The end of the world is bearing down on some Age of Conan players, but that’s exactly when things get interesting. Funcom’s special Saga of Zath server has just a month left to go before the studio merges its population in with the Crom server and turns out the lights.
Before then, players can race to earn special gear and vanity items for the main server. To help with that, Funcom is giving all players a free extra specialization, cutting the price of mounts in half, chopping XP booster prices down by 75%, and making raid and PvP gear bundles available.
Saga of Zath started up back in January as a special time-limited PvE server. Players had just a few months to go through a saga quest to earn rewards and gain items. When the merge happens on May 15th, all Zath characters will be transferred to Crom with all progress and inventory intact.
From 1994’s A Dinosaur’s Tale to 2018’s Mutant Year Zero, Funcom has blazed its own path through the video game genre as a developer and publisher of all sorts of titles. These, of course, include some of MMORPG fans’ most beloved games, such as Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, and The Secret World.
To celebrate the studio’s 25th anniversary, Funcom put together a quick video that takes players from the 16-bit console generation to the modern day, showing off its various logos and a montage of its games.
“Since those humble beginnings back in March of 1993, we’ve released over twenty-five games across a wide range of platforms,” Funcom said. “We’ve survived major shifts in the gaming industry and we’ve had to adapt to an ever-changing market. We’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs. We’ve weathered many storms and we’ve earned our battle-scars.”
The journey starts below. What are you waiting for?
With significantly higher revenue and sales coming in 2017, Funcom announced to its investors that it just came off the most profitable year in the studio’s history. The studio made $23.2M in revenue and $6.64M in profit during the period, a massive increase over 2016, during which it only made $7.3M in revenue. Even better, Funcom said that it has significantly reduced its debt and strengthened its position.
As for its games, Funcom said that Secret World Legends’ new story content is coming in the first quarter and is expected to bring back players and push user acquisition. Conan Exiles’ May launch is a source of particular excitement, and Funcom is planning on several marketing initiatives to push sales. Anarchy Online and Age of Conan were not mentioned in the report.
Of course, the studio is particularly excited about today’s announcement of its publishing Mutant Year Zero.
Massively OP’s MJ may never care much about leveling fast, but that doesn’t mean she won’t enjoy a good double XP event! In honor of the first Ethram Fal kill on the Saga of Zath server, Age of Conan has turned double XP on all the servers until March 5th. There are still many missions MJ need to complete on the Isle of Tortage, so she’ll be continuing her adventure there. But will she be alone, or will strange magical creatures join her again? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see if anything strange like wild dragons, giant panthers, or tiny house cats appear on this adventure!
What: Age of Conan
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 26th, 2018
If you’ve rolled up a Dark Templar on Age of Conan’s newish saga server, then just know that you’re not alone. At level 80, the class is the most popular of the dozen options available for players.
Funcom shared a pie chart (the tastiest type of charts) of the level 80 class distribution on the server. There’s quite a range between the most and least popular classes, with a handful (Dark Templar, Conqueror, Tempest of Set, and Demonologist) taking over 43% of the roster. If you’re looking for an underdog to pick, the Ranger (4.43%) or Guardian (5.54%) will put you among rare company.
And while we’re on the subject of the saga server, Funcom announced that the Ivory Tower guild gets the honor of attaining a server first kill of Ethram Fal. Congrats!
After starting another Priestess of Mitra on Age of Conan’s new Saga of Zath server, Massively OP’s MJ had a change of heart. She converted to Set! Now she is running around Tortage as a Tempest of Set, blasting everything with lightning. Now it’s time to take on the tasks on White Sands Isle. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for the electrifying adventure.
What: Age of Conan
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 12th, 2018
Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.
That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?
Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Camelot Unchained: Yes, it’ll have a sub, but it won’t be $15. Mark Jacobs re-confirmed that it’ll be less than the industry standard down in our comments a few weeks ago. It’s been rattling around in my head since then as subscriptions just keep popping up in the news. Star Citizen has an optional sub in alpha. Age of Conan just lowered its subscription rate. And the biggest subscription MMO in the world seems to have no problems moving a bajillion expansions, driving token prices to fluctuate. Did we hit rock bottom? Are we just watching the price reset in a new era?
I’m currently paying $13 a month for an old-school game because nobody else has content that even comes close. I wouldn’t hesitate to pay more for an MMO I couldn’t wait to play. In fact, I was prepared to pay more than $15 for CU. Would you? What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018? And what would you expect from an MMORPG charging a subscription?
Everyone’s talking about RIFT’s new Prime server idea — and whether or not it will get us playing Trion Worlds’ fantasy MMO once again. Naturally, the blogosphere had a few thoughts about this.
Stargrace said that it was “highly unlikely” that she’d return for this: “While I am drawn into progression servers for EverQuest and EverQuest II due to a heavy nostalgia factor, I don’t get those same warm fuzzy feelings about RIFT.”
“If anything induces me to give RIFT Prime a try it will be the extent to which the experience doesn’t accurately replicate the original,” Bhagpuss said. And Endgame Variable takes a look at it from the perspective of a former player: “Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in RIFT — a game I’ve already played to death — or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW?”
It’s been a big week for the supposedly-in-maintenance-mode Age of Conan: First it got a new time-limited progression server, then it lowered its sub fees and loyalty rewards for subbers, and now it’s gotten new forums.
“With the new start of the Saga Server we also want new beginnings of fresh and modern forums; it will seem pretty different from what you’re used to here, but these new forums offer a much better community experience. You’re able to keep better track of threads you are interested in and follow, personalize your profile, give feedback to comments, and have easy access to news and updates. It also includes a trust system; the more active or helpful you are in the community, the higher your trust level increases, allowing you access to more features.”
Worth noting is that old comments have not been ported over, but the old forum is still open until February 14th, at which point posts there will be archived (but still viewable).
Massively OP’s MJ is curious about the “saga quest” being offered on Age of Conan’s new Saga of Zath server. That means she has to make a new character, but don’t worry — creation will be done ahead of time! Will life still start in Tortage with a few tweaks, or will it be something different? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to check things out on this new server.
What: Age of Conan
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018
On this week’s show, the fate of Star Wars: The Old Republic is up for debate! In addition to sorting that out, Justin and Bree discuss the new Age of Conan progression server, Final Fantasy XIV’s big content release, EVE Online’s disappointing battle, and more.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
With Age of Conan’s saga server underway, players both new and old are flooding in to check out this limited-duration PvE shard with all of its special rewards. With the future of the game perhaps at stake, Funcom is most definitely watching how the saga server proceeds. Lead Designer Massugana isn’t sharing population numbers just yet, but he did draft up a pie chart that showed the class distribution of the inaugural week.
Out of the dozen classes on this server, the Conqueror is by far the crowd favorite at 12.01% of the population. The underdog? That would be the Assassin, with only 6.02% of players choosing to strike from the shadows.
We know you’re curious about Age of Conan’s newest server ruleset, which is why we’re sending our resident barbarian MJ to investigate! Check it out on MOP TV tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern.