Age of Conan Getting DX10 in Next “Major” Update
It seems that developer Funcom will stay true to its promise, announcing that the “next major game update” for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will add DirectX 10 support to the popular MMORPG.
Newly appointed game director Craig Morrison wrote that the DX10 addition would not be a ‘gimmick’ to the game, noting that they are currently trying to “find the right balance between visuals and performance.”
It was not specified when the update would arrive. However, Morrison did reveal that it will feature two new dungeons aimed towards “maximum level players” and more.
Huge Age of Conan Free Update Launched, Screenshots
Funcom has launched a free update for Age of Conan, terming it the largest gameplay content addition since launch. The update adds the new outdoor area of Ymir’s Pass where players will now be able to partake in more quests, meet new characters, slay new monsters and experience a new storyline. It also adds a new dungeon – the Amphitheater – that reportedly holds “one of the most epic and memorable monster encounters ever created for the game.”
"This is an important update that opens up a lot of new gameplay content for players who have already passed the level fifty mark," says game director Craig Morrison. "In the months ahead we will introduce even more new content, and coming up soon are two exciting new high-level dungeons intended for players who have reached the maximum level. At this stage adding more content and keeping people entertained is very important to us!"
Below are a couple of screenshots from the update.
Age of Conan Collector's Edition Sold Out, DX10 Version Delayed
Noting how successful the game is, Funcom sent out word that the Collector’s Edition of Age of Conan is now completely sold out throughout the world. In fact, in some regions the edition has been sold out for weeks. Additional boxes were made to meet demands, but they were sold out as well.
In addition, Funcom mentions that sales of the standard edition are also impressive, stating that they have shipped around 700,000 copies of the game on day one. As a result of massive interest in the game, the company has ordered additional servers to accommodate the extra players.
“Everyone in Funcom is delighted and humbled with the historical pre-order numbers for Age of Conan. If the information we have is correct, they represent the highest pre-order number for any global launch of an original PC game, ever, including the original World of Warcraft launch,” said Morten Larssen, Funcom’s VP of Sales & Marketing.
However, on the development side there’s a small hitch. The company was forced to ship only the DirectX 9 version of the game, noting that the DirectX 10 version will be released later this year. They believe that the DX10 client wasn’t up to snuff and is taking extra time with it. This is good news for gamers as Funcom has mentioned that it will include even more features in the DX10 version than originally planned.
The DX10 version will premiere at the Leipzig Games Convention this August; it will also be shown off at the NVISION event in California in the same month.
Anarchy Online Gets Virtual Item Sales
Adding a new layer to Anarchy Online, Funcom has launched virtual item sales within the game, allowing players to purchase items ranging from hover-bikes, social clothing, and pets to luxury apartments with real money. However, it is said that this will not affect gameplay balance.
The game will employ a points system that can be purchased in blocks of 10, 20 or 40 USD/EUR, where 100 points is equivalent to 1 USD/EUR (unfair for Europeans). As an example, a new hover-board starts as low as 300 points, but players can also purchase an entire range.
“This kind of system puts the choice in the hands of the players by allowing them to take as little or as much of the new content as they like,” said Craig Morrison, Game Director on Anarchy Online. “It really adds an extra dimension to what we can provide in terms of fun social items, designed to look cool while being something players don’t feel forced into. That extra element of choice has allowed us to add a much broader range of items than we might if we were simply targeting it into a self contained expansion.”
Paying subscribers of the game will get a set of monthly points included in the subscription price, with longer pricing plans like 6 and 12 months getting extra points.
Age of Conan Places Siege on Leipzig
Funcom sends word that this year’s Games Convention in Leipzig will be invaded by Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures’ siege warfare system. The new system will be shown to select press behind closed doors, while gamers will be able to take part in PvP battles on the show floor.
“It is time for the gloves to come off,” says Game Director Gaute Godager. “This is the first time we will let consumers get their hands on the game at a trade show and we are kicking off by letting them experience the intensity of player-versus-player battles. This is the true Conan experience – bloody and barbaric!”
The siege warfare gameplay allows guilds to construct entire battle-keeps for themselves and even capture and destroy other guild’s battle-keeps by going into battle against them. It will be shown off in the Eidos area in Hall 3, booth B20. The game will also be demoed at the Microsoft area.
Age of Conan on X360
The long-in-development Age of Conan MMORPG is now also headed for Xbox 360, as Funcom has received the “green light” from Microsoft, allowing them to start official development for the platform.
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures won great praise at E3, garnering many ‘Best of E3’ awards, and is dubbed one of the most anticipated PC titles by many US publications. As per this announcement, the game will also be released on Xbox 360, though information about publisher, release date and potential console specific features are still under wraps.
Anarchy Online Free Offer Extended
Funcom has announced an extension of the completely free and play-all-you-want offer in Anarchy Online until January 2008. This extended offer also includes the chance to check out Notum Wars, an expansion pack, allowing players to partake in PvP combat.
The free offer content is now greatly expanded through the ‘Notum Wars’ addition. When released, ‘Notum Wars’ brought a whole new dimension to Player vs. Player MMO combat. With it, players could claim control of large areas of land, build a base with an array of towers and then fight it out with other players to achieve control, prestige and power. With numerous additional features ‘Notum Wars’ now gives all free players a new kind of experience, with more possibilities.
The new and improved offer includes the entire classic version of ‘Anarchy Online’, named “Best MMO of the Year” by PC Gamer US, and ‘Anarchy Online – Notum Wars’, “Expansion Pack of the Year” in Computer Gaming World. Those who play for free are exposed to dynamic in-game advertising, a successful revenue concept implemented by Funcom and developed by Massive Inc. If the player upgrades to additional expansion packs, a monthly subscription fee kicks in, but the player will not be exposed to the ads.
Eidos to Publish Age of Conan; Game Delayed
Funcom has announced that they have signed a co-publishing agreement with SCi/Eidos for Age of Conan, the upcoming MMOG based on Robert E. Howard’s universe. Eidos will be distributing the game in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, with Funcom retaining the rights to digital distribution; Funcom will also be responsible for operating servers and providing customer service for the game.
The announcement also saw a delay to the game: it is now set for release sometime between March and May 2007. There are also plans on bringing the game to consoles.
Funcom Extends Conan Deal
Funcom sends word that it has extended its agreement with Conan Inc., giving the former the exclusive rights to develop any and all MMO games based on the Conan license. This right will be applicable on PC, present and future gaming consoles, portables and mobile systems until 2018. Additionally, Funcom has the option to prolong the agreement with five additional years.
Age of Conan is currently being developed for PC. It has earned the E3 2006 award as the “Best MMO Game of Show” from IGN, Gamespot and Gamespy.
The official websites for Dreamfall: The Longest Journey and Urban Chaos: Riot Response had been launched on April 11. Meanwhile, Atari has announced the Neverwinter Nights 2 website, letting it out that the RPG is due for release this September. The Glory of Rome website has also been upped.