Final verdict for AoC

Unfortunately our time in Hyboria has come to an end. Graev and I decided this afternoon to cancel our subscriptions and abstain from purchasing Age of Conan. This decision did not come easy, nor was it quick. We have spent hours (and several bottles of pepto bismol) debating the pros and cons of playing the game. In the end we decided that the cons outweighed the pros for us.

We simply could not force ourselves to enjoy the game anymore (yes, we did enjoy it for the first 30 levels). The leveling system is boring and the quests are hauntingly repetitive and lackluster (See previous blog posts this week). Neither of us could feel immersed in the game at all because of the massive use of instancing ala Guild Wars and how detached our characters felt from the world. Tobold put it best when he said that Hyboria lacks that world feeling. Trying to get a mini-game going on our server (One of the more popular servers out there) has been incredibly difficult and mostly a waste of time because of leavers. Looking forward, we can not see a future for ourselves in the end-game PvP in AoC. Sieges are simply too inaccessible due to Funcom’s scheduling system and without sieges the PvP lacks any meaning for us. Lastly, there are a few “little things” that bother us like Funcom leaving the NDA for closed beta up indefinitely, privatizing of the official forums, exploiters being allowed to max out their characters without repercussion, and the worst itemization we have ever seen.

Recommending games to our readers is something we take seriously. We can not recommend Age of Conan at this time. However, that does not mean it’s a bad game. It’s simply not a game for us or one that we would tell our friends to go out and buy.

Since we are not playing the game our AoC podcast is obviously canceled. We apologize to those of you who were looking forward to future episodes. However, our K&G Podcast that covers the gaming industry as a whole will still be recorded and published on a regular basis.

What will we do now? We’re going to continue looking forward to mmorpgs currently in development — the holy grail is out there still waiting to be found. This summer will surely be a difficult one without a mmo but there are plenty of games coming in the next few months and beta’s we are participating in to get us through.

We wish all the best to Funcom and Age of Conan.

NOTE: Comments have been disabled on this post because the fanboys have taken to personal attacks, insults, and trolling.  Find yourselves a new bridge to crawl under, thanks.

  • Thanks a lot for your insight on AoC! The info on this blog has been great for making an informed decision as to whether or not to buy the game.

    One question before this blog departs from AoC and moves on to other gaming topics: Did you get a chance to play through any of the AoC group dungeons? If so, what was your impression. [Personally, In many games I’ve found small-group dungeons (if done well) to be a highlight of the leveling process.]

  • Well I’m sorry to hear you both will be leaving AoC. I personally enjoy the game. While there are alot of things that bother me (Funcom seemingly not hiring a technical writer, and only a handful of gm’s or some such.) I think this is perhaps the best launch of an MMO I’ve ever seen.

    However I think your duo/solo act maybe part of the problem. This is very much a group/guild oriented game, the creation of player cities, and the importance of battle keeps to pvp clearly points this out. This is what my guild on Thog (go Thog!) is gearing up for as we level.

    I’ve also found resource gathering with a few small hitches (rough leather availability) to be rather easy and actually fun when grouped. With random spawns serving well to keep me awake and allow me to still gain xp while roaming my guild’s instance looking for supplies.

  • Sounds to me like someone got a WAR Beta invitation 😛

    You did such a good job covering AoC they want you on the front lines for WAR.

    Ah well, im on Wiccana and this game is good enough to last me summer.

    scared about the end game PvP though. Scheduled sieges? ouch.. Anything less then Daoc RvR will be a big disapointment.

  • Pity you guys didnt join a pvp server.

    On your podcast you came across as liking pvp but were hesitant of the ffa ruleset.

    You may think that it’s all ganking and impossible to quest on such servers, but tbh , this game is great for ffa.

    I cant even start to imagine how boring it must be to quest in these zones without pvp activity (as with every mmo, past and forseeable future, there is no innovation for questing, it doesnt matter if you go out and kill 10 bears before getting the quest from a npc or doing the same activity because the npc just asked you to do it.

    Some folk beleive they have to pve to cap before they pvp, but it is so much more fun gaining enemies / bonds with other players throughout the levelling process.

    Like you guys i quest as a duo, countless times you meet other people doing the same thing, 2v2 pvp can last 5-10 mins in this game , very good tactical fights.


    And btw ….”Sieges are simply too inaccessible due to Funcom’s scheduling system and without sieges the PvP lacks any meaning for us. Lastly, there are a few “little things” that bother us like Funcom leaving the NDA for closed beta up indefinitely, privatizing of the official forums, exploiters being allowed to max out their characters without repercussion, and the worst itemization we have ever seen.”

    Sieging scheduling system isnt even in the game right now so not sure why you think it is, unfortunatly because of this a few guilds have already had their battlekeeps destroyed as they had no prior warning.

    Funcom have been discussing the forums being private and have not confirmed they will stay private, mod over here on the EU boards has indicated it wont be permanent.

    4 exploiters over here on EU servers were banned, and 6 on US servers were banned, (these are just what i know from guilds i am in contact with)

    Itemisation is pretty bad right now, was one of the last things they did just before launch.

    About the closed beta NDA, they did the same thing with AO, us testers knew in Jan of this year that they would be doing the same with this game, nothing surprising.

    Sorry about the long post, but for someone who is blogging information about a game, you seem to be either misinformed or willing to misinform others because of your own bad experiences. Either way, good luck with your next mmo 😉

  • AoC is definitely a group/guild experience, which we acknowledge. We were definitely not in a duo mindset for this game in release and often grouped and played with others. It did not change any of the gameplay problems though.

    We did give a pvp server a try, we just never talked about it much. It definitely was a different feel and (thankfully) not a gankfest like beta, but it’s not the style of pvp that we enjoy.

    We did get the chance to run a couple of dungeons and I was really disappointed in how buggy some of them were and how unfinished they felt. Mobs were just standing in hallways in groups of 3-5 and it felt like Funcom made no attempt at creating great dungeon experiences. I thought LOTRO had the worst dungeons until now. 😛

    As for city sieges and schedules I’m just going off what Funcom has planned and stated as official. Whether or not it made it into the game is beyond my knowledge at this time.

  • “….looking forward to mmorpgs currently in development — the holy grail is out there still waiting to be found.”

    There is no Holy Grail, trust me. Every game can have faults, and always will.

    But good luck, still. This is a good example of why I just let a game come out, and give it a couple months. Thing’s gotta’ be patched and tweaked a bit. It’s been what, a week or two since live?
    Let us know what you find though!


  • I am now at 42, having done most of the small dungeons before that level and the first real one. They are ok, but lack the WoW sta

  • I am now at 42 after a week, having done most of the small dungeons before that level and the first real one. They are ok, but lack the WoW strategy needed for the bosses. And the zone interconnection and travel is strange (travelling by dying is not a new concept, but here it’s the only one available)

    I do agree with your solo playing experience, but with a guild it’s simply a different game. Money is sparse, cooperation is essential, we have built our first building and do the material gathering together in tough instances.

    The quests are overall very well written and some are quite fun. You have a chain with a cursed parchment where you will be attacked randomly until the chain is finished.

    My opinion is that it’s simply not really done for solo players, but the group content is ok. I think I shall go on with that game, as it’s simply not possible to go back, due to the music, graphics and overall fun.

  • @Beau Turkey
    “There is no Holy Grail, trust me.”

    I lol’d. First off these are very knowledgeable mmo players you’re telling this to, i’m pretty sure it was more a ‘figure of speech’.

  • Well WoW was my holy grail for over 2 years.
    Thing is, as long as you enjoy large chunks of the game you really don’t pay much attention to the flaws. But when you get to the point where you have experienced most of the game so many times that there’s not much new to do, then these (maybe even minor) flaws starts to grow on you and your holy grail is shattered into a big annoyance instead 😛

  • I respect your decision guys.

    Just gotta say though that personally I have grown to love this little akward mmo. Think it is the combat system that does it for me. I think it feels far more engaging than anything I had in wow and other mmo and probably better than what War will have also.

    Perhaps what we mmo lovers need is some sort of mix of AoC fast paces bloody combat style, guild towns/sieges with the polish of a blizzard game and the RvR aspect of War 😉

  • i was waiting for this could tell from the start it was coming same as any game its not for everyone but me i am loving it :)after playing WoW since beta you have no idea how ready i was for something new and fun and this is it for me

  • Thanks for the detailed info on Age of Conan, as it certainly helped to inform my opinion (as someone who didn’t buy it on pre-order and is trying to save myself for WAR)

  • True fanboys of WAR. It will fail with its “its like wow, but better!”-idea. :>

  • I have to say I like your opinion and I’m sad that it didn’t work out for you. I personally am loving the game and expect to play it until the Warhammer 40k MMO comes out lol. But the sieges thing, maybe you like your hard earned and expensive batllekeep destroyed in the middle of 3am in the morning but i definitely don’t so I like that you have to know when the siege is taking place and you can get ready for it. But i guess that is a matter of opinion. Some people will say its to restricting. So hope you find the game that suits you. But you say you hate WoW, you will definitely hate WAR then, all I can see is a WoW clone with nothing really added.

  • I hope WAR turns out as good as you guys hope it to be.

    I’ll be in Hyboria though, I’m very pleased with Funcom right now and WAR just really doesn’t seem my thing.

  • hehe.. too bad for you guys WAR will also be the same disapointment… just leave the MMORPG scene for a year..
    go play Total War… you just need a break …

    play too much online games or similair games and you get fed up… whatever rpg online game you now would play the feeling would be the same…

  • I’ve been following your trip to hyboria, and must say this decision does not come as a surprise, but still a bit dissapointed.

    So here are a some oppions/observations/thoughts for u’r next review, or just in general if you will:

    1.If your mind is set to a task to be tedious, it is more likely to be so. (read: I get this disstinct feeling from every Keen(& Graev’s) AoC-bit: Let’s find the flaws….)

    2.If you are in love with someone, and they are not around, do not try to fill your time with someone else. (read: Man, you got it bad for WAR, Keen 😉 )

    3.You are so right – This is your oppion. (read: If everbody was alike, how would we know what to dislike and what to like? )

    As for me and AoC:
    I can sense that there is something brewing inside, something almost uncontrollable, could this be……love?

    So to end:
    Thank you Keen & Graev, you have done a great job, and have kept my expectations at a much more controllable level 🙂

  • @Sylar: “But you say you hate WoW, you will definitely hate WAR then, all I can see is a WoW clone with nothing really added.”

    With first part I agree with you, if you don’t like WoW style you will hate WAR and quite possibly also next Blizzard MMO.

    However I will disagree with second part. If full world PvP with keeps, tome of knowlege, end-game taken in completely different direction (world pvp vs arena, 6 mans vs raids) abd whatever more is nothing then I don’t know what is.

    Anyhow I am dying without mmo, I can choose to go with friend and:
    1) go to AoC and kill people while leveling (our WoW guild went there)
    2) go back to WoW and massacre people in bg/daily q area to hit honor cap before S4

    AoC is new and fresh but paying for box to play for month or two does not seem that good idea. WoW is old and quite boring but everything is in place and known there plus it seems that I will be back there somewhere in future even if I buy AoC.

    Convince me to choose something! 🙂

  • As long as you continue making podcasts about general mmo everything is cool.
    WAR is coming 😉

  • @Martin:

    Wow, that was pretty much what I was thinking 🙂

    Anyway, thanks to the Blogerati. Having read and watched a lot of AoC stuff, it sounds like the game for me, but I better exercise self-control and wait 6 months for them to get the kinks out.

    Hope Warhammer works out as advertised though. A couple of months I was stoked for Warhammer (with EA’s money, surely NOTHING can go wrong…) and worried about AoC (Funcom as a small company will NEVER get the chance to recover from a totally screwy launch). I no longer worry about AoC; it seems to be good and different and popular enough to “make it”.
    I am getting a queasy feeling about Warhammer, probably mainly because I see so many people staking their hopes on that game. Having now fully experienced the full fanboi warfare on the Internet in the case of AoC, I think I am going to stock up on Prozac for the Warhammer launch, just in case…

    Let’s hope for the best result: having two great, polished alternatives to WoW fully established themselves by mid-2009.

  • If you want people to take you seriously, you should probably stick to describing what you’ve actually encountered, rather than positing conjecture about what will happen at the level cap. To be perfectly honest, that makes it sound like you’re just looking for reasons to hate the game. Might the siege scheduling system suck? Sure, it might – but you don’t know.

    You know you don’t like zoning and instancing, and you know you don’t like questing (though how this is any worse than any other MMO, I’m unclear) – so just leave it at that. Your opinion loses a lot of weight when it’s based on things you haven’t experienced.

  • I am glad you reached a decision. Maybe we’ll finally start to play some different games together again.

    @all the haters.

    This is own personal turf to weigh in on whatever he wants, however he wants. Coming here to troll the comments on his blog, say “Ur opinion sux noob!,” or try to invalidate his opinion somehow, is a waste of everyones time.

    If he had given a bunch of shallow and pedantic reasons for LIKING the game, the comments would have been full of Yes Men and pats on the ass.

    Nerd rage guys, nerd rage.

  • @Bartlebe – Seriously. We live in a binary world. Either you love the game, or you had an agenda and you suck for bringing up things that you didn’t like.

    It’s just an opinion, folks. We’re all allowed to enjoy different games, just like we enjoy different music, different food, etc.

    WAR, WoW, and AoC are quite different games. People who enjoy AoC and the FFA style of PvP might hate WAR. That’s cool, right? Who ever said we have to prove how smart we are by liking the “right” game? I’m just happy that there are a few decent AAA MMO’s available, or soon to be available, besides WoW. Go pick a game you like, enjoy it, and leave people playing other games alone, K? And by the way, it’s ok to take a second to say thanks to Keen for all the posts and opinions. No one in the “I Love Conan” club is going to think you’re weak for being polite to someone who doesn’t want to be in your club 🙂

    Personally, I’ll probably be playing WAR, but there are things about AoC that I think are superior to WAR. There’s no blanket “this game is totally better than that game” statement that’s ever accurate. WAR has more gameplay elements that appeal to me.

    @ Beau Turkey – Yeah, WAR has more things that I enjoy than AoC, but I do agree with you that there’s no holy grail. WAR’s got faults, WoW’s got faults, AoC has ’em. Making MMO’s is difficult. There are a ton of design decisions that I may or may not agree with in a game. And once I find a game that’s designed in a way I enjoy, the developer has to execute it well for it to be enjoyable. It’s a very individual decision, figuring out what game is going to get your attention. Lots of pros and cons.

    We spend a ton of time in these worlds. It’s OK to be picky about what we want.

    @Keen – Thanks for all the feedback on AoC! See you in WAR 🙂

  • Wow, a lot of strong opinions on this matter.

    I agree with Keen. I am NOT a Warhammer fanboy, in fact, unless the game plays different then I’ve seen in their publicly released videos, I am not very impressed. The concept does sound more interesting to me though. Some of us do not enjoy being in a large guild and like to play with a few friends and other random individuals we come across. It does not seem like AoC’s FFA PVP supports that since your friend and enemy are one and the same. It’s more of a “Your with us, or your against us” philosophy.

    I am going to step away from MMOs and see how the WAR launch goes. I enjoy world pvp without the need for a large guild and with a goal to offer some sense of direction. If it delivers that, I will probably pick it up.

    Thanks for the honest opinions. Some people may be able to forgive closed NDAs and forums, but I call BS. I think they’ve done it to prevent revenue loss due to a release of any discouraging information coming from those two sources. We all know games are about making money, and I think Funcom is doing everything they can to cash in, even if it means hiding some of the truths.

  • This wasn’t much of an surprise, Keen have seemed very harsh with Age of Conan the past weeks so I was just waiting for something like this..

    And it’s okay that you don’t like a game, there is no such thing as a perfect game which suites every one.

    But I have to admit that I’m rather disappointed about how harsh Keen have been lately, I can’t say all the arguments against Age of Conan have been really genuine.

    It seems like he had already made up his mind before release, and not really given the game a fair try at all.

    He simply expect too much, he is complaining over and over about how “bad” the quests are, without really coming with something I would call a valid argument for it. For me it seems like Keen have played too much MMO-games and simply needs a break, the quests are quite good, the storyline and detail in the quests and environment are perhaps the best I’ve seen in any mmo’s. Of course the quest types feels rather like, and are based on the same system as in almost every mmo-games, but what did you really expect? That all the quests would be unique, something you have never have done before in any other mmo-games?

    It’s wrong to say that the quests are bad, as they are rather good. The story behind the quests, and the details which Funcom have made in the enviroment to fit the story in the quests are unbelievable, if you actually read the story in the quests and it tells you about a person got eaten by a snake, you are actually able to run to the location of this event and see the snake lying there with a half-eaten man, that’s something I have never have experienced in any mmo.

    There are also very few bugged quests, considering it was just release I haven’t really seen any other mmo release with these few bugged quests.

    So saying that Age of Conan questing is bad and boring because it’s to similar to other mmo’s is a very bad argument in my opinion, if you want a completely unique quest system which you wont feel repetitive on your way to max level, then good luck with that. Because that wont happen in the next years for sure.

    Also complaining about how the Siege Combat is supposed to work without being near to test it on your own is plain stupid.

    I can’t agree that the game got that much instancing either, the zones are more than huge enough after Tortage (yeah in Tortage they were too small). You can spend hours in the different zones without needing to switch instance at all, so I don’t understand what you are complaining about. It’s not far from as open as World of Warcraft, but it’s not that restricted to become a problem. There are actually some benefits from the instancing as well, it makes the performance being much more stable, we haven’t had the laggfest as WoW release was, it also makes you able to switch zone if you have problems with other players ganking you or something.

    What you mean by mini-game I don’t know, if you mean PvP-Minigame I don’t see the problem, when I’m trying to join a PvP-minigame I get in within 5minutes, and how the join a mini-game works is really good in my opinion as I don’t need to seek any battleground NPC’s in the game to be able to join games.

    You can’t really tell if the PvP is good or bad either, as you haven’t been even close to test either Border Kingdoms or Siege Warfare.

    Though I have to agree with you on something, the itemization is far from perfect, but that’s something most games focus on fixing the first month after release. The itemization in either Lotro nor Everquest2 was good at release either. That’s typical things that are getting fixed right after release, but that is something you already know but still you are complaining.

    I can’t say the dungeons are that bad either, okay the Black Castle is bugged, the mobs respawn way too fast, but besides of that all the dungeons are okay. Not that impressive, but not boring or a mess either.

    You are complaining about the leveling being so bad and boring, and you are so afraid on not having anything to do at end-game.

    Have any game really had any end-game at release before?
    World of Warcraft barley had any end-game at release, Lotro didn’t have it at all etc..

    If you leveled fast in World of Warcraft after release you had nothing to do. Same thing in Lotro, if you leveled fast in Lotro you got more or less stuck at level 35 as there were no solo quests to do after level 35 before they added the first content / book update.

    WoW didn’t have any PvP at all (just world-PvP on PvP-servers) until months after release when they added battlegrounds, they didn’t even have any real end-game dungeons before Zul’Gurub and BlackWing Lair was added after release.

    So which game have really been in a better state than Age of Conan at release? You are complaining about stuff which almost every other successful mmo’s have also been lacking at release. This are stuff which mostly every mmo lacks at release and are getting added something after release.

    This you should know, as you claim yourselves to be experienced mmo-players, but still you are completely ignore it?

    Bad itemization, and lack of good quests all the way up to max level is also something most mmo’s lack at release, that’s stuff which are getting added a few weeks after release.

    And when it comes to the matter of the questing being that bad and boring is simply a matter of you been playing too much mmo’s lately. When you do something for too long it gets boring, no matter how good or bad the questing is, it gets boring after a while. You simply need to take a break or something, or you will get disappointed with every upcoming mmo’s questing.

    It’s like watching you favourite movie over and over again, after 2-4 times it will become boring, not matter how good the film is. It’s the same thing that happened here with Age of Conan, you found the questing to be fun at the beginning, but then it started to feel boring because you have simply played it too much. You had your peak with the questing in WoW, and because of that it was just a matter of time before it felt boring again in Age of Conan, not because the questing is bad in itself, but because you have been doing these kind of quests too much, you have had your peak, and now it feels boring after a while no matter how good the questing is. And that’s something you will also be experiencing in WAR, that I’m sure of.

    And that’s why I think your argument isn’t very objective, you say that the questing is bad and boring when it really isn’t, is boring for you because you’ve been playing too much mmo’s lately and the questing seems to similar for you and that makes it become boring after a while. It’s not right to complain on Age of Conan for that, as it’s not the questing in Age of Conan that is the source, it’s you being playing too much mmo’s. Expecting the questing too be so unique that it wouldn’t feel similar with any other games, and not become a bit repetitive after a while is simply expecting WAY too much from the game.

    It’s like when I’ve been playing Battlefield2 for a long time and getting bored of it and then I start to play a bit Call of Duty 4, it’s fun the first days but then it becomes to similar to Battlefield2 and I get bored of it. It’s not CoD4 being a boring game, it’s me playing that kind of game too much.

    I don’t think it’s fair or right to make other people thing the game is as bad and boring as you claim it to be, by reading this blog people might think Age of Conan is a darn boring game, which is not the case. It’s simply you finding it boring because you’ve played too much mmo’s, not the game being that boring as you claim it to be.

    I’ve also got the impression that you’ve been disappointed by the game in the BETA for some reason, and since that you have been very harsh with the game. Almost every blog have got some bad signals to the game. When you did the conancast for a long time ago you were so exited, and then it was fun hearing your expectations about the game, lately it seems like you have already made up your mind to find the game bad. Instead of trying to enjoy the game, you have been looking for reasons to complain about it. And you are even complaining about stuff you haven’t experienced for yourself which is simply stupid and really proves how you have been looking for reasons to complain, instead of really give the game a chance. I also got the impression that you’ve made Graev leave with you, not that he wanted to leave so badly himself. Just look at the last blog, where you wrote about you and Graev looking on each other and saying you were bored, Greav admitted in a comment that the situation (at least for him) wasn’t that bad as you made it sound.

    To be honest I find Age of Conan to one of the most stable releases I’ve experienced, I haven’t had any latency issues at all, no FPS issues either, there have barley been any downtime etc.. It’s not like WoW release with thousands of people having to wait in queues to login, and having a laggfest when they finally made themselves into the game.

    The game is lacking itemization, and end-game content, but that’s something every other mmo’s I’ve been playing at release have also missed. So I can’t really complain about that, WoW didn’t have much end-game stuff at release, neither did EverQuest2 or Lotro.

    You expected the impossible, you expected a perfect mmo right from release, with all kind of end-game stuff, no bugs, simply a perfect game. That’s something you will never get.. And if you continue to have that kind of expectations you will be disappointed over and over again.

    It’s common for mmos to leave out high level content at release and add it later, so how you can complain about that I don’t know. As I said Lotro did barley have any soloable quest for level 35+ at release at all, but you didn’t complain much about that?

    And why don’t you credit the game for having such a smooth release? It’s being a really stable and great release for Funcom, but you don’t seem to mention anything of that?

    It’s like you are comparing the game with the current state of World of Warcraft and expect it to be at least as good or even better.. That’s just stupid.

    And for me the game do feel very unique because of the combat-system, which makes you much more involved in the combat, and it also makes PvP much more fair and fun. You might want to try something else than a caster class? Try a melee class so you get more of the combat system, because that’s makes the game feel very unique and does so I don’t really get bored or get that WoW2.0 feeling like I did in Lotro.

  • Sorry to see you guys leave the game Keen and Graev. I myself will be staying as well as the other friends that moved to AOC. I agree with most other that have posted here that you seemed a tad critical from the get go, meaning you didn’t allow yourself to get immersed into the game.

    But you know what this is your opinion and you are entitled to it. No one should be trying to fix your reasoning or change your mind, after all it never works in politics or religion why should it apply to games. Thank you for your good feedback, and hey you never know they might fix the bugs for you to come back.

  • @Thomas Andre: You’re assuming a lot and forming conclusions that are unfortunately not correct at all. We simply disagree, which is fine. But how you could have possibly come to the conclusion that I made Graev leave is beyond my ability to comprehend – you’re simply reaching and looking foolish there. As for having to be objective… are you kidding yourself Thomas? This is a BLOG bud. It’s about OPINIONS and opinions are SUBJECTIVE.

    @Everyone else: Thanks all. 🙂 I hope those of you choosing to play have a great time. Feel free to stop by and let us know how things are going in the game.

  • Wow I had no idea it was a sin for someone to be excited about one game and dislike another.

    The great thing about this blog is they tell it like it is from their perspective, no candy coating. They don’t have to deal with hoping people will like what they have to say and stay subscribed, they are here for one purpose, to inform others of their opinions.

    I don’t even know why i’m writing this tbh, people are so gullible trying to flame someone for having a negative opinion on a game. Who cares? Go play the game you love, isn’t that all that matters.

    “But he isn’t giving it a fair enough trial, he’s so biased”. So they don’t like the game. Trying to convince them otherwise shows how self centered you are, thank god you’re not writing the blogs.

    On a side note, if you think WAR is going to be a WOW clone:
    a) You are rather new to the MMO market.
    b) You know nothing about one of the games (More likely WAR).
    c) You think that certain graphic details == another games gameplay, sigh.

    If we used the above logic, AOC is a Guild Wars clone (based on one aspect of the game as so many posters love to do), but in reality it is so far from that.

  • @Keen

    No no no…Thomas is right. Look at that impressive wall of text. Your opinion must be wrong.

    Good job Thomas. You’re totally right. His opinion…definitely not. The game is awesome.

  • Sorry to hear you guys are leaving the game. Reading your post, it does sound to me that you just need a break from the MMORPG genre. It’s kinda hard to see ‘final verdict’ and take it too seriously when the game is only a week old. I disagree with assessment of the game. I’ve played tons of ’em, and AoC is a standout game, IMO.

    I won’t be too surprised if you guys find yourselves wanting to play AoC again. Personally, I haven’t been this engrossed in a game for a long time. I love it so much that I’ve been blogging a ton about it and spending way too much time writing guides/advice/etc.

  • @Ferv0r: That’s awesome! It’s great that mmorpgs have grown so much that there are so many mechanics, features, and styles that appeal to different people. I’ll check your blog out and live vicariously through you just in case I ever feel the desire to play again. 🙂

  • I do have a question/comment on the possible end game siege set ups.

    Some of you voice you opinions against not being able to attack keeps/castles in the border kingdoms a you please. I understand that can be frustrating, because it would be a unique pvp feature to rape and pillage whenever you please.

    But, in a practical “real” situation, large castles, keeps, etc., would constantly have scouts reporting information back and forth informing against a possible attack, so they could “prepare” to defend themselves. So for attacks to be scheduled and defenders prepared to fend off the attack, makes perfect sense to me.

    What do you guys think?

  • Interesting… I’m not having a lot of fun yet, but I’m also not not having fun yet. No final verdict so far.

    Sorry you’re not having a good time, man. Best of luck finding a new game.

  • @Cameron: That’s how Graev and I felt for a few days. We felt really indifferent to the whole experience. It wasn’t until one of our sets of characters reached the mid 30’s that we started to move from indifferent to dislike.

  • @Lawvalamp

    I agree with you – also scheduling battlekeep raids makes it more similar to scheduling raids in PvE. I played Shadowbane for a couple months in 2003 and once logged in to see my guild’s city in ruins because of a 3am raid, it blows.


    I came to a similar decision a couple days ago. I hit 32 on my necromancer and realized I had had the same gear for 12 levels or longer because for some reason in Stygia, land of casters and no soldiers, a great deal of the quest rewards were for melee classes. Combined with the lack of an AH and having run out of quests in Khopshef without a quest directing me to go to the next zone in the leveling progression, I just got fed up.

    I completely agree with your assessment that Hyboria doesn’t feel like a “world”. Constant load screens are nothing but a drag, especially when Funcom’s pet technology is so rudimentary I have to re-summon 4 pets and rebuff them every load screen.

    I also feel that the quest tracker actually works against immersion in the world. I don’t even pay attention to what the NPC is telling me and then just follow the arrow on the map. In WoW you had to read the quest and through the text for mentions of land marks and such, which gets you more intimate and familiar with each zone. I was talking to my girlfriend about it and I said something to the effect of, “I can see in my head specific locations in WoW and know my way around the game, I can’t think of a single specific place in Conan and describe it to you.”

    I know you guys aren’t huge WoW fans, but I have to say that never have I been more aware of the polish it has in terms of UI simplicity and convenient little features.

    Honestly, if Blizzard can pull off what they did for Sunwell in terms of insane boss difficulty in Lich King, I’ll probably be going back to WoW.

  • What is with all these people saying WAR is supposed to be just like WoW. Have you played DAOC at all? RvR is NOTHING like WoW. You realize the endgame in Daoc and WAR will be RVR. AKA PVP. It is NOTHING like WoW, people who say this just judge by the graphical simalarities, or the fact there is a 2 faction split.

    Also Keen, you should give Everquest 2 a try til WAR comes out, I know alot of bad press came out and people said it was bad but its really improved. I picked it up a month ago and im having a blast, it honestly is the most in depth mmo i have ever played. Im on the PvP server and its really fun unique classes. Give it a try, great to pass time and you might really like it.

  • @kk LOL nice try 1.5/10
    @Keen From a hardcore player’s pov, I would like your opinion on the end game from first hand xp although it sounds like you’d pull your hair out getting there. This is a blog not a service site so we can’t expect it.

  • anyone not trying the game on what keen says is a idiot he does not like the game never as and thats fine i have beta tested warhammer and dont like it at all and never will you have to try them yourself to see what you like dont give keen any shit for not liking AoC or me for not liking warhammer

    i love AoC and played ever major mmorpg in the last 10 years right now AoC is in my top 3 needs a hell of alot of work i know that to but i have fun there all that matters to me

    i dont even read reviews of games anymore its not worth it if you ask me i read what the game is about if i like the sound of it i try it because no one can tell you what you will like or wont try it see

  • @Stan

    Since you dislike WAR so much from your early impressions, i’d really have loved to see your impressions of AOC 4-5 months before release (as is the case with WAR), yikes! In saying this, since you say you’ve tested WAR it’s most likely that was a while ago, so I suppose comparing it to AOC say 6,7,8 months before release?

    I understand there are fundamental mechanics that people will like and dislike, but when the mechanics that define the game aren’t fully implemented, hard to give it any sort of a valid opinion i’d say, not to mention the way WAR has setup their beta testing process which is unlike any previous MMO to my knowledge.

  • Hello Keen and Graev, I respect your decision about AoC. I haven’t tried AoC yet, but I am wanting to do so in the next few days. I was an avid WoW player for such a long time, off and on since release. I’ve been on break from the MMO scene because of time constraint. Now that summer is upon us, I have some time. I don’t want to return to WoW. It just got really old for me a long time ago, I just kept coming back to it since it was the only one my PC could run in a good way.

    I have recently purchased upgrades and a 8800GT video card, so now I am wanting to try out new MMOs I couldn’t run before. I will probably get AoC, but what do you guys think of EQ 2 and getting the Kunark expansion? I think you get all the prior expansions with it. And Vanguard, I know it had a bad launch, but that was more than a year ago. Any input is appreciated since I’m new to your blog and don’t know much about the past games you guys played.


  • @Ryan: EQ2 has aged like a fine wine. It’s getting better as it gets older. But unless you have a group of people you plan to play with, you’re not going to experience EQ2 to it’s fullest. None of my friends want to go back to EQ2 so I never last more than a month or two when I play alone. There are some great blogs out there like West Karana and MMOQuests which will give you a look at EQ2 from a current subscriber’s perspective.

    As for Vanguard, it’s actually taken a turn for the better. Although it has really departed from the original vision it’s becoming much like EQ2 and slowly but surely evolving into a decent game. Cameron Sorden wrote a great article on Massively that you should definitely read if you’re interested in VG.

    My opinion on playing older games is simply to avoid it unless you’re really, really sure you want to play. Older mmorpgs or mmorpgs with smaller populations (ie: VG) feel different than a lively newly launched mmo community and really require the player to work extra hard to get the most out of them.

  • It’s always been funny to me how some people take a person not liking the same game, car, sports team, etc as they do to be a personal insult.
    The initial reaction “You guys don’t like AOC?! WTF? How dare you??”
    After which they start going on about the virtues of the game in THEIR opinion and since they like the game, their opinion is the only one that really matters. So you either agree with them or may as well go ahead and kick their dog.
    As for AOC, I bought it on the 22nd. Honestly against my better judgement since I hadn’t read anything from anywhere that convinced me it was going to be worth playing. Friends of mine started playing and wanted me to join them, so that convinced me to take a $50 chance.
    I have to say I’m not very impressed. Graphics are very nice, no doubt about that. I got the feeling in some places that they were trying too hard to be justified in saying it’s a mature rated game. You get a super critical or deathblow or whatever and red splatters fly onto your screen. um…ok. Sorry guys that just doesn’t make the game any more fun or “cooler” to me. Having a whorehouse named “The Bearded Clam” where the madam is standing in front to give you quests…*yawn* I kept expecting an NPC to tell me to pull his finger or something equally as juvenile. I’ve felt for a while that part of their strategy to get their game noticed was to try and shock people with the M rating.

    “We have blood! We have boobs WITH nipples! We almost got censored because we are so naughty! So get your big brother or your oblivious parents to buy you a copy if you’re under age.” *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge*

    I came to this decision by playing the game for a couple of days, that’s true, but I can’t imagine that at a certain level it’s going to be any different.

  • @ Stan
    Don`t worry i`m giving it a try but it will be just a filler for me until WAR is released but if I get hooked I can stay in Hyboria and not leave.And to be honest I do find WAR RvR more appealing than the meaningless pvp of AoC until the Guild vs Guild siege mayhem remember the journey is sometimes more important than the destination : )
    please people do respect Keen’s decision and it`s just a matter of taste and choice.

  • @brela i have been testing it a for months now and keep cking out it i cant say much as you know yes its changed a lot but i have played these type of games way to long and i want something new i just feel i have played War before everything about it yet again this is just my feeling on it

    and dont think AoC will keep me playing too long i think maybe i am just burnt out on mmorpgs or as they are now i love this type of game so i will keep on playing and trying them i am sure but it will take something really good with new ideas to really hook me again

  • Have to say it again:

    MMORPGs are history

    the time constant for getting bored with a new game gets shorter and shorter.

  • /lol

    I have been reading this blog for awhile and laughing at it the entire time. My friends andI are having a blast and couln’t be happier. I am running Conan on the LOWEST settings possible with 15 FPS average and it is the best game(single or multi-player)I have ever played. I was SO glad to dump WoW and go to a fun MMO.

    In a month or 2 when everything is ironed out, I will be happy to have helped them perfect a wonderful, beautiful game. Anyone remember WoWs launch!? Ya, this went a LOT better, and will hopefully only improve.

    Yes, there are some issues. However, EVERYTHING that I can recall them saying they will impliment, is implimented. None of this “Seige weps, hero classes, mass pvp” promise crap that took YEARS for Blizzard to ipliment.

    Thanks you Funcom, thank you very much. Those who actually will NOT buy this game based on JUST the review here will most likely have fun in WAR. Cloning WoW has become the norm, and will be enjoyed by younger, inexperienced players.

    When you feel like you are sick of looking at the same thing DAY after DAY and that you want to get out of your preverbial “MMO diapers,” I’ll welcome you to AoC with Axe in hand.


    PS: I cannot believe I ever came back after reading the WAR fanboyism 🙁

  • Oh and please, for the love of PETE…rename it to KEEN’s WARHAMMER Blog. All we hear about is how great WAR is compared to ALL and NEVER hear what Graev(who BTW is much more lvl headed and seems to understand things a lot more clearly) has to say.

  • I write defense software for NATO for a living. Releasing a final product as buggy and unfinished as AoC would kill people. I’m horribly unimpressed with the entire experience. I’ll continue to play for a month or so while they finish with their BASIC development. If it still sucks, well at least it killed a month.

    I wait with baited breath for warhammer, and I think it’ll truly be revolutionary for one reason – they’re working on it. None of this rush shit to get it out the door garbage. They continue to delay the launch so the game isn’t complete shit when it’s released. /salute.

  • Oh yeah – I play on the Euro servers and got this special little surprise when I tried to launch: Unable to Authenticate…

    Needed to modify an xml file to point at the right servers. I’m glad I’m a software engineer – if my wife or some friends had this problem they would have just given up. I think Funcom probably lost MILLIONS of euros because of this one stupid problem. Good job guys.

  • Notwithstanding my opinion of AoC so far one way or the other, I must say you lost much stock after your statement of “I thought LOTRO had the worst dungeons until now.”…but I guess it just highlights our vastly different viewpoints on what makes a good dungeon…

  • You know, to the all the people who say, “Lol, war fan boi, blah blah blah, I probably won’t read your blog anymore”. You guys are posting on his blog about his opinions. You read what he says, and instead of disagreeing peaceably and logically, most of you just spout off some pedantic crap. Come on, it’s his blog. He can say anything he likes! If you don’t like it fine, but posting about it just makes you looks dumb.

  • @Tarvold – I read (pronounced ‘red’) his blog, as I was looking for some unbiased opinion on games, where he would play it, look at it from a fair viewpoint, and judge the game on its pros and cons – NOT on the company that makes it, how it USED to be (in beta) or what it WILL be.
    EA clearly slipped Keen a few bucks to promote WAR and therefore I won’t read a site filled with advertising and propaganda, under the guise of a unbiased ‘blog’.

  • @Graham – “Iread (pronounced “red”) his blog, as I was looking for some unbiased opinion on games.”

    Are you serious? “unbiased opinion”? That’s a paradoxon if I ever saw one. The two are pretty exclude each other.
    And if were looking for unbiased information, a personal blog is the last place to look for it, and if you were looking for an opinion, well, you got it. If you like it or not is not his problem.

  • Oh, for cryin’ out loud, people!

    By Crom! It’s THEIR opinion and THEIR blog. And last time I looked, the West won the cold war, meaning we still have freedom of speech.

    Slurs and slander are the second last refuge of the incompetent (just before they get violent).

  • Some people are very, very insecure about themselves and the decisions that they make. Anything they see or hear in contrast to their own opinions throws their world into a tailspin. They have my pity.

  • I don’t agree with the verdict. or the timing. Its does not just take awhile for games to devlop but it tales awhile for the games in the game as well. Right now its just kind of a mad rush for the population to figure things out on their own. Eliminating some of the “group” mentality that is so present in other games. It will come with time, But people are learning everything from scratch.

    I love the game. Only part I dislike, is that it has no cool glowing weapons, and the items avatars kind of feel cheap./

  • was not the game for keen dont understand why ppl are giving him crap for that

    think we all knew it was coming for what he said about the game from the start he did give it a chance tho its a game you either love or hate its just not for everyone same as War is not the game for me AoC seems to be

    like i said before you just have to try them and make up your own mind you either get the feeling or you dont and everyone as the right to there option

  • It just never engaged me fully (AoC). I *wanted* to be pulled away from WoW, but I just never got that itch to level like I did in previous games.

    I wish I could put my finger on specific reason, but at the moment I am unable to do so. I am going to keep at it and start leveling more with friends – perhaps that will make a significant difference…

  • @ Riggler I totally agree with you about the LOTR dungeons, especially the high level ones. Not only are they “character unique” but the narratives and goals weave through the spine of the main storyline. After three years of WoW dungeons, I was tired of seeing the same mobs, just different sizes and colors.

    As far as AoC, I stopped playing that a few days ago (sorry Keen I beat you there)…and even then it was a strain. I wish those of you continuing the best of luck. Most of what I read here sounds like you are trying to justify the $$ and time you are (and want to put into it).

    To those of you who say you are overlooking the problems now because they will all be fixed later…dream on. WoW wasn’t perfect at it’s launch and got better as it went along. That was, um, like, three or four years ago? Should we not expect something better by now?…or are most of you so jaded to poor launches and empty promises that you have “learned” to ignore that, and wait for a nirvana down the long and winding road.

    @ Keen When I come here to YOUR blog, I expect to see your thoughts and opinions about the various subjects you present. I may or may not agree, but it is your blog. This is NOT a game sponsored forum, but yet some people here treat it as such.

    Keen is saying what he feels and he is entitled to that. Those of you who see it differently, please post your blog page so we can make similar comments on your pages. You may agree or disagree with Keen, but to rip into him because he has decided the gameplay is not to his liking, then you are being short sighted in knowing that all of us have different playing styles, wants and needs.

    My entire guild (32 of us) has left AoC and I was the last to hang on….so without us, there are more claws, tusks, and natives with bad hair styles for you to behead. Have fun…..and let us know by the end of the year how the game is going.

  • Is AoC really all that original and different from WoW?
    Certainly not.

    But its fun for many people,who are somehow just got tired of WoW.Interesting isn’t it?Fundamentally,at its core,they are the same.

    I think the problem is that K&G are just going to be as disappointed in WAR and they are going to be just as disappointed in any MMO that gets released in the next 5 years.
    Its going to be very hard to find something truly original,especially for an MMO.In the end,its all the same recycled shit.We just fool ourselves thinking something truly fun and orginal will come.You know,the next big thing.

    If AoC can keep me entertained for the next 6 months,I consider that a very worthy purchase.Playing a game over and over,will wear anybody who is normal,out.

  • @Sandoz (And others posting alike): I appreciate comments like yours that show a real level headed way of thinking. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • Just curious why would you leave if there is a 30 day trial in effect? I mean in all seriousness, if a game isn’t worth trying past a certain level for you then there shouldn’t be a reason to log back into the game.

    But my question is… What is out in the next 30 days that will keep you occupied until WAR launches? I know for myself that the game is in fact getting better post 40, I’m not paying a monthly fee yet so I’m not justifying how fun it is for the sake of justifying.

    It’s a game, its meant to be entertaining… If you aren’t having fun then you aren’t. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you should respect that even if you disagree with the opinion being posted.

  • @Subtraho: A very fair question. We never purchased the game box so we do not have a retail key. We simply had the pre-order head-start that lasts until the 27th. So the 30 day free trial is not in effect for us. Had it been we would probably still play through.

  • If you don’t like Keen’s opinion, why don’t you go write your own fucking blog? Kthx.

  • geez, relax you whiners. this website is a gaming blog. If you dont agree about Keen’s opinion, well too bad for you and stop whining. And stop saying that Keen got paid by EA for promoting Warhammer.

  • Keen,

    Please forward me your contact info for EA/Mythic. I would like to get paid simply for saying I’m looking forward to their game. If it’s that easy to whore myself out, I’m up for a few easy bucks.

    “I’m looking forward trying out WAR.”

    Cha-ching, $100.

    “I think Mythic’s on the right track.”

    $100 more wired to my offshore account.

    Seriously, the pay-for-blog post market is so lucrative, I can’t imagine why everyone isn’t doing it.

    And I hate to be the one who outs you guys, but I know you and Graev have been doing this sellout-for-cash bit for a long time. 😛

  • @Rick

    Maybe it’s because they were big DAOC players and really enjoyed the game as Mythic has touted that WAR is a much improved version of DAOC. Comprehend?

  • My post wasn’t saying that I don’t agree with Keen’s opinion, for the contrary it was defending his write to make whatever opinion it was. I just wanted to clarify that 😛

  • *shakes my head in wonder at the internet’s ever-present stupidity*

    Folks, since Keen is far too nice to say so on his blog comments, let me step up to say to the angry mob: step off. Blogs are rife with opinions, and if you happen to not agree and get all riled up about it, maybe seeing your own hidden doubts echoed in a blog post are the true source of your anger. Otherwise, you’d let it roll of your back and continue on your merry way.

    He doesn’t have to hold to any higher standards then his own when he or Graev play through games and post about them. This isn’t whiny journalism court of law — this is a blog. For me personally, I respect people’s opinions when they’re eloquently worded, thought out and not spewed from a hissy fit like some of these “well he MUST be paid by X company” comments — even if I disagree with them.

  • you should respone to this post :

    one reader comments :

    eone said…

    I have said it once, I will say it again.

    This has to be one of the worst blogs/podcasts I have ever come across. They certainly need to give up on all mmo’s and head back to school or hit the books more. Beyond their obvious lack of proper education, boring commentary and poorly stated opinions makes up the bulk of what they have to offer.

    Why would you reference to this site? Seriously, just to get the kickback traffic?

    I don’t care how many “visitors” they might get, this blog is light years beyond what is going on over there.

  • Sorry that you didn’t enjoy your time on AoC. I think there will be some fallout on any MMO of those who as Beau mentioned are looking for that “holy grail” MMO. I don’t think its out there, and never will be. Maybe in 6 months to a year you can retry it and have a better experience in the game. My wife and I tend to bounce around a good bit between MMO’s, as when we get bored with one we cancel and go play another. The breaks do us good, but some for us are too just “more of the same”. I haven’t found this with Conan so far, as its grabbed us in about the same fashion as WOW did when we first played it. The bugs we’ve run across haven’t bothered us too much, maybe that comes from playing both Vanguard and SWG where you just learned to ignore or deal with them.

    I do see a thread of you looking forward to Warhammer, hopefully both your own longing for it and the hype won’t build it up to the point where you end up disappointed with it. I know it can happen whether you want it to or not. I personally wasn’t even going to try AoC until a WOW guildmate told us about the game, so I hadn’t really paid attention to either the bad beta comments or any hype about the game, so we just enjoyed it as it was.

    I kinda got burned that way in LOTRO a bit. We thought it was going to be a WOW-killer so to speak, built an image in our heads about it, played in open beta, bought a lifetime subscription, and now we never play it. I know folks who love it, and thats great for them, but for some reason it just lost its shine.

    I say play whatever you enjoy, its not a requirement that everyone love one game and hate the rest. Its your $15 a month (or so) to spend however you choose to, so find what you enjoy and play it. Take a break if need be, perhaps when you revisit an MMO it will have matured a bit, and you can enjoy that world again.

  • Sweet, your review sums up exactly how I figured this game would be and keeps me form wasting money on another Vanguard

  • I am in the similar mindset as Keen and Graev on this.

    I think AoC is a good game, but I am not really drawn to play it. I barely got out of Tortage and now I am looking at the long road to level 80 so then I could participate in the endgame Siege warfare.

    Maybe I am old and bitter, but I don’t want another “Race to max level to play the REAL game” game. I want to feel apart of the world sooner.

  • Thanks for your willingness to state your mind and even though I think your both a little crazy in the way you tear through things like uber power gamer androids, I appreciate your (flamboyant) sincerity.

  • @Hudson
    This is far and away no Vanguard…the game is good…but will be different for various tastes..but, it also is not so broken that it is unplayable…

    I just think what we are seeing is so much MMO burnout, that everytime you guys go into another game you treat it just like the last MMO…and really…how can you have any fun, or see what is lurking underneath the surface when you are one of the “Hit hotkey and click ok through all quests” gamers…

    I note that my wife is always a good gauge for various games, and can give me an idea of what may be wrong with MMO’s, as she is outside the box of “geekiness” and plays to just have fun…
    If the game does not compel her, then why continue playing is her motto…
    Guild Wars was compelling due to how it looked and how the music and the world invoked a feeling in you…
    WoW was fun due to the rote of completing things, and having mechanics in the game to keep you busy..
    LOTRO was a failure as it was a duplication of all games before it, and the characters did not look good to her
    Tabula Rasa had no “magic” to make her feel special…and she felt like a grunt just like everyone else..

    For AoC her statement is she wants to know what is going on in the world of Hyboria…the combat makes her think of how to play (she actually cares about dying when before she just would say “ah well…who cares”)
    The visual quality is more realistic..
    And she agrees that it feels like they have done things differently than WoW, EQ2 or LOTRO…)

    She has also had the feeling that it feels better than a standard “MMO”…but, if you play it like an MMO…then you will be disappointed..

    I think that is where you guys are…and you need to take a break from MMO’s for a while..

    Good luck…

  • Man look at all the hate. Its a shame to see all these scumbags posting insulting comments on here. If you dont agree with Keen & graeve say so, but dont be a dick about it.

    I never picked up AOC, i played it in the open beta and thought it was a giant piece of SH!t. i dont enjoy a black bar across my screen every single time i loot something.

    the first 5 minutes you spend with an MMO tells alot. alot of people think you need to play for months and see how it develops, i disagree with that. 90% of MMO’s will get better over time, but if you dont like it in the first 5 minutes, you probably still wont like it months later.

    BTW Keen, love your blog man, but dont get your hopes up to much for WAR. I have a friend in the beta, and i was watching him play it, they have ALOT OF WORK AHEAD OF THEM :(. Its not even fun to watch.

  • Hmm i think u make a right decision leaving play aoc. From the begining look that ur already burned of playing mmorpgs.
    Keen, i think is going to be very dificult from now on to find a mmorpg that fill that empty space, and the same for the rest of us.. i like to be honest.. but the truth is that wow led us to the same result all of us..

    Anyways i will play aoc two months and see what happens..

    Right now i dont see me inmersed in the world, graphics are excellents, i love them, but i dont feel part of nothing, i dont see friends, iam like a zombie doing quests.. by the moment..

    Well, thats all, in my opinion any mmorpg will not make a big diference from now on, even WAR, and maybe this could be the end of this gender.

    In my head i have universe of starcraft, where u can be a protos, zerg or terran, and will not follow the same classic style of get pieces of armour of all types, dungeons, etc.. Well yes, but not in the same strict and boring line, a game more inclined to a world war, u all know what i mean..

    Ok good bye, i will continue seeing ur web.

  • It’s really hard to take your opinions seriously when you say something like this:

    “I can’t see why anyone would stick to playing LOTRO when they are presented with the option of WAR or Conan.”

    That was from your “WAR is going to shake up 08” blog.

    Now you’re saying:

    “Recommending games to our readers is something we take seriously. We can not recommend Age of Conan at this time. However, that does not mean it’s a bad game. It’s simply not a game for us or one that we would tell our friends to go out and buy.”

    It does not sound like you take it very seriously at all when you continue to make comments, stating that you can’t see why anyone would stick with one game, when other games like WAR and AoC, which were of unknown quality at the time, will be around.

    Then you turn around and say you would not recommend AoC to your friends.

    I enjoy reading you blog, I can accept a difference of opinion, but making uninformed comments like that are discrediting. It just sounds like you don’t care for LOTRO, so you were willing to take a little jab at it by wondering why anyone would stick with it when we can jump ship to AoC, a game which you now DO NOT recommend.

    What’s up with that?

  • @Anne: Check the date of that post. All I could do back then was conjecture about the possibilities and promises of AoC. In my eyes AOC failed to deliver on the promises it made. I think LOTRO is a fine game until the level cap but offers little staying power against the future competition. That is what I meant by that statement, and it still holds true today. Hindsight is 20/20. Had I known what I know about AoC back in January, then I would have simply said WAR instead of including Conan.

  • That’s the point. You put AoC above another game, wondering why anyone would stick with LOTRO over AoC, when you did not fully know the quality of the product. Which is probably still the case with WAR.

    That’s the kind of thing you see from people on message boards everywhere, it’s the stuff you ignore because it’s uninformed biased crap. It’s hard to believe you take recommendations seriously, if you are willing to, at times, make judgments that are not based on fact.

    The comments you write when you do have the facts are great, they lend a lot of perspective for people trying to decide whether to jump into a new game. But when you jumble that up with comments not based on fact, that voice or perspective loses integrity.

    Being optimistic and stating a games potential greatness is cool, we all want the games we anticipate playing to be awesome. It’s probably more important to get some unbiased personal opinion that’s based on facts though. You stated some personal opinions about LOTRO that are very true, not everyone feels that way, but it’s a personal opinion based on facts.

    But to then put an unproven game above it, as though it will definitely be way better, despite not really knowing if that will be the case, is not a quality recommendation and only hurts your other reviews.

  • P.S

    That kind of thing only serves to mislead people more, by perpetuating the idea that a game is undeniably awesome before you really know what state it is in, we get enough of that from the people pushing the game.

    Forgive me for assuming, I thought this would be a good place for quality personal reviews and previews that are based on fact, because it is really refreshing.

  • What you’ve done is taken a post all about guessing the future and layout of 2008’s mmo scene and turned it into doctrine. I’m sorry if you mistook that post for something more. It was one of those “meme” posts that everyone in the blogosphere was doing. You list the games that are currently considered “AAA” and most active and predict where they will be in a year.

  • keen , i have an idea for your previews.. instead of saying ‘warhammer will rock’ , state your misgivings too (from known source instead of betaleakers). share your ‘i dont like this feature’ opinion on warhammer, also share your ‘i think this is WHO’s strongest feature.

  • “Lord of the Rings Online – Needs an act of god to save it right now. I can’t see why anyone would stick to playing LOTRO when they are presented with the option of WAR or Conan. LOTRO’s PvE is a lost cause and the PvP is … yeah.”

    That sounds like a comment on how you view its current state as well. Which sounds awfully dire.

    My point was that part of that jab at LOTRO was based on the assumption that AoC and WAR will be so awesome that they pull enough people away from it to warrant an act of god to save it.

    Which makes you sound incredibly biased and not very big on the use of actual facts when you make comments. You bash one game based on facts and personal opinion, and favor another based on promises that may not be delivered (which turned out to be the case for AoC).

  • @TheDog:

    Has it been long since you saw your friend playing because I’ve heard that WAR has gotten alot better with the current beta phase.

  • From first hand experience and been in the beta for a long time now, i will be surprised if WAR gets released in 08, looking more at a 09/Q1, if they are lucky ( being a big fan of the IP and a ex tabletop player , i wish it would come sooner but they have alot of mechanics to sort out still).

    I picked up AOC knowing that it will be a long time for WAR to be released, i like the game, but there are alot of annoying bugs that i hope get ironed out asap.

    If they can get those sorted out over the next month, then great, the combat is alot better then i expected.

  • Sorry you didn’t find it worth staying, Keen. I was hoping we’d finally get to play together especially when you told me you were having such a good time early on. I’m sorry it didn’t pan out.

    But bah… mayhaps we’ll meet up as Greenskins in WAR.

  • Think of this post of yours the next time you speak highly of Warhammer Online without even experiencing the closed beta. You are living on the fluff and hype Mythic creates around their games and might fail to deliver the feel the fanbase is so eager to get. They won’t bring anything new at all, I daresay, all the game mechanics they thought of has already been in the genre. So don’t make a fool of yourself and try not to believe in the hype. You’ll just get disappointed.

  • Zelmor, it’s hard to take you for anything more than a troll when you’re making blanket statements that are completely contrary to the facts. PQ’s have never been done. Keep sieges and RvR of this type have never been done. Capital City Sieges in a fantasy setting in such a system have never been done.

  • “Capital City Sieges in a fantasy setting in such a system have never been done.”

    Yeah they are great, but you may of thought aoc sieges were great on paper at one point right ? then the “vision” started to get changed over time, from 150vs150, to 100vs100 to 48vs48 ( with subject to change ).

    The guy above makes a good point, you wouldnt beleive how much the capital city sieges have changed in vision over the last months in beta.

    Ppl are booting aoc in the nuts about using instances, the capital city sieges in WAR take instancing to a whole new level.

    Imo i dont mind instancing, but then i play these games and i have fun for what they are, rather then dream of something they arnt and then throw a fit when “beta ideas” are changed during the design process.

  • I’m fully aware of WAR’s use of instancing in city sieges and completely understand the reasoning behind it because they are very open about it and have explained their intentions months ago. That does not bother me at all. The degree that AoC takes their instancing to is on a whole different level.

  • I’ll write you a longer response once I got a bit of time away from my exams, Keen. And thanks for taking me for a troll. Gotta keep the image up. :]

  • “The degree that AoC takes their instancing to is on a whole different level.”

    Yeah i agree, that going into a zone and not being able to fight / co-op with everyone else on the server in that zone is annoying at times, specially when a group wipes, get ressed, and then end up in different instances (which is a common bug right now)

    But then i look at my time played in WAR and can unfortunatly draw comparisions with AOC, especially at its core endgame feature.

    For example right now, if i was in AOC and one of my friends is in a zone, i join that zone and then decide to group with him, we may not be in the same instance, so we then bring the instance list up and select one to join (i’m not bothered about immersion in these games, but i can see how that is v annoying to those who are).

    Now lets look at what happens when i partake in a city siege, im attacking a city, one of my friends comes online, the group im in is full, theres no way for him to join the instance im in, he doesnt want to miss out on the fight so he then joins the battle but in a different instance and i cant help him nor can he help me.

    Thats just one example, and one which isnt much of a problem for me, as i dont care for immersion, but it will be interesting if WAR gets painted with the shame brush AOC has, by these people who love their “immersion”.

  • Thanks for all your AoC coverage, guys. Reading about your journey there (and back again) has been pretty engrossing. Good stuff. o7

  • AoC is pretty unfinished, yes. I don’t mind the zones though. I think with enough polish it could be a great game. Never a seamless world though.

  • Outside of all the early bugs, the first few weeks are the best time in a new game for me. Seeing a new world and learning the new mechanics are my favorite part. If AoC couldn’t interest Keen then it was time to go.

    All new games have virtually no end-game content ready at launch, so he wasn’t going to see anything new for at least a few weeks. This saved him time and money. He can always go back later.

    Thanks for your opinion Keen. Thats why I came here.

  • @keen

    Well I have been following your blog ever since I crossed that certain warhammer obsession somewhere near the start of the year. I rarely comment, but felt like I needed to, as this particular blog was kind of a watershed event.

    Let me start by saying gamewise I am probably very similar to you.. love EQ (love/hate really).. liked WoW enough to get pretty hardcore (yeah like orignal NAXX etc. sigh), but felt betrayed by TBC and walked away. Started following WAR’s release and was really impressed not only by the game’s overall design, but by the PR machine, and the attention to the little things.

    Since my pre-order only exists in cyberspace atm, I thought it would be a good time to upgrade my computer and play some AOC in the short term. I went into this eyes wide open with all the flame wars/broken-game mentality well catalogued.

    I am enjoying the game… and am deciding to take it casual, hoping for a patch or two by my end-game. I think quest burnout is worse than grind burn out.. at least you can mindlessly grind.

    But my post here is to reflect the lashback you have recieved on your blog. Some folks here are flaming you… I will get to that in a moment.

    Some people here are defending you against the flamers, saying they have no right to flame. Well it is a blog – with comments.. sooo.. everyone has one, and that is natural discourse – contention moves the discussion.

    The flamers are attacking you true, but I think there is more of an underlying disappointment that you as a blogger let them down. Sure you found AOC post-40 to be boring and tedious.. but many here feel like in spite of this you would take the time to see it through to the end, maybe park your character for awhile.. come back and comment on the evolution. Instead you came across as too cheap to even buy the game beyond the 10-days.

    Point being.. this IMHO is a blow to your credibility as a game blogger, and reflects badly to the folks that have been following your blog. You have some sort of celebrity here, and in this case it seems mis-spent. I think this is the main cause of people’s frustration – not your critique of the game.. which seems to me pretty solid.

    So something to think about for you I hope. I wish the blog well, and hope to enjoy AOC casually through the summer before jumping hardcore into WAR.


  • @Sorcielle: You say that as though it’s my duty. I’m sorry (although I see no reason to apologize) that I refuse to pay money for a game that I am not enjoying simply because some people want me to “stick it out”. Isn’t that just a tad asinine?

    I’ve lost zero credibility as a blogger. If anything I’ve reinforced the fact that I have an opinion, and not everyone out there is going to agree with it.

    You can’t argue with facts or opinions.

  • Fair enough. I was just pointing out something I observed.. though I have been known to delude myself on multiple occasions 🙂 No personal attack intended.

    On a side note: Would be curious to hear a blog on how jaded/demanding MMORPG players have become as a whole… it is seriously a harsh environment these days – Like a stand-up comic doing a set for a room full of down and out clowns.

  • Wow, I come back here after a few weeks and 115 responses! WOW!

    “I lol’d. First off these are very knowledgeable mmo players you’re telling this to, i’m pretty sure it was more a ‘figure of speech’.”

    I am very knowledgeable too. And even with a figure of speech, “Holy Grail” is something that can not be used lightly.

    I think games coming out now have the issues like holding on to their players, not because of poor games, but because players are just so bored so fast. Why? Because they see all the screenshots, join the beta, see every leaked film..on and on.
    Also all MMO’ers know now that you can turn around and download a new different one within hours. It’s the same as the internet: it’s a REALLY cool thing, the best thing to happen to us…and yet there was a day that having cable access was seen as someone with a dial-up modem is seen as “stuck in the dark ages.”…but the internet is still really cool. I think the problem is with the players. There is no way for a developer to fight player boredom resulting from overexposure.

  • […] Conan. Many many many, too many for me to remember whose I’ve seen. Here are Ethic, Saylah, Keen and Graev, ferv0r, and pretty much all of Tobold and Bildo’s sites for late May. Need a leveling […]

  • Well, AoC can’t be quite as bad as Keen makes it out to be considering Gamespot just gave it 8.5/10 and said it’s one of the finest MMO’s available.

    Take opinions with a grain of salt people. I think the steep graphics requirements might be killing the experience for Keen and Graev. Personally, I love the game and continue to keep playing it. I still smile when people complain about lack of end game content and unpolished end game PvP. Good lord people, have you forgotten WoW’s release? PvP was horrible in WoW when it first came out and you got no rewards whatsoever for killing people. It was also severely lacking in end game content. AoC is a new MMO which means you need to give it some time to age and turn into a fine wine.

    I think considering what they have accomplished so far with AoC, funcom did a damn good job and I have high hopes for this game. I have no intention of playing Warhammer. I think the RvR is going to be nothing more than a gimmick copied from DaoC (which I played). Sure, RvR was fun in DaoC but look at every other part of the game that failed miserably. RvR was the one gem shining among the pebbles. I personally can’t take another WoW clone with RvR gimmick and after experiencing the AoC graphics in all their glory I MUCH prefer the realistic art design.

    The only other “MMO” I’ll be playing after AoC will be Guild Wars 2 when it comes out. Anyway, don’t write off AoC based on these guys opinion. It’s obvious based on some of the reviews coming out that this game is well worth buying and playing. Do yourself a favor and join a PvP server with a good guild. It makes all the difference in the world. Peace.

  • Gamespot also fires their reviewers if they don’t score the game how a publisher wants it to be scored. 😉

  • “I think considering what they have accomplished so far with AoC, funcom did a damn good job ”

    What did they accomplish? They released a game that works ? but has no end game content or 40-50 quest areas that are not fleshed out? unbalanced classes? I dont understand how people set accomplishments in MMO’s so low now? Have you seen all the stuff they HAVE TO ADD as we the public pay for them to finish the game?

  • Keen, let’s take a look at the critic reviews for AoC thus far:
    Gamespot 8.5/10
    Ferrago 84 / 100
    Hooked Gamers 8 / 10
    Gamer 2.0 9 / 10
    GameSpy 4 / 5
    G4 – X-Play 4 / 5
    GameZone 9.4 / 10
    AtomicGamer 92 / 100

    On top of that, there are 176 current player reviews on Gamespot, submitted by readers, giving an average score of 8.4/10 for AoC.

    Are you seriously going to argue or try and make the case that this game is not worth playing? The majority of reviewers out there would seem to beg to differ.

  • Hudson, these same issues existed with WoW when it was first released. Classes were unbalanced, content was missing, technical glitches abounded and PvP was virtually non-existent unless you classify the occasional raid face offs in The Barrens as PvP. That didn’t stop WoW from becoming successful.

    You guys need to have patience and let AoC mature. They’ve got an initial great and enjoyable product on their hands. Yes it needs some work but when has there ever been an MMO that was perfect on release? For starters, they need to prove to the investors that the game can be popular and successful. Then they can devote more resources and man hours into adding additional end game content and continuing to patch up the bugs and improve performance. I think it was a relatively smooth launch compared to some of the many other MMO’s I’ve played. Hell, I played all the way through WoW beta and you guys with the AoC beta had it made. Am I the only one that remembers the chain disconnects and people stuck in squat animations while sliding all over the ground because they had that inventory access bug? Sheesh.

  • All I have ever said is that I don’t like the game and I would not recommend it to my friends. It failed to deliver on several promises, didn’t deliver polished content 35+, and has a whole list of issues that need fixing (that Funcom has recently released) that basically justify and acknowledge everything I found wrong with the game.

    So yeah, I’m seriously going to argue and make the case that this game is not worth playing – for me. Take what I have to say at face value and if you think there’s more to the game then by all means have at it.

  • I have seen the Gamespot Reviewer Kevin Van Ord play the 3 hours live gameplay marathon with his buddy during the early access phase. He knew nothing about the game, gave wrong infos and a lot he said was based on hearsay. People had to correct him a lot ingame or in the chat. They probably let him review AoC because their more respected reviewers with some kind of reputation could not give this game a high rating without making fools of themselves. WE old MMO geeks have played the game, probably longer than all of the reviewers there together. AoC has a big plus, it has a great atmosphere and is very easy for the most part. Some of the 70/80 areas are very hard, but in general it is a very forgiving game. You level up VERY fast, and then… the whole pvp endgame content does not exist at the moment, class balance is awful, not in the sense of unfinished, but it looks more like alpha than beta or finished product. I do not even want to talk about the itemization. I really wonder about all the positive reviews. I think people just want a new MMO after getting bored with their old one. AoC looks pretty and is stunning on a very shallow level – but where is the lasting value, to make me play at least one more month? This is a MMO, after all! There are many independent MMO players out there having blogs, and most of them came to similar conclusions like Keen and Graev. Most of them were a lot harsher. There is definitely something to love about AoC, but saving damsels in distress over and over cannot fool seasoned MMO players for long. There is not much game behind the tits and butts, unfortunately!