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A room with a mountain view

March 24, 2013 Comments off

Recently Zelmira, my Herald of Xotli, continued her travels into the Eiglophian Mountains. As with most of Cimmeria so far, it is a quite scenic area – tall mountains, forest areas, roaring wildlife – and of course some evildoers and general trouble.

Time for some R&R at the local lodge

Time for some R&R at the local lodge

In the Eiglophian Mountains the local Cimmerians seem to hunt elk and bear for meat and fur, with some snow leopards and bobcats thrown in as well. Business is reasonably ok and there there is a fairly constant demand to assist with the hunting. All is not well though, life is disrupted by local tribes of cannibals. The cannibals are rather uncivilized, not much better than at stone age level – normally they would not be a match for the Cimmerians to deal with.

However, the various tribes seems to have become significantly more organized and the sheer number of these cannibal tribesmen are causing significant problems and are causing much trouble among the Cimmerians. There are some indications that there may be some Evil Sorcery behind all of this. (Is there a time where Evil Sorcery is not behind major trouble in this world?)

I do very much enjoy the setting and the scenery here – perhaps is it this combined with real life longing for spring and heading out more into the local nature that has caused an increased time for me with this game. We do not have the mountains here in real life, but one does not need to go away far to enjoy forests, lakes etc away from the bustling city life.

Full moon, mountains, forest, cannibals - what more could one want from a night out?

Full moon, mountains, forest, cannibals – what more could one want from a night out?

In Eiglophian Mountains Zelmira kind of reached a milestone, as she passed level 50. My first character ever to reach that level in the game. This triggered a feature which has been in the game for a few years and which I was reminded of when reading the forums – all acounts that have or get a character to 50+ can create a new character, starting directly at level 50. This is a one-time offer only, so only one such character can be created.

While I decided to use this opportunity, it was not actually not something that I was looking forward using. I enjoy leveling characters, so that we can get to know each other and figure out how he/she can evolve in their abilities. Starting with a level 50 character right away is perhaps a bit like meeting a person you have not met for several years, trying to figure you each of you are how and how you can relate to each other. I decided to go with a Guardian, as I saw this as a more team-oriented role to play (tank) and possibly something that would be time consuming to level all the way.

I created a level 50 Guardian thus, but I will not be playing him now – content-wise he would be doing the same things as Zelmira pretty much, so her will wait for a time when I have fewer character around 50 probably, or if I want to put more focus into tanking – which may be after I get some more team play in this game under my belt.

A bit of dancing while waiting for a Lycan boss to spawn...

A bit of demo dancing while waiting for a Lycan boss to spawn…

Senmei, my Demonologist, have also received a bit more of time and love recently. After doing most of the missions in the Tarantia Noble District, she has also headed off to Cimmeria and the Field of the Dead. In her mid-40s level-wise, starting to play in this area was quite easy – it also helped a bit to have done the missions before. It is pretty fun, although I think I will play some lower level characters a bit more now also instead – there is not a huge selection of various zones at this level. It could get a bit repetitive.

As a premium player there is also the off-line leveling option and I have 30+ levels in the buffer to use. However, this is not something I want to make any big jumps with – I see this as an option to speed up leveling slightly from time to time, if I do content that I have done a couple of times before. So this will probably get used a bit more at some point, but not yet.

The situation in the picture above is one of the reasons I like to play the game more now; every now and then there is a situation where there are multiple players with the same objective, typically a boss encounter. Often that leads to some kind of team – sometimes that only lasts for the boss fight, sometimes it lasts longer. Bosses can take a bit of time to re-spawn sometimes, which increases the incentive to team up with each other – even if the boss fight would be possible to solo, it is more courteous to share the effort rather than compete for it. It is a bit “old school” compared to public events/quests in some other games, but still gives a similar effect – and also still manage to retain the feel of a virtual world rather than a game.

FireView

Categories: Age of Conan Tags:

From Cimmeria with love

March 17, 2013 1 comment

About two weeks ago I wrote that I had started to play Age of Conan as a side MMO, to complement my gaming in The Secret World. Well, it turned out that I actually spent the majority of my game time in Age of Conan instead. The Secret World got its fair share, but definitely less than my time in a setting a bit closer to nature.

WildLandsView1

Jotunheimer

I have 6 different characters in Age of Conan; at this point I have pretty much decided to put more focus on three of them. Jotunheimer is a Cimmerian barbarian who has been quite happy with swinging both axes and swords. Starting with big, two-handed weapons he has switched to do more dual-wielding sword action. At the time of the previous Age of Conan post he was just about to pick up his destiny question for level 30. In the old ages when I played the game this mission was fairly easy. I noticed last year and learned now also that the difficulty had increased a bit – the Blood Defiler Guardian runs back and heals himself a couple of times to full health.

BloodDefilerGuardian

Still, compared to the other characters that I have ran through this mission, my barbarian handled it better than most of the others. Part of that is of course lessons learned from previous fights with the guardian. I started to pick up some more missions in Khopshef Province, but decided it was time to see some new views – and headed off to the Wild Lands of Zelata. I quite enjoyed my time there. Compared to Khopshef Province I thought the story going through the missions were a bit more solid and coherent, most of it fit together quite well I think.

DualWieldBarbarian

Each of my three characters that I have been playing have been going through different areas in the 30-40 level range; Jotunheimer (barbarian)  in Wild Lands, Senmei (demonologist) in Gateway to Khitai and Zelmira (Herald of Xotli) in Khopshef Province. I have enjoyed all these areas – Wild Lands is probably my favourite from a story perspective, followed by Gateway to Khitai. Despite the quest hub design to give out missions I think the game does a pretty good job in providing story material with their missions. It is not at the same level as in The Secret World, but certainly above average in the MMO themepark space. It is a bit of a shame with the quest hub design that it sort of encourages people to skip through the mission texts.

As this is written, Jotunheimer has just reached level 40 and has now been eligible to pick up a horse. He is a poor Cimmerian though and the prices at the Stable Masters are out of his league still. However, I noticed that both riding training and horses can be picked up for a few veteran reward tokens. It seems I have well over 200 of these tokens and with Basic riding training priced at 1 token and a basic horse at 3 tokens, it felt like a quite easy choice.  So now Jotunheimer has a Mahogany Bay horse for travelling.

MahoganyHorse

Zelmira

Zelmira, my Herald of Xotli, has been mowing her way through the Field of the Dead, which is a level 40-50 zone. At level 47 she has done most of the missions there with a handful remaining. Lots of Vanir to beat up, but also werewolves as well as some more natural wild life has been on the menu.

DeadWerewolf

At one point here it felt that there may be a bit of a gap levelwise, the remaining missions were coloured red. It was at this point that I discovered that there also were another 40+ zone, the Tarantia Noble District. I had seen that there had been mentions of repeatable “dungeons” there (the villas), but I did not actually realize it seemed to be a proper leveling zone as well. Aside from the villas it seems the missions there were for the low 40s range primarily. Zelmira has done 2-3 villa visits, but will then be heading back to Field of the Dead. I really like playing Herald of Xotli, it is a fun mix of melee and magic. Also, since she swings a fairly big weapon it is also easier to hit multiple enemies at once, plus switching to demon form and charging the enemies it certainly feels like going into overdrive. Really fun!

BurnBabyBurn

ArmsmanTavern1

Senmei

My demonologist is a bit more traditional mage type, mostly nuking things with electricity and fire – lots of fire. She has spent all of her time since leaving Tortage in the Gateway to Khitai area. After defeating the Sand Demon there it felt like it was time to move on and the other parts of the world. At the time she had arrived in Khemi, I had also figured out that Tarantia Noble District was a proper zone to play in.

SandDemon

Khemi3

She also needed a horse to move around, so she got herself a white stallion and jumped in to help the poor soldiers with the Nemedians and other problems in the area.  Some of the missions quickly moved into places with enemies a few levels higher, but that worked still fine, most of the time. The times it did not work so well it was still possible to run off near some of the level 80 guards, which swiftly killed the bad guys then. That leads to the thought, if they can defeat the enemies so easily – why don’t they sort out the problems themselves? Probably not politically correct, so it is preferable to bring in outsiders to do the dirty work.

WhiteHorse

I have quite enjoyed playing all three characters. As I mentioned before, one reason the game is more fun now than last year it that there are more people around. There is almost always some other players nearby. In fact, most of the game sessions I have had in the game since the return a few weeks ago have also involved teaming with others. In many cases this was triggered by a boss to be defeated; either to get some help or simply to avoid competing for the same boss, forcing someone of us to wait for a respawn. In some cases these teams also led to continued teaming doing some other missions as well.

Categories: Age of Conan Tags: ,