The length of this post is indicative of what I consider to be due diligence towards Funcom.
This IS intended for Funcom developers. Will they read it? Probably not. But there is ALWAYS hope.
I am an international urban-designer by profession. If you want my help Funcom, I'll do it for free. Seriously.
I started off playing tabletop DnD in the early 1980's.
I played RPG style games exclusively on various platforms (1980's-1990's): Atari 2600, Intellivision, Colecovision, Commodore 64, NES, and Super Nintendo.
I moved on to Diablo and Diablo II and Diablo II LoD from 2001 - 2006.
I began playing DDO (Sub.) from 2007-2010.
Moving on to AoC (Sub.) in 2012 and playing it until 2015... revisiting it again in 2016.
I tried Neverwinter (Sub.) in 2016 for a few months.
I played WoW (Sub.) for several months (2016-2017) and recently quit.
I have never played any MMO as a 'free to play'... always subscribed (Sub.).
My interaction on forums is minimal, but yet I usually peruse them daily.
I have been immersed in RPG gaming for over 35 years.
I hope this builds some credibility for what I have to say with regards to contemporary online games.
ie. content; visual; audio; storyline; difficulty; diversity; character-dynamics; support; builds; balance; new content; etc.
Nothing comes even close to AoC in the RPG genre of what is out there today. NOTHING.
I am now stranded. Not playing anything. ZERO.
Nobody can blame me for not trying.
There are no options for me. It's all just sh*t.
I still have hope, however.
I am so frustrated that a game like AoC is available to a discerning gamer such as myself. And yet, it gets treated as a second-rate product by its developers. And has so since release. I admit my frustration is not just at Funcom, but the state of gaming these days in general. My frustration is, however, DIRECTED at Funcom because it has created AoC, a game with the BEST POTENTIAL of any RPG game out there today.
I know the nature of this post is nothing new... and I don't mean to open up old wounds afresh. I just want Funcom to know that gamers like me still care about this game and that there are no options out there. They simply DON'T EXIST. And this provides Funcom with big opportunities. I hope Funcom realises this and responds accordingly.
I WANT to play AoC. Bigtime. And I will gladly pay money to play. But with the minimal support for existing AND new content, what's the point?
A game that I just finished playing very recently released a new expansion and it drew in a TON of new business. The game itself lacks excitement and difficulty like AoC. I personally found it laughable. But hey, I needed to play it and see what the end-game content was like. It provides yet another reference point in the gaming world for me. That particular new expansion has created epic business for this particular very successful gaming company. EPIC BUSINESS.
How is it that Funcom has not clued into this?
I'm going to give Funcom the benefit of the doubt. Funcom have their reasons for not focusing on the strategies of competitors' financial gain. Funcom has been distracted. It seems they have been misallocating their resources. They have been investing into a new game altogether, before perfecting their existing products. Because let's face it... if Funcom knew that other gaming companies were making a ton of money with new expansions to their existing repertoire, Funcom would have done the same right? RIGHT?
Does Funcom have any idea of the opportunity they have right now? There is nothing out there that comes even close to the AoC experience.
I get it. Funcom makes their decisions based on what they think are 'good decisions'. I won't discredit them for that. If anything, I'm here to help Funcom and influence them to get things going in the right direction. Who am I to provide such input you say? - someone that has been exposed to the gaming world since most of these developers were in diapers. My personal inventory of 'gaming' is formidable.
Instead of releasing new games, Funcom should polish AoC first, and promote real expansions. Produce a flawless product, maintain it, and evolve it. Only THEN should you expand your horizons to new games. Funcom has LOST tons of credibility. I am not sure what they need to do to build it back, if it is even possible. As a single voice, I am happy to contribute what I can. And yes, I do have hope for Funcom.
At least I have that, in the gaming world... HOPE.
It's never too late Funcom. You are so close, and yet so far away. Support existing and new AoC content. Bring out new expansions. Invest back into AoC. Because you can and you SHOULD.
Here's to hoping...