Follow The Path Of The Godslayer

May 4, 2010

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.


  1. I’m holding off a tiny bit before I activate my account. I want to see how the expansion goes. That and I just started playing GW. I’m watching your blog closely for good info like this

    • Probably a good idea, considering things are always a mess right before and after a big patch or expansion.

  2. Thanks for linking that new trailer! I’m also a fan of the voice over on the debut trailer, too.

    And I’ve read “The Tower of the Elephant”! At first, I was a little worried that FunCom was making fabricating a massive expansion with little basis in the original stories, but the more I see the more I think they’re going to be alright.

    • I think those two trailers complement each other very well, and no doubt Funcom had the debut trailer (which was the inspiration for the title of this post 😀 ) in mind when they made the launch trailer.

      I’m sure FunCom is going to be taking many liberties with the expansion, but it’s nice to know they’re at least using Howard’s stories as a framework. It’s clear they’ve done a LOT of research though, and from the footage and pictures I’ve seen of the new zones, it also looks like they’ve been taking full advantage of the team at their office in Beijing.

  3. “As usual, Conan is all about the “lamentation” of one group of people or another.”

    Ironically, the word “lamentation” never appears in any of Howard’s stories. Ever. Damn Milius. That said, I appreciate the beginning voiceover using some Conan quotes from “The Phoenix on the Sword.”

    As for general “fabrication”: that’s just par for the course for Funcom. Though some of the liberties appear to be CPI-mandated (like the damn Aquiromans), they aren’t free from their own snafus. Still, I appreciate that they give Howard the props he deserves.

    • Good to know, but regardless, gotta love that word 😛

      I think Funcom is doing its best to balance material from the Conan mythos with what people expect from the MMO, much like the way devs have to balance a factor like realism. Sure, it would be amazing if a game was super realistic, or perfectly portrayed an IP right down to the tiniest details…but in the end it has to be marketable and to do that means making decisions that a wider audience can relate to.

      • I’m pleased that the game incorporated both Howard’s short stories and the movie. I know that the movie is considered by many short story fans to be adaptation decay, but I really like the movie.

        So I was really pleased when I was in Conarch Village, and asking someone why their son wasn’t out learning “the Riddle of steel.” And one Cimmerian armorsmith says, “The sword is not the only answer, remember that,” which I’m going to say is a reference to the Riddle of Steel because that would be awesome.

  4. I can’t wait. Thanks for the coverage GC!

    You know how we were talking about classes the other day and you mentioned the staff twirling? I wonder if they have changes some of the spell graphics and animations of the existing classes to make them more fit for a Khitain?

    Has anyone signed up for the preview?: http://www.fileplanet.com/promotions/rise-of-the-godslayer/

    • I also thought that about the staff twirling and that maybe it was a graphic animation update for the new race. It would suck if that was a caster, I’m leaning more towards rolling a melee/physical damage this time.

      And Amuntoth was kind enough to provide me that link over raptr last night…but I think I’ll pass on the preview. I don’t want to spoil this for myself and waiting a few more days isn’t going to kill me 🙂

  5. I didn’t think it possible, but you’re actually making me feel tempted to try AoC again. /fistshake

    Maybe this time I’ll make it out of Tortage.

    • Go for it! We’re all making new characters Xpac.onRelease(); so we can help you get through evil Tortage.

      • Yeah, I’ll be there with my crazy awesome Herald of Xotli. I’ll feed souls to my Dark Go–I mean, help you level!

  6. Ok so I ordered the expansion, I haven’t reactivated my account yet though. I went ahead with the preorder box so I can torment GC with the puma pet as punishment for getting me interested in AoC again. 😛

    • One of us! One of us! *evil laugh*

      Glad you’ll be playing 😀 Remember to roll on Wiccana which is where all of us are! Let’s hope we can get you out of Tortage this time around.

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