Where I stand on the Issues

Much of what I have written over the past few days about Age of Conan has appeared negative. It’s important that I start this morning’s post off by saying that it’s never my intention to be overly negative or harsh about a game. It’s a very unfortunate reality that last week several articles were released about Age of Conan revealing many gameplay mechanics and features that I truly do not like. Please don’t take offense or consider it game bashing when I say that I dislike something about a game. No game is perfect. I hope that you will walk away from this post today realizing that there is still much that I am looking forward to in AoC. This is my blog. You should not expect me to always look at everything with a level head and certainly never expect to me always see your side. I know what I like and I really know what I dislike about mmorpgs and this industry in general.

With that out of the way I want to talk briefly on a few topics that have come up over the past few days and clarify where I stand on them. I hope that this goes a long way toward answering some of the questions that have been raised in comments on where I stand and what I want out of ‘today’s’ mmorpgs.

1. PvE Raiding Gear that influences the outcome of PvP

I simply do not like it. This is one of those issues that people feel strongly about and I know there are some of you out there who don’t care and even some of you like this system — and there is nothing wrong with that. This is how World of Warcrafted used to be before Burning Crusade. Even Blizzard saw the error of their ways on this one and changed it so that PvP gear > PvE gear in PvP. At the very most PvE gear should be on par with PvP gear if the effort necessary to obtain both sets of gear is the same.

2. Raiding Treadmills: The art of raiding for gear to raid for more gear and so on…

This is one of the biggest things about mmorpgs in the past 5 years that I really, really can’t stand. I am well aware that there are millions of people out there who enjoy this. I’m just not one of them. I feel that raiding shouldn’t be about the gear and yes I honestly believe that there are alternatives. For years I have been saying that raiding is about the experience, the adventure, the kill, and not about the loot that drops afterwards. Why can’t the emphasis in mmorpgs be taken off of the gear and placed back on the other forms of character development? Some ideas that aren’t about gear:

– Why not introduce cosmetic changes to your character? Wouldn’t it be awesome if after participating in mighty epic battles you had the choice of altering your character’s appearance to reflect that? If you just slew a dragon perhaps your character’s stature could be increased. If you are a dwarf your beard can grow longer or muscles bigger. Perhaps give players the opportunity to alter their armor to reflect that they have seen great battles. Maybe the dragon dropped a special shard that forever imbues any weapon you wield with flames. These are just examples and would be optional. It would give players something to show off and have pride in.

– Reward players who raid epic dungeons with skills they can’t find anywhere else. These skills wouldn’t be game breaking or capable of altering PvP in anyway but they could surely play a role in PvE and truly make the CHARACTER more powerful because of the CHARACTER’s abilities. The emphasis is moved away from gear.

Those are just quick examples. Bottom line here is that mmorpgs were never designed to be all about the gear and they are not forced to continue down the same thoughtless path. Gear comes and Gear goes. A new dungeon comes out and your previous gear means nothing. It gets sharded, banked, destroyed, or forgotten. Changes to your character can stay with you forever.

2.1 Epic Dungeons and Raids can be fun if you design them that way!

In the IGN Article Funcom stated that their raids would be more than clearing trash mobs working your way to a boss. I think that’s great. I have never enjoyed having to kill crap on the way to a boss. It felt like a lot of busywork in World of Warcraft, LOTRO, etc having to clear trash mobs just to find out the end boss fight was unimaginative and dull. Funcom’s idea for a more dynamic and involved boss fight is absolutely what raiding needs. I look forward to *hopefully* getting the opportunity to fight some of these encounters.

3. Should only the Hardcore players get the gear? PvE and PvP.

In the recent IGN article Funcom stated very clearly that only the most skilled players will rise to the top and gain access to the PvP gear. I feel that everyone who PvP’s should eventually have access to the same PvP gear. I’m perfectly fine with those who invest more time in the game obtaining it first. If the average player can not even eventually obtain PvP gear then what are they to use? PvE Gear? See #1.

PvE Raiding for gear is something I already dislike. See #2. However, if a game is going to have PvE raiding for gear then I feel that again it should be easily accessible and not a painfully unpleasant experience. Funcom is getting this right – at least I think they are because they have said many times that they want their raids to be less about killing trash mobs and more about the boss fights.

3.1 PvP Death Penalties and Progression

Mixed feelings here. Funcom’s Death Penalty for Age of Conan fits the system they are going for because they want the PvP gear to be reserved for only the most skilled players. While I dislike that system altogether and feel that it forces players to turn to the PvE alternative, I can’t knock them for using what works with their system. I do not like death penalties in PvP. I feel that death penalties do not make it harder – just more annoying. Time =/= difficulty!

4. AoC Specific: Battle Keeps and who gets them. The role of the Mini-games.

My thoughts on Mini-games are clear. At first I was very skeptical about Funcom’s decision to reward those who do well in Mini-games with the ability to have first dibs on sieging cities. But I think they are on to something here and just need to expand upon their initial thoughts. Why not extend it from just mini-games and include all forms of PvP? The guilds who deserve the honor of a Battle Keep and who would be capable of defending such an honor should be the top ranked PvPers. Limiting it to just Mini-games diminishes the other forms of PvP in the Border Kingdoms. Guilds will form 6 man groups and go into CTF games instead of taking resource objectives. Don’t sell yourselves short Funcom!

5. Zergs… For the Swarm!

Zerging will never go away. As much as I wish for fair fights it’s just not the way of things. I think in Age of Conan specifically it will diminish some of the more carefully developed combat mechanics. When players win because of numbers it takes away from the directional attacks and precision psuedo-twitch combat. But I’m also not ready to accept the consequences of restricting fights either. This is one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations that is probably better left alone.

6. Hardcore vs. Casual

This one bothers me. When I see people drawing the line between hardcore and casual and taking sides for one or the other I question why people can’t open their eyes and see that both playstyles can coexist in perfect harmony. Guess what? If you’re Hardcore that doesn’t make you better. Guess what? If you’re casual that doesn’t entitle you to something special. Snap out of it! Some of the biggest issues in mmorpgs are drummed up because of this very debate and I think the constant desire to defend ones click stirs the pot daily. Bottom line: You can’t please everyone. With that said developers need to balance their content and make everything accessible to everyone. The hardcores have more time of their hands so they should do it first. But don’t exclude the casuals from being able to eventually work their way towards the same goals. (I have only scratched the surface of the surfaces surface on this one. It’s too big an issue to take on here and now.)

7. World of Warcraft

For some strange reason there have been comments on my blog recently telling me to go back to WoW or to play WoW because that’s what I want in a mmorpg. Please know that you are wrong. That is all! 😉 (To be more specific… you’re currently reading the blog of someone who is very anti-WoW and all that it once was and has become. Please, for the love of all that is holy, unholy, and good… just don’t go there.)

8. Fun, involved, and innovative gameplay

This isn’t AoC specific, but I want to touch on why I feel AoC has totally hit the ball out of the park here. The PvE (what little I have played of it) is awesome. I am really looking forward to leveling up a character and adventuring in Hyboria. I feel the combat system is superb. This psuedo-twitch style really gets the player involved with the fights and goes a long way toward bridging the gap that has left me feeling detached from the games. AoC’s PvP (although currently feeling like it’s unbalanced) has enormous potential. With loads of AoE attacks, knockbacks, and attention grabbing details like shielding and active dodging, there is never going to be a dull moment.

That’s all I have time for right now. These are far from complete thoughts and should read more like notes on how I feel about the issues currently facing mmorpgs (and specifically Age of Conan). I am definitely looking forward to AoC and can’t wait to see what Funcom does with the enormous potential. I hope I have cleared a few things up for some people on where I stand.

I welcome comments. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I know there are people out there who are just as passionate about mmorpgs who think the opposite of everything I just wrote. But I ask that your comments be constructive and conducive to a healthy discussion. I will be deleting NDA violations and obvious attempts at trolling. Thanks!

  • I just want to add that when I find more time today I may add more to the list. I can already think of a topic that I left out.

    Edit: I added some of the topics I will address this afternoon. I’m late for a meeting so I’ll edit them in later!

  • RE: Issue 4
    Just thought I would add a very recent link and quote from LordOrion, one of the Funcom product managers.

    “You gain PvP experience and rewards through many types of PvP combat, not just mini-games. It’s also important to note that this system is designed to be a nice addition to what’s already there, not something that will gimp you in PvP if you’re not putting your focus on it.

    In no way do we want this to be a grind, especially not a mini-games grind!”

    Quoted from – http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=1787418#post1787418

    Anyway, just wanted to add that LordOrion is Erling Ellingsen, who seems to be the one they put in their Hyborian insider videos and other interviews, so I would say it is accurate information.

  • You nailed it man, i agree with all your points. Ive been playing mmos since UO all the way till closed beta wow and havent stopped playing WoW. I can only hope Funcom reads your blogs and takes what you’ve spent alot of time and thought into and puts into AoC

  • I want to point out that there is a significant line between hardcore and casual when developing a game. I have a theory that game companies attract the “Hardcore” gamer with early content of their game, while dumbing it down and making things much more accessible to the general as more content is added. This is so that a wide range of players from casual to hardcore are attracted to the game.

    Now: how are you going to reward the hardcore players enough so that their efforts aren’t going to be in vain, while still having enough content for the casuals to participate in. I believe to reward these “hardcore” players there must be some competitive content, and to do so, it must be somewhat challenging so that everyone can’t be able to obtain it.

    From what I am grasping from your writing is that you believe skill is what should be the deciding factor of who is on top. I totally agree with that concept, but how should you decide that, many players are just NOT good at games in comparison to others. Should we exclude them from enjoying the game? Gear fixes that problem. I think the current system where gear awards the players who can beat the challenges that the developers have worked on is a good system to reward those with the “skill” to do so.

    I love your ideas about PvE specific rewards and PvP specific rewards. I don’t think they should run parallel so that you may use your PvE gear in PvP encounters, or vice versa.

  • I too wasn’t very happy about the announcements yesterday, but am still trying to remain positive and look on the bright side. What I don’t understand is the difference between the best pve gear and the best pvp gear. They say it’s harder to get the best pvp gear, and that you have to be a great pvp’er to obtain it, but then it goes on and says that the best pve gear is better than the best pvp gear??? So even if I’m a great pvp’er and obtain the best gear, im still gonna be at a disadvantage to someone that isn’t as good at pvp as me, but has a big guild and the time to raid over and over to obtain the best equipment?? Just doesn’t seem right to me. Obviously we don’t know just how much gear will affect how good you are, but by looking at other mmo’s, we can assume that its gonna be pretty important.

    The other aspect that kind goes along with what I previously said is that of pvp experience, in which I have mixed feelings about. In daoc the more you played the higher RR you got, which directly made you better, to the point where you could annihilate someone else of equal skill and equipment using your RR abilities. daocs system wasn’t bad, but it defiantly leaned toward the more hardcore side, where the longer you played the larger advantage you had over those who played less. Conan’s system is much more directed to how skilled you are, in that you have to maintain at least a 3 to 1 kill death ratio to advance threw the pvp levels. I personally think this is a bit on the extreme side (2 to 1 ratio would be much better imo), because now that is going to lead to people feeling like they have no choice but to run in a zerg to actually get enough pvp experience to level up. I prefer to solo/small group and I don’t really feel like getting run over by groups again and again, so in that respect, I don’t like the system, but I think if anything it will be pretty accurate in showing who is above average in pvp as compared to just saying you are because your a high RR like in daoc.

  • Gameplay, you say it’s great. I did not get in beta so I don’t understand how it works? Do you run around with the WASD keys and somehow fight ( swing the sword ) with the mouse? Or do you have to click on icons with the mouse? Arrow keys?

  • I absolutely do not agree with you. If you want everyone to be the same way, so that it’s “even”, go play guildwars, or counterstrike? The whole point of leveling up is for your character to get better. That’s how mmorpg’s work. When you get to max level, the things you do are for the same reason, to make your character better. That’s why raiding is there. What kind of endgame would you like? Just pvp? And on top of that, you want everyones characters to be equal? Like I said, guildwars or CS. In mmorpg’s the person who puts down the most time is supposed to have the best character, just like in real life. And I am by no means a Hardcore gamer, I have played mmorpgs since 99 though, And I liked the games back then. Now everything is going in the “Carebear direction” and it’s really destroying the mmorpg-genre. Isn’t the whole “Everyone should be equal” a bit like communism? This was fun 😀

  • @ MrVenom

    You do run around with the “W,A,S,D” keys, but the sword mashing happens by the buttons of “1,2,3,Q,E” and represent their respective location of a hit being placed on an enemy. I.E. Pressing “1” will hit the enemy in on upper left part of their body concidering they are facing against you and so on. To maximize the system, enemies have shields they can place around their body, that’s why you need to see the shield location and direct your hits in the opposite direction to maximize the damage output.

  • About “You gain PvP experience and rewards through many types of PvP combat, not just mini-games” (statement from Funcom), I think it’s going to be a grind anyway. Why? Because that’s how the game is designed. Think about it, where do you think the players will go to get some PvP experience?

    Are you guys sure you want to play on a PvP server. Imagine you are in the wild killing some bears, get ganked by players and at the same time loosing PvP experience? I prefer to play on PvE server and go to the mini-games for PvPing, and be sure I group with other players. I don’t want to loose PvP experience while doing quests, so I think PvP server is not for me.

  • The main reason I am intently following your blog is because of your POV. So keep it up. I am eagerly awaiting your open beta posts starting May first.

    I like end game content but not on the epic scale like Wow raids. I tried doing Kara but it was so repetitive I gave up. Would you be able to comment on your blog w.r.t. mobs in general? Did some developer take a sprite tool and spread boars equidistantly across the maps? Ditto with murlocs? I cannot judge from youtube videos I’ve seen. I really likes pathed mobs in WoW and you alluded to this being the case for raid “trash mobs”.

    Do you still play PotBS? Your comments ended in March. I picked it up and returned it 10 minutes later sicne AoC is coming soon.

  • @Rawwr: You bring up a good point that should be addressed. I do not feel that everyone should be equal. I feel the OPPORTUNITIES for everyone to be equal should be there. Once you factor playstyles of PvE and PvP in this becomes a tricky and complex situation. Obviously if someone has more time to put into the game then they should benefit quicker and before the person who puts in less time.

    In a PvP game the PvErs are not threatened by the PvPers but the PvPers are threatened by the PvErs. A PvEr does pose a threat to the PvPer if the guy doing the PvE can turn PvP and have an advantage. Does that make sense? The solution is not to make everyone the same but to provide equal opportunities for both sides to rise to their full potential.

    I personally enjoy a mix of PvE and PvP. I want to be able to go PvE and be rewarded in some way for my actions. If the game’s system for rewarding “raids” or epic encounters is to hand out items then I feel those items should not be any better than the people who spend an equal amount of effort PvPing. A PvE accomplishment should not overshadow a PvP, and vice versa.

  • I think theres a small distinction that needs to be made, not everyone’s character needs to be equal, but everyones character needs to be competitive. I think the “pvp xp” in AOC may turn out to be a step in the right direction. I think that each “pvp level” should have a cap on damage done and damage mitigation, hp’s etc… this should keep things competitive. I also think that your pvp level should be seperate from your char level. I.E a level 80 and level 20 char can both fight in a level 2 pvp bracket. of course the level 80 will be at the cap for that bracket and should have a slight advantage… keyword slight in this arena.

    pvp levels can be a very dangerous thing if not implemented properly, i dont think they should have a cap on how much xp you can gain. However, the amount that can be lost in a day should be capped so people dont get too discouraged and quit. I do agree that 1 to 3 ration does seem high.

    I also think AOC has a chance to have it both ways. xp levels for the mini-games. perhaps pvp sieges could have xp levels turned off with no cap on damage or mitigation. Since the hardcore guilds will mostly be leading these endeavors it would give them a reason for raiding high end content. without takeing those uber raiding items and massacreing the rest of us folks in the mini-games 🙂

    Lastly for pvp minigames I would like to see some type of in game reward for working as a time, surviving and killing. Perhaps Perks(yeah i know… like cod4) for when a player gets a certain amount of kills before dying. for example 3 kills without dying boosts your killing power for a short period of time. or perhaps healers get a mana boost for mitigating a certain amount of damage…

    I believe small changes like this can make pvping very satisfying for hardcore and casuals alike… any thoughts?
    sorry for rambling… maybe ill talk about this on my blog after i’ve given it more thought…

  • Great way of phrasing it Northsun. I’m going to borrow that from now on. “Everyone’s character needs to be competitive”. You weren’t rambling at all! I think you have some good ideas with the PvP levels and mini-game perks.

    I too feel AoC has the opportunity to have it both ways; in fact I hope Funcom realizes how close they are to having the best of both worlds. If they balance and tone down the impact gear has on character ability and can truly make all characters competitive regardless of playstyle (this is all I really want) then all the worrying, paranoia, and theory crafting will have been for nothing. And that is something I would embrace with open arms.

  • First of all thanks to keen for yet another great summary of his opinions and sharing of knowledge about the game we soon are to enjoy… hopefully.

    Yet again you nailed it. I agree with you 100 %.
    To: Raww, I suppose you have never tried DAOC. The game was basically all about PVP. The great thing was that almost every item in the game you could get with a handful of friends together with money or good crafting skills. So a hardcore player could suit up with awesome PVP gear in no time and focus on the purpose of the game while a casual player eventually would get the same gear as the hardcore player but it would take a lot more time. Then in PVP you get realm experience instead of armor rewards (which I personally think is the crappies rewards ever, just see WOW, everyone has the same equipment). Again the hardcore player would reach the cap level of the realm point far ahead the casual player which is the advantage. This system worked awesome and I have never heard anyone complain about it.

    So all in all, it’s great when you don’t rely on huge guilds so you can attend 30+ players’ instances for a chance on great items. That PVP-rewards are class evolve related and not item based which furthermore will give a lot more variations between players. And finally that you don’t have to be a hardcore player to reach all goals of the game and that hardcore players do get a something for the hard effort.

  • Basicly i can understand and/or agree with most of your statements above.
    But no need to worry to much about the endgame content.
    As long the majority of the population (in retail launch) has not reached max lvl or near it we cant not really know.

    They can only make really “effective” changes when that time has arrived.
    But it been a LONG while since such a beauty of a game has appeared, and il see all the negative things when i get there.

    Some people are making remarks (or going towards) “oh crap not the entire wow grind again ” , “aoc is just a filler now” etc….
    Its a mmo for something, we shall see when the retail game hits that phase…

    Although nice reads and insights on these blogs here, keep it up id say 😉

  • Your points, my comments

    1. PvE Raiding Gear that influences the outcome of PvP

    The unity of a MMORPG is important to me. Invalidating gear earned in PvE for competitive PvP is contradictory to this belief. Lower tier PvE gear should be equivalent to lower rank PvP gear. Optimized gear has to be competitve no matter to where it’s from. Casuals too should have enough valid gear available to do their optimizations. The hardcore players will always have an advantage with higher quality gear available for optimization. Non optimized gear should be a serious disadvantage in a MMORPG. Gimp gear should be a valid reason for people to stand no chance in direct competition.

    2. Raiding Treadmills: The art of raiding for gear to raid for more gear and so on…

    I too am tired of this mechanic. Strangely, I do enjoy looting epics. Everytime I pick one up, my appreciation of beeing ingame rises.

    3. Should only the Hardcore players get the gear? PvE and PvP.

    The gear optained should equal the commitment made. Getting better at playing the game has to pay off. The improvement of your avatar is vital to a MMORPG. Skilled veteran players have the double advantage. Beeing the better player and commanding a more powerful avatar. From slave to warlord. From rags to riches. From nobody to somebody. That’s what a MMORPG is about. And that’s how the game has to make me feel.

    3.1 PvP Death Penalties and Progression

    You keep on dinging as you keep on winning. Fair game. You have to socialize to get to higher ranks. You have to be very good at playing the game to get to highest ranks. As Funcom states, all ways are viabable for PvP rank progession. I believe the land of hyboria will be very dangerous indeed!

    4. AoC Specific: Battle Keeps and who gets them. The role of the Mini-games.

    This announcement sounds like a tacked on ripoff. A poor conversion of WARs campaign system. This can’t work with guild focused PvP. Too many people will be left out.

    5. Zergs… For the Swarm!

    I see zergs forming. I see the zerg devastating everything in it’s path. But since the game offers nothing to zergs, exect for mere player kills, I don’t believe zerging will go on for long.

    6. Hardcore vs. Casual

    Hardcore = MMORPG Hobby/investing a serious amount of time and thought/a serious relationship like beeing in a marriage

    Casual = MMORPG Gaming/playing just for fun/a fun oriented relationship like having a fuck buddy over now and then

    I believe hardcore has to come fucking first, casual gets the sloppy seconds.

    7. World of Warcraft

    Many of the feared AoC mechanics have been in WoW. Most of those mechanics have been replaced. It’s now a lot like what you want AoC to be.

    8. Fun, involved, and innovative gameplay

    I am a sceptic. Age of Conans’ proposition is full of highlights and innovations. I’ll wait and see. It will be around for longtime, if Funcom delivers. I’ll probably even go with the version for the 360. AoC could be the perfect console MMORPG.

  • AoC on the 360 could turn out to be something like ‘GTA Hyboria’. And I mean this in a very good way.

  • To KCSorensen:

    I played DAoC at release and a few months in. A thing I should add is that I am a pvp-player, and that’s why I enjoyed DAoC (In the beginning, when all these Epic, 100 vs 100 battles were fought over keeps). Anyway, Since I only played at release, I can’t really comment on how everything worked after that (Seemed alot changed). But like you said, armor seems stupid, I agree that realmpoints seemed like a good system (I barely ever used them, but I liked how they racked up, felt that I was gaining something out of pvp besides a good time).

    Another thing I would like to add to the whole fairness talk. The post about zergs destroying a game is something I have never felt. In the beginning of RVR, when people didn’t care about realmpoints and so on, there were these epic battles. I agree that the team with the most players had the advantage, but that really didn’t take away the fun for me. I always felt pride when even though we lost, we managed to kill a whole lot more players then the other team did. I play mmorpgs for these battles, not for “fair” 6 vs 6 battles.

  • Forgot to add: The reason I didn’t use the realmpoints was the fact that realm abilities weren’t in the game when I RvR:d. But like I said, I knew they were going in someday, so it still felt good 😀

  • About a week ago I became interested in the game(I knew it was coming out, but I just didnt put much attension towards it), looking for detailed spell lists, combat system and other information on the mechanics of the game, i unfortunately couldnt find much, until i saw your movies on youtube, which linked me to here. Over the past week ive been reading your blog every day. First of all, id like to thank you for putting the time towards this website, listing your true thoughts(alot i agree with, some i do not(which is to be expected and respected)).

    I really liked the section today on character cosmetics(See #2). Ive been playing WoW since release, and although i play it pretty hardcore(4 70’s, all S3 gear… sad >.<), i really do hate alot about the game as well.. I preordered the game yesterday from EBGames and am looking forward to exploring Hyboria too.. think i will take a different approach to this game, playing it slightly more relaxed but more importantly focusing on -ONE- character(lol), allowing me room for possibly needed PvE time, study time and generally just not having to gear up 4 characters every new arena season(fun times……).

    My only question atm is – do you know if Funcom knows about this website? Do any of their peeps read your blog?

    Anyway, i think i will continue autoclicking in AV and go play some xbox(such an entertaining MMO… -.- ). Thank you again for keeping us updated with your thoughts, ideas and general game information.

  • @northsun

    Your idea about pvp levels to me is completely contradictory to the purpose of the RPG. If you are level 80 and cannot dominate someone who is level 5, what is the motivation to take the time to level those next 75 levels? There is none.

    About all of this talk of being equal, it is really silly. If you want a game where everyone is completely equal and balanced play a game like halo, in RPGs the reason for playing is progression, to make yourself better than your competition. When there is no room for progression people quit. A fine example of this is in WOW and the arena system: once people get all their gear a large chunk of them simply stop playing that character.

    I personally think holding a positive kill ration is a great idea for pvp progression, 3-1 sounds kinda steep however. I would be a bigger fan for a leveled system along the lines of level 1 (or rank 1 in the pvp system) you need to hold a 1:1 ratio, the next level 1.5:1, then 2:1 and so on to progress in your current PVP rank. In addition to this for people who are just awful at PVP there could also be a lifetime kill contribution point system (if you were in a group of 5 and killed 1 person you’d get like .2 kill points) and once you reach certain values you achieve the next rank. Like 1,000 kills for rank 1, then 10,000 for 2, and so on. This would provide for faster progression for skilled players and let less skilled players who invest the time eventually get there too.

  • @Beldric: I have no idea whether or not Funcom reads our blog.

    @WoW!toWAR: I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Our views are very similar.

  • @ Kyle

    Good point! I did some additional reading and it looks like there will be level tiers in AoC. So you wont be getting queued with someone too far below your level. It also looks like everyone will be maxed to their highest level for each tier.

    The pvp levels allow you to receive additional perks based on what your pvp level is at the time. I dont know if this includes gear or just feats/skills.

    It looks like it will end up seperating like this

    Hardcore Raider = Hardcore pvper

    Hardcore Raider/pvper > all

    Still need more details on pvp level mechanics to make a final judgement…. thoughts subject to change 🙂

  • That shits just hilarious when tehy say “the most skilled pvpers will get the pvp gear” when anyone who has ever played any kind of honor grind or realm point grind type of game knows that its just one coordinated team farming and ganking complete noobs over and over again untill they max out their “pvp exp”, it has nothing to do with skill at all, the devs are full of it and its just a ploy to keep people subscribed to their game for as long as possible even if everyone hates it

  • Geeze, Keen. Just go back to WoW already… noobsauce. 😉

    In all seriousness, consider this an aside, but keep in touch with me and maybe we could play on the same server and even get you in our TTH clan. 🙂 At least then you’d have folks to play with.


  • i must say Keen, i have really enjoyed this read.

    i have been saying to my clan (and they all have to agree with me because im clan leader) for years that all mmos that have pvp need item loss from death. no xp loss er xp debt. the amount of items lost should be equivalent to 1-3 hrs of game play. that way when i get a kill i also get a trophy, and when i die i go though a “mini-debrief” in my head. that takes the emphasis off of gear and puts it on to NOT DIEING! L2 hass this and so does EVE online. both are well known for their pvp. not that everyone wants pvp, but i do and from what i have seen out there (i haven’t played all mmos but i think ive wasted enough of my life playing them to know what works and what doesn’t) item loss is the most logical way of dealing with death. others, from the out-side looking in, might think that sounds aweful. so did i when a friend pitched me EVE online. however i must say, after experenceing item loss in pvp, it just feels right. item loss adds danger and fear to pvp. those that disagree , please give it a try. i just think that if u love pvp u will love item loss.

    lol i too thought u where a WOW kid, from reading ur blog lol

  • @ noob

    Yeah thats true, maybe they will make it PUG v PUG and Group V Group….

    Seems like that may be the only way to curb farming, even though im sure some groups may just create farm guilds for pvp….

  • 3.1 death penalties

    We know death penalties are harsh but tying it to only skilled players that will gain better PvP gear doesn’t make it sound complete though. First, it makes it 3 times harder for players with multiple accounts to play the afk way. Second, the harsh penalty actually rewards world PvP as players are encouraged to look beyond the mini-games and fight as many as they can handle, in order to offset the penalty imposed when they get their character killed.

  • I’m curious, where did MMO’s get this “The best should get the best” mentality from?

    Most sports have very strict rules on using the same, or equivalent, gear/equipment at “pro” levels. In most social versions of the sport there’s even handicapping systems in places to make the game “even” when “pro’s” play “noob’s” to give the “noob” a chance.

    The “hardcore” attitude in an MMO seems to be more “Only top athletes should be able to use steroids”.

    Why aren’t “hardcore” PvP players interested in giving the “noob’s” a chance in an MMO?

  • so u r saying the ppl who dont play alot/arent any good should have the best stuff? seems like apretty skewed opinion to me.

    its a video game not the NFL.

    why dont hardcore pvp’rs want noobs w/ the same gear as them? cuz they didnt earn it. its a status symbol on top of making them better.

    if there were free handouts in erms of items people probly wouldnt pla these games

  • @Tinman

    Halo is more like a sport MMOs don’t fall under the same category. The whole concept is to improve your character not to be equal the whole way through.

    The reason you can’t be giving the “noobs” a chance is because those noobs probably just started and have not put the time into getting better. I for one would not spend tons of time on my toon if nothing would come of it or does not give me an advantage over other with less effort.

    In games like these there are just no middle ground, Hardcore PvE/PvP deserve to be top and likewise casual PvE/PvP have their place in lower tier. They just need to keep the gap not too big or else casual would get frustrated.

  • Oh and hello i been watching your blog for the a few days don’t exactly agree with everything but is a good way to see it discussed rationally.

    Btw the videos were great, though the commentary could use a bit of an unbiased view but hey is your opinion 🙂

  • Couple of thoughts i had while reading this over. (some i believe have been stated :D)

    1. TYVM KEEN for making this blog i like your ideas and now everyone can compare.
    2. As Kyle said i believe the death penalty should be scaled for instance when your in the lower pvp levels you lose fewer points per death, while as you climb in lvls you get an increased loss. This method would function alot like the arena teams in WOW where the 2000 brackets gain 2 points per win and lose like 20 per loss, while the 1500’s get 15 per win and 15 per loss. This method ensures that only the best teams are on top the majority in the middle. Also i believe that the one problem with the pvp lvls system is that eventually people will create dummy chars to sell their deaths. Simply letting the other character kill them.
    keen you made a comment that PVP GEAR cannot affect pve while PVE can affect PVP i believe that this is not true i (for instance take wow characters raiding w/ arena weapons for the stats) and i believe that for once WOW got something close to right. As WOWtoWAR said unity is important in an MMORPG and i believe that while the Tier 2 PVE gear shouldn’t be as good as the TIER 2 PVP gear and visa versa it should be be usable. For instance (WOW COMPARISON) you should be able to take season 3 gear into Kara and do well but not into a 25 man raid, and you should be able to take Black Temple gear into a 1750’s rated arena team and do well but not into a 1900.

    Sorry i rambled and used so many WOW refrences but it does seem to be very comprable and this does seem to be an attempt at one upping WOW 😀 hopefully i made sense 😀

  • Oh and i almost forgot equality is not the basis of MMORPG’s sure you should have equal original opportunities but how you decide to play should dictate your characters attributes and skills. (A really good example of this (minus the skill part) was morrowind’s lvling system) For instance if you do a lot of pvp ( and are good at it) your character should develop new skills or be awarded new gear that are pvp orientated. the same applies to PVE and crafting (crafting without the skill part in some respects :D) ok thats all i got for now tyvm keen for running this blog and ty everyone for actually attempting to explain their views as opposed to the yelling fights on some of these forums.

  • Hey Keen!

    No need to apologize for being negative. If I did that, 75% of my blog would be apologies.

    People act as if criticizing a game is some sort of travesty. Why should we not hold these virtual worlds that we pay to be in to a high standard? It’s like if something is new, it can’t be criticized or something. I call BS on all of that.

    My latest post, http://www.r1ft.com/age-of-conan/aoc-the-passion-of-the-beta-test/ — I was feeling saucy and posted that on the AoC forums. I knew what the response would be. People get so defensive about their future timesink that they defend it tooth and nail. Oh well – does that make my opinion any less? I don’t think so.

    Anyway, if we – as gamers – continue to pay and accept these sort of games, they’ll just continue to be made. The MMO genre needs more bloggers like myself and Keen. We keep it real.

    You’d be amazed on how much feedback on a game can affect someone’s decision to buy a game or not. Personally, myself and 5-6 friends have not preordered the game because of the beta shit and most of Keen’s reasons here. We’re waiting for “Open Beta” to see.

    A few popular blogs like ours, giving negative yet honest feedback on a game, can cause a lot of people to not go “full in” to a game. As we’ve said before, we might be seeing another Vanguard here in progress.

    I think none of us want that. Should we sacrifice editorial honesty for the sake of wanting an MMO succeed? I think not.

    — Daedren

  • @daedren
    focusing on the possetive rather than on the negetive is far from “sacrificing editorial honesty” lol
    in keens last blog i asked him to focus more on posetive things rather than “all the things i hate about u!” i asked this not because i want him to change his mind but because it makes for a more plessant reading experience. in fact i would wager (and i would win) that ANY bloger opening up dialog on a subject with meny facets, such as MMOs, would increace their readership dramatically by doing so. thats not to say by any means to go mute on what u dont like. all im saying is “when u put apple seeds in the dirt u get apples, when u put poo in the dirt u get shit.” =0P

    o and how can u be “keepn’ it real” (dog lol) when u haven’t even played the game? dont u think that statment is just a little intellectually dishonest? i may be reading this blog wrong but i think Keen sees that bashing and judging something u have never experienced is ignorent (by defention, i know ur a smart guy Keen) and u coming and advocating for such ignorent behavior is by deffenion intellectually dishonesty.
    im sorry, i dont know u and i dont mean to attack u. just what u said really got under my skin.

    lol o and i got bit by the Vanguard bug too lol. i got my WHOLE clan to buy it and play with me. lol o man, well we hope we learn from our mistakes lol

  • Hi everybody, my english is not so good (im spanish) but here i go.
    I didnt test aoc, but iam reading and watching everything i found about aoc. By the way ur pov is very constructive.
    What i really interest is the pvp balance, it dissapoint me a lot huntards or locks over power, in aoc ranguer or necro.
    So i think first and foremost, developers should leave this at best is posible.

    And leastly, i agree %100 with Rawwr, about raiding/pve, he said: “Everyone should be equal” a bit like communism?, when u get the max lvl, i think just an idiot spends time of his life just to get an negligible tatto or a new hairstyle.
    I think the system to make ur char more powerful, getting best gear is the best system until this day, i just think that somebody should reinvent it in a better way.

    Finally, i think is too early to start looking at all the thousands of details that are not ok at all, and i think is better concentrate in the most important things that r primary: balance and pve fun.

  • @Keen
    i wouldnt really know where to fit this into the site like where to ask you so i will ask you here since im not really big on Wii.

    where does Graev fit in on this site? it sems to be just you. not him.

  • Great question Meatgazer. Graev occasionally writes but most of the time we co-write everything. He sits right near me and we talk about things and then I write. When he disagrees with what I have to say he will chime in.

    I’ve been trying to convince him to write more. 😉 *pokes Graev*

  • Yeah, I’m not a big talker. Online, at least. I usually leave Keen to say everything I relay to him. That’s how it usually works in MMOs as well. People assume he two-boxes.

  • In relation to you comment about WoW, so, what is your favorite MMO currently on the market?

  • Dark Age of Camelot is by far the best PvP (RvR) and will always be my old favorite. However its time has come and gone. I do not have one mmorpg on the market that is my favorite. Ever since I realize what WoW truly was behind the gloss I haven’t had a favorite mmorpg. I’ve had mmorpgs that I tolerate and enjoy for short bursts. EQ2 has great PvE, LOTRO has great story elements weaved into their game, etc.

    I think that’s my biggest issue right now. I know what I want out of a mmorpg and I know it’s possible; I just don’t have the resources to do it. 😉

  • i believe AoC has all the potential to become the mmo uve been fantasizing about Keen. It kind of looks like Oblivion but online and 3rd person…which might be the most awesome thing to ever hit the gaming market. At first, it will be glitched and imbalanced blah blah blah but if they listen to the people and stay away from endless grinding like in WoW it could dominate the market. im going to put all my effort into AoC when it first comes out so it better not fail me >:O

  • Agree with all you said here Keen, cept for 1 thing! Casual vs Hardcore, I truely feel and am inclined to defend my casual playstyle to the death. There have been numerous MMO’s that ahve came and went that have catered to the hardcore, its DAMN RIGHT TIME that a company produce a game that caters exclusively to only the casual player, the same casual player that puts the money in the bank for all game companies. Casuals are the lynch pin and sole source of if an MMO will fail or not.

    DOWN WITH EQ/WOW STYLE HARDCORE ELITISM. Give me Asherons call style content any day of the week, a system that is amazing and truely allows anyone to aquire the best gear, items cause its completely luck based, ala MMO style.

  • @bigredjeff: I know where you’re coming from. I wasn’t trying to imply some sort of “only be negative” way of writing. I agree that purposefully negative editorials can be unpleasant to read.

    There is, however, a big difference between open negativity and what most call “constructive criticism”. I don’t think Keen was being negative in his thoughts, he was criticizing them (constructively) by giving his opinion on a subject.

    That’s what I meant about “editorial honesty”. If you hold yourself back, as a writer, because you don’t want to hurt feelings or be critizing, you’re sacrificing your integrity for the sake of your readers. Most normal blog persons do this when they write. I’ve done it in a few of my articles as well.

    Anyway, to each his own I say. I haven’t criticized anything I haven’t played. I haven’t talked of game mechanics or anything actually in Age of Conan because of my lack of interest and lack of time to play in the beta. The only things I have written about are theoretical class mechanics, forceful PVE content and my latest and greatest concerning the “pay to test” Open Beta (haha) that Funcom has been doing.

    Anyway, my latest is on the Morality of MMO Development. Not trying to “pimp my site” here – but Keen, if you read this, I’d like your opinion on the article. 😉


  • speaking for hardcore junkies, i must say that a game wouldnt be very fun if anyone could get great gear whether or not they work hard for it…if you want a game casual gamers can do well in play halo or cod4, mmos are about working to better your character so that you can pwn everyone around you and nobody can deny that. i know this discussion is rather controversial, but i personally believe that mmos need a delicate balance of skill and dedication. it wuldnt be an mmo if everyone was able to get the best gear so easy, that would be leaving out an essential piece of the system. understand wat i am trying to say? its a balance

  • I posted this in relation to your Raiding treadmill post, but I think in your summary here you’re citing the same miconceptions, so I’ll repost it here:

    Keen, I decided to stop reading your blog after your multiple errors in your premature “review” of the PvP weekend, but this article was actually served up to me as a “news” article on massively.com, which is quite sad.

    This is not news. It’s not even correct. Let’s run down the points.

    1) Beta testers have been saying for quite a while that gear has very little effect in PvP. This is not WoW. A person 10 levels away from you is a relatively even fight. A person 20 levels away is doable. This is currently how it is in beta. Gear has never been used as a reason for someone winning a fight, ever. So all this argument about how you’ll HAVE to raid to be competitive in PvP is basing all your assumptions on how WoW worked. This isn’t WoW.

    2) You’re missing the point of the PvP xp system. The whole REASON that you lose 2-3X more PvP xp than you gain when you kill someone is that your PvP level is based on skill, not how long you’ve played. If you kill 10 people but don’t die at all because you’re badass, then you’ve got much more PvP who’s killed 10 times more people than you but dies a lot. So it becomes skill over time spent. It’s entirely in place so you CAN get a lot of PvP XP in a short amount of time if you know what you’re doing.

    3) They’ve noted that PvP gear will be better for PvP than PvE raid gear. IGN’s statement of “The best gear will be from raids” is I think of their own invention. Funcom has said many times that expert crafted gear will be very competitive with Raid gear because it’s the only gear that can be slotted with gems and given those bonuses.

    The summary is, for people who want to Raid and really enjoy PvE, they can get really good PvE equipment from raiding. For those who really love PvP and want every edge, they get a reward for their performance in PvP in the way of PvP items. For those who don’t want to worry about PvP levels or Raiding, there is crafted items with gemstones. For those who don’t care about any of this, equipment doesn’t matter all that much in PvP, so they can just ignore it altogether.

    Really, I know you have a lack of information because the game isn’t out, but jumping on a few lines of text from a website’s preview, extrapolating all sorts of things about how it “ruins the game” is very hyperbolic forum behavior. I’m very sad that this sort of “journalism” was used for a news post on a relatively respectable site like Massively. I’m even more sad to see that 150 posts have gone by with people just jumping off the ship too thinking it’s on fire when in fact someone just burned some bacon in the kitchen.

  • Keen I am wondering myself whether to go in and pre-order AoC or to wait for Warhammer Online. I have seen videos and my brother has beta for AoC. I have only seen videos of Warhammer. Warhammers pvp looks very bulky and boring and thats all that game is. I just recently quit WoW last week set aside my full s3 warrior and am done with playing 15$ a week to sit around and be bored in a major city. I just recently discovered this site aswell and have read all your previous blogs on AoC and Warhammer Online.

    You talk about hating WoW and the way its designed or whatever. Well what I hated about WoW is that after BC the game became very… well it didn’t take much to get gear. I mean patch 2.3 they just basically handed people full s1 on a silver platter for a few (2) hours a days work in sitting in av afking. That made me hate WoW because it was no longer all about EARNING your gear, or earning anything for that matter. People have full s3 now because they have people level up their team by giving out their account info (I know ive had many people approach me about having this done) I think so far conan is a great game besides the class unbalances which can be fixed within 2-3 patches when servers go live. But I want to know what you will do?
    If you wish you can e-mail me @ [email protected] for I am very anxious to speak with you in an IM or some other form of chat. Thanks for reading

  • @Dave: If Keen was to just post videos of him playing a class with no commentary, then it would be very hard for people to understand whats going on, like how the class works and the mechanics of it. When he criticizes something, it’s just his own personal view. You can choose to take that on board, or leave it.

  • @Darthus: I think you’re misinterpreting what I am saying. I have simply been reading and watching the information being handed out and reacting to it. I don’t believe that this should be called “jumping to conclusions” when I am not drawing the conclusions, simply expressing my feelings about the information at hand. In your post you said:

    “The summary is, for people who want to Raid and really enjoy PvE, they can get really good PvE equipment from raiding. For those who really love PvP and want every edge, they get a reward for their performance in PvP in the way of PvP items. For those who don’t want to worry about PvP levels or Raiding, there is crafted items with gemstones. For those who don’t care about any of this, equipment doesn’t matter all that much in PvP, so they can just ignore it altogether.”

    That is what I have been asking and hoping for all along. You’re the first person to actually state that as though it were fact. I haven’t read Funcom official state that or any editorial even hint at that. That’s what I want.

    If Funcom can deliver what you say then all is well. However, with IGN saying that PVE gear is the best in the game and that it’s easier to obtain than PvP gear, then throwing in a curve ball saying that pvp gear is only obtainable by the BEST – thus asserting that the majority of players will have to pve to be competitive… that’s what I don’t like. If Funcom isn’t doing that then that’s fine. But if they are – because that’s what the article says and its not just my extrapolation – then I think I’m justified. I have read nothing on crafted gear. I take that back actually. Two days ago I read an article that stated the gems for crafting would drop in RAIDS!

    I’m sorry that you feel my opinion on a few topics is enough to turn you away from my blog. Thanks for stopping by though and contributing to the discussion. I hope realize though that we want the same things.

  • So far AoC has had a lot of good and not so good. For the most part my opinions fall in line with Keen. I really don’t mind that you get better PvP gear as you gain PvP levels. But this is all relative. Everyone should be competitive. To me this means that a half dozen “noobs” working with some coordination should be a threat to even the most experienced PvPer.

    This isn’t exactly a zerg. I would put the fight at about 50/50. Either way the “noobs” are going to take at least 50% causalities.

    As for raiding. I love the large group dynamics of a Raid. Lots of things going and it is fun to be apart of something big. What I don’t like is all the “politics” (aka DKP systems) in order to reap some reward aside from the enjoyment of the raid.

    Like Keen, I don’t play with large “uber” guilds. At best I may stumble into a small guild but most of the time I am on my own.

  • Thank you for the thoughtful posts.

    I agree with a lot of what you say… especially about raiding. My problem with raiding is that they are not made practically for ANYONE who has a semblance of a life or family. The inherent problem with raiding (and MMO’s in general) is there is no pause button. I have a wife and a young daughter. At any moment, I need to be able to pause or stop my game and leave it for things that are infinitely more important than just some game. But that doesn’t mean that I still don’t enjoy my games and want to be competitive in a MMO. Does that mean that I think I should deserve the same perks in a game with less effort? Of course not. What I would like to be able to do is play a game AT MY PACE in little chunks when I can, without having to assemble a massive raid with 40 people and play for 5-6 consecutive hours. I have a great realtionship with my wife, and she never has had problems with my gaming… EXCEPT for when I played WoW and went on raids. Of course, I could just not raid, but it sucks when the equipment you get from raiding is so much superior to any other equipment you can get in the game. Why would I want to play a game where I have no potential to be anywhere near as good as anyone else just because I cannot devote 5-6 CONSECUTIVE hours every night to a game? I quit WoW and ever since have tried to find a game that had all the elements I love about MMOs without the demands of raiding. It’s not so much the time I have a problem with, it’s the CONSECUTIVE part that is not realistic. One thing I liked from my time playing a Korean MMO (2Moons) is that they have time limits on their dungeons. Most dungeons in the game are 30-45 minutes. I LOVE that. Again, you probably have to devote as much time in these games as to any other MMO (probably more because they are intolerable grindfests, but that’s another story), but you get to do it in small manageable chunks. Raiding in games is fine, but if it is the be-all end-all of your experience in any game, then I will simply have to pass on that game.

    I was excited about Age of Conan, but because of their insistance in falling into the Everquest/World of Warcrack trap of making raiding all-important, this game will never see any of my money.

  • Steve, i wouldnt be so certain that AoC is going down that path as much as u think…the game isnt even out yet so we cant make that judgement. i do agree that it wuld be rather frustrating if they did base the entire game off raiding like so many other games have. all we can do right now is wait and hope lol.

  • Wow! this topic has really stirred up a lot of debate, thanks for posting it Keen. I got to thinking about some small tweaks that dev’s could make to make these games a little more friendly for casuals. Its kind of long, I posted it on my blog. Here’s the address, sorry im not sure how to make it a link yet.

    @keen – if you get a chance to look at it i’d like to hear your thoughts.


  • MMORPGs aren’t for everyone. If you can’t invest time in it, you can’t be the best. It’s as simple as that. You want the reward, without the effort. Just like in life, there are some things you can’t be good at. Period! You can not be on equal footing in everything. It’s the way things are; make up for lack of time to spend on a virtual game in other areas. While Mr. Epic is slaughtering you in game, take a time out and be better at something else; another game, or something with a real life, practical application.

  • Addtionaly, Steve, you say:

    The inherent problem with raiding (and MMO’s in general) is there is no pause button. I have a wife and a young daughter. At any moment, I need to be able to pause or stop my game and leave it for things that are infinitely more important than just some game.

    That is not a problem with raiding and MMO’s, that is a problem with your life style. You put your family and other things above a game (which you should), then complain that the game – that you know requires as much time put into as a part time job – intefers with your family. What are you really trying to say here?

    Why would I want to play a game where I have no potential to be anywhere near as good as anyone else just because I cannot devote 5-6 CONSECUTIVE hours every night to a game?

    Yes, why would you? The social and teamwork aspects of MMORPGs can be found in other outlets.

    Let’s take your 40 man, 5-6 hour WoW Raids (which don’t exist anymore, so I don’t know why you bring it up, other than to exgrate your claim). 40 players x 5 hours = 200 hours = 1 epic, for one person. If you want to play for 200 hours, for one item to be equal to someone else who can do it in 5…well. Why would you play the game? I wouldn’t, and I don’t.

    And you don’t acknolwdge the other side. Why should someone who dose these long raids, invest time and enrgy into the game, be even remotly your equal? He shouldn’t. He should be much better than you.

  • @Anonymous: ahh the fatalistic view. That’s a classic. But the connection you’re failing to make here is that everyone in RL has the opportunity and potential. In a controlled environment such as a mmorpg these variables are completely under the control of the developers. If the developers choose not to create the opportunity for all play styles to be competitive (Those who like PvE and those who like PvP) then they are not very good developers. Blizzard realized this (Took them 2 years) and hopefully Funcom realizes this as well.

    You can’t go to extremes anymore. Not in this market. You can’t say that PvE is going to be the best and that PvPers have to tough it out. You can’t say “that’s just now it is” and expect to sell subscriptions.

    Those who put in the most time will always come out ahead of those who put in less time. I can acknowledge that fact. BUT – why is that people have to say that “Raiders deserve the best gear because they put in the time”? Why can’t that same time and effort be placed into PvP, or Crafting, or other avenues of gameplay? Many people who are pro raiding are anti the idea that other forms of gameplay should have the same opportunities. And I’m sorry, but that mindset is going to face a harsh reality here soon. Developers aren’t going to cater to it anymore. “Hardcore” doesn’t sell like it used to.

    I am very for the idea that all forms of gameplay should reward players. If raiding gives you gear that raises you to Tier X of competitive strength then PvP should offer an equal tier of competitive strength. It takes balance and it’s different for every game but the time and effort should be equaled out. If it takes a guild 6 months to complete raid content then that must be weighed in to the decision that the developers make when they determine how difficult PvP gear is to obtain.

    I’m rambling but do you see the point here? It’s crystal clear to me.

  • dudes just shut the hell up and wait for the game the game is going to be awesome but the guys who made AoC said that they will never pwn wow and many of u say that do u know how many players play wow over more then 10 million but when this game comes out iam going to delete wow and fucking buy this one and keen or graven whatever ty for making the pvp class video it realy helped to se what class iam going to pick iam going to pick conqoure or a barbarian but 1 QUESTION in the game when u are in lvl 80 can u respecc something like that okey AoC RULZ so screw u

  • PLUS it’s STILL too early to accuse things of being confirmed when they are only brief statements that could and most of them most likely changed in future patches. Such as pvp you getting to the max lvl 20 that only at lvl 20 will you get the pvp gear. THEY HAVE NOT SAID THAT.
    They have only said that pvping and leveling up will allow you access to pvp items. They have not confirmed that only at lvl 20 (pvp) that you will be able to buy pvp items. I personally hope they do it the way WoW used to do it only guild-wide with the rank system. I think it was… 15 ranks? 14 maybe? But 20 ranks would be nice and when you get to rank ten you can get the somewhat *lesser* pvp gear and eventually move up to lvl 20 (thats if you dont suck @ pvp) and buy the better pvp gear (epic or whatever) I personally talk in private with a game designer one of my brothers best friends and I have, over the past 2 years learned very very much about AoC but I do not wish to disclose any of that information right now.
    But you can be assured it will be quite simillar to what WoW used to be. And THAT was EARNING your gear by being good at pvp. Same thing here. Same thing’s gonna happen. Whether sooner or later it will happen and a lot of people will like it. But seriously the flaming is getting old and this game will be far superior to any other MMO. Maybe not money making wise at first. WoW has waaay too many subscribers but it will still be a better game (Imo, because obviously thats an opinion which MOST people share) than anything else on the market right now.

  • Hardcore pvpers dont care if every noob has good gear because once people have equal gear then it all comes down to skill and thats what its all about. Matter of fact the most fun i can think of is killing someone that has BETTER gear than me because then i know i’m truly better then them.

  • @Anonymous:

    For as much as you quote my comment, it’s amazing how little you understand about it. Look, I don’t want to be as good as someone with less effort, but like Keen said, it would be nice to have a way OTHER than raiding to advance your gear, because raiding does not fit my lifestyle or for that matter A LOT of other people’s lifestyles. AGAIN, I’m not asking for easy mode, I’m not saying that it should take less time. You could make it so that you put JUST as much time into getting that item as raiding, but the CONSECUTIVE time needed to devote to a raid makes it nearly impossible for many people (especially parents) to ever be able to play them. It makes me wonder how many more people they could get to play these games if they didn’t make raiding so central. It doesn’t make sense to limit your potential market so much by only catering to hardcore players who are able to raid.

    Yes, hardcore players can probably get a lot farther than me in ANY game because of the sheer amount of time they devote, but what I am saying is that it would be nice to be able to be competitive AT MY PACE. Even if it takes me a whole year longer than another player, it would be nice to know that eventually I COULD get the same gear as you.

    You fail to recognize my argument that it isn’t about time, it’s about CONSECUTIVE time. Okay, so there are no 40 man raids any more (but 40 man raiding was my experience so that’s what I used), but my argument still stands if it is a 25 person raid. It still takes a ridiculous amount of time AT ONE TIME to do one of these puppies.

    There are other models of MMOs that do not make raiding central to the game. Some games make raiding optional but not necessary. Some games do not even have raids.

    Hardcore raiding players seem unwilling to admit that there might be a different way to MAKE a game. I am presenting my point of view that making a game where raiding is the be-all end-all of the game severely limits the game’s market. You’re right that raiding MMOs are not for me. I’m not going to play them, and that’s precisely my point. But don’t act like ALL MMO’s have to be that way. There are many other ways to make a MMO more accessible. Hardcore gamers will still dominate those games too, because they put in more time. Maybe “competitive” isn’t the right word… It’s more about what I CAN experience. I knew in WoW that I could never ever get tier X gear because I can’t raid. To know that one day, I could get that gear (or somewhat equivalent gear) at my pace might be enough to keep me playing. Playing a raiding MMO is like playing a single player game and knowing you can never beat it. Hardcore players will beat those games before you, but for a player like me, I know that in any single player game I CAN eventually beat that game because I can pause it, I can play it in chunks, and when I turn the game back on, I can pick up right where I left off. You will be surprised how much time people with families can put into games.

    It doesn’t have to be all or nothing… I wish more game companies would realize that.

  • Hey guys, wonderful articles. Been reading them all, and love your podcasts too. I just thought I would share something with you guys.

    You #1 issue, I think that is taken care of. AoC will have duplicate stats applied to both PvE gear and PvP gear. So they will have both a PvE attack rating and PvP attack rating for example. In PvE, it will only use PvE ratings, in PvP it will use both. So PvP gear will have higher ratings combined with the PvE rating to make it superior to those you gain in PvE. So someone in PvE gear wont be bad, but someone who has earned PvP gear will have better gear in PvP and vice versa.

    You can hear it yourself on this radio show, it is near the end of the show he talks about the gear being seperate but additive or something.


  • Hey Richard thanks for stopping by with that information! That does indeed resolve a big issue for us. Do you happen to know whether or not PvP gear will truly be only available to the minority or “best” PvPers? Or will it be available to everyone?

  • Alright so I just got done listining to the podcast and i have to say I agree/disagree with you guys.

    1) I made a post on AoC forums that fixed my crashing and lag problems…LINK: http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=80511

    2) The combate is not button mashing because you have to hit a them in certain directions but it can get repetative because the combo never changes.

    3) I will test out how well it plays on a controller made for the PC to see if I like it more.

    4) As for the gamplay I love it i get about 60-70 FPS on an little above average computer. and I do agree that it was a HORRIBLE disition to make open-beta run on a horrible build. But the main reason for that was jut to see how much the server could handle so I am going to end up buying this game when it comes out in stores