Friday Update: Answers from Kalanthes 2

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It is time, once again, to poll the minds and hearts of our readership and answer their most burning questions.

First up, a mysterious crate marked "Courtesy of Our Friends At Mongoose Publishing" washed up on the beach at Kalanthes’ feet. Inside, he found three books:

  • Conan: Hyboria’s Fallen: Pirates, Thieves, And Temptresses
  • Conan: Tales of the Black Kingdoms
  • Conan: Tito’s Trading Post

As we have been unable to determine who owns three very lovely books sure to set the mood for any roleplayers that would like to dig deep into the world of Hyboria, we will give them to a randomly-selected person that emails with "Kalanthes’ Books" in the subject and their name, address, phone number, and email address in the body of the email.

Since we get more emails about this than anything else, the official system requirements for the game are:

Minimum configuration (1024x768, detail reduced) Edit

  • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3Ghz or equivalent
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better
  • Video memory: 128MB
  • DVD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive

Recommended configuration (Up to 1280X960, most features on) Edit

  • OS: Windows XP SP 2 or Windows Vista
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 2048MB Dual Channel DDR2
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX or equivalent
  • Video memory: 512MB
  • DVD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive

Online Gaming: Edit

  • Broadband connection required.

Q&A Edit

I'm sure many people are wondering this, but what is the general style of end-game armor in Age of Conan? For example, are there dresses with ridiculous shoulder pieces? Or are there really cool metal armors and shields with spikes that look realistic yet also impose a, "Don't mess with me or your skull will be on display" kind of message? Basically what I'm asking is will the armor look insanely cool? Will there be weapons that cause fear in your enemies? Will there be shields you don't want to get bashed with?
Secondly, will everyone be running around in the exact same armor? Or is there a large variety of armor and looks for specific armor? One thing I have yet to see in an MMORPG is the exact same armor set with slight variations (and I don't just mean color, but added effects that one can purchase or create to add to their favorite piece).

All of the armor in the game will be largely be “in-character” and realistic within the spirit of the world. So while there may be skull helmets, helmet with horns, and other “stretching reality” sorts of things, they won’t be bright purple with flashing lights and built-in spell effects. Some of the armor may be elaborate and some of the armor may even be colorful, but it’s all been drawn from the history of our own world as well as Robert E. Howard’s texts and other official Conan-type sources. It will all look like it belongs in the world, like something you could reasonably expect to find in a museum in our world, with small twists and hints of fantasy here and there. So, yes, you might see a skull helmet or Viking-style horns, but it’s probably not going to be pink.

As for the exact same armor, it’s doubtful. With the number of armor sets available in the game (and each set consisting of several pieces), it’s fairly easy to pick people out based on what they’re wearing and/or define your own unique look.

Will players be able to hide behind objects in the game so they can't be targetted? For example if someone was hiding behind a rock or a tree that was blocking their entire body, I wouldn't be able to target or see them until they were visible.

Players can hide behind objects in the game so they can’t be targeted. For ranged effects and attacks, you will need a line of sight to your target, so ducking behind the walls or hiding behind a rock may be a smart survival strategy.

Hello Kalanthes, this is my question: Can you tell me how there will be the day/night cycles and how they will impact in gameplay?

This tends to cause a bit of confusion, so we’ll try to make it as clear as possible by breaking it into two parts.

In Tortage, the “day” world is the multiplayer world where you can go out, run around, and do quests with other people. The “night” world is the single player world where you sneak around, do your Destiny Quests, and otherwise live the single player adventure.

Once you pass Level 20 or otherwise go to the mainland, day and night are not broken up in this way. It is all multiplayer, all the time, though you can certainly solo within it if you’d like to. There will still be day and night on the client, but it won’t be broken up the way it is in Tortage.

In the Necromancer description (the same for the Demonologist) it says that you will have pets and that you will depend on them a lot so I understand that you will be able to control more than one pet at same time. So my question is: How can we control our pets? Because we don’t have the typical target and control system, and in the Necromancer case, how can we control individually every pet or in group, or maybe the pets are always in a defensive stance acting alone?

The pet control system is much like it is in other games, in that you can select a target, then tell your pet to attack it. You can also tell your pet to defend you, follow you, assist, and go away, the usual stuff you would expect with a pet class.

What happens when you die?

You see a bright light…

Just to expand a bit on the answer given in the first Ask Kalanthes, each Playfield has several resurrection points, kind of like a waypoint system. When you enter a playfield, you will have one resurrection point for that playfield. As you explore, you will discover more resurrection points you can use should you shuffle off your mortal coil. Upon dying, you will be given a moment to contemplate your shameful fate, and you will then be presented with a screen that lets you choose from the various points you’ve found. Once you select one, you will wind up alive at that point with the death penalty debuff.

Lets say you are using a class that can only use a dagger as it's main weapon. If you are on a horse, will you still be able to participate in mounted combat as far as hacking and slashing your opponents on the back of the mount?

You can still hack and slash away with a dagger from the back of a mount, if it’s one of the smaller mounts, and every class can use the mount’s attacks (kicks, tusks, etc.) to drive their enemies before them.

My computer is neither top end or low end, it is somewhere in the middle and may not take to kindly to being bombarded by the beautiful world of Conan in full detail, so i'd like to ask, How much control will i have over the graphics in Age of Conan? For example i love character models, i like them to be of the highest detail with textures and lighting turned all the way up, i also love spell detail, the more the better in my opinion, but i don't give a Pict's Arse about the texture and quality of saaaay... the ground at my feet, the rocks on that hill and the clouds in the sky, etc.

Well, you won’t be able to get quite THAT picky, but there are a number of measures you can take for the middle-of-the-road computer. If you like, there are presets for Low, Medium, and High detail where you can simply click a button and have things set in about the right ballpark for your particular preferences or machine. There are also options letting you adjust things like the view distance, the amount/intensity of particle effects, various texture qualities, and so on.

Since Age of Conan is so focused on consensual PvP (Border Kingdoms, Mini-games, Bar fights), the label "PvP Server" seems to really just mean "Gank Server." With all of the debate raging on the forums, and the origin of MMORPG being Role Playing games, would you please inform us of Funcom's plans regarding the implementation of RP-PvE servers. My thanks.

While we know a lot of people want and would enjoy an RP-PvE server, both our internal surveys and external figures have shown that only a small percentage of people overall desire an RP-PvE server. Should that change, or should we see a strong increase in demand, we will consider it, but RP-PvE is consistently, and significantly, behind every other server type we’ve thought about in popularity, and opening a server is no small commitment in hardware, staffing, etc..

With collisions being such a large part of the game, and one of the thing I look forward to most, will it be possible for say groups of 2 or 3 to block off entrances to other areas? I have seen in the forums that collisions are turned off in cities, but could some angry players be able to completely block the entrances to these zones? Or could a high level wanting to wreak hell on a new low level player block off the lower level from his or her area and then camp them?

It’s feasible, in the “could be done” sense, but we haven’t seen a lot of it so far. People would have to position their characters perfectly and then hold that position perfectly, otherwise, it’d be possible to squirm through the inevitable gaps and fight your way out. And that’s assuming the ten guys blocking off a city could hold out against a few hundred people getting annoyed because they couldn’t conduct their business (even before the questioning of reporting, where the harassment rules would come into play, etc.). Another thing to remember is a lot of the attacks move you in subtle ways, so even if they formed a perfect barrier, it would be hard to fend off an angry mob bent on clearing a path.

The second question is an example of harassment, which is the sort of things GMs would deal with, collision or no.

Will the Assassin be able to survive and do high DPS when fighting solo?

The goal for every class is a reasonable degree of soloability. Assassins are built around doing a lot of damage, so they will tend to have a lower survivability in exchange for that. Your best bet will be striking fast and killing quickly!

I tried searching the forums about movement and a lot of them talk about using WASD to move and hardly any mention movement with the mouse. Is it possible if you could answer me this question?

It is possible to move with the mouse by holding down the left and right mouse buttons simultaneously. What is not possible is click-to-move, i.e. clicking a spot on the ground and moving towards it.

Hi Kalanthes,
I've heard conflicting information on mounted combat. Can archers shoot mounted?

The latest possible word from the mounted combat guy: Archers and spellcasters can both shoot/fire/cast spells when mounted. There are some limitations regarding what spells can be used (for spellcasters) and archers have a more limited targeting cone than they do on foot, but it is possible for both to “shoot” mounted.

I thought, will all three races talk same language, or will they have their own language individually?

All three races will speak the same language. While making different ones for each race is a neat idea, coming up with three separate languages would be quite a challenge!

Can I “respec” my character’s feats? Or once you pick your feats, is it permanent?

In the current beta build, it’s possible to reset your feats at the push of a button (largely because we’re interested in getting everything tested out). There may be a small fee or timer or some other penalty to encourage you not to change with every shift of the winds, but we’re still working out precisely what that would and should be.

How will grouping work in AoC? How many players can be in a group? Can you only join a group after level 20? Is there a level range for players joining a group? I've looked all over the place and can't seem to find any information about group workings/dynamics.

To join a group/team, the group leader will simply have to invite you. You can join or start a team after you pass through the Acheronian Gate into Tortage, so about level 5 or so (and only in daytime Tortage, obviously). 6 is the current number of players that can be in a team. There is no hard-locked level range, but a Level 80 grouping with a bunch of Level 20s probably won’t get much, if any, experience. All he or she will gain is companionship (which can be important, of course!).

In almost all online games I've played, mages are played like like sprinting and jumping acrobats, dancing circles around their enemies, showing stamina and speed greater than that of a veteran warrior, and completely opposite of their thin and frail bodies. Will mages in AoC be played like kiting bunny-hoppers that shoot fireballs instead of bullets, or will they actually have spells of power to deal with all sorts of situations?

Mages in AOC have very few instant-cast spells, which keeps them from firing off a spell, running around in circles, then firing off another spell. Spells also have to be cast from the ground or horseback/other mountback, rather than while in the middle of the air (like when jumping). Ultimately, you will need to hold your ground if you want to rain down flaming death on your foes.

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