So Funcom and Eidos released Age of Conan, and hundreds of thousands of players have signed up...what now? The two companies have revealed their plans for evolving Age of Conan over the coming months, with heaps of new content influenced directly by player feedback in the pipes.
It all starts out later this month with a major PVP update, which they are calling "To The Death". The update will institute consequences and rewards for engaging in PVP battles, including the promised PVP leveling system and a Fugitive system, that will make it easier for other players to hunt you down the more lower-level characters you kill.
Other planned updates include guild alliance warfare, allowing guilds to team up and even form alliance keeps while fighting over "wonders of the world" that grant special powers, a system of in-game achievements called Powerpoints that will reward players for completing various tasks with points they can spend on special gear and powers, new areas to quest in, and a combo-based dancing system motion captured from professional dance artists. Joy! Hit the jump for more details on the evolution of Age of Conan.
Funcom and Eidos Announce Massive Evolution Plans for Age of Conan
- Massive PvP Update in June - New Areas and Dungeons - Powerpoints and Guild Alliance Warfare to Come -
DURHAM, N.C.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—After the incredible initial success for Age of Conan, a whole world of MMO players are eagerly anticipating the future plans for one of the most popular online games ever released. While Age of Conan has already evolved massively since launch, numerous expansive additions are yet to come. Funcom and Eidos are therefore proud to lift the veil on Age of Conan's promising future, and today the two companies reveal selected features which are now in production.
"While we have enjoyed the initial success for Age of Conan, we know that a solid launch is but the start when it comes to the MMO genre," said Gaute Godager, Game Director on Age of Conan. "As we look ahead we are preparing a huge amount of new content, and what we are presenting today will evolve Age of Conan even further. It's naturally an incredibly ambitious update plan for a live MMO game, but we are certain our players would want nothing less."
Without further ado, here are some of the cool things to expect in the months to come:
PvP evolved - To the Death
The great combat system in Age of Conan has taken MMO fighting to a new level of fun, and Player versus Player combat plays a major part in this. As a result, a massive new PvP update is planned for late June. Aptly called To the death, this update brings more consequence and rewards to PvP, and an important part of it is the Fugitive system. The more lower level players you kill, the easier it is for others to hunt you down. In addition, ten PvP levels with additional ranks will be introduced, as well as specific gear and weapons for PvP.
Guild Alliance Warfare
Preproduction has started on a MASSIVE free update which will come later this year. Currently titled "Kingship!," large clusters of guilds will be able to form alliances, and rule and conquer on a massive scale. Everyone in a guild alliance will play a part in this system, and together they can even erect unique looking alliance Battlekeeps. The alliances can also fight over, and build, culture-specific "wonders of the world," with a direct link to higher powers! As part of the system Funcom will also facilitate larger amounts of players in massive battles.
This fall, a unique reward and character evolution system called Powerpoints will be introduced. This rewards active in-game behaviour, and allows for gathering points through numerous methods, including owning a Battlekeep, playing the end-game at level 80, winning PvP matches, or simply being an active guild member or subscribing to the game. There will be many ways to obtain Powerpoints, and numerous rewards, ranging from exclusive Powerfeats to weapons, armour and potions. Powerpoints may even allow you to level faster!
New areas and dungeons
You won't need to wait for an expansion pack to explore exciting new areas. In the next period, Funcom will include several new areas, as well as evolving already existing areas. This includes a brand new dungeon in Aquilonia, reshaping three dungeons in Stygia, and an entire mountain range in Cimmeria!
Improved player-made villages and Battlekeep systems
While the guild alliance system brings a whole new level to the game, Funcom will continue to expand the existing player-made areas and the systems running them. A focus on evolving the massive elements of the game even further continues, ranging from placing NPCs in the cities to more choices and benefits.
An MMO is nothing without a good social scene. While Conan is all about crushing your enemies, social enhancements are also getting some love. A fun example is the combo-based dancing system which is now coming to the game, and it's entirely motion captured by professional dance artists.
Age of Conan has received tremendous praise for immersion and the great voice-over quests. This is but the start of the adventure, and numerous new quests are coming into the game, spread across the entire world and across the level ranges. Soon 60 additional quests will also get full voice acting, further improving immersion.
Embracing community feedback
Since launch several enhancements and fixes have been implemented to Age of Conan, and Funcom has continuously staffed up the service departments to improve customer satisfaction. This has already resulted in a better game experience, but the work will continue. At the heart of all of this stands the Age of Conan community. A lot of the upcoming improvements to the game will be based directly on community feedback, and the wishes and concerns players have when it comes to the future of the game will always be taken into account.
By reading the community websites, official forums and the monthly Clan of Conan newsletter you can expect additional information about upcoming features and released updates, as well as an arena to give your feedback. A new Clan of Conan newsletter is also going live today, with more detail on the upcoming features. http://funcom.cachefly.net/WebFiles/Newsletter/Issue17/