Mitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan ColumnAge of Conan Editorial: Delayed GratificationMitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan Column - RSS 2.0
This part of the year is particularly exciting for me. We just finished our third term of the school year here in Australia and as we settle in for a well-deserved break, I think about the couple of months left in the school year and the sheer pace of it as we rapidly approach Christmas. Before we know it, Christmas decorations will be put up around shopping centres and city streets, retailers will begin their Christmas specials before the festive rush, and if you're anything like me, you'll be wondering what the heck to give to your significant other on Christmas Day whilst trying to top the previous year's effort. This talk of Christmas reminded me of Gaute Godager's (Funcom Game Director) letter to the community regarding the game's push-back to March 25, 2008. Yes, yes, I've spoken about this a few times since the announcement itself was made on August 10 this year, but with the end of 2007 drawing so near, I felt prompted to touch on this topic once more.
One thing that Gaute said in his letter to the community (if you haven't read it already, you can read it here) when speaking about the changes to the combat system, was the time it was going to take to re-map everything, make new icons, and so forth. While Gaute said himself that these sorts of things themselves will not take the five additional months to complete (from the old release date, October 30, to the new one), what Funcom did want was a "solid buffer" as Gaute put it, to make any more tweaks if the feedback even then was still "less than stellar". He said quite explicitly that these changes should be done by about Christmas time. I'm quite sure there are many folks out there who are hoping Funcom won't have to make full use of that "solid buffer" - wouldn't that be a great Christmas gift?
Since the game's delay announcement and now, we've seen Funcom go on the road with Eidos to showcase 'Age of Conan' at various gaming conventions, including the Leipzig Games Convention, Dragon*Con in Atlanta, the Austin Game Developer's Conference (AGDC), and over the last weekend at Festival du Jeu Vidéo in Paris. At these conventions Funcom has shown off their Siege Combat features and given a small taste of how the new combat system will manifest at release. The response from the public and those lucky enough to try out the game for themselves has been exceptionally positive despite the kinks and creases still in the game, but of course there's still plenty of time to get those things straightened and ironed out perhaps even before Christmas time.
Despite the positive feedback, some critics aren't convinced. It's not quite the general feel, but a few in the 'Age of Conan' community still for some reason feel betrayed by Funcom and their decision to push the game back. Furthermore, they seem to think that Funcom were in-the-know about the push-back the whole time even long before it was announced. Everyone seems to have their own conspiracy theory, but a self-proclaimed financial "expert" even went as far as questioning Funcom's integrity when he noticed that a particular investor had cashed out (sold stocks) the day before the game's delay was announced. Basically, the claim was, "ZOMG! INSIDER TRADING!" It just seems like people are making claims and publically announcing their distrust in Funcom like they want the game to fail or to be delayed again! It also seems that the key earning some credibility on the Internet is to make said ridiculous claims and in the rare event they unfold you can at the end say, "I told you so!"