Wielding a Wicked Weapon
Melee Combat in Age of
By Cody “Micajah” Bye
March 13, 2007
Perhaps the most publicity concerning the Age of Conan has
melee combat. While many have noted how fluid character animations are
and how visceral the combat feels, even when watching a player, very
little has been noted about the combat system the Jorgen was displaying.
Unlike almost all other MMORPGs, combat does not require targeting of
the mob through a UI system. Instead, sword-wielding functions
similarly to what you might find in a console game: damage occurs
anywhere you swing your sword. While this might present a problem (kill
stealing or ninja looting since no mobs are targeted by the player), I
believe Funcom will find a solution if they haven’t already.
Combos can also be performed in this type of combat, as a six-pronged
circular indicator appears whenever combat is intiated. When one of the
prongs flashes yellow, it means that a combo is possible and an attack
in that area will initiate a combo. Achieve enough combos and you may
succeed in performing a fatality, which are particularly gruesome
decapitations and the like.
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Archers along with melee will have
more interactive combat..
Controlling combat is easy as well, with a good number of options
available to the user. “The game is built for use with a
mouse/keyboard combination, a mouse alone, or a 360
controller,” he said. “We had to make sure every
culture’s control preference was taken care of.”
And, from what I saw, the combat was as easy as moving and clicking
where appropriate. Jorgen preferred a WASD combination that allowed him
to operate without a mouse, but he also demonstrated some mouse combat,
which required clicking on the circular prongs rather than hitting a
key on the keyboard.
Another interesting aspect that has had little press time is the fact
that Funcom is hard at work developing “stances”
for players to use while in combat. Jorgen described these as
offensive, defensive, and neutral, with each stance varying the
And, once again, I cannot say enough about the combat animations. With
nuances similar to those of Gods and Heroes, Conan adds to this by
implementing the DirectX 10 textures and lighting technique.
Screenshots rarely give the engine its due, watching the characters and
their movements is one of the most entertaining portions of the game.
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