By: John "Boomjack" Hoskin as viewed on May 13, 2008 at the Age of Conan Launch Event held in Oslo, Norway.
[Note: a video of the entire Age of Conan launch event presentation is available here for those that prefer to watch rather than read. ]
If you missed Part 1 of our Age of Conan launch event coverage there here is a snippet to get you started,
TenTonHammer.com was fortunate enough to be invited to the Age of Conan launch event being held in Oslo, Norway. This may seem like an unusual place to hold a party and it would be for any game but Age of Conan. Not only is Oslo home to Funcom, the development team behind the title, but Norwegians may be the closest race on this planet to Conan himself. The average Nord towered over my meager six-foot frame, and that was just the women, don't get me started on how tall the men were. One guy was so tall that it was snowing at his head and raining at his feet.
In Part 1 I covered a broad strokes overview of the event itself, the basics of Age of Conan and the much wondered about spellweaving, which is the casting class equivalent of combos.
With visions of casters nuking our enemies into nothing more than nasty memories still cavorting through our heads Gaute and Erling moved on to another topic that has been hotly debated in our message forums, mounted combat.
Smoke on the water. Fire in the sky.
At launch there will be three kinds of mounts. Each mount will have its own special set of moves. Horses will be available to everyone and will be the 'sportscar' of mounts, fast and agile, but unable to take much of a beating. Players mounted on a horse be able to get into the fray quickly, but won't have the siege attacks of the War Mammoth or the Killer Rhino, both of which are available to players who pre-ordered the game.
The War Mammoth is a hulking beast that moves slowly and turns like an Exxon supertanker. Like said tanker it can also destroy the environment, except in this case it isn't some sparkling, pristine shoreline that is going to get demolished, it's the walls of your enemy's keep.
The Killer Rhino (yes, I wish it had a better adjective in its name) fits somewhere in between the mammoth and the horse. We did see rhino mounts lined up outside a siege, but it was unclear if they were also able to decimate walls or act against cities in another manner. My question about Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was dismissed without answer, though I'm sure I saw Merlin Perkins riding up on a near extinct breed of rhino while Jim Fowler wrestled with a hungry anaconda in the background.
I imagine that there will be few things more exhilarating than partaking in a city siege, mounted or otherwise, as the time and material investment that guilds will have to deliver in order to own a city are enormous. Building a city will take "a long time" according to Erling. We were shown a dramatically sped up demonstration of a city being built. I'm not sure what "a long time" is, but I expect it will take guilds vast amounts of time just to harvest the materials necessary to build a city.
Conan himself appeared at the launch event to oversee the festivities
Each city will have pre-set place where building can be constructed. Placed around the build-site are nodes that can be clicked on. Each node will provide a list of the buildings that can be built at that spot along with the resources required to do so. Each building will have three tiers of advancement, much like you might find in a real-time-strategy game. As the building is advanced, so are the benefits that come with it. For instance, the alchemy tower gives alchemists special recipes that they wouldn't have otherwise.
The mention of recipes caused the stomachs of many of the press in attendance to begin groaning, but even though time was running short and lunch was calling, the Funcom team pressed on with one last bit of excitement.
We were given a tour of Old Tarantia. Conan's home city is huge. It seems far more massive than anything yet implemented in MMOG games. Strangely, the home city of the powerful Conan is under siege, so you interact with Old Tarantia as part of a war zone. We shown a couple of humorous aspects of the city, which I won't spoil for you.
Eventually we were taken down a quest line that allowed us entry to the King's Chambers where we were able to see Conan and hear his voice for the first time.
Next up for me is a piece on raids and PvP. Stay tuned!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Age of Conan: Unchained Game Page.