Friday, May 14

Rising to slay a God

I've been playing Age of Conan again for the last two days. Well, part of the time anyway.
You know you're playing a Funcom MMO when they launch an expansion on the 11th followed by a 6 hour maintenance downtime smack in the middle of European Prime Time.
No-one manages to miss the barn like Funcom in matters of well timed actions...

I really wanted to start the Kithan content as low in level as possible so I first tried getting through Tortage again for a day. I'd rolled a new Kithan Ranger, Osprey, to explore the world with.
It was good to walk the streets of Tortage again. Especially with the DirectX 10 Test stuff running at full tilt. It's another gaffe imo that at the time of the first expansion DirectX 10 implementation is still visibly marked as ' Test'. Maybe you forgot, but DirectX 10 features were a selling point on the box during the original game's launch.

Unfortunately it took a whole day and 15 levels for me to realize that Ranger isn't my class. Sorry but the way combo's are applied to the Ranger class doesn't work for me. It might have been different if you fired one arrow at the end of a combo, not one for each step, ensuring you will always end up shooting your foes from point blank range. At the end of it I decided not to continue with Osprey.

DX10 Khemi looking good
So today I was going to give it another shot.
I could reroll, but rerolling would be as either an Assassin or a Herald. The Assassin was a no-go based on the sheer number of overly buxxom killer courtesans I'd ran into the day before. The Herald was a possibility but after a whole day of playing through Tortage I didn't really fancy rerolling as something else and go through all that again. I didn't feel like continuing with my Ranger either. Luckily I have more than one bird in my hand.

Kestrel, my Guardian alt, was only 26 and should be able to Roleplay her way through the low twenties quests of the first Kithai zone, Gateway to Kithai. And so I picked up her spear again and donned the woad warpaint and took her into the far East.

75 coppers to boat across 100 yards of water that doesn't even have crocs???

So far I'm liking what I see. The first pleasant surprise for me was that the Gateway to Kithai means lots and lots of Hyrkanians. I'd been missing these mongol hordes in the original campaign and I'm sure glad they at least maken an appearance here. The Quests and storylines of Gateway are interesting and well worked out. I've noticed they've tried to give some quests a rogueish tint (actually using the Hide skill) which probably makes them boring as heck for the classes that actually have that. But for a clumsy cluttering ... Cimerian in the china cabinet they're quite challenging.

The views are as could've been expected, spectacular!

Some other nice things that have been added over the months that I only now came across are the armor shops. Those were added a long time ago and only sell 80's stuff but it all looks splendid. There's fluff pets you can buy in Old Tarantia and a Veterans reward quartermaster. This one sells a lot of fluff and horses and additional Pathway spells for in excahnge for Veteran Tokens (one per month per character or so I believe). It's mostly convenience gear. The stuff you've gotten used to from many similar carrot programs. The nice thing with Funcom is that you get to choose what you want through means of the token currency.
These Veteran Tokens are but one variant of a series of Tokens you can get inside the game, primarily through Raiding I gathered. I suspect you buy the next treadmill with those tokens, or the gear needed to get into the next treadmill maybe?

Another improvement I spotted is that each nation now sports a gaggle of hairdressers/dyers, face-painters and tattooists who in exchange for sinking your money back into the game will give you a makeover. As the makeover costs 15 Silver per part I haven't experimented yet, but I do believe this is now the way to finally get that Aquilonian red hair on your Cimmerian, or Woad painting on your Stygian.

The only downside is that whoever placed these in each city seems to have gotten instructions to under no circumstances have them more than 5 feet apart and in a spot where they not only don't quite fit in the background of the place but actually stikc out so they can't be missed. I suspect he/she was further refrained from tastefully placing them in/around the available stalls by the threat that management would then insist on neon signs or billboards.

Since I for some reason got the CE edition of 'Godslayer' I also have a huge section of stuff under the /claim command. More veteran reward-like stuff. Some interesting, some not so.
Ok, not much of a review really, just felt like mentioning I'm having fun with AoC at the moment.

Oh, if anyone else feels like returning to the world of Hyborea, because of or more likely in spite of my review, do take the time to download the Stonerune GUI. It's very, very good. Not invasive, not breaking with the established look and feel and just plain essential with al the extra abilities that find their way onto your hotbars thanks to the new AA system...

Just what we needed. An AA system adding even more combo's to our hotbars...


  1. I couldn't caption the top picture so I'll use my "hey I made a post! comment" to point out that that is sadly not player armor you see there. It's a Hyrkanian guard. Bit out of canon as Hyrkanians weren't very emancipated to put it lightly...

  2. Yay! After this morning's maintenance the 'groomers' are positioned in a semi-circle whereever you encounter them. I still think they could have done so much more with this, but hey, small favors :-)

    Kestral made it through 95% of the 20-40 content and is now happy to ginally have a mount now that she'll spend the next three levels in no-need-for-a-mount Noble District.
    Then again, that last 5% is a bit of a long walk on foot so she'll probably get to test drive her white stallion in the Hukarnian plains afterall.

    All the rest of the content added to the game since launch is 70-80 except for Ymnir's pass so I think I'll dust off Suhaya's double handed blade as she's 72.
    I'd either have to level Nethra (50) or Kestrel (40) up to 54-ish to get into Ymnir's pass. Right now I'm feeling more like bringing up a true Kithan through Tortage and do the Gateway to Kithai bit again. It is very good. Hmmm, just wish they'd made a better selection of Kithan classes. Kithan Bear Shaman? Ehm, the most hermetic of races using magic has a Bear Shaman? Tempest would have been closer to canon, but seriously they should have accepted their losses and gone for a 4th religious healer.

  3. It's all sounding really good, sadly I won't be able to join you straight away, have a 2 month timecard waiting in the wings but little time to play so probably next week sometime.

    I'm going to be very tempted to roll a new Khitan character to experience the 20-40 content. I think a HoX.

    Nahkti is almost lvl 70 (68) so he should be heading over once I buy myself the xpack. It has been fun leveling Nahkti, discovering all that new content (loads of new quests across levels) as well as playing through Ymirs.

    Keep the posts coming!

  4. Khopshef Province 20-38 (St)
    Wildlands of Zelatta 20-38 (Aq)
    Conall's Valley 20-33 (Ci)
    NEW! Gateway to Kithai 20-40 (Ki)
    Tarantia Nobles District 40-43 (Aq)
    Field of the Dead 40-50 (Ci)
    Eiglophian Mountains 50 - 60 (Ci)
    Ymnir's pass 55-63 (Ci)
    Atzel's approach 60-75 (Ci)
    Thunder River 60-70 (Aq)
    Kheshatta 70-80 (St)
    Tarantia COmmons 77-80 (Aq)
    NEW! Kara KLorum 80-80 (Ki)
    NEW! Northern Grasslands 80-80 (ki)
    NEW! CHosain Province 80-80 (Ki)
    NEW! Paikang 80-80 (Ki)

    1) Level 38 is the time to start your crafting / gathering career. There's not much else to do anyway. (There's a few cross-zone quests around that time that usually get you another level or so and a couple in Old Tarantia itself)
    2) Between levels 43-70 expect to see lots of Cimmerians, Cimmeria in general and oh, snow!
    3) The Rise of the Godslayer expansion is primarily designed towards end-level players. If you're more of a "It's about the journey" type of player it's not really worth it. Although, it contains the single 20-40 area that'll actually get you to 40. If the 80-80 stuff is just as good people must be very happy.
    Since I'm not hearing actual hating on Funcom in the Global chat I guess they are.

  5. Hey! Just now noticed my 'hope to see you soon' message this afternoon got et by the blog's dog.

  6. Finally...account reactivated, RotGS digital purchase and Stonerune installed (yes it is great) I can join you in Khitai. I'll be on either Junundu (lvl 80 PoM), leveling up Nahkti (Lvl 68 ToS) or maybe rolling a new Khitan HoX.

  7. Bad timing Geekz0r.
    I just started my shifts again and have late (15:00-23:00) today and tomorrow. Nigths after. But Monday through Thursday will be my weekend :-)

    I've been alternating between Kestrel (L40) Nethra (53-ish) and rerolled Arezhou as a Kithan Shaman this afternoon. Suhaya's stuck at 72 I think. I want to send Nethra through Ymnir's pass soon as that's a major area I haven't seen yet. I'll see about training Su up a bit maybe?

  8. Lani your going for it on the alts front!

    My lvl 80 PoM feels woefully under powered in Khitai, I haven't played him since the last major PoM 'nerf' so it's a mixture of lvl 81 mobs and that I think.

    Want to get my ToS up to speed, still my favourite class.

  9. It does seem that way doesn't it?
    It's probably a combination of me wanting to list any toons in compatible level-zones to yours and that I've been approaching AoC with a mindset of "Where's the new Content?" rather than really getting into a character. I did for a bit with kestrel, but didn't feel like redoing the 40-50 content again. Old Tarantia Noble district has grown a bit stale for me. Especially with the rehash of Villa quests you can do at all levels I've seen too much of it. I really wish they'd created a 40-50 zone in either Stygia or Kithia. alas.

    I'm mostly playing with Nethra now, having fun insulting the Cimmerians and complaining about the cold in Eiglophian(sp?) mountains. As soon as she finds a quest leading her into Ymnir's pass she'll be off that mountain in a heartbeat. probably that of a Minion unlucky enough to come near.

    I saw a lengthy discussion the other day about PoM, BS and ToS which sadly focused solely on who was best for raiding rather than which was more fun to play, but the gest of it was that BS is now the predominant healer with some ToSes disagreeing vehemently on account of that class having better DPS. PoM's went from Nr1 to Nr3 after getting nerved.

    I picked BS for Arezhou mostly because I remember my old ToS, Lani, being bored while playing solo and that does appears to be the common play-style while levelling. There's some guilds recruiting newly rolled people but you either have to be a tart, harlot or totally out of character in those. Bear Shaman's melee/healing reminds me a bit of the style I addopted with my old Cleric in VG so that might be fun. Still I killed of my BS character way before I killed of Lani. We'll see. I also want to hop back into Fallen Earth this weekend in hopes that that will get Phè to speak to us again ;-)
    Just kidding, if memory serves Phè is currently off in the Scottish Highlands with family. Do want to pop in though.

  10. P.s. The reason I'm not taking Kestrel into FotD immediately either is that I'd spent my last resub getting Nethra through that and though I enjoyed it it's actually a bit too recent for a revisit. I might be enticed into it though when I feel like picking up a melee toon again.

  11. From what I've read Bear Shamen is notoriously difficult to solo through the first 25 levels when it suddenly springs in to its own. ToS are a good support healing class IMHO, we can add a lot to everyone elses DPS and provide the heals, if specced for that (my preference) and a very easy class to solo with.

    The PoM I haven't come to grips with, he spent his growing years as a loner and he doesn't seem quite sure whether or not he can be effective in DPS or heals, atm he seems pretty crap in both, I'll do some research and try a respec.

    I'm a little dissapointed with my first steps in to RotGS, I created a new HoX from Khitai, I wanted to give him a suitable name but the naming restrictions really didn't help, instead of Kyung Bae, or even Kyung-Bae I ended up with Kyungbae, hell even Kyung'bae would have been better.

    One of the first quests my PoM recieved was go kill 40 of something, handed it in and the f''cker wanted me to do it again, I think I put my hand firmly on his shoulder, leaned close and whispered something in his ear about someplace where the sun don't shine.

    Back there again now to see how my PoM fairs with an act of revenge

  12. I see. Embracing the more ehm, adult side of RP are we?
    Bear with it. The gateway to Kithai zone is pretty good imo. There's a couple of repeatable Kill X quests there, but at least your comments in the dialogue become progressively annoyed with the NPC givers, and just wait till you have to get through dialogue with the elderly Hyrkanian lady who's a bit hard of hearing.

    I especially liked the quests that lead you to the ancient ruins with the Elite hell steeds 9wrong name, but it fits) who'll hunt you down and trmaple you if you're not careful. At first I wondered why I was sent out to hunt "Scared leopards" but it soon became obvious that having your back clawed open by their claws was in fact the safer course :-)

    Anyhoo, if I recall correctly I deleted my Bear Shaman at level 25...

  13. Naming conventions in AoC suck.
    Getting an apostrophe in your name is rarely possible though. I think your best bet for oriental names are Korean or Thai. At least they have some length even without a family prefix.

  14. Yeah it seems I'm drawn to more, shall we say 'dark' personalities for my characters. I've just rolled a BS, Cimmerian, Vailare, seems he's been spotted sitting anxiously in Tortage, muttering something about lotus and asking strangers about a Stygian flower seller.

  15. People ask me all the time, "What is Shamanic Healing?" and that is quite a hard question to answer! Is it spiritual healing? Is it emotional healing? Is it psychic healing, or like Reiki? The best answer is, Shamanic Healing is probably all of those things put together and more besides. Shamanic healing is the oldest form of healing known to man, yet is very gentle, and works at a very deep level to clear emotional problems, mental problems, energetic and physical wounds along with conditioning and imprints
    Shamanic Healing

  16. Shamanic healing focuses on energetic and emotional "spring cleaning" and then on bringing a person back to wholeness. We often travel through life dragging all our emotional baggage with us, but this is not necessary! We can leave it all behind us and move forward into a life of happiness and freedom, and liberate ourselves from our past through Shamanic healing.
    Shamanic healing

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  18. Not too bad. Only two weeks late with my response. Plus/minus a year :)

    I did strangely the same thing as Lani. I created a Kithani ranger and took her through Tortage. I had the same notion that shooting arrows in melee range doesn't fit well. But ripped through Tortage thanks to a free 100% xp potion. But it still felt off. Did I really play 72 levels as melee shooter?

    There were no hoards of overly buxxom killer courtesans around anymore so I did create the assassin and started Tortage again. I still love playing it even after the tenth time. She is still there.

    Thanks to spammer Muhammad Azeem to show me this post again :)