Conan: State of What?

This comes from an anonymous source who has pointed me over to this forum post. If true, this person just broke the NDA. Can’t either confirm or deny any of the points or if they are even valid, nor do I know what software build this guy is working off of. All of this stuff could be fixed (…should be, considering a lot of it sounds game breaking), but it’s good information for all of those looking forward to the game.

He mentions the reduction in classes so this leads me to believe that it’s at least up to speed with my current information in the title. Also the prestige classes are mentioned as not being in…and I think it was being debated that they wouldn’t make it into final release anyway.

NOTE: No, I’m not in the beta.

Current beta state

Right now everybody in beta is waiting for the miracle patch that’s supposed to happen sometimes in January. Beta testers call it that because that’s what it will take for AoC to be all that it can be, a miracle.

Here is a quick run down of THE BAD:

0. Formations are not in the game

1. Can’t play as female.

2. There is only one skin for one set of equipment. Meaning all polearms look the same, all swords look the same, all maces look the same. They are missing 80%+ of items.

3. NO PVP. Border Kingdoms are not in the game, which means Battlekeeps are not in the game. There have been few (3?) TECHNICAL test events to test pvp, but there is currently no pvp in general beta build.

4. MOST spells and feats are not working

5. Majority of things are missing text, like item or spell descriptions, just about anything aside from quests.

6. We were promised like 35 zones at launch. Currently there are like 14 zones in the game, of which NONE are fully complete and few are barely playable.

7. NO ECONOMY what so ever.

8. Lich and Scion Of Set are cut, we now have 12 classes.

9. Ranged combat is a joke at the moment. In fact it is a step backwards. In wow at least you had to face the mob, in AoC you don’t. This will hopefully get fixed, but given the current state of ranged combat mechanics, it can only get so much better. It’s your standard crap, select a target and keep pressing attack button, there is no aiming. You can however ZOOM into first person mode, and little croshair will show up, when you align a mob with your crosshair, you “select” that target and you fire at it. This method is semi OK, but it takes no skill to aim, cone seems to be so big that it seems like you are trying to hit a house. I’m sure this can be adjusted to be a better system, but who in their right mind will chose the hassle of aiming in 1st person mode if you can simply TAB-select/click-select targets and fire away in 3rd person view. Also, arrows have only 2 flight paths, if you have mob selected, that’s one, and if you don’t have mob selected, it just goes stright horizontally, you can’t for instance aim above you or below you and fire an arrow, i mean you can, but arrow will not go that way, unless you have mob selected.

10. Magic is also your standard nuke-em bullshit. We all know that they said there will be no fireballs and shiny little things, but this is what the magic is all about. There are few neat looking spells but for the most part these are buffs and not dmg attacks. There are VERY few so called ‘cone” magic attacks, but 95% of the time you will be nuking with a fire strike (fire ball with different name). Just plain typical system with even less diversity. There is no mention about spellweaving what so ever, it’s possible that this system has been scrapped altogether.

11. Current combat AI is worse then most of the games out there. It works like this, you are walking, mob sees you, if that mob has other mobs standing next to him, they all come, you fight to death, that’s it. They don’t run to get more help, they don’t use any strategy, it’s just plain and basic. I see you, I fight you to death, head on, method. Also, mobs CAN NOT jump or fly. So a smallest obsticle on the ground will make them run 10 meters around to get to you, instead of just jumping over to you, and few wingged mobs that there are in the game likey demon bats and vultures, they can’t fly…they fly on the ground, it looks pretty weird when they are going up the stairs.

12. Most of the zones are designed in such a way that they make you feel trapped. Even tho actual zone might be 4km x 4km, you can only use as little as 20% of the real estate. Everything is pathed, you can’t really roam freely throughout the zone, there are predefined paths that you are expected to follow. There is always a hill, cliff, river or simply invisible wall that stops you from going off course. THIS IS THE BIGGEST concern among beta testers right now, because this is not something that can be changed, so we are stuck with this. Of course, some of the zones are designed little better, like Khopshef Province, there are less restrictions (but there are handfull still). However, most of the zones that are currently in are pretty damn restricting in terms of exploration and freedom of wandering around.

13. Female NPCs throughout the world are rarely complete. They are either naked, or bald or both, and the worst thing is you will see a body of super-model girl that gives you hard-on with the head of 300 old witch. Females are way behind in all aspects. Also, children models are not in the game yet. There is only one boy model that made it in, and he is just a 3D render, with no life and and no animations, and he looks like a scarecrow, in terms of how his body is positioned (spread arms and legs).

14. Performance is pretty bad. There is also way too much loading, and loading takes too long 30-40 secs on my PC, and I have pretty high end PC with 8800 GTX and 4GB RAM. There is also memory leak associated with loading, so after you switch about 3 zones, you will have to restart the game. By that time game will use 90% of your RAM and your FPS will go from 50FPS to 3FPS or very often to SPF (Seconds Per Frame). Their current rendering engine is piece of shit. Just by turning around FPS can jump from 50FPS to 5FPS. It is next to impossible to run on a horse through the zone, as horse travels faster, rendering engine can’t catch up and you can end up crashing the game client if you keep pushing it. A lot of this is expected to be fixed in upcoming Cheetah 2.0 engine that we are supposed to get pretty soon (currently they are using cheetah 1.x engine)

15. Prestige classes are not in the game, and it doesn’t smell like they will get here anytime soon. This means that there is NO CRAFTING and no resource gathering, which means NO PVE towns.

16. DESTINY QUESTS are a joke. Well, in Tortage, 1-20, they actually did pretty damn good job with destiny quests. But after you leave Tortage and enter real MMO world, you get 3 more destiny quests….THAT”S IT! After Tortage you get to do your destiny quest at lvl 30, lvl 50 and lvl 60 (I’m pretty sure it’s not complete and there is at least one more past lvl 60). However, 20 levels between destiny quests? It really doesn’t feel llike it’s one continuous quest. I mean the quest themselves are pretty good in terms of quality, it’s just that they need to add more, every 5 levels or at least every 10 levels.

17. INVISIBLE WALLS are all around the world. Some are bugs they claim, some are there intentionally to prevent us from going somewhere. This is probably the second biggest in-game issue in beta community. It’s not that you run into them every now and then, but they are everywhere, in every zone, at every corner, as soon as you go off the path you’ll run into them.

18. MOUNTS. We finally got a mount few weeks ago. All we have is one horse. You have to be level 40 to ride a mount. Yeah, WTF, that’s what I said too. But anyway, since this is pretty new feature, I’ll be as opstimistic as possible. That said, the purpose of the mount at this stage is exactly what Funcom said it will not be, and that is to get from A to B. Mounted combat at this stage is simply…..I don’t know what the right word is, but USELESS comes to mind. We’ll see if this will change at all.

19. After about 2 weeks, game gets boring. This is being reported all over beta forums, people are getting tired of the game. I’m still OK, not excited as I was at first, but I’m still enjoying the game. The reason why people get bored or don’t log in to play could be for number of reasons at this stage. No incenitive to level up and progress, when you reach the end, that’s the end. Things like resource gathering and crafting are not in, neither is pvp, and no real economy, there is really nothing to drive the players to come back and play at this stage – combat and quests alone certainly aren’t enough.

20. GUI needs tons of work. EQ had better and more costumizable GUI. We currently can’t bind our own keys, but I’m sure that will be available soon. Also, grouping mechanics are BAD at best, as a lot of times they are simply borken.

21. Towns/Villages/Cities/Settlements are pretty dead. Almost all of the NPCs are static (some places have few patroling guards, that’s it). Every place seems like the last one, dead and boring.

22. World map does not exist. I mean there is a world map, but it’s just a map of Hyboria that you can probably find somewhere on the internet. It does not represent anything in-game, it’s not related to the game, it does not show where you are, where each region is. There are however zone maps, which are A LOT like google maps. It works just like google maps in Sattelite view, you zoom in/out and you see exact representation of what’s on the ground.

23. THE COMBAT AND COMBOS

FIrst off all, this is not necessarely THE BAD thing, I’ll give a general overview of the combat (melee). Well, I really like it, there are things that could be done to GREATLY improve this, but I still find it interesting. Current combat and combo model in AoC really DOES NOT BRING ANYTHING NEW to the table. I personally find it fun, but there is nothing new here. Well, really it is a new feature that you can freely swing your weapon anytime you want and hit anything in the path, but current combat forumla makes that feature useless. Right now EVERYTHING IS ABOUT COMBOS. You would really have to be retarded not to figure our that just spamming combos will take you 100x further than playing around with directional attacks trying to hit a mob where they have less shields. You could apply very little strategy to the order in which you execute your combos, to better match shield markers of the mob, but in the end it all comes down to spamming combos.

Combat system was EXTREMELY fun from about level 1 – 15. You paid attention to where shield markers were and executed maybe one or two combos during a fight. After that, especially post lvl 20, game is balanced around spamming combos. Shield markers are almost nullified with current formula, it’s like they don’t exist. You just end up looking at the cooldown icons waiting for first combo to be ready so you can execute it again w/out even noticing shield markers.

COMBOS need a lot of work. Combos are what makes this game just another mmo. Fine in let’s say City Of Heroes, you press a skill/power from a hotbar and it executes it. Well, just imagine pressing one extra button and you get AoC Combos. They could have as well remove that one extra step, it serves no purpose, it doesn’t make you think, it doesn’t make you involved more, it dumbs down the entire combat system since game is balanced around spamming combos and not around using strategy and taking adventage of the shields. Also, most of the time you will find yourself clicking on the combo icons, which is a huge step backwards from their original system, this really makes it feel like just another game.

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