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Author Topic: Age of Conan Impressions  (Read 37714 times)
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baelthazar
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« on: May 20, 2008, 06:22:44 PM »

It needs to be done, as this releases today (or maybe tomorrow, I don't remember). I'm not sure I will get it or can even run it (although I have a new laptop coming that probably can), but I would love to see what people think of it.

I played a few days of the Stress Test/PVP beta from fileplanet, but it was a bit laggy and my current hardware may have been bugging it out a bit.

So, once you all get into it, come back and tell us what it is like. I have been itching for that MMORPG experience, and I would hate to buy Pirates of the Burning Sea or go back to LOTR or WoW without knowing what Conan was like!

Bael
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 06:26:44 PM »

What's the deal with this title?  I've heard of it, but what do I need to know?
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baelthazar
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008, 08:04:14 PM »

Really!? It has been tough NOT to hear about it! Fileplanet has their own mini-site for it. The game is a "mature" MMORPG from Funcom, the makers of Anarchy Online. It supposedly has active combat, tons of blood, a very dark and "gritty" setting, all melee capable classes, and nipples (yes, they actually use this to advertise the game).

It was apparently the "next big thing" as a next-gen MMORPG and is supposed to really push factional PVP, like AO was supposed to do.

Bael
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008, 08:05:13 PM »

I would like some impressions too.  I'm still playing WoW, but I might play something different until the Lich expansion comes out.   Does this game go live today?  Is it out at my local gamestop today?
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008, 08:46:13 PM »

I swear there's a MMO Board dedicated to talking about games like these...along with a 16 or so page thread talking about the game already.  Tongue icon_twisted

That said - this game is absolutely fantastic. I love it.
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 09:21:49 PM »

Just picked up my collector's edition smile  Installing right now.
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rittchard
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 09:29:51 PM »

Didn't realize there was a thread for this so I posted this in my other thread...  I guess this makes it "official"  icon_biggrin

Actual Game Impressions (from about 20 hours in Early Access):

The worst thing I can say about the game and pre-launch experience is the extended down-times STUNK!  A large portion of prime playing time was negated by servers being down for various forms of maintenance, patching, whatnot, and each estimate was followed by an extra hour, etc etc.  That had the majority of us waiting to play chomping at the bit.  That said, the good news is/was that I (and apparently many others) found themselves completely addicted and anticipating our next game session. 

Technical Stuff

As many others have also noted, I didn't have a single crash while playing during this period.  And I was crashing big time during beta, pretty much every zone in/out.  Aside from an error window popping up every time I quit the game, I had no technical issues to speak of.  So from that standpoint, I was very impressed.

Graphics

This game is gorgeous.  I keep hearing people repeat that in guild chat when they come across a new area, and have repeated it myself on many occasions.  It takes the LOTRO look and takes it a bit further in terms of depth and detail.  And this is with the DX9 client only so there's more/better to come.  I love the attention to detail in each of the city/town areas I've explored, and each has seemed very unique.  The city graphics are just full of atmosphere, very nicely done.  And then the outdoor areas, gorgeous.  Best looking MMORPG to date, IMHO, possibly one of (if not) the best looking RPGs in general.  Character graphics are also some of the best I've seen, the bodies are all nice to look at

Gameplay

The core game plays very well at the outset.  The introduction portion (approx. levels 1-20) in Tortage is possibly the best beginner section in an MMORPG to date.  Taking a beat from many single game RPGs, the game sets you up and gets you invested in a single player story similar to something like Oblivion.  However, you are also given the option to branch out and group with friends, etc. and complete a variety of conventional side quests, also similar to a single player RPG (except for the grouping part of course).  This turns out to be a great way to get into the game, you can choose to experience it solo or in a group, and in fact you are even given the option at a certain level to just bypass the storyline and move to the mainland.  If it's the first time you're playing, and you are a fan of single player RPGs, though, I recommend you play through it at least once.  The finale is a little underwhelming and unsurprising, but the journey through the storyline is well done.  What's also nice is that each of the 4 main class branches (mage, thief, priest, warrior) experience slightly different branching storylines which all lead (presumably) to the same conclusion.

Once at the mainland, the game becomes very much like a conventional MMORPG (LOTRO or WoW), where you can choose to branch off and explore, or complete series of quests, etc.  Main focus is on lots of little quests.  The general feel is most reminiscent of LOTRO, but the pacing feels better to me.  Each of the 3 races' town areas is filled with quests and side stories to explore, providing a relatively pain-free way to advance your character.

The X Factor

Something I've commented on a couple times now in guild chat.  There's a weird factor influencing me while playing this game and I can't put my finger on it.  In essence the core gameplay is pretty much exactly the same as all the other MMORPGs I've played, mixing in a bit of this with a dash of that.  All the things that typically irritate me and I've criticized (fedex quests, running around all over the place, focus on levelling, limited improvements on levelling, same spells/skills on level, load screens, static NPCs) are in this game, yet none of them have really bothered me.  Maybe it's just new game euphoria, but somehow I'm just content to play the game, and I constantly feel like there's a ton of stuff I want to do and I just don't have the physical time to do it.  I want to complete the quests in the town I'm in, I want to explore the other towns and crafting areas, I want to learn some resource gathering skills and do craft quests, I want to visit all the major cities, I want to explore and look for instances, I want to kick more Vanir ass, etc etc etc.  And all the while as I play I seem to be levelling at a very nice pace and rarely staring at my xp bar.  Obviously I expect this is going to slow down at some point, but for the opening experience, I am very pleased to make significant progress with my character just by sheer nature of playing the game. 

I've seen multiple people express concerns about loot, and again it's one of those things that just hasn't concerned me in this game.  When I get a nice quest reward of course I'm happy and always looking to upgrade, but when I don't, I'm not thinking about it at all.  I just want to keep playing and it feels like everything will come along naturally.

In terms of things to look forward to longer term, there's the horse and mounted combat at level 40, plus crafting and city building, and late game hopefully city sieging and PvP.

- - -

So we'll see if/how my opinion changes as the days and weeks go by.  Thus far I'm having a blast, best time I've had in a new release in years.  What's nice is that others seem to be having the same experience, as indicated by the 10+ of us playing hooky yesterday morning, and that's always a great feeling.

Can't wait to get back to it!!!   
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DArtagnan
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 09:35:20 PM »

I'd like to add that I'm in complete agreement with rittchard.

I've personally experienced a pretty serious technical issue - detailed in the big thread here - but I'm confident it'll be fixed pretty soon.

Other than that, it's a pretty great game.

That said, I would like to add that I think they went a little overboard with how they instance everything, but that's a personal preference thing - and in many ways it's very understandable. You don't make seamless worlds with that kind of detail.
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BuckeyeShane
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 10:25:34 PM »

Is there an auction house implemented into the game?
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baelthazar
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 11:07:54 PM »

Sorry for starting a duplicate thread... you know, who would have thought that a big name PC game would not be covered... I don't know... the the PC gaming forum...  Roll Eyes

Great impressions guys! Keep them coming!

I heard talk that the devs wanted to make all classes solo-able and melee capable. Is this correct? Can anyone comment on the classes available?

Bael
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 11:42:13 PM »

Quote from: BuckeyeShane on May 20, 2008, 10:25:34 PM

Is there an auction house implemented into the game?

From main site

Quote
Using Tradeposts

Not everyone wants to stand in the street shouting to sell their items. Places to go and people to kill, right? To that end, Tradeposts are where players will do most of their buying and selling, similar to the auction houses in other games. Tradeposts are found in cities (both regular cities and player cities), and using them brings up an interface that combines your bank, mailbox, and a marketplace to buy and sell items. To sell something, you put it in your bank, set it to “for sale” with whatever price you want, and wait for the customers to come in. Importantly, the tradepost is not built around auctions. You list something for sale and someone buys it (or they don’t), without bidding or waiting for hours to get your item (or your money!).
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kronovan
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2008, 12:34:18 AM »

Quote from: DArtagnan on May 20, 2008, 09:35:20 PM

That said, I would like to add that I think they went a little overboard with how they instance everything, but that's a personal preference thing - and in many ways it's very understandable. You don't make seamless worlds with that kind of detail.

The AoC dev team inherited that from Funcom's experiences with Anarchy Online, which was the 1st MMORPG to have instanced missions for soloing and teams. The idea for instancing  in AO were more based around avoiding loot and boss camping than to have the game egnine support detail. I haven't tried AoC yet, but I'm personally glad to here that instancing is back.
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Rich
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 12:36:15 AM »

I'm going to disagree on the graphics part being the best looking.  They are very high polygon and nice but it has a very id/quake thing going for it where everything seems to be a shade of brown/grey.  The icons for your equipment are even drab, but I guess it is shooting for more realism while I prefer the over the top cartoon look and art direction of WoW which after 3 1/2 years I think still looks great.

I made a first day impressions post back on Saturday since I was in on the early access, my best impression several days later would be the fact that I've put in about 10 hours into the game now and I'm level 16.  To put this in perspective I buy a lot of games and never play any of them, hell I bought Half Life 2 the week it came out and I've never played it to this day.  I bought GTA4 6 days after it came out and played it less than 2 hours since, it just wasn't fun to me.  NWN 1 & 2, Oblivian, Company of Heroes, Diablo 2, Dungeon Siege 1 & 2, Baldurs Gate, IWD, all of these games have less than a few hours of game play in them but I'm having fun with the AoC SP content.  I have not played very much of the MMO part of the game so I can't compare it to the days I've spent in WoW but if other single player RPG's played as well as the destiny story line does in AoC I wouldn't have so many unplayed RPG's on my shelves and for this alone and the promise of at least several more levels of MMO play to come before I bore of it I think this game is worth a look.

I heard that each copy is supposed to come with 2 buddy codes, since I'm playing on an early access code and still waiting on my boxed copy to come in the mail I can't tell for sure.  I already promised one code to someone but if there is a second I'll give it someone here so they can try it out.
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Jeff
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2008, 01:43:24 AM »

I would be very interested to hear impressions on how the servers are performing on launch day, as well as on day two, and through the first weekend.

I'm still on the fence on this one, and am not looking for a $50 box of frustration. Most MMO launches are troublesome, so I might wait to hear how things are going before I take the plunge.

I'm still gunshy from the Hellgate launch.  retard
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2008, 02:00:58 AM »

Quote from: Jeff Jones on May 21, 2008, 01:43:24 AM

I would be very interested to hear impressions on how the servers are performing on launch day, as well as on day two, and through the first weekend.

I've yet to have a single problem as far as the servers go. No game crashes either (short of the program occasionally 'crashing' once I completely quit the game).
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2008, 02:10:09 AM »

Yup, the worst server problem I've seen is waiting in a 2-3 minute queue to get in during peak times.  Very solid so far.
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2008, 03:25:17 AM »

I bought the game today, came home, installed it, patched in about half an hour, and proceeded to play for 5 hours straight with no problems whatsoever. As far as I'm concerned, a very, very smooth launch day.
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2008, 04:16:05 AM »

Does the game have a buddy key, out of curiousity?
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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2008, 04:36:10 AM »

Quote from: Zarkon on May 21, 2008, 04:16:05 AM

Does the game have a buddy key, out of curiousity?

I think the collector's edition comes with 5, but my copy hasn't come from Amazon yet (still playing off the 10-day early access).
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« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2008, 04:38:10 AM »

Is this available in downloadable version so that we don't have to wait for the shipment of the dvd/cd?
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« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2008, 06:29:11 AM »

I might be interested in a buddy key when they allow them to be used.
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« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2008, 06:36:25 AM »

I have the CE as well, or rather, will friday when this game comes out in Denmark then. I'll be happy to distribute any buddy keys there might be in it to the GT crowd then :-)
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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2008, 08:43:49 AM »

I have extra buddy keys if you need them.  I picked up a CE myself.  Just shoot me a PM.   smile
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Jeff
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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2008, 12:16:16 PM »

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on May 21, 2008, 04:38:10 AM

Is this available in downloadable version so that we don't have to wait for the shipment of the dvd/cd?


Amazingly, no. I thought this was very odd myself, esp since the client was being distributed via a bittorrent method. Why doesn't funcom just sell some keys online?
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YellowKing
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2008, 12:25:30 PM »

I'm so glad they ditched the auction house and went with a straight buy/sell market like EQ2. I hated the auction house in WoW, and I hated it in LOTRO.

As for impressions - this game has a certain "fun" element that I can't quite pin down, though it's probably tied to the combat. Even though there are a lot of things about the game that are still a mystery to me - siege PvP, city building, crafting, etc, and some things I honestly don't like - the linear feel of the world and constricted feeling of the zones - I can't stop playing it. Even in beta, dealing with bugs, character wipes, starting characters over probably a dozen times running through the same content, I still played it almost every day.

I said that "X factor" may be tied to combat, and the reason I say that is because the combat is so much more interactive than most MMOs. They struck a really nice balance between the click-fest of something like Diablo and the essentially turn-based combat of traditional MMOs. I really like the fact that I can't approach a mob, hit auto-attack, and then sit back and watch TV until it dies. There seems to always be this underlying element of danger because of the large aggro ranges of most mobs, and their tendency to attack in groups. And with the shield system, you do get the feeling that you're actively trying to probe your enemy for weaknesses rather than blindly swinging over and over at some dumb animal.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the combat mechanics from this game start getting adopted by other titles, and indeed I hope that it happens.
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2008, 01:14:55 PM »

Quote from: Jeff Jones on May 21, 2008, 12:16:16 PM

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on May 21, 2008, 04:38:10 AM

Is this available in downloadable version so that we don't have to wait for the shipment of the dvd/cd?


Amazingly, no. I thought this was very odd myself, esp since the client was being distributed via a bittorrent method. Why doesn't funcom just sell some keys online?

My version was downloadable.  I'm not sure if that was because it was a press account or no, but I touch base with Funcom and see about that whole 'client' thing.
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2008, 03:39:29 PM »

Loving it. Absolutely loving it.
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2008, 03:53:44 PM »

I'm trying to decide if I want to play all night long or only play a couple of hours and then go see a midnight showing of Indy....
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« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2008, 05:18:23 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on May 21, 2008, 01:14:55 PM


My version was downloadable.  I'm not sure if that was because it was a press account or no, but I touch base with Funcom and see about that whole 'client' thing.

What sucks is that I actually already have the client, fully loaded, and fully patched. It's ready to play, but I have no code.

Went to Wal-mart today for some other things, and they didn't have AoC. They weren't sold out, they just never got them in. The guy in that department didn't know why.

Amazon - delayed 2 days till the 22nd before first shipment arrives.

Gamestop - dunno, do they still carry PC games at all? Even so, their ridiculous policy of opening and gutting game boxes would be a dealbreaker for me if they're still doing that. I generally hate them anyways.

CC - no shipment

BB - haven't checked
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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2008, 05:18:31 PM »

I really think this game is going to explode soon. It's launch was pretty damn smooth. I am only lvl 14, but I have seen no glaring errors. I have not hit any crashes, game is running smooth. I think the interface and other social tools can be improved, but they are working fine right now. The combat is fun. My problem is the lack of information on the various facets of the game ie cities, keeps, instances, etc. BUt that will come in due time.
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rittchard
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2008, 06:05:21 PM »

Some additional comments:

- I was part of my first "real" group last night, it was awesome fun.  Four of us decided to do a little adventuring, and boy did we get our asses kicked early on. So rusty! But being the Wanderers we are, we learned from our mistakes, made adjustments, and soon enough had conquered pretty much everything thrown at us. At one point we had a ton of mobs on us and I had pretty much given up, so I just started mashing every possible button I had in my skillbar, and somehow we made it through lol. Like I said, rusty! As much as soloing has been great for questing, grouping was absolutely excellent fun.

It's interesting how you can get lulled into complacency by your own awesomeness doing all this soloing, then venture into some group content and BAM, you get smacked down in your place (hilariously this one chick much higher level was soloing, helped us out of a bind, then got killed in about 3 hits as she continued on).  But still, there's nothing like an old school/new school Wanderers group, with some added strategy and a bit of luck to get you back into the thick of it.

- Level/quest progression. Continues to move at a very very nice pace. I thought it would change drastically at 20 but up to 30 it hasn't. Probably at 40? In any case, this bodes very well for those who like making lots of alts. You can get a pretty strong feel for a decent class build in a matter of a week or 2, which is very nice, and unlike pretty much any of the other MMORPGs out there. Pacing is almost on the order of Diablo 2, and someone was likening it to a 3D Titan Quest.

- Little things continue to impress me. Like an un-talked about side-kicking feature. What's up with that? One of the coolest features for grouping and I don't recall it ever being advertised. But it's in there. Just right click on your group member and there's an option to bump him up to your level-1. Sweet! The mini-map and main map are possibly the best I've seen in any RPG. Sure there are some quirks, but for the most part you are constantly able to see approx. where your quest goals are and keep things in order. You can zoom in and out of BOTH of the maps for more detail, and even though sometimes it's off, I love the zoomed detail of roads to figure out where I am.

- Loot, which some were concerned about, continues to get better. I'm still not sold on the way they did stats with such tiny increments, but in terms of interesting drops, I've seen a lot more just yesterday. A lot of green drops with varying stats on them.

The best thing I can say is, I just constantly wish I could be playing more, and I haven't had that feeling in a very long time.
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« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2008, 06:35:14 PM »

Quote
Level/quest progression. Continues to move at a very very nice pace. I thought it would change drastically at 20 but up to 30 it hasn't. Probably at 40?

I read somewhere (maybe even in one of these GT threads) that leveling pace stays pretty consistent all the way through 60, and doesn't really slow down much until then. The devs have said it should take about 250 hours to make 80, but considering we already have 40+ people in our guild after 4 days, it will probably take much less time than that for the hardcore gamers.

Just from my personal experience, I think the game is on a much faster progression curve than most MMOs. Not saying that's a bad thing, as I'm looking forward to the end game content and in far too many MMOs I end up growing bored before I reach that point.
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« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2008, 06:59:31 PM »

Guys:  How is voice communication being handled?  Needing Teamspeak or Vent or is it ingame like LOTRO (God bless LOTRO for doing that)?  Rick
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« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2008, 07:05:17 PM »

Quote from: rickinmich on May 21, 2008, 06:59:31 PM

Guys:  How is voice communication being handled?  Needing Teamspeak or Vent or is it ingame like LOTRO (God bless LOTRO for doing that)?  Rick
there is no ingame chat
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« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2008, 08:02:45 PM »

Any impressions on the ranger class?  I posted in the "all questions" thread, but this seem like another good place to ask.
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« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2008, 08:28:03 PM »

Quote from: Hiccup on May 21, 2008, 08:02:45 PM

Any impressions on the ranger class?  I posted in the "all questions" thread, but this seem like another good place to ask.

The only class with tracking.  Hated by other assassins and stealthers in general.  They can stealth as well and when you hit someone with a bow from stealth you mez them briefly.  I think they are also the only class with traps.  Well I only really saw one trap, a root trap.  Up to level 30, I dominated 1v1 PvP against any class when I can control the starting conditions of the fight i.e. setup trap while in stealth and surprise the victim.  At level 30 I could beat level 35 toons of most classes.  I have no experience with group play but they didn't seem to have much group related skills.  If you like to see huge critical hits, this might be the class for you.
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« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2008, 10:26:28 PM »

ANy consensus on server choices for GT/OO?
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« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2008, 12:10:45 AM »

Quote from: QP on May 21, 2008, 10:26:28 PM

ANy consensus on server choices for GT/OO?

http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php/topic,26640.0.html

Ale
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« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2008, 02:45:39 AM »

Quote from: newcastle on May 21, 2008, 05:18:31 PM

I really think this game is going to explode soon. It's launch was pretty damn smooth. I am only lvl 14, but I have seen no glaring errors. I have not hit any crashes, game is running smooth.

Picked up the game tonight ... created my account, logged in, created my character, logged into my server, and .....

CRASH. Server goes down.  icon_lol

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Harkonis
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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2008, 04:03:20 AM »

www.harkonis.com/fatality1.avi
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