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Age of Conan: Unchained General Article: The Road to Most Improved: April - August

By John Humphrey on January 21, 2010

Just when you think you have the Crows and Wharf Rats under management, you must be prepared for a third NPC faction called the Daughters, who have their own agenda. The Guards themselves form a fourth faction that is attempting to wrest back control of the Commons for the King. Tarantia Commons encounters were planned for players where battles span from the streets to the rooftops. Combat can be dicey when fought from rooftop to rooftop. Attilius' mansion is the single-player dungeon created in this zone. Will you be able to win over Attilius' daughter Aisa, or will you be brought down by the many monks, reavers, and bodyguards roaming the mansion?

Slay Pia, the crazy cat lady, and you may earn a new Kitten Social Pet. The Crow's Nest is the six-man collaborative dungeon. Players must be cautious and observant to avoid tripwires, traps, and warning devices. Try not to be distracted by the Crow's seductive, dancing entertainment, because the hunters soon become the hunted. At some point within the Crow's Nest dungeon, you can acquire new Puppy Social Pet from the female hound Bronca, and she is not guaranteed to spawn. You want to engage Bronca when she is surrounded by Puppies at random points throughout the day, and not when the male version of the NPC Boss, Bronco, is present.

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Outside the west gate, players can find a dangerous Graveyard. The Outcast Priest of Mitra Lazar has formed an army of Lepers and undead to fulfill his own debased desires. This area provides solo content during the day and dangerous group content at night. The home of an old Necromancer named Amun-Nepthek was disturbed by recent events, and the Old Warlock's Cave conceals a hidden threat and a dangerous new adversary. The Lepers Colony itself is also found outside the west gate. The Leper Colony is opened for access, but, if you explore it, you run the risk of contracting the disease, and earning a terrible debuff.

There were a number of smaller additions included in Update 5 that were not broadcasted very well by Funcom, but Veteran players in-game found them and adopted them with great glee. New provisioners were added that allow players to buy crates of food, drinks, and potions; stack numbers were increased as well for those without crates.

Guild cities are more active with a variety of new roaming and static NPCs visitors, guests, and residents, including nobles, guards, whores, courtesans, and merchants. Roaming and Static animals can be found wandering all around most guild cities. Whores actually have their own series of quests within the cities, and the resulting conversations will resolve in different outcomes, including some buffs. The Path of Comrades was introduced for sale by the Priestess in your guild temple; the Path of Comrades shares a timer with your Path of Asura, but it returns you to your guild city from anywhere across Hyboria.

New NPCs in your guild cities allow you to immediately travel to other destinations around the world. A Wagoner to Old Tarantia becomes available in your Keep at Tier 2. At Tier 3, Wagoners to Connarch Village and Khemi appear as well. At Tier 3, a Guard Captain in your Barracks will transport Guild Members to their Border Kingdom of choice for a fee. Four Sentries now guard the gates at all times, and level up with your Keep in the same manner as your Barracks Guards. Your Guild City Armorsmith and Weaponsmith attract their own Guards as well to protect them and any Guildmate speaking to them.

A common pet vendor in each guild city offers social, non-combat pets depending on the regional location of your guild city: Aquilonia offers three types of cats, Cimmeria offers three types of dogs, and Stygia offers three types of snakes. Guards around the world have a better AI behavior around PvP and other activities. Aggressor tags for characters were added with this patch, as well. New resurrection pads were added to popular zones to cut down on spawn camping.

Mounts became special abilities, so they do not take up valuable space in a players limited inventory. Players have both a mount tab and a social tab in their ability pages, and collectors have begun to take full advantage of this addition. Tradeskills were further fine-tuned. Additional voice-overs for quests were added in this patch and throughout the year; this was a very popular element of the Tortage new player experience, and the Age of Conan content team intends to continue adding more voice-overs throughout the game as time and resources allow.

The Friend interface and the Guild Interface were tweaked for easier searches and general ease-of-use, listening to recommendations from the existing player population.

With all the new changes introduced by the new RPG system, Age of Conan developers granted everyone a free feat reset. This allowed players to change around their feats and create a brand new build to refresh their established characters. Furthermore, for those who have tired of running toons through Tortage, Age of Conan now allows any player with a character at level 50 or higher to have a one-time offer of creating a new character who starts off at level 50. This character can begin life in any class and start off running strong. You must have an empty character slot though. With Update 5, Funcom was generous and gave each player a free ninth character slot for those players who have been around for six months or more, and, when added to the two slots you can buy off of your account page, you can have up to eleven active avatars on one account across all of the servers.

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John Humphrey / Born in Pittsburgh, PA. Steeler Nation!!! Moved to the Florida Gulf Coast in the mid-80s. Established a beautiful family. Established a Sci-Fi club in Pensacola that is still running strong, long after I moved away. Interests include Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Reading, Creative Writing, Scuba Diving, Boating, Sailing, Hiking, Animal Husbandry, Soccer, Martial Arts, Certification Training, Landscaping, and having a Great Time with my Family.

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