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.
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.
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.
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
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!