Today I received an email notification that my AOC subscription was ending. That brought me to reminisce about the good ol' days. I was astounded by the quality of Age Of Conan those first days of game play. It was incredible. The breathtaking vistas. The cobblestone details. The seasoned feel of an MMORPG in a brand-spankin' new game hot off the virtual shelf. I had thought I'd found virtual utopia.
Don't get me wrong, I'm just a casual gamer. I've never so much as reached end-game content in WoW, EQ2 (sorry, mom!), etc, etc. But I really loved AOC. My partner, Jason, and I quickly moved through the noob area and spent some time playing the different races/classes before settling on a combo that we both found compatible and balanced. What fun it was, never a grind. It was the first time we stuck with this sort of game for as long as we did. We were nearing level 50, a definite milestone in our gaming relationship.
But as we pushed that envelope, we found quests harder to come by, didn't know where to go next, and it was apparent that game play was not as planned out, transitions not as smooth. We literally scoured the game for zones where we could play as a couple without needing to join a larger group for a heroic zone (our preference was to play as a solo pair). It was tedious and ultimately we abandoned it. I was disappointed but not as much as I was frustrated. Jason, being in the game dev industry, has a pulse on these things far beyond mine. He said we weren't the only ones having problems with the upper level game play, particularly with those diligent souls that had reached end-game content and run out of things to do.
I'm not sure if they've rectified the content/game play issues but in the end, they'd already lost us...we moved on to the next game. Kinda sad. But I guess that's the lesson I learned....don't go gold with a game before it's done...not just the noob zones.