"Then suddenly the borealis, the snow-clad hills and the blazing heavens reeled drunkenly to Conan's sight; thousands of fire-balls burst with showers of sparks, and the sky itself became a titanic wheel which rained stars as it spun. Under his feet the snowy hills heaved up like a wave, and the Cimmerian crumpled into the snows to lie motionless." from The Frost Giant's Daughter by R.E. Howard.
Well, that's it for now. I won't be renewing my subscription to Age of Conan.
As I intimated in my original first-impressions review of the game, whilst the face is real pretty, it ain't got no soul! The combat, as I said, does a few new things, but they are not enough to hide the tedious grind that the game becomes once you hit level 40. I think Funcom know this too. Why else would they give you free character levels every four days? I could literally level my character up just by clicking one button in around 10 seconds if I wanted, which I don't consider value for money.
And there's more...
MMOs depend upon their communities to breathe life into an artificial world. AoC doesn't really have a community as far as I can tell (at least not on the Aquilonia server). I'm not talking about guilds here, I'm referring to the server community as a whole.
Now this might simply be due to the vast majority of the characters being at max level. There are not enough people around at my level (50ish) to start any of the PvP mini-games (they require 12 people to start). I could go through entire play sessions without seeing another player character, and when I did they would either try to kill me or ignore any attempts at conversation. Everyone was racing to level 80.
It might be that once you hit level 80 you will find the most vibrant community ever seen, but I seriously doubt it judging by what my guild mates told me and what I read on the forums. Funcom may as well start everyone at level 80 and be done with the levelling part of the game completely!
I'm planning a post discussing my thoughts on MMO communities for publication at a later date. Suffice for now to say that AoC doesn't score too highly in my book.
I would like to say that I did find a really great guild. If not for them I would not have stuck the game for as long as I did, and they really did try to breathe life into what I began to find a pretty stale environment. If you do decide to play AoC please look up Clan Koragg on the Aquilonia server. They really are a great bunch.
So what now? I've decide to take the plunge and resub to Everquest 2 for a time. I have a few friends who still play the game, including my brother. I haven't played EQ2 for something like 3-and-a-half years, so it's going to be interesting to see what's changed. I'll be posting my initial thoughts soon and plan to recreate my character from the original EQ - if you bump into Merecraft on the Antonia Bayle server be sure to say hi!