Starting all over in Age of Conan

First, the bad news; I don’t know what fixed Age of Conan for me late last night. After trying (and failing) to get things working through a variety of suggested fixes, I decided to do everything but reinstall. I reset all my video settings to low again, ran Simpleconfig and made sure I wasn’t playing fullscreen, made sure I changed the CPU settings for Ageofconan.exe so it only used one core, set the Affinity to High, and suddenly the game decided to work again.

The weird thing is, I’ve done all of that in a variety of ways over the past couple days, and it didn’t seem to make any difference. Last night, something changed, and I have no idea what it was.

I managed to run a Barbarian up to level 8 before I zoned out of the inn in Tortage and everything froze. I had to hard reset the computer, and it was late enough that I didn’t log back in. That’s not a good way to end a play session, but I’ll take it. It was only the second time since the open beta began that I was able to play for any length of time with reasonable performance.

So, things I like: I enjoy combat so far. I’m more reactive than other mmorpg’s, and for the time being, I’m enjoying that. Keen called it button mashing, but I’ll disagree. I’m hitting a lot of buttons, but to me, button mashing is mindless. You don’t know or care what each button you press is supposed to do. In Age of Conan, it matters which buttons you’re pressing. There is a lot of button pressing, since there’s no auto attack, but it’s not mindless mashing.

Keen’s concerns about macroing combos do seem appropriate, though. I’d definitely find it easier to hit one button for my directional combos than hitting the combo first and the appropriate directonal key second. Advantage: Macro players. I have to play with it more to say I prefer a one-button reactionary attack, like DAoC, but I think I’d want to get a keyboard that supports macros if I was going to play serious PvP.

The world isn’t that pretty on low settings, so I can’t talk too much about the graphics. I prefer performance over graphic realism, so I’ll probably be missing the graphical bells and whistles. Maybe one of the newer client builds that utilize two CPU’s will help. I’ve got a gig of video RAM running in SLI, and I’m getting around 40 frames a second on the lowest settings. If the game stays stable, I’ll test bumping up selected video settings. Maybe I’ll even find what broke the game for me earlier.

I like the story so far. I expected that from Funcom, and I haven’t been disappointed. I like the 1-20 solo play too.

If the game stays stable, I’ll be able to dig into a little more and report about gameplay instead of stability. That’d be a nice change 🙂 I think it has the potential to be a lot of fun. I just wish Funcom would hurry up and test the release build on the open beta players! I’m still not sure why I’m playing such an old client. If the release version has bugs that should have been revealed during an open beta with 50k players, I’m going to be pretty annoyed they had us testing on something older.

I’d still say I’m unsure if I’m buying it at launch, or buying it at all. It still depends on how Funcom handles things over the next couple weeks. Last night was promising, though!

3 Responses

  1. In Keen’s defense he’s one of many players that are going to be thrown for a loop when coming from years of old-hat MMOG combat.

    Some will love Conan’s combat (me) and others will feel daunted by it (Keen). It’s a different way to play and that’s not guaranteed to go over well. I think they’ve hit the nail on the head however.

    As for Macros, they don’t scare me too much as people still have to remain still to pull off combos. So it’s not like they can run around in circles and press one button to watch their character do a combo. I think you’ll find that those players who know how to string together their combos and do so manually will be a far greater threat than those who just macro them.

  2. I think the only advantage I see to macroing your combos is the chance to click one button (Sweep, for example) and have your G15 keyboard follow up with your UR directional keypress for you.

    Effectively, you’re turning a two-step combo keypress into one keypress. That’s a decent advantage. There are some people who can do the button presses manually just as well, but the keyboard macro gives you the advantage of *never* fat-fingering your second press of a combination, and being able to think about your next move as soon as you press Sweep. Does that make sense?

    I don’t think Keen’s going to be daunted by AoC’s system. DAoC was highly reactionary. You constantly had to be watching to know when you blocked or dodged an attack, so you could press your reactionary maneuver. AoC is about the same, except you’re watching for shield openings.

  3. Thats cool, I’m glad things seem to clear up for you. I think they patched the client, i’ve been seeing alot of forums stating that the stability is improving. Maybe things arent all gloom and doom after all.

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