From Cimmeria with love
About two weeks ago I wrote that I had started to play Age of Conan as a side MMO, to complement my gaming in The Secret World. Well, it turned out that I actually spent the majority of my game time in Age of Conan instead. The Secret World got its fair share, but definitely less than my time in a setting a bit closer to nature.
I have 6 different characters in Age of Conan; at this point I have pretty much decided to put more focus on three of them. Jotunheimer is a Cimmerian barbarian who has been quite happy with swinging both axes and swords. Starting with big, two-handed weapons he has switched to do more dual-wielding sword action. At the time of the previous Age of Conan post he was just about to pick up his destiny question for level 30. In the old ages when I played the game this mission was fairly easy. I noticed last year and learned now also that the difficulty had increased a bit – the Blood Defiler Guardian runs back and heals himself a couple of times to full health.
Still, compared to the other characters that I have ran through this mission, my barbarian handled it better than most of the others. Part of that is of course lessons learned from previous fights with the guardian. I started to pick up some more missions in Khopshef Province, but decided it was time to see some new views – and headed off to the Wild Lands of Zelata. I quite enjoyed my time there. Compared to Khopshef Province I thought the story going through the missions were a bit more solid and coherent, most of it fit together quite well I think.
Each of my three characters that I have been playing have been going through different areas in the 30-40 level range; Jotunheimer (barbarian) in Wild Lands, Senmei (demonologist) in Gateway to Khitai and Zelmira (Herald of Xotli) in Khopshef Province. I have enjoyed all these areas – Wild Lands is probably my favourite from a story perspective, followed by Gateway to Khitai. Despite the quest hub design to give out missions I think the game does a pretty good job in providing story material with their missions. It is not at the same level as in The Secret World, but certainly above average in the MMO themepark space. It is a bit of a shame with the quest hub design that it sort of encourages people to skip through the mission texts.
As this is written, Jotunheimer has just reached level 40 and has now been eligible to pick up a horse. He is a poor Cimmerian though and the prices at the Stable Masters are out of his league still. However, I noticed that both riding training and horses can be picked up for a few veteran reward tokens. It seems I have well over 200 of these tokens and with Basic riding training priced at 1 token and a basic horse at 3 tokens, it felt like a quite easy choice. So now Jotunheimer has a Mahogany Bay horse for travelling.
Zelmira, my Herald of Xotli, has been mowing her way through the Field of the Dead, which is a level 40-50 zone. At level 47 she has done most of the missions there with a handful remaining. Lots of Vanir to beat up, but also werewolves as well as some more natural wild life has been on the menu.
At one point here it felt that there may be a bit of a gap levelwise, the remaining missions were coloured red. It was at this point that I discovered that there also were another 40+ zone, the Tarantia Noble District. I had seen that there had been mentions of repeatable “dungeons” there (the villas), but I did not actually realize it seemed to be a proper leveling zone as well. Aside from the villas it seems the missions there were for the low 40s range primarily. Zelmira has done 2-3 villa visits, but will then be heading back to Field of the Dead. I really like playing Herald of Xotli, it is a fun mix of melee and magic. Also, since she swings a fairly big weapon it is also easier to hit multiple enemies at once, plus switching to demon form and charging the enemies it certainly feels like going into overdrive. Really fun!
My demonologist is a bit more traditional mage type, mostly nuking things with electricity and fire – lots of fire. She has spent all of her time since leaving Tortage in the Gateway to Khitai area. After defeating the Sand Demon there it felt like it was time to move on and the other parts of the world. At the time she had arrived in Khemi, I had also figured out that Tarantia Noble District was a proper zone to play in.
She also needed a horse to move around, so she got herself a white stallion and jumped in to help the poor soldiers with the Nemedians and other problems in the area. Some of the missions quickly moved into places with enemies a few levels higher, but that worked still fine, most of the time. The times it did not work so well it was still possible to run off near some of the level 80 guards, which swiftly killed the bad guys then. That leads to the thought, if they can defeat the enemies so easily – why don’t they sort out the problems themselves? Probably not politically correct, so it is preferable to bring in outsiders to do the dirty work.
I have quite enjoyed playing all three characters. As I mentioned before, one reason the game is more fun now than last year it that there are more people around. There is almost always some other players nearby. In fact, most of the game sessions I have had in the game since the return a few weeks ago have also involved teaming with others. In many cases this was triggered by a boss to be defeated; either to get some help or simply to avoid competing for the same boss, forcing someone of us to wait for a respawn. In some cases these teams also led to continued teaming doing some other missions as well.