on for yourself.

    There’s always going to be people complaining about a game … it’s inevitable. But overall this game rocks.

    Nelson is not even describing half of the game features correctly. I’ve said enough.


  8. John Lane
    December 3, 2008 5:51 pm

    Basing a game on a community….. LOL

    I alo thing it funny you havn’yt actually played that game sp basic your biased against it from the get go.

    LOL thanks for the laugh dude

  9. Fanackapan
    December 3, 2008 5:54 pm

    You’ve never played the game? Isn’t that like doing a post-mortem without a body?

    Things you’ve got right, despite not having played the game:
    – the game is dying (although not yet dead)
    – the first 20 levels are great, but content thins out a little bit after that (50-70 was bad, although they now have an extra region for that, which I haven’t tried). Endgame in particular is very thin, and yes, voice acting is essentially gone after tortage.
    – It was buggy on release (memory errors, siege errors), and they have been struggling to adjust things (e.g. crafted vs dropped items)
    – Combos were an issue, although I’d stress that they worked great for PvE, and it was only in PvP where their usefulness was questionable

    What you’ve got wrong, likely because you’ve never played the game:
    – the graphics do NOT get worse. I’d argue they get emphatically better – the mountainous regions in particular are really spectacular, and the graphics quality is the best out there for this type of game.
    – Backstabbing? Really? Rogue classes will stab you in the back. Its what they do. Twas always thus, and always thus shall be.
    – Grinding? If you’re grinding in this game, you’re doing it wrong. I never, ever ground in this game on my way to capping. There were always enough quests to fill out the xp progression, although at some points I didn’t have an awful lot of choice about what they were.
    – The reason for the game dying is not because of class balance issues, or thin content, and certainly not graphics. The reason its dying is because they simply released too early, before they had a PvP system in place, and before they’d ironed out the many, many bugs (including sieges, which could have made the game). The game needed 3 more months in beta, and because they released too early, they lost too many players before could get those bugs fixed. Also, I reckon a lot of people left when they realized it wasn’t as stable as WoW (scope/size, finely balanced across classes and PvE/PvP, sophisticated raid content), which no release game was ever going to be. One way or another, no critical mass (at a time when tough competition arrives in the form of WAR and WotLK), game dies.

  10. enrogae
    December 3, 2008 5:55 pm

    You might want to actually play a game before you post negative crap about it. 90% of what you mention is a non-issue since it’s been fixed/isn’t in the game anymore. Also, if 70% of the people running Conan were able to run it on anything but minimum graphics, the “beautiful vista’s” would, in fact, be there all through the game. DX10 will do little to change that when said machine can barely run the game on DX9.

    Am I making assumptions? Yep. Sure am. But at least I didn’t post them as an article that comes across as being informed. Seriously…get your facts straight and stop going off of hearsay if you want to be taken seriously. The game is now nothing like it was at release and is, in actuality, quite better than any other MMO on the market at the moment.

    It’s a sad day when drivel like this is taken as serious and well-thought-out and informative writing.

  11. Ungkor
    December 3, 2008 6:01 pm

    “I don’t play Age of Conan. Never have. But I do keep tabs on the video game community, and those who did play the game have their concerns and reasons for leaving, and it’s those reasons which make up the bulk of, yes, this opinion piece.”

    300,000 left, 400,000 remain. Perhaps you should have looked at a few of the positive posts by the 400,000 remaining before you decided that “It was never alive. “

    I’ve never been to this site before, so I’m not sure if it is aiming to be a balanced review of video games. If it is, this article was certainly not balanced or fair in any way.

  12. Gadien
    December 3, 2008 6:01 pm

    You have no bisuness posting about a game you have never played. AoC has its problems, but unless you played the game you don’t know what they actually were, how it exactly affected the game, or how quickly they actually were resolved.

    FYI, ganking guilds quit for the most part. All thats left are players that are willing to wait it out, who have had fun since day one, and some die hard fans just like every MMO that isn’t WoW.

    Cimmeria is the perfect example of what good things can come out of this game, as well as Tyranny (guild wars 24/7 you bet!)

  13. Mike H
    December 3, 2008 6:09 pm

    Wow. Well I don’t think you could be more biased if you tried. I haven’t played AoC, but now that I have read this, I think i might.

  14. David Lewis
    December 3, 2008 6:25 pm

    All this from someone who has never played the game…..I have never been to the moon but I like to keep up to date with the latest developments in space exploration…that, with the greatest respect, does not qualify me, nor would I presume in all humility to compose and publish a critical statement on its current condition, as you have seen fit to do.

    From my perspective as a player of the game, and I play it for at least four hours a day every day, Funcom are doing their utmost to make reparations for their errors that were present in the game when it was first released. It is recognised fact that with most games of this genre a great many of initial subscribers leave during the first few months, that is the nature of the beast.

    You site the combat system in your article as being detrimental to game play, but you fail to mention that it has also been nominated for an award.

    You, as you claim to be “informed” as to all matters concerning this type of game would I be unfair in the my judgement of you by suggesting that should have known this, why then you felt it prudent to omit this information is of great concern to me and quite frankly debases your whole argument.

  15. Mike
    December 3, 2008 6:55 pm

    I really like how you feel you can honestly review a game that you have never played? talk about biased. Also you might point out the bugs and disasters in every other MMO at launch to date. but then again you can’t face that reality. So do everyone a favor, before you attempt to butcher any other game, actually play it a month or two.

    BTW, if conan sucks so bad, why are server pops rising? Why are people posting on the forums about coming back? If you really kept track of teh community like you say you would oblviously know that. But evidently you dont. therefore you harldy know jack. nuff said.

  16. Chris
    December 4, 2008 1:57 am

    Declaring an MMO dead after 6 months, without ever playing the game is a little premature.

    I sometimes wish I had a time machine to show every WoW player what WoW was promised before release, what was left out, and all the issues WoW had in its first 6 months. Then they would realize that MMO’s don’t just pop on the market 100% finished and ready to go, over time they are modified and adjusted, changed and fine tuned till they are good games. While some points with-in your article are true of the game overall the game is still alive and FC is working on those issues. For anyone thinking of trying AoC I would wait 3-4 months to let FC get a few more things fixed before trying it out.

  17. Nick
    December 4, 2008 4:27 am

    All those who say ‘play the game’ before you write have a point, but having read the books and played the game for a while I couldn’t have put it more succinctly.

    Aoc is brown. Shit brown. The icons are brown. The mobs are brown. There isn’t enough separation from the item database. The items don’t feel like rewards, they look and feel like another brown thing with a different rowid and an extra percent added onto a stat. Wow icons are shiney, sparkley and rewarding.

    Metagames you take for granted in other mmorpgs are non existent. The auction house is unusable. Want to put an RP outfit together? you better like brown.

    Something is fundamentally broken in AoC. The wife and I played for 2 or 3 weeks then we just lost interest and unsubscribed. It doesn’t pull you back, there aren’t enough carrots dangling in front of you – the next level or item just feels like another entry in a database.

    I’ve played muds for years, nethack for days on end. Runescape for more than a year, I can put up with poor graphics, sound etc if the underlying game is good.

    AoC isn’t. Its brown. Shit Brown.

  18. Shelix
    December 4, 2008 4:32 am

    Whoa…there’s a lot of seemingly AoC fanbois rebelling against the thought that someone who hasn’t played AoC can analyze the market, the community, and make a declaration of what they see.

    Kind of like the old-timers who wouldn’t accept the fact that the world was round. I am one of those 700,000 subscribers who got the game, tried it, and said, “Wow..what a piece of crap.” After reading this piece, I can safely say that what the author wrote reflects my own experiences with the game. The fact that he hasn’t played the game is irrelevant. He has a good enough grasp on the game that the first fanboi to post thought that he hated the game from personal experience.

    AoC is a crap game. It matters not a whit what changes, upgrades, fixes, or anything else happen now – it had its 15 minutes of fame, and worked hard to earn its title as one of the worst MMO releases ever. Couple that with Funcom’s poor business decisions and customer support, and its a crap game. In the eyes of all but the fanboi, AoC was an experience in suckage. Just deal with it.

  19. Lillim
    December 4, 2008 5:39 am

    The review was applicable 6 months ago. Today that sounds almost alien, as if you were talking about an entirely different game.

    The same would be true if you wrote a review about WoW when it first launched 4 years ago. Infact, I remember the WoW launch. I spent most of it seeing the following two messages.

    ‘Emergency Maintenance!’

    ‘World Server Down’

    I received a full 5 weeks of additional game time in the first TWO months of launch due to server down-times being almost constant. After the servers were FINALLY playable, they crashed almost every couple hours for about 6 months. Even then the crashes continued well into a year of the games release. They only finally stabilized after 2.0 went live for a few weeks, and since there have still been an abundance of downtimes for a few servers.

    That alone, tops anything Age of Conan did in the ‘phail bucket’ however this wasn’t really looked down upon. Why? Because most MMO’s had issues then. The MMO genre wasn’t anywhere near as cleanly polished, expectations were not nearly as high. You’re completely forgetting that prior to WoW, every MMO launched without most of what it said. And nobody cared! WoW itself, launched without MANY of it’s promised features. A couple of those being…

    -Hero Classes
    -Siege Weapons
    -Raid Zones
    -World Raid Bosses

    To name a few, so lets not gut AoC for the ’empty promises’ bit that most every MMO is guilty of. If I had to be honest, I’d say AoC was one of the smoothest MMO launches I’ve played through, along with WAR. They were both far more ‘release’ ready products than WoW originally was. You’d know that without a doubt too, if you’d been one of the early 60’s raiding LBRS thinking you were hot #@$! when you got a relentless scythe. Zomg! Epix! (Blues in reality but HEY!)

    The game where Warlocks were useless, I mean, they couldn’t do anything!

    Shadow priests didn’t even have SHADOW FORM… We just won’t go there.

    Rogues were unstoppable killing machines who could 1 shot any other level 60 class except a warrior, in the NUDE. World of Roguecraft anyone?

    Warriors were like ‘RAWR SMASH’ with the Arcanite Reaper, and nearly as overpowered as rogues.

    And mages? Yeah, they had a 45 second long PvP polymorph. No DR. Coolbeans.

    Using false promises as the pinnacle of your review just reminds me of WoW doing the same, ten times worse. It also had no high level content, etc for quite some time… However, since WoW the expectations are higher, and AoC did not meet those expectations. Infact, I do not think ANY MMO will except Blizzards next monster… Since in truth, they’re the only company who will have the resources, and people ot throw at completing a game to satisfaction of a player-base and being able to release it when it is ready, without budget being a ultimatum.

    Funcom did well, for what they had to work with I believe. The game is still very fun, and something I’m going to enjoy while waiting for Blizzard to again.. pump out end-game content since I’ve already got 5/5 Val T7 live, and hit 2200 in 2’s back in beta on my DK. Wrath isn’t exactly being highly regarded for it’s end-game if anyone has noticed.

  20. ilbeback
    December 4, 2008 6:07 am

    I played AOC until the PVP patch came out. At that time every1 was sick of wowhammer and came back to AOC and it just turned into a major gank fest. Group grinding was pretty much the only way to level at the time. But with the overwhelming number of gankers lurking around it was no longer fun.
    The game was no longer a role playing game but a numbers game. The Guild with the most members wins.

    While I had alot of fun in the early stages of the game and enjoyed dueling it out with other players whilst making friends to quest with, it somehow lost all meaning at level 70. Sure things might be alot better now but the ONLY way i will ever give the game a second chance is if funcom offer me a free month to see how it is for myself.

  21. Licks
    December 4, 2008 6:19 am

    Why are you calling this mediocre piece of science fiction “a review”?

    I believe most of the factual errors in your ramblings have already been pointed out aplenty by other commenters, so I won’t repeat it. Although if you want to retain any kind of journalistic credibility in the future, take the following advice: When writing about any subject, having a modicum of insight into it is helpful.

    For instance, your idea of Gaute Godager’s presence as a “unifying force” is a very clear sign that despite your claims to be “keeping tabs on the community”, you are in fact entirely clueless.
    I reckon Mr Godager was politely “requested” by the Board of Directors to take his hat and leave, because after running two successive games into the ditch (AO, AoC), leaving it to Craig Morisson (new, current game director of AoC) to fix them and turn them into profitable ventures, there was just no sense in keeping Mr Godager in the company. The new game director has a clear idea of what he wants the game to be – he has a vision that does not change on a weekly basis. He also seems capable of getting the design staff to do what he wants them to do in accordance with that vision – again very unlike Mr Godager.

    First presenting a series of bogus “facts” about a game, and then proceeding to admit you’ve never actually played the game in question is … An interesting way of doing things, to say the least. For your sake, I hope that’s not the general modus operandi of this website.

    Closing comments: To anyone playing the game, it’s not secret that it still has issues – most notably a distinct lack of level 80 content. But your “review” failed to mention any of those.

    Take care. :)

  22. Grimby
    December 4, 2008 7:23 am

    “I don’t play Age of Conan. Never have.”

    How can a person even have an opinion about something they’ve never tried. It’s like a little kid saying “I don’t like broccoli” when they’ve never tried it. This entire article is pointless and inaccurate.

  23. Ixiain
    December 4, 2008 7:47 am

    Some of you AoC lovers remind me of the Monty Python sketch where the guy keeps insisting he’s not dead yet. You’re missing the point: It doesn’t matter what state the game is in *now* because it’s already missed it’s shot. It’s pretty simple: they pushed it out the door too early, needing to avoid the dual juggernauts of WAR (which ironically was also released too early to avoid the next one) and Wrath. They optimistically figured that a constant cycle of fixes and content additions post-launch would correct the obvious flawed experience after Tortage. They flubbed this big-time before finally starting to pull it together 6 months later.

    That explains it, but doesn’t excuse it. Nelson Williams may not have played AoC but he hit it’s problem on the head and no amount of fanboy crying is going to change that. The masses aren’t going to come leaping back to AoC now, not if they fixed every single problem and turned it in to a magical blowjob machine. Combine a bad initial experience with the availability of better-known alternatives and you have Tabula Rosa redux.

    Also comparing it’s launch and subsequent improvements to WoW’s launch is just wonderfully stupid. WoW’s launch had many problems but was clearly superior; we can deduce this from the simple fact that it is still around and still breaking sales records and AoC will not be and isn’t.

  24. Aaron Nixon
    December 4, 2008 9:32 am

    So… I read and then re-read the comments about how you should state that your personal opinion is also your personal opinion because something that is obviously your personal opinion being that you wrote it personally.

    I must say, all you monkeys need to let go of whatever retarded notion you have in your brain, everything you state… IS YOUR OWN PERSONAL OPINION.

    It can be no other way, you can’t express someone else’s opinion, though you could possibly express your own opinion of someone else’s opinion if you wanted to. But it still ends up being an expression of yourself, and thus, your personal opinion.

    Also, I should note I have neither played the game nor left it, so from reading this article I saw nothing of bias in it, certainly I would have to go and see if in fact the game is mostly brown, but all in all, I’m not really that interested in games at this point in my life.

    So it seems like the bias is not the author’s… seriously… RLYRLY?

    Man, bunch of haters up in Conan.

  25. Lillim
    December 4, 2008 10:29 am

    You’re not interested in video games, but troll video game review commentaries? Okay, that makes some kind of sense. Let’s all start voicing our opinions, about others opinions, when we have absolutely no idea what the other person is talking about.

    The negative commentary comes from someone posting an entirely inaccurate, out-dated review of something they know nothing about, nor put any effort into researching prior to writing the review. Yet the writer, is arrogant enough to refer to himself as ‘well informed’, after making several errors, one of after another.

    It isn’t a matter of opinion to point out this review applies to a game as it were, when it launched. There is a difference between opinion, and fact. It is an opinion the review is bad, not that it is not even applicable to said game now.

    As I said, this is about as accurate as if one were to review Vanilla WoW now that WotLK has released. If you’re not up-to-date with an MMO, you don’t know anything about it. They are ever-changing titles, anyone who has played a couple would know this, which leads me to think the writer isn’t much of an MMO player at all.

  26. icecreaman
    December 4, 2008 10:45 am

    One quick point, this is Funcom. Anyone else remember the launch of Anarchy Online? We couldn’t walk 20 yards in the big cities without it taking 20 min. at the END of the beta and it only got worse at launch as more people flooded in. It eventually got better and that was during the fairly early years of the genre, still not acceptable but understandable. This is 2008, and whether or not pushed out by marketing, this was a mistake, a very obvious one. It’s loosing them money and possibly a decent IP they can build on. Warhammer at least saw the problem and did what they should have, popular or not, and released the finished portion of the game.

  27. Phang
    December 4, 2008 11:14 am

    One comment I would like to make that seems to have been left out was the horrendous customer service. I actually had no help from their customer service department with all the technical problems I was having and took the issue to the forums. A forum moderator actually responded with the comment that if the game worked fine on ONE SYSTEM, then the game was not bugged and all the other systems with errors, no matter how many tens of thousands, must be due to inept users or shoddy computers.

  28. Helvetica
    December 4, 2008 11:32 am

    @Lillim, we certainly remember the early days of World of Warcraft when everything felt like it has been sieved through a cheese grater. The graphics didn’t want to behave… Warriors were broken.

    It is always good and pleasing when MMOs finally get off of their feet and find their running pace.

    @Phang, horrible customer service has certainly done in MMOs for us in the past. We go to MMOs and play videogames for the experience, and if that experience falters we like to see it fixed. When the people who would otherwise fix it are hostile or incompetent—we generally don’t come back.

    Funcom definitely do amazing games. At least, for our conception, The Longest Journey series was a brilliant star in an otherwise diminishing genre; but from what we hear it has been on hiatus for quite some time to develop and bring forward Age of Conan and others.

    We really hope that whatever crisis of faith or flaws in AoC that affect layoffs and this sort of tumult in the fan community doesn’t lead Funcom to losing track of their other wonderful franchises as well.

  29. Odis
    December 4, 2008 12:30 pm

    Ths rvw s crp. Mb tr ctlly PLYNG th gm thn y cn whn.

  30. dreadwolf
    December 4, 2008 12:59 pm

    “I don’t play Age of Conan. Never have. But I do keep tabs on the video game community, and those who did play the game have their concerns and reasons for leaving, and it’s those reasons which make up the bulk of, yes, this opinion piece.”

    People commenting on something they have never participated in and only based on hearsay are rumor mongers and lack any real credibility. The core individual value system is built on personal experience and perspective. You are simply a myopic lemming or pathetic sheep to be lead around by the opinions of other. A huge problem with society today is the mindless herd mentality, where identity is only fostered by the groups and associations with which people are tied. Its really pathetic. Even more pathetic are people who blogg about things they haven’t experienced.

    How does a person develop an opinion on something they have not experienced anyways. Its simply culling opinions from a select few people – one segment of said gamer group. Its biased and completely of base.

    Did you ever stop to consider that the most vocal people are the most hyperbolic and least credible sources of good journalism? There are many many people who could comment on this so called article/opinion piece and laugh.

    Lets look at the most harped on opinion in the article and we can see how incredibly shallow the opinion is. The game is brown. To many instances of harping on a complete opinion based irrelevancy to what most gamers are concerned with. (Unless you are under the age of 18 maybe ?)

    I find it rather pathetic that people read articles like this and actually believe the non-credible tripe.

  31. Ace in the Hole
    December 4, 2008 2:42 pm

    I just want to take my time and laugh at each and every one of you who bought this game.


    Because I learned my lesson about how defunct “Funcom” is in mmorpg.

    I will never forget how badly they managed to screw the pooch with Anarchy Online.

    Just let this be a lesson: never, ever, ever buy a Funcom product.

  32. […] Age of Conan: How an MMORPG Dies […]

  33. Alan
    December 5, 2008 9:37 am

    You hit the nail on the head with this. I bought AoC when it came out and my experience was frighteningly indentical to what you describe. Loved Tortage… hit the real game… unsubscribed. The thing that sticks in my mind most was that at level 20 I expected to be wearing something that doesn’t look like beggar’s rags and wielding better than a broken animal tooth… Now that they’re merging servers, I can finally delete the game from my HD without guilt.

  34. JHP
    December 5, 2008 11:08 am

    Ww y’r wrtng BS rtcl bsd n nccrt r ld nfrmtn.

    Grt jb s jrnlst thr bdd. Hv fn n WW.

  35. Fritto
    December 5, 2008 11:35 pm

    The unfortunate truth of the AoC debacle is one that is all too common for dying MMOs: A Beta run that is cut to short or completely misused. The biggest mistake Funcom ever did was to completely remake their combat system (you know that original, interesting, combo-system they showed during initial promos). For the 8 months or so I was in beta, all we really did was to test the “new” combat system and Tortage. The combat remake meant that there wasn’t enough time to actually test the rest of the game.

    And it shows. AoC is a pile of steaming crap at this point, with so much potential wasted and lost.

  36. Captain Duh
    December 6, 2008 7:10 pm

    The whole “you can’t comment on this unless you played it” argument is complete BS.

    Does a journalist reporting on genocide in Darfur have to actually have been in the country while acts of genocide were happening? Is it required they see the acts personally, with their own eyes? Or can they use the sources of others to base their opinion and comments on it?

    One can get an informed opinion about an MMO from talking and interviewing players, and someone who actually plays the game can be completely oblivious to the disadvantages and negative opinions of many fellow players. Obviously, none of you have a clue how journalism works.

  37. Quell
    December 6, 2008 10:24 pm

    There are many factual errors in this article. It’s funny that the premise of the article is for the most part correct, while at the same time being so erroneous in the reasons cited. A few things.
    1.) THE biggest reason why AoC “failed”, is because of stability. That is not even mentioned.
    2.) Another HUGE reason why AoC “failed”, is because the crafting system, and other “meta” stuff (auction house)..was utterly broken.
    3.) Another huge reason why AoC “failed”, is because balance was enormously screwed up in both PvE, and PvP.

    Those are pretty much the top three reasons why AoC “failed”, and save a glancing over the balance issue it wasn’t mentioned. You made a huge deal out of the “browness” of the game..that was a terribly big gripe people had. You also commented on the graphics..are you friggen crazy? The graphics in AoC are BY FAR..the best of the MMO’s and right on up there with the best FPS’s.

    The game you (mostly innacuratly) described is AoC ~2 months post launch..not AoC now…which is explained by you never having played it..and apparently never bothering to even read the forums, to check on what you have said..For instance Gaut was anything but a unifying force, while as the new guy was a fact its the complete opposite. The new guy is getting shit back on track.

    AoC..while unfathomably mismanaged at the start, had and still does have an amount of potential to be a mind blowingly great game. It was released WAY too early..everyone knows that. The most rabid fanboy knows that AoC was released at least 3 months early..but lets face some facts. AoC had a choice of either releasing right before summer started, and thereby picking up the younger crowd, who were getting out of school, or releasing (when they “should” have), smack dab inbetween two Juggernauts..Warhammer and Wrath.

    Bottom line, is that releasing when they did, they were able to be the top selling PC game of all time..Had they released in Oct/Nov in order to garner the pre Xmass/Thanksgiving crowd (the other time in which big releases try and get)..they wouldnt have gotten any where near that, nor the amount of press.

    The bottom line comes down to Gaut and crew, completely screwing the pooch with release and Dev time. Had Gaut not had his head up his ass, and taken 5 some odd years to the release the game, they could have released a much more complete game when they did, and IMO would have been STRONG competition for WoW…and Judging from the cold (no pun intended) response to WotLK, could have over taken it.

    Well..AoC has come a long way since the review you gave..and from the looks of things, start of next year AoC will (hopefully), be to the point where it should have been at release. People are getting really tired of WotLK..its getting to be a really old game comparable to the computing power thats out now, its the same old mobs, with the same old rep grind, with the only really new things being adjustments to the UI..Warhammer didnt have anywhere near the impact that people thought it would..which odd enough IMO is largely due to the “non-WoWers” being extremely skeptical after AoC.

    AoC STILL has the potential to make a summer comback as WoW’s treads get worn thin, and they are on that track..The question is how fast, and how well they work..and how able are they to do some honest PR.

    For the record..I played AoC since early release to the 3 month mark..came back for a little bit not too long ago, and decided to give it another few months. I also play WH..and played WoW till WotLK release (Sometimes I play on my nephews account)..and have been playing MMOs since UO.

    In short..You have no idea what you are talking about..and not to toot my own horn, but you should just copy and paste, mine and a few others reviews into yours.

  38. […] Age of Conan: How an MMORPG Dies [Vox ex Machina] […]

  39. Marcelo
    December 6, 2008 11:11 pm

    I love how much in deinal people can be when they invest enough time in it. I love how everyone assumes this person hasn’t played the game to completion. I played up till 20 and the game was so bug ridden that as many people have commented it was clear it wasn’t ready. I don’t know how to run an MMORPG business but when you defend a game with saying “Well they are going to fix” something rather than say “It was fix a long time ago” then you have a problem.

    When you are dealing with a game that has had an almost 50% exodus, you have a problem! The game had potential but I wouldn’t know because I was too frustrated with it. It doesn’t make me a moron, nub or idiot. I wouldn’t sit in a restaurant and continue to eat a bad meal in the hopes that the next course will get better. if you would then great.. Enjoy the stomach ache..

  40. Age of Conan Is Dying |
    December 6, 2008 11:35 pm
  41. RedStuff
    December 7, 2008 1:05 am

    SHENANIGANS ! on this whole article …

    (down with the haters)

  42. Quell
    December 7, 2008 2:16 am

    Marcello, you are doing the exact same thing that people are complaining about this “review” about.
    1.) He admits he has never played this game.
    2.) You played to 20..Basically you have no idea what the whole of the game is.
    3.) Very few people will deny that AoC at release and for many months there after it was garbage. Its not “fanbois” that are ranting here. Its pretty much anyone who has played the game past Tortage, and has kept at least somewhat up to date on the games going ons.

    The problem is, is that the game (in particular since the August update), HAS gotten much better, and there have been some fundamental changes…the biggest being Gaut getting the boot..which again is a glaring inaccuracy in the OP. YES..AoC still has a long way to go..YES AoC was utterly broken even several months after release..YES AoC is going to have a very long and hard hill to climb, after pissing off 1/2 the player base..but the truth is, right now FunCom appears to be making a fairly respectable attempt at that climb.

    Gamers shouldn’t want AoC to fail. I have no problem ripping on things that it has done wrong..Like I said..I left in disgust after 3 months, and pointed out a few that werent even listed, but AoC DID push the envelope on a lot of things, the most obvious being the graphics, and Audio quality.

    In order for this market to grow it needs to do a few things. This genre REALLY needs a face lift, to get in line with today’s Tech..AoC is the only MMO to offer that. This genre is in desperate need for innovate combat systems..AoC at least attempted that. This genre is in desperate need of combine/revolutionizing PvP, and PvE..AoC allbit piss poorly did this…There are more things, but as per AoC those are the biggies.

    The only thing MMOs are doing REALLY well right now with are the UIs..which quite frankly is almost entirely player driven VIA 3rd parties. Basically Devs are taking popular mods, and putting them IG..which really means that the Bigger games (WoW, WH, EQII..ect..ect), havent done anything innovative in years, and years.

    Right now, as a genre, we are “stuck” with the Bubble gum pop version (WoW), and the market has no incentive to change their formula. IMO, if you are going to do a review of..well..anything..You should at bare minimum A.) Give it the “old college try” and B.) be factually correct in your arguments.

    Neither of these was done for this article.

  43. Anom
    December 7, 2008 3:29 am

    AoC is the best selling PC game of all time? Can I have some of your famboi super juice? Hell WoTLK sold more in 24 hrs then AoC has sold in 6 months. Your game is going the way of the dodo, And no amount of QQ on here is going to change it.

  44. Mike
    December 7, 2008 5:41 am

    To those of you who are saying that this article is wrong, you are wrong. I played AOC, this article is 100% exactly what occurred with anyone who tried the game out, word for word.

    And for those of you saying that AoC is somehow one of the best selling pc games of all time, you’re wrong again. AoC: 700k copies the first month, hasn’t sold crap since. WoW Wrath of the Lich King: 2 Million + copies THE FIRST DAY.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, AoC is an unmitigated disaster akin to Vangaurd.

  45. Dangar
    December 7, 2008 7:06 am

    Even though this guy never played the game it seems he is right on. I played the game since EA and played for 6 months.

    Another terrible aspect of this game are thier in game “rules”. I will give you one example. Rangers, the archer class in AoC, can not use terrain to thier advantage. Shooting an arrow from atop of a rock or a building will get you banned. The gm’s say you must be on level ground to shoot somebody.LOL

    To the phanbois who still play this game and stick up for it, how long is it going to take for you to realize you have been had? The game released 7 months ago and it still has way more problems than WoW, UO, EQ1-2, Vanguard, and every other big mmo combined. All’s i have to say is have fun…. lmao

  46. steve
    December 7, 2008 7:12 am

    Gaute Godager got sacked, fired, pink slipped. It was he who was responsible for the bad release and broken promises. The board of directors just got tired of him…

  47. Quell
    December 7, 2008 9:20 am

    AoC was the best selling game of all time at its release..Obvioulsy WoW has taken that crown back. Its funny hearing fanbois, and QQ being thrown around when I have clearly stated a couple times now, that the game was shit, and that I quit.

    There is a difference between hating, and giving an actual and accurate review.

  48. rawr
    December 7, 2008 10:04 am

    You hit the nail right on the head my friend. I got a good laugh at the idiot that said

    “Folks … come on over to the AoC forums and see what’s going on for yourself.”

    Please, there is nothing left over there but cock slobbering fanbois wanting to spread’em wide for failcom. Like they are gonna get a prize or something. The above article pretty much nailed it.

  49. rawr
    December 7, 2008 10:08 am

    Also, let me add that I am a vendor for Wal-Mart among other retailers. 6 of the 10 Wal-Marts I visited last friday did not carry AOC anymore. The tag where AOC was is even gone so its not like they were sold out.
    There are lots of spots for Warhammer and WoW vanilla/BC/WOTLK.

    AoC is infact on its way to the grave.

    I would also like to mention that DarkFall just announced January 22, 2009 as the OFFICIAL Launch of the game. There goes another huge hit for wjhats left of AoC

  50. […] &#65g&#101 of Conan: How an MM&#79&#82PG Di&#101&#115 [&#86ox ex Machina] […]

  51. Cyberqat
    December 7, 2008 12:41 pm

    Right conclusion, wrong logic.

    See my response at

  52. Michael’s Blog » Work Update
    December 7, 2008 1:02 pm

    […] ex Machina have posted an interesting article about Age of Conan and its ‘death’ (Clicky). Really is a shame, I was hoping to hop back into Hyboria now I have this new PC, but now, […]

  53. Michael Lerch
    December 7, 2008 6:01 pm

    Wow, you know I actually told Funcom in the beta forums that the game sucked and needed more time to be polished.. I got flamed for days over that, and look at this, THE GAME TANKED. Holy shit, was I right? Yes I was.

    I don’t think that giving them a whole new year to work on the game would have saved it before release, from start to finish the game was a major slap in the face. The only highlight of the day was the nude female models and the gruesome finisher combos.

  54. Jimbo
    December 7, 2008 6:50 pm

    I, like many people, did try Conan, liked it immensely, realised it was not finished, got fed up, and left.

    I tried REALLY hard to like it enough to push through the 50s… but couldn’t do it. They botched the Necro so many times in the opening month, I couldn’t take the pain any more.

    I went back to LOTRO.

    I’m glad people like AoC and are still playing it. It has amazing potential. But for me, if you release a game with REALLY unfinished content, change classes around so that to be in any way effective you have to play FOTM, and make dungeons ridiculous (the ones where whoever enters first sets the level of the mobs… a great idea but didn’t seem to work in practice) then it’s not a keeper. In this day and age the informed gamer will spend his money on what gives him or her the most enjoyment, and the sum of the flaws of AoC meant we decided with our feet and found greener pastures.

    I agree with some posters that to write an opinion piece it would be much better if the author had experienced the subject first hand, however my experience was identical to that of the author’s presented material.

    I therefore laughed my ass off when dieing for swifter travel times was mentioned.

    Oh, but the breasts in this game were fantastic. VIRTUAL BEWBS FTW!

  55. Lx
    December 7, 2008 9:45 pm

    Tortage isn’t the reason the game failed. What caused the game to fail and it has failed fan-boys be damned, is the fact they changed the game multiple times in one week.

    They released the game then nerf every class until it was boring. I played a Tempest but the 3rd week of release they were changing that class 3 times a week.

    When devs and publishers ignore beta testers and release a MMO anyway the game fails, or under-performs.

    The exact same thing happened with Tabula Rasa, and it’s why I don’t play MMOs anymore the only one I would play is Vendetta Online but that doesn’t have a player base large enough for my taste.

  56. jak
    December 7, 2008 9:49 pm

    Based upon reading everyone’s review about Nelson Williams article and not meeting the man for myself, I’ve come to the conclusion that he is a Post-Op transexual that prefers 2 liter bottle sized dildos in his rectum. This is your logic! Play the game jerk!

  57. gadien
    December 7, 2008 11:16 pm

    To all the people who claim that AoC didn’t do crap in terms of sales: YOU ARE WRONG. AoC did get onto the top ten MMORPGs for sales of all time. Yes, its penitence compared to WoW, but then again every game is.

    To all the people complaining about the armor looks and everything being brown obviously never did any of the “instances” in the game. Each level range has unique looking armor Sanctum, Black Castle, Onyx, Catacombs, Main/Cistern, Yamir, Caravans, and Scorpion Cave all have unique armor sets. This does not include raid or PvP armor sets that also add verity to the game. Yes, the majority of the armor is “brown” but welcome to a realistic game that is played in a world that is based on reality. Anyone who bought AoC and thought differently, who thought that armor would be the kind of cool in other games, didn’t know anything about the REH world.

    This article has some truth in it; however, is grossly in accurate in so many areas that it loses any viability and credibility. Its obvious that the bolgger doesn’t know how to do proper research. Had he/she then the review would of been 1) up to date, and 2) would have had both sides presented.

    Yes, a person has to state that something is his/her personal opinion when they are trying to also present facts.

  58. yvgar
    December 8, 2008 4:36 am

    I didn’t read the article, but I do keep up to date on the article reading community, and I feel that qualifies me to write an article myself, and I’d like to point out several things…

  59. Valen
    December 8, 2008 6:21 am

    Looks like author was never playing AoC much, never met big guilds. Just noob spreading his own opinion

  60. Abriael
    December 8, 2008 7:39 am

    To all the ones that accuse the author of not having played the game, and try to refute the article with that (quite marginal in this case) argument, I played it, resisted on it quite a few than most (i canceled in september), as the main tank of a very active guild that managed to almost complete tier 2 raiding.
    And yes, the article is spot on. Funcom did an horrible mess, lined up with bad communication and horrible moderation on their own forums (their censorship of any data on population is now the stuff of bed time scare stories). They simply turned a great IP into a sub par game that will, unfortunately, be forgotten soon.

    So yeah, he might not have played, but he’s still right.

  61. Abriael
    December 8, 2008 7:40 am

    Lil correction to the above comment. Canceled in november, not september. I should sleep more.

  62. joe
    December 9, 2008 1:41 am

    venomous mmo players log off just long enough to berate someone’s opinion?


    At least you people aren’t playing WoW anymore. Y’know. The polished game from the reputable developer. The fun one? the one people play?

  63. MrLee
    December 9, 2008 1:46 am

    Cry mr y whny lsr. Y clrly hv n d wht y’r tlkng bt. Mst f th trsh y jst thrw p ws nt vn rmtly cnnctd t ny fcts, jst pr gss wrk, ls nd whny btchng. G bck t trllng n th WW frms whr y blng.

  64. jaggeh
    December 9, 2008 6:44 am

    “-AoC is going to be the worlds first CUDA enabled game.”

    no it isnt, eve-online will be cuda ready a long time before AoC

  65. Cramshad
    December 9, 2008 2:08 pm

    You’re so full of shit, son. You probably played this game like WoW. AoC is NOT WoW. You actually have to group in this game and be social. They added 3 servers since, and it’s still growing. Imo, this article was extremely biased, and you probably haven’t even played the game past level 20.

  66. Adrian
    December 10, 2008 4:09 am

    I agree with the article. I bought AoC as soon as it came out. The previews looked awesome, the storyline sounded great (fan of Conan), and it sounded like they had come up with an interesting combat system. Tortage was fun, interesting, very well done and looked great.
    Then I left Tortage and things went downhill extremely quickly.
    Itemisation was terrible – a level 30 piece would often not only look the same as a level 20 piece, but have exactly the same stats.
    The auction house was flooded with blue items selling for a few coppers, making your “rare” find worthless.
    Trade skills didn’t work.
    Siege PvP was broken.
    Often, the only reason people would get into a fight was to die so they could travel across the zone instantly.
    You could get ganked by someone 4-5 level lowers than you and there was *nothing* you could do about it.
    Instanced zones made grouping a nuisance.
    Necromancers had to individually resummon all their pets each time they changed zone (even going into a building).
    Each patch fixed some of the bugs from the previous version but inevitably introduced a whole new batch.
    The game had massive potential and could have been great, but Funcom released it six months before it was ready, and tried to sucker people in hanging around while they sorted out the mess.

  67. Avery
    December 10, 2008 5:20 pm

    Such a bias write up – obviously the author played the game for 5 minutes 5 months ago and has no clear indication or grasp on how the game actually is. Simply put you are wrong on so many levels – just from reading the comments so many people agree. Maybe it is time to stick with what you actually know, and if you knew something 5 months ago that doesn’t make valid reading does it. Seems like you are not a PvP’r or hate it from your comments, maybe you got killed and then really didn’t like the game. Was it too brutal and mature for you? It does say on the box buddy. If you want financial data maybe research into the last presentation will tell you the company is in healthy shape and the stocks are low because no one wants to sell :)
    FYI all classes can stealth – another example that you have no idea what your talking about…

    As for the CUDA comment, DX10 will be on test live with in a couple of weeks Custom Engine built around CUDA and then on live servers about a month after long time before EvE.

  68. Seraphella
    December 11, 2008 3:32 pm

    I beta’d this game and subscribed to it for a brief time. The author’s researched opinion pretty much hit the mark. Conan was to be an incredible game, groundbreaking. Instead, it fizzled. It has wonderful graphics, combat in PvE was different yet exciting, but it lacked anything to drive a player forward. Crafting? What a joke. Quests? Not really story driven. “Lost my sack in a cave, please go get it…” As an MMO it was lacking.

    The only things that I can say were great about it are the nudity, the blood, and those are all tied into their graphics.

  69. Pierre
    December 12, 2008 5:58 pm

    Even though you haven’t played AoC, there is a lot of truth in this article.

    I played AoC from launch until a bit after level 40 on the Cimmeria server. Here are my main concerns.

    – Crafting sucked, gathering sucked. Worst chore i’ve seen in any mmo.
    – Gank squads everywhere.
    – Itemization sucked balls. And I almost quit right out when i saw the “2.134% to X” crap… Talk about stat panic.
    – Boring classes.
    – Awful and tedious combat system.

    graphics and tortage (1-20) were nice though.

  70. jonny baloney
    December 15, 2008 3:33 pm

    your articles are awesome, you’re an inspiration and a constant souce of lulz, keep em comin!


  71. Blade
    December 16, 2008 10:33 pm

    I disagree with this article greatly. It seems more like a contrived hit piece that seeks to profit off the demise of Age of Conan for the writer’s pet peeves.

    He even misrepresents why Godager left: Godager left because he failed to deliver and ignored feedback prior to the game. He made some huge mistakes that he could not live down. That’s clear.

    I’m unimpressed that Kotaku carried your abusive, inaccurate article.

    Ganking has nothing to do with this. You fail at playing the game and are simply whining about a playstyle that has nothing to do with why Conan is a poor game.

    Gaming journalism these days is absolutely disgusting.

  72. Anon
    December 17, 2008 12:24 am

    I started to write a balanced review of the game based on my experience. But given that most of my experiences have been negative, and remembering them opened up all those frustrating memories of a game that became less and less fun to play, I’ll just go ahead and say ‘fuck this game’.

    I was in one of the top guilds on my server for both PVP and PVE. We had a couple realm firsts with regard to raiding, but eventually all quit because it stopped being fun. Broken mechanics and terrible reward systems can only be tolerated for so long. The surprise of being charged for play after canceling your subscription was a bonus ‘screw you’ to those trusting enough to not erase their credit card information.

    That being said – if you’re in it for the immersion and roleplay, it’s hella fun and you’ll probably enjoy yourself. To Funcom’s credit, the world is graphically amazing (though technologically taxing). If you’re after something less superficial, however, skip this one. Don’t even look at it on the shelf.

  73. AoC is ok
    December 17, 2008 11:46 am

    This Thread/QQ is one of the sources why AoC isnt doing as well as it should. At release people started to QQ about AoC and the truth is that – the QQ spreads. Other people suddenly lost their interest to this great game and the snowball kept rolling down. The fact is that in just Q3 made 18million in just AoC subscriptions which alone should pay for 100 developers for the 5-years they have spent for making the game.

    And why – if I may ask – is the game still a #3 in TenTonHammer games list? Actually im asking – why isnt it #1. Simple answer was: former Warcraft fanboys -who were right in feeling that WoW is a bad game- noticed that the sieges bugged so that they could not play the “end-game” in which they would show the world that the are the “chosen one”. Also, because there werent 11million other players they felt that here they do not have big enough play ground to who off their e-pee. Simple as that.

    In 2009 there will be Red Sonja movie made by Robert Rodrigues, and 2010 there will be Conan movie. If this publicity isnt going to make AoC a stronghold in gaming industry again then nothing will.

    To conclude: the game is ok, the graphs are fantastic (just wait for dx10 to come), there is plenty to do, there are guilds that raid, and after the merges the crafting starts to work properly.

  74. Jinkii
    December 18, 2008 11:35 am

    I was one of the saps suckered in by this BS game, i agree that the first 20 levels were good but they forgot to add the rest of the game.
    I was skeptical of the Hype it was getting because i remember the crap they made their customers wade through on the Anarchy Online launch and it happened again. I only got the game because my friends all bought the PR line they were spewing.
    My experience of playing the game was First 20 levels pretty good fun, then they kept ninja-patching i only got to play for 9 days out of my one month because they Patched me out, i was unable to log in, or when i managed it i was booted straight back to the log in screen.
    As is evident in this comments section Funcom Employee’s are still posing as fans to try and stamp out any and all criticism (A Trick they learned from the Church of Scientology).
    I posted on the forum that i intended to complain to my local Trading Standards Authority and my forum account was banned for a Year, i would be surprised if Funcom or this alleged game will last that long.
    Jinkii lvl 33 Priest of Mitra, Dagon EU *Cancelled*

  75. […] Age of Conan: How an MMORPG Dies [Vox ex Machina] […]

  76. Martin
    December 24, 2008 12:15 am

    “I don’t play Age of Conan. Never have.”

    How can a person even have an opinion about something they’ve never tried. It’s like a little kid saying “I don’t like broccoli” when they’ve never tried it. This entire article is pointless and inaccurate.

    Anyone who has never fought overseas is not entitled to comment about the Iraq War?????

  77. Harlequin
    December 24, 2008 11:54 am

    I’ve played the game so allow me to weigh in.

    You’re right on most of it. And there are new people to replace those that leave, but its fewer and fewer. And most of them don’t leave. It seems like most grind up to 80, then depart as I did when they realize beyond raids there’s -nothing- to this game.

    It was released when it was barely a beta, and FC has spent all its time trying to make it a viable game rather than improving and adding new stuff. Hell, it took forever for simple PVP XP to be added, let alone all the other things they promised and never delivered.

    I bought it. I was loyal. I pushed through the dull grind to 80. And I left out of boredom. I hope the game survives, but frankly… its doubtful.

  78. Law573
    December 26, 2008 7:24 am

    Are you running AoC on an emulated server? Have you even played the game? Are you basing you basing your article on other people’s flames? Now I realize that this is only a blog and you know what opinions are like….

    I currently play the game and have not seen what you describe. My server has a very healthy population, sieges, raids, etc. I’m not sure what your agenda is, but I would you certainly don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground in regards to AoC

  79. Vatec
    December 26, 2008 2:36 pm

    1. You don’t necessarily have to play a game in order to have an informed opinion on it. There are plenty of people who’ve never played football but have a perfectly good grasp on what makes for a good team and what abilities are needed to be a good quarterback

    2. MMOs generally do not regain massive numbers after they’ve flopped. AoC flopped. Discussing the state of the game NOW has no relevance to explaining why it crashed and burned. Is it a better game now? In most ways, yes.

    A. The client is more stable, there are a lot more quests, and PvP is at least a little more balanced. OTOH, they dumbed down the combo system to the point where most melee classes only have one big damage combo that they spam over and over while tossing in a random debuff or small combo between heavy hitters. Some of us LIKED the old combo system.

    B. And yeah, killing yourself for fast travel was silly, but they sure fixed THAT. Of course, now you can be trapped at a rez pad and unable to leave because the PC/NPC who killed you is between you and the rest of the zone. Better hope you haven’t used your recall spell in the last half hour….

    C. The PvP consequence system helped cut down on ganking. Unfortunately, for a lot of people ganking (or even being ganked) was the only fun part of the game. The only “challenge” as it were.

    3. Tortage is definitely the most polished part of the game. Unfortunately, it gets old after you’ve completely it six times and have ten other alts at various stages of development. The rest of the game lacked that polish, though it was never as bad as the author believes nor is it that bad now.

    4. The art is fantastic. Unfortunately, most of cool-looking stuff requires running dungeons over and over in groups. Groups are hard to find on many servers. VERY hard to find on a few. So most people you run into will be wearing crafted or generic loot, which does all look the same: shades of brown with occasional bloodstains.

    5. Zone art is very good, but somewhat limited. You’ve got desert, snow, barren hills, glaciers, and wide open fields. Fortunately there aren’t a lot of forests (lots of visual clipping issues). Some of the dungeons are spectacular.

    6. One thing the author misses which is key to the failure of this MMO and several before it: leveling is way too fast. That’s fine if you have endgame content. AoC didn’t have endgame content. Reach 80 in a month, realize there’s nothing to do, leave. A very common occurrence.

    7. Given Funcom’s track record, I expect AoC will be around for a while. But I suspect it will never be more than a niche product, catering to those who want a bit of graphic violence and a bit of nudity in their MMO.

    8. As to whether or not =I= have a right to these opinions: almost 40 DAYS of /played time including a 79 Bear Shaman, 68 Guardian, 58 Priest of Mitra, 40 Necromancer, 40 Conqueror (on a PvE server, deleted him due to lack of any challenge whatsoever), 31 Ranger, 26 Herald of Xotli, and at least one or two of every other class at some point or another. I did say that leveling was ridiculously fast; sometimes it’s easier to delete a character and create a new one to test things out than it would be to accumulate the cash to change feat specs again ;^)

  80. CelestialFury
    December 28, 2008 2:26 pm

    As far as game release date, that was done to coincide with the aniversery of “The Pheonix on the Sword” which was the first Conan story written.

    For armor variation: Most of the armor is the same because that is how things work in a realistic setting. There actually is a lot of different looking armor, but those are rare drops that you have to get off of bosses. As for the gear not being that important, that was what the game was promising from the begining. Where you would be rewarded for you actual skill and not by how much online gold you bought from farmers or for how little a life you had in the real world.

    For grinding, that’s true for any MMO. WoW is one of the worst when it comes to grindfest, boring, unispired quests. With AoC you can usually complete quests in mulitple manners and most of the quests are actually original and fun, with the grindfest quests being very few, and those are designed to be completed while doing several other quests that take you in the area that has the mob that your suppose to kill.

    The rogues being able to gank you was another one of their promises that they did follow through on. It was suppose to be a game that rewarded people for playing smart and cunning, rather than what most games do with having you have to play a specific way or die.

    You talk about the game getting worse with Godager leaving, but the fact of the matter is that with him gone things are actually getting done. The game is far more stable, the PvP system is improved, combos have been shortened, new zones and new soloable quests have been added.

    As for banning people from the forums: Never once heard of people being banned for criticizing Funcom in a reasonable manner. The people who got banned are the ones shouting obscenities, throwing around the term ‘Failcom’, and in general bashing rather than giving legitimate critizism. In short, behaviour that will get you banned from any game forum.

    You last paragraph: Just plain wrong. There are always guild that do what you describe, in any game with PvP. But if you get on one of the larger servers there are still seiges and raid runs.

    There will always be haters to any game. I remember when LOTRO came out and all the WoW players were criticizing the graphics when compared to WoW. Keep in mind how WoW looks like it was barfed up out of a clown.

    Instead of critizing a game that you never played you should probably take the time to try it and see for yourself whats going on rather than taking the words of people who are going to criticize it no matter what is going on.

  81. Mr 187
    December 29, 2008 2:25 pm

    Totally agree with the article.

    I had great expectations from the game.I played a dark templar to lvl 20 and
    i must say i had to force myself to do so because it was so boring to play.

    All the items looks the same and all the interfaces doesn’t feel good/smooth.
    The characters allso walk like pinocio guys.

    It felt like playing a sort off guild wars clone.

  82. Arkanis
    January 4, 2009 10:44 pm

    Luckily, I don’t have to worry about any of this, since I play Warhammer Online.

  83. Singe
    January 5, 2009 3:51 am

    I’ll weigh in. I leveled two characters but couldn’t get either past 45 and left out of sheer boredom. This review encapsulated my feelings about the game perfectly.

  84. Vincent
    January 6, 2009 1:25 am

    This satire does hit many things on the head but I see game after game fail because each fails to recognize the need to community and teaming. Tabula Rasa was a solo game and will be until it shuts down. Conan is much better when you team but team mates drift off doing their own thing as you play and in many cases they fall off the radar. In instanced play teaming works well and is quite fun.

    Community is importent. A sence of importance and the feeling of being needed to complete a quest.
    Ranged characters can’t fight ranged. They get ganged and grouped on quickly. When you get a good position to fight you can’t hit your target but they can hit you. Everything is designed like all you are going to do is exploit.

    The comment about farming is not true. You have so many quests that you can continue to quest and have far too much to do. The worlds are massive and you can travel from land to land and pick up quests no matter your level. This is truely a beautiful game that needed just a bit of social tweeking to make it great. They also really couldn’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar and let the PVP aspects and nerfs kill the game. They lost more people to nerfs and power level gankers than anything else.
    If your character is nerfed to uselesness or constanly ganked to the point you can’t play you quit. Why do companies let players drive away customers. Why do they drive away their own for simple things.

    If you do PVP do it on level ground or make the system linear. Starwars had levels but in PVP you were all the same level and had to rely on skills.

    Drop the price to $8 per month and they will make money hand over fist.

  85. Brognor
    January 7, 2009 3:59 pm

    I’ve been in this game for some time and I got bored as Hell! Here in Greece I found people who like it a lot but really, I cant stand it! I prefer playing games with poorer graphics than this. I am playing Lord of the Rings Online since beta and I adore it! This is my favourite mmo ever and I got very disappointed by AoC.

  86. Megjo
    January 15, 2009 6:44 pm

    quote: People are leaving Warhammer and aren’t willing to go back to WOW. People are beating WOTLK and feeling that it’s just more of the same.

    Since i’m a gamer myself, I have tried AoC ! And to be honest i had great expectations from the game. None of which was met. So giving my opinion on the game would matter up to a certain degree, but not as much and as loud Funcom’s “crash and burned” stock option. Either you like it or not it’s there in the name, MMO is all about MASSIVE and not about boobs and blood. If that’s what you need you can get it elsewhere and you don’t have to pay so dearly for it…
    Given the above facts, you’re one of either things: Blind or a desperate Funcom Manager that is trying to salvage the last remaining rugs of the game… I feel sorry for you anyway.
    And for your information, people’s opinions is that make a game spin or not.

  87. […] an exodus of players and having to close over half the servers despite problems with the game being well known early on. Although these are just two titles, it does pose the question: how many titles could have […]

  88. […] had to merge their servers, after initial subscribers left once they learned that there was not much to the game after Lv. 20, in a move generally seen in the MMO community as applying a Snoopy band-aid to a gushing artery. […]

  89. steve
    January 31, 2009 1:08 am

    That was a very funny write up, well done

  90. […] William’s blog entry called Age of Conan: How an MMORPG Dies resulted in a heated debate – there is no joint opinion on the current state of the game, but the […]

  91. xordious
    February 16, 2009 4:59 am

    I couldn’t have summed it up better myself,

    “Age of Conan is now, for all practical purposes, a walking and half-naked corpse shambling toward a dark horizon.”

    Excellent review, Played it for 20 hours then unsubscribed
    I hide the collectors edition box because it reminds me about the wasted money
    I was involved in the Beta and it was obvious then that their was a shitload of work needing to be done yet they still released it.

    Vanguard will always be my MMO

  92. SteamRolan
    February 18, 2009 9:01 am

    Well I read all of these comments so far and I’m entertained. Nelson was wrong for spewing some incorrect info but the point he made is valid. I don’t think this game is going to die anytime soon but I could be wrong and I hope I’m not. In a few months when I get a custom made PC I’ll be trying this myself (because Cyberpowerpc is giving this away if you get a certain graphics card) and only pay $15 (which shouldn’t be as much as WoW subscription for obvious reasons) to see if this is still crap a year after. Oh if anyone is playing AoC and has played WoW for a while, how is the PvP compared to WoW? I watched some videos of the PvP hours ago and I was kind of indifferent to it just like I was with WoW until I actually PvP’ed in WoW so I want personal opinions.

  93. ewomer
    April 17, 2009 7:56 pm

    quote “I don’t play Age of Conan. Never have.”

    For a guy who never played you hit the hammer on the nail, To all those who say the game isn’t dead and all the issues are fixed(the failncom employees) , if you guys would have paid attention to all the complaints in the forums instead or banning and erasing them maybe the game would have beaten WoW. I played AoF(F as in Fail) was in a guild left for about 6 months and came back around February to see what all the buzz was, to see if failcom listened to there customers/subscribers, and my guild was gone. Every last one of them was gone we had a city started and stuff. So I know you failcom employees are blowing smoke up peoples a$$’s again. Quit it!!! me and every last person who played the game are sick of failcoms bull$#!7.

  94. ewomer
    April 17, 2009 8:05 pm

    For a guy who never played you hit the hammer on the nail, To all those who say the game isn’t dead and all the issues are fixed(the failncom employees) , if you guys would have paid attention to all the complaints in the forums instead or banning and erasing them maybe the game would have beaten WoW. I played AoF(F as in Fail) was in a guild left for about 6 months and came back around February to see what all the buzz was, to see if failcom listened to there customers/subscribers, and my guild was gone. Every last one of them was gone we had a city started and stuff. So I know you failcom employees are blowing smoke up peoples a$$’s again. Quit it!!! me and every last person who played the game are sick of failcoms bull.
    hahaha i can say failcom all i want and you douches cant do anything about it.

  95. Andrew
    May 5, 2009 1:37 am

    Wow, looks like you pretty much hated the game. I don’t think it was that terrible even back then. And now it’s got much, much better. The entire combo system is changed and improved, for example. There are more quests and so on.

    I’m surprised you found the graphics “brown” and boring though. After Tortage there are so many diverse areas with snow, jungle, desert or grasslands – make your pick.

  96. Bearshaman
    May 7, 2009 4:56 pm

    The game was crap on release and the game is STILL crap. I love how people come here telling you that everythign is fixed and great again. However if you log in again you will see the SAME glaring issues and problems.

    In addition adding in things that should have been in the game upon release a year + later isn’t exactly showing gamers that you really mean what you say. Just because DX 10 is going to beta doesn;t mean it will be live before the two year mark is even up.

    This game is gonna fold up in a year or two and there’s not really much you can do to save it.

  97. octopussoup
    June 25, 2009 9:26 pm

    Its too bad. The means of combat was interesting. I really did like Tortage alot. The capitals were nice looking as well.

    The all brown is just Stygia. The other two areas are a bit more colorful but still feel barren compared to what went on in Tortage. I wish they had junked the idea of a MMORPG and just make a full adventure game with the engine and make the whole game like Tortage with the option to have you friends multiplay with you. It would have could have been great.

  98. Grimulv
    August 9, 2009 5:19 pm

    I can see this article is an old one, but it is only more to the point then, stating that the bullshit you have written above has by now been prooven wrong.

    The only redeeming thing about you writing this article is the probability of you being one of the mindless wankers waisting their lives in WoW. What a shame that is, or perhaps on second thought, its blody brilliant, as it keeps many jerks from entering other MMORPGs, including you it seemes. I usually do not respond to shit like this, but for you i make an exception.

    Looking at this today, this article contains nothing of the truth about how AoC has developed, but luckily there be still a number of players out there who has a mind of their own. Every game of this type starts off having issues, but they develope over time, something this article tend to miss.

  99. X
    September 6, 2009 5:15 am

    This article, while old, turned out to actually be quite prophetic. While the game is currently not dead as games such as Tabula Rasa, its player base has steeply dropped in the last year. AoC has less than 100,000 subscribers and FunCom lost 23.3 million dollars in fiscal year 2009. One would only need to use google to find this information.

    Will the game die? Once it ceases to be profitable, yes. But until then? No. It will retain its small player base so long as they continue to pay, though it isn’t likely that people will return now that the terrible and widespread word of mouth has ruined its reputation. Even WAR fared better, retaining 300,000 of its initial 750,000 subscribers.

    The facts are available to you. If you want to deny that this game is extremely lacking in popularity, I would suggest that you refrain from doing any research. The results may disappoint you.

  100. Shadowhawk
    July 18, 2010 10:13 pm

    “You forgot the tags “Personal Opinion” as well

    A lot of what you state is very much what has happened to the game, yet, there is so much in this post that screams “Because I hated the game”…which felt like it should have been added to each line.”

    Pretty much, pretty much. Called it for what it is.

    First off, besides being apparently biased against the game, the alleged reviewer here has obvious little gaming hours under his belt, Age of Conan or otherwise. If he were even moderately familiar with the general process of MMO’s, then yes it should be obvious you die. Death, respawn and resurrection in MMO’s…happens.

    The implication here is that Age of Conan has no life or content after level 20. In fact, at 19+, you’re finally leaving the newbie region of Tortage far behind. Things are just getting warmed up as you’re off to face the big bad world of Hyboria (stressing BIG). If you think Strom, final boss of the newbie zones was bad, just you wait. If you think that axe he dropped was nice, well, it gets better.

    Let me talk to you about guild city building…

    Best part yet; look at the date of my post. Mid-summer 2010, over two years later, Age of Conan? Yeah, still there.

    Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer? First full expansion, released this spring. As a rule, game developers don’t bother with money pits. They don’t produce new content for dead MMO’s. I should know; as a Norrathian citizen since 2002.

    Yeah, EverQuest is still there too.

    “In the end, all that is left are guilds of gankers, hiding in grinding caves and waiting for someone to unstealth.”

    If you’re on PvP servers, yes, largely the state of things. However, most servers are PvE, and a little bit more sophisticated than this.

    “What began among the jeweled towers of Aquilonia ends then, here in caves and dirt. And brown. Lots and lots of brown.”

    I’m sorry. All I feel I can say is, get a video card that can actually handle the game before you review it. You may find Hyboria looks a lot better if you’re not seeing it through a two-bit color range.

  101. Ex-Player
    June 30, 2011 4:39 am

    I’m not quite sure why I’m posting to a 3 year old thread but I’m guessing at least some people will still read it.

    It’s interesting to read this on a random web search having just this month stopped playing after 3 years of “hardcore” playing. Hate to burst the fanboy’s bubble but much of the intent behind what the original poster said is still true. For sure theres been a huge amount of changes (stats now mean something, expansion, new areas etc.) but so much of the intent behind his post is still very much true.

    Funcom are a DIRE producer. There is nothing redeeming about their approach or attitude at all. After 8 years (I was Anarchy Online hardcore for 5 years before that) of their complete and utter contempt of their paying public I’ve now finally thrown in the towel and given up hoping. The sad thing here is that the games, at their core are exceptional. Truly head and shoulders above anyone else. Their ability to realise this potential is, however, nil. So many wasted chances and so much wasted potential.

    I could go on, at length about the problems and issues that the game still has but to be honest theres no point. The game consolidating down to 2 English servers in Europe (no RP servers any more just one PVP and one PVE) and going “Free to Play” pretty much tells you all you need to know. One enterprising player tracked playing figures in game. It wasn’t scientific for sure but on the primary PvE server Crom (the ONLY pure PVE server, the other being PvE RP), on a week night during peak playing hours the number of level 80 characters logged in never went over 400. Thats just sad.

    I did have a chuckle though at one of the first posts in this thread, written in December 2008 defending the game.

    “The future is looking bright….
    -DX10 is just around the corner.
    -AoC is going to be the worlds first CUDA enabled game.
    -Expansion pack is already being made
    This game is no where near dead

    Our server (Doomsayer) has had tons of new guilds form within the last 2 weeks.”

    DX10 didn’t make it in until 2010 and even then unless you had a beast of a rig had performance issues, lag issues and graphical glitches all over the place. Many chose to go back to DX9 just to get a more stable game.
    As far as I’m aware, CUDA physics never made it into the engine at all. Theres plenty of talk about it back in 2008 but theres no mention of it since around that time. It may be in there but I’m pretty certain it never made it out of beta.
    The expansion, at least, did get released. Unfortunately after the initial excitement and positive reviews the actual expansion was, well, pretty poor. It effectively introduced grinding to the game in a spectacular fashion. You had to grind for EVERYTHING. There were at least 4 completely separate and unrelated grinds – none of which you could do a single task to get. The worst was a grind for tokens that basically involved faction sided quests only not all factions were equal. With one faction (of 8) you could make about 100 tokens with an easy set of quests all in the same area in about 1.5h. For some other factions, the “optimum” route and quests only gave you about 25 in the same time. But certain classes were locked to certain factions (faction = armour type so Plate could only be bought from 2 factions) so if you were one of the unlucky classes you were expected to take 4* the amount of time or more. (or you could jsut train up a faction you had no use for JUST to get the tokens). Ridiculous.

    Though I’m not much of a PVP player it’s the PVPers I feel most sorry for. Stuck with a combination of broken sieges (unplayable for about 2 years due to crashes), exploits useable by a very small number of classes (known in game as combo-skipping) which to this day haven’t been fixed (and have been in game for 18 months or more), terrible game design (Shrines of Bori PVP addon which never worked as intended and was horribly exploited), massive imbalance between new PVPer and old due to gear/battlekeep/pvp level bonuses (some imbalance is fine, but the imbalance is so extreme between PVP0 and PVP10 that new players on PVP0 simply cannot compete even if they’re the best in the world and there is no mechanism or balancing system to let them get to PVP10). The list goes on.

    PVE’s don’t have it all that much better (though certainly better than the PVPers)
    Tier 2 raiding was blocked for completion for 6 months with a locked door to the final wing of Tier 2. When Tier 3 finally made an appearance after 18 months of waiting the last 2 bosses were broken and were very close to impossible to complete. After another 6 months they were finally fixed so 2 years in and you could now complete the content that was touted at the games launch. When the new “Rise of the Godslayer” expansion was originally advertised and discussed Funcom promised another tier, tier 4 would be part of the expansion. When it arrived T4 didn’t happen. In the past 12 months only 3 guilds have managed to complete what of T4 there is and what they found was that only two of the raid bosses were there along with a solid brick wall to stop further progress. In the last 12 months, T4 has been rendered impossible to complete on no less than 4 occasions. As far as I know, it is currently right on the edge of impossibility.

    Every single patch introduces hidden, knock on effects. The 4 times T4’s been made impossible it’s because of, as far as anyone knows, unexpected or invisible changes that never appear on patch notes. There is next to no communication between dev’s and the community and there is nothing to even acknowledge if there is a problem with anything at all. VERY occasionally the game director will mention they’re looking into something if it’s a massive problem. Other than that, you hear nothing.

    I could go on and on about the dire stare of the game, the dire state of Funcoms “support”, the lack of input, lack of feedback, poor communication and downright ignorance of the company but I’d be here all day. I’ve taken my 17 level 80’s (2 of them full Tier 3, another 10 full Tier 2) and parked them for good. Funcom will NEVER get another penny from me, I don’t care if the Secret World includes free sex for everyone. Never, ever again.

  102. Kingerz
    July 10, 2011 7:08 am

    The poster should absolutely not have reviewd a game he hadn’t played, although I have to say, it generated a great thread. It’s been interesting for me to see how smooth Rift has been for a new game release, just 3 years after all this furore. I’ve only been DECed once from that and it’s got less bugs than your typical WoW patch. I guess, it’s like the change from Vista to Win7…things really have improved in a little while.

  103. william
    January 6, 2012 4:33 pm

    From Wikipedia:

    On August 21, 2008, Funcom laid off half of its Customer Service department located in Durham, North Carolina. On November 22, 2008, third parties reported that Funcom fired additional 70% of the staff in their US workforce, possibly endangering future releases.[3]

    On September 17, 2008, Gaute Godager left Funcom, stating he was dissatisfied with certain elements of Age of Conan, which he directed.[4] Craig Morrison took over the direction of AoC.

    On February 23, 2009, Funcom reported financial losses of approximately $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The unsuccessful launch of Age of Conan was cited as the reason for such steep decline. The chief analyst of DnB NOR, Fredrik Thoresen, estimated that 100,000 subscribers played the game at the time of the report, far below the publisher’s expectations, though these numbers were not confirmed by Funcom itself.[5]


    Ouch. One MMORPG makes shitload of money and the gold rush begins. Now most of them are F2P. I wonder how that helps anyone.

  104. Quiting player
    February 17, 2012 7:13 am

    “If you haven’t actually played the game, your opinions doesn’t count”.

    Of course genius. So take a cup of POISON. No? Why? If you never drunk poison, how can you say it’s bad? Stupid falacy.

    But fresh news: I’m playing AoC since the last week and YES, game dies after Tortage.
    What annoys me in this game is that it has so much potential, but a dumb developers team threw it away for no apparent reason.
    Like all others MMOs, this one have a broken economics, so nothing new on it, only a missed big chance to be better than others. Within time, the inflation will make the game unappealing for starters, and people will go for eBay or anywhere to buy gold, and the complaints about it will weaken the player base, like happened with ALL MMOs so far, mostly because of Chinese (un)government turning prisioneers into gold farmers, which fill the servers with unpleasant opponents.

    The PvP is also broken. You know, they even called it “Age of Casters” and had a joke; “Conan, the Barbarian lost his throne to Simon the Sorcerer”. ‘Tis true. Like the article said, you press your combo and the oponent just avoid it with a double tap. So the 1min cooldown takes place and you can’t do nothing with normal hits, even from a supposed “DPS class”. They do nothing even on clothed enemies. But casters…they only need to press a key, no need for aim, and if their spell gets canceled there’s no cooldown so they only press it again and wait. If they have DoT like Necros it’s even easier. They just DoT you and run around till you die. If you give chase, your stamina runs out and you can’t fight anymore. But caster’s stamina is exclusive to run. They use mana to cast and this is not affected by the run. So giving chase turns you into a sitting duck.
    Besides, them necros have an entire army of zombies which don’t die, do a lot of dmg and most important: makes you unable to reach the necro by stucking you around them.
    The only “brutal” aspect of the combat FailCom promissed is how brutally unbalanced the pvp is.
    And finally, the hiding skill. Spend some few points on it and become invisible. Strike first an unweary opponent and you have 60% of the fight won. Perception skill? No, it only helps if you use search ability, which has a medriocre range and cooldown. If you, by chance, uncover the enemy he can just run and hide again within 10s, but you need to wait 30s to use “search” again.
    Also, its really gear dependent, so if you have a life and can’t grind for weeks you’ll have virtually no chance against any nolifers.

    In the end, ’tis the same shit as other MMOs. Nothing new, nothing more. Maybe except that gankers don’t need to bother using the walls or the enviroment to hide, they can just press a button, which makes their ganking easier.

  105. GuildWars2BABY
    June 17, 2012 10:27 pm

    Truly a prophetic and beautiful article. Age of Conan was shit from the day it was born and continues to be shit now. Funcom is pathetic and should be avoided at all costs. I leave you a quote from the AoC forums posted 6-16-12.

    –There is a lot to experience there, and I figured with dual specs there would be a revival. It is a sad state to see no one queued up. I guess we really need server mergers and cross server tech badly, but in the meantime why don’t some of you queue up for PVP? Who knows, you might even have a good time!–

    4 servers left, and the sad people still “playing” AoC want another server merger.

    Age of Conan = Stillborn fetus.

  106. Daris
    February 19, 2013 4:17 pm

    Well…I give this game a chance to see what is. So many years in SWG, 1 year already in SWTOR and in my break I begin to play it.Just what i see: Only hardcore Conan-story lovers playing this game.The pve servers have some basic population (very little) and the pvp server…well ..very dead!New players dont come anymore,I was in areas to lvl my toon and i see max 4-5 ppl per area! Already the economy inside the game has collapse.Very sad ,Conan look promising when you start it but after 20 lvl you feel is something ‘missing’.To much ‘walk’ for newbies ,low-reward after the quests,The conail area (If i remember correct the name) IS STILL BUGGED! Surpised no one can finish or start quests there.At least for now.
    What make so many players quit the game now I understand it.Just i test it and soon will be remove from my hard disk ( It take 20+GB ,isnt worth it even to stay there).At least -hopefully- they coming far better games (Skyrim:online ,Neverwinter Nights, World of Darkness, etc) from far more ‘experienced’ companies (Cryptic,Bethesda etc).If this game was on other company ,maybe would be better.But not anymore.Was a good try from Funcom but without some ‘gameplay’ results.
    Well at least i try it……

  107. trojan zbot
    May 2, 2013 10:12 pm

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  108. Zerref
    July 26, 2013 2:51 pm

    Just so You Know.If u were a graphist like me?!,and you’d know actual shit about the game?! you would know that ”Shit Brown” Is because you dont use the right Shader FX.
    Introducing Sweet FX 3.Use it – Love it – LIVE IT.
    works for everygame,its free,changes the whole game graphics colours them
    colours them so good that Snow winch is soppoused to be eye blinding in reality actualy becomes eye blinding.Ice becomes Cold.Deserts become warm.Forests Become natural”green”.Darkness Becomes so dark you might need to take a tourch inside the game for the future updates.the game becomes what its soppoused to be and isnt.
    i only said this cuz i know everyone who commented on this page ”well , not everyone”but some people :D would love to try it and i recomend it to be added to the game itself since its free so that no longer people who haven’t played the game say its Brown”shit brown”.cuz right now?! its ”Colourfull” ”Beautifull”

  109. FrankerD
    January 6, 2015 8:22 pm

    I think the game got ruined by all the hackerbots, the toxic players and the lack of mayor upgrades and updates. I mean if they had updated the game graphics for example it might have gone quite differently.

  110. MMO Weekly 9/12 | IncGamers
    February 12, 2015 10:01 pm

    […] about. Our good friends over at Vox ex Machina pose a very interesting question: is Age of Conan a dying game? We're not sure, exactly, what the answer is, since the guys at Vox are smarter than we are and use […]

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