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Age of Conan: A Second Look - Page 2

Posted Tue, Aug 16, 2011 by jeffprime



Cash Shop

If players want to pick and choose what options they’re willing to pay for, they can do so in the cash shop. In the cash shop, you can unlock additional character slots, the premium character classes, access to dungeons, as well as the usual items, potions, mounts, and companions.

age of conan
Watching my Priestess companion dance. Crom wants me to have more slave girls.

There are two things that pleased me in the cash shop. First, Funcom has added vanity items to AoC, which you can wear over your normal armor. That way, you can get the benefits of the stats on your gear, but it your gear is butt-ugly, you can wear a cool looking piece of vanity armor over it. That way, you can slaughter and plunder in style. The second thing is that you can finally have slave girls! Actually, they’re called Priestesses in the cash shop and there are currently four of them ranging in price from reasonable to incredibly expensive. These social companions, when summoned, appear and go through a variety of remotes and follow you until combat breaks out. While I was beside myself finally being able to have a semi-naked slave girl at my command, there were a few things that disappointed me. First, you have no control over them. Basically, they just go through a series of emotes and you have no interaction with them. It would be nice if you could give them a command to dance, fan your fevered brow, or some other action. Second, you can only have one companion active at a time. This blows as that Crom wishes me to have a harem of scantily clad slave girls following me at all times. Sadly, there is no eye candy for the ladies at the present time. There are no manly stud slaves available in the cash shop, but you can get one (called Satisfying Company) through veteran rewards.

There are a few problems with the cash shop. While some items are reasonable in price, others are pretty expensive. Some vanity armor pieces cost 50 points, while a different set costs five times as much. The slave girls range from 250 points to over 1100. However, my biggest beef is that anything you buy is for the specific character you’re buying with, not your account. I can see an item being character only, but access to a specific dungeon, vanity armor, and pets? C’mon! That’s pretty crappy in my opinion and really turns me off from buying anything. If I buy something, I want to unlock it for all my characters, which is pretty standard in other F2P MMOGs. This is something that I hope will change in the future.

age of conan
The cash shop is a mixed bag.

Blood and Glory Server

While I’m not the best at PvP and tend to do more PvE, I can empathize with those who love unbridle PvP action. I’m glad to see that Funcom has heeded the cry of those who wish to freely slay other players by creating the Blood and Glory server. I love the idea of this hardcore server where you can only have a single character and there are no guards or anything to protect you from other players. First, by limiting players to a single character, players will now create a reputation with that character. If they piss people off, there’s no hiding behind some other character until time passes and tempers cool. No…if someone hates you because you’ve wronged him, he is free to hunt you down forever. This is old-school, brutal gameplay at its finest. Crom is highly pleased by the creation of this server. You will definitely want to make some friends to call upon for help for when the going gets rough.

Conclusion

All in all, Age of Conan: Unchained is definitely worth a second look. Combat has been streamlined and new content has been added. For players who don’t want to spend any money, there’s plenty to do in Hyboria for free. If you want some perks, you’ll have to pay for it, which is ok. Game companies need to make money to keep games going and to improve them. The game’s visuals are still striking and the music is still the best in the MMOG market. My only beef with the updated game is the cash shop prices for quite a number of items and the stupid ability to unlock purchased items only for a specific character, not an account. Still, my Cimmerian-style anger over the cash shop won’t prevent me from carving a bloody swathe through the game. The first night I came back and that I got my first decapitation, I almost wept with joy except we all know that Cimmerians don’t shed tears!

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