Age of Conan

Some Updates, Plus Thoughts on AOC Offline Leveling

The actual AOC Offline Character Progression Announcement

Hi folks,

I’m not dead, but I have been feeling down for the past week or so due to some personal things, so I opted to deal with those issues first (or rant about them on twitter or on my personal blog) instead of really updating Games and Geekery like I wanted to do.

That said, I’m feeling a bit better now, especially after using the music of a song and adding my own custom lyrics to it to make a performance piece for one of my classes; it was a good vent, and it’s gotten me interested in learning how to play an instrument so I can compose music for myself.

For those interested in learning about the progress of the campaign story I was writing up, it’s doing well enough, though I haven’t been able to take care of it recently as I have another week of summer classes to go through, along with requirements. I’ll try to send folks the campaign story by next week so you can see what it’s become at present.

As for Everquest 2, I have to take a short hiatus from the game as I went over my budget for last month and need to adjust for the changes, and I haven’t done the mental math in my head yet. I might go back to Everquest 2 sometime in mid or late May once I have a plan set up, and should have more content available for myself to write about here when that happens.

Lastly, I thought to address the news of Age of Conan’s Offline Character Progression option, which I found out about thanks to Pid and Syp. Personally, I feel that as long as it isn’t a required thing that people need to go through in order to see new content, I’m all for it. I have this suspicion though that the Offline Character Progression option is meant to alleviate a lack of new content for older subscribers looking to go through the game with a new character, which might be especially true if people are restarting as the new Khitan people in Rise of the Godslayer and there isn’t a ton of new stuff to do across the entirety of the game. That does not sit well for me, if such was the case, so I’m really hoping I’m wrong.

One last thing: I’m looking for something to do that’s relatively cheap but rewarding as a means of catharsis or stress release that isn’t all about playing video games and writing on blogs.  I was thinking of making music, but I can’t afford to purchase a guitar or synthesizer programs for my computer to make melodies and such with. Anyone have any suggestions or ideas for me? Let me know.

Sidetracked by Second Chances

Remember that post on Second Chances? Yeah, well, I’m still downloading AOC, and out of curiosity, I did a bit of research into what exists in the other MMO I played at launch and left within a month: Warhammer Online.

According to my research, they’ve improved the game considerably, adding new classes as well as new content, all while improving the game’s stability. Of course, it’s a PVP centric game, which really isn’t my thing, but since they have an endless trial it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try, I suppose.

So here’s the current situation. I can play EQ2, or stop playing for a little while, try out AOC (as a conqueror) and WAR (as a Black Orc and Choppa) trials when I feel like it, and then pick a sub for a month for one of the three to see what I can do with it. That sounds like a pretty weird plan, but it’s a plan nevertheless.

If you have any ideas for other MMOs I should try, let me know.

The Revised Battle Plan for Taking Over Tortage

Alright troops, you know the drill.

In order for this plan to work, we must get our fearless leader Pitrelli to go and play Age of Conan’s Endless Tortage-alicious Trial. Just visit the site linked here, vote for Age of Conan (or AOC) to win the poll, and then make a trial account of your own on either the EU or US side of the servers.

I’ll be storming the US front, while Pitrelli, once AOC wins the vote, will spearhead the EU invasion. Together, we can win the war against… SOMETHING… and take over Tortage on two fronts! Hop to it!

The Nature of Second Chances

There’s a lively discussion happening on Twitter regarding giving certain MMORPG’s, namely Age of Conan, a second chance. I’m not sure of everyone who’s in the discussion, so I’ll try to get the main points out from the two most vocal ones on opposite sides of the discussion.

OpenEdge believes that people who left during the opening months of Age of Conan should give it a second chance, as the game in its current incarnation has vastly improved, according to him. Pitrelli, on the other hand, feels that if a game has failed you once, then it shouldn’t be given a second chance. (Of course, please note that this is a generalization of the extremely long conversation they had on Twitter, so if any of you have a better way of summing things up, let me know. )

Now, I have a very weird history with MMORPG’s, as almost all of the MMO’s I’ve played, I’ve played them for some length of time WAAAAAAY after launch day, with the exception of a small handful of games. WoW, I played a year after release. LOTRO, I only started last year. Fallen Earth, I couldn’t get to run at all during trial so it doesn’t count. EQ2, only this year. The two I played on launch and eventually abandoned were Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online.

Let’s focus on Age of Conan at launch though. AOC in its original form had perhaps one of the BEST battle systems in an MMO. I enjoyed it thoroughly and was not bored when I was in a fight (I’ve been known to yawn during battles, so sue me).  It also sported one of the most polished newbie experiences out there in the form of Tortage.

Unfortunately, almost everything after Tortage felt like a bait-and-switch. Gone were the voice-overs for quests. Gone was the coherent storyline that came with Tortage. Gone was the sense of direction you had when you played. Worst of all… Stats had no meaning, so despite my changing outfits, they did not matter!

I leveled up a Guardian during the two weeks I played, and got it up to 40. It was surprising that I leveled up so fast, because by the time I hit 80, I wouldn’t have been two months old. Eventually I left because despite the great battles, there wasn’t much else to feed my need for adventure, and for a game subtitled “Hyborian Adventures,” that would make it a terrible misnomer.

Right now, OpenEdge is listing down or linking various changes since launch that have occurred to AOC, and it seems that something must have clicked for the people at Funcom, who seem to have been hard at work during the year that I’ve been ignoring AOC. Stats have been made relevant, guilds have levels, PVP has been improved, and I’ve heard you can still kick people off cliffs with horses.

While Everquest 2 has my time at present, I do feel that people in general deserve a second chance to redeem themselves. Launches are never as smooth as they happen to be, even for big companies, and I wish ill on very few entities, so I’m inclined to offer the game some of my time in exchange for a brand new experience. AOC might not be the game for me, but if I can get back into the game for cheap when the GodSlayer expansion comes out, perhaps I’ll see what’s changed by running a Guardian through the content again.

Of course, if some of those niggling problems still remain in the game, like it being unplayable because you had certain hardware (My friend experienced this), then it’s war I tell you.