For various logistical reasons, I regard today as my first day back in Age of Conan, this time on my real characters, on my real server – Cimmeria, the RP-PvP server, now one of four servers remaining on the North America side of the game. Although I am certainly mostly a PvE player, I regard PvP as somewhat central to my AoC experience, so I’m opting to stay there.
I’d last left Turlough, my Cimmerian Barbarian, at level 28 in Connall’s Velley, the Cimmerian level 20-33ish zone. He was just on the brink of 29, though, and by the time I’d wrapped up I was about halfway to level 30. At that point the next Destiny Quest kicks in, and I’d like to hit it without having to wander into another zone.
The amount of content available in each of the 20-30ish zones is kind of tight. For example, Connall’s Valley runs from 20-33, but in order to get those 13 levels out of the zone you need to do pretty much every single quest available, including the group content. Grinding isn’t an especially efficient way to level in AoC, at least out of the early levels. So if you want to skip stuff, you may find that there isn’t enough content in these zones to level you all the way out of them. But there are two other zones in this level range, too, so it’s not like there’s an overall content shortage (any such issues I encounter in higher level ranges I will report.)
So I’m figuring that the one remaining solo quest I have will get me to 30, at which point I’ll do the Destiny Quest, then head off to Zelata down in Aquilonia to continue leveling. Level 30 also makes me eligible for offline leveling, which I will probably take advantage of.
Noteworthy, and perhaps related to my thought that PvP is important to my AoC experience, is that AoC is the only MMO in which I have actually enjoyed playing a rogue. The stealth is part of it (any character in AoC can stealth, but rogues are better at it,) the DPS is part of it, and the variation from the traditional rogue-as-ninja trope is part of it, along with my admiration for the original source material, to which the barbarian archetype is (obviously) central.
Connall’s Valley isn’t exactly bristling with people nowadays – and it’s also pretty freaking huge. Nevertheless, in the early afternoon (well off peak time,) I did manage to get the drop on three other players before getting caught pants-down myself by a fourth. That last guy messaged me afterward, offering me advice on gear and spec, and we had a very cordial conversation.
I started a Khitan Ranger and got him as far as Tortage, too… I’m not sure I’m much into ranged stuff in AoC, and the Ranger is the closest thing the game has to a pure missile class. But I will note that ranged combat has more to it than I had suspected; for example, there’s a “sniping mode” which correspnds to first-person or very close over-the-shoulder view, in which one fires through a target reticule and which grants increased range and maybe damage as well. Also, aim zones do affect missile hits. I’m not sure how far I will take this character, but I’m interested in seeing what more I can do with this aspect of the game.