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Mindless MMORPG

Mindless banter about MMORPG's and any other game I feel like talking about.

Author: Nicod3mus

Age of Conan 40 Level Review

Posted by Nicod3mus Friday May 23 2008 at 2:40PM
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From graphics and audio to PVP mechanics and gameplay Age of Conan is poised to be the first 3rd generation MMORPG that got it right. After 3rd gen meltdowns like Vanguard and mediocre releases like LOTRO the market is wide open and thats why the servers have been full and on que every night at peak time since retail release.

I have been playing since beta and the retail release since preorder head start. Here is my Age of Conan 40 level review:

Age of Conan: Hybordian Adventures is the best MMORPG title I have seen in a very long time and almost my entire guild agrees with me. We are not a bunch of 16 year old CS fraggers that endorse every game that flies off the shelf at launch, we are seasoned and at an average age of around 30 and we have been around and playing MMORPGs since the very first titles in the genre hit stores. This is my in-depth review after playing since the pre-order head start and taking my toon to level 40. 

Graphics - Here is my graphics one liner. Vanguard meets WoW with a dash of old world detail and a side or incredibly realistic looking blood and guts. I think the overall look and feel of the game is a great balance. Age of Conan leaves little to be desired in appearance without crossing the boundary that makes a game too hard for lower end graphics cards to run. The world looks good but textures up close look borderline amazing. The animations are pretty top notch as well, from spells and to combos and jumping Age of Conan took MMORPG animation to a new level.

Audio - Great. The audio is of superb quality but most impressive is the creative quality and how well the audio fits into the overall theme of the game. The music is incredible, from Celtic chants to medieval war drum lines you feel like you have your own soundtrack throughout the entire game. In the forest there is relaxing fanciful tunes and in a dungeon the music makes you want to kill things just as it should. The grunts and battle cries as different classes complete different combos and skills are diverse and realistic, they really help immerse you in battles.

Storyline  - Best ever. I am a notorious quest hater, I prefer the grind where I have more control over how fast I can level and can use our guild to full advantage. Questing for me in Age of Conan is aided by a deep and realistic storyline. MMORPG story lines are notoriously flowery and full of complete fluff, not AOC. Age of Conan delivers realistic story lines demanding the blood of prostitutes and heads on pig poles among other things. I actually read quite a few of the cut scene text windows, that is a HUGE deal for me. I read Hemingway and Thoreau not game cut scene text so the fact alone that I read most of these at all speaks volumes for the AOC storyline.

Dungeons and Instances - Superb. Best ever. I have never been a fan of instances because I believe in the idea of a persistent world. That being said I am not only a fan of the Age of Conan instancing I think it could be the model for the perfect balance of persistence and instancing. You can run your class specific quests in your own instance whenever you want to. We have all run class quests and had the mobs camped for hours on end or been ganked by some tards every time you get to the spot and had to bring in guildies to clear it up the 5 on 1 noobfest. Instanced dungeons are well done and abundant from level 13 or so on. Every zone also has several instances and as the population of the server is so high there are always people in every instance. There is never a shortage of people to kill and when a guild rolls out 6 guys to kill your duo you can just jump instances and continue on. Party leaders can summon party members to their instance and when party members look at the instance drop down there is a star by the instance that the party leader is in, very functional mechanics.

PVP - Possibly the best MMORPG PVP system created, with so many things not in game yet it is impossible to make an accurate assessment of the PVP system as a whole but I will say that my first impression is amazing. Classes seem relatively balanced with the exception of a Priest of Mitra spell that can be spammed with no recharge time (will be undoubtedly nerfed very soon). The Age of Conan PVP system requires much more skill than any other system to date, the days of button spamming are gone. In Age of Conan we see thing like combos in which things must be done in a certain order and with the right timing, we see the ability to doge incoming attacks based on the direction they are coming from, we see first person shooter features in archer classes, and many other mechanical featured designed to incorporate skill into game play.

Resource Gathering - You can start gathering resources at level 20 by getting the resource quests at any number of various locations throughout the game. These quests allow you to gather the lowest level resources but you must turn in your first 20 of each to complete the quest. The next quests in the gathering lines require rare items that you have a chance of getting while you gather. Resource nodes are pretty sparse comparatively speaking but who knows how that will play out in the end game. Each node only has a certain amount or resources that can be harvested from it before it recharges so you can see how that is an issue when the entire server is trying to craft and build guild cities.

Guild Villages and Cities - Once a guild leader has reached level 40 and has 24+ members excluding himself he can reserve a plot for the guild village/city. The guild leader can choose the region the plot is place in but the game actually picks the specific plot an instance for you. To start a city a guild needs an architect, the recipe for the keep which costs about 2.5 gold, and the resources for the keep. The keep must be the first building constructed. Guild cities are huge and I will do some more in-depth articles on them later.

Overall - Age of Conan may be the first 3rd generation MMORPG to get the model right. Many have come and many have failed. I have never had this much fun in the earliest stages of any MMORPG and if the PVP and siege mechanics turn out to be as good as everyone thinks they will be Age of Conan: Hybordian Adventures is poised to be one of the greatest games of all time.

 

COD MW3
jarish writes:

Ummmm there is no DX 10 and mediocre LOTRO...plz

Fri May 23 2008 3:55PM Report
elvenangel writes:

uh nothing about AoC's graphics scream Vanguard meets WoW..it screams Oblivion meets Vanguard.

Fri May 23 2008 4:36PM Report
Hugolin writes:

aoc lover detected

Fri May 23 2008 5:23PM Report
kremath writes:

Hybordian Adventures is the best MMORPG title

Here is my graphics one liner. Vanguard meets WoW with a dash of old world detail and a side or incredibly realistic looking blood and guts.

Great. The audio is of superb quality

Best ever.

Superb. Best ever.

 

Possibly the best MMORPG PVP system created,

 

Age of Conan may be the first 3rd generation MMORPG to get the model right.

 

AOC fanboy much?

Fri May 23 2008 5:52PM Report
sokkyu writes:

I wouldn't automatically flag this a blatant fanboy-esque post if you actually included negative points about the game and criticisms. No game is without flaws and I'm sure if you look at it objectively you can find where this game needs to improve to validly be the "best mmorpg"

Fri May 23 2008 7:33PM Report
grimfall writes:

So, sokkyu, if every game 'needs to improve validly' to be the best MMORPG, how can any game be the best MMORPG?

Fri May 23 2008 7:54PM Report
adderVXI writes:

hmm i like VG best world ever, no invis walls.......weather, diplo, no instances, huge world, but heck no nipples or heads cut off

Fri May 23 2008 7:56PM Report
Polyjean writes:

Sorry, but definately too biased. Fanboy or guerilla marketing, that kind of review doesnt help.

 

Fri May 23 2008 8:23PM Report
Jephir writes:

I stopped reading when you said DX10 graphics.

Fri May 23 2008 9:21PM Report
Hexcaliber writes:

Just another fanboy on a blind rant

Fri May 23 2008 10:27PM Report
miahmite writes:

The DX 10 release isn't even planned until the end of August '08.

Fri May 23 2008 10:28PM Report
astrob0y writes:

That part about dx10...I guess it was an typo from the writer. Great and personal review that told me alot of the game :) Keep up the good mate.

Fri May 23 2008 10:59PM Report
phosphoros writes:

My God.  How much did Funcom pay you exactly?  I've seen some serious fanboi-ism happen but this is hilarious. 

Good try though!

Sat May 24 2008 1:25AM Report
Vatrox writes:

Waiting for another review around 60lvl, if you'll still play ofc.

Sat May 24 2008 2:23AM Report
Solude writes:

Aye no DX10 yet.  The graphics are about average, polygon count is high but textures can be washed out.  Bloom doesn't work, shadows though good eat an incredible ammount of resources, no glowing light sources.  Basically it seeks to look real and it does but that leaves a lot to desire from an artistic style point of view.  Lava is especially poorly done.

That said it is fun, it is different and it is functional.  The solo story line is great making it the first good solo rpg since... ug its been a while ;)

Sat May 24 2008 6:23AM Report
Arcona writes:

Just three words, and the flamer bots starts: "instances, suberb, best" 

The flamers are so predictable. Like a poor AI robot.

Nicod3mos wrote a nice review, and he did write about the flaws of the game.

Sat May 24 2008 6:52AM Report
Nicod3mus writes:

I love the game what can I say.....the DX10 was a mistake I knew it wasnt in game yet as we have discussed it many times but kinda messed that one up. Call me a fanboi all you want cause I am a fanboi...I thought that was pretty clear.

Tue May 27 2008 5:13PM Report
Nicod3mus writes:

In response to the LORTO issue...it was mediocre to most people....I thought the game was complete ***** so suck on that one for a while.

Tue May 27 2008 5:17PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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