When I heard that Age of Conan was going free to play, I decided that it might be a good idea to try it out now. Since it had a monthly before(and at the time I was on WoW) I didn't bother trying it out. Now that it's free to play, me and two of my friends decided to give it a try. Why not right? Well let's just say it didn't last long.
I tried to like it......
Ok, I did have the impression that Age of Conan is a bad MMO already, but since it was on a free to play model i thought that experiencing it first-hand might change that. Certain games that are considered horrible for most are amazing for some players, it's just preference, that's just how it is. So i gave Age of Conan a chance, see if its unique melee system and the world of Conan can amuse me. Well not only was it a brutal game with gore and finishing moves, it's also brutal to play.
I tried liking it, I tried staying positive all throughout, but there are so many aspects of the game that lead to frustration. Playing World of Warcraft for around 2 years made me expect a lot from MMORPGs nowadays, so expectations we're pretty high. But expecting a lot from Age of Conan is only a fraction of why this game couldn't even last 3 days on my PC.
The combat felt similar to any MMO but with more skills to press of your melee. There's no auto attack that most people are used to, they have this melee system where you perform a normal attack by pressing it like a skill on your hotkeys. You have 3 kinds of normal attack which makes you do a normal attack from the left side, right side or an overhead. So yea, melee is constantly in the move and pressing their hotkeys to keep the action going. Seems cool enough at the start, but from the feedback i got from my friends joining me in this out of the blue trip, its unique system got tiresome in just the three days we played.
I literally was bored in just a few hours playing with my friends, and that's already with a group. I imagine the experience would have been worse if I tackled Age of Conan alone. Even with two good friends looking for a good time wasn't enough to keep Age of Conan interesting. I was playing the healer class of the game, my prefered class, and only played when my friends are online and ready to kill some barbarians. We did some quests and skipped through all the voiced conversations. Yes, they seem to be all voiced with choices coming out of an Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age game, only this time, your choices don't matter at all. Aside from the "I have to go" choice which obviously ends the conversations, everything else leads you to earning the quest or leading to the same conclusion in the conversation.
It was a good touch that Funcom made each quest voiced and making the player I guess, more involved in the conversation. I still find myself skipping through the conversations just like how I don't read the quest descriptions in other games, only read what to kill or what to escort. It's the same deal. Put voice and choices, but if it isn't interesting to begin with, it just becomes a waste of effort.
We hit level 15, going through the town, grabbing quests, looking barbarian-ish with no clothes on, and noticed we were just forcing ourselves to play it. We were all connected through Skype, but not of us we're talking already. We complained so much about certain features more than excited to head for the next quest. There wasn't enough in Age of Conan: Unchained to keep us going, which is sad because we were just in day 3 of when we installed the game. It felt dull and knowing that we have 65 levels(level 80 is the max) to go before hitting end game content made us call quits. "65 more levels of this??" that's what we asked ourselves and instantly uninstalled Age of Conan.
You might be thinking that we didn't give much of a chance, well maybe. Maybe in the later levels, more interesting things will open up, or maybe the high level content is more exciting that the starting ones. One thing is for certain though, first impressions do last, and the content given for starting characters isn't appealing enough for you to aim for the higher levels.
Age of Conan: Unchained is done for me. Well, the whole MMO genre as a whole is behind me. There's not much interest left in there. Everything seems similar nowadays, making the experience bland. Even World of Warcraft isn't worth going back to. But I haven't given up on the genre just yet. Guild Wars 2 is still far away but definitely looks like a game changer. The game islooking to be the game I'll be investing hours and hours of game time just like the good old WoW days. Guild Wars 2 is most likely somewhere mid next year. It's fine, I can wait. i'll be steering away from MMO games until then...