Why I may be playing Age of Conan: The Rejoinder

A couple weeks ago, I posted about why I thought I wouldn’t be playing Age of Conan. I have an eight year-old daughter, we play together, WoW was a lot of fun for her, Conan is so violent, yada yada.

I still have problems with the violence in Conan, especially least the blood spatters (anyone know if you can turn that off?). But Ryan Verniere is making me think twice.

On the last Massively Online Gamer podcast, episode 96, he was discussing Conan (he’s in the beta), and he said out loud what I’ve been privately fearing for a couple of months now. With around 17 minutes left in the podcast, he’s talking about how good Conan plays, and how smoothly it runs, and then he says “I’ve never seen an mmo this fluid. It literally makes Warhammer look like something that should have been in production in 2000, not 2008.

I’ll have to wait and see what I think about Conan. Graphics are still a subjective reaction. But I’ve privately been saying the same thing about Warhammer to myself as I’ve been playing it. Or not playing it. Lately, with a new testing session going on in WAR, I’m choosing to go to Gametap and play games that are a couple years old. WAR just doesn’t feel right to me. Obviously, that’s subjective too, and the usual caveats apply: I’m playing a beta, I’m only playing a small subset of the world, things can still be improved, etc. I’m wondering if WAR is going to feel old when it’s released, though. And maybe more importantly, I’m wondering if it’s going to play old.

Chalk some of this up to my mmorpg burnout. I’m feeling like I can’t look at an mmorpg without thinking “I’ve already played that game”. I haven’t been sure how much of that has colored my WAR impressions during the beta. Hearing Ryan say that Conan makes WAR look like something from 2000 rang true, though. I might have to take a look at Conan. When my daughter is asleep. Unless you can toggle the blood splash. And the NPC’s have clothes on. Ok, maybe I’ll be playing late at night πŸ™‚

If I had to play Point: Counterpoint with myself, I’d wonder if Mythic might not have it right concerning graphics. If both WAR and Conan are going to have PvP, which is going to provide a smoother PvP experience? Is Conan going to be a lag fest if you get 30 or 40 people on the field of battle? Has Mythic learned where they need their polygon counts from their DAoC experiences? Will WAR perform better in huge battles? Does Conan look brilliant in the first 20 levels, which is more an RPG than mmorpg, and then look the same as other games post-20? I have no idea. I just know that for me, I’d rather play Civilization IV and Colin McRae Rally 2005 than play the WAR beta right now. I have doubts that WAR is going to be a game that grabs and keeps my attention.


14 Responses

  1. I really wish that (1) I had the time to play another MMO besides EVE Online, and that (2) I could cheaply upgrade my current pre-PCIX pre-DualCore PC.

    I look forward to reading about your experience in AoC if you get into the BETA or eventually the game when it comes out.

  2. I think you’re smart to stick with one MMO. I kinda burned myself out πŸ™‚ I haven’t signed up for the AoC beta, actually. I’m thinking I’m going to stay away from MMO’s until they launch. Testing isn’t helping my burnout, and it might be negatively affected because of it, too. I’m hoping that my perspective is just skewed at the moment…but I’m noticing that Gary and Ryan on the MOG Army podcast aren’t playing MMO’s very much either. Nothing feels compelling at the moment.

  3. Believe it. AoC is surprising to say the least.

    And yes, you can turn off blood, decapitations, and even nudity according to the info flowing from the PvP weekend.

  4. Awesome, thanks Bildo. I do get skittish about how much my kid sees in the games I play.

    I think I actually said at some point that Funcom was making a mistake by limiting their audience by going mature. Of course, I never considered an option to toggle what you see. That’s why I comment on games and other people actually do the difficult job of designing ’em πŸ™‚

    Hmm. I may have to reconsider this whole “on MMO break” thing.

  5. Rick, you know how I once told you in an earlier post that I tend to wait for a while before jumping onto MMOs?

    I … ah … pre-ordered Age of Conan five days ago. *blushes and goes to hide behind a rock* After looking forward to the game, then completely ignoring it for over a year, I kind of got back into looking up information/videos about it and I couldn’t help myself. πŸ™‚ I pre-ordered from an online UK retailer (game.co.uk) that offers the war mammoth mount as a bonus. It was either that or the killer rhino, and I thought, being from Thailand, I ought to go with the mammoth — if only just as an homage to the elephants of war Thais used in their history!

  6. Not a problem, Rick.

    @Mallika: I’m actually obliged to buy it since I work on the TTH site, but even were I not I’d have pre-ordered. I’m stoked.

  7. Mallika, it’s bad enough that I’m considering another MMO. Must you tempt me with pre-order goodies? Killer rhino?? It’s like y’all are offering me cigarettes. What’s next, the old “First one’s free” trick? Oh, wait, the first month IS free. Shoot. I haven’t even looked at videos or info about AoC, because I thought it’d be too bloody.

    I really want to avoid the whole pendulum swing from mmorpg burnout to excitement about what’s next, to burnout, to excitement. I’ve enjoyed being off the roller coaster for the past couple months, but I feel like I’m about to queue up for another ride.

    I think part of me is addicted to the excitement of something new. Are mmorpg’s like heroin? Can it ever be as good as it was the first time?

  8. Rick, did you know that you can go on a rampage with those mounts and start throwing people around? Basically you can re-enact the whole oliphant scene in LotR: Return of the King.

    Here are a couple of links that showcase the two mounts. Just in case you were interested. πŸ˜‰

    Rhino: http://images.play.com/banners/3310624l.jpg
    Mammoth: http://img.game.co.uk/images/productpages/mammoth.jpg

    And here’s a link demonstrating mounts:


    Sorry, I just couldn’t resist!

  9. Mallika, Bildo, STOP IT! You’re feeding me with envy and a desire to pre-order and get a new rig. Screw the budget!

    Rampage seems like to much fun. Rampage and body parts flying! Dear god.


  10. Mallika, that’s just evil πŸ™‚ They do look so very, very cool, though. After watching the trailer, it made me think how much my daughter would enjoy riding the rhino. Yeah, that’s it, I’m doing it for her. With the blood and nudity toggled off. Ugh. I have to think about this. I suspect I might end up hiding this one from her, even with the toggles, at least until I get an idea what she’d be seeing.

    Crazykinux, the bad news is, I already have a rig that’ll run AoC, so there’s little holding me back from jumping in.

  11. Welcome to the club, Rick. πŸ™‚ You and everyone who’s here can joing me and my TTH buddies on whatever server we end up on anytime.

    Kinux, truth be told, as long as you have a decent CPU and 2-3GB of RAM (3 for me), the only thing you’d want to be sure to have is a decent video card.

    Might I suggest the Nvidia 9600GT from EVGA for a mere 160 bones?

  12. Bildo, you’re definitely not helping! =)

    …$160 bucks…..!

  13. Remember, $160 US is like 200 pesoes now. For cheap! Get two! SLI!

  14. On a serious note, I put one into my new system built for AoC (keep in mind I do work for an AoC Fansite), and it’s DRAMATIC upgrade from my ATI x1650.

    I can never go back. If anyone here is in the market for a new card and wants it on the cheap, the Nvidia 9600 gt (superclocked from EVGA) is right on par with the 8800gt and about 60 bucks less.

    I love this thing. It runs whatever I throw at it, and it runs it well.

    /endmarketing for Nvidia

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