Tuesday, December 15

New graphics engine for AO still in development

With all the doom and gloom around FunCom I was expecting that any Anarchy Online would have been put on hold indefinitely. But apparently there are still some people working on it at least! I am looking forward to wandering Rubi-Ka once again with the new graphics. It is probably still a year or more away, but there is progress! Maybe they will use AO as a test platform of graphics engine they are going to use in Secret World. If that is the case there might be a real push for it. Not sure though how hard it is to try to put a new engine into a 8 year old game.

I ran into this tidbit of AO news when I learned about the unlimited free trial of Age of Conan. Thanks Geek! You can now run through Tortage over and over without paying a cent. Info and download link can be found at www.ageofconan.com/trial/. And when you play the video clip and right on it a weird AO reference shows up. That triggered me to visit the AO site in search for more info. And that led me to this page.

I hope the move to make Tortage F2P will lure in a lot of players, make Funcom buck loads of money, and AO and Secret World will become the brilliant games I am hoping for. Ok, enough day dreaming now, and back to my AO copy-cat.


  1. Glad you bought up the Tortage 'free for life' deal, it only runs until the end of this month, already lured in a couple of MU *evil laugh*. Great idea really hope it works for them, quite a bit of AoC news around, upcoming T3 raiding, loads of guild improvements and the expansion. Nothing about overhauling their truly awful crafting system though :(

  2. *grin* it was your post on the MuTants forum that triggered this post. I hope they will enjoy it as much as I did. AOC is a brilliant game.

    Strange they make a free for life Tortage that you can only sign up for for a limited time. That makes no sense to me. I am sure it will become a permanent deal soon enough.

  3. Anarchy Online has been the baby of the US Funcom team for a while now if memory serves. It's the European team that's being cut to shreds, I mean downsized in favor of lower-wages country Canada.
    Funcom's main office will remain in Norway and Ragnar Tørnquist gets a small team. AOC team afaik is largely uprooted and 'moved' to Canada.
    The US layoffs earlier in the year were the inhouse Customer support teams. It's all outsourced now.

    I'm a bit of two minds about the Tortage gimmick. They're not the only party to go for a lifetime free-to-play "demo". Open Beta has been the unofficial trial/demo for a long while now. God knows they're not used for actual testing because if you're still in need of Beta testing 4 weeks before launch (even 2 months before launch) you're in too much hurt for it too matter.
    2-week trials are mostly come-back deals pulling in return visitors for the most part rather than a lot of frsh blood. The fresh blood usually comes through Word of Mouth and would have come without the trial.

    Lifetime free trial makes it a bit more interesting maybe, except it doesn't make sense if it's a time limited deal. That spells to me that they're trying to see how much interest there is in the game right now, outside the current playerbase.

    Tortage as a trial has one thing going for it, it's probably the best part of the game for a lot of people. The thing it has going against it though is that it was the best part of the game at launch and certain famous bloggers *cough*Tobold*cough* who tend to float to the top of Google search were a bit rancunous about that fact. So anyone doing a bit of searching about the transition from Tortage to subscription game will most likely find their bile.

    Also of interest is that historically the Tortage section was intended as a single-player standalone game with option to go MMO/multiplayer at the end of it. It might therefore be a case of some office politics where someone pushed to get his/her original vision reinstated, for a short while.

  4. P.s. I should clarify: THe move to Canada had some tax deals involved. Canadian government trying to invigorate local economy and enticing foreign tech companies to come their way now that Bioware dumped their MMO team in the US rather than keep it local.