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Age of Conan: Day 2

My progress in the Age of Conan Pre-Release has gone well. It's only due to the servers going down on Day 3 for yet another several-hours-long maintenance previod that I've the time to Blog about it. Apparently, not only did Funcom not make room for all pre-order customers to play the pre-release, they also decided that those who were in the pre-release would be shorted at least 10 hours for maintenance time.

Oh well, I'm having fun anyway.

Day 2

Despite the "traders" (NPCs that perform a combination of mail, auction, and bank services) going offline, day 2 went well. I started at about level 16 with only the last battle left in my single player "Tortage Night" content. I needed level 19, so I turned to the "Tortage Day" multiplayer content, performing quests and avoiding the PvP zones. By evening, my Herald of Xolti was ready to finish Tortage, wrapping it up somewhat anticlimatically by killing poor Strom (the supposed main boss of Tortage) with a 950 damage fatality that wiped out more than half his health bar.

An early picture of my Herald of Xolti, Rathisky.
Level 22, in unusually barren landscape, and
at low detail settings on account of how my PC kinda sucks

Though I had managed to avoid PvP in Tortage, now I was in the game proper on a PvP server. From here on out, all the hunting grounds were PvP grounds. I witnessed this in my first steps in the new territory, receiving ample interference from silly players who assumed that just because you can attack everybody you should. I didn't mind too much, the PvP penalties are pretty close to nonexistent: one player even asked I kill them (so they could respawn quickly elsewhere).

Actually, I think I enjoy the PvP in this game, which is unusual for me. Along with a guildmate, we managed to get into a nice blood vendetta with a Ranger 3 or 4 levels higher, who continued to hunt us down with his tracking and stealth. (He was bitter about being spawn camped, quickly forgetting that he was the first to do that.) The cat and mouse was challenging, and gave me a chance to refine my skills using the Herald of Xolti.

Herald of Xolti

The Herald of Xolti is a very dangerous combatant. Just when you think you can move in for the kill, I throw out a nasty damage over time attack and follow it with a hefty attack that removes over half your health bar. Those that stand and fight usually die. Even heavily armored fighters can't stand up to magical fire damage all that well.

Though I wouldn't recommend a Herald of Xolti to a newbie player, it's definitely a fun class to play if you can play with a bit of finesse. I'm essentially a cloth mage -- the weakly armored, high damage "nukers" who are intended to be protected by others -- but I do my business up close and personal.

Perhaps all the classes in Age of Conan are fully enabled in this way. It seems everybody has some modicum of durability and damage output, the differences being mostly a matter of what type of damage (slashing/blunt/fire/unholy/ect) and what aces (combos and spells) they have up their sleeves. That's not a bad balance in a mostly PvP game (there's more PvP servers than PvE servers). Under a balance where weaknesses and strengths are diminished, the best player really is the winner.
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