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Author Topic: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note  (Read 32502 times)
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Blackjack
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« on: June 21, 2008, 05:57:27 PM »

Oh gawd, another thread! Shoot me now!  icon_razz Well, I finally realized the US forums have no dev announcements section at all. The EU-English one does, at:
AoC dev announcements
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5

Also, the Funcom Product Manager (nickname of LordOrion), doesn't currently seem to get his posts pulled up by their dev tracker there. You can view all his posts via this link there (much of it's frivilous but there's an occasional nugget of info):
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/search.php?do=finduser&u=29637

I kinda had fun digging up dev posts to highlight for Champions Online earlier in the year, thought I'd try it a bit with AoC.

Some interesting stuff updated just yesterday (June 20):

* Mounts
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=37845
Quote
Camels are "on the way
Ha! I was just joking about camel mounts last night, I had no idea.  icon_smile

Scroll down that thread and you can see a new dev post about plans to adjust some things complained about in mounts, including sluggish dismounting in combat.
Quote from: Svein Erik "Sharum" Jenset, Striketeam Lead: BCC Design, Funcom
One of the hottest topics on these boards recently has been how long it takes to dismount, and how easily it is to get killed if dismounting while in combat. While this is true to our design, where mounted combat has a lot to do with gaining extra mobility at the cost of certain other factors, we take the feedback we receive very seriously and have mapped out a solution that we hope players will feel go a long way towards remedying this issue. As it currently is every character that is a member of the Rogue archetype have access to a Quick Dismount ability.

Now, before you all de-rail right here by saying 'But that ability doesn't work' let me just jump in and say that 'We're on top of it, we're fixing it'. However, to get back on track, we're going to give said ability out to every character regardless of his or her archetype. You will still have to stand still in order to use it, it still won't be a instant "poof" off your mount and it will have a cooldown to it; but we're taking this step in the hopes of making players feel less "doomed" because they want to dismount while engaged in combat.

To keep with the original design where members of the Rogue archetype, due to their naturally higher dexterity (and I use the word as a adjective here, not as a reference to the in-game stat), would be more nimble and able to quickly dismount we're revamping their version of the Quick Dismount ability and allowing them to use it while moving. I'm not going to go into further details about this revamp for the time being as, during the process of testing and balancing, many of the finer details might change.
And, that's about all that's new enough you might not have read about it somewhere else already.

I think though this short post about the "breast situation" a while back has the funniest dev topic title ever...

Funcom statement on botched boob job icon_lol
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=29457
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 06:07:11 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2008, 01:13:56 PM »

Here's a new dev post yesterday about changes in the works for tradeskills:
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=53457
Quote
Now I'll detail what we plan on doing with Tradeskills and Resource and Building. Unfortunately, I am unable to give you a timeframe for the fixes and changes below, but we hope to get them done very soon. "Very soon" in this case means expect a few of the changes below to come in as early as thursday. Most of these changes we aim to have ready within a few weeks.

Tradeskills
    * We will soon have a system where you can unlearn tradeskills.

Alchemy
    * We have added an item called "Alchemists Cache" to Mage/priest mobs. This item, when right-clicked, spawns a few random tradeskill resources for alchemists. These resources will include the 'missing' resources (for example Hyena meat and Icy Crocodile tears) so that alchemists are able to progress further than Tier1.
    * As soon as possible we will patch out a new Resource and Building population consisting of spiders, hyenas, etc, that will drop the resource "proper". These mobs will be put into Lacheish Plains, Poitain and Purple Lotus Swamp. These mobs will have a typical droprate of between 10-50% droprate of these items.
    * At a later stage (still to be determined), we are patching in vendor-bought recipes - these vendor-bought recipes will increase your magic damage. We are also looking into creating various other potions, but thats more hush-hush.

Architect
    * Architects are undergoing a design-revamp - what exactly is included in this revamp I won't say, but it will allow architects to use their abilities for combat purposes as well as for building the cities.

Weaponsmithing
    * Weaponsmiths will get a number of blue recipes in the future. These recipes can be obtained through vendors, world-drops and/or boss-kills. These recipes will be spread throughout the tiers of weaponsmithing and will cover all different weapons (but not ammo).

Armorsmithing
    * As with Weaponsmiths, Armorsmiths will get a number of blue recipes that can be obtained through vendors, world-drops and/or boss-kills. These recipes will provide a more diverse look than what the game currently offers and at level 80, it will be possible to craft an entire set of armor (provided of course that you find the recipes for them).

Resource and Building Regions
    * Traders and Trainers will spawn in the guild-cities. These traders and trainers will spawn depending on what building is built (for instance, a Trader will spawn at the Tradepost).
    * City-life will start appearing in cities. The more buildings you build, the more NPC's will immigrate to your city.
    * We are removing the randomly spawning mobs from the playfields. Instead, we are creating encampments that will dynamically spawn content on the attackers level.
    * Quests - we are adding quests to the Resource and Building regions (Lacheish Plains, Poitain, Purple Lotus Swamp). These quests will not be repeatable.

Various other fixes are also being looked at, amongst others the socketing-bugs and the droprate of leather.

Also, the new update introduced a nasty Alchemist crafting bug (the dangers of removing something the game expects to be there):
Quote
I am also writing this in order to explain what has happened to the alchemy crash since todays patch.

Let me start with the bad stuff first.

First off - if you are an Alchemist, opening the tradeskill book by any means will crash your client since last patch. This will be fixed with thursdays patch.

This happened when we were re-arranging some of the potions for tradeskills - If you are an alchemist I'm sure you remember some of the potions would not do anything when created. These potions have been removed from the inventory and will make it back into the game at a later stage. Removing these had an unexpected effect and was unfortunately overlooked by us when patching out the latest patch. We are sorry about this.

Let me assure you - if you are getting the crash, you are not bugged. The recipe book is simply trying to find objects that are no longer available and we have programmers looking into a safeguard for the future so that this type of thing does not happen again.
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2008, 03:06:51 PM »

Quote
Architect
    * Architects are undergoing a design-revamp - what exactly is included in this revamp I won't say, but it will allow architects to use their abilities for combat purposes as well as for building the cities.

so will I be able to summon a building and drop it on someone?  These changes make me kinda worried-  should we rush to try and finish the city in case they make things harder or wait in case they make things easier?
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 04:06:13 PM »

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These changes make me kinda worried-  should we rush to try and finish the city in case they make things harder or wait in case they make things easier?

Lol. IMO it's so hard to level an architect now, they can only make it easier now. smile
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2008, 04:27:03 PM »

our city is all built except for the outside wall.  We have all the buildings, keep and inner wall completed.  very cool watching buildings go up.
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 04:39:41 PM »

Quote from: drifter on June 24, 2008, 04:27:03 PM

our city is all built except for the outside wall.  We have all the buildings, keep and inner wall completed.  very cool watching buildings go up.

we got everything but the walls so far, and we're working on the outer wall first.  we've had some bugs though-  half the floor of the trading post isn't solid and forget about getting into the alchemist workshop.  I'd like to point out I didn't build the trading post and someone got a little creative while the Alchemist workshop was going up  icon_wink  Tongue
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2008, 05:01:28 PM »

I think architects will be able to attack enemies with pointy pencil compasses, protractors and slide rules.  Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 07:00:57 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on June 24, 2008, 05:01:28 PM

I think architects will be able to attack enemies with pointy pencil compasses, protractors and slide rules.  Tongue

Only if they fail to bore them to death talking about various building plans and resources required. biggrin
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2008, 09:53:10 PM »

Quote from: StriderGG on June 24, 2008, 07:00:57 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 24, 2008, 05:01:28 PM

I think architects will be able to attack enemies with pointy pencil compasses, protractors and slide rules.  Tongue

Only if they fail to bore them to death talking about various building plans and resources required. biggrin

Yeah, keep laughing. I'll be the Chief Architect.... OF YOUR DOOM!!!
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2008, 06:13:49 AM »

They will be able to enslave entire wolrds through the building of imaginary worlds where people shall happily live, oblivious to the fact they they have their blue energy sucked out of them!
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2008, 01:32:08 PM »

I really love the music in this game. Amazing variety, spine tingling singing on occasion, and it always seem to fit the environments (imho). Really sets the mood. Sometimes when I'm about to complain I have to grind at a certain level, I get lost in the music instead.  icon_cool

If you missed it a while back, a dev post linked to an interview with composer Knut Haugen (sounds like an ice cream flavor, no?  icon_smile):
http://community.ageofconan.com/wsp/conan/frontend.cgi?func=publish.show&template=content&func_id=2499&table=CONTENT

Quote
As a general rule, I think the most important aspect of a piece of Age of Conan music, is that it should not sound too sophisticated or complex. The harmonic progressions, melodies and rhythms should be well defined and easy to grasp. It should sound ancient, primeval and natural. The instruments, scales, harmonic progressions and rhythmic elements in the score have all been carefully selected with this in mind.

Quote
The world of Age of Conan is so varied. There are a lot of very different cultures, landscapes and moods in the game and the music has to reflect and underline all these differences. So typical Age of Conan music can be many different things: it can be dark and sinister, alarming and dangerous, sexy and seducing or lush and beautiful. The music varies in style and expression as well as in scope. You will find everything from simple folk music pieces to large orchestral works.

I'm kind of reminded that when the first, well-received trailer for Gladiator came out in 2000, they actually lifted music (with permission) from the "Conan The Barbarian" movie. A lot of people were disappointed when a later trailer came out without the Conan music (the "real" music was fine, even got Oscar nominated, but it was more subtle and not quite as "lets get excited!" as the Conan music). It actually seemed less exciting, which just goes to show how much difference music can make.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 01:36:02 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2008, 02:25:36 PM »

sounds like I should turn the music back on.  I turned it off first thing, like I normally do with games.
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2008, 03:12:06 PM »

Shame on you!  icon_lol I've actually seen a few chat messages about people ordering the soundtrack on CD.
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2008, 03:16:32 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on June 25, 2008, 03:12:06 PM

Shame on you!  icon_lol I've actually seen a few chat messages about people ordering the soundtrack on CD.
be aware that the CD is missing some soundtracks, one of the best actually, from the logon screen
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2008, 05:51:41 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on June 25, 2008, 03:16:32 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 25, 2008, 03:12:06 PM

Shame on you!  icon_lol I've actually seen a few chat messages about people ordering the soundtrack on CD.
be aware that the CD is missing some soundtracks, one of the best actually, from the logon screen

Boo. That's one of the best tunes.

How is the music stored anyway? Is it in mp3 format somewhere (like it is in EQ2?)
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2008, 08:19:53 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 25, 2008, 05:51:41 PM

Quote from: Razgon on June 25, 2008, 03:16:32 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 25, 2008, 03:12:06 PM

Shame on you!  icon_lol I've actually seen a few chat messages about people ordering the soundtrack on CD.
be aware that the CD is missing some soundtracks, one of the best actually, from the logon screen

Boo. That's one of the best tunes.

How is the music stored anyway? Is it in mp3 format somewhere (like it is in EQ2?)

Agreed, one of the very best! I got the CE, meaning, I got an audio cd with the music on - I do know that Itunes Store has the soundtrack for download though - no idea as to what format its in.
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2008, 01:12:09 PM »

The U.S. boards have a dev tracker, but they decided to make it a Tab, that's not really pointed out well on the main board page. It's up top, in the black navigation bar, far right. This is the actual thread...

AoC U.S. Boards dev tracker (have to be logged in to view)
http://forums.ageofconan.com/search.php?searchid=1936929

If you like, well, tracking down posts more individually (can gain a lot of insights and "between the lines" information from some of their posts), here are the "view latest posts" links for a few of the dev or community rep types there:

Sharum (designer)
http://forums.ageofconan.com/search.php?searchid=1936637

Jayde (system designer)
http://forums.ageofconan.com/search.php?searchid=1936655
*Necromancers will want to read some of his recent posts on the adjustments to the class.
Quote from: Jayde, in June 25 post
There's no truth to this at all [a player rumor the # of pets will be reduced]. Necros will continue to be pet-point oriented. Even the Nightfall tree is based around manipulating pets and pet-points, and that is certainly not going to change.

In regard to the stealthing and pet issue. Yes, it will be getting fixed. I actually posted on this about a month ago in regard to it not being intended and to expect for it to be fixed by coders.

In regard to the questions about the Nightfall tree, I can only say that evaluating the state of it without having the changes coming tomorrow and Monday is not going to give an accurate picture of things. If the damage output is still below what is intended, we will continue to increase it as needed.
Quote from: Jayde, also June 25
... as I mentioned before, we are completely reviewing pet control and making an effort to improve the in-combat behavior quite a bit. I'll post updates on this as I get more specific information as to what the scripters feel they are able to do.
Jayde seems to feel a bit under siege about Necromancers at the moment.  smirk

Drauge (raid scripter - never thought I'd see *that* on a business card saywhat)
http://forums.ageofconan.com/search.php?searchid=1936717

Tarib (senior community manager)
http://forums.ageofconan.com/search.php?searchid=1936583

Famine (community manager)
http://forums.ageofconan.com/search.php?searchid=1936683

Waldgeist (German community manager, quite active at the US forums)
http://forums.ageofconan.com/search.php?searchid=1936695
Some fun stuff about player submissions for a Conan Metal Song:
http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=804357#post804357
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2008, 12:02:08 PM »

This is an interview, but I thought I'd pop it in this thread since it's effectively dev posting, and we don't need a 37th AoC thread.  icon_razz

Funcom's Gaute Godager interview//MMO//Eurogamer
http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=159843
Now, once you stop laughing or crying about his:
Quote
Technically it's been smooth, in fact a lot smoother than we'd expected. I was actually a bit surprised at that, because based on previous launches and what we've seen from other games, I was expecting more technical troubles.
quote. AHAHAHAHA! That's a good one, Gaute! Give us all some of what you've been smoking! saywhat icon_lol To be fair, I think he means in comparison to Anarchy Online's historically disastrous 2001 launch. Old-timers may recall AO was Computer Gaming World's (rest in peace tear) "Coaster of the Month" when it launched.  disgust

Anyway there are some useful things to read:

PVP Fugitive System
Quote
Gaute Godager: Yeah. The method that we're using is one where you get something called "Fugitive Points" for certain types of behaviour. You get them from attacking someone, being the aggressive party, you get them from killing someone much lower than you - and certain other types of behaviour too. It's focused around never telling the player that they can't do something - but if you do it, it will have a consequence.

The consequences that you have are Fugitive Points. Those points will dribble away with time - they time out - but you can also grind them off by doing communal things. We're trying to make a penal system without actually making one. Basically, if you help with guild activities, for example, you'll get a faster reduction of fugitive status.

There are two steps of fugitive status. The first one we call Orange, and if you're in Orange state then other people can attack you without themselves being flagged as a fugitive. The second state is Red - and then not only can everyone attack you without being flagged themselves, in addition to that there's a chance of you dropping an item. It's a bit like a bounty on your head.

It's something we've been playing around with for some time, and there are a host of technical and balance issues to make this work so that it's not hugely exploitable.

Fleshing Out Quests, Quest Pacing
Quote
Gaute Godager: I think there are a host of issues and a host of reasons for that. First of all, I think we have actually already addressed quite a few of those things. We did have a lot more chaining - which means that you need to do an early quest to get the later quests in the chain. Let's say that you're 27 and you arrive in an area - if you haven't done the 20 and 22 quests, you don't see the 27 quests. We've broken quite a few of those chains up so that they'll be more available to people.

Secondly, we have added quite a lot more content in the early and late thirties, which are the places where people were making themselves heard most clearly about these issues. I do also think that we need to promote the quests that we have - because we do have a lot of quests. It's just about finding them. [It sounded from previous dev postings that the upper 50s is due to get some quests-transfusions soon too - bj]

Let's say you do Conall's Valley when you leave Tortage. Then you arrive in Khopshef Province, say, and you don't see any quests there. That's basically because you now need to go to another quest hub, rather than the one on the docks where you arrive. We don't have enough funnelling quests to push you into that new area. Even though when we discuss it internally, we say, well, we actually have the same amount of quests in sheer numbers as we have at lower levels - they aren't advertised and available enough.
Tabula Rasa had a bit of this situation going on too. You'd need to reach certain contacts in certain zones to have anything to do, but sometimes the previous quests (or the general storyline) wouldn't nudge you in the direction of where you needed to be.

Class popularity or lack thereof
Quote
I'm not saying by any means that it's perfect - but we're actually a bit surprised that we haven't seen any classes being singled out as excessively popular, because of huge imbalance or huge exploits. I just don't see that in my statistics.

There are some classes which are a bit more popular than others, but there are also classes which we are surprised by the popularity of, even though they are so different. The Herald of Xotli is one of those. We're just not seeing that any class is either very unplayable, or very popular, due to imbalance.

He also said the game population is about 50-50 split between North America and Europe right now.
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2008, 04:23:56 PM »

Quote
That's a good one, Gaute! Give us all some of what you've been smoking!

In terms of server uptime, etc. it really hasn't been that bad in comparison to a lot of MMO launches. Bugs have far outweighed purely technical issues.
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2008, 06:04:30 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 29, 2008, 04:23:56 PM

Quote
That's a good one, Gaute! Give us all some of what you've been smoking!
In terms of server uptime, etc. it really hasn't been that bad in comparison to a lot of MMO launches. Bugs have far outweighed purely technical issues.

Agreed. The game has been very stable, relatively crash free (although beta had quite a few out of memory problems with Vista), and without major problems.

I mean, it sure as heck wasn't Anarchy Online. biggrin
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« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2008, 06:10:11 PM »

Lets wrap this sucker up...........

Age of Conan was released 6 months too soon.

Because of that....there are content holes
..........................Poor Itemization
.........................Broken quests
..........................Compatability issues
..........................Lack of community
..........................Balance a laughing stock
..........................Fixing bugs quickly to stem the bleeding which in turn causes more bugs to appear.........

Have we learned anything all you developers out there?

Just as I thought...........No.
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2008, 03:28:36 AM »

Quote from: Arclight on June 29, 2008, 06:10:11 PM

Lets wrap this sucker up...........

Age of Conan was released 6 months too soon.

Because of that....there are content holes
..........................Poor Itemization
.........................Broken quests
..........................Compatability issues
..........................Lack of community
..........................Balance a laughing stock
..........................Fixing bugs quickly to stem the bleeding which in turn causes more bugs to appear.........

Have we learned anything all you developers out there?

Just as I thought...........No.

QFT with one exception**

/cancel


** Early numbers seems to indicate that they did well with sales.  So what did the developers learn?  Keep the servers up and running and everything else will be forgiven including having a game with ninja feature removal/bait and switch, massive content holes and many core game features(stats and talents) not working.

Parts of the game are brilliant.  Parts of the game are not there.  I like the game.  I dislike the massive BS trying to cover up the fact that the emperor has no clothes.   
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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2008, 04:14:44 AM »

Boo Funcom! Please die out you failed with AO and you're failing again with AoC. Just give it up!
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2008, 12:13:15 PM »

I think you guys are exaggerating quite a bit.

..........................Poor Itemization = early on; it has been improving steadily. I've seen some of the drops in higher level zones, and they are awesome.

.........................Broken quests = very few in the great scheme of things. I went all the way to 58 without running into more than 2-3. That's out of hundreds completed.

..........................Compatability issues = I can't speak to this, as it has run flawlessly on my PC from day one.

..........................Lack of community = Don't understand this one.

..........................Balance a laughing stock = Out of 12 classes, I'd say 2 (necro and assassin) have truly serious issues. The rest are OK. As far as PvP goes, healers are probably still a bit overpowered. But again the game is only a month old - WoW is still balancing classes 4 years later.

..........................Fixing bugs quickly to stem the bleeding which in turn causes more bugs to appear......... = I think anyone who was rational would concede that there are far fewer bugs now than there were at launch.

Why don't you give the developers some credit for creating a game/combat system fun enough that thousands of people are playing it *despite* the perceived problems you mentioned?

The game is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I find it a little unfair of some of you who quit the game 2-3 weeks ago and are still bitching about it despite not having seen firsthand any of the patches that have gone live since then.

I also * completely* disagree with the comments about AO. Sure it had a terrible launch, but they worked steadily to fix the game and it is still being played today, 7 years later. It also introduced concepts like instancing that are still being copied by other MMOs to this day. Anyone who knows anything about MMO history knows that AO is considered a classic that helped shape the MMOs of today.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 12:17:15 PM by YellowKing » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2008, 12:59:13 PM »

Well I disagree with your disagreement... retard

There were some very subtle jabs at my ability to rightfully asses a game. But not out right nasty enough for me to get my back up over.

The game is half done.......you can argue this and that all you want..........the game is half done. On that foundation we can debate.
But if you think the game isn't half done, then we are at polar opposites.
And any debating will be futile.........

 icon_wink
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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2008, 01:11:34 PM »

I hope you guys will let this thread remain focused on dev posts and not become the Optimist vs. The Pessimist discussion thread. icon_neutral

I'm just saying AO is/has had lots of technical teething pains so for the game director to say it's had surprisingly few technical problems seems like a strange thing to say.  icon_confused That's all I meant. And I was trying to have fun with it.  icon_razz I give AO credit for what it *became*, but the initial launch is still considered something of a historic launch disaster (along with World War II online the same year), but people learn from their mistakes and get better. AO is still running and getting updated (as Turbine continues to do with its venerable warhorse Asheron's Call).

As long as they can keep up this two-updates a week pace, I think AoC will be fine. They just need to be stubborn and keep ironing out the bugs, while keeping an eye on the end-game and PVP stuff (even if the latter doesn't interest me much).

I do think it's instructive that the game's popularity has far outstripped Funcom's expectations/projections (thus like Godager said, completely overwhelming them on the customer service side of things). I tend to fume about MMO launches not having enough servers, enough tech support, enough people but I doubt most businesses (esp. in today's economy) are comfortable spending a zillion dollars because they *think* they'll be popular. Certainly they hyped the game to the high heavens, but did they think it would sell a million copies (worldwide) so quickly, and sell it in so many places? It's kinda hard to tell -- if you guess wrong, you end up with Auto Assault (which I enjoyed, but which had roughly 8 mostly empty servers after launch).

Here's a new fan AoC news site that seems fairly useful. Check out the cool, supposedly leaked Ranger PvP armor: icon_cool
http://aoc-hub.com/
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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2008, 01:13:13 PM »

Aoc now has one update a week, instead of two ;-)

Quote from: Blackjack on June 30, 2008, 01:11:34 PM

As long as they can keep up this two-updates a week pace
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« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2008, 02:17:46 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on June 30, 2008, 01:13:13 PM

Aoc now has one update a week, instead of two ;-)

Quote from: Blackjack on June 30, 2008, 01:11:34 PM

As long as they can keep up this two-updates a week pace

Which is great news. Two patches a week was clearly too agressive and, as a result, the quality suffered.  Releasing one patch a week should give them more time to test it properly.

BTW, Blackjack, thank you for your posts and links, I've been enjoying reading them.

And for the record, Arclight, every MMO ever released is half-done at launch, what kind of debate are you looking for, Mr. Obvious? smile

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« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2008, 02:40:10 PM »

I didn't mean to start a flamewar over it; and certainly didn't mean to come off as hostile. I just think there have been some statements batted about that either held true at one time and no longer hold true, or are a bit of an exaggeration and needed to be put into perspective. The reason I remain optimistic is that I have seen steady improvement week over week in AoC. Contrast that to something like Vanguard, in which I saw little to no improvement week over week. In the case of AoC, I have every reason to believe they'll have the remaining major stuff ironed out fairly quickly, whereas in Vanguard it was painfully obvious that it would take months.

 

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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2008, 02:45:08 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on June 30, 2008, 01:13:13 PM

Aoc now has one update a week, instead of two ;-)

Quote from: Blackjack on June 30, 2008, 01:11:34 PM

As long as they can keep up this two-updates a week pace

er... last week we had 2 updates-  did they changes things again after last week?  [edit: NM, found the post in the forums about Wednesday being the big patch day]

personally, I'm still having a blast.  It was kinda sad watching Rittchard clean up the guild member list of anyone who hadn't played for 30 days or more yesterday (you were one of the ones to go Arclight-  I couldn't believe it's been that long since you've been on) but it sounds like we're going strong, especially considering it's summertime and most folks are out doing stuff instead of being cooped up all day.
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« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2008, 04:26:11 AM »

There was an interesting dev post today (well, technically Monday), about...

The Male vs Female attack-speed issue [News to me, but apparently Male character models do more physical damage than female due to a bug]
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=60885
Quote
if we move onto ‘combo’ damage, which is what is causing the notable part of this issue, there are suddenly several factors that come into play when determining the final damage. I won’t be wasting too much time in this update to go into detail about every factor, but to quickly list a few they would be stat/modifier/multiplier (which in turn depends on class, level and weapon equipped), length of animation and, although irrelevant to this exact issue any longer, amount of steps in a combo sequence

Quote
The main reason for the discrepancy in damage output that you’re seeing is that the length of an animation isn’t equal for both Male and Female characters in many cases. This is what we’re currently fixing, but there’s roughly 800 to 1000 animations in total that are involved here, and that they are significantly more “complex” than the ‘white damage’ [he means "non-combo", regular attack] animations mentioned above this naturally takes a lot more time.

Of course, once the length of the animations have been fully corrected/tweaked either by an animator or BCC designer then every rank (of every combo for every class) has to be re-balanced by the System Designers because, as I mentioned above, one of the factors that come into play when determining the combo damage is animation length.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to give you an exact date for when this issue will be fixed, but we’re working internally towards a goal of having everything finished during the next two to three work-weeks, depending on how much we need to re-adjust after the initial tweaking. This is including the majority of QA testing, which can be performed during the process as we’re working on a class-by-class basis. That being said, and even with on-going testing during this process, everything still needs to be verified by QA once more after we merge our changes into the system data to ensure that we’re not breaking anything else.

We will however not be patching this out to Live on a class-by-class basis, but rather in one big “collective” fix to all classes. I will make another promise right here and now though; I’ll be investigating whether or not we can introduce these changes to the public Test server (which Famine has promised everyone a bigger update on soon) at the earliest possible convenience.
There's a discussion thread on the topic at:
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=625669

I don't know if the animators are aghast, or glad that they have a lot more work to do (sometimes after launch, dev teams get pared down).
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« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2008, 04:29:32 AM »

Another dev post today (Monday) was the launching (finally) of a Test Server that everyone can copy a character to:

Testlive Server has launched!
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=622009#post622009
Quote
We are proud to announce the launch of our new Age of Conan Testlive Server. This server is open to everyone with an active Age of Conan account. If you can log onto the Live servers you will be able to log onto the Testlive server. Until today our test server has been limited to former beta testers only so we are very excited to open it publicly for all Age of Conan players!

The Testlive server will be the first place to see and experience new updates before they reach the Live servers. In addition to this you will have the opportunity to speak directly with developers and QA staff that are working on the Testlive server.

In order to streamline the testing process we will be placing out special Testlive vendors that will allow you to level up your characters to various levels. This leveling process will also give you appropriate equipment for your level. These vendors will appear on Testlive in the next few weeks.
That forum post has information on their duplicator tool and how to get set up.

Lastly, I guess PVP is catching on -- the "Fury" server hit its player limit.  saywhat
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=624911#post624911
Quote
The PvP server 'Fury' has reached the maximum amount of player characters today. This means that at the moment no new characters can be created on 'Fury'.

This limit will be increased on the next update (planned for Wednesday) so new characters can be created again.
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« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2008, 12:54:46 PM »

In conjunction with the test server going live, they're changing the update schedule to once a week (which should give at least a little time to test these things on the test server for player feedback):

New update schedule: once a week
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=631211#post631211
Quote
Now that the first month after launch is behind us, we have decided to change from two game updates a week to one (Wednesdays, 4am GMT).

There is a number of reasons for this, but these are the most important
ones:

    * We want to reduce the downtime.
    * We want each new update to be on our test server a few days longer to ensure that everything works as intended before releasing it.

The number of updates and bug fixes we do to the game will not decrease because of this change. We will work at the same pace, and if anything we will be more efficient since there has been a fair amount of overhead involved in releasing two updates each week. Urgent issues will still be addressed as they arise, but we no longer need scheduled downtime twice a week to do that.
I hope somewhere on the "bug to be fixed list" is being able to dismount in combat without becoming A) A screaming torso that glides around the ground like a lawnmower but can't damage anything, and can't be remedied unless you can glide into water  icon_razz, or B) A flying horse rider on an invisible mount who again flies through the air but can't damage anyone, and can't be remedied except by logging out. I'm not really upset about it though, because they're the two funniest graphical bugs I've ever seen in my life.  icon_lol
« Last Edit: July 01, 2008, 12:58:45 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2008, 03:44:48 AM »

I've been slacking off as far as digging around for some other dev posts of interest. Here are some:

The [PVP] Arena is still bugged! (July 1 post)
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=646987#post646987
Quote from: by Famine, US Community Manager
The arena quest was on it's way to being fixed. The initial bug from last week was resolved in the quest but another bug arose in the testing since then. That is why you will notice some changes to the quest. The original plan was to fix the issue with not being able to talk to the NPC and fix the issue where there was no additional option in the dialogue. However as above, another thing came up which had to mark it as still a bug.

We will still continue to work on this issue as we know it is one of the top community concerns. We will continue to aim for getting this resolved as soon as possible.

[Feedback] The Male vs Female attack-speed issue (Sharum gathered some Q&A from both US and EU forums on the issue)
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=626185#post626185
Quote from: by Sharum, developer
Every fighting animation in the game are originally MOCAP'd and not hand-animated, so yes, there are differences in length.

Almost every combo-finisher will have its length adjusted during this process. In most cases the female ones will be made shorter, but in some cases (if we are unable to make the female version short enough without impacting the visual quality) the male counterpart will be lengthened. Once the animation-length has been finalized every combo will then be re-balanced based on this new value.

What we're adjusting is the length of the combo-finishers (the animation that plays after you correctly execute all steps in a combo-chain).
I guess now my understanding is that the female characters in a given class have a *longer* (slower) animation than the male character, if they both fire the same combo off, so in that way, the female has a lower DPS (assuming the male version is using the same weapon, combo etc.), so that's what they're trying to bring back into balance.
================

Update on Herald of Xotli Fire Damage [a future update will be adjusting this AT]
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=61770
Quote from: Jayde, system designer
As promised, we have performed a full review of all magical damage sources triggered by the Herald of Xotli class. As it is intended for bonus magical damage (specifically fire damage) to be an effective way to increase the damage output of the class, we have implemented and adjusted the magical damage coefficients on all fire-based magical effects.

The main sources of scaling from +magical damage will be from Hellfire Breath (as before) and Burn to Death, as they are primary damage-dealing effects. Additionally, moderate to minor coefficients have been added or increased on all secondary fire damage hits and damage-over-time components.

While the balanced values will not be equivalent to the erroneous 100% coefficients being applied to some spells prior to last patch, there were many spells which were not scaling previously that will after the update. Given that we have adjusted all spells to have a bonus equivalent to their base power, the contribution from +magical damage should be much more consistent across all spells.

=============

Update on Dark Templar Unholy Damage [as with the Herald above, look for some major upcoming improvements]
http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=58639
Quote from: Jayde, system designer
After reviewing the situation, we agree that Dark Templars should have +unholy damage as a viable way to increase their DPS, along with other forms of "generic" melee damage increases and other forms of item modifications.

As such, we have evaluated and implemented coefficients on all Dark Templar self-only unholy damage sources. In the process, we have made some other changes to similar abilities.
Whew. OK, hope someone finds something useful or hopeful in all this info.  icon_smile
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« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2008, 01:34:41 PM »

Quote
Whew. OK, hope someone finds something useful or hopeful in all this info.

I did, thank you Blackjack. smile

Did you see anything on the new quests?
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« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2008, 02:27:34 PM »

I'm guessing the female combat animation bug is not with the Ranger class as I haven't noticed anything that seems slow combat wise.  Maybe one day they'll decide what to do with Salvo-  either make it work like it's description says (3 arrows shoot at once) or change the description to say it shoots 3 arrows in rapid succession with extra damage, which is what it does right now.
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« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2008, 05:28:04 PM »

Quote from: Jayde, system designer
As promised, we have performed a full review of all magical damage sources triggered by the Herald of Xotli class. As it is intended for bonus magical damage (specifically fire damage) to be an effective way to increase the damage output of the class, we have implemented and adjusted the magical damage coefficients on all fire-based magical effects.

The main sources of scaling from +magical damage will be from Hellfire Breath (as before) and Burn to Death, as they are primary damage-dealing effects. Additionally, moderate to minor coefficients have been added or increased on all secondary fire damage hits and damage-over-time components.

While the balanced values will not be equivalent to the erroneous 100% coefficients being applied to some spells prior to last patch, there were many spells which were not scaling previously that will after the update. Given that we have adjusted all spells to have a bonus equivalent to their base power, the contribution from +magical damage should be much more consistent across all spells.

Good lord, hopefully thats a necro "buff".  HoX's are my most feared class already.
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« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2008, 12:11:24 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on July 03, 2008, 02:27:34 PM

I'm guessing the female combat animation bug is not with the Ranger class as I haven't noticed anything that seems slow combat wise.  Maybe one day they'll decide what to do with Salvo-  either make it work like it's description says (3 arrows shoot at once) or change the description to say it shoots 3 arrows in rapid succession with extra damage, which is what it does right now.

If I understand it correctly, the time difference between the animations is about 0.1s - 0.2s, so it's nothing you would notice unless you are parsing your damage into a file and analyze it later on.
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« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2008, 06:29:04 AM »

Quote from: StriderGG on July 04, 2008, 12:11:24 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on July 03, 2008, 02:27:34 PM

I'm guessing the female combat animation bug is not with the Ranger class as I haven't noticed anything that seems slow combat wise.  Maybe one day they'll decide what to do with Salvo-  either make it work like it's description says (3 arrows shoot at once) or change the description to say it shoots 3 arrows in rapid succession with extra damage, which is what it does right now.

If I understand it correctly, the time difference between the animations is about 0.1s - 0.2s, so it's nothing you would notice unless you are parsing your damage into a file and analyze it later on.

which, in my opinion, still is way to much - I read somewhere it was around 20 percent reduction compared to male animations in DPS

and therein lies the hub of my beef with AoC - its a beautifull game, full of great ideas, but, the implementation of everything just seems...amateurish, unfortunately.

Dont get me wrong, I couldn't do it better, but with the current games out there, I expect professionalism, like people do from me in my job, when I charge them 140 dollars an hour for what I do.

I suspect its a matter of project management that made the overall game suffer.
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« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2008, 06:32:07 AM »

Quote from: Razgon on July 04, 2008, 06:29:04 AM

I expect professionalism, like people do from me in my job, when I charge them 140 dollars an hour for what I do.

Hookers in Vegas make much more than that.  perhaps you should relocate  Tongue
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