Funcom to merge Age of Conan servers

More PVP and loot changes detailed.  

In a lengthy post (two, actually) on the Age of Conan forums, the MMO's new director Craig Morrison has detailed a raft of upcoming changes to the MMO - including a server merge.

In what amounts to the first admission from Funcom of the game's declining popularity, Morrison said that servers will be merged in both Europe and North America.

"It's important for us to ensure the best gameplay experience for you all, and more healthy populations on each and every server will make sure we maintain healthy communities for the game in the future," Morrison said.

Morrison - who recently replaced original director Gaute Godager - also went into greater detail on the forthcoming updates to the game that the company outlined at Leipzig.

He confirmed that new zone Ymir's Pass will soon be on the test server, and that it may stay there for some time; other new content additions will follow.

Morrison shed a little more light on the second stage of the much-delayed new player-versus-player system, which will introduce consequences for attacking other players. He pointed out that "ganking" other players will mean you are unwelcome in many parts of the world, but said hardened PVP fans will be able to frequent a new network of camps "that function with a little more moral ambiguity".

He explained that the item system would be adjusted, so that equipment would modify a character's statistics by about 50 per cent, as opposed to 25 per cent currently.

"It was always the intention that Age of Conan would not be a game where items would be the deciding factor in encounters," Morrison said - but Funcom found that this devalued loot, and diminished players' sense of progression through the game, so "we came to the hard choice that something had to change".

The Powerpoints and Kingship systems first announced back in June are still planned, but will "go back to the drawing board" under Morrison's hand.

Powerpoints, an Achievement-style system, will be integrated with "some for of loyalty program", Morrison said.

The guild-versus-guild Kingship system will be completely redesigned, integrated with better guild support and "lateral progression" for max-level characters, and not released until next year. The overhaul perhaps comes in response the highly successful organised conflict in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning,

Finally, Morrisson said that the game's delayed DirectX 10 version has "come very far", and elements of it would start to appear on the test server after the next update.

We hope to offer our first re-review of Age of Conan soon, so stay tuned.

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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