Friday, January 30, 2009

Age Of Conan - How do I play

Due to the way the game is setup, some variations needed to be taken into account when I started playing the game again.

Some of the biggest complaints for AoC from various players of course is endgame (i.e: EVERY MMO's complaint at launch or it's first year), then of course finding quests, gear, and more.

When I went back, I decided to take a new approach, which I am finding satisfying, and a ton of fun.

The thing to remember is how the game is split into regions, just like most MMO's.
We have Aquilonia (a roman like theme permeates the region), Stygia (think Egypt!) and Cimmeria (now we have Vikings).
Thanks to Robert E Howards leanings to make his stories based off of our historical world, Funcom really grasped this, and each zone visualizes these worlds. Even the music matches the zones, with arias of women and soaring anthems in Cimmeria, lute like sounds in Aquilonia and reedy wind instruments with drum sounds for Stygia.
Here is a sample of music for the arrival island (giving the vibe of a jungle, which Tortage is...)

What I then attempted to do was set each character in a specific zone, and quest from there.

First off I had my highest level character, a level 51 Dark Templar (melee) who was questing in the Cimmerian sector of the world. He originally traveled from Aquilonia.
Next I have a level 32 Necromancer. She has been questing in Stygia, and will be ready to move to another zone soon.
I have one more and I cannot decide if I want another Melee or a Healer class (I believe the healer will win). Both of them are Cimmerian.
But, my focus has been the two classes who have already left Tortage.

My next move over the following week is to level one of the Cimmerians.

So basically, I have 3 different regions to play in, 3 varying classes (Melee, Pet, Heal), with 3 different goals.

I have teamed up quite a bit so far with the Aquilonian, but I want to tackle some of the group dungeons in Stygia this following week. I KNOW the Healer will get groups as well. The most solo friendly though has been the Dark Templar due to his melee skills, it makes the game more fun to play alone (due to combo action) and his tap life skills ( I call him the vampiric class) helps him survive longer than most.

Basically I am trying to be goal based. But, I am also trying to avoid "overplaying" any class.

The rich and rewarding scenery along with the beautiful music, and the constantly changing landscapes has helped me learn to love playing this game. Any MMO really...since my falling out last year.

I have not meddled with crafting or guild stuff (not much anyways yet), and I am glad of the crafting not being a need. The gear issue is also one that has made me go "I am not leveling to get new armor as big as a house to wear...". Gear dependence is moot here, and I am liking that.

Anyways, I hope to start grabbing new screenies for the various zones I am in, so expect some more "screenshot" heaven soon.



Scott said...

How do combos work these days? If I remember when I first started in beta the combo UI would come up and I could press the sequence as fast as I wanted, and it would queue each press to the game's combat rounds for me. Then it changed to making me wait for it to light up which is why I called it DDR Combat. I'd heard they changed it again?

How's the general community? I couldn't bear the silence of WAR its first month; no idea if it's better now or not.

Still wondering how they'll handle the overall UI (all your abilities, crafting, gear, etc.) for the 360. But especially communication. Do we force people to use a USB/Wireless keyboard? Or buy the Messenger Kit? (Which is actually a cool little device.) You'd think console users are used to voice but I think FFXI decided not to use voice at all because it can't be logged for customer support. Chat can.

Openedge1 said...

The combo system has had two changes...
1. The icon turns green to note the skill as being active.
2. Most combos have been fixed regarding button so many words, the DDR effect is less noticeable as most combos now are just 1 or 2 button presses. Makes it more interesting than a standard MMO, yet not too different that it becomes a nuisance (and of course spell casters work like standard MMO's)

As to community, avoid the PvP servers and life is good. Lots of chat now, especially on Set, the busiest server period. Groups like crazy, and thanks to it being PvE, no annoying answers to questions (except the standard asshats that exists in all games...yes, even LOTRO)

Good question on the chat.
I will assume the chat pad, and then like LOTRO, chat in groups only.
Thanks to the 360's muting system, you can be selective and mute specific players...awesome stuff.
In so many words, I can be in a group, and turn off XXLegomyassXX when he starts to get all idiotic.


Scott said...

I really hope they do a total revamp of the combos for the 360. I mean, some games do those context-sensitive action sequences where you're watching then have to press a button when it says. I've been playing the 360 almost exclusively while I wait for my LCD to get repaired (I've gotten so picky, I just can't be bothered re-arranging my MMO UI's back to normal aspect ratio) and I don't press all that many buttons. It's not like the old Mortal Kombat days pressing crazy button+dpad combos, and AoC won't go over well if they do that.

How many icons does your current character need for his actions? Can it be "action-ized" for a console ya think so you don't have to worry about "clicking" a specific ability?

Openedge1 said...

Mine is "actionized".

I use a 360 controller, and except to type "Hello" to everyone in the guild, all other features are accessible from the controller.

It is why I think AoC WILL work on the 360.
I mapped all the directionals to the face buttons, mapped skills to a secondary bar which you use CTRL to access, and I mapped CTRL to the left button on the shoulder of the controller...
Instant access to a minimum of 14 actions just for doing that alone.
And like most MMO's, AoC upgrades certain skills as you go along, so they instantly upgrade on my Action bars as need to remap unless I get a new skill I like better.
I may re-post my 360 controller guide sometime, if your interested in trying it out later when they do the "Free returns"...coming soon..