Possibly the most
informative part of the Age of Conan Community Event
in Oslo, Ten Ton Hammer returns with the video of the developer panel.
The first part of the video can be found href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/21347">here. 

In this second part, our hosts return to answer questions
about soloing in the game; PvP; healing from potions and priests;
mods and online tools; roleplaying and battlekeeps in the border

You can view the video
from which this transcript was taken href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/21663">here.

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The Age of Conan
Development Team

From left to right:
Didrik Tollefsen, Terje Lundberg, Evan Michaels, Gaute Godager,
Pål Hansen, Erling Ellingsen

Q: What about players
that want to solo through most of their game?

of all, you can solo to level 80 if you want to. Just like that, our
show, not only from Conan but also from other games that people
actually solo
for almost half their time, even though they’re listing
themselves as
socializers. So taking from the solo player, is looked not only as that
we care
for, but also something that is vital for an MMO success today. All of
outdoor playing fields are based primarily on solo game-play, so all
our camps
and setups should, 85 to 90 percent of the time be solo camps and solo
that you can delve into. Same goes with 20 to 40, 50ish level
instances. Most
of them are solo instances.

As you go up in level you will find
soloing available
everywhere. We even have the infamous auto-con system that we carried
over from
Anarchy Online. We have a system there where we create the playfields
or zones
on the fly at your level, which you’ve seen all MMOs copy
after we made it back
in ’97.

We have this in Conan as well so
there are actually
repeatable quests with instances that are solo only.

Q: What
kinds of
server types are going to be available? PvP, RPvP, etc?

Gaute: There
are going
to be three server types at launch. They’re going to be
called PvE; PvP, and
PvPRP, which means that on the RP servers there will be PvP to some
degree than on the PvE servers. We can make new types as well, but
that’s what
we’re going to launch with. In terms of what are the benefits
that you gain
from PK’ing someone or killing him in honest combat on a PvP
server: there will
be something there. But when we open the PvP server on beta now,
we’re going to
start it without anything and then we’re going to see how
people react to it
and then we’re going to adjust it accordingly.

Q: Some
players want
to loot something, or everything from the players they have killed.
There seems
to be a hard-core approach to PvP.

Gaute: Yes,
is the trend. I just need to say, also, that the vision for when we
started out
with Conan and how PvP should be: I wanted PvP to be like participating
in a “Quake”
match or something like that. Super casual; you go in there and you
play, and
that does not marry well with the hard-core, sort of

We have the same discussion
internally, and I can safely say
that we listen when people say it, and we want to do something in that
I honestly do not want to promise anything there.

Q: Will the
server have the same kind of ruleset as a normal PvP server?

Gaute: When
first make it, yes. But I want to tweak it so that what is going to be
there at
launch is something that… On the PvP servers, you have some
rules per playfield
that you can apply PvP and non-PvP; you have different types of rules,
so that
we can, if not on the fly, when we open a new server, you can have new
sets of
rules on that server. When I have the flexibility, and many needs, I
want to be
like a politician: vague and promise everything to everyone so that I
can get
the most votes come D-Day. [Laughs].
that’s basically what I’m doing to you now. So we
will the trend, and I will
follow; like a true politician.

Q: How are
balancing healing classes and healing potions? Do you need a priest?

potion cannot be better than a priest. Potions are there to be a helper
basically, to people who are playing alone or in groups that get into a
situation. They’re reasonably powerful but like the rest of
our heals they are
healing over time. So they’re useful, especially as we found
in PvP, and keep
that in mind when you’re doing the PvP matches. I
don’t know if they’ll let you
have potions or not, but they’re very useful.
They’re basically a way for a
character to be somewhat sufficient and they’re very useful
while soloing.

Most of the priests have a different
way of approaching
healing. The Bear Shaman, for instance, becomes much better at healing
as you
melee and things like that. You get stacking buffs that make your heals
powerful; these are all things that players have to learn and figure
out as
time goes on.

But to simply answer your question:
Yes, priests will be
required at high end, and potions will not replace priests.

I think this goes back to the earlier
question of what we
get out of beta. We test this internally. We have QA test it but when
having hundreds and thousands of people playing a class on a given day,
we get
a lot of feedback and get to observe a lot of behavior – what
people are doing,
how they’re doing it, what skills they’re finding
useful, what skills they’re ignoring.
Those are all things that we adjust and tweak on a daily basis, really.

Q: What
about the
user interface, and online profiles? Is there anything supported in

Gaute: The
backend for a site that supports making your own homepage with stuff
that you
do and all that; all that is there and we’re working with
partners to find the
best solution, but there’s nothing I can say about what will
be there at
launch, currently.

We have support for some limited UI
customization. We have a
UI toolkit that you can change the looks of everything. There
isn’t any
scripting language supported in the UI currently. This was not only a
issue, but also a choice that we made because I think that we
didn’t, at
launch, want to let that cat out of the bag to make it that way. We
include customization of the UI in the roadmap post-launch, where you
can do
more heavy-duty changing of stuff. But right now, you can change in the
files positioning, the looks, the size but not the functioning of

Q: What kind
differences can we expect between the Xbox 360 version of the game and
the PC
version and what are some of the challenges you’ve faced
while developing a
MMORPG for a console?

Gaute: Of
there’s the joypad, which is the main controller interface.
Naturally, our game
was designed with that purpose in mind, and our combat, especially
melee, lends
itself very well to that system. We will expect the Xbox 360 version to
slightly bigger than the PC version, so there is going to be extra,
content there that will be available.

There are also, technically, quite a
few challenges when
squeezing it into the Xbox. I can’t really say which
playfield will be added or
which feature will be added because it’s too early and we
need to let the Xbox
have its own run and have its own press releases, and you will all be
back for
the Xbox version sometime in the future, I hope, and we will discuss
how that content
will be integrated into the PC version, and if Microsoft wants it, how
will be able to play on the same server, if that’s what they

I think what I would say is that I
would guess an expansion
pack for the PC and the Xbox merger would work well together, so that
you could
basically see an upgrade to the game, and the Xbox version come out.
Other than
that, I think Conan is going to be the first truly MMO that is designed
for a
high-end platform. I hope so, at least.

Q: Are you
about translating the game into other languages (apart from the initial
Spanish, French, English and German releases)?

is no definite plan for it, but it’s definitely one of the
most important
markets for us in Europe, along with France, Spain and Germany and the
UK. So,
perhaps, but there are no plans for it.

Q: What
are you going to give the roleplayer in Age of Conan? Things like
sitting on
chairs, carrying a torch, stuff that’s not really a game
mechanic but would be
more for the “feeling” of the world?

Gaute: At
you will expect to see some interaction but I don’t really
know what will make
it. You will expect to see a massive list of emotes with unique
and/or particle effects. You will expect to see special locations made
this, like bars and pubs and whatnot. There isn’t going to be
regarding decorating your player-made city or village houses like
putting up
plants in there, like UO style, which I loved, but it’s not
going to be there.

So, fairly extensive in terms of the
number of things you
can do within one category, like emotes, but not too many categories.

Q: What kind
of rules
will be in place on the role-playing servers?

Gaute: Rulesets
in terms of player versus player interaction. There are going to be
some rules
there that you can do and what you cannot do. In terms of fighting at
least, of
course we need to control that. Even on a PvPRP server you
don’t want to be
chain-ganked at your respawn point, or level 1-5 or anything like that.

In terms of rules of conduct, which I
think are the ones
that you are thinking about, it is natural for us to make, before
launch, a
list of rules of conduct for those servers; what we expect people to
do. What
we will do about policing them, that’s a question of customer
support and the
cost. So I guess we will have to discuss that with customer support.
But, yes,
there will be something like that.

Q: Can you
explain the
PvP towers and battlekeep?

Gaute: These
smaller objectives that will use the same sort of technology as the
battlekeeps, which means that they will have windows, where they are
which will give the destroyer an aggressive bonus once he destroys it.
bonus is going to be based around how long the opponent that owned the
used to own it before you destroyed it, so if someone is chain
destroying it,
it won’t be as much as if you let someone stay there and then
you go and
destroy it. You will also be gaining benefits from owning that tower
until it is
destroyed, continuously. It’s like a mining station; your
place on a resource
node, so you might say.

These battle towers are going to be
much more open for less
powerful guilds and groups, because naturally, our battlekeeps are
going to be
severely PvP, hard-core and there are only going to be a set number of
them. We’re
not going to instance them, no matter how many players are in the
world, and no
matter how many guilds we have; they are only going to be the one to
nine best
ones that will be able to have those battlekeeps.

So these are PvP objectives in the
world with bonuses, but
will have more easy access.

Does the game sound like
it's shaping up to be all that you expect? More? Less? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=23734">Let
us know.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016