Gamona interviewed Erling Ellingson at Leipzig during this year's Game Convention. As always, AoC's product manager was ready to tell us about how awesome the upcoming updates to the game are. According to Mr. E., Funcom received a lot of feedback from the players stating that they want new content and new, more diverse items (what a surprise!) so that's what the next update will include. You can watch the interview video below, or just read the summary of information given it it.
The upcoming updates will include:
- A 'huge' new outdoor area, the Ymir's pass.
- A new dungeon, the Amphitheater, which is connected to Ymir's pass.
- Tarantia Commons, a 'bad' neighborhood of Aquilonia's capital with gang wars going on.
- New high level raid armor.
- New PvP gear.
- PvP Consequence system (heh, it was promised how long ago?).
- Graphics improvements, some of which will be available on DX9 as well. The eyecandy will include:
- HDR lightning
- Better occlusion
- More realistic reflections on water
- Caustic simulation (shafts of light coming through water surface)
- DX10 support 'will be done when it's done'. That's better than giving a deadline and then failing to meet it, I guess.
- There's a full-blown expansion aimed for late 2009 release.
Erling also mentioned that US and EU player bases are pretty much the same in terms of size. Since there are around 400k Age of Conan subscribers, that would mean 200k players are adventuring in Hyboria on both sides of the Atlantic.
Finally, when asked about the game approval process they had to go through before the release, Erling said that even before submitting AoC to institutions like ESRB or PEGI, Funcom themselves had removed several fatalities from the game. Why? The product manager said they were 'pure torture' and they didn't want that kind of thing in the game. Heh. I wonder what those imaginative Norwegians had produced that they decided was too violent to show to the rest of the world.