I really got the hankering to play this during the week, so set about installing it via the client download on the main site, as I'd lost my game disc. Oh man, the issues I had! First it said it was downloading 7gb, so I left it on overnight. Came back in the morning to find it had crashed or something, so started it again. This time is was 3gb. Left it on whilst I went to work. Came back 8 hours later and it still had 1gb to go! I checked the options on the downloader and I saw that it wasn't downloading anything beyond 'The first five hours of gameplay', so I clicked the other boxes, assuming it would just tack them onto the end, but NO! It started the whole download again, only now it was 10gb! I left it on again over night and thankfully, it actually finished yesterday morning. The drama!
Age of Conan was, during my brief time of playing it during early access/launch, my favourite non-wow mmo, and I've played a few. The setting, the graphics, the story and the music were all top notch and the combat (melee combat, anyway) was satisfying and fun. The game ran like crap on my old machine, though, and had frequent crashes and bugs to the point of being almost unplayable once leaving Tortage. Somehow, I managed to get a Guardian to 36, Bear Shaman to 26 and Barbarian to 22 in this time. I tried the game again last year on the same machine and it ran even worse - I logged in as my Bear Shaman and the game wouldn't even load most of the time and when it did it was unplayable. Seeing as how I got an all singing-all dancing iMac late last year, I thought I'd give AoC a go again.
Anyway, I logged into the game using my old account, whacked all the settings up to Ultra and loaded up with my Bear Shaman. Wow. Godshafts, wind in the trees, DX10 and everything maxed and this is probably the best looking game I've ever seen and the best part - it runs like a dream! No lag, no tearing, nothing. It is sublime!
I do have one problem, though: I can't remember how to play, where to go or what to do! I had 8 'offline levels' to grant, so I gave them to my Guardian, as I planned to make him my main again, without thinking. Now I was level 44, lost in Khemi with massively outdated gear for my level!
The main issue I have with the game is that there hardly seems to be any community resources - even though the expansion only came out last year, most of the guides on the forums haven't been updated since 2008. The world of Hyboria is truly a brutal one - you have to figure out everything on your own! Whilst I'd usually be ok with this, AoC isn't exactly the most noob-friendly game and, almost 3 years into it's life, it is not an easy game to just pick up and play. I decided to start again and roll a new character, but man, even 2 and a bit years on, I'm still sick of Tortage (I must have run Tortage upwards of 10 times at launch trying different characters).
I started playing my Bear Shaman this morning in Connal's Valley. I asked in global where the respec guy was as I'd ballsed up my talents yesterday trying to figure stuff out. I immediately had about 10 whispers from people all telling me. One guy even went so far as to invite me to group, track me down and give me 5gold (or whatever the highest level of currency is) with a 'hope you have fun back in Hyboria'. So far the community on Crom has been amazingly friendly and close knit, although I have no idea what they're talking about in global most of the time due to use of acronyms!
Really looking forward to spending some time in Hyboria again