When I checked my email yesterday, I found a survey from Funcom requesting my opinion on Age of Conan. I almost passed it by but then decided to complete it. I won’t go into all the questions or my exact answers. Instead, I’ll summarize it.
The survey wanted to know on a scale of 1 to 5 (worse to best) what I liked about the game, customer service, what needed fixing and what I was most concerned about having them work on for the future. There might have been about 25 to 30 questions in all.
For the questions related to gaming experience – how things were working in the game, I gave all questions related to combat 4s and 5s. I’m happy with the combat mechanic even though a bit button-pressing-frantic, it is the most unique and pleasing aspect of the game - fluidness of motion, realistic even when fantastical animations, are all executed extremely well. When I answered questions about content and questing, I replied rather neutrally. I don’t find the quests as a whole more or less better than other MMOs I’ve played.
When the inquiries focused on solo content I gave the best marks. This is where the game and its content really shine. I think the Destiny Quests are excellent. As someone who loves soloing, having whole dungeons and quests specifically tuned for solo play, along with intricate scripted events is awesome! Many WOW players have asked for something along these lines, if nothing more than a trigger to down grade existing 5-man content. I was in this camp within the WOW community. And no, it was never about wanting to loot without work. Soloing a well scripted instance can be a LOT of work. One mistake and there’s no one to cover your ass so you’re dead. It’s just a desire to match yourself and your skills in a scripted event or at least do duo-mode with a friend but I digress. The Destiny Quests (all solo for people who haven’t played) are some of the best quests I’ve ever completed in any game. The whole zone became mine for so long as I was there and I had to complete everything on my own steam. When I couldn’t, I had to go back to the multi-player world to become more prepared – gain another level or two, upgrade my gear and weapon, get consumables, etc.
The section about what I was most concerned about them fixing or working on in the future, I answered all questions related to PVP Sieges and Crafting as high, content neutral and combat least. I know there’s supposedly a dead zone of leveling quests that people are complaining about. I’m less concerned about that as you only have to make it through that deficit once whereas end-game is your max character’s forever circumstance. If the end-game is borked people will leave. This isn't WOW where leveling is easy-peasy and as a result, players roll armies of Alts. Personally, I’m not at all interested in repeating the leveling content more than once now. They need to fix Guild Cities, Sieges and Crafting as a whole. The other things I marked as important to fix and at the same time the worst aspects of the existing content is balance and itemization. Itemization in particular is just horrible. Most stats don’t even work – how the heck can you release like that?? The stats themselves are rather nebulous as we aren’t even clear what they are on the items making it hard to know which items to choose over another. On top of which there is too much junk loot drops. That much should be clear to Funcom looking at how Hyboria is littered with partially looted bags and chests everywhere. It’s both sad and funny at the same time.
I reserved my worst marks for customer service. I never did get a response from Customer Support about my inability to register my game key. More than a week after the game’s launch, I figured it out on my own with the help of information on the inter-webs. And the fact that paying customers couldn’t even access the Customer Support forums to log these issues was worst of all. For that reason, customer-related survey questions got 1s and 2s.
In the end, solo content received the best marks followed by combat, then neutral on overall content and customer service last. Items I was most anxious for them to improve were end game elements (PVP & crafting) and itemization. Focused on getting a foot-hold in EQ2, I haven’t played in two weeks but am maintaining my subscription as the game I can do casually when I need a break from leveling and crafting in EQ2.