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So just found out the bad news about Age of Conan.
For those of you that don't know, AoC is going to be all about the raiding and raid gear. To get the best gear in the game, you're going to have to raid. You can't start raiding until you hit level 80, but since you'll be playing offline till level 60 that may not seem so bad. To make it sting just a little bit less, the raids will only be 24 players max.
PvP? Yeah, it's hardcore... If you call losing XP every time you get killed "hardcore." It's even possible for your progress to be lowered to zero for your level if you get killed too much. Did I mention that you only get between 1/2 to 1/3 of the XP for a killed in relation to how much you lost from death? And just to make sure that you're really hurting, the gear you get from PvP still won't be as good as what you get from raiding.
Why do developers pull this shit? We all hate grind. We've all been very vocal about hating grind. We've voted with our dollars by buying WoW and Guild Wars by the truckload because they confined grinding to the end game. Is this really so hard to figure out?
Vangaurd tried twisting the knife too and look what happened. A game that could have been a haven for old schoolers got sunk by bugs, which the olde skoolers wouldn't put up with, and apathy from casuals that wanted no part of the massive treadmill.
I was kind of hoping that AoC would bring something interesting to the table in regards to combat and PvP. As it stands, AoC is a one trick pony that's relying entirely on the novelty of it's combat system and IP to attract gamer interest. It will, but titties and semi-real-time combat are probably not going to hold that interest.