Age of Conan Goes Free-to-Play

| 1 Jul 2011 16:57
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Age of Conan, the fantasy MMO in which players take on the role of an Austrian bodybuilder hacking and slashing his way through the Californian political milieu, is now free to play.

That's a joke, of course. Age of Conan is not about Germanic muscleheads or politics in the Golden State. But it is free to play - I wasn't joking about that! Much like World of Warcraft's toe-dipping into the F2P waters, however, there will be a few strings attached.

The game will be open to all players at no charge and no obligation, with various optional items like weapons, armor, access passes and "Premium services" available to purchase individually through the in-game store. AoC fans will also have the option of keeping up their subscription, which will grant unfettered access to the game's full range of content and features.

Free accounts will have other limitations imposed upon them. Only two character slots and four character classes will be available and while all players will have full access to the original Hyborian Adventures content, free players will be limited to the "Gateway to Khitai" zone in the Rise of the Godslayer expansion. Sieges, alternative advancement, offline levels and veteran points will not be available and the personal bank space will only be half the size of subscribers; subscribers will also get a ten percent discount at the in-game store.

There are clearly a few drawbacks but it's still a ton of gameplay for zero dollars, which is a pretty tough deal to beat. Casual MMOGers can bang around the Hyborian badlands on their own terms, die-hard fans can still roll around in it to their heart's content and the curious but commitment-phobic no longer have any excuse not to sample the game's delights. Free-to-play is the future, kids! Get all the details at ageofconan.com.

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Tourette:
Just been playing this game for most of the day and I have to admit that it's the most fun I have had in an MMO for a long time.
If I knew it was this good, I would've played it ages ago.

That's awesome, I felt the same way when I came back 3 months ago. I was like "What the hell was I doing playing RIFT???"

Metalhandkerchief:

Covarr:
Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory plays this game. Therefore, I will not. A stupid reason, perhaps, but I've already invested plenty of time into LotRO and APB:R, so I don't really need another MMO.

P.S. Thanks

Sheldon didn't play it, that blonde chick across the hall did.

The episode was about Penny playing it, yes, but the other four core characters already did. That includes Sheldon.

P.S. Thanks

Just been playing this game for most of the day and I have to admit that it's the most fun I have had in an MMO for a long time.
If I knew it was this good, I would've played it ages ago.

Metalhandkerchief:

Krion_Vark:
Anarchy Online has been free to play for years. Funcom knows how to set up their F2P market well. Age of Conan didn't have that good of a following when it came out but A LOT of people went over from AO to try it out and people said they liked it but since it had the monthly fee attachment a lot of people stuck with AO which is onto its 10 year I believe in the next couple of weeks.

There's a lot of things that suggest you don't know much about anything. First, AoC sold over a million boxes, which is more than any other non-WoW MMO has done in history. It just stank so badly at launch that they lost most of those players.

And LIKE I SAID A LOT OF PEOPLE WENT BACK FROM AoC to AO when it came out. It doesn't mean it has a good following if it sells a million boxes it just means a lot of people bought it to try it out.

Metalhandkerchief:

Vrach:

Andy Chalk:
Free-to-play is the future, kids!

It's the future for shitty MMOs that don't have enough to offer to give someone the incentive to actually pay for the damn thing. It's sad to see everyone yelling "it's the future!" just because every single MMO aside from the obvious one has been utter crap to date, something which everyone is very well aware of.

Here's to Rift and TOR showing people subscription MMOs are perfectly viable when they're not shit.

Age of Conan has sixty times the content of Rift, and is steadily getting more. It's easier on the system too since last year's engine overhaul. But I guess when most gamers are shortsighted and can hold a grudge for decades, it's hard to come back from a bad launch. AoC are steadily climbing back, that much is evident from in-game.

I only hope there aren't people left to still fool themselves to think Age of Conan is still bad. Not that I would mind. If someone still does, the only ones they are fooling are themselves.

Oh I'm downloading it as we speak to give it a try, that's not my point. I'm merely pointing out the stupidity in chanting "f2p is the future!!!" when it's a very shitty model for games that at best results in a pile of mediocrity. It might bring in the money for a studio to make a profit, but I've yet to see it result in an actually good MMO that's on par with what WoW and Rift have to offer.

I just hate to see everyone buy into the f2p model because it's a model that was accepted due to the fact MMOs to date weren't good enough to sustain themselves with a ppm model. Yes, f2p is the future for mediocre MMOs, but that's not what we should be aiming at as an industry, it's aiming for failure.

Vrach:

Andy Chalk:
Free-to-play is the future, kids!

It's the future for shitty MMOs that don't have enough to offer to give someone the incentive to actually pay for the damn thing. It's sad to see everyone yelling "it's the future!" just because every single MMO aside from the obvious one has been utter crap to date, something which everyone is very well aware of.

Here's to Rift and TOR showing people subscription MMOs are perfectly viable when they're not shit.

Age of Conan has sixty times the content of Rift, and is steadily getting more. It's easier on the system too since last year's engine overhaul. But I guess when most gamers are shortsighted and can hold a grudge for decades, it's hard to come back from a bad launch. AoC are steadily climbing back, that much is evident from in-game.

I only hope there aren't people left to still fool themselves to think Age of Conan is still bad. Not that I would mind. If someone still does, the only ones they are fooling are themselves.

Andy Chalk:
Free-to-play is the future, kids!

It's the future for shitty MMOs that don't have enough to offer to give someone the incentive to actually pay for the damn thing. It's sad to see everyone yelling "it's the future!" just because every single MMO aside from the obvious one has been utter crap to date, something which everyone is very well aware of.

Here's to Rift and TOR showing people subscription MMOs are perfectly viable when they're not shit.

Ensiferum:
Which of the four classes can you play as under the F2P version anyway?

Guardian, Barbarian, Demonologist and Priest of Mitra.

One of each archetype. Funnily enough the arguably 2 most powerful PvP classes are Guardian and Barbarian.

MajorDolphin:
Every time I've tried to play I came away liking the game. The lack of auction house access for trial users always pissed me off though. If F2P players don't have access then I wont waste my time. I can't seem to find any info on this on their site either.

F2P players have access to the AH.

Zulnam:
I remember trying a 14-day trial of it and uninstalling it after the 3rd day. It did not impress me.

Also, Sieges not given to free players? Aren't those like, the main PVP events of the game? Doesn't AoC pride itself with being -the- PvP game? Sounds like a shot in the knee right from the starting line.

I am assuming this was a long time ago (over a year) and had to do with lack of content or engine performance? If so, all of that has come a long way. Also, sieges is not the main PvP content, scenarios and open world is.

00slash00:
i wonder how many people will even be able to play this though. when this game first came out, i had to spend like $600 upgrading my pc

StriderShinryu:
Tried it once and while I liked it, my graphics card didn't and just couldn't display some things correctly. If I got a new card, I'd definitely give it another shot.

vxicepickxv:
AoC makes my computer cry. No free gaming for me.

Last year they did back-end improvements to the game engine, bringing in some new tech from the development of The Secret World. Part of that tech is a portion of server-side graphics rendering, which has alleviated A LOT of stress on computers running the game. Odds are, you will now be able to run it with even better graphics than you used to, with much better framerates.

Krion_Vark:
Anarchy Online has been free to play for years. Funcom knows how to set up their F2P market well. Age of Conan didn't have that good of a following when it came out but A LOT of people went over from AO to try it out and people said they liked it but since it had the monthly fee attachment a lot of people stuck with AO which is onto its 10 year I believe in the next couple of weeks.

There's a lot of things that suggest you don't know much about anything. First, AoC sold over a million boxes, which is more than any other non-WoW MMO has done in history. It just stank so badly at launch that they lost most of those players.

Covarr:
Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory plays this game. Therefore, I will not. A stupid reason, perhaps, but I've already invested plenty of time into LotRO and APB:R, so I don't really need another MMO.

P.S. Thanks

Sheldon didn't play it, that blonde chick across the hall did.

Deshara:
TF2 seems to be really influential

They announced it was going F2P before TF2 announced it.

Alphakirby:

The_root_of_all_evil:

Android2137:
Is it me or is everyone hopping onto the "let's make it free now!" bandwagon that Valve started? Mind you, I'm not complaining, but I am curious.

TBF, it was around a long time before Valve got to it.

Yeah but I think he's talking about the fact that after Valve did it,other AAA game developers are doing it too.

Actually, Turbine was really the company that started the free-to-play craze. They made Lord of the Rings Online F2P and suddenly quadrupled their revenue. All of a sudden, tons of other games started jumping on the bandwagon.

Which of the four classes can you play as under the F2P version anyway?

TF2 seems to be really influential

I guess it'll be free to get camped at the spawn point now. Yeah, I'm a little bitter. I wanted to enjoy AoC.

I played it for a while. It is a good game, but it has some inherent flaws that kept it from sticking into mu HD, unlike LotRO.

It is a good F2P ride for those who didn't try it already, though.

Wait...people still play Age of Conan? I remember play at the start and I got bored of it quickly.

25 arse suckling Gigear-bites?! This 7.5 is only for the 1 - 20 content?! Hopefully it'll let me play it when this is done (in another 2 hours, 5 down), and I'll see how it runs on my laptop. Assuming I can get a playable frame rate and a fov that doesn't end at my nipples, I'll play on and if I'm gripped I'll keep it downloading. If it's nothing special or it causes a small fire under my fingers, it's gone.

So soon? Err, that means Funcom has no pay-to-play MMORPGs. Are they expecting The Secret World to do that awesome? Makes me kinda nervous actually...

I remember trying a 14-day trial of it and uninstalling it after the 3rd day. It did not impress me.

Also, Sieges not given to free players? Aren't those like, the main PVP events of the game? Doesn't AoC pride itself with being -the- PvP game? Sounds like a shot in the knee right from the starting line.

Heh I remember playing this game in it's pvp heyday back during 1.4 good times. Played after the 1.5 patch had some good time's but the game felt like it was on a timer to going f2p and I called it 2 years ago. Just remembering the unique ffa pvp enviroment and the guilds being more akin to a brand then a group of people who play together good times. You guys will enjoy the game it still has some semblance of its fast paced no holds bared roots but it isn't what it use to be.

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