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Age of Conan review
mulder 
12/6/08 6:35:04 PM
Overlord

I firstly like to say I have been reading Atomic since day 1 . And have loved how the magazine has evolved into the awesome package of today .

Now , the review of Conan , Couple of errors , you you levelled to lvl 20 out of a possible 60 . The level cap is 80 . Also the destiny (single player , night time) quests are essential as you need to finish this (or cheat and decide to skip , which could have consequences down the track). I know its first review , so can't ask for much as you guys are busy with everything else .

Interesting fact , Age of Conan outsold GTA IV in europe and Funcom have said that they will have sold over 1 million copies in the next couple of months .

On a personal note , this game is breathe of fresh air , in the staleness of the mmo market (which has been and will continue to be flooded) . So hopefully it will capture the peoples imaginations and take off .

Also you said bloodiest MMO ever , Check out Requiem bloodymare . This looks very very bloody , including the name ;) .

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David Hollingworth 
13/6/08 10:03:52 AM
God

That's what I get after two years of playing WoW - all level caps are 60! I even made that error when I reviewed LOTRO for my previous magazine :) The hands just want to type 6 and 0...

You are right though - you can't skip the night-time quests. I wasn't trying to imply you could, but I didn't emphasise that fact.

But yeah, it's early days on a game that is going to be quite big. I've certainly enjoyed nearly all my time in Hyborea, and let me tell you it's making it tough to get back to my beloved LOTRO, and don't even get me started on trying to juggle those two with Mass Effect on the PC.

Gah!

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Amiga4eva 
13/6/08 10:18:49 AM
Hero
Titan


It's worth noting that the initial sales figures of an MMO aren't really indicative of success. Whenever something that isn't World Of Warcraft gets released, there's that sweet - almost sexual - surge of player base shifting from one to the other.

That settles after a time, and the 'look, something shiny!' syndrome begins to wear off. The truth usually comes out after 12 months or so, when the product is mature and the game is being taken solely on its own merits rather than the fact it's something new.

Just about every new MMO brings some sort of breath of fresh air with it, only time tells whether the breathing continues, or falls victim to asphyxiation by lack of longevitiy.

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David Hollingworth 
13/6/08 10:37:28 AM
God

Good points, and that's why I'm going to try and regularly report how the game is going. It's bad enough trying to review a game like GTAIV in a short time frame, but an MMO? Where serious LONGEVITY is the lifeblood of the game?

So I'll probably be writing more about it next week.

Poor Feandir of Lindon. He's getting so little attention.

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Amiga4eva 
13/6/08 10:53:48 AM
Hero
Titan


Quote by David Hollingworth
Good points, and that's why I'm going to try and regularly report how the game is going. It's bad enough trying to review a game like GTAIV in a short time frame, but an MMO? Where serious LONGEVITY is the lifeblood of the game?

So I'll probably be writing more about it next week.

Poor Feandir of Lindon. He's getting so little attention.



Definately. Re-approaching MMOs (particularly when tight review deadlines are the nature of the business) down the track is a star idea.

Whose dead now that wasn't? Who was dead but now isn't? What's the general trend packaged into game updates for the various massively multiplayer games? Changing dynamics? appeal to the casual player? More of the same? Exploits? Policits? Gold farming? EVE-style in-game theft plots?

Maybe even a regular monthly MMO column with a different theme every month!? Wow! I've got more crazy ideas than an acid freak in a Rubics cube factory!.

Erm. Yes. Well... as you were.

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"Pet Fish...."

mulder 
13/6/08 11:27:19 AM
Overlord

Great ideas Amiga4eva .

A regular MMO column would be ideal .

Also yeah , shiny new games can sell well , and just die off fast if the game is craptacular . Just look at Tabula Rasa ,tried that had a clan setup , then .................................. (sounds of crickets in background) nothing very little content patches or really anything of value , I though it would be alright since Richard Garriot(aka Lord British) was involved , so another celebrity sponsered piece of crap .

Yes , Pete , I played Lotro for a while , was playing that for a while . Not bad , but not enough players , maybe the server i was on .

Then Conan came out , been addicted to it since i installed it . But , looking forward to Stargate : Worlds as well , since a huge fan of Both SG series .

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David Hollingworth 
13/6/08 12:06:26 PM
God

There's a huge pop on my LOTRO server, but it's not the population that gets me, but the fact that it has such mature players that you can actually roleplay with, while you're not killing orcs for phat lewts.

Conan is, of course, a whole other kettle of fish, as it should be. I think it's brutality and unique take on combat will pull a fair crowd, but who knows what the support will be like.

The big game I'm waiting for on the MMO front is actually Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. I'm hearing good things about it as an MMO, and as someone who's played Warhammer (fantasy and 40k, miniatures and roleplaying) I'm very keen to see the world from a personal perspective.

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"No matter where you go, there you are."

mulder 
13/6/08 1:28:12 PM
Overlord

Quote by David Hollingworth

The big game I'm waiting for on the MMO front is actually Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. I'm hearing good things about it as an MMO, and as someone who's played Warhammer (fantasy and 40k, miniatures and roleplaying) I'm very keen to see the world from a personal perspective.



Such a Nerd (Sorry had to say it :P)

Yeah Roleplaying is good .

The big thing that draws me into a Game in general , is Addictivity , something I can sink my teeth and mind into .
WOW did that to me when it came out and a few years after (Yes , I was a WOW Player ) , but , just got sick of the cartoon graphics and the same old same old updates (grind , quest , grind , grind and oohhh yeah Grind somemore) . Every MMO is like that in some form or another , though .

Lotro has been good , because the developers have put in new content , to continue the Tolkien Story line . Just didn't grab me as much as (shhhhhh) WOW , and Conan did .

Diablo I and II and LOD i was addicted to so much it wasnt funny .

But , each person is drawn to a game for different reasons .

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smadge1 
13/6/08 1:59:41 PM
Immortal

I like playing online games that DO NOT involve role-playing (ick)

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gyrus 
20/6/08 3:36:52 PM
Apprentice
Quote by Amiga4eva
...

Definately. Re-approaching MMOs (particularly when tight review deadlines are the nature of the business) down the track is a star idea.

Whose dead now that wasn't? Who was dead but now isn't? What's the general trend packaged into game updates for the various massively multiplayer games? Changing dynamics? appeal to the casual player? More of the same? Exploits? Policits? Gold farming? EVE-style in-game theft plots?

Maybe even a regular monthly MMO column with a different theme every month!? Wow! I've got more crazy ideas than an acid freak in a Rubics cube factory!.

Erm. Yes. Well... as you were.



Great idea.

I was interested in this review - you seemed to like the game but gave it a very "average" score of 7.5?

Why? The tone of your review suggested a 'good' game?

Interestingly this was the same score you gave Pirates of the Burning Sea?
And a follow up on that game would be interesting - what do you think now?

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David Hollingworth 
20/6/08 4:13:34 PM
God

I did like, and continue to like, AoC, but I felt I had to give it 7.5 at lunch due to some of the important things missing at launch. Everyone knows that a good economy is vital to a balanced MMO, and the game's auction system was offline for a couple of weeks after the game launched.

Similarly, there was more downtime - I counted 20 hours in the space of a few days - at launch than, say, Lord of the Rings Online. LotRO is, I believe, the best benchmark for smooth launches these days, so I scored the game accordingly.

In other words, it was a good game, one I enjoyed, but one that still had a few hurdles to jump. And, I think, Funcom is jumping them and then some. I'm going to try and make another update on my feelings about the game next week, but I can almost certainly say that I'll be bumping up that score.

As to Pirates... well, my initial access for that one has expired :) Makes it hard to keep reviewing. That said, I doubt I'd still be playing it, truth be told.

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"No matter where you go, there you are."

gyrus 
20/6/08 6:25:15 PM
Apprentice
Quote by David Hollingworth
I did like, and continue to like, AoC, but I felt I had to give it 7.5 at lunch due to some of the important things missing at launch. Everyone knows that a good economy is vital to a balanced MMO, and the game's auction system was offline for a couple of weeks after the game launched.

Similarly, there was more downtime - I counted 20 hours in the space of a few days - at launch than, say, Lord of the Rings Online. LotRO is, I believe, the best benchmark for smooth launches these days, so I scored the game accordingly.

In other words, it was a good game, one I enjoyed, but one that still had a few hurdles to jump. And, I think, Funcom is jumping them and then some. I'm going to try and make another update on my feelings about the game next week, but I can almost certainly say that I'll be bumping up that score.


Please do follow up.

Interesting take on it though... what makes you think Funcom will be quicker and better at updating the game than any other Developer?
What I mean is - every MMO developer has a list of stuff they want to add / fix and players are usually dissappointed at how long it takes.


As to Pirates... well, my initial access for that one has expired :) Makes it hard to keep reviewing. That said, I doubt I'd still be playing it, truth be told.

You and everyone else so it seems?
http://potbs.armeagle.nl/

That is why I was interested in the fact you gave AoC the same score as PotBS?

PotBS has loads of potential too - but again the content was lacking at launch.
So (I am genuinely interested to know) what do you think will keep AoC afloat as opposed to PotBS?

This is also why I like the idea of the MMORPG follow up stories. I think it would be interesting to read.

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MedicineBaby 
20/6/08 6:48:37 PM
Primarch

When the Atomic Age of Conan update gets an 8.5 minimum score, then I will go out and buy it XD


Edited by MedicineBaby: 20/6/2008 6:49:59 PM

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David Hollingworth 
20/6/08 8:32:04 PM
God

MedicineBaby, it jsut might :)

gyrus, reviewing MMOs is tough - you generally have to fit it in with every game you're reviewing, and often with far less time than you'd like.

So, on the surface, there was a lot to like about PotBS. I mean... pirates! For one thing :) And it was a truly unique take on MMOs, with good ship combat and some other nice ideas. Some issues, of course, but I enjoyed it, so... 7.5.

If I were to come back to it, to a game with no doubt smaller server pops, no more content, no more patches... well, I'd probably be bored. It would score a lot less.

AoC is the same thing. Good ideas, different ones, too. Instead of pirates you get, I don't know... Cimmerians :) But again, some issues, but that's launch for you. 7.5

The difference being I think I'll score AoC much higher now. The patches have done their work; it's sold well, meaning server pop is good; Funcom's annnounced a mess of new content and gameplay changes that address a lot of the major issues. So, to my mind, that's improving on an already pretty good proposition. 8-plus at the very least.

Looking back at LotRO, I think I gave that something like the equivalent of 8 or so at launch, maybe 8.5. Looking at now, with all the new content, the class revisions, server events and so on, it's probably, for me, a 9 or 9.5.

Uh... I'll stop the wall of text now :)

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"No matter where you go, there you are."

gyrus 
22/6/08 4:15:24 PM
Apprentice
Quote by David Hollingworth
...

gyrus, reviewing MMOs is tough - you generally have to fit it in with every game you're reviewing, and often with far less time than you'd like.


Yeah, I know. That's pretty much what I said in my "review" of PotBS beta too ;-)

So, on the surface, there was a lot to like about PotBS. I mean... pirates! For one thing :) And it was a truly unique take on MMOs, with good ship combat and some other nice ideas. Some issues, of course, but I enjoyed it, so... 7.5.

...

AoC is the same thing. Good ideas, different ones, too. Instead of pirates you get, I don't know... Cimmerians :) But again, some issues, but that's launch for you. 7.5


I must say, your credibility following both reviews remains high. (Edit: That reads badly - what I mean is that many reviewers jumped in to give this game a 90% plus score. Perhaps they should have played a bit longer because serious issues appeared with the game as you say.)
Telstra / PotBS advertised on this site and in the mag yet your review was solid.
AoC has a huge following and many reviewers have fallen all over themselves to pander to this - your review score is actually well below the (current) average - but again a solid review and you appear to have noticed issues that many overlooked?

This is one of the reasons ATOMIC is the only computer magazine I still buy.

The difference being I think I'll score AoC much higher now. The patches have done their work; it's sold well, meaning server pop is good; Funcom's annnounced a mess of new content and gameplay changes that address a lot of the major issues. So, to my mind, that's improving on an already pretty good proposition. 8-plus at the very least.

Here I disagree. Initial sales mean little. Too many players still buy based on hype and promises... and I think game developers are preying on this fact.
Patches have a tendency to introduce new problems of their own. In Funcom's case it is my understanding that much of the 'new content' they have announced was promised at release?
Server Population is something that again we will have to wait and see on (X-Fire Stats suggest this title does not maintain long term interest?).
Also, the first subscription cycle is only just ending for many.
PotBS initially had healthy pops too.

Uh... I'll stop the wall of text now :)

Okay. But I look forward to follow ups. :-)


Edited by gyrus: 22/6/2008 08:02:44 PM

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mandalore 
11/7/08 5:59:29 PM
Banned
7.5 seems a bit meen. Gamespot gave it 8.5 and PC power play gave it 9 (and told WoW to move over).

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David Hollingworth 
14/7/08 9:53:50 AM
God

Not mean, just subjective.

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funky_monkey 
15/7/08 6:10:36 PM
Guru

Quote by mandalore
7.5 seems a bit meen. Gamespot gave it 8.5 and PC power play gave it 9 (and told WoW to move over).



difference is in wow I hit my wall at about lvl 33-35 then it took it's drain effect on me.


AOC?

lvl 22 and I am over the game. WAY too much running around here running around there MASSIVE HIKES and what not. I will come back to this game in about 6 months but it needs a lot of work done to it. I enjoyed it however the lvling system seems to be a bit harsh. I just found it rough compared to other MMOs I have played

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MedicineBaby 
16/7/08 10:29:35 PM
Overlord

Quote by mandalore
7.5 seems a bit meen. Gamespot gave it 8.5 and PC power play gave it 9 (and told WoW to move over).



I am sorry, not to sound arrogant but I just have to for this post and any posts afterwards :D. I would not take PC Powerplay's reviews seriously, there testing methods in my opinion are not as subjective as those of Atomic's, especially hardware. The writing of PC Powerplay to me is just "Wow, look at this game, there is much hype behind this, oh lets give it a 10, no thats pushing it a bit maybe a 9" thats the feeling I get. They play it for 10 minutes or run about in the starting zones and say "Look at all the pretty pictures", they do not really look into the finer details and some of the more dynamics of the games. That is the main reason why when I bought both a PC Powerplay magazine and Atomic magazine for the first time back in Year 10 (the kitlogs and hotbox sold me XD), I continued to purchase and read Atomic magazines.

I base the majority of my purchases on those of Atomic reviews simply because I have every bit of faith that the game/hardware has been pushed to the limits and tested thoroughly giving comprehensive review.

I think the people at PC Powerplay are simply looking for an MMO to get them out of there WoW state of mind.


Edited by MedicineBaby: 16/7/2008 10:31:49 PM

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