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TamaraLane reviews Age of Conan (PC)

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TamaraLane said...

I’ve been playing Age of Conan, (AoC) for a few weeks now. Many of you may have seen my posts about it. Now that I've spent a little time playing it I think I can write a fair review of the game.

I'm playing the free trial which allows you to level up to 20. I am currently at 14. I chose to play a Stygian Demonoligist. This choice was driven mostly by my desire to play a caster class, and not a healer. In the free to play version, Stygian Demonologist is really your only choice given those conditions. I also could have played a Priest of Mitra. But my choice of culture would be limited to Aqualonian. The other available culture is Cimmerian. Kitan is not available for free to play, (f2p). There are also a number of melee classes available. You get 2 character slots, so I may make one at some point, but I don't enjoy melee characters nearly as much as casters. Melee characters available are Barbarian and Guardian.

Once you choose a Culture & class, then you can customize your characters appearance. It's limited by the culture you choose. As a Stygian I was limited to dark skin and limited hair an and eye color choices. I choose the lightest skin which is still pretty dark. You can also choose from a number of tattoos and scars both for body and face. I went with none for body & common makeup for the face, which I now regret as it seems a bit over the top. If I rerolled again I would go with none. After you choose a face and body, clicking on the advanced button brings up way more customization than you probably want.

Upon starting the game, The slave ship I am on is sank and I found myself half drown on the beach in skimpy see thru underwear, with nothing but a broken bottle to defend myself. A kindly man suggests that I find the slaver & kill him to win my freedom, because slaves are not looked upon well in these parts.

I soon meet a maiden chained along the path that would lead me to the slaver, and decide to free her by killing the man with the the keys to her chains. And so begins the string of quests.

Combat requires that you strike 1 of 3 directions, depending on where your enemy is shielded. There are icons to represent enemies shielding. I quickly discover my fire spells are more effective than my broken bottle.

You quickly begin to find clothes so soon you are no longer in your underwear, but now have some hideous pirate clothes to wear around. The better armor comes as quest rewards, so I don't see a reason to buy armor. You can equip 2 sets of armor at one time – one as your functional armor, and one for vanity. I was really happy to learn that!

The graphics are actually pretty good. I had to set them to high quality manually. At first they seemed horrible, but then I realized they were set to the lowest quality. My character's skin does look rather plastic though.

It seems no one really would respond to me in chat which made the game seem rather unfriendly. Once I reached the city, With a little help from @AthenRahl, a member here on gamerDNA, I began getting invites to join the guild Saviour. I hadn't played with anyone at all so I just rejected them. Eventually I wound up playing with one of their members and joined. So far the guild has been helpful. I'm also starting to get the hang of just randomly grouping with people, rather than being formal about it.

AoC is persistent, so an annoying feature is that enemies re-spawn. Once you clear an area you can't just stand around because they will be back. This makes conversation difficult. Conversely it also is nice if you are just killing stuff to fulfill a quest counter. No rezoning to get new spawns. No adventuring to a more dangerous area, you can just spawn camp.

It seems the best way to get a group, rather than asking people if they want to do a certain quest in general chat, is to just invite them to group.

I will definitely play this game until level 20. We'll see how long it takes to get boring after that. I have a thing against paying a subscription to play. I probably won't become a subscriber. It would be nice if they just charged you for the first access to a new area, & left the leveling and the rest of it out of it. That way when you got bored of an area you could pay the admission price for the next area, and play there until you got bored.

The game constantly thinks my resource data may be corrupt, but the checking procedure takes forever so I typically ignore it, or run it after I play. Typically when I restart it still thinks it's corrupt.

While the game has its problems, I think it's definitely worth playing. I can't really compare it to other MMOs, because I have not play any others, except Guild Wars.

Game Traits applied to Age of Conan (PC) by TamaraLane

  • The Setting:
    Dark Fantasy
  • Playing As:
     
  • Playing Against:
    non-player characters (npc)
  • How it's Played:
    Quests and Leveling
  • General Tone:
     
Age of Conan

Age of Conan (PC)

Genre/Style: Role-playing/Persistent World Online RPG
Release Date: 20/MAY/08
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