A Bloody Solstice Returns to Age of Conan

It's time to celebrate the holidays in the only way that Age of Conan knows how... through battle! Age of Conan's winter seasonal "Bloody Solstice" is returning as players need to gather up Aesir Warriors to defend their feasting grounds against Gyrmir Bloodbeard and his Vanir Raiders.

It will be a bloody winter holiday for Age of Conan players, but for those who make the journey, there is an Aesir Snowcatcher hat, a Pillaged Vanir Hauberk chestpiece, a Wooden Tankard, and even the Cloak of Bloodbeard himself. So get in there and make this an exciting holiday for all!

ZAM talks to Age of Conan's Craig Morrison

Last time I spoke to Funcom's Craig Morrison, Age of Conan was just making the shift to free-to-play, and we were all waiting expectantly to see how it would pan out. Of course, everything went according to plan (or even above that!), and the team has already seen some huge population growth. Now, with AoC's recent developer update detailing updates 3.1 to 4.0, I decided that the time was right to catch up with Craig once more to catch up on what's been happening in Age of Conan as well as to shed some light on his big plans for updates 3.1 through to 4.0. Read on for some exclusive new details on AoC's PvP plans, Dreamworld single server technology, and more!


Age of Conan's Monthly Development Update

There's a whoooole lot of things planned for Age of Conan, and there's no better way to see what's to come than to take a peek at AoC's Monthly Development Update. First on the list is their Dreamworld Technology update, along with a bevy of new dungeon and raid content, like the House of Crom, the Jade Citadel (which has some of "the most complex" encounters Funcom has done thus far), the final Khitai raid instance, and much more.

Also of note is that with Update 3.4 (Funcom is estimating Q1 2012), their newly implemented Dreamworld Single server technology will allow for players to have cross-server mini-games and a group or instance finder system. So it looks like Dungeon Finder is finally coming to Age of Conan! We'll keep you posted as new information comes out!

Age of Conan going strong after Free-to-Play shift

With so many games experiencing so much success from their free-to-play shift, I'm guessing it's going to really suck for the one MMORPG that doesn't see big numbers after making the transition. Luckily, Age of Conan is just another big success story, as they've revealed in their quarterly report that more than 600,000 players have played the free-to-play version of Age of Conan since July.

To celebrate, Funcom is now giving away "The King's Reward pack" to everyone who logs in before Monday, November 21, 2011. This reward pack can be found in the special offers tab in the store, and it gives a wide variety of potions for players to continue their adventures. Barbarians ahoy!

Age of Conan team details 3.02 update plans

The concept of Atlantis has always been rather odd as a narrative hook; in most cases, designers simply use Atlantis like any other plot-advancing tool, dangling this "lost land" at the end of a stick and pushing the character along on their journey to find it. In other cases, however, Atlantis can be a fascinating concept when its history and lore is explored or reinvented for other purposes.

In this month's October update, the team at Age of Conan is detailing their next update to the game, set to be released by the end of the year. The new dungeon they have planned, called the House of Crom, will be an ancient stone temple originally built by the Atlanteans before their unexpected demise. Some of the lore going into designing this dungeon is rather fascinating, so it's definitely worth a read!

Win a Lifetime of Barbaric Glory in Age of Conan

Do you like the thought of having an NPC named after your character in Age of Conan: Unchained? How about the possibility of receiving your very own in-game "pleasure companion"? Then you're definitely going to want to enter the Age of Conan: Unchained Sweepstakes on Facebook! Check out all of the prizes:

  • Grand Prize: Barbaric Glory Elite! Winner receives a Lifetime Premium Subscription to Conan Unchained as well as 6000 Funcom points and the exclusive opportunity to have an NPC named after one of your characters.
  • First Prize: 5 lucky fans will receive The Ultimate Conan Fan pack! This includes your very own “Pleasure Companion” in game as well as 2500 Funcom points and 3 rare purebred mounts to travel in style. Mounts can be used on any character on your account. This includes the Purebred White Vaaghasan Slaughter Steed, Purebred Shemite Horse, and Purebred Tarpani Stallion.
  • Second Prize: 25 winners will receive 1000 Funcom points to use in selected Funcom games.

All you need to do is head over to the Age of Conan: Unchained Facebook page and submit your entry by Nov. 22 at noon EST for a chance to win a lifetime of barbaric glory!

Devs Outline Update Plans Through Q2 2012

Funcom's latest Age of Conan development letter provides a roadmap of their update plans up to the second quarter of next year. Here's the tentative schedule:

  • Update 3.1: This one is coming soon and is "primarily a Dreamworld technology update that brings new features and optimizations to the engine."
  • Update 3.2: This update will launch before the end of the year and feature the House of Crom dungeons, the new Tier Four raid instance with three brand new raid encounters, and PvP-centric changes.
  • Update 3.3: This one's coming in the first quarter of 2012. The new Dreamworld Single server technology will allow the team to implement cross-server mini-games and a group or instance finder system. They're also working on new versions of the recent daily ACG dungeons.
  • Update 4.0: the next adventure pack will launch in the second quarter of 2012. The team is also looking at a full trade-skill revamp and updates to the mage classes.

Age of Conan's Movie Tie-In Pack is Live

After being available for a week to early access players, Age of Conan: Unchained's Savage Coast of Turan adventure pack is now available for purchase for all players. The  pack acts as a tie-in to the Conan the Barbarian movie that was released last month. The content update is set 20 years after the movie's storyline and adds all new encounters, the massive new area of Ardashir, new dungeons and raids as well as new armor sets and monsters.

Players can also pick up new packs in the in-game store like the Jewels of Turan, which includes items like an exclusive Sand Demon pet and a vanity armor set styled on Conan’s armor from the movie.

Age of Conan Dev Letter Discusses Future Plans

This month's Age of Conan Development Update letter has been posted, and it focuses on what's in store for the rest of the year and beyond. The team starts off by talking briefly about the Savage Coast of Turan adventure pack that launches with early access today, and then dives right into what they're planning for the remainder of 2011:

"You will have the new PVP world bosses that we spoke about at length in last month's letter. Then you will also have the massive House of Crom dungeon, and the final encounters of the Tier four raid cycle. There is no set order for these yet as we work through the version internally, but the current plan is for all of them to come before the end of the year! That means the schedule will be fairly busy all the way through to the end of the year."

As for 2012, expect to see a new adventure pack in the first half of the year. Funcom's new single server technology should also launch in early 2012, which will allow more players to play together. Basically, each rule-set in each region will ultimately get its own server. They're also working on a revamp of the tradeskill system.

Lastly, Funcom has released an Age of Conan community survey to get feedback from players. Five lucky people who respond before September 9 will win 3,000 Funcom Points each, so you might want to take the time to fill it out.

Conan's Movie Adventure Pack Launch Date Revealed

Funcom has announced that Age of Conan Unchained's Savage Coast of Turan adventure pack will fully launch on September 8, with an early access period starting on August 31 for those that purchase the Early Access Bonus Pack. The standard pack costs 1300 Funcom Points, while the bonus pack costs 2000 points and includes an additional level 50 character option, and additional character slot, and the week of early access.

To celebrate the pack's upcoming launch, Funcom is already offering the Jewels of Turan pack, which offers 60% off of the combined costs of its content. It gives you access to the pack, all the benefits of the Early Access Bonus pack, and items including an exclusive Sand Demon pet and a vanity armor set styled on Conan’s armor from the new Conan the Barbarian movie.

The Savage Coast of Turan pack acts as a tie-in to the Conan the Barbarian movie that was released on August 19. The content update is set 20 years after the movie's storyline and will add all new encounters, the massive new area of Ardashir, new dungeons and raids as well as new armor sets and monsters.