I got my hands on a copy of Age of Conan a lot earlier than I had planned on buying my own, so I went ahead and installed it. The following are my first impressions from playing through the very first area on my way towards the town of Tortage. You’ll have to excuse the scattershot topic jumping.
It seems all the male faces are portraying the “less than a full deck” look. I had to play a female instead because of that. Really, are nipples *that* important to the game? One of the first cut scenes used a generic character to represent mine, that bothered me. Can we get some *more* splash screens to click past during log in? Where is the log out option so I can switch characters? I don’t want to exit the game and then log in again. I found a helmet and put it on, did not like it so I chose the “don’t show helmet” option and it took off my hair too (update: I’m told this bug was actually the result of changing into and out of the demon form – I did both around the same time). I crashed at log out most of the time and once when I tried to get a screenshot. I don’t really have any opinions on the user interface. It didn’t get in the way of me doing what I needed to do, so I guess that is good enough for now.
The scenery is lush and amazing (keep in mind this was just in the single player area so far). The male characters run funny. I had a few of those bloody critical kill blows but the only way I could tell is because blood splashed on my screen. My character blocked the view of the big moves. Combat is fun so far, a little different – but nothing amazing about it. It makes you pay more attention, which is good. The world (again, intro solo area impressions only) makes me feel walled in, restricted to certain areas. Does not feel like a seamless world, which is an important thing for the explorer in me. The hints might be helpful but I went out of my way to get them off the screen and did not read them.
Class choices seem very interesting. I tried a Herald of Xotli and a Ranger. The Herald of Xotli could turn into a demon, which is always a cool thing. When I was the Ranger I needed to switch from bow to sword frequently. The key to do that is “Shift + R”. G15 keyboard to the rescue. The sound your character makes when you find something is silly. “Aha!”. I found a broken bottle on the beach, picked it up, and used it as a weapon – cool. I seemed to level up really fast.
It looks like the launch was quite solid and I’m impressed. If you like Conan, this appears to be a big win. There is a lot more to the game I’d like to discover and so I will continue to play it as my second game for now. Congratulations to Funcom for fixing the multitudes of problems I was hearing about from beta testers. I will post more as I get time to play.