Sunday, January 24

AoC News

Robert E. Howard's birthday recently passed so it's time for some AoC news :)

Things, as ever, are moving forward in AoC. Patch 1.5 bought us the itemisation revamp along with the Commons District and now we have patch 1.6 looming on the horizon. 1.6 introduces Tier 3 raiding and a massive guild revamp. Guild's will now be able to gain/grind renown, guild cities made it clear from the outset guilds are important, this revamp confirms it and has some added bonuses, those bonuses include a tonne of RP elements to bring your guild city alive, as it stands a guild city has already seen some substantial growth, many vendors, whores, soldiers and trainers have moved in to take advantage of the protection and shelter and soon an abundance of decorations, statues and plant life will become available to those prepared to work for it. From what I've seen I would say RP players aren't grind/large guild orientated and these things will remain less than RP and just simple decorations for guilds who have achieved everything else? There are a couple of smaller RP elements introduced including the ability to rent out rooms in a tavern for those wanting to RP something of an adult nature or maybe for privacy to plot and scheme.

Some of the new renown items:

Full info on Guild Renown

AoC has always been balanced around group play, sadly as yet one of their promised crowning glories; mass sieges, have yet to be optimised, that along with probably one of the worst crafting systems out there and not enough PvP variety are a few rather sharp, deep thorns in it's side that may well be overlooked by some returners and maybe new players. 1.6 does promise some new PvP but it's likely to come towards the end of this set of patching. House of Crom, the new play field will be part of 1.6 but has yet to hit the test servers.

Tier 3 raiding along with a new token system for raid loot is already on the test server and is getting good reviews, seems that the more interesting mechanics, started with the Thunder River instance of Xibaluku have been carried forward in to raid instances. As somebody who enjoys the concept of 24 people working in harmony towards an end, I'm looking forward to T3, it's easy to tire of the hamster wheel of raiding and a recent visit back to my old guild shows that the majority there felt the same and have hung up their swords, staves and bows, maybe they will return when T3 hits live?

Further trickles of news about the expansion show cases some of the faction armours:

The Last legion

The Brittle Blade

The Scarlet Circle

Scholars of Cheng-ho

Tamarin Tigers

Wolves of the Steppes

The Shadows of Jade

Children of Yagkosha

The Hyrkanians

Looking forward to new raid content , the rest 1.6 has to offer and the 'Rise of the Godslayer' expansion was enough to get me back in to the game, rolled a carbon copy of my Tempest of Set back on the Hyrkania RP server, I transferred my toons to Crom a while back, so far it's been a joy, discovering the new twists and turns introduced since I last started a new toon, relishing the lush graphics and the so very nicely written quests and lore, after the dissapointment of Aion and the many F2P titles I tried, it feels like I've come home again. The new server merges this week will see an increase in population on our quiet RP server with no signs of discontent, it seems they did their homework well. The English speaking community will see the servers go down from 6 to 4.

Nahkti (V2) Facing a foe during his last act of heroism in Tortage


  1. Nice to see you found yourself back in the wonderful world of Hyrkania again. I still think AOC is one of the most beautiful games I have played, and loved every minute of it. Well, maybe a bit less the last minutes when I felt I had seen it all.

    This post does want me to return again. Although I care less for the T3 raiding content. I am afraid I will still have the done-it-all feeling. I should probably wait till the expansion comes out, and then start over all fresh.

    The guild city adds sounds cool, but as you already said it is probably not boosting RP too much since RP guilds are rather small. So some of that might be lost. Still interesting enough to check out at some point.

    Any idea when the expansion is scheduled to be released?

  2. Phe I think you have still yet to experience Ymnirs Pass, a truly massive play field with the awesome Amphitheatre instance, don't also forget that leveling post 20 can be done in 3 areas, a tonne of new quests throughout the game, Xibaluku and Slaughterhouse in Thunder River and more since you last played...tempted yet? :)

    I returned to my old guild on Hyrkania to be surprised that their guild city already has some Tier 3 buildings, so may be the RP community will see some more collaboration with loose guilds built from smaller like minded guilds in order to take advantage of all those goodies (I'm adding some screens of new items for cities).

    The order of things seems to be: Server merges this week, 1.6 very soon after and then preparations for the expansion, although many, including myself, are pushing for more PvP content prior to the expansion, not that I do PvP but the PvP community has had very little. General speculation seems to be around may for the expansion release, 3 to 4 months away, no official word just the majority of guesses.

    The expansion is bringing mostly high level content, it looks like you can start a new character in Khitai then most leveling is done back in the original game in order to return to Khitai for the max level content. Looks like it will provide an alternative to Tortage ?

    Interested in why Raiding is a no go? I can appreciate the frustrations of finding a large enough group followed by the frustrations of the possibility of so many people making mistakes making for one long frustrating experience, but when it works well, and strategies are found it's a great feeling when so many people work well together, the encounters themselves have to be interesting and AoC is definately moving in the right direction there. I find myself itching to get back in to it but at the same time I don't like the religious requirements of raid times and the hard core attitude surrounding them, it ceases to be fun, becomes more like 'work' and as soon as it feels like a hamster wheel of grind I'm out ....Having said that I think the lower population on somewhere like Hyrk' means more PuG raids which provide a much more casual way to experience the content, even though there is far more potential for frustration, a friendly, helpful, experienced and patient community is needed for that to work well, I'm a long way off 80 so I'll let you know how that works out nearer the time.

  3. Oooh, must read tonight.
    Didn't get around to it last night as I was feeling all head-coldy and was vegetating and sniffling in front of the TV instead.

    I was going to write a post contrasting AoC's lack of redundant content to LOTRO's abundance thereof at least in the earlier levels, but I'll have to be careful about that from what I glanced :-)

  4. For me raids have nothing that I am looking for in a game. It has a lot waiting, more waiting, then some button smashing in screen filled with players and foes. I don't get the feeling I am doing anything clever. Just pressing buttons and hope I won't die. And once it is done you can do it again the next day, and the next day.

    I know that playing a game in general has no real purpose, and it is just entertainment. But the purpose of raiding feels even more futile to me. it is all about loot, and not a great story or a progression. You are already at the end, hence the word endgame.

    I think I would be more excited about large scale PvP sieges. There you could make your own story and have a sense of accomplishments. The cloak of uberness doesn't do it for me.

  5. Oh cool! You can get a Cerulean Beauty. That would be the first thing I would buy with my renown.

    And on a separate note, Nahkti v2 looks wonderfully evil. Great screenshot. Maybe you should make it into an forum avater and signature *grin*

  6. Yeah, a stuffed Yam*~ Cerulean beauty would be first on my shopping list too.
    It does sound nice, and I didn't know yet that they finally got the Commons to work. It got left out of the earlier update when they got Ymnir's pass in. Of the two the Commons sounded more interesting to me.

    I kinda agree with Phè on the raiding, although not as vehemently, but I would still have a lot of trouble with a lot of the attitude(s) surrounding raiding. It's more or less the same reason I don't like PvP, because I don't care about beating someone else. Raiding isn't about that, but it's still too much about ego. Showing of in front of an audience. Pass!
    I prefer enjoying myself without the need to proof myself.

    I'll have to give the game another shot sometime, a shame really you posted this after I resubbed LotRO and got Phè to finally sign up...

  7. Hmm, I think my comments on raiding were a bit too harsh then. I am pretty sure you (Lani) dislike raiding more than me. I didn't even think about the ego thing. I went a bit in exaggeration mode.

    I'll be back in AOC some time in the future, but now I have too many other games (mostly FE *grin*) that take precedence.

    And like Cuppytalk pointed out painfully accurate in [url=]this post[/url] I have a whole list of other games to play first. Maybe by the time the expansion comes out I either have the urge or time to play AOC again. In the meantime keep poking us with great screenshots and stories.

  8. Raiding isn't about showing off (well for me anyway, I'm sure you know that *grin*) it's the fun of the encounter along with the camaraderie that I enjoy, the loot is an added bonus which in AoC rarely comes although Nahkti is almost outfitted in complete T1/T2, that came about due to the fact I was the only ToS on the team for a long time. I agree with you both though there is a lot to put you off, guess I've been lucky in most of the raid guilds I've been in.

    Phe, sadly that isn't how Nahkti (V2) looks, that's the foe he was facing, it's first person view, I did use that as a new forum sig but I guess you knew that already (sneaky!).

    I have yet to actually play through the Common's story line, I've done the Crows Nest group instance a few times, explored a lot and completed the solo instance several times too, got myself the furry meowing kitten social pet, he's cute :)

    I will tell some stories of my travels and see if I can write as eloquently as Phe's tales of FE.

    Guess we will probably get to play together later rather than sooner but we have here to keep each other amused and informed :) look forward to both your tales of LotRO, a game I've tried a few times but that never quite hooked me.

  9. The siege problem looks to be heading toward a resolution, there was a post by Craig on the forums asking players to test Siege performance on the test servers during the down time for server merges, everyone was positively surprised, it seems that the work FC have done has succeeded, the test sieging yesterday ran the most smoothly since launch, nothing but positive reports and excitement from the PvP community, the optimisation also improves performance across the board including raids.

    48 v 48 and no significant lag nor any crashing, it will be a very good thing for the game when this hits live, even this carebear is excited about trying a siege :)