- With the coming of Patch 1.05 (evidently they're leaving room for growth) and the indirect encouragement from Openedge1 of Dichotomy of a Really Long Blog Name (I tease! Don't gank me!), I decided to resubscribe to Age of Conan. I had purchased the game through Steam a few months ago, but didn't give it much of a chance before going back to WoW. This time, though, since I'm not resubbing to LotRO until the volume 1 epic quests get a solo option, AoC was the natural choice.
- I rolled up a ranger named Ashlynh on the Set server (since that's where OE1 hangs his hat) and started in to Tortage. The ranger gets to dual wield as well as snipe with a bow or crossbow. I had a lot of fun with the sword and dagger until I realized the feat trees were focused on archery. Luckily, there are some awesome bow and crossbow combos that devastate enemies. I also didn't realize that rangers are a rogue subtype for a reason. Stealthing around enemies (many of which can still spot you) is amusing. I've never really played a rogue in an MMO, so this has been a nice change.
- Tortage itself is beautiful as a rundown port village with a combination of old stone buildings surrounded by makeshift wooden structures. The jungle's greenery is lush and foreboding. I am generally not a fan of overly realistic graphics, but AoC has managed to evoke the Hyborian world exactly how I would imagine it. Even better than the environment is the choice of clothing and armor for the characters. Instead of gleaming suits of plate mail, armor starts as course-spun tunics and breeches. I was excited to find a earthly Pictish tunic that is adorned with bones and skulls. Then as I finished the final Tortage quests, I was granted a new set of armor that looks like metal plates bolted to leather. This is not a high fantasy world. It is dark and doomed and I would not have it any other way.
- The quests in Tortage were as good as everyone who has come before me has said. The main storyline provides enemies who are convincingly menacing. Between the city's overlord, a Stygian witch, and various slavers and guards, I was quite ready to kill them all when the time came. The quests themselves are nothing out of the ordinary, but the characters and their stories were enough to make them interesting.
- There is a lot to like in the first twenty levels of Age of Conan. As I type this, I have just finished the primary quest line and sailed for Cimmeria. If I didn't log out to write this, I would still be playing. As a matter of fact, when I'm done typing here I will be logging back in. See you all in Hyboria.
© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.