Is Age of Conan about exploration and adventure, or PvP and city building? Edit
All that, actually, and more! While PvP battles, city building and siege combat are all important features in Age of Conan, it is still a game based on great adventure – either through solo-play or team-play – through a huge, massive and persistent game world. Despite featuring numerous genre innovations, Age of Conan is still like a traditional MMO game where you start a life in a gigantic online world and explore it with other people or by yourself.
How big is the world in Age of Conan? Edit
The Hyborian world is incredibly huge. The world – crafted by author Robert E. Howard in his original short-stories and books – is basically a fictional version of earth some 10.000 years BC and as such, there is a lot of land to cover. In Age of Conan we have focused on developing regions found within the three nations of Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia, as well as the Barachan isles. The in-game world itself is huge, and will offer incredible opportunities for exploration.
Is the game world seamless or is it based on zones? Edit
It is based on zones, but these zones can be quite big in size – often up to several kilometers in both length and width. We're using zones because we want to create such a detailed world that it would be technologically unfeasible to do it seamlessly. This, however, will in no way detract from the feeling of being in a massive, persistent game world. Age of Conan is, after all, an MMO.
How many zones are there in the game? Edit
There are dozens of different zones, or regions as we like to call them, in Age of Conan. We are including areas chosen from Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia and we are trying to show the diversity of these nations through this selection. You will find northern regions with tall mountains covered in snow, southern regions with their sand dunes and rust-colored mountains, and everything in-between that ranges from thick forests to plains, swamps, highlands and lowlands. These regions have been picked because of their importance or relevance to the lore, or what Conan did there.
Will the game world be big enough? Edit
Yes, absolutely, it will be huge, but our focus for these regions is actually on detail and gameplay, not on making the gameworld huge for huge sake. Many other games try to create the biggest world of them all, but our lessons with the MMO Anarchy Online means that we try to go another way - towards handcrafted detail, loving and care for the characters there - rather than doing corner cutting to increase the size.
What is the setting of the gameworld in Age of Conan? Edit
Age of Conan is set in the world of Hyboria, a fictional representation of our own planet earth some 10.000 years BC. We are currently focusing on the nations of Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia, but we may go even further in expansion packs after launch. The in-game world is based on accurate descriptions taken directly from the original works of author Robert E. Howard, which feature a world known for its grittiness, its violence, its realism and its mysticism. The setting is one far different from the high-fantasy you find in most MMOs today, even though you will travel to fantastic places and meet creatures beyond your wildest imagination.
How do players move between the regions? Edit
To keep the game true to the lore, there is a small or big journey between the different regions by either boat, horse and so on. Players do not actually move up to a zone-line and then teleport to the region, because some of the regions in Age of Conan are often far apart on the world map. Instead you select different ways of traveling such as by horse, boat and other means of transportation. As an example, to travel from Stygia to Cimmeria on foot in a real-life sense of way would mean a lot of running. This is a game after all, so we try to design the experience to be as fun as possible.
How intelligent are the computer-controlled characters in the game world? Edit
Our artificial intelligence is extremely elaborate, and many of the inhabitants of Hyboria react according to a need-based AI system. Computer-controlled characters in online games have often been nothing but static robots standing around, but in Age of Conan we have tried to bring them more to life and make their presence meaningful. This is also true for the monsters of the world, who will fight you in an intelligent manner, should we wish them to.
What is the needs system the artificial intelligence operates against? Edit
The need system in Conan artificial intelligence is loosely based around famous American psychologist Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs. In Age of Conan we have a computer-controlled artificial intelligence which categorizes several distinct needs – like eating, sleeping and surviving. Each of the levels of our pyramid contains a steady growth in need, and the AI will make sure they are fulfilled accordingly where we want it to. So at the night, an NPC may grow tired and close up his shop, and might walk home. On his way home he might be attacked, the need to survive will be kicked into high-gear, letting him defend himself. And so on.
Are there any factions in the game world? Edit
Factions are not a major part of Age of Conan, at least not at launch. That being said, there will be certain factions involved in the game in one way or another, and you may be able to gain and lose reputation with these, but how this will play is something we will announce closer to launch.
How will players be able to traverse the world? Edit
By foot would be the usual manner for most people, but once you're able to buy a mount, you can also acquire a horse or a camel to carry you as you go on about your brutal and action-filled adventure.