Anarchy in Europe

Anarchy Online reaches Europe, but game still reeling from buggy patch

Source - Anarchy Online community site / AO Basher

Massively multiplayer role-playing game Anarchy Online should be appearing on store shelves across Europe today, three months after it was released in America and its native Scandinavia. But although the game has been improving after a shaky start that saw it afflicted by bugs, lag and security concerns, last week's patch raised a whole new set of issues, sparking a revolt amongst hardcore players with many claiming to have deleted their accounts. Unfortunately this soon turned ugly as the game's official messageboards became clogged up by abusive and repetitive comments, leading to a number of people being banned from the forums and a new policy being introduced which will see more stringent moderation of messages in future. The biggest problems were caused by improvements to the "AI" which allowed monsters to cast nanotech spells on themselves between battles and made them more likely to rush to the aid of nearby allies. Unfortunately while this seems to work quite well for lower level monsters and characters, some of the more powerful creatures become virtually invulnerable, sparking widespread complaints from veteran players. An update on the game's community website later admitted that as a result of the patch "sometimes people will be unable to do damage with their normal attacks, and some monsters seem to have too many nano points". A new patch was released early on Monday fixing many of these issues, but player feedback suggests that some balancing still needs to be done for higher level creatures, while other players are complaining about the "nerfing" of certain skills to make them less effective. In the meantime Funcom have promised more rigorous testing of patches in future, and now that European players are entering the game the long-awaited storyline should start some time next month. There are also long-term plans to add more monsters and pre-designed missions for high level characters to supplement the random mission generator system, although whether this will be enough to lure back disgruntled players who left after last weekend's problems remains to be seen. Funcom's first massively multiplayer game launch has certainly been a baptism of fire for the Norwegian company, but hopefully a new influx of European gamers, improving stability and an on-going storyline should help put things back on track. Related Feature - Anarchy Online preview

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