Age of Conan "the best-looking" MMO

"But it comes at a cost," admits Funcom.

Norwegian developer Funcom reckons Age of Conan is the "best-looking" MMO.

But, according to game director Craig Morrison, Age of Conan's good looks come at a cost.

"Our engine is a more fully featured and uses the latest graphics technology," he told Eurogamer.

"We're very proud of the fact we have the best-looking game in the MMO space. We're quite proud of that. There are very few games that can compete with us graphically.

"But it does come at a cost. Not as many machines can necessarily play the game on the settings players would like. They see the videos and would like to play it on the same. A player might not always be able to depending on the hardware they have."

That may be the reason, Morrison said, some players endure stability problems and suffer game crashes.

"Players don't like starting a game on low graphics settings," he continued. "They want to see the cool stuff and they want to play the game on the settings we intend and beyond. Their machine is not necessarily capable of playing it.

"We do know that we have that challenge. Not as many machines can play our games as some of the older titles that are more casually focused to try and reach as many people as possible."

Age of Conan this month went free-to-play and re-branded as Age of Conan: Unchained.

Free-to-play members of Age of Conan get a choice of four character classes and two character slots. Bank space, adventure zones, dungeons, raids and mount training are limited. Sieges, alternative advancement, offline levels and veteran points are unavailable.

A premium subscription unlocks all the content. This costs 12.95 a month.

Age of Conan, then, looks pretty good for a free-to-play MMO. And Morrison believes this will keep it relevant for years to come.

"MMOs are a long-term project. For the first few years of its existence Age of Conan was always going to be very high spec.

"But it won't look as dated in five or six years' time as a game that's aiming broader right now will, which will hopefully give it the ability to stick around longer in the market and still be viable for many, many years to come."

Age of Conan free-to-play trailer

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