Home > Age of Conan > Getting in touch with my inner barbarian

Getting in touch with my inner barbarian

March 5, 2013

In the past few weeks I have been thinking about about complementing my time in The Secret World with another MMO on the side, to add a bit more variation – as an altoholic variation is my bread and butter. I have looked at a couple of different MMOs, even instealled and tried some – only to uninstall them again quite soon. That is, until I decided to try out another Funcom game again – Age of Conan.

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Last time I played the game was late spring/early summer 2012 – right before The Secret World launched.  I enjoyed it back then, but ended up focusing on the TSW instead – plus that Age of Conan at that time felt quite empty to me, as a far-below-level-80 player. It seemed that most activity happened at the max level.

I was pleasantly surprised when I recently returned to the game to see that it was definitely more populated now – this probably has to do with that the game now is available through Steam. Last year when I played the game I barely saw anyone while adventuring and teamed up maybe once in two months. In the past 2-3 days I have teamed up a number of times and I see people all over the place.

While I am not a huge fan of fantasy settings, I think Age of Conan has a number of things going for it:

  • Great setting and beautiful environments, with great music in the game
  • Fun melee combat, where positioning matters. In most games I find melee combat to be so-and-so, but two MMOs where I really enjoy it are Age of Conan and The Secret World.
  • No fellows that are pointy-eared, slender and arrogant that can be thousands of years old
  • Fairly sensible outfits, nothing of those incredibly over-sized armor pieces that in particular some Asian MMOs seem to be found of
  • Mission NPCs that at least has a bit more motivation for missions than get-me-boar-meat-to-feed-a-village-for-a-week-I-am-a-lazy-villager. NPCs may be bleeding, they have been poisoned, they are simply scared – or they want to cheat you. Or you will try to cheat them, sometimes. Or they are simply insane and tell you anything.
  • No fellows that are short, bearded and talk with a Scottish accent
  • Some enjoyable class options, e.g. a melee mage that swings big two-handed swords or axes, spews fire and can turn into a deamon – what is not to love about that?
  • Just plain fun

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I reactivated some of my old characters to more or less continue where I left off. My lineup consists of a number of characters in the 20s and 30s ranges when I started now again. Leveling is fairly quick it seems and my highest character has gone from 39 to 43 without too much effort. At level 40 there are a few options opening up – crafting becomes available and one can also start to use regular mounts.

Not everything is explained clearly in the tutorials and help text in the game. Searching for information on certain aspects of the game through Google does not always turn up useful results, since the game has been revamped in a few areas over the years. So some old information may no longer be correct.  This probably happens with other MMOs also after a couple of years also.

I have been somewhat disillusioned when it comes to fantasy MMOs, perhaps there has been a bit too much of the same on many of them. For me, Age of Conan feels different enough, with higher immersion factor than many other fantasy MMOs.  Try it out!

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Categories: Age of Conan
  1. March 8, 2013 at 00:55 | #1

    Good post man. I’m a fan of AoC as the (IMO) perfect example of a game capturing a world’s “feel.” Few games based on a license really feel like the world they’re based on. It’s beautiful and savage. I don’t play very often, but that’s more because of a lack of friends who play and the fact that I hop between games incessantly. TSW does a pretty good job of capturing the feel of its world as well, but AoC is the game that made me notice Funcom. Every other mmo that comes out makes me appreciate them for their willingness to take risks and stay committed to their vision (or at least, what I interpret to be their vision, ymmv). If you stick with it for awhile, please write some more on your adventures in AoC.

    • March 9, 2013 at 08:27 | #2

      I agree with you, that is one thing that I really appreciate with Funcom as well – they take risks and they have some vision or idea that they try to pursue, which is many times not a safe and tested bet. Sometimes it does not work out so good, at first, but they do try and the do refine what they do.

      I have not ready any books about Hyboria, so I do not know how it is described there, except from the quotes one can see on the loading screens. But it certainly does make a good job in many aspects to give the feeling of a savage land.

  2. March 9, 2013 at 20:22 | #3

    “But it certainly does make a good job in many aspects to give the feeling of a savage land.”

    That really says it all. It’s very “you’re in this world” as opposed to “you’re playing this game.” At least to me. Few games have that feeling.

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