AoC PvP Weekend: Final Thoughts

[singlepic=34,320,240,,right]As the PvP Weekend draws to a close I want to take a few minutes and jot down some notes and additional feelings that I’ve been having regarding some of the classes and the PvP mini-games.

Annihilate the Enemy Team

This game mode is by far the worst of the two. The rounds last less than two minutes and more than half of that is spent loading and sitting in a lobby. When the game starts the two teams never even focus on killing each other. The focus is solely on destroying the enemies resurrection totem and taking the side bases so that the enemy can no longer respawn. The only fighting that occurs happens within the last 30 seconds and you only end up having one life to live. For the time it takes to get into the battles… it just leaves so much to be desired. If only the maps required more of the players then perhaps the battles could last longer and feel less “cheap”.

Capture the Flag

I want to take back some of what I have been saying about CTF. I was very harsh on this mode prematurely. The part I want to retract is my statement that all the maps are confusing and boring. I got to play the Blood Ravine map tonight and it was really, really well done. Each team had a base and between them was a river and rope bridges. It was far more linear and interesting — far from confusing. The game lasted 20 minutes and everyone was able really experience combat and their classes in big battles. This one map redeems most of what is wrong with CTF in AoC.. but it’s one map. My original thoughts still stand for the other maps.

Overall the two mini-game modes are repetitive and not something I see myself participating in regularly. I think the biggest problem with them is that Funcom did not go the “extra mile” necessary to make “mini-games” workable in Conan. The reason? Probably because the Border Kingdoms are where the real gameplay is at. That’s where the bulk of AoC’s PvP will occur and that’s what I will hold out for before passing final judgment on the PvP of AoC.

My favorite Classes

Assassin – Really, really fun! I love the ability to execute combos from stealth and the quick attacks. This is, right now, on the top of my list. Burst damage is key for the Assassin because they can not sustain their damage over long periods of time. (My assassin video)

Herald of Xotli – A battle mage! Great damage in demon form and real potential for the future. Looking at their feat trees they will be capable of creating volcanos to erupt on their enemy. Cloth armor makes this class a challenge when being beat on, but the “cool factor” makes up for it.

Barbarian – This class deals raw damage and lots of it. Where the assassin might trump the barbarian in burst dps, the barbarian can sustain his damage over a longer period of time and take a bit more damage than the assassin.

Tempest of Set – The best healer in my opinion. It has buffs, hot’s, conal heals, and amazing nukes. It plays like a Drud in many ways. It’s a bit squishy though because the ToS’ heals are not as good as the PoM. With two disables at level 20 this class shows great promise for group play.


I’m editing this section in because it might be important to mention that I have received several emails and comments that the pvp weekend was running on the “Cheetah 1” engine which is the old engine. “Cheetah 2” is apparently the retail client that has been optimized for better performance. If that is indeed the case (and I have absolutely no proof – if anyone does please link me to it) then I hope that there is a chance I will be able to turn my graphics back up to make the game even more beautiful and capable of running on my “old” *cough year and a half old* machine. But right now I have found a happy medium. I can get 30-50 frames per second on 1440×900 with shadows and bloom completely off, AAx2, AFx10 (gotta have texture quality), and several of the texture options on medium/high. You know… maybe I’ll take a screenshot of my video options page to show you guys what I’m running it at.

ATTN FUNCOM: Assassin glitch that needs to be fixed! (See Below)

I have been playing beta pvp weekend event all morning and there are about 3 hours left until it closes. It has come to the attention of everyone participating in this pvp weekend that Assassins are currently capable of using an exploit to increase their damage. You are most likely aware of this issue, but it involves the stacking of stances. On my guardian and Dark Templar I have 900+ Hp. I was being hit by Assassins for 1250 and upwards of 1200+ damage every hit from stealth. When not in stealth Assassins were hitting me for 300-400+dmg with their offhand and 300-500+ with their mainhand. This has unfortunately caused me to log out for the remainder of the weekend since every game has at least three of these exploiting assassins.

I truly hope this does not cause the Assassin classes to be nerfed like the rangers have been because I really enjoyed the feel of the Assassin class as a burst damage dealer.

Here are a few screenshots and a video:


In Closing

Alrighty! That’s all I have for you guys right now. I’ve really been slacking with my screenshots because of all the time spent on the videos. I have taken a few dozen that I want to share with you all so what I’m going to do is go through them and throw out the redundancies and get them posted up sometime this afternoon.

I’m very excited about open beta and the game’s release. When I think about the fun and potential AoC’s PvE has combined with the unknown potential of the Border Kingdoms I really get giddy with anticipation.

Reference Links: Part 1 // Part 2 // AoC Videos

  • Thank you so very much for this. You’ve made the game seem so interesting I immediately went to fileplanet and signed up for the beta notify. I don’t think I’d play AoC for the long haul (/em addicted to WoW) but it certainly seems fun. Again, thanks a ton.

  • Just wanted to say thanks for the in depth information provided.

    Having played a healing tanking paladin in WoW for so long, i feel like a bit of straighforward melee dps. Just gotta choose between an assassin and a barbarian.

    I’m interested in this game for it’s pve and pvp elements. How bad would you say an assassins drop off of dps over long periods is compared to a barbarian? As whilst burst damage is great for pvp, sustainable damage is key to pve.

  • Excellent work reporting over the pvp weekend. No other website, blog or forum came close.

  • Again, great writeup and really quality discussion. I agree with just about everything you’ve said. Also, I’ve been loving all the videos. Thanks!

  • Great reviews Keen, they have been very informative.

    I agree with most of what you’ve said except my death match experiences where better than yours, lasting more than 2 minutes, but they were still short and thats what I liked. I agree the loading screen are very annoying, but you do get a chance to resurrect, often more than once, during a battle. There was evidence of you rezing at least once per battle in your videos. Also, there where usually two big battles per match for me.

    But what I really like in all battles both CTF and Death match is that most all healers are short range and damage dealing, so they have to get close to the fight to be effective, giving them a chance to get in on the fun of the fight and the enemy had a fair chance at taking them down to, it made you fight in a group again, and for me make it more fun.

  • “This past weekend gave the chance for many to see Age of Conan – gave fans the chance to experience the beginning of play and the PvP Minigames even though there was only one beta weekend to participate. It was unfortunately not possible for me to take part me in it but other Bloggers provided many useful and new information. Most beautifuly, I found the Blog of keenandgraev, many photos and videos about the individual classes, the videos even have comments from Keen with them. Clean work and a worthy view for everyone. I cannot wait for the release of Age OF Conan on 23 May anymore.”

    Rough german-english translation provided by the girlfriend. She pretty good at german so its probably pretty on target.

  • Hey man great coverage! I got a lot of info on the classes through your videos! Are you planning on joining a PvE or PvP server upon release?

    P.S. You’ve got me stuck between a HoX and DT!

  • That’s a debate I’m currently having with my brother and friend who are going to play with me. I’m afraid that a PvP server will have too many gank kiddies. I’m also afraid that since I do not have a big guild that I will be trampled on a PvP server. It’s tempting, since I love the pve, to just go on a pve server and do my PvP in the Border Kingdoms as a mercenary until I find a guild.

    HoX and DT are both amazing classes. Can’t go wrong with either. πŸ˜‰

  • Unfortunately I was not able to participate in the PvP week end, that’s why I’m glad, that I found this site. Good job keen and thank you very much (I espacially liked the videos) πŸ™‚
    Hope for a mostly balanced and bug free release version πŸ˜‰

    btw: @Bart I’m a german and this translation is pretty good (although my english isn’t best πŸ˜‰ )

    So far jack

  • Your videos on youtube is a joke. You dont know how to play the classes.. and you even say many of the classes do no damage but you dont use the combos.??? You really need to get more in to the classes before make thies videos.

  • @kongkim


    Weak troll attempt. You got marks for tracking Keen down to his site but lost major points for poor evidence, being overly hostile and having a stupid name. Better luck next time Troll.

  • I have most macros bound to the alt bar and I use my G15 keyboard to use them. I give him at least a 6/10 Bartlebe. πŸ˜‰

  • Keen. If you wouldn’t mind contacting me at dkouvalis @ It is in regards to your website and the great content you provide. Looking forward to speaking with you soon.

  • thanks for the great reviews and video. I hate the fact that the Assassin seems so powerful. I mainly play characters for how they will look. The Assassin how some really nice looks from what I’ve seen which means every kid will want to play them. I’ve already seen alot of guilds recruiting for every class but assassin as they are full on it haha. I come from a 70 rogue so maybe I’ll have to play something else so I don’t end up with a class that too many already play. hmm, barbarian perhaps? I like the casters a little but their damage seems too weak at this point.

  • “…and having a stupid name…”


    10/10 Bartlebe!

    It’s too bad about the assassins being exploited like that, was looking forward to a couple last vids. Thanks for all ya did though, tons of info on the classes.

  • I did notice a few strange things about your review:

    1) Did I really see Keen say that he enjoyed *cough* Stealth *cough* ?? Surely my eyes are deceiving me!
    2) What about the BEWBS?? After the great nipple censorship debate earlier in the year I figured all characters would be required to be female…and topless. πŸ™‚

    Of course I’m just kidding. Thanks for the great review!
    You’ll probably end up saving me $50. I am going to wait for your after release reviews before deciding for sure though.

  • Wouldn’t that be nice? πŸ˜‰

    I’m glad that my thoughts and input on this weekend’s event were enough to influence people one way or another.

  • Dang Keen… if I wasn’t already excited and pre-ordered… you’d have just done the trick. Excellent coverage, mate.

    Now get some sleep.

  • That assassin exploit is pretty glaring. While I have no doubt they’ll fix it before the game hits retail, it’s really not the sort of thing you want to come up during a publicity stunt.

    Not that it matters since my computer isn’t up to spec anyway, but those combat animations still really bug me. That assassin looks like it’s chopping up fog – there doesn’t seem to be any impact feedback or anything at all.