Got a chance to check out Funcom’s latest MMOG, Age of Conan. What I was able to see looked pretty good, but apparently everyone and his uncle is connected to the same internet connection here in lovely Santa Monica, so all the cool stuff got interrupted by horrendous packet loss while the hotel frantically updated their high speed.
Overall, though, it looked pretty great. The only new new thing Funcom was showing was a high-level dungeon adorned with snakes and giant, face-eating necromancers. This was only my second time seeing the game (the first was an E3 or two ago), so I was blown away by the way the combat works.
Rather than your typical auto attack, players have five different directions in which they can swing, ranging from straight on to about a 200-degree arc. During the demo, the guy running the play-through was actually trying to hack under a frost giant’s shield to do more damage, and what really threw me off was the giant picked up on what he was doing, adjusted his shield, and resumed fighting. What’s more, casters have an actual area of effect, in that they have a cone in which their spells do stuff. For instance, if you’re casting a fireball-type spell, anything within your 30-degree cone will get hit by it, as opposed to targeting individual monsters. Really, it seems as though Funcom is forcing the MMOG genre to make real games as opposed to convenient places to hang out with your e-friends.