When we all saw the videos for Age of Conan, we were all motivated by the decapitations and fatalities that we saw. Then we saw all of the different siege warfare scenes that really got our blood flowing. And I know I’m not alone when I say that I was hell of excited about it. Age of Conan promised us lots of blood, gore and an active, fun playing system. Well it delivered most of all of it. Currently there are still some problems with the siege system, and there are some small imbalances in the classes. But in the coming weeks and months we expect to see huge game improvements including the PvP levels being enabled and the murder system. In this article I will briefly go over these new enhancements and what I think that they mean to players.
First, we will be covering the new PvP system. This is a system that was active in beta, but was not turned on when the game was released. Since then, the players have been begging and pleading with the developers to turn it on to give us some sort of content besides raiding at the end game and now, it seems like these changes are finally coming.
Let’s go over the PvP system
There will be ten PvP levels. The way you gain experience is (obviously) by killing other players. Players of the same level range as you will yield 100 experience. PvP doesn’t come without some kind of price, however. Every time you fall in PvP, you will lose some points that you worked so hard to gain. And remember, this number is static; it doesn’t matter if a level 1 or a level 80 killed you, you lose the same amount of experience. You don’t have to worry about losing levels though; getting killed in PvP won’t de-level you. There are also safeties in place so that people can’t exploit the system. For example, there is a set number of times a person may kill you and still yield PvP experience. It is unknown at this time if this is based on an hour timer, or a twelve hour timer (or some other system). Also, you receive normal, PvE experience for every PvP kill you get. The way this works is you get 10% of what you would have gotten if you would have killed a monster of the same level, but you will always get a minimum of 1 experience. This will do something that a game hasn’t done in a while; allow people to take a break from the seemingly endless grinding and PvE mission running to go out and PvP, and they will still gain experience for it. I doubt that there will be anybody who solely levels a player off of PvPing alone (it would take significantly longer), but it would be an interesting challenge to try and do it. Now once you have killed tons of players, and have gotten your PvP level up, you can buy gear from the PvP vendors. From things that I have come across and read, the gear that you acquire from PvP combat will be superior to things that you get from doing any kind of PvE content, after all it should be, killing a player is much harder than killing NPCs after all.
Age of Conan PvP gear looks amazing. I’ve seen some pictures of it, and I viewed it in beta. It will look a lot hotter than what you are currently wearing. This will be a huge improvement to the current PvP system in place in Age of Conan right now. Building up and maintaining your PvP level will bring a whole other aspect to the game. It is unknown at this time whether or not there will be a system in place where you will actually loose PvP levels if you don’t PvP for some time, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye on it and let you all know when more information is made available.
Now with most of the population of this game playing on PvP servers, there is a lot of unfair griefing going on. As a result, the players have asked the developers to do something about it, so they came up with the murder system. What you read after this may not seem all that appealing, but look on the bright side: at least they didn’t implement the prison system… that would have been much worse.
Under this system, players are flagged in three different ways: innocent, criminal, and murderer. If you are a criminal or murderer you will have an icon in your status that lets everybody else know that you gank people.
However, if you are marked innocent, nobody can perform a hostile action on you without being flagged as a criminal, unless they are marked criminal or murderer. Now the way you start this all off: if you perform any hostile act toward a person, you will be flagged as a criminal for five minutes. If you attack anybody after that, your criminal status automatically refreshes itself. If you attack a criminal/murderer you will not be flagged as a criminal, so all of the law abiding bringers of justice can deliver it!
To become a murderer, you have to have killed enough players to accumulate 100 or more murder points. Killing players that are below your level range will result in those points coming much, much faster. Your murder score is capped at 1750 points, and for every real life hour that passes, it is reduced by one point. For example: if you are capped on murder points, you would have to wait nearly 73 days for your murderer status to go away. If you die in PvP and lose PvP experience, you will lose 3 murder points. Also, killing mobs that yield experience will reduce your murder score by 1 point, per 1% of your level worth of XP, so if you kill enough mobs to complete a level, that’s minus 100 points of your murder score.
At this time I don’t see any real benefit to being a murderer, the only things that come with it are negatives, you can’t interact with traders or vendors, and you are attacked by guards on sight. If you die while flagged as a murderer the following will happen: You lose 100% PvP experience, the person killing you gains 100% PvP experience, and you have a 100% chance to drop one of your items. Also, any player interacting with a murderer is automatically flagged as a criminal. If you are in a group with a murderer you are also automatically flagged as a criminal, and if anybody in a group kills an innocent, the entire groups is flagged as criminal, and this effect of course takes the standard five minutes to wear off, as a normal criminal flag. This will add a lot of new aspects of play into the game, especially in the role playing sector. You may end up with large guilds full of murderers running around, committing mass murders on low level players everywhere. However, I’m not sure how the system will work if you are attacked by guards every where you go, and the game being as highly instanced as it is, how will somebody get form point A to point B without getting ganked ruthlessly by angry players and pissed off NPCs!
Now we can’t forget about all of the bug fixes that are coming down the pipeline either. The developers have promised to fix a lot of the siege issues that we all have been having. You know the ones I’m talking about, not being able to do any damage to the battle keep, temple, or trade post, expect these fixes to be incoming within the next month. They also mentioned memory leak fixes, like the ones that make your map turn grey for no reason. It’s pretty apparent that Funcom is working very hard to bring us a more polished game than what we currently have.
I have, of course, been reading all of the different forums and reactions to this new system, and the response of the player base is really, really mixed. Some people are rejoicing because they believe that it will help cut down on the meaningless ganking. I think it will, but I’m not sure how many people will really care. From the looks of it people are already trying to find ways to exploit the system to get their PvP ranks up quickly without achieving any kind of murder rating. Others hate it, because there truly is no benefit to being a murderer.
Hopefully in the future, the developers will bless us with some type of special armor, or weapons that are only available to murderers and that could be the item that we drop when we die. The bottom line is it’s adding content to the game that many players have been crying for ever since the game was released. You can, of course, expect to see the system tweaked over the next few months to a more appealing system for both sides of the argument. But it seems like a good start. The developers at Funcom are also working on improvements and fixes to the siege system so hopefully within the next month we’ll be looking at playing around with more endgame content that we all have been waiting for.
From day one this game has shown an extreme amount of promise, we can only hope that the developers will continue to push out patches every week that will help us achieve a great game.