'Most influential' Age of Conan update launches

Gangs of Tarantia patch adds new area, makes fundamental changes to Funcom's M-rated MMOG.

by

Funcom's Age of Conan has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride since its debut last year. After initial shipments of the game topped 1 million in May 2008, Age of Conan's player population took a decided turn for the worse. By August, Funcom said its subscriber base stood at 415,000. Soon thereafter, the Norwegian developer said that the massively multiplayer online game's director had resigned, layoffs had occurred, and servers would see significant consolidation.

A look at Tarantia Commons.

Still, Age of Conan appears to have made some headway in regaining ground, with Funcom saying last month after turning a quarterly profit that the game's user base has seen significant stabilization. Catering to those players, Funcom today rolled out what it called the "biggest and most influential" update to Age of Conan yet. Titled Gangs of Tarantia, the update adds in a new area and implements fundamental changes to many of the MMOG's core systems.

According to Funcom, the fifth title update is designed to rectify all remaining issues associated with the game's launch, as identified by both players and developers. As such, the list of tweaks and changes is nothing short of ranging and can be found in full on the developer's Web site. The update also introduces the Tarantia Commons district, a high-level area that offers new content for both solo and cooperative play.

For more on Age of Conan, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Discussion

50 comments
P_R_E_Y
P_R_E_Y

I played WoW for 3 years, i took a long break nearer the end and i realised what the hell have i been doing all this time? after that break i noticed i couldnt get back into it cause i wasnt having any fun. It is HEAVY on the grind, and those that play it constantly dont see that, everyone that doesnt play it will tell you something along those lines but i bet the WoW player wont agree. Now im not picking on WoW players, like i mentioned i was one, but i just feel AoC is better, leveling seems easier and i can manage about 1-2 levels a day atleast not playing for several hours a day. Its only my opinion, but i do feel WoW is milked and all the hardcore fans that support it so religiously is the think i dislike it the most, it is too popular and that isnt saying thats a good thing, people take big advantages from popular things.

joel9656
joel9656

been on since sep 08 new update is very good server im on has loads easy to get in a raid or grp only a few minor bugs but the game is great best mmo ive played :)

Melty123
Melty123

I don't really know why but I don't like this game, anyway good luck to it.

ASnogarD
ASnogarD

I wanted to try this again, but the restrictive payment options made it impossible for me in my current circumstances. Why didnt they allow Debit cards, or at least allow Paypal... I would of thought the more options they gave thier clients to pay , the better.

Diernes
Diernes

Wow is the anomaly not the norm, and its also grossly overated. Back before it's release 400k sub's was very respectable. Players and developers alike need ot realize this. You dont need 13 million subscibers (I doubt there are this many actively playing the game) to have a succesful MMO

c_decka
c_decka

@Rottenwood I completely agree with you. If everyone did that, the 360 would have sunk ages ago (as it took them over 2 years to fix all their shoddy hardware maladies), the iPhone would've had video and MMS messaging since launch, and our U.S. car manufacturers would be forced to actually factor quality parts into their fabrication processes. But alas....

1Mach6
1Mach6

@CreatureRising WoW - 5 mil players? Try 13 million. 415k is a drop in the bucket to WoW. I played AoC when it lauched, after finishing the "noob island" did'nt feel like there was much after that for me. There is no patch that will get me back in.

cowmaster2k3
cowmaster2k3

Personally I had a great time with this game. I stopped playing after a few months because server population dropped so much. I felt like I was paying 15 dollars to play a single player game. Same thing happened with Warhammer Online... Both great games that didn't get the support they needed to stay in the competition

Gooeykat
Gooeykat

AoC is not that demanding of game. Yes you need a good PC but it's not like it takes a super computer. I'm glad that Funcom took the risk and created an MMO that actually had stellar graphics. As far as gameplay, it is heavily combat focused with no auto attack. It is challenging and fun and brutal. Does it have a great crafting system or some of the other minigame elements that other MMOs such as WoW and EQ2 have, no it doesn't. But that suits players of AoC just fine, most are not their to decorate their virtual houses or craft virtual armor. For them that part of the game is boring.

krelmmaster
krelmmaster

This is what happens when you create an MMO with advanced graphics that only a minor percentage of PC users can even run. Even those who can run the game on lower settings will be crippled in heavy battles and the like. Aion will follow exactly the same route because of this. If WoW had advanced graphics i think it would be safe to assume it wouldn't have half the playerbase it currently does. Not everyone has or wants to spend £1000+ on a top of the range PC just to be able to play a game. Yet those shiny graphics in AOC is just another reason why there were so many bugs on release - they focused on making things look nice instead of what matters - gameplay. GG Funcom

CreatureRising
CreatureRising

AOC is a great idea on Paper but they over did it A little bit. WoW has over 5 Mil Players therefore if 100k Players leave theres really not much of a Difference

Slyfox00138
Slyfox00138

The problem is that every other MMORPG tries to BE WoW, and WoW can just do it better. Many games add very little to the overall gameplay mix (don't get me wrong, I think AoC came about as far as any modern MMO has gotten to make a change). Even older (and IMO originally far more interesting titles in the genre) like Star Wars Galaxies ended up gutting their original games to try and make them as much like WoW as possible, and it just doesn't fit. This is why I'm excited about The Old Republic, as it seems to be the first MMO in years to be genuinely offering something different.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Other than WOW, every MMORPG news announcement more or less screams "huh, this game is still around?" Congratulations on stabilizing the game, but I don't think we should reward developers for selling us buggy product, especially when Conan fans apparently had to sit through a year of unfinished code before they got around to finishing development. Life is too short to pay good money for unfinished crap. Use your cash to reward companies that actually put quality, fully tested merchandise on the shelf.

halosniper52
halosniper52

I love this game so much but I had to stop playing it only since my computer can't handle it. One thing wow does right u can play it on a laptop NP, wish AOC did that screw graphics for mmo's I just want to play without needing a super computer.

dennisheadley
dennisheadley

I think the biggest thing about this game that turned me off at launch was that it was too sub-divided. I don't mind zoning into a dungeon once now and then, but in and out of every building and through city gates etc just made it allot less enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. The other comments about it being in beta for a year with paying customers....I'd have so say that could be applied to every MMO out there including WoW from launch to today. I've played WoW from pre-release until two months ago when the dumbed down easy mode of WotLK finally drove me insane with boredom. It has been constantly patched, whole classes trashed and reset to have to be played in completely different styles, every dungeon/expansion/pvp change they make renders previous content useless, whole zones were filled in with content over a year after release..... i am not slamming on WoW, i am just pointing out that EVERY mmo is exactly the same in the bug and lack of content department. They ALL release with a lot of things still needing to be implimented.

joeyfine
joeyfine

"the fifth title update is designed to rectify all remaining issues associated with the game's launch," Really? it only took 13 months to fix the launch issues? wow

uberjannie
uberjannie

I tried playing it againt 6 months after launch, But I still got those pesky "out of memory" error that has haunted the game so.

thedarklinglord
thedarklinglord

It's really a shame it wasn't a more stable product from launch, because losing over half your player base is a serious blow and, once they're gone, it's hard to regain their trust and support. Hopefully they'll continue to have enough support - and the financial resources - to continue building on and improving them game, because World of Warcraft could do with some serious competition. Not that anyone will ever be able to take the crowd away from WoW, but it'd be nice to see a few equally worthy MMOGs find a measure of success and longevity instead of being squelched by the juggernaut and abandoned as a total loss after just a year or two.

CamiKitten
CamiKitten

After only playing 4 months of WoW I got burned out, it really sucked to me. Could this be better? I've heard some decent stuff.

ejstrup
ejstrup

@Gamerz1569: Yeah, it's a shame really. WoW has the huge advantage of having been out for so many years, not to forget all the years Blizzard already spent developing it before its release. Both Warhammer and AoC are good games. I played them both for a bit during their release, but went back to WoW again. Mostly because that's where all my friends were :(

Gamerz1569
Gamerz1569

Warhammer Online now Age of Conan, both MMOs losing player base. Thanks to WoW its hard for any other MMO to flourish.

Kockm08
Kockm08

Game is soooo much better now. I played at launch and quit after the first month. I've been back now for two months and love it. They've fixed everything that was broken.

gameking5000
gameking5000

It just seems to be forgotten, it had so much potential...

RussianRAGE
RussianRAGE

I played the trial and i gotta say things are much better. But i doubt i would return to Age of Conan any time soon.

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

Hopefully this will fix many of the complaints players have had. Too bad players have had to be beta testers and paying customers at the same time so far :(

StephenBassford
StephenBassford

too little too late. i guess it is still good for those that still play

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

Over a year after launch and the rest of the game is finally going to be available? Way to be on the ball Funcom... The single most influential update they could make to this game would be to shutdown all the remaining servers and stick it with a fork because it's as good as done. The game was crap at launch and has been crap since.

andrewlkt
andrewlkt

Wait, I thought this game, together with Warhammer Online, was about to kill WoW. At least that's what people across a lot of message boards said.

NeoTaintedAngel
NeoTaintedAngel

The game was way too beastly when it came out, not to mention the myriad of crippling bugs. (Memory leaks ahoy!) I think the biggest problem was, WoW was the first MMO to a lot of people, thus they were used to a world without a myriad of instances for everything and being able to run (within reason) to every location that they can see. AoC lacked this, with impressive invisible walls and whatnot. So a lot of people (myself included) felt that the world felt too confined.

SirSpoon84
SirSpoon84

eh, i shoulda got this when it came out instead of continuing with Wow

Genodude
Genodude

Would have played this...if it wasn't for it being too demanding with computer specs.

Hoops0123
Hoops0123

I liked this game but i always got this swg feel out of it. the graphics were wicked when u could get them to work. Im not rich by any means so the highest graphic cards out of my reach but even for my cheap card it looked bad ass. But all to often some weird things happened as far as gameplay issues and what not.

Staryoshi87
Staryoshi87

DX10 and Ambient Occlusion combine to make one of the most beautiful game environments out there. (Yes, DX10 is fully functional) I bought this game at launch, played for a month, and dropped it. A year later I'm back into it and love every minute. It's a very solid MMO, they just need to segregate PVP and PVE. When trying to fix one, they screw up the other. They need more input and thought regarding Class balance... Classes shouldn't get this substantially nerfed/buffed every other update.

Warchief_Zuljin
Warchief_Zuljin

What's that? No new races added? You can still just play as dumb humans? Pass.

Asuka-Langley
Asuka-Langley

I wonder if they ever got DX10 implemented into the game :lol:

MidniteShadow
MidniteShadow

its good to see they have a stable subscription base, and good that their updating the game again. more content=win win. I see another Anarchy comeback for AoC...maybe

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Im surprised I was under the impression that the company that made Age of Conan went out of business. Glade to see that company and the game are still progressing though.

Decrate
Decrate

another mmorpg that failed. WoW wins!

jazilla
jazilla

they ran out of money during development and released the game early. early release hurt it because the high end content wasnt finished. now they are trying to make it the way it was supposed to be and its too little too late. you wouldn't sell a car if it wasn't ready to drive would you?

Visiondj1
Visiondj1

So pretty much, a game that released (and I bought at said time) in May is just now getting finished, even after a 6-month delay and being online for over a year. Boy, they have this stuff down to a science...

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

wrong hayaba cating to their market subs is exactly what they need right now. Until they have a steady player base that isnt shrinking ... which it seems to be finally stabilizing. you need to keep current subs paying and enjoying the game. MMOs best form of advertising is the players themselves getting their friends into the game. if the game doesnt provide enjoyment and what they want in an MMO you can be sure they wont be telling their friends to get it.

Jakeamalake
Jakeamalake

This game is fun and worth trying out. I played it at launch and liked it, but it did have issues. I only stoped playing it cause I didn't have the time to play it as much as I would have liked to. I want to get back in and play it again. From what I have heard all the changes they have made in the past year since it came out have been all positive.

Hayabashi
Hayabashi

There is a Free Trial for anyone who wants to test this out but be warned that the review sold the graphical needs for this game WAY short. It needs a hefty computer to run it. Crysis worthy.

bojan_sokol
bojan_sokol

I want to try this game, think there's free trial

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

Good to see Funcom showing dedication to their game.

Hayabashi
Hayabashi

Still can't run it on my computer -.- They need to stop figuring out how to cater the people it's for right now and finish the 360 version. I bought the original to get a head start on it and start a character so when the 360 version came out I'd be set and now it doesn't even look like it's going to be released.