Asheron's Call 2

I’m almost afraid to ask, but anyone playing this one? I just picked it up for $20 at my local EBs and so far I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. I’m playing on Frostfell, a server that usually has a player population around 500, so it doesn’t feel too underpopulated. I obviously haven’t played long enough to explore the skill trees for race and class so I can’t comment on how well these are balanced, but I really like how well a player can customize their toon by spending xp pts on various skills once they’re purchased.

And as a graphics whore, I have to admit that the eyecandy in AC2 is years ahead of my last MMORPG addiction, DAoC (SI included). The game makes even Morrowind pale in comparison.

I played it and enjoyed it, but after a few months I lost interest. It would probably take an expansion with lots of new stuff for me to take another look.

I have it but haven’t installed it yet because I just started in with your old flame, DAoC! I have a couple of friends on Palomedes in Albion who’ve been bugging me to join their guild…

I used to just be a player… but now I’m a Turbine designer, so I can’t really comment in detail.

I should say, though, that not only have we gotten more positive comments from our July episode than for any previous episode that I can recall, but I expect some of the episodes we have planned for the next few months to outdo July. I think we are turning the corner both on balancing the skill system and amassing enough quality content for all levels, though we still have a lot of work to do.

Me and my wife both picked up copies and played our 45 days free. After the 45 days, we cancelled both accounts.

The game was fun, so I don’t feel cheated by the $30 price we paid for each copy. 45 days of fun is more than I usually get out of a game at that price point.

The reasons we cancelled are many and varied. After the 45 days, we were already durn high level and to the point that our quest/hunting selection was limited. At that point, the flaw of the treadmill system really showed itself to the point that we weren’t having as much fun as our first few weeks. At the risk of being lynched, the game is just way too easy.

The tradeskill system started out strong, but soon got to the point of uselessness. 30th level items requiring drops from 50th level mobs just didn’t make any sense to me. There is a major rewrite of the tradeskill system due in October…but that leads me to my next point:

There is NO stability in the game. A skill you’re using today may be completely different, or even gone, after the next monthly patch. In some cases, your entire character concept is thrown out the window to the point that you end up with a different character than you started with. In the 45 days I played, I experienced 2 major changes to my character. One of those changes required me to repurchase a whole new set of skills because the change we so massive.

The devs are really great and are good with the public relations. At least when the major changes are made, they let you refund your skill points and buy new skills without much hassle. It’s just the fact that the game is changing so much. It felt like I was playing in a Beta 2 where classes and balance were still being worked on.

After reading the proposed changes posts for the next 2 patches and noticing that I was due for yet another skill wipe, I just got too frustrated. My wife’s character had avoided much in the way of changes, but the July patch was going to wipe her skills as well and reimagine her class completely.

I’ll probably activate my account again sometime this Winter after the tradeskill patch is implemented. Until then, I just prefer not paying to play in a beta.

I’ve got an unused copy sitting on my desk right now. I played the 15 day free trial and had every intention of continuing, but SWG came out and I got unexpectedly hooked on the crafting.

And the one big problem with MMORPGs is connectivity. The AC2 servers have been down all night and I was really looking forward to playing some more. :?

Actually, MS is doing a security patch across the organization. Check for more details.

I played it for awhile (I’ve played most of the MMORPGs). Very pretty world, and I really enjoyed the vault design and the fact that you could get a lot of experience through questing.

Unfortunately, the almost complete lack of character design control was a big turnoff. For the most part, everyone in any of the three races will have identical stats at the same level (mana, health, stamina). In addition, the melee classes feel identical between the races, as do the missile classes. There are minor differences, but not enough to want you to try a different class out.

The mage classes have a bit more variety, but the brain-dead, almost backwards improvement of my pets as I levelled (I was a tummie summoner-thingy that had the ra-baal pets) made the affair more frustrating. You get only three different pets along one line, and the second pet you get is considerably worse than your first pet (because the pet did not cast spells as advertised).

Add to that the broken (last I checked the boards anyway) chat system, the horrifically low server population, and the painful PAINFUL levelling past level 31 and I just gave up.

Well, my human is now 17th level after a good 10 hours or so of game time. I haven’t hit the dreaded 30s level treadmill yet, but so far I’m thoroughly enjoying the game. The variety and # of quests it offers has kept me so busy that I’ve yet to fall into the typical MMORPG experience treadmill, though much of the xp garnered so far has been through the vault dungeons, which feel like something of a cheat – a cheesy developer’s way of throwing roughly 4-5 ‘free’ levels at newbie characters. The character development via race and class skill trees is certainly different from that of other MMORPGs, at last ones I’ve played, and allows the player to essentially create any combo of skills he/she desires. Trestolt, my 17th level Defender, has a few skills and experience pts. pumped into the missile tree for long range pulling and damage capabilities.

Graphically, this is easily the most beautiful game I’ve ever played. Move aside Morrowind, take a backseat Sacrifice, you’ve both been surpassed. From the shaders to the armor and weapon models, AC2 is just drop-dead gorgeous. 'Nuff said.

My only real concern at this point is the recently announced US server consolidations: 7 servers will soon be only 2, and with over 1,000 players per I hear things could get quite laggy in crowded areas. Yet the Heroes of Dereth and other new content could make such an annoyance worth tolerating.

…a major MMORPG release with only 2 servers in North America? Man, it must be really hurting.

…a major MMORPG release with only 2 servers in North America? Man, it must be really hurting.[/quote]

Gotta be. They must have fewer than 15,000 subscribers.

…a major MMORPG release with only 2 servers in North America? Man, it must be really hurting.[/quote]

Gotta be. They must have fewer than 15,000 subscribers.[/quote]

Actually, the final total will be four worlds in North America and another three in Europe. And there are a lot more than 15k subs (can’t say how many exactly, as neither MS or we <Turbine> release those numbers). We aren’t any threat to EQ at the moment, but we’re doing OK right now.

Since the game lists the number of players on a given server at any time, I direct everyone to this thread: Yeah yeah, I know about the intellect of the VN boards and all that, but assuming US numbers are taken during ‘prime time’, and that the ratio of ‘for each player online at the moment, there are two who are not’, that leads me to believe that there are approximately:
5500 US subscribers and
2200 EU subscribers.

Granted this game may have a larger ‘inactive’ ratio as folks pay waiting for the ‘next great chapter’ like “September:Working Chat-eration”, but if you really have moer than 15k, it isn’t by much.

Doesn’t that thread indicate that the subscriber base is 22,000 (reduced from 24,000 earlier in the thread?) or perhaps those numbers are the server capacity (uh, which ain’t a good sign either).

Turbine hasn’t had much luck finding an audience for its games, even with Microsoft as a publisher. Yet it’s got a couple of huge upcoming titles (with different publishers) - D&D Online, Middle Earth Online - which hopefully will work out well.

It doesn’t help that after months, Asheron’s Call 2 is still in a beta state. Lag is a major issue, constantly, regardless of connection speed, and most days of the week, chat is either partially or totally nonfunctional. I’ve never understood how they managed to release a MMORPG with the damned CHAT nonfunctional, but, hey, I don’t work for Turbine, so what do I know.

Oh, and I enjoy your crafting. Because it sucks.

I think that number represented the max capacity of players based on the number of servers, and that the percentage is how ‘full’ the game is (this percentage will of course jump up after the merge).

I give props to Turbine for not relying on a license in development of their game (unless you count AC1), but their attempt to appeal to the ‘every man’, as opposed to the hardcore gamer is resulting in a situation not unlike The Sims Online, except TSO will fare a bit better since it is like real life and stuff.

I also have a lot of respect for Jessica in trying to shine this turd, so to speak, but there is only so much one can do. I find it especially telling when the developer chat scheduled for yesterday was postponed (again) because Ken Karl ‘had an appointment’. Unless you are finding out you are shutting down the game, or unless you had a family member die, it is very poor form to let down your dozens of players by blowing off a schedule chat, especially if it is because you are taking Mittens in for a teeth-cleaning.

Sorry for the rambling, but I hope Joyce would be proud.

Thread back from the dead!

Since some time has gone by and passions have had a chance to cool, what’s the current ituation with this game? It seems to be well-reviewed, but hasn’t caught on in a really big way. How is it doing? And what does the future hold?

That’s an understatement. Last I checked, just after their big server merge, the game was a ghost town. Especially in newbie areas (like the entire starting continent)–those are virtually deserted.

I just got back into the game for about a month, grinding my Defender/paladin from 38 to 44th level. So I was mainly on the 3rd continent, which was fairly well populated (at least on Frostfell).