AoC Early Start installed and ready to go!

Whew.  That’s one nasty download that never gets easier.   14 gigs … *shudder*

This won’t be hard to believe, but Graev and I were still unsure if we wanted to even get Age of Conan until last night.  After much deliberation and a little filibustering on Graev’s part we entered our early access codes and created our accounts.  We must have just made the cutoff because not more than a few hours later Funcom announced that the early access program had “sold out” and they were no longer allowing anyone, regardless of whether or not they pre-ordered a year ago, into the program.

According to Funcom they had to cut off the access and deny pre-order customers in order to guarantee that everyone can download and play on time.  It’s a nasty situation for sure.  People are rightfully up in arms that they pre-ordered for no reason and “selling out” of “virtual accounts” is a load of bullshiznit.   Those of you screwed by this fiasco have my sympathy.

Anyway, Graev and I are all installed and patched up ready to go for the 17th.  There was a ~50mb patch and a ~450mb patch to download once everything was installed.  So we’re all set and just waiting.  Oh, and this should go over well with a few of you.  Graev and I have decided to upgrade our comps out of the 1year 5month “stone age” to a more acceptable level of performance for “serious gaming”… *rolls eyes*

How long we’ll be playing AoC is up in the air.  We’re at least going to play for the 13 days we payed $5 for and then into the free month.  That gives us plenty of time to decide whether or not we want to start giving Funcom a monthly fee.   Should be an interesting couple of weeks and of course you can find our impressions here on the blog and in our podcasts.

  • @ keene
    Was just on the AoC forums looking at this sold out fiasco. My brother who has been patiently waiting for his box is going to get assed out by this. I wonder if funcom is deliberatly trying to sabotage its own launch /eyeroll.

    As for your comp i think the single biggest thing you could do is get a slightly newer vid card. I’m running an 8800 GTS (320mb) and it ran prety well for me on medium settings.

  • Well, considering the early access costs extra, and considering it was loud and clear that it was a first come, first server basis… I think it just wasn’t made clear enough that it could be sold out.

    They should have given a number out.

    In all though, I’d say it’s a good sign that the game is going to sell well.

  • Yeah, apparently the “while supplies last” wasn’t obvious enough. I never even saw it myself. Some retailers are actually claiming they were never made aware of this either. posted on the official conan boards that they were not aware that Funcom would implement a cutoff. All their customers basically got screwed out of even a chance at getting in because they were waiting to hand out the keys until today. A complete mess.

  • bugger it, i go on vaccation and miss all the fun and games with early access. Guess ill will be waiting until the offical launch day

  • Keen if you are looking at building your next computer Tiger Direct has some pretty good deals on mobo/cpu’s. I myself will probably build another system in the near future so I’ve been on the lookout for good prices. Oh and on a side note I’m all patched up as well, hopefully this will be smoother sailing than them running out of the early release keys.

    Here is one with a 680i board, 4 gigs of ram, and Quad core 6600 processor @ 2.4ghz for $379.99

    And a little bit more pricey version of the 780i mobo, and a Quad Core 6700 processor @ 2.6ghz for $499.99

  • Well they should only have issued X # of codes rather than freeze codes out. Just MHO

  • I dont think everyone who’s preordered was bying into the early entry. Personally I am not and thought it to be slightly greedy on FC’s part to ask for more cash. After spending plenty on the Collectors addition and being lead to believe a Mammoth was included “only to find out a month after purchase that Amazon was tossing in a Bow and not a Mammoth” FC hasnt done anything that most companies wouldnt do after getting payment. Its the way of buisness “I got your cash” NEXT!

  • Yeah.. except that the codes have NOTHING and I do mean NOTHING to do with the early access program.

    The preorder code is for the fancy gizmos you get (War Mammoth, Killer Rhino & Bow) in game for all your toons. You register your account, type in the code and voilá your account adds the extra gizmo (can add more than one also).

    As for the early access program that was available in a limited number to those who registered their AoC game after the 5th of May I believe it was open from. Once you then registered everyone who had preordered had the OPTION to pay 5dollars for 10days game time/early start. It was clearly noted on Age of Conan website that it was a limited offer and I believe it said something like “hurry up while there are still slots available”.

    This was also something that was told to the different sites/shops selling the game and where I ordered it said limited early access for instance.

    Now the big problem is that many of them simply ignored this and did not send out the preorder codes until it was too late for their customers to have a chance at joining the early access. Amazon for instance is waiting until the 17th or something someone said for instance with sending out their preorder codes. Ofc these people will then not have a chance at the early access.

    As for it being a limited offer many others have the same on launch. I believe Blizzard also had limited offers for extra stuff when they released wow etc.

  • Looking at my pre-order card with the codes it says:

    This key has certain benefits:

    – Fullfilment of your in-game item
    – Early Access Program

    It’s easy to understand how people would say “I have my code. I enter it. But have no right to the head-start now?”.

  • I just can’t wait for this game to go live.

    I am so very impressed with how Funcom is willing to go the distance for their players. They banned users for even joking about seling gold and accounts. They released a limited quantity head start and stood by it and did not give in to the pressure to release unlimited amount of head start accounts.

    Way to go Funcom !

  • Best of luck you to. Keep us updated on all the joys/defeats of the opening days.

    I feel like i’m sending you guys off to death row.

  • @Keen

    Yeah except the mail with your preorder code is NOT from FC/Eidos. It comes from where you bought the game and the wording of the text is theirs and different from wherever you bought it online/shop.

    Now some of them included the text that it was a limited thing but others did not.

  • Well, I may not even get to join in the head-start, because my download has been going now for a day straight and I’m barely half-way there. But, regardless I’ll be on when I can get on. Oh, and Keen you going to let us know what server you’re going to be on?

  • If the offer was not limited there would be hundreds of thousands of people all trying to download 13-15Gb at the same time. There is not way that would work.

  • yeah i already have the pre-order code and all..but i can wait till the 20th..i don’t want to go through the whole download thing.

    @ keen – buy a 8800GT or 8800GTS 512MB…they cost about $150…best bang for buck gfx card. As for CPU, not sure what mobo u have but (GA-P35 is great – $90) – but the e8400 (Dual-Core)and Q6600 (Quad-core) are both amazing – $199. 4GB RAM….and….thats really it…as long as your other parts are good! hope your PC kicks ass!

  • I look at it this way: Not going early access, gives me more room to enjoy my first look on Hyboria. More access to items at a lower lvl (I wont be in the front line) with no one to learn early do’s and don’ts from. Ive in to many “first positions” to care who’s first… I’ll let the early access peeps take the point, if you understand my meaning. 🙂 see you all there in good time.

  • My biggest goal is to get out of Tortage. Two reasons. 1) I loathe Tortage after playing it a dozen times and 2) It’s going to be packed.

  • The bigger picture is 5 days doesn’t mean crap when you play a game for like more than..2 weeks. Early access won’t have effect on anyone that is playing to play on the 20th. HOWEVER, if you are like me ….I have to join a MMO within the first 3 months of release or I don’t feel the “special feeling”.

    “Special feeling” = when everyone around you if learning about the game, there is no REAL reference or source or even player that knows more than anyone. Everything is new to everyone. Everyone is a newb. A large part of the game is still undiscovered. There is a lot of excite in the athmosphe, etc.

    Join a MMO within 3 months of release is totally different than joining it like…8 months down the road. I for one won’t play an MMO if it has been released for too long to the point where a lot of people have already done everything (the time when ppl begin to quit playing) – That being said, 5 days means nothign when you have played for 3 months or more. imo.

  • I would have to agree with Q. 5 days wont really get you that much ahead. And you know the people with no life and play 18 hours a day will pass your level on the 20th anyways (<-me). I personally only play games that I know my friends will be playing, and this is one of them. I wont be pre-ordering but ill buy it a week after it comes out.

    I absolutely hate playing on an empty server, so im gonna wait a few days then pick the most populated server out of all of them.

  • I heard they reopened early access.

    My global feeling is that it’s very diffrent to pray for having 1M subscribers and having them in reality banging at your door every single hour…

    From what yourself wrote and what I read elsewhere, I don’t think they have acquired the right state of mind, marketing PR and communication wise, you need to go head to head with Blizzard.

    May be they did not want it ? My personal opinion is that everybody has underestimated the level of boredom of the WoW community. But thanks to Blizzard, what was a niche has become mainstream. So the boredom of even a fraction of WoW players becomes a tidal wave for anybody else.

    And Funcom seems to be on the receiving end of that wave today. From what I saw, Tortage has been build a little to close to water…

    But more than 20 years ago the Harvard Business Review made a famous article titled “The ignorance of most companies CEO for Marketing is abyssal”.

    And as usual in any business they will learn or they will die.

  • Question for you guys: I can patch the update and then when I click the “play game” button, i get dumped out to windows but I can still see AoC running in my task manager?? In open beta, it swtiched to the intro movie and the logg in screen. Is everyone getting dumped to windows after patching?? I had 2 errors once I was done with the 13 gig d/l (or main D/L) and Im a little concerned that my D/L got pooched. Please let me know. Hopefully I dont have to restart the d/l…..

  • I have to say though, the clueless retailers were IMHO just clueless. I think I mentioned in an earlier comment that my girlfriend decided she wanted a rhino? Yeah.. well, fun little story with that:

    (Note, this is BestBuy Canada)

    – Called BestBuy local store, got a rude employee, but learned they don’t pre-order in-store anymore, so I’d have to order online.

    – Called BestBuy’s website line. I saw the pre-order online, but the earlier phone call made me uneasy, so I figured I’d confirm. The guy on the phone was honest, blunt and sighed a lot.

    Apparently they’d botched pre-orders for GTAIV and he’d taken a lot of nasty calls. Not only had he not seen the pre-order cards for AoC go out, but he was pretty sure they were probably sitting in their warehouse. When I asked when he figured BestBuy would send them, I’m not kidding you, he said probably with the games on release and oh by the way, he warned that they send games out ~on~ release date with 3 day shipping, so expect to get it May 23-24th.

    So yeah, AFAIK BestBuy Canada was a bust for any chance to get in the early access. If anyone did receive their card, I’d be amused to know when it showed up. I made these calls on May 2nd and I’d already thought EB was slow with the pre-orders not arriving in-store at EB until April 30th.

    It was kind of odd, since last year BestBuy handled Burning Crusade pre-orders in-store, but they’ve changed their system since then. With three-day shipping via online orders as their only option, there doesn’t seem any point to pre-ordering with BestBuy Canada. =/

    This is the kind of situation where ultimately Funcom takes the blame, and that’s straightforward warranted, because it’s their game and responsibility does run up the ladder. But I cannot help realizing some of the retailers don’t put much effort into the pre-orders.

  • FYI,

    As I’m trying my patch/loggin debocle, I just now started on a new 655mb patch. Looks like that guy with the goofy accent is cracking the whip over there.
    Not sure if this is going to help me, but before this patch, i was able to do a verification thing in their “settings” button. It found over 4000 filed that were crap and are now hopefully fixed.

  • Oh hey and I have to say kudos for purchasing the full game and leaving the decision up to continued subscribing.

    Especially since you’re keen (oh dear, inevitable pun) on reviewing these games.


    It probably sounds like an inflated sense of respect to the genre, but I’m agreeing with Richard Bartle’s sentiments from last year: that Blizzard’s polish and dominance scares away potential MMORPG developers.

    Supporting significant competitors may be needed to see more choices, regardless of lack-of-polish or messy launches. It would take some kind of behemoth (which may now be exactly what EA Mythic has become) to match a new MMO to WoW’s 3+ year entrenchment.

    I have to admit, I’m a bit of a hypocrite saying that, because I didn’t support Tabula Rasa or Pirates of the Burning Sea on their launches. The cruel paradox is those games were more unique, so it hadn’t occurred to me as strongly at the time.

    On that note, I’ll be buying WAR and probably any significant MMO on the horizon. I’m not rich or anything to toss my money around and it’s not charity either. I love the genre, I have a curious nature and I’m a realist: I think messy launches are inevitable and don’t fully indicate the games themselves.


    What kind of server type are you guys rolling on?

  • I gotta say the interest for AoC seems insane. Just crazy.

    Are wow players this sickly tired of wow or is it other people you think ?

  • Things are really looking good now, the latest two – tree patches (yes it’s raining patches at the moment!) have really increased the performance of the game!

    My buddy whom was playing on medium @ 1280×1024 with an average of about 20-30FPS (around 10-15FPS in Tortage) are now running on almost max with slighter better FPS!

    Also the latest nVidia 175.16 is giving a small FPS boost as well! (supported by GeForce6 – 9, Windows 2000 – Server 2008)

  • sooo im hvaing some annoying problems with this downloader is anyone else getting blue screens of death while trying to DL this pos thing iv been DLing for the past 4 days an cant even get a steddy DL to last befor my comp blues out…help me

  • I feel so sorry for all the people that didnt get their codes when they ordered them long ago. I went down to gamestop Monday night, paid 5 bucks for the preorder, came home and was approved for early access by Tuesday afternoon. Maybe Im lucky that my Gamestop has gamers running it? *shrug*

    Personally I stopped pre-ordering any game at all online because it always ends up biting you in the butt. Just a few weeks ago I watched as my friend waited 2-3 days to get his GTA IV in the mail when I went to get my reserved copy from Blockbuster on launch day. IMO if you want to be 100% positive that you are playing on launch day or getting into early access, etc. then you need to go down to your local game store and reserve a copy.

  • @donald so i startd off preordring from gamestop online right then i saw bestbuy had them in store so i canceld my gamestop preorder an they gave me a code anyways the 2nd after i cancled.

  • @ Saueriz

    Strange, I didn’t have any problems at all.
    Stable good speed, and of course no bluescreens

    To get the best speed you have to forward the ports of the downloader through your firewall and router

  • well i shut down my anti virus an that made the DL speed go up to a decent amount for my connention anyways, but it seems when i leave my comp idle to like lets say go to sleep an have it DL ill wake up an turn on my screen an it will have reset my comp.

  • <—totally bored with WoW

    Been playing since launch, four level 70s, one in full PVE epics from TK and SSC and another in full PVP epics (3/5 veng). I stopped raiding last fall and haven’t looked back since. Wrath looks great but its so far away and Im not excited about season 4 at all. Can you say lamest armor sets ever?

    I was working on some twinks to amuse me for awhile but recently I haven’t even been logging in. It appears that for the first time since launch I might be canceling my subscription soon.

    At this point it wont take much to pull me away from WoW. I havent played AoC at all but if its half as cool as it looks then I think I will be hooked.

  • ever sence i heard about this game i stoppd playing WoW an i am looking forward to getting into the battle field asap

  • I’m just curious to see if opinions change for better or worse or stay the same about the game a month or two from now.

    I’f I hear the ever famous, “you have to get to the end game stuff for it to become fun” they’ll never see a dime from me.

    In my opinion the whole progression to end game must be fun.

  • I’m getting horrible downloadspeeds from the Funcom Download Manager *sigh*
    A bit annoying that it starts 17th of May (which is a big thing here in Norway). Wishing for bad weather!

    Good gaming Keen and Graev!

  • I Multibox 4 x 70 Shaman in WoW, and I just cancelled all my accounts (which conveniently ends on May 17) to play AoC (single account), and later on WAR (Multiboxing WAR most likely).

    I can’t honestly see how WoW is keeping people entertained. The only reason I still played was to experience it from a Multiboxing perspective.

    While you can’t Multibox AoC effectively, I’m quite sure that even if AoC is boring, it will still entertain more then WoW just because it is a new(ish) idea.

    Hopefully the combat mechanics are more revolutionary then EQ2s promise with their combat wheel. I was quite disappointed in that.

  • Keen,

    i’m glad you and graev are getting new pc’s, i mean you spend alot of time writing a (good) gaming blog, and have crappy pc’s 😛 thats just plain silly.

    Have fun in Conan, i’m waiting a month and reading reviews first. LOTR is still alot of fun for me.

  • I’m nervous.

    Judging by official and unofficial forums, the community is… very young and idiotic. Are all of the mature players simply not on the forums, or can I expect this kind of crap in game?

    Oh no. I just imagined mailbox dancing in AoC.

  • No, seriously.

    There are plenty of people willing to drop WoW for AoC, but what is the difference in the end?

    Is AoC gear-focused?
    Does AoC have the same end-game raiding?
    Is the focus on the end-game? Is the ‘middle’ game even worthwhile?

    If AoC’s 20+ experience proves to be identical to “That-Game-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named”, which will you pick?

  • Humble Hobo,

    all those immature people, are coming from the wow community. I am sure that people will agree with me,other MMO communities werent that bad before WOW.

    as for Conan’s focus, right now they are just cloning everything they can from WOW. thats fine for the time being, there are many different types of players, but they better keep the causal players happy, or they will move on, just like they are leaving wow now.

  • Graev and I will be playing on a PvE server since the PvP servers will be gankfests and cesspools for the worst that the community has to offer. PvE servers still have all the PvP we’re interested in like Border Kingdoms, fighting over resources, sieges, and if we really feel like beating ourselves up we can play the mini-games.

    It does appear that there are lots of patches going on. I’ve downloaded at least a gig of patches between yesterday and this morning. Hopefully it helps the game run well til the new rig arrives. 😉

    To toss my 2 cents into the discussion here about WoW and AoC’s popularity, I think it has less to do with people being ready to leave WoW and people just wanting something new. The newness factor should not be underestimated in a triple-a mmo release. Conan is going to get a lot of subscribers for a few months because, like Graev and I, what else is there to do?! Warhammer is 6 months off, WoW is boring (and to some forever will be now), and the summer is bleak without a mmorpg.

  • @ Keen

    Did you order it already? What kind of computer did you get 🙂

    And to the discussion at hand; Why are so many people leaving WoW when apparently people think AoC will be the same? It’s simple really, we play mmo’s generally for 3-5 years until we do everything there is to do, make as many alts at we possible can, and then you know what? There really isn’t much left to do but wait for the developers to release new content. Some of us would rather start fresh and experience new content (presented in similiar ways mind you) than keep watching/playing the same things over and over.

    In fact as bad as grinding is, look at how many people play WoW just to grind out new characters and experience what they have to offer. AoC will have many interesting characters that I’m people will want to try out for themselves and at the same time explore new and dangerous lands, something I never felt in Wow because of the stylized graphics.

    I’m not trying to be a fanboy of AoC here, because I love mmo’s in general and will be happy to check out WAR as well, but thats in 6 months and honestly WoW has had it’s glory time, let the new meat in.

  • Perhaps it has something to do with Age of Conan being a well-developed and anticipated MMO?

    On second thought, I’m probably just some fanboy with a high-end PC.

  • Indeed it would be a dark summer if there was not a new MMO to sink my keyboard and mouse into. Alas, will my subscription make it past the first month? Then the second, and third? Who knows? But, I do know this: when I can’t get four other people to sit around a table and roll dice in some dark ensorceled world I better damn well have a good MMO to play.

  • That’s probably best Trix. I recommend that anyone who is remotely unsure about their desire to play should wait.

  • I dont understand the frustration about the EA, People were cheap and didn’t want to pay 5 dollars until the last minute. Thats no ones fault but their own. I also never read anything that said by pre-ordering your guarenteed to start 3 days early. I read pre-order get cool rhino, I know thats why I ordered the 3 days early for 5 bucks was just a bonus.

  • Heh I want to play so bad but all this seems to much of a hassle I even tried to download the release client and the download manager stopped and i cant turn it back on:(

  • Isn’t it 10 days not 13? I mean 3 headstart + 7 normal = 10. I thought those days at headstart are paid ones?

    Anyhow limiting head-start is I think good thing – better this than too many people zerging start areas. But then they should tell before that “headstart is limited” and I never heard of that before they announced it is sold out.

  • Why can’t I login? It keeps saying “Cannot connect to the authentication sever” Does it not go live till later today?

  • Servers wont be up until 2 more hours from now.

    It seems they are still testing the servers or smth “sigh”

  • servers NOT COMING UP lol this is just like OB all over again, keep pushing it bak an bak think they would have learnd

  • I was one of the people who was able to play the OB flawlessly, but now I’m plagued with random disconnects, graffical errors, and I’ve found a couple of new game play exploits by just playing casually.