So how's the current state of the game

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So how's the current state of the game

Postby lunareklipse » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:23 am

Hey there, New to the forums. I started playing AO back in 05 and played till about 08. I've stuck my head in from time to time when I get a "come back for free and see the new updates" AO always holds a place in my heart and I've never experienced any game that comes close to what it used to offer back in the day. Lately I havent been able to get it out of my head, must be nostalgia or just wishing it was like it used to be, but everytime I get on I just get depressed.

I've been reading up on things from time to time, I heard and seen videos of the "new engine" years ago and they are at least still saying its going to happen, along with merging the servers together, but will it be enough to breathe new life?

I still remember the first time me and my buddy got off noob island and warped to athens to witness a sea of people all over the place, high levels, low levels, people with robots, doing crazy spells all of which we knew nothing about. It was just jaw dropping, like holy crap what is going on here! The game while I played it was not about how many quests can I finish in an hour or I hope I win the roll on some better raid gear so I do more raids.

It was a real role playing game. I would find people all the time just hanging out, sitting in one of the bars in-game reading poetry, and people just hanging out. Standing around on the Hill with your org bs'n after you got done grinding for a bit. The point was never really to get to max level it was more of an experience than any other game I've played. I'm pretty sure I've played all the big name MMO's out there including all the bad korean ones lol, and nothing compares.

So today I decided to check in on what was happening, It had been a couple years since I logged so I got on my froob account and man it was sad for me to see. Going through athens and old athens I seen 2 people, went by the GM's seen one person on the hill, went to the grid no-one standing there. went to Bor and there was about 5 people pvp'n.. (This is on RK1 btw) And it was about 9pm central time so maybe it was slow time, but I say about 50% of the draw to the game was the people. The mechanics of being able to put your points in so many skills and the fact the game isnt dumbed down for wowtards is the other draw to it. No other game i've played lets you even put your damn point where you want to anymore. you just automatically get str/stam ect everytime you level up. I want to be able to pick all the stuff myself. The twinking aspect was another one of my favorites to the point where I had a second account to give myself buffs so I didnt have to bother people all the time for them. I like the fact that you used to be able to screw up your toon and have to re-roll (I think they let you reset your points now?) It was actually challenging, not kill 5 squirrels that are tirelessly easy and get to level 85 ASAP so you can endgame.

I know the game is a grind, but it wasnt about that, I could play for weeks and never even go out and level up there was so much to do with the org, hunting rares, tower wars ect.

A couple things I wonder about is:
are people hanging out in different towns now? I know the major hang-out spots changed from time to time when I was playing

How can you make much money on the GM or in towns with so few people to sell things too, I remember stuff could be difficult to sell even when there was tons of people playing.

Also My highest level was 217, and I remember standing around for a long time waiting to get a group for missions back in the day(being an engy back then wasnt anyones first team pick lol) , I would think now it would be damn near impossible, so thats another worry.

I know the game is old, and had somewhat of a cult following I guess you could say. It wasnt on everyones radar, but I mean making new graphics and merging servers is fine, but I just wonder if FC has any intentions of marketing or trying to get new players.. having AOC and just launching secret world, I'm actually surprised they are still working with this game. Sorry for the novel, im really passionate about this game and dont know how give it some new life and get people interested in it again.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby Silvana » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:56 am

lunareklipse wrote: A couple things I wonder about is:
are people hanging out in different towns now? I know the major hang-out spots changed from time to time when I was playing
You might have just caught it at a bad time. I always see a few dozen people running around Old Athen, hanging out at the grid terminal. Borealis has a few areas people hang out, but mostly near the grid terminal and in front of the shops. Trade or Ent, I couldn't say.. I'm usually only flying through there to get to something else and so I don't really pay attention.

How can you make much money on the GM or in towns with so few people to sell things too, I remember stuff could be difficult to sell even when there was tons of people playing.
The new GMI isn't seeing a lot of use due to what comes down to a consignment fee. The shopping channels are still your best bet.


And no worries, I enjoy a wall of text from time to time ;)

To your wondering about AO still being around while TSW and AoC are doing well enough, it is a small team from what we know. Funcom laid off a bunch of people and no one can say for sure for which games and which people may have been effected by that. Except TSW, we know quite a few came from there.

Right now they are revamping the new player experience, and I'm of the belief that it will bring more people. Starting out in AO with nothing is hell, especially if you don't know what you're doing, so the new player experience is taking on a more tutorial route instead of "Here you are, press Q!" It's also been said the professions will have different new user experience things to go through so that they can learn their actual tool set.

That part of it is supposed to be done before the end of the year.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby lunareklipse » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:38 pm

hrmm so the GM has changed I take? do you no longer need to have a player shop in a org city to use it?

I personally liked that mechanic myself. The fact that you could pay more to buy it now, or fly your happy self to the actual city and buy it from someones shop. It was pretty cool.

I do agree that it takes a very long time and commitment to amass any sort of knowledge and wealth. Thinking of starting a fresh account is a daunting idea even to me knowing how to play the game (sort of) If I jumped back on my engy I probably wouldnt be able to play that well. A notebook is very useful in the game lol.

I know when I first started I junked 2 characters before I really got a grasp on how to set my points and how to play, tradeskills were always challenging, but I much prefer that than to mindlessly clicking 2 things together to raise a tradeskill. I know I was on my engy when they had the free come back deal and people were going bananas that there was an engineer in town. I was getting asked to make stuff left and right and I had no clue how to do any of it anymore lol. I had to hide.

with the lack of people around it would be nice for them to implement more of an in depth tutorial. I know I learned the most stuff from just having helpful people around that would take you on a tour and show you where stuff was to help you out.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby Silvana » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:16 pm

Yes, the new GMI is very different. Player shops no longer exist and org cities are going to be phased out and done in a different manner. I haven't used the new GMI because I very rarely shop for things that would be on it, so someone else would have to clue you in on some of the larger changes to it.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby lunareklipse » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:16 pm

yeah I just ran up and checked out the GM to find it very very different. one thing I wonder is: I had -ALOT- of very expensive stuff in my city shop on my engy, and possibly money from people buying it. I dont know if my org exsists anymore or if they do if they still have the city. We had a huge city it was like 120m/month upkeep if I remember right. I wonder if all my stuff is gone lol. I think remember back in the day if you left a org as soon as you opened a shop in a new org city all your stuff would be there.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby tyrence » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:14 am

lunareklipse wrote:must be nostalgia or just wishing it was like it used to be

I wasn't going to respond, but this sentence piqued me. The AO today is not the AO that it used to be and I doubt it will satisfy you now, even if the population wasn't an issue. I think the reason that AO is still alive today is because many people remember how it was, and know how it could be. But I just don't see it going back to that, ever.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby Silvana » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:15 am

You'll need to use /shop claim to get anything that you may have had in your player shop.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby lunareklipse » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:42 am

tyrence wrote:
lunareklipse wrote:must be nostalgia or just wishing it was like it used to be

I wasn't going to respond, but this sentence piqued me. The AO today is not the AO that it used to be and I doubt it will satisfy you now, even if the population wasn't an issue. I think the reason that AO is still alive today is because many people remember how it was, and know how it could be. But I just don't see it going back to that, ever.


Well even towards the end of when I quit I was always twinking so much to the point were I made a second account with toons to give myself the buffs that I always having a pain in the ass finding mainly wrangles, and I have a crat on the second account that I would always drag along with me for xp buffs, or if I made a toon on the other account I would always run them around SL with my MP's healpet on them so I could level them up quick.

Between my 2 accounts I can make anything I need and get a lot of buffs I need, but I think the main experience missing would be the big group to grind out hecks, or tower battles happening all the time. I can only assume there is still somewhat active orgs out there that would make things a lot better. I just know its gonna be 30bucks a month to bring back both my accounts, I think it was cheaper back in the day if I remember correctly

One thing I wonder is that if a lot of people had quit, are city plots widely available?? I know our guild used to fly around every day checking on peoples citys that we would find with over-due rent trying to snag it without buying one for billions off of someone. But then you said they are phasing out citys?? so no more AI raids? and im guessing with this new GM system player shops are obsolete as well? I did actually enjoy the city aspect that not everyone could have one, you got some great buffs from the buildings including the tradeskill buffs if you physically went there, thats how I made all the AI armor im wearing.

and thank you Silvana I'm glad all the stuff won't be gone... I had some AI armor in there, alot of rare buffing items ect.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby Silvana » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:54 am

They are phasing them out, and replacing them with something that has yet to be announced. Shop buildings are no longer accessible. Part of the problem with the cities was how they are all identical, no matter the faction. But to your question, city plots out in the open are still somewhat rare to find, but there are instanced cities that anyone can get. You don't get the benefits of quick travel to whichever area an org planted their city, but the other benefits remained.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby lunareklipse » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:23 am

Silvana wrote:They are phasing them out, and replacing them with something that has yet to be announced. Shop buildings are no longer accessible. Part of the problem with the cities was how they are all identical, no matter the faction. But to your question, city plots out in the open are still somewhat rare to find, but there are instanced cities that anyone can get. You don't get the benefits of quick travel to whichever area an org planted their city, but the other benefits remained.


Well that kind of sucks, but I suppose it was necessary at the same time. I personally found it pretty cool that the cities where literal land that you owned on the map and not like player housing in other MMO's that was just instanced. However they were so hard to get that people were selling them for more money than one person could even have on them, and a lot of scamming was going on because of it as well.

That does suck you cant teleport out to your specific land, I know our old org had a great spot to quickly get out to some distant areas for farming rare spawns and stuff. But it does make sense that they did that. The city bonuses were extremely useful, and any org without a city was at a disadvantage in tower wars, and just being able to get members in general.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby Llie » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:45 am

Instancing of all cities is necessary because it is the only fair way to handle org cities as part of the RK1-RK2 server merge.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby lunareklipse » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:01 pm

Llie wrote:Instancing of all cities is necessary because it is the only fair way to handle org cities as part of the RK1-RK2 server merge.

yeah that makes sense, since people from both servers would be fighting over land. I really want to start playing again, I dont care about the graphics being updated. I just hope that they can somehow spark some life into the game. Maybe put it up on steam or something who knows.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby Llie » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:20 pm

You never mentioned whether you dropped in on RK1 or RK2. Population is certainly down. That's for certain. In response to low population, FC has decided that it would be a good idea to set up new hardware and move all of the RK1 and RK2 populations to that new server. Their hopes that the combined larger population would revive some the game a bit.

Before that can take place, there's a few things that must take place to make the unification of RK1/RK2 fair. The first is the non-instance player cities. Originally instanced player cities was implemented to move all the farmers and farm orgs to move their cities into instances, leaving the non-instanced cities for real and active orgs. It didn't really make much of a difference then, but now it provides a path that allows FC to accomplish a fair merge of orgs from both dimensions. I envision that there will be some huge alien invasion that will completely wipe out all non-instanced player cities. As a result, they will be able to revive some role playing, while reducing all the current plots to ruins. The question remains what FC plans to do with the four playfields that are dedicated for non-instanced player cities. There isn't so much as a single leet or reet in those playfields.

The second is the disparate economies. The price of some items on RK1 is exorbitant compared to RK2. In response, FC has been systematically nerfing the farming of credits. Bounties were removed from S10. Drop rates for SL pearls and their shopfood value has been nerfed. The Collector instance was added to increase the drop rate on formerly rare or no-longer-in-game items. The new GMI was created allowing free commerce between the two dimensions. Unfortunately, FC made some strange design decisions about how they would allow proceeds from GMI sales to be credited to orgs. That and, the listing fees (which can be quite high for high priced items), and the general clunkiness of the current interface has made it not super popular.

All that being said, there isn't another game out there like AO. Graphics or no graphics. If you can find a few like-minded individuals in the game, a lot of fun can still be had.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby lunareklipse » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:24 am

yeah I was speaking of RK1 actually. and today I sat I down and started a brand new toon, new account and stuff, dont know if I really want to re-sub yet. But the graphics dont bother me AT ALL, they look like they used to, and I always thought everything looked cool and at first it was a little shocking having played so many other games, but when it got down to it I could care less. I seen about 10 or so ppl on noob island, even got greeted :P

Got up to level 9 with all my newcomer armor, even scored the crat suit from the robo so that was cool, but once getting into athens it was certainly a ghost town. It doesnt really matter, not like you need a group for the subway, but it is just nice to see PEOPLE running around an MMO after all. I think the biggest thing is that I forgot so much stuff that I dont think I could just back on my engineer and have a damn clue what to do. I wouldnt know what items I twinked on to the point were I better NEVER take them off ect. Let alone how to play him, might be best to start some new characters and kind of re-learn stuff instead of running around looking like an ebayer.

This new market idea seems to make sense in a way since like you said the economies Im sure are much different on each server, I however dont like the idea of getting gouged a ton for some of my high priced stuff, I dont know if AI armor is even good anymore, but I have alot of high QL pieces I was trying to sell and im sure 100's of mils hits you pretty hard, but there are so few people even saying a single word in ooc I'd assume it can be difficult unloading things that way as well.
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Re: So how's the current state of the game

Postby tyrence » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:15 am

lunareklipse wrote:Between my 2 accounts I can make anything I need and get a lot of buffs I need, but I think the main experience missing would be the big group to grind out hecks, or tower battles happening all the time. I can only assume there is still somewhat active orgs out there that would make things a lot better. I just know its gonna be 30bucks a month to bring back both my accounts, I think it was cheaper back in the day if I remember correctly

Well, the game is still playable but as I said, it's just not like it used to be. Finding an org definitely helps and is more important now than ever. But if you can't field an org team, finding a group for just about anything will be a lot harder now. Ironically, towers are a lot easier now because the defenders don't come. It's not uncommon to take down an entire tower field without seeing a single defender. My experience is with RK2 so your mileage may vary on RK1.
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