I’ve been fairly harsh on Funcom and Age of Conan here on this blog. I ripped them for the whole ‘open’ beta fiasco, then for releasing a crash prone client due to a last minute ‘fix’, and finally the entire 1-20 ‘single player but not’ deal. Today’s news takes the cake though; I mean we have stepped over the bounds of stupid and are now firmly in the realm of insane.
Somehow Funcom can’t handle everyone who PUT DOWN MONEY and preordered AoC to download the client, so they have cut off access to the early start. I can’t even begin to image how pissed I would be if I had put down money for AoC, partly for the early access, and been told access has been cut off. We are talking about paying customer now being denied a promised service, and no the whole ‘while supplies last’ thing is not an excuse, as we see that little message attached to every spoon and toaster sold in stores or TV. I think we are only a few days away from Funcon announcing the servers will only support 100k players total, and once that limit is reached all other accounts will be shut down. I mean seriously, how can one game go through so many issues pre-launch. Is anyone going to be surprised if on go-live the servers just implode and AoC goes down for a week?
Mythic really did Funcom a huge favor by delaying Warhammer Online. Image the WAR and AoC open beta start on the same day, and you download both clients (lets assume you could actually download the AoC client when you tried). You fire up AoC, and get a black screen. Quit, find a fix, launch again. You have a decent rig, but AoC runs like crap, so you turn everything to low, resulting in it looking like something from 2002, and finally get 10-15fps, until you get a BSOD. Restart again. Now you start up WAR, and with near-max settings you get a solid 30fps, 6 starting areas, and a rock solid client. You play for 2-3 hours having a great time. Next day you again fire up AoC, download a huge patch, get a corrupt file message, find a fix, get a BSOD 2-3 more times, and finally receive a message that your early access is denied even though you already put down money. Are you telling me any sane person would still go through and pay for AoC if they had a choice?
Now granted WAR might have similar issues when it gets into open beta, but I think odds are good that it won’t be anywhere near the disaster Funcom has dragged AoC fans through, I have a bit more faith in Mythic than that.
It’s honestly shocking to see so many people jumping through so many hoops just to play a new MMO. Maybe it’s all the anticipation for something new, combined with the massive burnout from WoW. I mean when you view more organized grinding (daily quests) as a huge content update, you have clearly reached a desperate level of boredom.
So while watching the whole AoC train wreck from the sideline has been somewhat amusing, it’s getting borderline sad now, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse for AoC fans. At least those of us on the sidelines have something interesting to watch and write about, so thanks for that Funcom…