Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Initial Thoughts on Conan

I'm just using my blog to jot down a bunch of notes on Age of Conan.
  • The "?" that is above the heads of quest givers is kinda sloppy. WoW's feels more focused and in the milieu, now it may have defined the milieu, but still. AoC feels off center and too 3D. It doesn't read interface, it reads like that person has a "?" over their head. For real. No fooling.
  • Why is it that every MMO thinks that when you have 31 powers at your disposal you only need 10 interface slots to place them? And why do they think that shift-flipping the hot bar is a reasonable substitute for seeing all your abilities, on the screen? Oh well guess I'll wait the three months that it takes them to learn this lesson, every time and add some more slots.
  • It's not obvious where the gripper parts of the windows are. the targets feel insubstantial and non-obvious.
  • The jump on my female stygian necromancer feels spastic and out of character.
  • To be fair, I appreciate the boobage. Though what regulation made you glue on the thong?
  • Again with the animations, I feel stiff and awkward. Swing my hips, swagger a bit. It doesn't give the appearance that my avatar is confident or sexy or even competent.
  • Dead bodies float on the landscape bouncing up and down.
  • The choices I'm making in character building seem to be really trivial, is it more important to have 2 points more recovery or bandage? Do I care?
  • Minor quibble because I'm "That Guy"(tm); why is there an interface metaphor of old books? This is a barbarian game. Something else may have been more appropriate. But again I'm probably in a small group that this ticks off.
  • While typing up notes on my blog you can get jumped, but luckily running away is possible. XP debt seems to be the death penalty.
  • I do like the tutorial being instanced to just me. Letting me screw around by myself is good.
  • The skeleton (animation skeleton, not boney one) is weird so it causes the overhead arrow to often be placed to the side of things. This bugs me that the selection isn't standard.
  • No loot on the monkeys. Disappointing. I know they wouldn't have money, but give me some pelt or something to sell.
  • Ahh talk trees that have no actual choice in them. How I've missed you. Actually no. And since everything is read aloud and breaks my game camera all the useless blather just makes me skip it and get the cut off audio, which further breaks immersion. Either give me a choice or don't, but don't make a talk tree that takes three ways to say one thing.
  • During the talk tree camera, if you have a pet, or if there is another player nearby, you get a nice shot of their back as they're standing there going through the superflous talk trees.
  • There is climbing in the game. Good! The physical feats seem to be ignored in most MMOs. I'd like to see how it affects a party on an adventure though. is it extra treasure that good climbers can get? Less damage? Or will it break up a full party?
  • Don't be afraid as a caster to use your knife, at least at this low level.
  • I like the juxtoposition between classification and color text; "Vile insight" = "Friendly personal spell"
  • The sun tanned people in their brown clothing against the brown building and dirt tend to get lost in the city.
  • And for an alt-aholic like me it really pisses me off about the inability to switch characters without exiting the program.
  • I want to play my assassin now, but I'm so tired and after AoC crashed on exit it's doing a big verification of resources.
  • Ok playing it even though I should clean the house or go to bed.
  • Very twitchy this rogue. That's good. But I almost feel flailing is more appropriate. I'm not sure I like the shield system. I'm paying attention to too many things it feels, maybe I'm just old.
  • At low levels at least Assassin > Necromancer.
My final thoughts on the first playthrough; WoW still has the polish crown, and it seems that the crown is so shiny and sparkley that its value is worth more than a few innovated gameplay ideas. MMO developers invest in your interface and animations.

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