March 31, 2008

No ranged mounted combat

In the Q&A compilation with Jason "Athelan" Stone (one of the Age of Conan game developers, who has a blog at mmorpg.com) that TenTonHammer posted today, this piece of information particularly caught my eye. One of the readers asked how would ranged mounted combat would work in AoC, and here's a quote from Athelan:

You can't cast offensive magic from horseback, so I do not expect you can use ranged mounted combat at all. This is because ranged combined with the mobility of horseback would become an exploitation issue with kiting in both PvE and PvP. However everyone has access to melee combat and could engage from their mounts in that way.
I was pretty disappointed after reading this, even though playing a hun-like ranger (raining death upon my enemies from a horseback, and leaving before they realize what hit them) wasn't my idea of my main character. I'm more concerned with the fact that I won't be able to cast any offensive spells whatsoever with my Demonologist while riding a mount. I do realize it would be hard to balance because of kiting (ranged attacking while keeping a safe distance) like Athelan mentions, and the members of official AoC forums pointed that out too in this topic, but surely it isn't impossible! They could, for example, reduce the damage and accuracy of ranged attacks depending on the speed your mount is moving at.

You could say, "What's the big deal about ranged mounted combat? I don't need it at all." It's true that it's not one of the widely advertised, core features of the game; however, it's still described on the official site (as of today, March 31st, 2008). If you go to the description of Mounted Combat - which is dated 21.02.2008, by the way - you will notice that it contains this, among the other things:
Depending on the mount you are using, combat will unfold in different ways.
<...>
If you are using magic or ranged weapons, it works much the same way as combat on foot – aim and fire! There are, however, certain disadvantages.
<...>
Loss of precision: Mounts have momentum and build up speed. Many will not turn on a dime!
<...>
Spells: Some spells may not work while mounted (since it can be quite difficult to think while bouncing up and down on several tons of mammoth).
So, as you can see, the official AoC community site does say you can use ranged weapons and magic from the back of your mount - even if it does mention not being able to use some kinds of spells. Could it be that Athelan is wrong? I really doubt it. The official site has been known to often contain outdated information, especially now when Funcom is doing so many changes preparing for the game release - which is just 50 days away from now!

Perhaps mounted ranged combat is something to look forward to in the next expansion? Funcom sure has a reputation of supporting their games long time after release. Their other MMORPG, Anarchy Online, had been running for 7 years now, and I even heard something about a much needed graphics engine update it's supposed to get soon. Here's to that.

March 29, 2008

So, what's this all about?

Glad you asked! This is my new blog - AoCBlog dot com. First, let me introduce myself. I'm Andrew, a 20 year old guy from Europe. I'm a big fan of video games, and I especially enjoy fantasy RPGs and MMORPGs. I've played many of the popular titles, such as World of Warcraft and Lineage II, as well as some less known ones (including a multitude of free Asian MMOs, which I ended up being disgusted about in the end). Right now I'm not subscribed to any MMO game, because I'm just waiting for May 20th - and that's only 51 days away now - when Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is going to come out, and blood will be spilled, and heads will roll!

You might have guessed already that this blog will be about Age of Conan. That's right - it's all about this game, and other related things. I'm going to blog about any interesting news I find, post my own biased opinion sometimes (ah, the beauty and freedom of blogging), and of course write all about my impressions of the game when it comes out. You might even find an occasional story of me owning noobs in AoC, but I'll try to refrain from posting too much of those despite my leet skills*. I also plan to take a look at the competition of Age of Conan (other MMORPGs coming out this year) and compare them to AoC. It does look like it's going to be a busy year in the MMORPG market - watch out, WoW!

As for AoCBlog itself, here's some of the stuff you can find here. First, there's the Poll which I will update every two weeks or so with a new question. Second, we have the RSS feed which takes news from many different sources such as official Age of Conan community site, ConnanVault on IGN, TenTonHammer, Curse.com, and Athelan's (one of the developers of AoC) blog on MMORPG dot com, and then a team of trained monkeys sort them by date and publish so you always get the hottest news. (Okay, no monkeys. It's actually just the old boring Yahoo! Pipes magic). Then we have some links and a list of preorders. Speaking of those, I already got mine reserved, meaning I should get the game three days early - sweet deal!

Finally, I'd like to say "hi!" to all Age of Conan bloggers out there. If you have a weblog, or a website related to this game, I'd love to hear more from you and perhaps swap some links. I also welcome all comments and suggestions you might have. For blood and glory!**

*Actually, it's more often than not that I get my ass handed to me due to my reckless tactics, but one can dream, right?
** I really need a better battlecry...