Monday, July 13, 2009

Age of Conan - Our directional change

And we have a blast.

This weekend was our first true test as the family trio in Age of Conan. Discussed previously, the wife and son joined me in Conan due to a myriad of deals taking place.

The son was the first to enter, as he originally got hooked by Aion. Enough to want to try another MMO. I ended finding an online deal for an AoC key for 9.99. The wife, having played Age of Conan before, was greeted with a free return trial and a special to sub for only 11.99, giving her an official 44 days to play.

The son started his trial as a Demonologist, raining fire down on all the mobs. He was having a blast.
We grouped up, and everything changed.
Due to his aggro gaining ways, every mob he ended up killing quickly and efficiently...until we entered Epic.

Epic allows small groups more of challenge, as other wise, you are guaranteed someone standing around due to the standard PvE being pretty simple, but fun for one or two players. Epic allows a more powerful group a better challenge, yet still getting quests done. 3-4 member teams can take on mobs at the cusp of their level (example level 17's can take on up to level 15 very well or even one level 17). These Epic areas become in effect a mini raid.

When we first went into White Sands, a quests area outside Tortage, we had a pattern down. The tank (wife) would take aggro, then I would go in to heal, then the Demo could start raining down fire.
But, he started to get antsy, and would pre-maturely start attacking and pulling the mobs due to so much damage. He started to die quickly and efficiently.

He then notified us he was not having any fun. We went back to the drawing board.

Group dynamics did change immensely for the team.

The wife still had HER demonologist from the last time we subbed together in AoC. I still was heals as no one (for some odd reason) wanted to be the one who was yelled at if everyone died when they did not get heals off.
My son took on the Dark all time favorite class.

It paid off.

As long as my son was the first one in, it did not matter that he was not causing all the damage to kill the mobs...he was in the fray the whole time. Also, the wife was more..."patient" shall we say than a 10 year old when it came to fire and death.

We got quite a few quests down, and eventually our two characters (myself and the son) were level 19 in no time. We were ready to take on the final night quest to travel from Tortage to the mainland of our home city.

The wife then decided it was time to see what the fuss was about the night quests. When we originally played, we wanted to be together and doing night quests meant solo play. She did not want that, so we did all quests on Tortage and took the "smuggler" which gets you off the island at level 18 and to the mainland.
She tackled those quests last night as the son and myself continued to level to catch up to her. She brought this character back from our previous play and was level 21!

She loved it. She played through to the final battle herself (roughly about 2 hours of gameplay), and is ready to take that challenge now.

Overall we had some great success as a team. The son did a great job doing melee after having an intital fear of the "multi mobs" and using combos to attack. The wife is back into MMO gaming, and we have a really cool setup in the living room with two PC's and a laptop mini lan setup. It rocks!

More as this progresses...Cheers!


Anonymous said...

Just curious, how old is your son? Do you mind him seeing the bloody content and nudity?

Not that I care, mind :) I watched the first Conan film when I was 5 years old :)

John said...

Following on from Gordon's comment, do the content filters work?

The content may be a bit bloody for a 10 year old, but I guess he is playing with your wife and yourself, not in a dark room by himself, so there is someone there to explain the difference between fantasy and reality.


Sharon said...

The nudity and gore isn't really that bad anymore. From what I recall, it's been toned down a lot since launch.

I have one child (a teen daughter) who would have no trouble handling AoC, but one of my boys would be acting out the sword battles in the living room, so it'll be a while before I let him play an MMO. ;)

Openedge1 said...

All good questions.

There are filters in the registration to disable blood/gore and nudity for logins. Thus, I put the key under my name, but gave him a login, and control the filter.

It can also be turned off in game.

First, let me state...our son is a very intelligent 10. He excels in special above grade classes.
He has a very well spoken vocabulary, and asks the right questions at the right time.

To be honest, TV is pretty full of violence, sex and what we are raising our son in that he understands sex and violence.

So, we play with the filter off.

He has nothing to say about the violence or the sexual content, as he does not read the quests too much (he is a click 1 through the dialogs kinda guy) and is too busy jumping on bldgs and finding hiding spots than looking at women
But, we have the control we need over what he does and what he sees.
If we do see an issue we can discuss them, whether they are of torture, rape, death or killing.

We are having too much fun questing and fighting to really talk about it though. Mainly we have been using the game as a tool. It allows us to teach him money management, time management and how to control skills, questing, reading and more.

To us, parenting is in our hands, and if we let others control his views of sex, violence, blood and gore...then we have already lost that battle.

We think this works, and based on the intelligence of his questions about everything from God, to the news, and seeing how he acts toward others (today we went to the store and someone drove by with some items under the cart that fell out, and he immediately walked over and picked them up to put them back, with no one asking...), I think we are doing well.

Thanks for asking!