April 25, 2010

Rise of the Godslayer Preorder

 Funcom have recently announced the availability of preorders for the first Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures expansion titled Rise of the Godslayer. As it often is with Funcom, they will reward their first and most eager customers with special bonuses. If you pre-order AoC: RotG and register it before May 25th, you will receive a special item that will allow you to summon a useful in-game pet called Loyal Kappa. Unlike so-called social pets, this one may be used in battle and will cast some useful spells when in combat.

Tiger mounts? Yes please.

Rise of the Godslayer preorders are available from the official site and Amazon. You will notice that pre-ordering Rise of the Godslayer from the official site via digital download (no physical box shipped) will cost you €24.99. Amazon.co.uk charges £25.99, which is even more than that. On the other hand, Amazon.com is only $29.99 which is by far the cheapest. Once again US gets the better deal - damn you EU VAT!

August 21, 2009

Age of Conan Rise of the Godslayer Expansion

Funcom came out with some big news a few days ago as they announced the official name of the upcoming Age of Conan expansion: the Rise of the Godslayer. I think it's a pretty cool and fitting name, seeing how you had to defeat the Grim Grey God for your destiny quest - and perhaps there will be more gods to slay, too!

Like I mentioned in my old Age of Conan expansion teaser post, Rise of the Godslayer will introduce a new area to the game: the oriental Khitai. Funcom's Craig Morrisson promises huge and beautiful Asian-themed areas to explore, a new playable race Khitan, tiger mounts, faction wars and perhaps most importantly - an alternate advancement system.

This AoC expansion will not introduce more levels or classes (which is pretty unusual for an MMORPG) but we'll get some sort of time-based skill training system much like the one EVE Online has. You will be able to train in various new abilities, learning them over time even while your character is offline. The aim of this, according to the Game Director of AoC, is more depth to combat and allowing each class to take on more roles. Will my Demonologist be able to dish out melee dmg now, I wonder?

Eurogamer has a nice 3-page early preview of the Rise of the Godslayer, and IGN came out with their own shorter AoC: RotG preview yesterday, so check these out for more info.

June 7, 2009

Birds Eye View of the Tarantia Commons

GamerDNA have posted a new exclusive screenshot of the Old Tarantia Commons area that's coming to Age of Conan in the 1.05 update. It shows the most of this area nicely from a bird's eye camera perspective. See it below or head to GamerDNA for a full quality screenshot.

We've seen how rich people live in the Old Tarantia with the merchants, temples, civic buildings, the villas in the Noble District, and even the palace of the King Conan himself. Now we get to see the Tarantia Commons where poor folk get to stay, a sort of ghetto in the Old Tarantia with street fights, gang wars and even a leper colony.

Tarantia Commons will be a lvl70+ area instead of the previously intended 40+, which I think is a great move since leveling in AoC is quite fast. Expect Tarantia Commons to be added to the Hyborian Adventures really soon.

May 17, 2009

Funcom Q1 2009 Financial Report

Funcom have released their official Q1 2009 financial report for their investors and anyone interested in the company. You can go ahead and download the .pdf file here.

I was quite pleased to learn that Funcom were in profit this quarter, with Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) and Earnings After Tax (EAT) being 2.898 and 1.468 million USD, respectively. Plus their revenues were around $7.7 million. Overall this goes a long way to prove the naysayers wrong who we almost ready to declare Funcom going bankrupt next year.

The report contains some information on Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, mostly outlining recent improvements to the game and the resulting increase in customer loyalty and activity. We also have this AoC roadmap for the next 6 months:

And I think all Funcom fans will be interested in how the development of their new MMORPG, The Secret World is going. From what I hear it was a big hit on GDC this year, and the sweet-looking teaser trailer has got a lot of attention from gamers. According to the report, The Secret World will be using the same DreamWorld engine that Anarchy Online and Age of Conan is, will be released both for PC and Xbox 360 (wonder how that is going to work), and there currently are over 100 people working on it - versus the 120 working on Age of Conan.

April 30, 2009

Letter from the Game Director: Update 1.05

Craig Morrison aka Silirrion has just posted his April 2009 letter to the community on the official Age of Conan forums. It mostly contains information on the upcoming 1.05 update to the Funcom's dark fantasy MMORPG. The update is being tested on AoC's public test servers and Silirrion mentioned a few new, previously unreleased details about it.

First of all, they are planning to give players some additional options for resetting their character feats, either in the form of a retraining price or a free reset, or maybe a combination of both. While I do appreciate that, the second point is much more interesting for those who haven't yet tried all the classes due to the tedious process of repeating the Tortage run and leveling all the way up. You will in fact be able to create a new level 50 character (as long as you already have another character above lvl50):

Next up and I think most interestingly for most of you, there will be a new option for players who already have a character above level fifty. All players with characters above level fifty will now have a one time option to create a new character that starts life at level fifty. This character can be of any class you want to make so you can jump straight into a different class after the update without having to go through the early leveling stages. This will be available to all players from here on in after they reach the milestone of leveling a character to level fifty.
Too bad it's only a one-time option, and I think it's much more aimed at new players who want to try things out. Finally, Craig uses the "top secret" strategy to make us all wonder what else Funcom have in store for us next month:
Lastly, we will be offering something else in relation to these changes during the games anniversary in May, but I’m not allowed to reveal that just yet. So keep your eyes peeled for more information as we get closer to the anniversary.
Visit the General Discussion in the Age of Conan forums to read the letter.