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Funcom's Gaute Godager

On launching Conan - and what comes next.
EurogamerYour classes are one of the most ambitious parts of the game - you've got lots of splash damage, and also some hybrid classes which nobody else has really done before. How has the balance between them worked out? Have you had to make serious changes, or are there serious changes in the pipeline?
Gaute Godager

I'm not saying by any means that it's perfect - but we're actually a bit surprised that we haven't seen any classes being singled out as excessively popular, because of huge imbalance or huge exploits. I just don't see that in my statistics.

There are some classes which are a bit more popular than others, but there are also classes which we are surprised by the popularity of, even though they are so different. The Herald of Xotli is one of those. We're just not seeing that any class is either very unplayable, or very popular, due to imbalance.

From statistics, then, it looks fairly good. What we are seeing though is that the fun factor of some classes isn't up to what we want them to be. The more complex a class is, the more likely that it's going to have issues. The one class that we saw that we needed to put more loving into quite quickly was the Necromancer. We've done that, it's been patched out, and it's been fairly well received.

EurogamerIn all the changes you're talking about now, is there much in there that you really planned to do before launch, but simply wasn't finished?
Gaute Godager

On the content side, that's almost true without exception. What we chose to do at launch was to play it safe - to pick areas and zones and regions and hold them back, then finish them post-launch. That was to be able to polish the areas that we did for launch to a higher degree. So on the content side, the big zones that we're giving out this Autumn like Ymir's Pass and others - those are definitely pre-launch stuff that was cut or put on hold.

The same goes for quite a huge amount of quests that we have patched out in the past weeks. I think we've patched in close to 50 or 60 quests, and we have 60 quests with voiceover coming - all that stuff is basically pre-launch, but we weren't satisfied with the quality and wanted to do another pass on them before they were released.

When it comes to the features, some of them were supposed to go in for launch, and some of them weren't. The PVP levelling system and the PVP fugitive system, all of those were things that we were planning to do for launch but we said, okay, we could rush them now, but we want to see how things pan out. Instead of giving people a playing field and then changing it, because we were unsure about it, we'd rather go without it, look at how things developed and do another iteration in-house.

Some of them are brand new, too. They're based more around feedback that we got from players in the days after launch. Most notably, the Powerpoints system and the Kingship system are the ones which spring to mind in the category.

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About the Author

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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