Game Director’s Letter - September 2013

Game Director’s Letter - September 2013

September has been a ridiculously busy month for Age of Conan, with many of the long term plans starting to fall into place. Today I am going to talk about Tradeskills, Halloween events, Unchained dungeons and, of course, the largest server merge the company has ever done.

Server Merge

The server merge which was started on the 9th, was a colossal undertaking. To give you some idea of the sheer scale, here are some stats:

Over 6 million characters were merged and re-sequenced. At an average time of 1 second per character merge, this operation could potentially have taken 70 days. Thanks to clever scripting the majority of active characters were merged within the 24hr period and any inactive character which is loaded will take less than a second to load.

Now that is not to say, everything was flawless. There were (and are still) some hiccups with the unique item system. There were some problems with mail which caused mails to be lost (not items, just mails). There were some additional downtimes to improve the merge speed, which was continuing in the background on inactive characters even as we returned the servers to full operational statues.

I'm not going to make excuses about this, I am simply going to apologize to everyone who experienced this, and in compensation, we will offer all subscribers at the time of the merge one day of free game time. We will enable free server transfers as soon as we are certain that all merge problems are dealt with.

With the server merge done, it paves the way for the future of AoC and allows us to work on cross dimension mini games and dungeons. It gives you more people to play with and more people to play against. I thank everybody for their patience throughout the process and I hope that you all see the benefits of what a consolidated population allows us to do.

Tradeskills

The single most important part of the Tradeskill system was completed earlier this week, as we finally finished the conversion of the items from the old tool into the new system.

We're talking about items from the dawn of Age of Conan development, created using tools from Anarchy Online, which now work and can be used as valid materials in the Tradeskill system.

With that huge step out of the way, we are busy pushing recipes into the system and testing various combinations to ensure that they work as we hope.

Currently there are 11520 unique items that can be created using the new Tradeskill system and we have started to fully populate the recipe trees in the game. We are also working on the gem variations, which combine to form the unique stats on items and together we expect the item variations in the final Tradeskill system to be somewhere in the millions.

There is, of course, still a lot of work to be done. We still need UI work for the crafting resource, content work, node placement and tutorials put in place. We also need to run the lot of it through intensive testing.

However, there is nothing cooler than rolling a critical when crafting your own custom two-hander and being able to give it any visual you want! Or creating a set of armor with gem stats stacked for overcoming precisely that encounter.

In regards to common community questions regarding the Tradeskill system, many people are concerned that resources they have saved up might become useless. We will provide, at the very least, a way to trade old resources for equivalent new resources.

In order to accommodate the additional demands on items, we are also looking at additional ways to expand player inventories and bank space!

By the Light of the Moon

In 2013, we'll be bringing a new mission chain to Age of Conan during Halloween. Set in an instanced version of Conarch Village, you will be investigating a strange clan who have come to Conarch from the far eastern corner of Cimmeria.

Trading for fresh livestock after something wiped out all of their own, there is something not quite right about these strangers and it is up to you to figure out exactly what is going on.

Take part in the event to receive brutal new rewards and meet a fresh arrival to the Conan Universe.
In addition, we will re-enable the Night of Lost Souls content to provide a greater variety of content for all of our players during the darkest period of the year!

Keep an eye out for more news on the Hyborian Race event as we prepare to roll that out now that the servers are merged. The rules of the race will be outlined in a separate article.

Unchained Dungeons

Three new Unchained Dungeons have made their way to Testlive - Halls of Eternal Frost, The Scorpion Caves and The Caravan Raiders Hideout.

We hope to bring these dungeons to the live serves during October, but we need your help to get as much testing as possible on the dungeons. Help us out by jumping onto the Testlive servers and letting us know what we can improve and tweak.

Thanks for listening everyone, see you on the battlefield!

Joel Bylos