Friday Funcom announced that its popular MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has officially taken on the free-to-play mantle and is now re-branded as Age of Conan: Unchained. The news follows the launch of Blizzard's pseudo demo World of Warcraft Starter Edition and T3 Entertainments open beta of Hellgate, both of which also launched this week.
"After 1.4 million copies sold, having experienced fantastic critical acclaim, and still to this day going strong with a large active player base embarking on thousands of daily adventures, there is no doubt that ‘Age of Conan’ has made a significant impact on the online gaming genre," said Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Morten Larssen. "The great potential provided by the hybrid business model, and with the ever growing interest for free-to-play games, bringing ‘Age of Conan’ into this market is undoubtedly the logical next step for the title."
Age of Conan: Unchained now offers a "hybrid" business model: players can roam Conan's backyard for free, or go old-school and cough up a monthly subscription fee. As seen with other free-to-play models, an in-game store will be inserted into the realm so that players can purchase exclusive content such as weaponry and mounts. But naturally there will be limitations placed on free accounts so that players get hooked to the point of going full-blown premium.
As seen here, several major differences divide the Free and Premium accounts. Those who don't want to take the subscription route will be locked down to four available character classes. They'll also have access to non-premium dungeons, two raids, two characters slots (although there's a max of 18), and only basic mount training. Free players can't partake in sieges, they only have 50-percent of the personal bank space available, they can't level offline and they can't earn veteran points.
"For the team working on the game, going free-to-play is great because it opens up this great fantasy world to an even larger audience," said Creative Director and Executive Producer Craig Morrison. "Not only can players now enjoy the content for free, we will continue to add new gameplay features and new content and make improvements to the game. ‘Age of Conan: Unchained’ will offer a fantastic experience for both new customers and players who have already roamed the online world of Hyboria. An engrossing story, brutal combat and savage world is waiting for those who dare explore the lands of Hyboria."
To jump in and explore the virtual world of Hyboria now, head here to grab the installer. The actual client is an extra 7.51 GB download.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Meh..Ill pass..I don't like naughty.Reply
I tried playing it again but the terrible control scheme for melee is still there. I like that they dont have an auto attack, but this combo system is downright retarded and frustrated.Reply
For instance instead of hitting 4 to use an ability, you have to hit 4, then hit left, right, left. Except you cant just fire it off, you have to hit 4, then wait until it the combo ui lights up the next move, then left, then wait, then right, then wait, then left.
So combat becomes nothing more then looking at the combo ui waiting for it to allow you hit the next key without breaking the chain. Which is a huge step down from every other MMO I've played.
If they removed the combo system to where you just hit the button to perform an ability, but kept out auto attack, I'd really enjoy it. But they wont fix the most broken part of their game.
I kind of miss this game but I won't bother going back, even for free. I remember there was one small island location where you could only travel to if you were under level 20. There wasn't anything stopping you from gaining levels once there. I grinded my ranger to level 28 getting only 2-5 xp points each mob kill. Took forever but I was basically invincible and enjoyed sniping and killing the level 8's and 10's that were walking around. Yes I'm evil and prob ruined alot of peoples hopes and dreams, it was just to much fun. After a couple weeks, enough people complained about me and funcom voted me off the island.Reply
First thought: Conan O'Brien has a MMO?Reply
Second thought: Oh wait, Age of Conan, time to go back to bed.
free is good....i have the game and don't like it...very repetitive just like wowReply
Shallow gameplay and repetitive grinding. That pretty much sums up most MMORPG's(WoW, Rift, etc.)Reply
cronik93Shallow gameplay and repetitive grinding. That pretty much sums up most MMORPG's(WoW, Rift, etc.)And people still play. Sad world it is.Reply
There is quite a few limitations they don't tell you about such as gem slots on weapons, you basically can't pvp at all you get less than half your bank slot and inventory they say half i have no idea where they learned to count.Reply
It's reportedly naughtier too? not from what i have seen maybe 1 npc somewhere looks same to me.
World of Warcraft changed the MMO world. Its hard to migrate to another MMO. I tried AoC, i tried Rift... The new MMOs ,imo, have to steal everything from WoW and make it better by adding their ideas to the game or they wont have a chance.Reply