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The Road Beyond Shadowlands

by Thomas on Nov. 10, 2003 @ 2:04 a.m. PST

Funcom has announced the appointment of Marius Enge as Game Director for Anarchy Online. Marius had been in the position of Assistant Game Director since Gaute Godager assumed duties related to a new, as of yet, undisclosed Funcom project. In his new role, Marius will be responsible for maintaining the creative vision and direction for AO. He explains the current status of the game, priorities for the near future and hints as to what the future may hold for AO Shadowlands.

Present

Funcom takes great pride in Shadowlands and are very pleased that so many have joined Shadowlands since the launch in September. We have been looking at internal goals and the massive amounts of player feedback and have been hard at work to make the tweaks and adjustments needed to further improve the world. As I write this, the 15.2 upgrade is going out on the live servers and among the many improvements you will find:

Traveling has been improved by adding several new entry and exit points for gardens and sanctuaries in the lower-level playfields in Shadowlands.

Due to many requests a reload button for any weapon(s) you may wield has been added.

A major emphasis was put on fixing issues with existing quests and improving functionality of the overall game play to provide for a more enjoyable game experience for everyone.

Over 200 additional improvements were made in this substantial upgrade.

The Near Future

It is important to note that Shadowlands is different than Rubi-Ka by design. Shadowlands is more linear and is meant to pose different and unique challenges from the original Anarchy Online. All the great feedback received from players and testers is being closely examined and my next priority is to consider this information and how it may blend with our design. Among the top concerns I am exploring at this time are spawn rates, item drop rates, faction and game balance issues. The goal is to increase the pace of game play while reducing "camping" and "time sinks" without compromising the intended and unique challenges of Shadowlands.

The Vision

What is in store for the world of Anarchy Online in the future? It is our goal to bring the game, and ultimately the players, to new levels of entertainment. It is my vision to stay loyal to the Science Fiction theme and the original concept of AO as a social and fast paced action game filled with creative adventure, beautiful graphics and an ambience like no other game. We continue to develop new tools and enhance the social atmosphere and while this process moves forward, we have already initiated work on the next expansion pack. It's too early to go into details on this, however it will focus on the social aspects and I am confident that the next expansion will please most players whether they are new to AO or they have been loyal since the beginning.

I wish to thank every AO player for the feedback, ideas, suggestions, support and patience. I am especially grateful for the feedback provided by testers and players that has enabled us to quickly see areas in need of attention. The community of AO has been absolutely tremendous and it is this unparalleled enthusiasm and dedication that drives us to excel. I will continue to take all of this feedback into account and work towards merging these wishes with our design whenever it is feasible.

I hope to see you all on Rubi-Ka and Shadowlands in the near future.

Sincerely,
Marius Enge
Anarchy Online Game Director

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