By now, everyone's aware that Funcom
is getting ready to unleash the world of Hyboria on the free-to-play
scene. What you may not know is that in addition to the hybrid payment model, the Age of Conan Unrated
update is going to be be bringing new content to the game as well.
Said content comes in the form of two new solo dungeons located in the lands of Khitai. Both instances are repeatable and designed to scale to a player's level (between 40 and 80), providing an alternative to the Tarantia Villas 40 to 80 experience that formerly filled in the gaps in AoC's
mid-level curve. Funcom
has told us that the new instances -- The Breach and The Forgotten City -- will be freely available to subscribers and available to Unrated
F2P players for a small fee.
Join us after the break for Funcom's take on the game mechanics, the storylines, and the locations themselves. While you're at it, check out the new dungeon images in our Age of Conan
The Breach and The Forgotten City
These brand-new dynamic dungeons will be a great launch addition to the Age of Conan Unrated
content options. As dynamic dungeons, these solo instances take advantage of our Dreamworld technology and scale the experience to the player's level so that all players between level 40 and 80 can enjoy the content. Following on from the very well received max level solo instance (The Refuge of the Apostate
, which was released last month), these new instances are designed to add some great, repeatable, fun, and engaging content for players as they progress through the levels.
In The Breach, players are asked to deal with a situation caused by an unprecedented event in the history of Khitai, something not seen in a hundred generations, not in all of history: There is a break in the Great Wall of Khitai! The Hyrkanians can smell this wound in the belly of the beast from miles away, and their mouths water. Nekkhi Khan leads a war band into the great empire. Yet not all Hyrkanians agree with this self-proclaimed khan. Some say Khitai is a sleeping dragon. Some say now is not the time to wake it.
When the news of a breach in the Great Wall reached the Hyrkanian settlements, it first resulted in a mass migration of Hyrkanian travelers and adventurers. Never before had there been a hole in the wall, and stories began to surface of what lay beyond: green forests, lush grasslands, rice pads as far as the eye could see, and a kind but reserved people. Most of it was just expectations, quickly adjusted as the first travelers returned. Few made it through the breach, and even fewer came back. The ones who did told a tale of dreading wall guardians made of earth and bone, and weary sorcerers not always able to control them.
As time went by, the attempts to cross the border became fewer, but still occasional war bands try to cross into the covert land, like just recently Nekhi Khan and his vicious warriors. The more peaceful Hyrkanians, following Menudsjin, see Khitai as a sleeping beast they don't want to wake. So the player will be tasked to stop and defeat Nekhi Khan before his war band brings the wrath of Khitai upon the Hyrkanians. Peace must be kept, and it will be up to the players to enter the Breach and face the dangers and evils that are literally pouring through as if the breach were an open wound in the land itself.
If The Breach sees you dealing with the consequences of a current problem for the lands of Khitai, The Forgotten City sees you diving into its past to right an ancient wrong. Legend tells of a great Lemurian admiral who long ago discovered the secret of eternal life. It was by mere luck that he found the answer to this divine riddle, which was never meant to be solved by any mortal. But the stories speak of how the admiral found and kept the source of immortality some six thousand years ago!
With knowledge came greed. The Lemurian admiral feared that his secret could be stolen away from him by rivals or by those of royal blood. So he decided not to return to Lemuria but to build a great city to protect and hide the source of everlasting life from the rest of the world and to keep it only to himself and his loyal followers. So it came to pass that the Lemurian admiral proclaimed himself king and had his loyal subjects build a city. A city that survived the great cataclysm that wiped out the rest of the Lemurian society from the face of the world. And so the great city and its secret was forgotten in time.
But there are people who have learned of the Forgotten City once again in present times. And they know about the secret it holds. They want to learn about immortality and rip the answer from the Lemurian king at all costs! So they look for able men and women to travel to the remote location of the Forgotten City and breach its sealed gates. What dangers lie behind, nobody knows. But it is certain that the open courtyards and once splendid buildings of the city are inhabited with life that has been there for thousands of years. Who knows? Some of these creatures might even welcome death after such a long time of living. Are you ready to grant them their wish?
These instances have been designed to supplement the leveling content available in the game and provide another option for players who want a break from the outdoor areas and the general questing along the road to the maximum level. Previously the only repeatable daily content was the Villas in the Tarantia Noble District, and since those have been around since the game's launch, we thought it was about time that we added some new locations and a little more variety.
We have also come a long way in how we tell stories since those launch days. As players have seen with the new instances at maximum level like the Refuge of the Apostate and the Paikang districts, the instances have become much more about weaving a compelling narrative into the instanced experiences, and these new locations are no different. These instances offer more than just wandering corridors beating on the residents of a noble's home.
They are designed to provide a relatively quick, interesting addition to the content available for people as they level up. We have tried to maintain the format from the other recent instances and make the encounters engaging for the player without being too frustrating, given they are solo content.
So the experience is punctuated with some cool encounters and pivotal moments in each instance. Whether it is the climatic encounter with the leader of the rogue warband in a makeshift arena that has literally been erected around the breach in the wall itself, or fighting an ancient Lemurian sorcerer on the edge of a precipitous ravine, players will find the encounters fun and involving.
The two instances couldn't be more different despite their proximity in the game world. The Breach is a foul place, lashed with an almost unnatural rain that some might mistake for the gods trying in vain to wash away the evil that has infected their once proud lands. The raiders shelter in their makeshift camps and construct barricades from the aggressive and rampaging Kang Zai... it is a bleak place, lit only by the torches and pyres of the raiding forces, a fitting backdrop for what will be a brutal, bloody and challenging battle with the raiding forces.
The Forgotten City, on the other hand, has something of a majestic air about it... it may have fallen into disrepair, having been cut off from society for many centuries, but you can tell that it was once a magnificent and spectacular city with amazing vistas... once you find it, of course. Players will have to be careful not to just go for the sightseeing however, as the local residents don't take too kindly to visitors.
So there you have it, and we hope you enjoy the experience in these two new instances for Age of Conan Unrated
. There will be blood on your hands by the end of these encounters, but the satisfaction from banishing your foes and having fought tooth and nail through two very different sets of dangers will burn in you until called for again.