Class Selection in AoC

No politics here – Facebook has that covered.

I found myself, in returning to Age of Conan over the weekend, playing the same race and class I’d played before – the Cimmerian Barbarian. Partly this is due to my fondness for the source material, of course, but part of it is also that I think this is where AoC works best – on a PvP server, with a melee-focused, stealth-capable character. Oddly, it’d never really come into focus for me before that AoC’s Barbarian is indeed a Rogue archetype.

It’s interesting to contrast AoC’s combat with DDO’s. The two share broad similarities; both have targeting of foes, but in both cases you don’t really rely upon it. DDO has an actual targeting reticule; AOC does not, and relies on a tactile sense of positioning to direct attacks. For this reason I think AoC’s melee combat stands over DDO’s, as good as the latter is.

But as attractive as, say, a Stygian sorcerer (in the form of the Necromancer or Demonologist classes) or Hyrkanian archer (not yet in the game anyway,) would be, one of AoC’s flaws is that the same care and detail that went into melee combat didn’t get put into ranged combat or spellcasting. There’s some wrinkles there to make it more than just pure target-locking and wait-for-cooldown, but it lacks the viscerality of the melee.

In DDO you aim missiles just like you would melee attacks, and while some spells are indeed directed unerringly to your selected target, a lot of those are aimed as well. This makes DDO’s combat of a piece in a sense that AoC’s is not.

Then again, I’ve never played a spellcaster or ranged class in AoC above about level 10, and there are thus some features integral to spellcasting that I have simply not seen. I’m not aware that this is the case with, say, the Ranger, but I can’t be sure.

Too, the Tortage portion of the Destiny questline differs depending on your archetype, so I’ve only seen half of those (I played a Guardian into the low 20’s during one of Funcom’s winback periods some time back.) So one of my goals going forward will be to see the other two portions, on a Necromancer or Demonologist (I haven’t decided which yet – maybe I’ll do both,) and on a Tempest of Set on the cleric side.

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