Well, I didn’t take Age of Conan back and demand a refund exactly. I did cancel my subscription, but I’m continuing to play the game until that subscription runs out on June 22. And my guardian is beyond level 35 now.
But, seriously, the game still sucks. There’s a review that has the same trajectory that I’m on — just a little farther along that trajectory, it seems. Its here.
Along with the world’s worst forum search machinations, the game also has another serious problem that the review above did not mention, so I will:
All this emphasis on graphics and high-powered vid cards and such, and what is all that energy and money used to accomplish? Landscapes. Your character can run (slowly) through all these lush and detailed landscapes, but, someone must have noticed, those characters are running SLOWLY. Why on earth does this game require you to spend so much time running (slowly) from one place to another? If you are going to put so much energy and money into the graphics of a game, why not put it into character MOVEMENT? Why not allow characters to QUICKLY move — like ZOOM — through all the little pixels?
The greatest selling point of the (now dated) CoH/V engine is that it allows toons to zip here and there and teleport here and there and that’s fun and that can be used in many strategic and fun combat ways.
The point is not the 3D space. The point is to manipuate the 3D space, to control the 3D space, to move through the 3D space as quickly or as slowly as you WANT.
AoC and WoW and most other games where you run here and run there and run far and run near and run and run and run are not fun. Likewise, games in which you have to spend 400 hours before you can actually play the real game, the fun game, are not fun. Landscapes should not manipulate characters; characters should manipulate landscapes. And leveling and building characters should not manipulate players; players should manipulate the leveling and building of characters. (Which of course they do, in the gold farming, and the power leveling, and the exploiting, and all that.)
When designers build games that are fun — including among other things, the manipulation stuff — then the era of spending loads of money on something unmanipulatable will be over.
Things I’m looking forward to (such a small list): Champions Online and Spore.