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Back to Hyboria

October 11, 2008 4 comments

I have just got into a mood of dusting off and trying some previosuly played or looked at games again and see what they are like now. So first I decided to dust off my Age of Conan DVDs and reinstall the game.

When I originally started to play Age of Conan I never continued past the initial month. Not because the game was buggy (although it had its share of problems), but I did not really feel any urge to get in and play the game – too many frustrating bits and pieces, plus that I also had Issue 12 for City of Heroes/Villains, whose content for me was much more enjoyable at that point.

So now a few months later I have decided to play a bit of Age of Conan. Not particularly much probably, but a little bit every now and then.

The first step in the game was to start play what was my favourite character when I played, my Herald of Xotli – Tatiana.

Tatiana in Khemi

Tatiana in Khemi

At level 22, she had barely left Tortage and had just started to look arond a bit in the near surroundings when I stopped playing her.

Exploring Khopshef province

Exploring Khopshef province

One thing I decided when starting to play now was to not go the quest-or-die route and try to optimize the questing. I.e. not collecting all quests found from quest givers and try to complete all near each other in some area. Instead my character will mostly ignore all the quest givers, do a bit of exploration of the world on her own and pick up quests once in a while only, if they seem to have a reasonable challenge or story.

But first I decided to work on the quests I already had picked up during my previous ventures to Hyboria, some in Khemi and some in the nearby Khopshef province mainly. And do some exploration of the area at the same time. It is a nice region with a desert, Nile area theme. It relly needs graphics settings on high to look good though IMHO. Fortunately that was not a problem.

Running around abit on random led to a few encounters and enemies which were a bit of out of my league initially, in particular when they walked around in groups. Death is always near 😉 I did encounter a friendly Mantis though, but he did not provide much info about himself and his kind other than that they have some kind of hive society.

Chatting with a Mantis

Chatting with a Mantis

While I explored I also of course started to re-learn the bits and pieces that I picked up the previous time. After a while the combat started to flow reasonably well. The stats on the items are still not clear what the effect is, but since most drops or what I found at vendor was pretty similar or worse to what I already had, I did not have to bother so much with item stats, which I think is good.

The game still has lots of trash loot drops and not much inventory space. However I did notice in Khemi that additional bags were cheaper/larger than what I remembered them. Back then I could not really any bag I found in Tortage. But now I could buy a 12 slot bag for less than 10% of the money I had.

I still wish that there was less trash loot or some trash filter similar to that Tabula Rasa has.

While most of the quests were in Khopshef and Stygia, I was sent through follow-ups on those quests to some other parts, for example the Conarch village/valley area. I did not pick up any new quests here inline with my plan, but the area looks quite and I might put some time in my bear shaman to get out of Tortage and to Conarch.

I did not meet many players when running around. There were a few much higher level than me in the hub areas and in Khopshef I did encounter other players of similar levels, but never more than one at a time.

From a technical point of view I have not had any problems with the game so far, it has worked quite fine. They could do a better implementation of the screenshot function I think though, I do not see a reason to freeze the game for a short bit just for a screenshot.

Categories: Age of Conan

Fulfilling the Prophecies

October 11, 2008 Comments off

After the previous incident with the Vizier/Lich Lord, Wolf certainly felt a bit bad. It is not everyday a so called hero contributes to the end of the world as we know it – it certainly would not look good on the CV for any hero…

So there was not much else to do than to try to get rid of the Titans and the Lich Lord.

Starting with the Titans, it seemed that by opening the Door of Komalie this allowed for some Titan Portals to open, which now need to be closed again. Of course, these are deep into Titan-infested territory.

The Titans resembles to a large extent their surrounding with lava, rock and fire – but they are easy to distinguish from the environment due to that they tend to move and attack. Not only do they attack, but some formations of the Titans become other formations when they are killed.
So when a Burning Titan was killed, it transformed into a Risen Ashen Hulk (piece of rock thing). When a Hulk was killed it turned into two other creatures, Hand of the Titans and Fist of the Titans (glowing rock creatures).

In addition to this a bunch of fire imp like creatures called Sparks of the Titans also ran around in the area. Luckily these did not turn into other creatures when killed, but were quite good in making damage.

Can you spot the Armageddon Lords?

Can you spot the Armageddon Lords?

So a group of 3-4 creatures could often end up being a fight with 8-10 creatures and each group took a bit of time. On top of that Mr L Lord popped up every now and then to mock the team…

Finally Wolf’s arrived to an area which seemed to contain both the Titan Portals as well as a big bunch of Titan guys patrolling the Portal area. On top of that, three Armageddon Lords were also standing nearby with their backs turned.

First things first, the regular way of dealing with lots of enemies is the good old pulling trick. Luckily the Titan fellows did not seem to be too social and it was fairly easy to pull just one at a time of most of the Titans. And one Titan at a time is quite easy to deal with.

I spy some Titan portals...

I spy some Titan portals...

The whole process took a while, but finally the area near the portals was clear. Each portal was guarded by 3 portal wraiths, which had to be killed to close each portal. With all portal wraiths killed, all portals were closed and this triggered the interest of our good old evil-doer the Lich Lord.

Destroying the portals did not seem to cause any major concern for LL, or at least he did not show it. Instead he summoned up a few Titans and a surprise guest to the show, the undead corpse of Prince Rurik. I must admit it took a bit longer than a few nanoseconds to remember who Rurik was actually, since it was so long ago in the story. But then Wolf remembered and felt a bit embarrased for not remembering – it was his former boss after all…

After this summoning Mr Lord moved on to do some other evil-doer stuff.

With a bit of pulling Wolf’s posse managed to reduce the number of Titans a bit before actually causing Prince Rurik to attack. Prince Rurik was really sorry about the whole thing, said he was just following orders etc. Eventually Wolf’s team defeated Rurik and the other summoned Titans there.
Rurik passed on a hint to defeat the Lich Lord – beat him in the caldera area where the Door to Komalie was opened and the door would be closed again and the threat from the Titans would end.

Closed door, Dead Lich

Closed door, Dead Lich


Considering the circumstances that sounded like a good tip and Wolf’s team headed of for the caldera area.
Of course Mr Lich was there, along with a few Titans as well. The nearby Titans were defeated and then it was time for Lich himself. Being a big bad guy, LL is a level 30 enemy, which is higher than most encounters. The whole team started with the beating, which worked ok. Mr Lich had a habit though of teleporting himself back and forth, which caused some running around – sometimes into burning lava.
When the team throught he was killed through he just regained all his health a gain and the team had to start over. Some more Titans appeared also, which were taken care of before continuing with LL.
Finally Mr Lord was killed again and although he seemed to regain health again this seemed to be considered an actual real hero-does-the-job kill and the victory cutscene started to roll a fraction of a second later.

The World is saved! For real this time!

Lots of cheering and celebrations and Wolf was presented with a reward from the king of the creepy dwarves, His Highness Jails Ironhammer himself.

Now Wolf has finally and officially become one of the Cool Guys, have unlocked Hard Mode for the campaign, can access some end-game areas and probably have unlocked a few more cool skills also.

And yeah, he saved Tyria also…

Categories: Guild Wars

Beating the Mursaat, part 2

October 11, 2008 Comments off

Last time Wolf and his gang had started their path through the Ring of Fire mission, but ran into problem with the local wildlife. This time through a more careful approach was taken and as a result progress was much better.

After circling the Mursaat compound the Wolf team attacked the guard house from “behind” and managed to work our way a few Mursaat troops to get to the end and taking control of the guard house area. When this was done, the path to the entrance of the volcano, aka Abaddon’s Mouth, was available.

Once this was done our old buddy Vizier Khilborn popped up again to say a few words for the dead dwarf Brechnar Ironhammer, who had joined the posse but ran off and got himself killed right at the start.

Fighting the Jade warriors

Fighting the Jade warriors

Next task was to enter the Abaddon’s Mouth area and break through the defences the Mursaat had set up in order to open the Door of Komalie. Right at the start Vizier Khilborn dropped in to cheer us on, but as usual he soon disappeared again.

Fights from this point was mainly groups of Mursaat and their Jade warrior buddies. Also there were a number of doors (not Komalie) to be broken through which were sealed with Ether Seals, which needed some care and removal of nearby Mursaat/Jade troops first.

Wolf and his gang had gotten used to this fighting through, so it did not pose too much trouble. Once in a while there was a boss to fight as well. This was not much of a problem either, since there was generally only one boss and many of the regular enemies nearby could be pulled before taking care of the boss.

One of the Abaddon's Mouth gates

One of the Abaddons Mouth gates

When getting a bit closer to the Komalie area there were two bosses in front of an ether sealed gate. This fight took longer than most of the other fights in the area, but in the end they were defeated.

Mursaat boss fight

Mursaat boss fight


When Wolf’s team finally arrived to the Door of Komalie area it turned out that the door itself was more of the virtual kind, a magical entity to another dimension or something like that – not entirely surprising.

This was sealed by 6 ether seals in the middle of a caldera area. Whenever a seal was broken, a bunch of ghosts appeared and attacked the team. The Mursaat had not yet given up either and there was a regular stream of Mursaat guardians arriving to the festivities.

Vizier Khilborn, aka the Lich Lord

Vizier Khilborn, aka the Lich Lord


 
Finally the last seal was broken! The Door of Komalie opened! The rule of Mursaat is broken ! The world is saved!

 

…not!

Our Vizier buddy turned out to be the nasty guy that was shown a glimpse of a long time ago, the Lich Lord. By opening the Door of Komalie it allowed a bunch of creatures called the Titans to enter our world. By using the Scepter of Orr, the Lich Lord controlled these creatures and sent them out to conquer the various parts of Tyria. Real bummer…

Categories: Guild Wars