I’m in full Age of Conan mode this week, but I wouldn’t even have gotten into the game in the first place if it wasn’t for my brother-in-law, whose praises for it led me and my husband to buy it when it first launched. Well, we all know how that turned out. None of us were playing anymore by late 2008.
The difference is, while I continued to follow the game waiting for the perfect moment to return, he never looked back. I spoke to him again recently, and he had no idea that an expansion was even coming out, or that it was just right around the corner. I guess it’s not too surprising, considering Funcom has really dialed down on the hype for this expansion. If you didn’t frequent MMO sites or weren’t looking for information about AoC specifically, it’s perfectly conceivable that you could have completely missed the news of Rise of the Godslayer.
I’m hoping to get him back aboard the AoC train when the expansion comes out, to play with his brother and me. This has led me to think — what should I tell someone who hasn’t even heard of RotGs? Perhaps these steps might help…
1. Watch the launch trailer
This just in, a new teaser trailer has been made available on Gametrailers.com. I think it looks great, and most importantly, it shows a bit of in-game footage. It does a good enough job showcasing some of the new environments and action, but what I appreciated most was the voice acting by the narrator. I’ve always enjoyed the quality of the voice-overs in-game and it’s always a treat when you run across an NPC with their own voice, so I’m hoping we’ll be encountering more of them in the expansion.
As usual, Conan is all about the “lamentation” of one group of people or another.
2. Get to know “The Tower of the Elephant”
The above trailer alluded to the fact that the people of Khitai are pretty ticked off with Conan for killing their deity — he’s the Godslayer! The framework for the expansion has its roots in “The Tower of the Elephant”, one of the original short stories written by Robert E. Howard. In the tale, a young, roguish Conan sets off to steal a legendary jewel kept in a tower, but instead discovers a strange alien-like being who was being kept prisoner and tortured by an evil sorcerer. This being, Yag-Kosha, has been worshiped in the jungles of Khitai. At its request, Conan puts it out of its misery, and plunges the faraway kingdom into chaos.
I’m copying Adventurer Historian, and have actually been reading the first book of the Howard stories on my Kindle. I just finished “The Tower of the Elephant” the other day. Most likely not required knowledge to play the game, but definitely worth the read.
3. Check out the general overview
The AoC site leads to a great community portal which can be pretty easy to miss, what with all the other awesome flashy things on the main page. The Expansion Features page has a great summary of what’s new in RotGs. If you’re curious about the Alternate Advancement or Faction systems, there are informative articles on them there. There are also write-ups for the new areas which I’ve only skimmed for now, because when it comes to zones and environments I like to be surprised.
But it’s the Mount page with information about raising and taming a Wolf or Tiger that really has me intrigued. Riding these beasts is a privilege to be earned, not a right. I love it!
4. Read some great articles
A few articles from GDC10 that I really enjoyed:
Cry Your Way Through Age of Conan’s Asian Empire – Kotaku takes us on a journey through Khitai, talks about using emotes in an area to solve puzzles. Hmm.
Eurogamer’s Rise of the Godslayer Preview – nice insight into Factions at the end, and their impact on gameplay. For example, the Priests of Yag-Kosha clearly present themselves as the “good guys”, but your king mercy-killed their god and they’re still pretty cheesed about that. What to do?
Massively’s Look Into Age of Conan’s Expansion – Cool info regarding more open play fields that will feel more consistent to the player, as well as a bit on the overhaul to dungeon-running mechanics.