Age of Conan: Unchained

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It's been a hectic week for me, but now I'm back! With Warhammer Online launched, it is still good to see some activity in other games - like Craig Morrison, Game Director on Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, giving the fans of the game quite an update on what is going on behind the scenes right now.

Most interesting in the post, to me, is the part about the coming consequence patch, which is an update to the last big PvP patch. Not only will you become an outlaw if you gank lower level players, you will be able to take part in a "shady network" of thieves and murderers.

"This new system allows for players PVP actions to have real consequences in the world, and it will greatly enhance the entire PvP experience in Conan. As you know the system is meant to bring repercussions for repeated evil behaviour (i.e. killing players outside of your level range), so should you chose to "gank" other players, a whole new gameplay area opens up! For one, it will result in you no longer being welcome in many parts of the game-world, but in its place you will have to rely on a newly arrived network of camps and areas that function with a little more moral ambiguity. This is very true to the essence of the Conan lore, and a change I think many players will find intriguing.

You will be able to access the same services as you can in the "orderly" parts of the world, but you might find your new ‘friends' have a price for their services."

This sounds incredible, if it works out. Morrison also adds that it "also means that those who hunt for such criminally inclined adversaries might find out where to look for you!". Could it be the kind of bounty hunting system that games like EVE Online really could use?

One of Age of Conan's greatest problems has been itemization, which Morrison says they are working hard on improving. Someone in the thread complains that he does not address crafting, but he answers that this is far from everything they are working on right now and that the itemization will improve on the crafting as well.

It also looks like some of the servers will be merged. This is quite a large step, as server merging is generally looked upon as one of the signs that a MMO is going down the drain (Auto Assault springs to mind). But it doesn't have to mean the end, Vanguard had its servers merged and that game is still up and running (with very few players, though). Hopefully this will prove to be the right thing for FunCom to do, since the population on some servers is quite small.

A lot of us were shocked when Gaute Godager left his post as Game Director, but to be honest it looks like Morrison could be exactly what Age of Conan needs - if nothing else because of the way he interacts with the community. FunCom really needs some good press these days.

Age of Conan: Unchained

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