Age of Conan has gotten an intense amount of exposure lately on virtually every site that covers games. You might have noticed. The influence of AoC is ever-present, burned into the retinas of most of the Massively team as they slash their way through Hyboria. The title seems to have breathed new life into massively multiplayer spheres, with people everywhere either talking about it, reading about it, or playing it. While the AoC launch went smoothly, this is not to say that the game itself is perfect.
Psychochild takes Age of Conan to task in his latest Weekend Design Challenge, for what he perceives to be a potential flaw in the game's design: much of the low-level experience, despite being a massively multiplayer title, is essentially a single-player game. He contends that the point of online games is to interact with people in one way or another, but the difference between instances in AoC is literally night and day. Night quests give personal instances that are wholly isolated from other players. This creates a split where daytime quests are multiplayer; night quests are single player. While a benefit is that players can opt for the night quests to take on their own spawns unchallenged by competitors, doesn't this defeat the purpose of AoC even being an MMO title?