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A letter of experience and hope to the devs...

Hey there AoC (is this intended - ya know Age of Conan^^) team,

you´re our only hope, Kenobi.

I have come a long way since i owned my C64. I am from Germany, so i apologize for any grammar issues here.

My first online game was Diablo, i immediately made friends with a weird british guy for the first time, after purchasing VHS original versions of movies (and then they brought out DVD and BlueRay later damn!).

Online gameing was about making friends or enemies from that point.

Having only a land line at the time it was pretty expensive to keep playing games online, but thankfully e-mail was a thing back then - not nowadays when instant messanging and flat rate access is a real thing.

Next i moved onto Ultima Online. For me the mother of all online gaming. Sure there was Everquest etc. but for me UO always has been the defining factor of a good MMO.
I still had that metered land line when starting UO - forcing me to stop playing back then was hard, especially with the grind needed in the vanilla UO experience to raise skills to 100 points.

My first day in UO was a quite intensive one. I wanted to craft things, knowing nothing about DD or DPS (which weren´t even a thing at the time) i started out in the remote miners city of Minco.
Being a big fan of the UO franchise i knew that was the perfect spot to start.
After a short while mining and crafting (not hampered by artificial labor systems) i decided to visit the captial.
Due to starting out new i had no means of teleporting there. So i could walk all the way, which was great - i wanted to see the world and the world was very close to the single player titles so i went on.
Not far from Minoc i got PK´ed the first time. Having all my little possesions on me, in a game where your body can be looted of every single coin and gear i was pretty busted.
I ran back to my body and the PK was still there.

This was a GREAT EXPERIENCE. One of my best in my entire career.
I lost everything.
The PK played the role of a dedicated murder.
I asked him to at least give me the pickaxes back (needed for ore gathering)
He said he had no recollection of killing me because he kills so many people each day.
BUT - the most important thing. He did not grieve. He did not kill me again. He just played a role.
With no chance to defeat him and only angry about my stupidity to carry all my stuff with me, i went on to the capital.

Once i reached the capital and the capital and the city theme kicked in, all the negatives were gone.
Sure i had no idea how to recover from the loss of gold and tools, but i soon found out that the murder with the highest bounty on the server has killed me.
That was kind of an honor.

I was able to get on my feet again for getting a few hand crafted pickaxes and shovels from a decent guy who became a friend for my UO carrer and long after.

Later on i became a more and more accomplished black smith, who was, due to the skill system able to trick PKs and still defeat dragons in 1 on 1 combat - not efficient, but able to.

After 2 years i was able to get my own shop. Not in a prime location, but with some decent advertising (shouting in the capitals and dropping portal runes to my shop) i was able to make a living and new contacts.

There were little magic weapons in the world and you could loose them at all time. But a weapon from a grandmaster artisan was a competetive one.

I later started other chars to fully devote to a combat role and engage in Guild vs Guild warfare, that was fun, because you actually could wear a guild down by attrition (full loot of dead guild members who had to buy new stuff or craft it).

(!) You actually could beat a stronger guild by employing guerilla tactics.

I had to quit UO due to extensive costs for the land line and a while later flat rates for DSL were a thing when i discovered that famous FPS named Counter Strike.

(!) After being active in it the whole clan moved to WoW, a game with great lore and background.

At the time WoW was difficult, even to level and it was great on the PvP server i chose. Constant conflicts with every expansion.
Choke points defended by the few very capable players that actually did love a challenge not only attacking undergeared players but high raiders as well (the rogue "Peine" who later died due to disease i believe was one of those, it was a great loss to the game, he wasn´t a camping jerk, he was a decent guy to cross your swords with).

Then the casualisation of WoW began. Vanilla WoW even had quests that a whole 5 man team would struggle at, but it all went away for the casuals - even i was a casual, though i did do several hours of raid time a week back then.
WoW was still a decent game.
(!) most important was the people you play with, have fun in TS, while just failing hard, raiding or trying stupid things.
If you could you´d meet those ppl for a barbeque (i still do with my old WoW guild)

But WoW wasn´t really challenging anymore.

With the infamous "Warlords of Draenor" expansion i found a new home.

An asian MMO named Archeage.

To this point i avoided asian MMO´s totally, for the rampant p2w, p2p in mostly f2p models.

AA had all that was great in UO. Housing (non-instanced!), Naval exploration and even warfare, a cool but still boring trading system.
But it also had it´s downside - plain to see p2w, p2progess mechanics. Boring grind (UO was fun to get that 0.1 skill increase [of 100]) and mostly no available lore.
(!)To this day the publisher for NA/EU, Trion, hasn´t managed to provide comprehensive lore and patch releases without major ruckus.

I still play AA, because i have no alternative until now. I did play UO for almost 3/4 year while just keeping the AA accounts (and houses) active, because UO is the better game, but lacks the players.
AA is pretty frustrating in terms of crafting. Where even a grandmaster (max [skill] level smith, can´t guarantee or at least have a higher chance) cannot guarantee the outcome of a crafting session.
You couldn´t guarantee it in UO either, but the chances where way better.

AA is only designed around how to make ppl spend extra money, even IF you subscribe to the game.

This may get better in the game version 3.5, still i am done with it.

AoC, from what i have read and heard, is a hot candidate to be the next UO - and way more.

I don´t really like class based systems, but this is a really minimal downside of AoC. Grinding skills in UO was annoying, but also great versatility in the non-existent "Classes"

(Non-instanced outside of a node) Housing will probably not available for the average player for a long time and thats OK!!!!
It should be something to aspire to!

Afaik i haven´t seen a "labor points" system like AA has in AoC, that´s a good thing.

From what i have read, the artwork, the reviews online (kudos to DeathProxy on that behalf, you should really visit his channel), AoC could be the next UO i have been waiting for 22 years or something.

I am currently wavering between the 150/500 founders/lifetime pack for kickstarting.... but what holds me back is the "late" access to alpha testing.
There are only a few days remaining.... dunno what i will do, but since i also support and believe in games like Star Citizen, because i can see the vision, i will back one way or another, but 2018 seems so far now...

I beg you - please don´t fuck this up. Stick with the subscription model and release add-ons, i (we) will pay for that if you deliver a competetive, lore rich world, where grievers can´t run rampant and RNG does not fuck up your daily progress as it does in Archeage.

You seem to be on the right track and i will trust you as i did with BDO - in the latter i was disappointed.
But i still have hope "this will be it".

Regards,
Aeducan - Warden of the Blight ;) (Blight as in Micro-Transactions and P2W)
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