Funcom is launching a new drive to bring players back into Age of Conan by offering two weeks of reactivation. Devs want players to know that Conan is a different game, one they are confident will meet player expectations. AoC features new changes, enhancements, improvements, content additions, storyline overhaul and more. WarCry editor Suzie Ford recently had the chance to tour the new and improved Age of Conan with North American Community Manager Glen Swan and Senior Community Manager Oliver Kunz. Read on to discover the Top 10 Reasons to Give Age of Conan a New Look.
10. Social Pets
Several forms of cats, dogs and snakes have been introduced for guild members. But guildies aren’t the only ones who can benefit. At least two pets are available to players completing quests in the game, whether in a guild or not. While they don’t fight alongside characters, these little buggers are fun and interesting.
9. Easter Eggs Connected to Lore
Developers have made a huge effort to include familiar places and characters for players to discover. Fans of the books and the 1982 movie will have lots to see including The Wheel of Pain and the book scenario to ‘rescue’ to Frost Giants’ sister. The repeated mantra of the day was “story, Story, STORY” and the Easter eggs in the game lend themselves nicely to that end.
8. PvP Improvements
PvP maps have been improved and new ones added. There are still siege cities and towns with a hugely improved guild system in place. There is a new PvP notoriety system that allows players to become murderers, PvP XP gains and ranks, exclusive PvP rewards and the ability for guilds to fight over resources.
7. Ymir’s Pass: Levels 55-60
Ymir’s Pass was created to help fill in storyline gaps from levels 55-60. It is an area that combines an outdoor playfield with a dungeon. Players are treated to a rich storyline with an epic-level quest line to discover the source of the area’s earthquakes. It is absolutely huge in size and in the denizens living within. Frost Giants are as gigantic as they should be. The area scales in difficulty as players progress. It’s never a bad idea to bring along friends.
In the Amphitheater area, players meet Keaira, the erstwhile digital Playboy bunny from the magazine’s December 2007 issue. If that isn’t enough to spark interest, Keaira, a close ally and confidant of Conan’s, sends players on a long and arduous quest to free the Frost Father. It’s a multi-layered quest that is awesome in its length and in the visuals to which players are treated. Suffice it to say that the Frost Father is the largest boss in the game and it is worth every tortuous and difficult battle encountered just to lay eyes on him.
5. Tarantia Commons Outdoor Playfield: 75+
Players had concerns about their ability to level characters past 60, something developers heard and responded to with the addition of two new 75+ dungeons. Tarantia Commons is one nod to players struggling to reach the level 80 cap. Factions come into play here, though called gangs instead. The four gangs compete against one another here: The Crows are the above ground gang. Warf Rats controls the street level. To a lesser extent, Guards and Daughters come into play. There is also a fascinating leper colony where players can become infected if they’re not careful. The local graveyard quests change depending whether or not players enter during daylight or nighttime hours. During the day, the graveyard can be completed as a solo player. Nighttime requires group play to finish. Side quests pop up in unexpected places by simply walking into a cave or wandering down a little-used path.
4. Xibaluku Dungeon: 75+ Dungeon
Another place for level 75+ characters to level is Xibaluku. Xibaluku, is a 6-player raid dungeon featuring eleven bosses and requires players to employ strategies as yet unseen in the game. The first boss we encountered was a huge necromancer type that spawned archers and mages above the fighting floor. Another boss shouts, “Pay for our crimes” and players are trapped in cages and must be freed by teammates while simultaneously battling the Gaoler and his equally nasty boss wolfhound pet. Gone are the days of ‘run in, kill the boss in a swarm and loot the corpse’. Strategy is a must.
Probably the single biggest change suggested and championed by players has been itemization. The game is now more item-centric with everything receiving improvement along with revamping item stats. Before redesign, items might have a 20-30% effect. Now, for example, items carry a 50-60% effect. Armor and weapons can carry protections against magic or melee, rating system enhancements, magical immunities or resists and more.
2. All systems, items, feats, classes, races, dungeons & content improved and revamped
Admitting that the game didn’t quite meet player expectations at launch, Funcom set out to refocus the game and to make it a unique experience for players to revisit today. With over 1000 changes since launch and five major patches, the game offers a different experience both in terms of its focus and in the fact that Conan is proudly not a clone of any other MMO on the market today. Ten lesser patches have also been launched as well as five new major playfields, new and better ways to tell the story, eight dungeon overhauls and a strong emphasis on story. Every system (combat, looting, PvP, etc.) has been reworked and improved. RPG enhancements have been added, special mounts have been added, player owned cities, guild keeps and towns…the list goes on and on. Every part of Conan has been touched in one way or another. The best items are found in the dungeons for those loving epic drops. These items carry multiple stat bonuses and the new rating enhancements (hit rating, critical rating, combat rating, etc.).
1. 2 full weeks, no obligation
With all of the things listed above, players would be remiss if they didn’t give Age of Conan a new look. After all, it’s not the same game anymore. But if those reasons aren’t enough, Age of Conan developer, Funcom, is inviting players to come back for two weeks with NO obligation, NO charge and with the full game available to play. Inactive accounts can be reactivated any time from July 8-22, 2009 with a full fourteen days of play.
There is a lot to see, a lot to do in Age of Conan. The changes made since launch are nothing short of staggering. If there is one game to check out for the first time, or to come ‘home’ to this summer, Age of Conan is it. Run, don’t walk, to AoC’s official site. What are you waiting for!?
See you in game!