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Reader Comments (18)

Posted: May 26th 2008 4:28PM (Unverified) said

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Your points are all valid. I was thinking about making an alt and that immediately got me saying to myself, "Do I really want to go through all of that again?" Funcom pretty much had to set it up that way though. The combat is so different from what most of us are use to(L2, WoW, etc.) that I found there to be an excrutiatingly long learning curve and it would have been even more painful if I didn't have multiplayer and single player quest carrots to keep me moving forward.

As weird as it is for me to say, I found myself hitting a wall early on because I still wasn't mastering the combo system or the idea of constantly juggling HoT's and potions depending on the situation. The quests kept me going and not that I've got the system down I am having a lot more fun. Seriously...I was ridiculously close to rerolling from Bear Shaman but the wealth of things to do in Tortage kept me putting one foot in front of the other.

It's that same "wealth" of things to do though that makes me think it will be a great while until I can stomach making an alt. This has got to be the longest it has ever taken me to get:

1. A handle on a game
2. To level 20 and out of the newbie area

Again, it's pretty much essential for slow learners like me, but it is a grind for sure. To Funcom's credit though the leveling curve actually seemed to speed up remarkably after I hit Conarch(the first Cimmerian village you hit after you leave Tortage). After level 20 it was off to the races. Exp comes in huge bundles after doing just a few quests that are almost right on top of each other.

Posted: May 27th 2008 11:45AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, I was talking to my brother about this (who's already 55), and he made the comment that Age of Conan is actually something of a "hard" MMOG... that it has a significant learning curve that gets steeper as you level and that you really need the first 20 to teach you how to fight.

Now I'm debating how much skill I actually want in my combat, though. I'm still on the fence here.

It sucks because I was so excited for the game, and the world, and it's a really good game... it just might not be for me, though.
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Posted: May 26th 2008 5:46PM Scopique said

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From levels 1 through 20, though, the real focus is the Destiny Quest. Everything else really supports that, rather then the other way around: The multiplayer segments are designed to offer XP and diversions between jumping back into the story. If you complete your DQ segments before certain levels, you'll notice they tell you to go out and get more levels before returning.

I'v been saving up my White Isle quests to do en masse, only returning to Tortage when I'm ready to log off for the night. Part of the issue, of course, is that some quests go grey, but I found that there were only one or two that did.

Part of MMO playing, I believe, is knowing how to manage your movements. WoW does this for you by keeping you tied to an area before giving you the final "go to the next waypoint" quest. AoC treats WI and Tortage as one area (even some of the quests IN WI are listed as being in Tortage in the quest journal) so it's a little more hectic to keep up with.

I'm not sure if this whole Destiny Quest is a trick by Funcom to reduce alts or what, but they should really keep it open for the FIRST alt to complete, and then ditch it for alts who come after.

Posted: May 26th 2008 8:04PM GRT said

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I think a lot of your frustration comes from remnants of the original plan to have everyone start as a galley slave/slave girl, then pick an archetype at 5, then their "real" class at 20. You can see a remnant of that when you hit 5 and that 'bullseye' pops up that does nothing. It never pops up any other time.

Don't forget that the Destiny quests vary depending on archetype, and in pretty interesting ways. I played a Rogue first (Ranger actually) and I didn't have to rescue Arias, but I was wondering why he made camp in the woods. When I did them again as a Mage I learned why. I found that pretty neat.

Honestly if you don't like levels 1-20, I don't think you'll be any happier after 20. I think because of the combo system and no auto-attack, you don't get masses of abilities. You get upgrades for the most part. At least, the Ranger does.

Posted: May 27th 2008 11:45AM (Unverified) said

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I was afraid of that. I'm going to keep playing for a while and hope that that's not the case.

And yeah, I totally agree about the remnants of the old system. I hope they go back and revamp it all to be a little more painless (as I mentioned in the article). Once players gets a handle on the game, doing it all again is going to suck (unless leaving Tortage auto-levels you to 20, which would be acceptable too).
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Posted: May 27th 2008 5:20AM (Unverified) said

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I can't disagree with anything you've said.

Only time will tell if things getter better, if Funcom fixes issues, or if players move away. But all classes are far from being equal, and having done Tortage fully twice, I don't think I could bring myself to doing it a third time.

Posted: May 27th 2008 11:45AM (Unverified) said

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I'm definitely not writing it off yet. Even if I do walk away, I'll give it a few months and try again. I suspect that Funcom will recognize and fix the frustrating parts of AoC given some time.
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Posted: May 27th 2008 4:10AM Azazel28 said

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I can go from level 1-20 with my alts (because of course we have thought it once already) in about 5-6 hours.

If you stay to the single player campaign for a good portion of it you will be able to finis it quite quickly. I think it is an excellent way for each person to understand their alts without having to do deal with constant PvP with a new class you do not know how top lay. AoC has some very different classes from traditional MMOs and I have found that with most of the classes ( have 3 alts) it actually helped me get a handle on each one before they threw me to the wolves.

Getting ganked and killed is a typical thing on the PvP server, as it should be...it is PvP for crying out loud.

Posted: May 27th 2008 4:53AM Jeromai said

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I hear there are ways to skip past a lot of this experience.

Talking with your trainer at a high level once gave me the option to Bypass Destiny Quest. Since this was a character I wanted to experience all the story with, I didn't.

After a lot of running back and forth trying to find how to get to the other city hubs and back again, there is apparently a Tortage Smuggler (and a poster on a wall somewhere that supposedly allows you to sneak out of Tortage to the other cities).

Have not tried this myself, personally. I can't pass up all the xp involved in the quests, and there's this obsessive compulsive need to clear all exclamation marks before moving on.

Presumably if you're not questing through Tortage, you'll end up grinding out some levels, or running around doing errand quests until you can fight with the big level 20 boys.

Posted: May 27th 2008 11:45AM (Unverified) said

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I don't mind a little grinding (and I'm out of Tortage now anyway), but are there even quests or enemies for pre-20 characters outside of Tortage?
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Posted: May 27th 2008 4:10PM (Unverified) said

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This is a very interesting look at the game- which I'm still on the fence about- and I appreciate the honesty rather than yet another "best game EVAR!" Your candour is at least very evenhanded.^^

You hit on one of the major challenges of game development, certainly. You can have lots of brilliant ideas, quest designs, world designs, and make a beautiful, convincing, and engaging game world- but if you don't *order* these elements in a certain way, it can lead to unintended frustration and perhaps tedium. Knowing how to place and order your innovative quests and objectives as a dev is a highly underrated skill. ;)

Posted: May 28th 2008 12:32AM (Unverified) said

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I think its interesting that game devs get called out for lack of innovation. Well Tortage in many ways is innovative, it also solves a lot of up front goals Funcom had and streamlines the character building (slowly) and storyline a great deal.

First time through its a masterpiece for many. Second time through, not so much but interesting different routes and destiny lines. Third time, ok get me out of Tortage feeling sets in.

You have to hand it to them though, although they its not perfect and can grow old, Tortage is a much different experience for a MMO in many ways.

My biggest problem after Tortage was the culture shock of no voice overs. ;)

It sounds to me you are very committed to WoW still, nothing wrong with that. But I think your biggest struggle is throwing yourself open minded/heart into another game while also trying to divide your time. Very tough to do with MMO's while being total INTO the respective games. Its much different than just trying it out for a short time, because we all know the difference between short term playing and long term gaming goals and achievements. The mindset is just different.

Funcom has made huge strides since the very end of beta(s). It was amazing what they did performance wise for most. They have had a pretty good launch, with a lot of bugs and much needed love in some areas, but the game is very fun and playabe without a doubt. The patches this week have come fast and furious and I am sure they will stay on this pace for a while.

I would suggest to the poster, if your heart isn't in it then come back another time when you may enjoy and appreciate it more. You will just grow to hate it if you continue to play for the wrong reasons, these games were meant to wrap your arms around to get the most out of them. Just going through the motions to play doesn't do you or the game any good if you ask me. :)

If nothing else, enjoy!

Posted: May 28th 2008 1:55PM (Unverified) said

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The whole basis of this article is that you're bored with the game because you (for some reason) feel compelled to make one of every character class and level it to 20.

So basically this article isn't about a problem with AoC, it's about a problem with your playstyle: Playing the same levels 14 times is a little boring. I suggest you stop doing that then!

I disagree with the basis for this article. There are problems with AoC, but this article is not relevant to them.

Posted: May 28th 2008 2:02PM (Unverified) said

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That's a fair criticism. The designers probably didn't intend for players to play through the newbie experience more than once or twice (at most).

However, the inspiration for the article actually came from my observation that it's difficult to really get a feel for any of the classes until level 12 (at earliest). I stuck with my initial character, a Herald of Xotli, until level 17. As I grew into most of powers and really got a feel for what the class was like, I realized I didn't like it very much. I had three options: Press on for 63 levels with a class that wasn't fun, quit the game I just paid for and had hardly played, or re-roll and see if something else was more fun. I didn't want to make the same mistake twice, so I tried a few classes.

Having done that, the newbie experience gets old FAST. That was my point, and I still think it's valid. For people who like alts, it would be great to be able to skip to level 20 (or something).
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Posted: May 28th 2008 2:52PM (Unverified) said

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The writer is the eptiome of the WoW idiot. Silver spoons and no skill.

Posted: May 30th 2008 3:52PM (Unverified) said

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I agree that AoC has alot of repetition, but nowhere even close to WoW. Many of WoW's quests repeat atleast 5 times, and has the same type of repeating quest is in every zone. Once you get to a new region in WoW, one can guess what the different types of quests are going to be and how many times you are going to redo the same type of activities.

Perfect example Northshire Abbey, Westfall, Stranglethorn, Tanaris, etc. all have the kill x number of humaniods. After you finish that, go back and do the same thing 4 more times.

Posted: May 30th 2008 4:50PM Girricane said

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I agree with the character scaling. I've just hit 20 as my guardian and FINALLY have access to both stances and manuvers(sp?). I have a feeling this will be the bread an butter of my class as I keep going up (more WoW stance dancing! Yay!) and I've just started playing with them after about 5-6 hours of game time.

That being said I'm still having a blast with the game, and I've only really run into one or two times where the combat beat me back (casters>soldiers if you don't smack them quick). The combat to me, while definitely involved, didn't seem overly difficult as long as you keep comboing. And now that I'm at 20, I'm cakewalking my way through all of the Tortage quests.

Of course, I can only imagine the shock I'll be in for when I get to the level appropriate stuff on the mainland....

Posted: Jul 31st 2008 2:46AM (Unverified) said

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I haven't seen anyone mention this, though I did just skim a lot of comments, but there have been rumors since before launch that at some point Funcom would remove the necessity of playing the first 20 levels after you had cleared them once, skipping right to your race's area. If/when this will be implemented, only Funcom can say.

Also, the scope and pace of the game seemed to shift after 20 for me, though it was and remains a bit of a slog to level in this game (bear shaman as well). You will be pleased to note, however, that unlike most games where the mechanics remain the same from about 20 on ("Congratulations on level 60! You can now get Fireball Rank 10! Keep spamming that button!"), your combos gradually change over time as well. They don't always simply get longer - the first button you're used to hitting to get the combo rolling may change as well. It keeps the fights engrossing as you level. I recently dropped WoW to work this full time, though I agree with the comments about this game being much more difficult, but in a way that feels more meaningful than any mmo before - this mmo is not about who has the most time to play the game, but instead rewards the skillful player. Love it or hate it - or like me sometimes love it and hate it - but MMOs will never be quite the same because of it.

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