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Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer Interview with Craig Morrison

Posted Tue, Sep 01, 2009 by Martuk

Funcom recently announced details about the first expansion for Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures (AoC) titled 'Rise of the Godslayer’. Ten Ton Hammer recently got the chance to speak with AoC Game Director, Craig Morrison about the upcoming expansion and the content players will be receiving when it goes live.

Ten Ton Hammer: For those not as familiar with Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, can you tell us what inspired you to use the Empire of Khitai as the basis for this expansion?

Khitai has been thrown into chaos by the actions of Conan and is the setting for the new expansion.

Craig: Khitai was a front runner from the start when we considered where we would take expansion content. It allows us to create a very different feel to those areas, and gives us a great potential for diversity. We wanted to offer something different for the expansion and the lands of Khitai offered us that opportunity.

Then the team wound a really compelling and interesting link to the original Conan tales that really sealed the deal and allows us to tell a very interesting story in the expansion.

Ten Ton Hammer: What’s the story behind the new land? What is it that moves the player into action while they're adventuring there?

Craig: The storyline for the expansion is really intriguing. The actions of King Conan many years previously (in the original Howard tale – The Tower of the Elephant – a seventeen year old Conan has an encounter with an ancient being that was revered as a deity in Khitai) have had a long lasting effect on the lands of Khitai that are only just now becoming apparent. The player will get to discover how the current political upheavals in Khitai are linked to the actions of their own king many years before, and they will have to make some hard choices about how to interact with the various factions.

The story in the expansion is one of its strengths and works on two levels. At a top level you have the mysterious danger that is threatening to plunge Khitai into chaos, and possibly even civil war, and it is all linked to Conan. Then you also have the player’s individual story and how they choose to operate with the factions within Khitai, they will have to make allies in order to progress, but doing so will also mean they make enemies!  

Ten Ton Hammer: How large is the landmass being added and what sort of themed areas and content can we expect to see?

Craig: There are five massive new playfield regions, each with a lot more explorable gamespace than the previous playfields as we have focused on more open and vast locations and less of the narrow mountain passes and valleys. The largest playfield in the game currently, for example, is Ymir’s Pass and it has some 1,200 NPCs, the expansion playfields have up to 2,000 each.

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