Last week, Ten Ton Hammer was taken on a tour of
style="font-style: italic;">Age of Conan to
highlight some of the changes that have happened since launch, and how
Funcom has been putting forth extra effort to try to get players to
come back to the game. Be sure to check out href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/70921">Part One
of our Tour.
There's no doubt that a lot has changed. There is new content all over
Hyboria, and many old issues have been addressed in an effort to get
the game into popularity. But have these changes been enough? We'll
leave that up to you to decide, as Funcom has offered a href="http://www.ageofconan.com/updates/">14-day
re-evaluation subscription for gamers to check the game back
out for themselves.
Today we take a look at Part Two of our three hour tour from last week.
The highlights for this portion include the new Tarantia Commons,
introduced with Update 1.05 and Ymir's Pass that came with 1.04.
Taking us on the tour was Glen Swan, US Community Manager, and Oliver
Kunz, Senior Community Manager of Funcom.
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stop on the tour was Tarantia Commons, the newest outdoor playfield
introduced in 1.05. The playfield is directed to players level 75 and
up and introduces more content, a whole new series of quests, and
outdoor boss encounters scaling from the high rooftops of the city, to
the graveyard in the back.
- The first quest introduces the story line of the Commons. A
spy had been trying to gather some information about the gang wars
taking place in the commons, but he failed. So your first mission is to
pick up where he left off, and gain more trust with the gangs of the
- Players can choose which of the two gangs they wish to ally
themselves with, the Crows or the Wharf Rats. Each gang has their own
series of quests.
- The combat and quests will take the player on the rooftops
or down on the docks. For the particularly devious-minded, a player may
opt to play both gangs and hope they don’t get caught.
- The quest series will unravel the story, as the player
builds up faction with the gangs.
- Depending on the player’s actions, the quest line
and story can change, adding truly dynamic gameplay.
- The quest series lead to playfield events, and riots can
break out. Players may choose to side with the rioters, or with the
guards. If you side with the rioters, you can campaign, and go door to
door, to try to get more citizens to join the riot.
- Hidden throughout the Tarantia Commons are a lot of
“Easter Egg” bosses, which will spawn based on the
events happening at the time in the playfield.
- Player fights on the rooftops can lead to knockbacks or a
missed step, hurling the character off the roof down to their death on
- On the outskirts of the Commons is a leper colony. The
lepers will follow healthy players in hopes they can get out of the
quarantined area. If you get too close, you’ll become
diseased yourself. If you do become diseased, you can visit the priest
in the colony, who will also have some new quests to introduce.
- Also available in the colony is a Redeemer, who will offer
a quest series to criminal players who wish to redeem themselves from
their former murderous ways.
- Behind the colony lies the graveyard, which has several
quests and its own storyline. It is a single player playfield during
the day, but during the night, you’ll want to bring a group.
- There are three bosses in the graveyard in addition to the
- The story behind the villain of the graveyard and the risen
undead is still a little unclear, but the story will be revealed in its
entirety when the Iron Tower dungeon is brought to the game.
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pass was added to the game to offer players more content, particularly
in the level range of mid 50s to mid 60s that many players found
lacking or boring. The content team also felt there were some loose
ends that needed to be tied in terms of the storytelling in the game.
Ymir’s Pass was the result of that.
- The playfield is very large, and it can take hours to work
your way from the beginning through to the end.
- Several bits of lore were tied into this playfield, even if
just for a little fun. Conan fans will recognize the Wheel of Pain.
Also, as players work their way up the mountain, they’ll
encounter the Frost Giant’s Daughter, Atali. Conan described
her as an angelic creature, and she ran away from him as he approached
– which is exactly what happens to the player in this
playfield. Eventually you’ll catch up to her, and like the
story, she’ll call her brothers on you in an attempt to kill
- The main focus during updates now is to address player
concerns. At launch, Funcom admits they didn’t do as well as
they could have when it came to addressing these issues. Now, though,
they are making every attempt to fix as many as possible in any given
- Two new dungeons were introduced in Update 1.05, including
a solo dungeon, Attilius’ Mansion, and a group dungeon, the
- A new dungeon, The Iron Tower, is under
construction to be included in a future update. The dungeon will offer
new raid encounters, and King Conan may even make an appearance.
- Cities have come more alive with animals and commoners, and
knocked over fruit stands and the like. This is dynamic as well, as the
environments can change between night and day.
- New Food types are planned to coincide
with upcoming tavern enhancements.
- Funcom is very aware of the demand for high level content,
and are planning more and more each day.
The second hour of the tour was probably the most exciting for us. Even
though there were some very cool things to see in the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/70921">first
and last parts of the tour, the second hour was really more focused on
content that was in desparate need of being added. Forums were ablaze
for some time shortly after launch when players found there was a huge,
boring grind in the 50s to 60s game. Ymir's Pass is an answer to that,
and it's a healthy one. We would have loved to have seen the entire
zone, but as Oliver pointed out, it was just too big, so we only saw
Tarantia Commons is also a much-needed update but from a slightly
different perspective. This area offers the opportunity for a really
fun PvP based playfield. Running across the rooftops, or skirmishing in
the streets can certainly get the blood pumping, and the intricate
politics worked into the AI and scripts make it hard not to want to get
involved with the story line. Although PvP is not necessary to enjoy
the content here, it will certainly add a great dynamic to it, and it's
something that the designers had in mind while they were developing the
content. Let's face it, kicking someone off a rooftop is a lot of fun,
no matter which part of the world you come from.
Like many other games designed with PvP in mind, the fun factor here
relies heavily on the player population. If no one plays it, you can
still enjoy the content, but as mentioned above, for it to be a truly
awesome experience, you'll want to see lots of action in the streets.
Whether PvP or not though, it is content for levels 75 and up, and that
part of the population will be happy to have more things to do.
Glen and Oliver also made a point of making sure we knew that they know
end game content is important to the current subscriber base. They are
on the forums daily and reading more threads than most of us would care
to dredge through. And a common theme that keeps coming up is the
desire for more things to do for the end gamer. That cry is heard, and
is being worked on as we speak. Tarantia Commons was just the
beginning, and the Iron Tower will be coming out in the not-too-distant
future. They couldn't show us anything in there yet, but they're quite
excited about it, and are confident raiders will enjoy it thoroughly.
If you’d like to check these changes out for yourself, but
are hesitant to resubscribe, be sure to check out Funcom’s
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Age of Conan: Unchained Game Page.