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Questing, Guilds, Role Playing, Crafting, and Loot in Age of Conan (Review: Part 3 of 4)

by: Michael Hartman ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This is part 3 in a 4 part review of Age of Conan, an MMORPG from Funcom. To read the review from the beginning, see part 1.

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    Advancement is almost entirely through questing. They have gone a step further than World of Warcraft in making quests easy by adding markers on your map for any and all quest objectives. This includes "kill X mob type" quests, for which the system creates a large shaded area to show you where that type of mob patrols. If you like your questing to involve absolutely zero thought or effort, then you will love this system. If you fondly remember a day when quests in games required the firing of at least two synapses, you will find this system an abomination.

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    They did some very interesting things with their guilds. You gain control of a city in an instanced zone that is shared with two other guilds (which are chosen at random). The amount of land you get is quite impressive, and you can build a large number of buildings there. The build hook points are fixed, but you still get a few choices for which hook point to use for which building.

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    This system is only partially functional, unfortunately. Only 2 or 3 of the buildings have any real function at present. When they flesh this out it might be an impressive, interesting, and fun feature.

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    None. Next!

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    The crafting system is an enormous step backwards for MMORPGs. You cannot even begin crafting until level 40, and once you are there the gear you are able to make is all pretty much junk. Right now the only reason to be a crafter is if you enjoy punishing yourself.

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    Every guild needs an architect to construct their guild buildings, but this is largely an enormous money sink at the moment. I am sure the gold farmers (of which there are many) love the fact that people must spend 20-50g just to get their first set of buildings created.

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    The actual process of crafting is the now sadly standard click-wait-done system. It would really be nice if some developers would play a few more MMORPGs besides World of Warcraft and see that there are games out there with innovative crafting systems. I would recommend Everquest 2, A Tale in the Desert, or the upcoming Primordiax for any enterprising developer interested in broadening his or her experience.

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    The gear and loot in the game are extremely boring and most of it looks terrible. The weapons look very dull, and the armor is even worse. Most of the caster classes have to run around in rags for the majority of their leveling up life which is pretty depressing for them. One potential upside, however, is the fact that Age of Conan seems to be nowhere near as gear oriented as some of the MMORPGs that came before it. This may be very attractive to people fed up with obsessing over gear in other MMORPGs.

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    This article is part 3 of a 4 part review. Please continue reading: