age of conan

Official Site: Age of Conan (Age of Conan: Unchained)
Studio: Funcom
Launch Date: May 20, 2008
Genre: Dark Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Optional Sub, Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Age of Conan is getting a new raid, Palace of Cetriss

Age of Conan fans will soon have a new raid in Dragon’s Spine to dive into. Palace of Cetriss, which will have both a Tier 6 progression version and a “friendlier” one for the more casual player, is meant to give a greater challenge and even rival world boss fights for those who are level 80.

After the uproar from the anniversary-content-is-locked-behind-a-pay-wall hullabaloo, players might be a tad happier to learn that Palace of Cetriss is free to all premium subscribers. While more information about story, bosses, and combat will be forthcoming soon, players can enjoy this video tour and get a peek at a few of the bosses now.

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Massively OP Podcast: Episode 15

Is the world ending? Is hell freezing over? It must be because Blade & Soul is actually coming to the west! On this week’s podcast, the hosts talk about this incredible development as well as progression servers, launch dates, and flying in Draenor. Get out your Bree Topic Bingo cards, as you’re guaranteed to be a big winner!

Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!

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Age of Conan adds new content for its anniversary… for a price

It seems like it’s been a while since Age of Conan last got a major update, but for its anniversary the red carpet has been rolled out once again. Shadow of Vanaheim is new content offering new quests and locations that scale to character level, with new armor pieces and vanity items available through the adventure. You can buy it right now in the game’s cash shop, or you can buy a collector’s edition for a few more vanity upgrades.

Wait, what?

Yes, the new addition for the anniversary is in fact something that is being sold, which has players understandably more than a little angry in the forums. The official response thus far has simply been to outline what is contained within the pack, but it doesn’t really address the core player complaint that having an anniversary event centering around something being sold feels a bit less than celebratory. Even when what’s for sale does involve a totally sweet bear to ride.

Source: Shadow of Vanaheim announcement, forums; thanks to Jon, I-Spy, and David for the tip!


Funcom financials trend downward, new CEO appointed

While it could have been worse, Funcom’s Q1 2015 financials could have been a heck of a lot better, too. In yesterday’s financial report, the company announced that its revenues dropped $144,000 from the previous quarter, bringing in $2.77M since the start of the year. Its main money makers are still Age of Conan and The Secret World.

However, not all is doom and gloom in Funcom’s world. Operating costs are down significantly for the studio, and it just appointed a new CEO, Rui Casais, who took up the position on May 13th.

A big portion of the report was devoted to the upcoming business model shift to buy-to-play for LEGO Minifigures Online. Funcom admitted that “monetizing the game has proven challenging” but has hopes that the new model plus the game’s summer release on tablets will help its outlook significantly.

Source: Q1 2015 financial report. Thanks, Nordavind.


Age of Conan adds a bear mount and quest line for seventh anniversary

It’s shaping up to be one doozy of a month for Age of Conan as the title celebrates its seventh birthday. In the May newsletter, developer Sezmra gave an overview of what players should expect when the event arrives.

The centerpiece of the seventh anniversary will be the addition of a new questline for one to three players levels 20 and higher. The story will take place through four areas and take players to the Blue Mountains and Vanaheim to stop an invasion from the north.

In addition, there will be a rotating series of side quests, tons of rewards, and for the first time ever in Age of Conan, the opportunity to obtain a bear mount. “The vision of charging into battle atop a raging bear mount is going to be pretty astonishing!” the letter gushes.

Source: Monthly newsletter. Thanks to Kieran and Jon for the tip!


MMO Mechanics: Three favourite action combat systems

Virtually every MMO contains dangerous places that are filled with other players or NPCs that will attack characters on site, and many also feature destructible terrain or objects that must be destroyed. With all that smashing, crashing, and bashing, it’s clear that the mechanics employed by our favourite genre must be as diverse as the array of titles that comprise the big bad world of MMOs.

I started my MMO journey in much the same way many players did, testing out the traditional combat offered in the classic MMORPG. Tank, DPS, and healer systems were the first I was exposed to, and standing still to cast was totally normal if more than a little bit frustrating. I really enjoy newer action combat mechanics that reiterate on the traditional MMO combat experience to make it that much more involved and intuitive. In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I’ll talk about some of my favourite action combat MMOs, providing a little bit of insight into why each one made my mechanical roundup.

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Perfect Ten: How to find the right MMO for you

A common question that I see posited around forums and Reddit is, “What MMO should I play?” If there is a more loaded question than that in this community, I haven’t heard it. What is usually being asked, by both newcomers and long-time players, is, “What MMO is right for me that I haven’t played yet?”

While I hear you and have been there, the truth is that there is no one universal answer to that question. There are just hundreds if not thousands of MMOs, big and small, out on the market, each with its own personality, feature set, and setting. Those have to be compared and matched up with the millions of people who all have their own unique preferences. It’s what makes recommending an MMO a difficult proposition.

I’m game for difficult! Today’s list won’t be “10 MMOs that I think you should play” but a rundown of how to sort through the important categories that are out there in the hopes of finding the game that’s right for you.

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Age of Conan developers working on panoramas and achievements

What is best in life? Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Stop mid-crush and realize that you’re in a really pretty area. Enjoy the new panorama feature that will be coming to Age of Conan. Consider making a friend out of the enemies you were crushing. That sort of thing.

The development team has been working on more than just landscape flyovers, of course, with another refinement of the achievement system that ties into both the panoramas and the various hidden treasures hidden across Hyboria. On top of that, the final implementation of the Arena is on its way and the team is working to refine the game’s alternate advancement mechanics. Read the latest dispatch from the development team for all the details.

[Source: Monthly Development Update – April 2015; thanks to I-Spy for the tip!]


Age of Conan patch adds panoramic achievements, tweaks treasure chests

Funcom has updated Age of Conan’s achievement system. The game’s latest patch offers 130 panoramas, which are camera paths that show off various Hyborian landscapes. The update also tweaks the treasure chests hidden around the game world and fills them with more and better rewards which should help you level your characters.

Finally, the patch adds new hunting achievement categories, including new rare bosses.

[Source: Funcom; thanks I-Spy!]


The Daily Grind: What’s Funcom’s secret project?

When Funcom‘s Joel Bylos casually announced this week that he was moving on from his role as game director of The Secret World to a “new initiative within the company,” I got worried, especially once it became clear that he also wasn’t being directly replaced. But when he told Age of Conan players that he’d “been asked to work on something that is super exciting and totally not something [he is] allowed to talk about,” my worry turned to curiosity.

I didn’t have the impression that Funcom was doing spectacularly well after its recent quarterly report, so it hadn’t occurred to me that the studio might be working on something shiny and new. Speculation that Anarchy Online 2 might be in the works is running rampant.

What do you think? What’s Funcom’s secret project?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!


The Daily Grind: What constitutes an ‘action combat MMO’?

In the course of organizing MOP’s new tag database, I found myself looking for input on games to include in the “action combat” tab. I had TERA, Age of Conan, DC Universe, and Vindictus, of course. “Don’t forget WildStar and The Secret World,” Justin said. “Haha, but seriously,” I laughed. “Seriously,” he said. And thus began a fascinating discussion in which we discovered that what we thought was a black-and-white category is actually not an easy call at all.

See, I think of WildStar’s combat as being only slightly more actiony than Guild Wars 2’s, which I’d never classify as an action-combat MMO like TERA or Vindictus. But for him, WildStar’s combat is very actiony and Guild Wars 2’s straddles the line. I think that I am mentally binning the games into “twitch” vs. “busywork,” but then I’m weird.

So what do you think constitutes “action combat” in an MMO? How much actiony combat does an MMO need to boast before you’d classify it an “action combat MMO”? And what other MMORPGs are contenders?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!


Age of Conan plans blockbuster year while Bylos teases ‘super exciting’ project

Age of Conan players, don’t feel left out; you got a meaty game director letter too. Joel Bylos appeared for his last time in that role to promote all of the goods that players have to look forward to in 2015.

The next update for AoC will include more achievements, more panoramas, a hidden treasure system revamp, and additional instance challenges to spice up dungeon runs. Past that, the team is prepping the arena (which includes pet fighting) and preparing an additional endgame progression system that will allow classes to use a wider variety of weapons.

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Funcom’s financials improved in Q4 2014 but are down year-over-year

So do you want the good news or the bad news when it comes to Funcom’s financials? The good news is that the studio saw a bump in revenue in the last quarter of 2014, with The Secret World being its strongest moneymaker. The bad news is that revenues were almost half of what they were a year ago, decreasing from $21.4M in 2013 to $12.6M in 2014 due to “the ageing of the live games.”

Funcom said that the studio’s monetization of LEGO Minifigures Online has taken longer than expected. The upside is that recent promotions have caused a steady player increase and the studio is preparing to roll out the game to additional platforms.

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