I was reading the Age of Conan and Warhammer Online boards when I saw that a topic existed on both boards asking this simple question: “Having played AoC, are you more or less excited for WAR?”
The question is very simple and the answer can be a short. However, having played Age of Conan and being a close follower of all things Warhammer, this question holds a lot more meaning and depth for me. There are several features and design decisions that Mythic is going with that make me excited about WAR, and when I look at how AoC handled similar issues I find myself easily able to answer the question at hand.
PvP in AoC: In Age of Conan PvP is built around a FFA system. Everyone in Hyboria is fighting for their own survival and triumph. Amidst all that chaos your only allies are your guildmates. Your guild then works for triumph against everyone else on the server.
PvP in WAR: In WAR PvP is designed to be realm vs. realm, or a faction/team based system. This means that regardless of race, class, or creed you are allied with the other races that fall under your ‘realm’ of Order or Destruction. Everyone in a realm works together for the glory of all.
I like: Warhammer’s System. I’m looking forward to working with others to take keeps and capital cities without the more fierce competition of guilds. PvP means more to me in WAR than it does in AoC. I also have a lot more potential to progress in WAR’s system because it is not quite as “hardcore” as AoC’s.
Character Progression in WAR and AoC: Age of Conan’s questing keeps with the ‘standard’ that we have come to know since World of Warcraft first truly implemented a polished quest-to-advance system. I can’t speak for WAR’s questing system right now because the game is not out, but I can state my opinion on AoC’s system. I simply don’t like this particular style (nothing new there, most of you know this.) I feel like “questing” has devolved into “tasking”. It’s boring to me when it’s the only means of progression. You may like it, but I don’t. WAR will offer an alternative means of progression with RvR. I don’t have to quest to level. WAR may have the exact same style of quests, but at least I can avoid them if I feel like it.
I like: The potential of WAR’s progression system. RvR’ing to level is a dream come true. I feel like AoC does not diversify itself enough during the leveling process (thus far).
Style: Both games have very strong lore and history. AoC is based on Conan and the works of Robert E. Howard. I certainly can not argue the magnificence of such a world and creation. Warhammer is based on the fantasy setting created by Games Workshop and has 25 years of content making it equally magnificent. Where the two diverge and distinguish themselves is in how these companies use these properties to create a mmorpg. AoC is rooted in more of a realistic and serious environment and WAR takes itself less serious and feels much more like a high fantasy setting to me. I hate comparing games to WoW, but WAR is much more like WoW in this sense. I loved the atmosphere that WoW created. Not everyone does, but I did. WAR is not out yet but the excitement is building for another chance to play in such a setting.
I like: Both. However, I like how WAR’s style immerses me in the game much more easily.
Okay, that’s enough of the comparisons
I’m so excited to see how WAR addresses keeping 6-man content interesting while avoiding the pitfalls of raiding. I want to participate in Public Quests and feel the world around me really come alive. I want to get lost in the pages of my Tome of Knowledge and see how far off the beaten path it can take me. Age of Conan is beautiful and the gameplay is fun, but it really lacks that same sense of adventure.
I think the most unfortunate thing about AoC is that it does not really feel much different. The leveling feels exactly like it did in LotRO, WoW, Vanguard, EQ2, etc. The gameplay, aside from a few innovative ideas to help evolve combat, remains very standard. Mythic is implementing a great deal more in their game to make it feel different from most (albeit probably very similar to DAOC in scope) and that’s where most of my excitement comes from. There’s nothing really wrong with being a good standard mmorpg, but there’s something to be said about a game that really promises the potential for a whole lot more.
Having played AoC, I am much more excited for WAR. How about you?