Questions by Cody
"Micajah" Bye, Managing Editor
Jørgen Tharaldsen, Product Director for Funcom
The wait is over! The long weeks have finally passed by and your
patience has been rewarded with another style="font-style: italic;"> Age of Conan class
interview! As I stated in the href="http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=45105">official
Age of Conan
forums, this class interview focuses on the last of the
archetype classes, the Conqueror. With his ability to dual wield and
call up Auras to buff himself and his allies, the Conqueror is a
formidable opponent on the battle field. In the exclusive article,
Funcom's Jørgen Tharaldsen talks about the lore of the
class, the Auras, the differences between the Soldier archetypes, and
Editor's Note: Due to
the holiday weekend (many of the Funcom employee's are American), we
currently don't have any exclusive Conqueror screenshots to go with the
article. We'll try to get this remedied, but it may or may not occur.
With or without the images, please enjoy the article!
Ten Ton Hammer: When
looking through the lore of Conan, he held many titles including being
dubbed Conan the Conqueror. What sort of lore and story elements did
you create to develop this class? How did you decide which skills they
style="font-style: italic;">The Conqueror is a
worthy adversary on the battlefield.
Tharaldsen: Aye, I think that is one of the great things
about King Conan, his diversity. He absolutely lived his life to the
fullest and that diverse “bring it on” approach is
definitively something we have tried to achieve with our classes too,
including the Conqueror. I am not saying that you can become a
conqueror, barbarian, thief, reaver, chieftain, corsair, mercenary,
soldier and pirate through choosing just one class, though (unless you
are a mighty fine roleplayer and pretending it up that is
*winks*), but rather that the Conqueror class in our game is
also about diversity and choice.
When it comes to the lore background of the Conqueror, there are many
references to this class inside the Hyborian universe, both on Conan,
and others. I found this quote from our lore master inside a document,
which says a lot I think:
were born on the blood soaked battlefield of Venariun when the finest
soldiers of Aquilonia clashed with the Cimmerian hordes and the
conquest of nations was at stake.”
– style="font-weight: bold;">General Pallantides of Aquilonia
For those of you into Conan lore you know that Pallantides was famed
throughout Aquilonia for his heroics on the battlefield (and as leader
of Conan’s personal bodyguard), and I guess he is also the
archetypal Conqueror, leading armies into battle and acting as the true
battle leader of an army. His ability to augment his forces, control
the battle around him and weaken enemy forces makes him a paragon of
When it comes to the concept behind the class I asked system designer
Andrew Griffin on the reasoning he had when he first started to flesh
out the class several years ago, and he said “The concept
behind the Conqueror class was for a non-shield using offensive type
tank. They were envisioned to be the warlord type of character, who led
from the front by virtue of their martial might and inspiring
leadership, a more rugged and raw fighter than the Guardian. Hence they
focus on either dual-wielding or using two-handed weapons, forgoing the
defense of a shield in favor of rending their opponents
By the way, Andrew helps me immensely with these QA sessions. I simply
don’t have time to play all the classes to level 80 so I need
to get some help from the main man. *winks*
Ten Ton Hammer: Rather
than being just a simple melee fighter, you’ve also bestowed
some very powerful Auras to the Conqueror. How beneficial would it be
for a group to always carry along a Conqueror? Are there any other
Auras you can tell us about (healing, direct damage, increased movement
But but Cody, you must surely be in love with the caster classes in
MMOs. I mean, all this “simply” and
“boring” remarks towards tanks and melee fighters.
*smiles* (Editor’s Note: I’m not in love with being
a caster – my AoC main is going to be a Conqueror. I like
carrying a big stick.)
Remember that we have made a melee system which I think surpasses any
MMO melee system I have seen before. I would of course say that anyway,
working in Funcom and all, but I honestly believe that many will find
our melee classes to be quite refreshing.
To your question then, and seeing that the Conqueror is a soldier, and
a tank, I think having one along is quite essential to succeed in many
cases. He doesn’t have as much HP as the Guardian, for
instance, but he deals more damage (the highest DPS output of the
soldiers), and has a lot of unique strengths which makes him really
strong in a group. As a part of this the auras of the Conquerors are
very nice to have as a “weapon” in group
combat. The core auras are split into two main groups (you
can have one from each group running at once). One group is augmenting
offensive power, and the other is augmenting recovery/defensive power.
None of the core auras are about health restoration though, but there
are stamina and mana regeneration auras on the defensive side. The
offensive type auras are therefore based around adding DPS to the
entire team in various ways.
A player can also further enhance with additional auras through the
feat system. One example is the “Carnage” feat
tree. With this the Conqueror can actually pick up two additional
innate auras if wanted, one that provides mana and stamina (War Cry),
and one which provides an out-of-combat runspeed increase (War March).
So, in theory, a Conqueror could have four team buffing effects going
at once with certain feat specs. Both War Cry and War March are passive
long-duration auras (some Conquerors auras run up towards four hours),
and are not actual spells that you cast like some of the other auras.
Ten Ton Hammer: While the
Auras that a Conqueror can use seem like magical spells,
you’ve specifically stated in the class preview that they are
not. How do you balance the abilities of the Conqueror against those
character classes that can wield magic? For example, the Conqueror does
not get any sort of “corruption” (the dark-taint
that causes corrupt souls to be sent to Hell) from using his Auras,
does he? This would seem like a big advantage to the Conqueror over the
style="font-style: italic;">Using both
two-handed and dual-wielding techniques, the Conqueror is an offensive
The Conqueror uses the magic system to cast the auras, so technically
they are considered magic (and personally I would therefore call it
magic). However, the Conqueror does not have any in-combat
spells unlike all the other magic-using classes,
“only” these long-duration buffs (so I guess what
you call it is a bit in the eye of the beholder here). Oh, any dabbling
with magic in Hyboria has certain consequences, as you might know from
Conan lore, and both the Conqueror and Dark Templar have advantages and
disadvantages in that regards. That is the beauty of our class design I
think, nothing is black and white.
Ten Ton Hammer: In the
preview, it seems like there are several comparisons that are made
between the Conqueror and the Barbarian. Both use the same weapon sets
and both seem to be fearsome melee combatants, but how different do the
two classes play from one another? Will Conqueror’s be more
concerned with managing their Auras than dealing damage? Or will Aura
management be secondary to damage output?
Yes, they do have some common themes running, especially on the weapon
side as only the Barbarian and the Conqueror are able to dual wield
like that (with the small exception of the Assassin who dual wields
daggers, and the ranger too with his offhand dagger, if I am not all
mistaken). This means that the weapon choices of the Barbarian and the
Conqueror are more or less the same. In terms of an action/combat
point-of-view, they therefore have somewhat similar approaches, but at
the same time they are very different. Remember that a Barbarian is a
Rogue archetype, and as such can’t take much damage in
comparison (like all other Rogue types). Seen from the
Conqueror side of things, you are definitely able to take a great deal
of damage, so your strategic approach to combat would therefore differ
To expand a bit on the dual wield aspects of the Conqueror I think we
have some cool approaches. For example, one of the feat spec options
allows you to get guaranteed offhand attacks with each swing and have
both your mainhand and offhand attacks do a proc each time they hit. So
when timed right, they can generate a pretty significant burst of
damage that is impressive to see (numbers flying everywhere).
When it comes to the Aura managements of the Conqueror, I would say
that the class doesn’t have that much Aura management, at
all. Yes, you need to initiate them, of course, but they are mostly all
long duration buffs that can't easily be changed in combat due to the
long casting time. This means that you basically select which aura you
want to run with before combat starts, and go with that. Trying to
change it in the middle of combat won't be too effective. The choice of
which auras to use will of course be important, but DPS will also be
important. Again, with the diversity and
“hybridness” of our classes, it is a bit up to the
player and the challenge at hand, and I think our approach on how YOU
choose what to focus on is something which in many cases sets us apart.
To give an example on one of the cooler Aura buffs I can talk a bit
about “Furious Inspiration”. For the Conqueror, as
this buff increases, he starts to get a proc that triggers a team heal,
which in turn increases in power the higher his Furious Inspiration is.
If let go to its highest level, his Furious Inspiration not only has a
chance of proccing team heals with each attack, but also has a small
chance to proc a team rezz each attack. This means that if you ignore a
Conqueror they start to become REALLY troublesome. *smiles*
Furthermore the Conqueror also has access to the Frenzy and defensive
stances I have talked about in previous updates, which through the push
of a button can drastically alter, for instance, your DPS output.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will
Conqueror’s ever be able to live up to their title and
actually conquer some land to call their own? I’ve heard of
players being able to do those sort of things in the PvP realms, but
aren’t those classes separate from the PvE areas?
I would assume that a good Conqueror would really like to live up to
the potential of the class, and go out to conquer both land and riches.
Doing so alone will not be possible though, and only through a guild
can you hope to, for instance, build a player-made city or PvP
battlekeep. As I see it no Conqueror would therefore, ever,
be able to conquer it all by him or herself. Rather, they have the
inner drive, spirit and skills to rouse others to their cause, and be
the leader to which other turns for advice, strength and combat
The cities and PvP battlekeeps can be built both on Pve and PvP servers
by the way. Remember that we have PvP on the PvE servers as well, but
that it’s not free for all.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
anything else you’d like to tell the Ten Ton Hammer readers
about the Conqueror?
style="font-style: italic;">Aura help the
Conqueror with DPS and defensive situations.
Personally I think the Conqueror is one of the coolest classes in the
game as they have so much variety, and great dual wield capabilities.
Furthermore it is a class which brings along, if you care about RPing
to a certain degree, a certain sense of responsibility and
might. I therefore anticipate that there will be a couple of
guild leaders out there who proudly live the Hyborian life as a
To end this lengthy article I dug a bit in the design documents again,
and I wanted to give you a small selection of some of the stuff you can
expect to encounter as a Conqueror.
Steel – Combo
The Conqueror wields their two-handed sword with dazzling speed to
keeps enemies at bay, make enemy blows easier to avoid and threaten
swift and brutal counterattacks.
A slashing blow aimed at the blood vessels and arteries of an enemy.
The strike causes extra damage, a spray of arterial blood and leaves
their opponent bleeding.
The Conquerors leadership drives their group to greater feats of
combat. All team members gain an attack bonus.
Sometimes battles are decided by attrition, foes standing toe-to-toe
until one falls. By sacrificing mobility a Conqueror increases their
damage, their health and regeneration.
Overcome the Odds
A Conqueror literally gains protection by facing hordes of foes,
gaining a measure of invulnerability for each nearby enemy.
Whoa, four pages in Word again. Let me know on the href="http://forums.ageofconan.com/index.php?">official
Hammer forums if you think this stuff is too lengthy, please.
read it and adapt accordingly. Have fun!
think of Jørgen’s explanation
of the Conqueror? How about the Auras? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?p=185072#post185072">Let
us know on the forums!
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