Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Looking forward to Age of Conan?

I will play some Age of Conan. Preferably in the free form of an open beta, but if that shouldn't be available, I'll buy the box and play for the free month. But if a reader hadn't asked me to, I wouldn't even have written about the game before playing it. Age of Conan isn't really the game I've been waiting for. I have a couple of reservations against that game, where I really have doubts whether this is the game for me:

1) Twitchy combat. I'm 43 years old now, and in spite of life-long training I simply can't press buttons as fast as somebody half my age. And apart from my brain being laggy, I also foresee some people having problems with internet lag. If a split second in reaction time makes a difference in combat and for some reason your ping goes up beyond 100 ms, you're obviously in trouble. I'll have to play it to see how twitchy the AoC combat actually is, but lets say that all their announcement of Real Combat aren't exactly causing me to want this game.

2) PvP centric. Again, I only know what the press releases etc. say, I'll need to play it to see it. But there is no doubt that AoC will be PvP centric, and I'm a carebear and don't like PvP all that much. Apparently you can switch other players off until level 20, but if I get repeatedly ganked at level 21+, I'm out.

3) Conan Kiddies. Keen said it best: "Age of Conan is attracting a lot of the diehard, hardcore guild elitist, computer muscle, highly competitive trash talking thug types." Not the kind of people I'd voluntarily hang out with.

The one thing that speaks for Age of Conan is its timing, presuming it is too late to change their May 20 release date now. By then everyone will be fed up by WoW patch 2.4, and Wrath of the Lich King will still be far away, so it is a perfect opportunity for a new game. I just have to hope that AoC is actually finished and polished enough for release then. As I said, I will play it and give it a fair try, but my expectations are low. So don't be surprised if I end up not liking it. I might simply not be the target audience for that game.

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