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Knightsword


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Conan:...rian_Adventures

Age of Conan went live yesterday for many of those that had preordered, for the rest of world the game goes live on Tuesday, the 20th. Now why am I posting this, you might ask, it is because I had preordered and I got into the early release, though the game was available to purchase on Friday. The servers went live at about 3:30pm, a quick patch and then the gates were open.

The Age of Conan is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game set in the world of Hyboria, the world of Conan that is. Trough fighting monsters, interaction with Non Player Characters, You the player forge a path of adventure and one of destiny.

Character creation, pick your race from 3 verities of human, pick a gender, pick your class from a total of 12, based on the four archetypes of Warrior, Rogue, Priest, and Wizard. Be warned each race only has access to 6 or so and not all of the archetypes. Then it's on to customizing your appearance. There is the basic mode were you have a pyramid slider for body shape and a height slider and a drop down list for faces, then there is the advanced mode which is full of sliders, and I don't mean white castle burgers, for different sections of the body and face.

After creating your character you enter the world, as a ship wrecked slave on an island, home to a pirate city. The island is broken up into instanced areas for multiple players or ones meant for single players. After making it through the jungle full of bandits and the vile Pict's you make it to the city gates, where you learn that before you enter you must be free of the slavers cuffs still attached to your wrists. Help a near by NPC and he'll free you from your bindings, save for the one that which marks your body. Once in the city the game will open up. Vendors, quest givers and the like are all abound. Yet there is more, there is a single player story mode that you can go into and out as you wish, when you find the right NPC. When talking to NPC's many times you will get options on what to reply, be you good and noble, or evil and cut throat.

Unlike the standard point a click/auto attack combat of other MMORPG's, combat is more involved you'll need to keep hitting the keys to fight with basic attacks and as you level you'll learn combo moves that give you even more power. Each class has a verity of weapon and armor types available and different combos work with different weapon types. Also with the right attack combos you can do devastating attacks that can leave your foe in pieces. Movement and camera work is the same as most PC games, by mouse or by key and a game pad can be set up to work with it.

Leveling on the other hand is standard fair, as you level you gain skills and points to place in them, such healing rate, running speed, climbing, hiding, etc. Also as you gain experience between levels you gain more skill points, so look at your status screen often. At level 10 you begin to learn feats which are extra abilities and feats come in tree form, 3 of them. For the higher levels, players have to look forward to player generated cities and mounts to ride forth across the lands.

The game is beautiful even at low settings, and when they get it work will make use of direct x10 for vista users. Though be sure to have at least the recommended specs for the game to make it really worth wild. I do have some issues with frame rate, but since I'm used a downloaded client for the review, its part to blame, and also make sure your drivers are all up to date. Also for XP users the downloaded client was installing direct x10 dll's so check the Age of Conan forums on how to deal with them. There is lots of lighting, shadows, and water reflections and these can be controlled as wells

Sound is also well done, save for the intro, it has issues with a lot of sound cards and drivers, again this is from the downloaded client. For the actual game it's great, music is right, sound effects are great, and all the NPC's have voice work.

Now on to the grit, there are the graphics issues with the low frame rate, which seems to hit both sides of the ATI and Nivida war, though some ATI cards really badly. The sound to intro not working as is should for many. The installing of dx10 dll's in a XP system can cause issues with dx9. Now it may be caused by the fact that it's a downloaded client I'm using or out right bugs, though it is a new MMORPG, built with a lot of new technology, i.e. dx10. So give it a month or so to shine.

The good things are it is pretty, the combat isn't the same old MMORPG cookie cutter auto attack, single and multiplayer options, great character creation options, plenty of different classes, and more. The use of instanced areas helps with server strain and they do manage to keep loading times down. If dealing with PC gaming isn't your thing there will be an X-Box 360 version this fall.

In the end, Funcom did well, but only time will tell if it will stand up to World of Warcraft and those MMORPG's on the horizon, from Warhammer, to the mysterious Bioware MMORPG and the host of Asian MMORPG's. The time I spent playing the game was enjoyable and as this being an ever changing MMORPG there's never enough time see everything or typing space to describe everything. Be warned it does make full use of the mature rating, from the combat, social interacting, to topless females. As with most MMORPG's they are hard to give a grade, since they are ever changing and dependent on the player's computer hardware, that being said I give Age of Conan a 8.5
Dive
Great review. I am picking this up on Tuesday and already had a chance to try it on Bryn's pre-release copy. She and Kyre are playing on the Thog server and that's where I'll end up as well. I tried out and think I will go with a Cimmerian Ranger. The game doesn't stray far from the proven template of most MMO's and this is a good thing. There's also a Dark Templar class. at-emote2.gif
Crushinator
I'm still on the fence on this, why can't they have a free trial without having to pay $50 for the damn game first? cry2.gif

The graphics look pretty damn amazing for an MMO though, and the real-time action combat sounds nice. And gamepad support, woo!
AC9breaker
Hmm, think PC and 360 servers would be link, all the people talking about it certainly have me interested in it.
Knightsword
Oh one thing I learned while playing today, they have a "sidekick" mode for playing with lower level characters. I'm at level 20 on the Wiccana serve,as a Cimmerian Barbarian.

Screenshots















AC9breaker
Damn that youtube video you posted really didn't do anything for the game, but those screen shots make it look awesome/
Knightsword
The real mind blower is that its on low settings with XP and dx9
tanshin
Seems worth looking into at the very least, especially if it opens the opportunity to game with Dive again! It's been too loooong. This totally seems like Knightsword's bag, too.
AC9breaker
QUOTE(Knightsword @ May 19 2008, 06:31 PM) *
The real mind blower is that its on low settings with XP and dx9


Yeah if a few Tribe peeps play this I'll definitely give it a go. I'm still a little jaded from FFXI and RPG's in general aren't my thing. But the combat system sounds interesting and I loved watching the Conan cartoons /movies as a kid.
Knightsword
Rerolled on Thog before work this morning, so lets make that the AT PVE server
Crushinator
QUOTE(AC9breaker @ May 19 2008, 10:25 PM) *
Yeah if a few Tribe peeps play this I'll definitely give it a go. I'm still a little jaded from FFXI and RPG's in general aren't my thing. But the combat system sounds interesting and I loved watching the Conan cartoons /movies as a kid.





Haha, i had forgotten about the Conan cartoon. I can't remember if it was awesome or crap, but I know I watched it every morning. beigelaugh.gif
Knightsword
QUOTE(Crushinator @ May 18 2008, 11:55 PM) *
I'm still on the fence on this, why can't they have a free trial without having to pay $50 for the damn game first? cry2.gif

The graphics look pretty damn amazing for an MMO though, and the real-time action combat sounds nice. And gamepad support, woo!


Pisst... there is, the game comes with a 7 day guest pass, hit some on up with the retail box
Knightsword
Hate to double post but here a great guid for optimizing your pc for AoC

be mindful, that you have to be a registered user to view it

http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=13390
Scan_Man
I'm on the fence with this one. I think I am burned out on MMOs right now. I canceled my WoW account until expansion comes out. I really want Aion, and Warhammer to come out. But yeah.


I'm going to look at some videos to see if it can entice me. With the exception of Lord of the Rings Online and levels 10-50 and levels 62-70 on WoW, most MMO fall flat when it comes to content progression. WoW losses some points because of PVP and Arena items and the impending expansion destroys what you worked for.

But I am going to read up and see what its all about.
Oddies da Nerfed
Still debating this myself. I already run 3 MMO accounts as is, spending monies and time on another is gonna be rough.
Crushinator
WTF why are you playing 3? WoW... Eve... and what the hell else?
Oddies da Nerfed
I have 2x EvE accounts, though I do also still play Hellgate: London
AC9breaker
Somewhat relevant but definitely NSFW

Age of Bonan
Dive
Thought I should post some screens. My time on this game has been limited at best, but I am enjoying it. I would recommend a decent powerhouse of a PC to run this game adequately, but even then the game is still very buggy. I'll post some more screens and impressions later, just enjoy these for now.






















Crushinator
Oh wow, it actually looks good on your computer, Dive. beigelaugh.gif What setup do you have on your computer?
Oddies da Nerfed
My turn! This be mah rangah.

(it shrunk a few, rest still in full wide screen glory)









Scan_Man
I'm going to try and get a free trial and see whats up. I downloaded the free trial for Dungeons and Dragons Online and boy another good MMO overlooked because of WoW.
Oddies da Nerfed
Well, ranger is 30. Gaining more experience in caster play styles. Ventured further in the world. Sofar I can say this game gets thumbs up from me. Although the game was released in basically 'beta' form funcom is working their asses off on getting shit patched etc. Sadly I cannot share any guest passes yet. Anyway, I enjoy it, and I will poast more soon with more of the nitty gritty.
Scan_Man
Does the game promote exploration? Or you still tied to level specific zones, one after the next? Cause I really think MMO's need to move away from this. Playing Dungeons and Dragons Online for the past week, and I got to say an emphasis on exploration and environment interaction is quite refreshing. Not to mention promoting ingenuity and creativity when taking down mobs, in some cases, instead of the standard hack and slash while gearing up.

For instance, in Dungeons and Dragons Online I was able to take down an elite mob, guarding a treasure chest, alone because I used my head. Taking him head on destroyed me. So I scanned the environment, like one would in a Zelda game when trying to figure out how to progress through a dungeon, and spotted a series of ledges above that I could reach from another ledge. The plan was to get to this ledge and snipe the mob with my bow from above. Jumping to the ledge was quite far, and my first attempt to reach it failed because I could not jump far enough. I then remembered I had a potion that would add a modifier to my jump skill, allowing me to jump higher and further. I used the potion and was able to access the ledge. My plan worked, and I obtained phat lewts after downing the elite. You don't get exp from killing mobs in D&DO, but fights like this are rewarding in its own way.

But rant aside. I am interested in Conan. I just want to see the bugs fixed and what not. I like the class selection it has to offer too.
Oddies da Nerfed
QUOTE(Scan_Man @ Jun 13 2008, 05:18 PM) *
Does the game promote exploration? Or you still tied to level specific zones, one after the next? Cause I really think MMO's need to move away from this. Playing Dungeons and Dragons Online for the past week, and I got to say an emphasis on exploration and environment interaction is quite refreshing. Not to mention promoting ingenuity and creativity when taking down mobs, in some cases, instead of the standard hack and slash while gearing up.

For instance, in Dungeons and Dragons Online I was able to take down an elite mob, guarding a treasure chest, alone because I used my head. Taking him head on destroyed me. So I scanned the environment, like one would in a Zelda game when trying to figure out how to progress through a dungeon, and spotted a series of ledges above that I could reach from another ledge. The plan was to get to this ledge and snipe the mob with my bow from above. Jumping to the ledge was quite far, and my first attempt to reach it failed because I could not jump far enough. I then remembered I had a potion that would add a modifier to my jump skill, allowing me to jump higher and further. I used the potion and was able to access the ledge. My plan worked, and I obtained phat lewts after downing the elite. You don't get exp from killing mobs in D&DO, but fights like this are rewarding in its own way.

But rant aside. I am interested in Conan. I just want to see the bugs fixed and what not. I like the class selection it has to offer too.






The game runs a small mix of how it does zones. Public instances are level ranged, private (only you enter) scale to your level, and open non instance zones have neutral level range mobs. However most/all hostile mobs in zone are 'ambush' style and scale to your level. The game starts with its single newby area Tortage and at lvl 20 when you leave expands to the 3 capitals. Each of these have 2 primary outdoor zones one public instance and one open zone, plus a few public dungeons and group dungeons (these are done ala wow). The game further expands number of zones upwards off each additional zone. Unknown current total in game, Ive got less than half the world map explored sofar at level 30.

AoC was not designed around small encounter using placement of yourself to avoid damage. AoC is a stand up bar brawl pretty well every fight. Now this is not to say you just run in and mash buttons, you will die doing that. Proper use and order of combos, while having the enemies positioned right to hit as many as you can while ensuring your combo does not hit their 3 shielded side (only 25% dmg done if you even hit them). All the opposite is true as well, adjusting your shield to avoid hard hitting combos, using los on range/casters, etc all have to be considered when you engage. I will post a kind of large assassin vid that will demonstrate the knife fight in a phone booth style of play, while showing again smart use of potions, combos and positioning will allow you to win.

Trades. primary trades can be learned at 50, so no info on them yet. Apparently only able to learn 2. At level 20 you can take up harvesting skills, all 8 of them. Nodes, for 7 off the 8 (skinning just kill shit) have a % health bar from 0-100% and are static spawns. Per harvest you claim the node so no stealing and take off 10%. Every 60 seconds the nodes regens 1-5%. For some anti bot fun, there is a chance your harvesting will be interrupted by someone. Said someone can be a mini boss your level +1 or 1-2 jealous prospectors your level that attack you. These drop green items a lot and even some rarer harvested materials. Leveling up your trades is very different. To learn rank 1, you must collect 20 of said trade item. Mining copper, jewel craft is silver, etc. You must harvest them yourself, cannot buy them. You then hand them in and get rank 2, which is 1 'rare' of tier 1. Said rare is from the basic copper, silver nodes etc and just has a chance of being looted each time you harvest. Again you must harvest, then go hand in. Rank 3 should be a repeat of rank 1 just with new stuff like iron, gold, etc. Your bags have a separate section for both quest items and trade items, so you do not lose your few general bag slots while harvesting or questing.



will add more on combat here....

http://files.filefront.com/IDKICDT/;10603761;/fileinfo.html
this is the assassin vid, rather big but shows some aspects of hiding, sneak attacks, taking on multi mobs as a very squishy melee, and a few how not to pull small. Those symbols around the targets (3 of em) that move around were the 'shield' I mentioned. No shield is full dmg high crit change, while triple shield is low hit change only 25% dmg. You have those as well, just not visible by default.


AoC also allows for custom UI similar to wow.
http://media.curse.com/adjust_images/resiz...500/129/686.jpg
Oddies da Nerfed
Few more screenies of my now 37 assassin.
Combat stance:





Custom UI, shitty screenie of a nice spin attack combo. I'll just have to fraps it.

Oddies da Nerfed
Alright, one last post by me for this topic.


DO NOT BUY THIS GARBAGE GAME!
I was not aware equal employment extended to Funcom's dev team but it does. They managed to pick a few massively inept people to run this game in to the ground in record time. More bugs than fixes each patch. Totally ignoring player feedback even from the test realm. Refusing to talk to players about shit that changes. Plus, best of all, failing to put half their 'fixes' in the patch notes leaving it to players to find.

Sad the problems did not surface until after they got 15 bucks for a pay cycle out of me, however that will be last for this trash game.
Scan_Man
Thank you for the update. Yeah I been following it somewhat by reading on message boards, and its been looking grim. I'm glad now I did not try it out as originally planned. Also when I heard that you had to grind 10 or more levels to get the next part of the main epic quest line that turned me off too. There a lot of other MMO where the developers actually care about their product and the people that play it.
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