Age of Conan is to be moved onto Funcom's Dreamworld single server technology, after the platform successfully launched with The Secret World.
"This process is now in motion and will continue in stages until probably early next year," wrote Funcom senior community manager Oliver Kunz in the July Development Update. "Retro-fitting a new system like this is not just "plug and play" when it comes to not just an existing game (that wasn't originally designed to support it), but an existing game with over four years worth of data. This means that to mitigate risk, we have chopped the process up into smaller steps so that we can ensure it is done as smoothly as possible, and that we aren't all hanging around waiting for a year before absolutely everything we want to do with it gets done.
"As announced by the community team last week, the first phase will start in early August with bringing all the servers together into their two regions by rule-set."
Kunz adds that the Dreamworld tech will not be able to unite the US and EU player groups, as the "technical considerations are just too risky".
"The core architecture of the game was built well before this was even an inkling of an idea in a coder's brain and, after extensive analysis of the possibilities, it is simply too risky to try and merge the US and EU dimensions together," he explained. "Too many elements of the code structure were built on those territories being unique and after over four years live, those roots simply go too deep for us to comfortably merge the two territories. Everything within those territories will still benefit from the technology, but we won't be able to go to the full cross territory implementation that you see in The Secret World."
Once Conan is converted to the single server tech it will offer the potential for "cross server" mini-games and the ability to switch dimension to play with friends.
Advanced stage functionality will allow for "really cool extensions to the systems" says Kunz.
"Here is where we could potentially give you, the players, even more freedom to define your experience, and get to choose who you play with," he said. "We're genuinely excited for the potential that this system offers and we are looking forward to exploring it."