Mitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan ColumnAge of Conan Editorial: Piercing the DarknessMitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan Column - RSS 2.0
Effectively, what you're saying about 'Age of Conan' is that it will not deliver what it's promising. How can you, Mr. Flambouras, sit behind your computer monitor and take swipes at a game that is actually coming out [this year]? How can you take swipes at a game that is currently being tested by several thousand members of the public? How can you take swipes at a game that is actually making good on its promises, and has stayed true to its vision from day one?
Here's how it is, Mr. Flambouras: 'Age of Conan' is coming out, and you don't like that fact one bit, so rather than be a good sport and wish Funcom all the best with their project, you would rather sit behind your computer monitor and pick-out its apparent flaws, that is, take a few swipes at it because it is not your precious baby. Someone else in the gaming industry did this whilst their own game was still in development, and things didn't turn out very well for him or his game either: he promised much, but failed to deliver (I don't think I need mention his name). Mr. Flambouras, might it actually pain you to concede that Funcom will experience success with the formula they have used in developing 'Age of Conan'? Does it pain you to come to grips with the fact that a game development company with vision, balls, and ambition, will actually come out with their game before yours when you had a two to three year head-start on them?
What I find amazing in all this is how Funcom have composed themselves in light of all of this criticism they have been receiving from sceptics alike, but also from other game developers and those in direct competition with them. Even they concede that 'Age of Conan' will not be for everyone, much in the same way 'Warhammer: Online' will not be for everyone and that eventually people will move on (not all, let's face it) from 'World of Warcraft'. Why have Funcom remained so composed? It's because they are secure and confident enough in their own product not to point out the chinks in the armour of other MMORPGs in development; their competition. It's a bit like when people tell you, "You either put-up, or shut-up" I think Funcom's action have definitely spoken for them over these last three to four years, and they have certainly "put-up".
Now I'm not encouraging anyone to begin themselves taking swipes at 'Darkfall' now, but I would urge any reader to examine exactly what it is we have in front of us: 'Age of Conan' is being released on May 20 this year, only 46 days away; 'Age of Conan' is currently in its public beta and will very soon move to its open beta (to be announced); Funcom has made realistic promises and has stayed true to its vision; Funcom is making a mature game for mature gamers, and is not afraid to push the envelope in this respect; 'Age of Conan', while not setting out to be a "WoW killer", is at least offering something very different and very unique, and will set the benchmark in terms of its graphics, gameplay, and overall online experience; and a massive and dedicated team is working on 'Age of Conan', and have worked tirelessly to make this game great, but more importantly, a reality.
Put all of this side-by-side with what you have seen from 'Darkfall' to date, make up your own mind, and once you've done that, make the decision: invest in something real or just promises?
Until next fortnight (with another beta journal entry, hopefully), this is Stephen "weezer" Spiteri,
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© Stephen Spiteri, April 2008