Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Age of Conan: Graphics, Priest of Mitra

Continuing on, the graphics in this game are very nice. There are lots of options in character creation. Of course, the game aims for the "realistic" side of things, and thus tends to be mostly greens and browns. Seriously, I don't understand why everyone is so scared of bright, primary colors.

The water in particular, is superb. The way reflections interact with the surface is nothing short of spectacular. AoC requires a pretty hefty machine, but it uses that machine well.

Animations are very well done for the most part. The only quibble I have is that the female running animations seems a little odd. I don't think the way the elbows are positioned is quite right.

I'm skipping to the second character I made, as I want to talk about the first in more detail later. My second character was a Priest of Mitra, which is pretty much as pure a healer as you will get. You start off with a Smite spell which is pretty neat. It does a lot of damage early on, and it was pretty amusing to be one-shotting enemies as they get lifted up into the air and then dropped on the ground. Then at level 5 or so, it settled down into a more normal routine of needing to blast the mob several times.

There were some very nice touches for a priest class. They had a health buff which automatically hits everyone in your group and lasts an hour. The first healing spell I got was an Heal-Over-Time that was placed on the entire group. Are the days of Whack-A-Mole over?

The only weird part was that healing seems to be really weak. I was dishing out and taking about 20-40 damage per second. Yet my heal spell healed a grand total of 2 (!!) health every second (per person). I was trying it out and wondering if it was missing a zero or something, as it literally seemed pointless to cast. I'm not sure if healing changes later on, or if this is intended, but it seemed a little unusual.

I got the first city and started doing the destiny questline (sort of like a solo instance of the world with specific quests). That's a pretty neat idea and use of zoning. It's interesting to see more games move through time in the same zone. I didn't get very far, only to about level 7.

I do like the initial quests, though, as they are fairly meaningful, and not just "kill 10 rats." I died a few times, though it was mostly my fault for attacking multiple enemies.

So far though, I like the Priest of Mitra class. I'll probably try some of the other ones, but this class looks to be a solid choice for a healer who is used to other games.


  1. I play on Ner'Zhul, and I can't wait to get AoC on Friday!!! I saw a video of ranger which kinda freaked me out. It's a rogue with serious ranged firepower!!! Bam Bam Bam and no deadspot. It wwas a talk over video on youtube and the guy was telling you how to pwn...sweet! He was spanking all the classes he came upon. He was good, ranger rocks, or both!


  2. The character customization was great, and it was fun to play around with all the facial feature sliders. Of course after 5 minutes of playing the game you get a hat which hides everything. Also I chose freckles on the char creation screen which somehow disappeared in the actual game.

    There were tons of clipping errors (nipples poking out through some chest armor, hair through hats, etc) and all the movement tried so hard to be realistic that it just looks silly (like the female run you mentioned.)

    You've lucked out on playing, 90% of the time when I want to play the servers are down. They were had six hours of downtime before they brought the servers up, and today they've been down for 5h already (2h, 1h extension, another 2h extension.) WoW seemed to have lots of scaling problems as they didn't anticipate how many people they'd have, where AoC seems to have more technical problems like bugs and crashing.

  3. Oh, not sure if you've read a lot of the dev interviews, but they're really trying to get away from whack-a-mole healing. One of the examples they gave was cone-based healing that heals for 120-degrees in front of the caster for 6 meters. Forcing healers to run around and watch the battle instead of just health bars. I'm very interested to see how their end-game 24-man raids are. I believe they have 8 finished and 19 planned.

  4. Ya, AoC really takes a different mode on the whole healing route. I played WoW priests in raids, and I can say AoC wants to step comepletely away from that.

    A few things they on is that there no direct single heal spells you can spam. A Priest of Mitra do get direct healing spells, but they also add debuffs that prevent you from using the same spell on the same target for like 60 sec. Most spells seem to be HoTs.

    I think AoC really wanted to step away from the 1 button mashing MMO mentality and really focus on keeping players on their toes during combat. mean while the Feats really focuses on doing damage while casting healing spells or healing while casting dmg spells. And they do love Cone spells where you have to position yourself, your targets and the people you want to heal.

    As for Healing being weak, there seems to be a global rule that healing spells applied upon yourself is at 50%. Must be some rule to discourage solo-ing priests classes.

  5. I had a 70 Paladin and Druid and was used to PVP and Dungeon healing. My Priest is now 15 and I'm loving it. I've found the priest damage to be decent and the healing to be pretty underpowered as well. I did just get to 15 and pick up a few new healing spells that I haven't tried out yet.

    I'm really enjoying AoC though. It's definitely different, but so far I've found the changes to be very good.

  6. I currently have a level 39 Priest of Mitra. I also felt the same way at low levels, but don't worry. At lvl 20-25, your heals will go up a lot in terms of effectiveness. Radiance is the only direct heal, which is an AOE, but it can only effect someone every 60 seconds. Wave of Life ends up being very good, with radiance being an 'Oh Shit' spell. I have done some group PVP and PoM is able to turn the tides in group battles. In fact I would go as far to say that PoM is probably the most powerful class in PVP at the moment. You can get a talent that makes it so your other group HoT gets put on the group every time you get hit in battle. Not to mention the damage and knockback from repulse is a wonderfully effective form of crowd control. If you just stick to the class until you get to leave Tortage, I think you might find you will like it a lot.

  7. Well, if PoMs are anything like Bear Shaman, their heals are about half as effective on theirself as they are on others. Not sure why that design decision was made.

    Oh, an Kadaan, there is an option somewhere that allows you to turn off helmets, just like you could in WoW, which I did as soon as I picked up my first helmet. ;) You're not alone with the freckle issue, mine disappeared as well. (Even though I've seen NPCs with them. Grr.)