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Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures: The Road to Most Improved: Aug - Dec

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com Age of Conan Reporter John Humphrey writes this multi-part article detailing Age of Conan's 2009 progress toward being named MMORPG.com's Most Improved MMO. In today's addition, he discusses changes and events for the game from August to December.

In August 2009, the veil was finally removed from the Expansion mystery. "Rise of the Godslayer" will be released by the end of the first half of 2010. In December 2009, I released a two-part article on the expansion, so I shall not repeat all that material here. This news seemed to capture all of the attention surrounding Age of Conan, and we, as a whole, seemed to miss what was being said about the Updates and other patches to the current system that were being released throughout the year. It seemed like the majority of the questions introduced by interviews and articles throughout the second half of the year seemed to be trying to uncover more information about the next year's content.

The Night of Lost Souls content was introduced in late October 2009. This Halloween-inspired event sent the player across Hyboria on errands for a Spirit near the Library of Old Tarantia to seek down and destroy three Lost Souls. In the end, the Helm of Dark Vigilance (a social armor), the Unholy Backscratcher (a social weapon), and a demonic Soul Devourer mini-pet were the player's rewards. This content will remain available until Update 6 is released. The last hunt across Stygia to the Oasis of Zaara was particular challenging, as the Oasis is a group zone that adjusts its difficulty to the level of the first person in your group to open it.

Read The Road to Most Improved: Aug - Dec.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • DarkjinxterDarkjinxter PortsmouthPosts: 174Member

    The bestest ever thing that came out of 1.05 was the fast travel veteran 'rewards'

    Now, instead of crashing the client 3 times zoning from LP to Kheshata it crashes only once.



    [Disclaimer : I play AoC mainly because I am a fan of RE Howard's Conan stories, and the excellent community that exists on the server Crom]

  • ThorgrimmThorgrimm Age of Conan Correspondent Crestview, FLPosts: 274Member

    THE HYBORIAN AGE

    As I mentioned in the Article, Rise of the Godslayer was announced during August of 2009.  This expansion is due out by the end of the First half of 2010.  One premise of RoTG that may be challenged is the capturing and partial domestication of Giant Tigers and Giant Wolves.

    The Hyborian Age

     

    In order to eliminate some confusion, we can take a deeper look at Robert E. Howard's original essay, "The Hyborian Age".  You can find it in a number of published novels, but it was never published during the Bard's lifetime.  One fact that I would like to draw attention to is that many sources of information, including the map above which was developed from a map by Robert E. Howard himself, points the Hyborian Age to a non-documented period of history about 10,000 years B.C.. 

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Hyborian_Age

    (Nothing in this article is to be considered as an attempt to advance any theory in opposition to accepted history. It is simply a fictional background for a series of fiction-stories. When I began writing the Conan stories a few years ago, I prepared this 'history' of his age and the peoples of that age, in order to lend him and his sagas a greater aspect of realness. And I found that by adhering to the 'facts' and spirit of that history, in writing the stories, it was easier to visualize (and therefore to present) him as a real flesh-and-blood character rather than a ready-made product. In writing about him and his adventures in the various kingdoms of his Age, I have never violated the 'facts' or spirit of the 'history' here set down, but have followed the lines of that history as closely as the writer of actual historical-fiction follows the lines of actual history. I have used this 'history' as a guide in all the stories in this series that I have written.)  -- Robert E. Howard (1936)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hyborian_Age

    http://www.conan.com/bibliography.shtml

    Can Dire Wolves and Sabertooth Tigers have existed in this time period?  I would argue that they could.  In other resources, I have discovered that both the Canus Dirus and Smilodon existed until about 10,000 years ago. The mammoth existed until 4,500 years ago.  The skeletons that have been recovered for museums indicate a great size, but we honestly do not know just how big they could have grown or at what ages the animals were when they died.  Survival can make an animal grow to great size.  Look at crocodiles, tigers, bison, and elephants for example.

    Some may argue that this is far too fantastic to have existed in the Hyborian Age.  If the Romans could capture great dangerous beasts to use in the Colliseum from all over the known world, then why could the resourcefulness of mankind not find a way to domesticate other wild animals and train them to perform our will?  These quests are related to particular cultures that found a way to bond with these great animals, and any domestication comes from capturing these animals as pups and kits and grooming them carefully into adulthood.  This may be somewhat improbable, but I would never describe it as impossible.  If elephants could be used by the King of Persia and rulers of India, why couldn't mammoths at an earlier point in history?

  • ThorgrimmThorgrimm Age of Conan Correspondent Crestview, FLPosts: 274Member

    MAMMOTH

    Mammoth Mount

    Could a Mammoth have existed during the Hyborean Age?  Could it have been domesticated?

    A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. They lived from the Pliocene epoch from around 4.8 million to 4,500 years ago.[1][2] The word mammoth comes from the Russian ?????? mamont, probably in turn from the Vogul (Mansi) language.[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammoth

    "Until 4500 years ago" could have fallen into Howard's Hyborian Age.

    Like their modern relative the elephant, mammoths were quite large; in English the noun "mammoth" has become an adjective meaning "huge" or "massive". The largest known species, Songhua River Mammoth (Mammuthus sungari) , reached heights of at least 5 meters (16 feet) at the shoulder. Mammoths would probably normally weigh in the region of 6 to 8 tons, but exceptionally large males may have exceeded 12 tons. An 11-foot (3.4 m) long mammoth tusk was discovered north of Lincoln, Illinois in 2005.[4] However, most species of mammoth were only about as large as a modern Asian Elephant. Fossils of species of dwarf mammoth have been found on the Californian Channel Islands (Mammuthus exilis) and the Mediterranean island of Sardinia (Mammuthus lamarmorae). There was also a race of dwarf woolly mammoths on Wrangel Island, north of Siberia, within the Arctic Circle.

    Based on studies of their close relatives the modern elephants, mammoths probably had a gestation period of 22 months, resulting in a single calf being born. Their social structure was probably the same as that of African and Asian elephants, with females living in herds headed by a matriarch, whilst bulls lived solitary lives or formed loose groups after sexual maturity.[citation needed]

     

    Mammoth Skeleton

  • ThorgrimmThorgrimm Age of Conan Correspondent Crestview, FLPosts: 274Member

    SABERTOOTH CATS

    Tiger Mounts

     

    Could a Sabertooth Cat or Smilodon have existed in the Hyborian Age?  Could it be tamed?

    Saber-toothed cat[1] refers to extinct subfamilies of Machairodontinae (Felidae), Barbourofelidae (Feliformia), and Nimravidae (Feliformia) as well as two marsupial families that were found worldwide from the Eocene-Pleistocene epochs (42 mya—11,000 years ago), existing for approximately 42 million years.[2][3][4]

    The Nimravidae are the oldest entering the landscape around 42 mya and becoming extinct by 7.2 mya. Barbourofelidae entered around 16.9 mya and were extinct by 9 mya. These two would have shared some habitats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saber-toothed_cat

    Smilodon (pronounced /?sm??l?d?n/), often called saber-toothed cat or saber-toothed tiger, is an extinct genus of the subfamily machairodontine[1] saber-toothed cats endemic to North America and South America living from the Early Pleistocene through Lujanian stage of the Pleistocene epoch (1.8 mya—10,000 years ago).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilodon

    "11,000 to 10,000 Years Ago" could fall into the Hyborian Age...

     Smilodon Skeleton

  • ThorgrimmThorgrimm Age of Conan Correspondent Crestview, FLPosts: 274Member

    GIANT WOLVES

    Dire Wolf

    Could Giant Wolves have existed during the Hyborian Age?

    The Dire Wolf, Canis dirus, is an extinct carnivorous mammal of the genus Canis, and was most common in North America and South America from the Irvingtonian stage to the Rancholabrean stage of the Pleistocene epoch living 1.80 Ma – 10,000 years ago, existing for approximately 1.79 million years.

    "10,000 Years Ago" would fall within the Hyborian Age.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dire_Wolf

    Canis Dirus Skeleton 

  • DarkjinxterDarkjinxter PortsmouthPosts: 174Member

    Good post Thorgrimm.

    The existence of these creatures in our own world I wouldn't dispute, but the notion that any old jack can tame them and ride around on them is something I would dispute solely on the fact they did not appear in Howard's writings.

    I wouldn't dispute that some determined individuals could have pulled off such a stunt. A Cimmerian, or Hyrkanian master of the wolves is not beyond the realms of scope. A Stygian or Khitan necromancer with a lifetime's devotion to nature could perceivably tame and ride a sabre tooth tiger....but not just everyone.

    This is the last I will say on the matter* of the new mounts. Again, a good post Thorgrimm.

     

    * You'll be happy to hear.

    [Disclaimer : I play AoC mainly because I am a fan of RE Howard's Conan stories, and the excellent community that exists on the server Crom]

  • FrobnerFrobner REykjavPosts: 649Member

    You can speculate all you like about mounts.  The simple fact is that RH NEVER talked of ppl of Hyboria riding any mounts other than Horses and Camels.  Thats a fact and Funcom has been allowed to rip into the lore at will to litterally change Hyboria that RH created.

     

    I am pretty sure that if Funcom desided to put dwarfs into the game- Thorgrimm would try to find reference about small ppl that lived in this era. 

    Mounts in AOC are not based on the RH stories.  This is a fact and something that takes the entire Hyboria on a path of just a Comercial joke instead of real story.

    It ispretty much like Frodo showing up with a machine gun in LOTRO.  After all - there was already powder awailable in that lore....

  • DarkjinxterDarkjinxter PortsmouthPosts: 174Member

    Mind how you go Frobner.

    A slight mis-quote from RE Howard describing the Frost Giant's (Ymir's) daughter. 'Her hair shone like elfin gold'.

    Funcom will give us elves next if we're not careful lol

    [Disclaimer : I play AoC mainly because I am a fan of RE Howard's Conan stories, and the excellent community that exists on the server Crom]

  • UwayUway Dayton, OHPosts: 58Member

    It's an MMORPG and like any MMO that attempts to remain relevant, it needs to expand its scope further than just the basic design. Not everything they put into the game is going to be from the writings but will use the same thinking used by the author of AoC while creating content outside the texts.

    Rise above hate.

    Ignore fan boys.

  • misterdurpmisterdurp South Park ElementaryPosts: 157Member
    Originally posted by Frobner


    You can speculate all you like about mounts.  The simple fact is that RH NEVER talked of ppl of Hyboria riding any mounts other than Horses and Camels.  Thats a fact and Funcom has been allowed to rip into the lore at will to litterally change Hyboria that RH created.
     
    I am pretty sure that if Funcom desided to put dwarfs into the game- Thorgrimm would try to find reference about small ppl that lived in this era. 
    Mounts in AOC are not based on the RH stories.  This is a fact and something that takes the entire Hyboria on a path of just a Comercial joke instead of real story.
    It ispretty much like Frodo showing up with a machine gun in LOTRO.  After all - there was already powder awailable in that lore....

    be realistic here, mounts are an unavoidable thing in mmos, dont expect any mmo to stick to the lore for 100%.

    i guess certain people always feel the need to complain about something, even if its trivial

  • AmazingAveryAmazingAvery Age of Conan Advocate UK to CanadaPosts: 6,999Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Frobner


    You can speculate all you like about mounts.  The simple fact is that RH NEVER talked of ppl of Hyboria riding any mounts other than Horses and Camels.  Thats a fact and Funcom has been allowed to rip into the lore at will to litterally change Hyboria that RH created.
     
    I am pretty sure that if Funcom desided to put dwarfs into the game- Thorgrimm would try to find reference about small ppl that lived in this era. 
    Mounts in AOC are not based on the RH stories.  This is a fact and something that takes the entire Hyboria on a path of just a Comercial joke instead of real story.
    It ispretty much like Frodo showing up with a machine gun in LOTRO.  After all - there was already powder awailable in that lore....



     

    It seems like you didn't get the memo where Funcom have made the game based off REH and post IP additions thereafter. It is there creative interpretation. Same with all the Conan pastiche books available thereafter.

    The way you gets the mounts is very conan-esque. Raising them up etc etc.

    Did you know there are werewolves,vampires and minotors in the lore for Khitai?

    Where did the Runekeeper come from in LOTRO?

    Persians in the lore brought war -elephants into battle, Howard called them "oliphants " which by ever desciption could be a mammoth. Mastadons where mentioned, Conan compared the size of the "dragon" in Red Nails to a mastadon.

    Point is it is 75 years later since REH wrote his books and this is a video game where the content has to evolve, just like in other games.

    Khitai keeps the dark and gritty original feel that REH wrote about.

    FYI for reference Conan ~ Khitai second edition by mongoose publishers is a good read and the premise where a lot of Godslayer ideas came from.

    image
    Conan Vids Corsair 800d Case/i7 930 @ 4.4ghz/EVGA x58 760 Classified/Corsair Dominator 12GB 1600/Corsair HX1000 PSU/GTX 580x2/Intel X25-M SSD/2x WD 1TB Blacks/Corsair H90 cooler / 1x 28" 1900x1200 monitor/ G-19 Keyboard/ G500 mouse

  • DarkjinxterDarkjinxter PortsmouthPosts: 174Member

    Ok, I said I wouldn't say anything more on this subject but Amazing Avery has forced me out of my cage.

    Mammoths! They were essentially elephants with big pointy tusks. Elephants can and are ridden to this very day, therefore there is no real point in anyone whinging about their appearance as mounts in AoC.



    Rhinos! They are wild, untamable beasts and shouldn't have made an appearance in AoC at all, thankfully they were restricted to pre-orders only and, like wide-mouthed frogs 'You dont see many of those about these days'.

    Wolves! Tigers! again not tameable, let alone ride-able, but it seems we're stuck with them as RotG in the name of profit will give the crazy mount fans something to strive for. Go for it! Knock yourself out! You wont see Darkjinxter riding one, I'll be on my horse, and if CM is to be believed I will have a fighting (un-rideable) wolf by my side. I look forward to it.



    When's 1.06 patch coming out btw? It was 'just around the corner' last year.

    [Disclaimer : I play AoC mainly because I am a fan of RE Howard's Conan stories, and the excellent community that exists on the server Crom]

  • FrobnerFrobner REykjavPosts: 649Member
    Originally posted by Uway


    It's an MMORPG and like any MMO that attempts to remain relevant, it needs to expand its scope further than just the basic design. Not everything they put into the game is going to be from the writings but will use the same thinking used by the author of AoC while creating content outside the texts.

     

    This is just not true.  Games do not have to change the lore and the backround stories  (AA still tries to justify whatever Funcom does).  There are still alot of work that Funcom could have done to improve the current mount system in the game.  They did not but instead turned the game into every player riding a wolf or a Tiger.

    I still play WOW now and again and still ride the very first fast mount I got.  Probably because that was actually a mount worth getting and had its own storyline (paladin mount).  There are alot of ways to evolve even the current mounts ingame (more taming and new quests)  that make you feel more atatched to your current mounts - instead of bagging up new ones every 6 months.

    Im sorry AA but every player in AOC riding tiger and wolf is NOT what the Conan lore is about.  All know it.  They could be flying spaceships and you would not break the lore any more. 

  • DarkjinxterDarkjinxter PortsmouthPosts: 174Member

    The biggest omission in respect of AoC mounts is the camel, the mount of choice for the Stygian lot. Yet it is passed over in favour of the w**f and t***r mounts, curious.

    However I reckon ol' CM has an ace up his sleeve and will indeed provide us with a (punchable) camel mount in RotG.

    Surely he wouldnt pass up that chance.

     

    [Disclaimer : I play AoC mainly because I am a fan of RE Howard's Conan stories, and the excellent community that exists on the server Crom]

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