Kind of outta left field, Funcom stated that AoC is going free to play, a la LotRO. While I have never played the game, this news officially gives is a small chance I may one day grace it with my presence. Also they are going to make it ‘more brutal’, I only hope they mean the combat and not the leveling grind ^_^ Kinda reminds me of Requiem: Bloodymare, based on that ‘more brutal’ bit. (That game was fun in beta, but they took out the ability to talk in general unless you pay. What the heck is that? Even in battlegrounds, I might add! Hard enough to win without the ability to even tell people of incoming attacks :X)
What actually interests me most, though, is the new engine on the quite dated Anarchy Online. AO was my first real MMO, though I played EQ like an hour or two (total) before that. AO still holds a place in my jaded heart, and seeing a new face on old places stirs them up a bit. I just saw the teaser trailer, and I think they are going for a happy medium. Currently the game is *very* old-looking, and based on the video they showcased it is upgrading it quite a bit, while still keeping it ‘oldish’ looks. Normally this is a spot to complain, and I’m sure many will out there, but I like that option. Too often I cannot play a new game because it simply cannot run on my rig. (Besides, they got AoC looking pretty good, so it isn’t like they *can’t* make a pretty game.)
Keeping the game updated while not turning the graphics up to eleven is possibly the biggest untapped source of revenue Blizz actually has: Keep the game running smooth on as many PCs as possible, and you keep the customers playing. The more they play, the more they pay. (Or in my case, the more likely I’ll bug my buds into playing it with me and *they* will pay.)
A bud of mine is actually jonesing for Anarchy Online right now, and I think it may have rubbed off a bit on me haha I always did wanna craft my own spaceship, piece by piece… Something to do ’till the next star wars mmo or the Secret World releases, ammitrite? -_^
Note: I guess the new Conan movie is going to sorta cross-over into AoC? Here’s a quote:
Set 20 years after the movie storyline, an epic new adventure pack – The Savage Coast of Turan finds players being sent by Conan, now King of Aquilonia, to aid his old ally Artus. The new adventure pack includes but is not limited to content from the movie, and allows players to follow epic storylines in Conan’s realm.
Interesting idea. Let’s see how it pans out. Hopefully the ‘videogame movie curse’ doesn’t follow back to AoC, eh?