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.
Sometimes you really want to stick around to the very end of developer livestreams for any surprise announcements. In Friday’s dev stream, Funcom shocked and probably pleased many fans with the announcement of brand-new forum software for all of its titles.
“Moving forward, we’re going to be launching new forums for all of our games,” the studio said. “We’re going to be using the Discourse platform. All of our games will eventually be under this system, so we’re unifying all of our games under one single umbrella.”
Age of Conan should see the new forum software very soon — if not already — with other titles to follow. And yes, Funcom specifically confirmed that this announcement includes Secret World Legends and Conan Exiles.
The lack of official forums has been a particular sticking point with the Secret World Legends community, which has been forced to scrounge around on Twitch, Reddit, Twitter, and the occasionally updated website for official information and discussion.
Age of Conan’s Saga of Zath server officially launched yesterday, drawing fresh attention back to the game that Funcom maintenance-moded by proxy last year but apparently just isn’t done with. Zath has a ruleset similar to the base PvE server’s, only you have to create a new toon to zip through a “saga quest,” which will give you special rewards that you can then take with you back to Crom when the time limit is up.
According to the comments on our articles so far, Age of Conan hasn’t got quite the traction RIFT (to say nothing of WoW) has with the expansion-progression server or vanilla server idea, but then, this isn’t exactly like those; it’s a little bit more like Diablo III’s seasonal servers, right down to keeping all your loot at the end, but it’s still something new for fans of the original Conan MMO. Future saga servers, Funcom has said, will come with ruleset tweaks.
Let’s take it to the polls for another Leaderboard: Will you be playing Age of Conan’s new server?
Back in December, Funcom announced that it had plans for the effectively maintenance-moded Age of Conan, and those plans included Saga of Zath, a fresh-start progression server. And now, it’s almost here: The studio now says it’s launching tomorrow on January 24th.
“Saga of Zath is a new limited-time server running on a PvE ruleset identical to Crom. You create a new character on this server, and play through a special Saga Quest as you progress. Completing objectives in this quest awards exclusive cosmetics, titles, and up to Tier 6-quality raid gear! There’s also a special Saga-exclusive Hoard you can purchase, featuring tradable items! The server is only open until May 15th. Once over, the server closes and your Saga character is transferred onto Crom with their inventory fully intact.”
Funcom designer Mussagana has been all over the forums the last few days explaining how everything works. Specifically, parts of the item shop will be disabled on this server, the raid finder will be turned off at least temporarily, experience gains will be normal, and yes, there may be other servers in the future if this one does well.
With an official May 8th launch date looming over Conan Exiles, Funcom has a lot of work ahead to get the survival sandbox ready for release. “We’re now at the point where we need to start working on the build that will be put on the discs you can buy at your local video game store,” the studio said. “The build needs to be ready at the end of January so the testing and certification process can begin.”
Bug and crash fixes for both the PC and Xbox One remain a priority, with the latter still scheduled to receive Update 32 at a later date.
The team is also testing out the new combat system, which it is trying out internally before releasing to the wilds. This combat system involves more combos, status effects, and more differentiation between weapon types. Other projects include the Volcano dungeon and special royal armor imported from Age of Conan for all early access players.
There’s a heartbeat in Age of Conan after all!
Funcom turned its attention to the maintenance moded MMO this week with a small patch, pleasing a community that feared it would never see more additions to the game. Update 5.1 has a few nice quality-of-life improvements, such as XP for melee fatalities and a whole mess o’ pets available to purchase on the gilded vendors.
The studio also confirmed that the Saga of Zath server information will be “coming soon” to players eager for word on this fresh start, limited-duration shard. The saga server is scheduled to launch in early 2018 and will allow players to roll new characters that can earn special rewards by reaching goals before a certain date.
This is, bar none, the column I hate doing most on a regular basis. None of the games I highlight in here is something that I actually like pointing to; they’re games that people like, games that may very well be someone’s absolute favorites, and yet they’re also games where the future looks difficult if not outright bad. A cloudy future is never a good thing, and this particular column does not make it all right.
But we’re still here in the early days of 2018, and that means it’s still the right time to look at the games we might not see around next year. For various reasons, these are the games that already look like they’re in trouble, instead of absolute face-shattering surprises like a couple of the shutdowns last year.
So much for maintenance mode: It appears that Funcom has plans yet for Age of Conan, if the studio’s email to players and post on the official forums this afternoon are any judge. Looks like you’re getting a fresh start temporary challenge/progression server called a “saga server” next year.
“In early 2018, we will be introducing a saga server to Age of Conan. A saga server is a unique server that is live for a limited period of time and comes with unique rewards for completing objectives. All players will start with a fresh, new character that will be transferred to Crom after the saga server’s live period ends, along with any earned rewards. Players will be able to claim rewards on a single character of their choosing. We’ll be releasing more details as the launch date draws closer. Until then, get ready for the Saga of Zath – launching in early 2018!”
There’s nothing on the Anarchy Online forums yet to match, though earlier this week the studio put out feelers for the idea on Facebook.