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I know this game had it share of problems at launch, but I had always been curious about it. Around the time it came out I just didnt have a good enough computer to run it, so I pretty much forgot all about it. I moved to another country and got out of any online gaming for awhile. I picked it up again and played EQ2 and LOTRO. LOTRO especially couldnt hold my interest for more than a couple weeks, played EQ2 for about 6 months. Then I rediscovered AOC and I couldnt believe how fun it is. Im a former SWG vet, and had pretty much given up on finding a replacement for that after that travesty. But AOC is honestly the best MMO Ive played since then, may even replace it as my favorite MMO.
I must say though that I play on the hardcore pvp blood and glory euro server. And maybe that playstyle just caters to me specifically, though I know it is not all around very popular. The game is fairly difficult at first (at least as MMO's go), I had to roll about 3 different characters before I got one I felt was competitive in both PVE and PVP. Once I got it right, I rolled a ranger and havent looked back. I wouldnt want to play this game as PVE only. That would make it very similar to a lot of other theme park garbage. There are issues with the game, I havent discovered anything major as yet, but my guildies have told me broken mechanics are still an issue, and I believe them. Another thing, when you get into a guild here you see that it has a really solid community. At least on euro servers, cant speak for American ones.
The questing and storyline are thus far top notch. I would say on par with LOTRO which is renowed for its PVE and quest writing. I havent done the crafting yet, apparently it isnt that useful but they're meant to revamp it soon, so looking forward to that.
I suppose a more critiquing player could find many things wrong with AOC. But to someone like myself who plays each game with an open mind, is into PVP, is up for a challenge, enjoys the gritty hard low fantasy lore of the game, and can find the beauty underneath what may need polishing here and there, I would highly recomend this game. While maybe not a powerhouse, this still should be staunch competition on the niche market for more mature serious players who are tired of games being too casual, too forgiving, and almost patronizing. Youll have none of that in Age of Conan, which I believe leads to a much more enjoyable play session.