When Age of Conan launched in 2008, it was a huge success especially for being a highly adult oriented game displaying the most blood, guts and nudity of any MMORPG on the market at that time. Along with it's dark fantasy content it brought a new kind of combat system to MMO's that I had never seen prior adding to the technique of players by making them comple a chain of keys (arrows) commands thay are required to start and finish a "Combo". Further more if your attack would critically hit someone and \place them close to if not dead... it would then have a chance to proc a Fatality. Fatalities are amazingly animated combos displaying the most gratifying form of PvP death dealing I have ever and maybe will ever experience. Although this is a personal opinion, I doubt there will ever be another system that gives the satisfaction of cutting off someones limbs or curb stomping their face into the concrete. There simply is no better way of saying "BOOM HEADSHOT".
Age of Conan isn't a one trick pony though as it also has the most enjoyable form of PvE I have experienced due to the combat system. Not to mention Age of Conan is the only game I can remember that made a legitimate effort of placing PvE mobs in locations that actually make sense due to environmental design. Sure there are some scattered mobs but generally theres a camp, tents, buildings or large group of patrolling mobs marching down the road. As you level up you also come across mob camps where a lookout will blow a horn and alert the entire camp which generally means run or die. To further deepen the PvE aspect, sometime following launch they added it where the PvE mobs could also fatality you on killing blows, now that is the definitive notion of hurt pride.
But let me speed this along, since my days of AoC mass murdering I had moved on and tried other games. A lot of changes have taken place since then including a large departure of population. Funcom wasn't quite ready to give up on their flagship product just yet though and took the initiative to launch a F2P (Free 2 Play) version of AoC which basically lets you use one of four classes (Guardian, Priest of Mitra, Demonoligist, or Barbarian) and level from 1 to 80 which is max. This does restrict you from doing dungeons, raids, sieges and other content though, unless you purchase passes from the Funcom store or subscribe.
Let's discuss the Funcom store a little bit though as trolls would lead you down a path of deceit and uncertainly for no apparent reason other than their agenda of disrupting rational and logical thought. So the store has a wide array of items (potions, foods, mounts, bag space, character slots, class unlocks, dungeon unlocks, expansion packs, progression gain potions, vanity items, and weapons/armor) Let's go ahead and hit the nail on the head covering the weapons and armor portion first. Many want to know if purchasing weapons or armor is like buying power and paying to win and the answer is a resounding and widely echoing "Briefly" IF... you have the skill to use your purchased advantage.
The weapons are purchasable at the decade marks ie 10,20,30..ect. Each mark up increases the stats to better edge items of that exact level range. Meaning a level 30 polearm from the cash shop will edge a level 30 world drop but be comparable to a dungeon drop if not only slightly better because the store bought item is from the tier 1 PvP set which gives it some PvP oriented stats. I have rolled 5 toons testing out different classes and leveled them each between40-62 and still hold a 2.2 overall average KDR (Kill Death Ratio) I have never purchased PvP gear from the store although I have purchased it using ingame silver buying it from the PvP vendor. The items some people spend 3-5 dollars on I spend 25 silver by achieving the PvP levels legitimately, this isn't my attempt at insulting anyone it's just a simple debunk that because someone can purchase the lowest tier of end game gear doesn't means they get to win. As players progress their gear even from 6-Mans will exceed the tier 1 PvP which is why Funcom agreed to sale it, it adds a boost but by no means is it game breaking.
BLOOD & GLORY
Moving on Funcom recently launched 2 servers with Blood & Glory ruleset, Deathwish (NA) Rage(EU). Basically what these servers do are bring the dangerous and dark atmosphere of Hyborea back to Hyborea for two servers at least. Every quest zone is open pvp where you can be killed by anyone of any higher or even lower level, it's truly no holds barred and not only do you need to watch your back, but you need to watch your bags because upon death random items from your bags including gold will fall and be awarded to those who killed you. These servers are not for the faint of heart or those looking for a casual atmosphere. These servers are for those who love... the good... the bad... the ugly side of PvP, if you love, truly love skilled PvP, Team oriented PvP, the ability to rob your enemy of his random rare or epic drops after be-heading him then this could be your type of server.
Where'd All the PvPers go?
This is definitely a question i've been asking myself for years because prior to a games launch on sites like MMORPG.com and each games official forums you see so many claim to love Player vs. Player interaction and they're always so confused as to where to look. You recommend them to all the highly PvP oriented games but they seem to believe all these games are inferior than some dream game that should/could exist at some point in time but now... there's no excuse. You claim to love PvP action, AoC just went free and 2 of the 4 classes available to completely free; pay nothing players; compete to be the top rated end game class in public perspective. You say you love PvP you say you want PvP but you hate paying for crap, Hyborea is waiting, you could dislike aspects about it but you'd never be able to claim you had to pay anything for it. From my point of view the more people who populate these new servers, the better overall experience it will be for everyone.
Some people may be on the fence because maybe they're a fan of PvE once in a while and aside from murdering players they enjoy raiding well you're in luck as Age of Conan has now accumulated four tiers of raid dungeons and a large number of six man instances all challenging and rewarding. On top of that theres a new faction system allowing you as a player to earn prestige and be awarded unique to your faction gear(More so for vanity). Itemization is better than any game i've played recently as you can truly tell the difference between Priest of Mitra gear and Tempest of Set Gear. They didn't just clump classes into a mold of tank/cleric/rogue/mage every class has gear matching what makes it unique.
So this is my plea, I'm Coma on Deathwish, come join me and everyone else who is now part of the future of Hardcore PvP servers for even "Theme Park" titles. Tell your friends and recommend this article, I'm always open to questions.Interested? Check out... http://www.ageofconan.com