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Daily Column

Loading... Play Hard! The Dewey Cox Story.

First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry.

If the Top 10 isn't enough, we now show the Top 20 and Top 50 lists as well, available to everyone on our homepage. (What is Pulse?)

  1. Age of Conan - 200 BPM
  2. World of Warcraft - 22 BPM
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 7 BPM
  4. EverQuest 2 - 7 BPM
  5. Warhammer Online - 5 BPM
  6. EVE Online - 4 BPM
  7. Guild Wars - 4 BPM
  8. Lineage 2 - 4 BPM
  9. Vanguard - 4 BPM
  10. Dungeons and Dragons Online - 3 BPM

Age of Conan announced 400,000 paying members. That's an astonishing start. Can the game retain its momentum or like Lindsay Lohan will it shine brightly only to burn out and end up in rehab? Cody Bye shares his first impressions of Age of Conan a bit about himself and makes us all teary-eyed.

"I will do my best to give you my broad first impressions of a game that I consider to be one of the most revolutionary titles to hit the massively multiplayer online gaming space in years. This is by no means the official review for Ten Ton Hammer, it’s just my experiences with the Age of Conan world straight from store shelves on to my computer. I hope you enjoy it."

Some key points that Cody mentions are worth raising again.

This game is not aimed directly at the casual gamer.

I dislike the term 'casual gamer', because it somehow infers that a person who enjoys their hobby less than 40 hours per week is somehow an inferior player to those that jump in hard-core. My distaste aside, that is the term that people are using and I'm stuck with it.

Age of Conan offers a basic tutorial to get the new player into the game, but it barely scratches the surface of the onion when you see how much that there is to know. Combat is explained, how to quest, how to read the map, etc., but the intricacies of this title are almost infinite. This game may be what Vanguard promised to be in terms of depth. At times the game seems almost too complicated. I have played dozens of MMOGs both for pleasure and as part of my job here at Ten Ton Hammer and I have trouble with some of the mechanics in Age of Conan.

Most of the complexity could have been explained away, but my guess is that time ran out on projects that weren't game stoppers. For instance, building a guild city should be something that is well documented, but isn't. Even resource gathering and crafting are perplexing aspects of the game. Can you gather every resource or are you limited to being just a miner for instance? What if I choose miner can I then change and pick something else? There are lots of questions and not many answers unless you are fortunate enough to be in a knowledgeable guild. Fortunately for me, the Ten Ton Hammer guild on Wiccana is filled with people who have done it before. If I was left to my own devices I'd be lost.

Melee combat is fun, at least initially.

I leveled a healing class up to a respectable level only to find that our guild is literally infested with healers. We could throw out a 24 man raid of healers and set the record for longest raid without anyone being killed. I decided that it might be in the best interest of the guild to fire up a tank. I don't normally play melee characters. I like to stand back and let the other guy get punched in the face with lots of room for me to run if the bad guys turn on me. Melee in AoC is different. You actually have to think about what you are doing to perform combos and generate the most damage. It was fun. My main might be a tank for the first time.

Will the initial thrill of combos and 'whack-a-mole' attacks at the unshielded parts of your enemy remain entertaining? I'm not sure.

I can't decide if I love or hate the game yet. When I do I'll give you my own first impressions. I do know that I'm still playing and that must say something.

The guys over at YouGamers.com have also posted a first impressions article. It has a more negative slant than Cody's article, giving different impressions of the same mechanics.

Don't get me started on the sites that have posted 'reviews' of Age of Conan. How in Hades can you review a MMOG in seven days? If a site has an AoC review up I suggest you remove it from your bookmarks and find a way to block your browser ever going there again.

Instead try:

I'd love to read your impressions of the game . The Loading Forums await you. Do you feel the need to contact me personally with naughty pictures or derogatory comments? Here's my E-mail.

[A big thanks to Phil Comeau for putting together the links, headlines and taglines today. ]

21 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 235 in May! 1254 in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today





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Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com. Thanks to Karen Hertzberg for doing the heavy lifting with the links.

- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.