AoC Day 2: Free at last from Strom’s clutches!

We’re out of Tortage and that’s all that matters.  That had to be the longest, most tedious, horrific introductory feeling newbie area ever made!  Okay, it wasn’t ALL bad.  The Acheronian Ruins were good fun but the Underhalls, White Sands, and running back and forth and back and forth and back and AHHHH!!!! Sorry, short lapse of sanity there.  The questing in Tortage is horrible.  We simply spent more time running back and forth than we did killing.  Had we sat in one spot and just killed mobs we would have been out of Tortage in a few hours instead of a day and a half.  We’ll talk more about this in tomorrow’s podcast* and give you guys a bit of info on what parts we thought were the most well done.

Since my ToS is a Stygian and Graev’s Guardian is a Aquilonian (and I hate Cimmeria) we had two options for “starting areas” (read: 20+).  We decided on Aquilonia  because I had already seen a little bit of Stygia in beta and completely missed Aquilonia.  First impressions of Aquilonia = It’s HUGE!  It’s by far the biggest of the cities and it’s fantastic looking.  We spent about an hour and a half running around gathering up all the quests we could find and completing what felt like a dozen within the city walls alone.  Although the city is beautiful and a breath of fresh air compared to Tortage, it still felt like a prison after we had been inside the walls for an hour running back and forth and — you get the idea.

Before we logged off for a break (possibly for the night) we made it out to “The Wilds”.  *breathes deep*  Freedom.  The open world, or at least as close to open as it gets in AoC, at last!  This is when the game begins.  This is the first true step into Hyboria.

* We have been receiving a lot of emails/IM’s/in-game messages asking when we will be podcasting.  It was supposed to be today but I was gone for 4 hours this afternoon basically killing any chance of recording the podcast.  It will be out tomorrow and should have lots of information including answers to the reader mail.

  • god cant wait 2 more days till i can finally play. So my question is do you get to pick the starting area you want to level in after tortage. Or is it based on your race? Also if you guys can talk about the feat trees and what not that would be great.

  • You get sent to your race’s homeland by default after Tortage. But going to any other land is just a matter of talking to an NPC and getting a free instantaneous boat ride over.

  • Travel is incredibly simple between the countries, which is nice. And, I’m glad to see that you’re free of the Tortage rat-race. I myself have just entered the wild-lands. So, if you are looking for a third, just let me know. I’ll be on tomorrow, and most days for that matter. Oh, and as far as Cimmeria goes, yeah, it’s not as enormous looking, but for some reason I dig the frozen wasteland thing. That said, I still have more fun in Aquilonia, and that’s where I’ll be as well.

  • Nice; I’ll see you tomorrow. I hope the questing in Tortage will not be as painful with the guide that I just got. It helps you to avoid the all the running back and forth.

  • i really had fun in tortage loved it having said that tho i am someone who always ends up playing and lvling a lot of chars having done it once i would not be looking forward to do it again and again with all chars

  • The game is fantastic. Great graphics and music. Easy travel. UI needs some lovin but that’s minor. All classes very well done.

    It’s my second day of head start and I reached lvl 25 with my Aquilonian Conquerer. I seriously had to take 10 minute break to look around once I reached aquilonian capital city after tortage, incredible what they did with graphics.

    I personally never had a crash or freeze and stay steady above 40 FPS at all times on highest setting ( 8800 GTS 512, Quad 2.4 Ghz, 4Gb RAM ).

    Great Game !

  • Amazing, simply Amazing….. just starting my second day of play now, hehe aussie. lvl 18 conqueror so far, hoping to get out of tortage, sigh. Looking forward to your podcast guys. Thanks for all the updates and inside information. Keep up the great work!!!

  • As someone that went through tortage what seem like countless times in CB, my emotions were changing with each char.

    – First character, I realy wanted to see how the story goes, and was terribly annoyed when I had to do other quests than the main story to level enough and get on with it.

    – Second character had “bah I already know what happens, lets just get it done” attitude, and I was bored and couldnt wait to get out.

    – Third char and on, I almost totaly disregarded the main quest storyline and started paying attention to the rest of the stories going on in Tortage – white sands, acheronian ruins, underhalls, and a dozen other tortage quests that dont fall into “bring me 10 x” category – those I chose not to pursue, except if I finished them on accident.

    My final thoughts is that its a nicely done area (minus all the zoning) and it is not even near a torture wheel you are describing it, although I acknowledge the difference in tastes. I can get out of it in a day, maybe a bit more, now that I know where to go and leveling an alt is not at all frustrating, much less in fact than suffering through durotar for the xth time.

    And as I said, once you start paying attention to stories behind the rest of the playfields, you start putting pieces of the entire Tortage together, and it is rather interesting.


    From sakumbes men abducting people selling them as slaves to Askia, that cut them to pieces and fed them to the red hand (at least that is the way I figured it)

    Love between that red guard and the witch, who was in fact a runaway slave from Toth Amon, where she sacrifices herself so he can live on, because she is cursed that everyone that she falls in love with dies.


    and that is just two of them. many more that you discover, and all of them somehow relate to each other, and to the overall storyline of tortage.

    I just think you are not giving it a fair chance to settle, and I think you are stuck where I was with my #2 – I wanted just to get done with it and get the hell out, and thus I was bored and didnt pay attention to any detail.

    The difference is that you are involountarily transfering your boredom to other people who havent even tried it yet. They are going into it with the impression that they are going to be bored, and because of that, they most likely will.

    Tortage in best case is a nice, albeit a bit too instanced, area, with a rich storyline behind it. At worst, it is an area way better than other MMOS had, where you get dumped into an area (Think durotar), where you get to do stupid delivery and kill quests untill you get to the main hub, from where you are sent to another hub (think crossroads), where you again do a range of delivery and gather quests, untill you are high enough to take a peak into Wailing caverns – which is arround 20ish. Once you astart leveling alts, you can finish it in a day and forget about it, if that is your preference, if not, there is more then enough quests in there that you wont see them all 1st time you go through.

  • I wouldn’t say the questing in Tortage is all bad, some of it is quite good.

    But I will say that it does have a claustrophobic feeling of being trapped there, which just makes me want to level up quickly to get out. And normally I take my sweet ass time!!

    It has nothing to do with how pretty it may or may not be, it’s just that I play MMORPGs to be part of a wide world. I had the same reaction to the intro parts of LOTRO and those were much shorter.

  • Is there any word on dungeons/instances yet? I’m curious at what level can you start running dungeons and grouping?

  • @BTM

    There’s a nice starter “instance” in the Stygian area called Bubshur house. The mobs inside are level 23’s and can can be handled by several lvl 20’s easily…the challenge is doing it on epic setting. Epic setting gives the mobs exponentially more health so you need more then a couple people helping.

  • you can group right from the beginning. Areas like Acheronian Ruins, Whitesand isles and Underhalls, can be accessed either in normal or epic mode, where epic is more group oriented, but supposed to have better loot.

    Also in normal, many of the final quests are group kind of quests which you can do on the appropriate level with a group, or solo if you outlevel them a bit. The game very much leaves you the choice wether you want to solo or group, and you can decide upon it right from the beginning.

  • @TroyTanning or anyone else: We’re about to log in this morning to play but we want to know how the leveling process works best. Do we stay in The Wilds from 20-30’ish then move to a 30+ zone? Or do we have to do all the races’ starting areas?

    Any advice there is appreciated.

  • I’m almost to 24 just questing it Stygia and I have plenty of quests left to do. I’m sure you can finish all in one are if you want to. It goes pretty quick and painlessly with the awesomeness of having the quest objectives on the map.

  • Can someone tell me how is dx10 performance of this game? Im very curious about it. Does it decrease fps too much?

  • DX10 was not implemented in time for launch, only DX9. They are saying they’ll have it in game in August, they wanted to take more time to polish the DX10 features.

  • Any thoughts on guilds on your server? I’m going to roll over there too. It would be nice to get a bunch of bloggers together.

  • I’ve had a hassle free couple of days playing in Oz on the Wiccana server. The only negative is the chat panel, which is difficult to read at times because of the grey font.

  • I’ve posted a super short video to show how the game looks early on into the questing:

    Anyone that’s played it won’t see anything new but for the curious it’s much better quality than most of the blurry YouTube stuff out there, but isn’t a huge to load either. I highly recommend Flickr video for short game clips like this, it gets the point across well.

  • guys I’m a newbe on this morpg stuff, comming from FPS attracted by the real time action, so my doubts might appear silly, but…..I still have then and if someone could help me, here it goes:

    I know that class balance comes better with levels ahead, but I compared some of them right at the beginning just to see how they start (lvl 1!!!) and became very intrigued by the fact that my Dark Templar started with less health than my Ranger ?!!?!!??!?!!??!?!!? Wasn’t it supposed to be a “tank” ??? I have already heard about how overpowered the Rangers were and was kind of prepared, but this seemed toooooo much

    Does any one knows how is it supposed to work? if improves more in other levels? or is it random at the beginnig?

    About tortage: I found it interesting, but do it for all the characters you what to play will really be a pain

  • Things change quickly. Rangers have a lot of HP early on for some reason. I want to stress this point for everyone:

    –Characters do not even begin to come into their own until around level 25–

    Tanks don’t feel like tanks, healers don’t feel like healers, and everyone in the similar archetype feels very similar aside from the extremes such as Necro and HoX or Ranger and Assassin. AoC was built on an archetypal system that was designed to have everyone from 1-20 be a soldier, rogue, mage, or priest and not even choose your unique class until 20.

    Balance in mmorpgs can be extremely visible or sneak up on you out of nowhere. AoC is the latter.

  • I will wait and listen to your podcast, but I am curious to learn how the combat is as you get into your 20s. I only got to 14 in the Open Beta, but I wasn’t too impressed up to that point.

  • thanks Keen! nice view about the “style” of the differences among classes.

    But I will be very annoyed to Tortage so. As I said, I came from FPS and loved the combat system. I would like to have about 4 – 5 characters to experiment many experiences in pvp (like chosing among, medic, gunner, sniper, rifleman and so…). But this would be a very hard work, and about 85% of it in Tortage. God help me!