Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Conan no more....

Well while Conan was off to a great start, after I passed the 20 initial levels it lost a lot of the magic and just became a gank and grind fest. I retired from MMOs a bit and only recently got back into World of Warcraft...

Since this blog was all about Goodwyn, I'll just morph this over to World of Warcraft's Goodwyn.

Conan's initial levels will be missed. I got to 50 and wanted to get to 80... I just couldn't hang.

WoW stuff to come


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Age of Conan... Initial thoughts

Conan is a game that I will play and play and play and play!

Well Conan came out last week, and I picked it up on Wed. Started playing it on Thursday and the first character I created was a girl character Assassin named Esteevee. I created her first to see what all the hoopla was about with nudity in game. And yes, the character looked pretty good. I ran around a bit with no top on and after the initial novelty wore off, got down to really trying to play. (NOTE: After playing 20 total hours, I've only seen one other player running around without her top on)

I played her up till level 6 and decided I really didn't like the Assassin character too much and decided to roll a new character up...

Goodwyn was born (Guardian). After learning the initial game mechanics with Esteevee, I leveled Goodwyn to 6 pretty damn fast and that's the first thing I want to point out. Conan lets you level to 80 and after being a long time WoW and Guild Wars player I'd have to say Conan has a nice leveling flow. (I am currenlty at level 28 with Goodwyn and pretty close to hitting 29)

Conan moves nicely, the combat system is innovative and fun. (If you're a button clicker you can function adequately but to really get the timing down you need to use the keyboard/mouse)

The game is gorgeous! But that's both a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because it really helps the immersiveness of the game, bad because you need some beefy hardware to get decent frame rates. (I've got a Dual Core AMD 2.01 GHZ, 2 GB RAM, Nvidia 8800 GT 512 RAM Video Card - which is a decent machine, which runs Tabula Rasa, Guild Wars, WoW and City of Heroes very well)

I like the dialog when you interact with the NPCs. It reminds me of traditional RPGs where you have several choices and depending on what you choose the game storyline is changed. This also gives you more motivation and really got me into the storyline.

As part of helping you get going, the first part of the game (I'll refer to it as chapter one) you can do things in Day Time (Pure MMO) or Nighttime (Single Player). This was interesting, because there are some things about Multiplayer which sucks for low level characters. (Ganking and Respawn Camping [I'll address those in a sec] come to mind)

Going into nighttime mode allows you to get a firm understanding of the main storyline of your character. And most of the quests you undertake are very well balanced (Except the last mission, where getting to the High Priest sucked)...

I really found myself enjoying the whole experience and didn't feel like I was grinding for the sake of grinding in these early levels (1-20).

There is a LOT of ganking and griefing that goes on in Conan. I wouldn't mind it so much if it was like a level 20 ganking me at 18-20. But getting ganked by someone 5-10 levels higher is really a shitty feeling. Worse is having a group of higher levels just raping you. Even worse then that is ressing up at a res spot and having some prick just hanging around to kill you when you are at very low health.

One thing I started to notice is, if you grief a lot ... Sooner or later you will get it and then there will be a LOT of people who will grief the shit out of you at the res spots. I saw this happen alot and have to admit that was pretty gratifying as well.THINGS I LIKE
  • I really like the combat system
  • I like the fact that equipment doesn't break and you have to constantly repair
  • I like you can create a guild at will and don't need to spend a boatload of money on that
  • I like the Dialog
  • I like the quest text (Example instead of "Kill 6 boars" you'll see "So and So has asked me to bring him 6 boar intestines to help him..."
  • The look and feel of the game is very well done
  • Quests don't feel like grinding
  • Reallocating points on the fly. For example we hit this one area where you needed a base climbing of 120. I had most of my points in running and endurance, etc. By clicking one of the other attributes while holding down alt, I was able to redistribute the points and was able to climb.
  • Dialog with colorful language (still tame by my measure, but fun)
  • Initial load times
  • Bags cost a friggin' fortune... Which makes no sense to me! I can buy a sword which requires steel and forging, but a cloth bag to give me more space costs A LOT
  • Crashing on exit (Everytime I exit the game it crashes, and I've heard this from a few of my friends who play)
  • Really anti-intuitive friend adding and grouping tools. Why can't I right click on someone and have a menu pop up allowing me to add them to group or friends or guild?
  • Chatting is also hard and doesn't work as nice as I'd like.
  • Mini-map shows your party as a small purple dot, which gets hard to find people.
  • Bag full glitch. If your bag is full and you complete a quest and you don't have any space in your bag it tells you, you need a free slot inn your bag. Well I missed out on a lot of loot because of this before I realized all I had to do was click Esc on my keyboard to dismiss the dialog screen and then have access to my bags to empty a space out...
  • When you finish the First Chapter and take the boat to your next phase the NPCs stop talking to you and start grunting to you... Now this really sucked for me, because I had gotten used to the dialog and when they starting sounding like a gagged gimp, I was really disappointed.

I think Conan has some really cool features and do some things really well. It's brand new and just released and has some growing to do, but I really like it and will spend some of my little free time going back and forth between this and WoW.

I hope they address some of the issues I have and really look forward to maxing out Goodwyn and sharing his exploits here with you!

~ Rob