Cameron Sorden writes:
''I managed to get my hands on an Age of Conan beta key this morning, so off I went to excitedly download the client. I'm a big fan of Robert E. Howard's original pulps, and I've been looking forward to the grim and gritty world of Hyboria for a while now. Most of what I've read about it so far has been very positive (with a few notable exceptions due to some of the design choices). Our own write-up of the overall beta experience from Michael Zenke was very encouraging with regard to the combat, gameplay, and feel of the world. Overall, it seems like there's a lot to be excited about. There's just one glaring issue that everyone seems to be having: the graphics are choking their machines.
This isn't a new phenomenon. It seems like every new game on the market in the last few years wants to beat our poor, 1-3 year old computers into lifeless heaps of rubbish with their outlandish and ridiculous system requirements. Even World of Warcraft, a game celebrated for its accessibility and ability to be run on older machines, wasn't that way at launch (though it was substantially better than its major competitors at the time, EverQuest 2 and City of Heroes). However, this strategy of supercharged visuals has made things hard for a number of games. Vanguard in particular suffered a lot of criticism for having ridiculous system requirements when it launched, and that's just one example. Given that people would like to actually be able to play these games, why on earth do game designers insist on shoving next-gen graphics down our throats when the vast majority of us have last-gen machines (or worse)?''