Barbarians at the Gates

An Extensive Preview of the Age of Conan

By Cody “Micajah” Bye

March 9, 2007

Robert E. Howard would be proud. The author of the Conan novels and
subsequent post-mortem name behind the entire Conan franchise would be amazed at
how his world has come to life on the PC screen with Funcom’s Age of Conan:
Hyborian Adventures
. The man who created a world full of barbarians, demons, and
unabashed sexual appetites would be happy to know that his lore and fictional
history is in safe hands. With only a few months till launch, the Norway-based
Funcom team already has a visually stunning, compelling, and immersive Hyborian
world on their hands.


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Jorgen talks Conan with the gathered press.

Recently, I had an opportunity to see a first in the Age of Conan experience.
Rather than preparing a video or giving us a demonstration on a closed server,
Jorgen Tharaldsen, Conan’s Product Director, and Designer Thor Bjorno loaded a
character onto a running server where a few hundred closed beta testers were
churning through the developed content, pointing out any errors or
inconsistencies with the gameplay.

As long as Jorgen wasn’t cheating, the game ran splendidly. “Every time I
cheat, the game crashes,” he said with a chuckle. By cheating, Jorgen was trying
to augment his character’s level artificially in order to show off some of the
more interesting effects in the game. With a developer’s tool, he would raise
his level to 32 and enhance his stats and gear. “Maybe it’s the horse,” he said,
smiling. “Every time that horse comes in the game crashes.”


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Thor poses for his mugshot.

Even with the crashes, which weren’t terribly prevalent, it was clearly
evident that Age of Conan was a superior game. Over the span of two days
comprising a pair of sessions and three hours of actual time discussing, Jorgen
and I hashed out some things that hadn’t been extensively discussed on the
website, and I have split the following feature into sections to showcase the
specific topics that we discussed. Also, be sure to return to this page as new
sections will be added over the next few days.

The topics are listed below, thus the choice is yours…

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016