The Sound of Silence

The internets are pretty darned quiet today… at least the areas I listen to. This is, I think, almost entirely due to the release of the Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures on Friday — all those folks who normally blog about WoW stuff are creeping through the jungle, watching the branches above for Stygian assassins. Seriously: I mean it. WoWInsider posts maybe 50 to 70 news items a day, and yesterday a bunch of new information on the upcoming and much-looked-for Expansion was leaked out.. and today, there have been seven posts.
It’s set up to be a big hit.
* Huge potential fan base. A major fantasy property. A million subscribers in the beta, alone. That would be, as a point of reference, three times more than the best numbers CoH has ever put out for a quarter, and larger just in the BETA than all but the truly huge players in the US and Euro market are doing with their production models right now. Their BETA had twice as many player accounts as LotRO — a successful game by any measure, representing possibly the most definitive fantasy setting in the world — does right now.
* Beautiful, evocative, machine-straining gameplay. I’ve known I’ve needed to upgrade my desktop machine for a while now — it’s … (checks Dells site) … wow… it’s over FIVE YEARS old, and although I have tweaked and upgraded and pushed and prodded and squeezed additional performance out of that box until it damn near vibrates with the strain, the very very best I can get out the old horse today is less than the cheapest desktop models Dell is selling today as factory refurbs. Age of Conan knows it — their bare minimum requirements to run the game are beyond anything I have.
* A combat system that’s actually… you know… different.
* A crafting system that you don’t have to screw with for 40 levels, if at all.
* Acknowledgment of the growing-older playerbase with an “M” rating that it works HARD to deserve. Bloody, violent, grown-up fun. That alone will put it in the shopping cart of another 500 thousand folks.
I’ll be honest — it’s not the only reason I want to replace my home computer, but it’s one of em.