Age of Conan launches Pit Master’s Arena, shelves crafting revamp, plans F2P improvements

    
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Age of Conan launches Pit Master’s Arena, shelves crafting revamp, plans F2P improvements

Funcom today pushed live a new update for Age of Conan called The Pit Master’s Arena. “Fight exotic and deadly beasts for fame and fortune within this Cimmerian Arena,” says the studio, “or challenge other players to prove your dominance!” Why would you do this? The blood of your enemies! Just kidding: It’s loot, of course.

“The arena features a slew of new rewards, including new pets, powerful necklaces, and unique faction-specific mounts! Discover four all-new Rune Stones through the arena, providing effects such as additional Constitution, protection bonuses when critically struck, or a surge of power when low on health. Slake the soil with the blood of the unworthy!”

The patch also includes numerous user interface tweaks, adjustments to some pets and mounts, and a handful of bug fixes.

In other Funcom news, the company announced today that it has taken on a $500,000 US loan ahead of its planned share issue, which is intended to raise capital for Conan Exiles.

Source: Press release, official site, official forums, Funcom site. Cheers, Nordavind.
Update: Funcom has just published a game director’s letter that examines some of the new mechanics in depth; Tilty also gives a preview of server merges (Rage into Fury), this summer’s planned raid finder, and F2P improvements.

“With the launch of the raid finder, we also have big plans to improve the current Free-to-Play model of Age of Conan. The goal is to have content in the game be more easily accessible to all players, so we’re looking into removing the more artificial gates (like removing the Premium requirements for accessing certain playfields). We will instead be offering better and stronger incentives to subscribe if you choose to. I’ll keep you updated once we have worked out all the details, but if you’re interested, feel free to check out the recent changes we made to the Membership offer in The Secret World. We’ll want to do something similar that fits AoC.”

Unfortunately, the crafting revamp has been shelved “for now.”

“I don’t want to keep you guys hanging on the hope of getting that feature completed soon, and I’d rather be completely honest with everyone. The current state of the revamp internally is that it still needs a lot of work, and the current implementation has undesireable effects on other features. I think in the time it would take to finish it up, make the system acceptable, and properly integrate it to other game features, the team would be able to produce better, bloodier, brand-new content. That said, there are also plenty of other things we can do in the meantime to improve the current crafting system.”

Thanks, Daniel!

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poordevil
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poordevil

What class do you like? I tried most of the non casters but only took the Barbarian all the way to 80. Conall’s Valley, Thunder River, Wild Lands, Field of the Dead, Eiglophian Mts…..so many great play fields in that game. I would consider starting it up again if I had access to a gaming PC.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

johnwillo Tizmah1 Should play on Crom man. PvP servers are dead, Crom is busy.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

Was seeking for new MMO to play after NOst shut down. Tried AoC since it was already installed and was shelved on my HDD for like 2 years. Got hooked and playing it like crazy. Crom server is also well populated, I see people all around all the time which is nice.

poordevil
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poordevil

Aw, I am still a Age of Conan fan even without the crafting update. It is a unique and entertaining MMO, if it wasn’t it would have shut down long ago. I personally have always had a deep appreciation for it, more than most games I have played, MMO or not.

Rebel Engie
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Rebel Engie

First thing they should do to reduce barrier-to-entry is to reduce the initial download size for the game.
There have been several times I wanted to check back on AoC, but looking at the download size always deterred me.

ddocentral
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ddocentral

Mr Big Boy Yes, yes.

ddocentral
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ddocentral

LordOfBread That is what AOC is doing. The last update, Shadow of Vanaheim, was released as a paid Issue similar to TSW’s issues. I think the plan is to make AO and AOC more like TSW’s business model.

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

is gud. is gud. you play now.

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

you know what they should do, TSW type issues. Make the older content available to everyone who bought the game and expansion(B2P). Put some minor restrictions on pure F2P clients. Add extras for subs. I.e. copy the TSW business model for AOC.

Hounddog74
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Hounddog74

Their F2P model is one of the worst and is what basically killed this game. I bought every piece of content they put out but because I don’t subscribe I can’t play it? And even if they change this they are still hiding player progression behind the subscription model so you basically are playing half a class as a F2P player. If they’d have fixed these things years ago they might have more than a couple of servers left and just maybe Funcom wouldn’t be in such dire straights.