November 16, 2008

Goodbye Tortage

Welp, I'll be dropping my Station Pass before long. Will play EQ2 over Thanksgiving probably, and maybe check out the holiday events, but for now I think I'll get my EQ2 fix through West Karana and other blogs. Age of Conan has taken possession of me.

My buddy and I have leveled from 5 to 17 completely by grouping (sometimes adding others) and killing crocs, gorillas, and others in the White Sands, and by doing quests in the Archeronian Ruins. Our battle against the bat demon was aided and made possible by a great group of people we happened to see running through the area and invited to our group. Standing atop the bat demon's ledge, there was just an amazing view. This game's visuals have hooked me in. Not just the style of graphics (EQ2 is amazing but the "feel" isn't right for me, isn't real), but the grand vistas. It was actually a screenshot in Cimmerian mountains that kept me coming back to any blog entry I could find about it, and finally prompted me to buy. Nothing on the AoC box captures me like the online mountain vistas I have seen. I'll upload screenshots I've taken later this week. Keep in mind I'm playing on a P4 3.4Ghz, 2gb ram, and an ATI X800XT. Not exactly current hardware (bought in Aug and Sept of 05).

The city of Tartania is beautiful but I had an urge to find mountians so I went to the area known as Lacheish Plains. Being a barbarian I had the advantage of stealth which became necessary when I crossed into an area with Yeti's. While running across the landscape trying to find the highest possible vantage points, I took a small fall and was de-stealthed. Taking advantage of the Yeti-less aspect of the immediate area, I started running to the next hill when I was set upon by two others, a level 17 and 18, some sort of melee classes (was too busy fighting to check). I was able to dispatch them both without making full use of my 2 step combos that I gained with level 17. What a rush. From "oh crap, I'm going to die" to "whoa, I just took that one out, and I still have 2/3's health" to "BRING IT ON SISTER!" to "aww man, I wanted to finish her off with the new combo". It was awesome. Since I lived, I bear no ill will towards them :) but instead instantly thought how special an element pvp adds to this huge world. Even if I had died, I would have been saddened at my reset in travel but since it was an even level ambush, it would have been ok, just "man, I wish my buddy would have been with me." 

This is why Age of Conan has captured me. The gameplay is something I enjoy (not just click auto attack and wait for specials to refresh), the graphic style is truly spectacular, and the lore background are just awesome. If only SWG could carry out the first part, and do slightly better on the second. Also, props to the Hyborian Herald (also a member of VirginWorlds), which is another thing that had me hooked. As with YaMB, I listened to it before I played the game, and while not even close to YaMB's style, he puts out a great podcast, and I eagerly await episode 13.

Anyways, that's all I have for now. Thanks to my buddy for giving me the social element, to my random group-mates (now on my friends list), to Funcom, and to Streamweaver for helping me find my gaming home. I haven't enjoyed a game (pc, xbox, 360, or ps3) this much since my days of QuakeWorld (thanks Muppet Clan), Half-Life (thank you freshmen year floormates), or Quake 3 (thanks Barker house foes). If you're on the RP-PVP serve Hyp, feel free to add Amandara to your friends list and look me up in game.

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