Thursday, March 29, 2012

Update Notes 3.3 [Assassin]

  • Removed the soul fragment consumption on Sins of the Flesh.
all update notes are here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Next adventure pack? Hyperborea

Funcom still hasn't released any official news on upcoming second addon for Age of Conan, but after gathering all the hints (check this video at 29:30m) I think I can take a shot at guess it:


What we know so far is:

1. FC want to step back from eastern theme (Khitai and Turan),

2. The new zone is bordering with existing zones,

3. It's ancient, buried (??) and mysterious

4. Some Lovecraft tie-ins.

Seems like Hyperborea fits this description perfectly.


1. It is definitely not eastern themed place. Especially with large parts of it's territory being called the Northlands.

2. This zone is indeed bordering with Cimmeria and Turan,

3. It is an ancient kingdom, very advanced in magic. I am sure with country that old there is plenty stuff that got buried and is waiting to be discovered.

4. H. P. Lovecraft used Hyperborea in his Cthulhu Mythos for his version of Atlantis. So says the wikipedia.

There are also some other reasons for this choice: AOC already has Hyperboreans models done. There are members of White Hand (Cimmeria quest line), some Hyperboreans are NPCs in Bori and even you can get randomly attacked by Drestrel the Mad during resources gathering.

Furthermore Hyperborea has been magnificently portrayed in "The Gates of paradise" by Dark Horse comics. So there is plenty of material to draw inspiration from.

If it's true then I am very excited for new adventure pack since Hyperborea was on my list of places I would like to see in game.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The workbench - crafting the crafting system

Welcome to the new segment of the assassin's hideout: The workbench. As you can see in "labels" I have created a separate "crafting" tag. I am going to definitely get into new crafting system. The old system (aka "teh turd") that we currently have is by far THE WORST crafting I have ever experienced in any MMO. Funcom have started new crafting system from scratch, but it is not like they had a big choice. Crafting was very much forgotten part of Age of Conan ever since Khitai hit the live server. The reason was very simple: basic Khitai blue armor pieces were superior to whatever crafted could have created. That and the simple fact of how rare and hard to attain the recipes are. Master crafters (aka people with most valuable recipes) were leaving the game at a rate that was higher than the recipes drop rate. Soon pretty much people with rare recipes were rare (oh how ironic).

I won't go deep into details about new system (you can get all the info here), but I would like to give you piece of my mind.

First of all: I like it. It is everything that I have hoped for and penned out in "Where is my crafting" post. I am sure that I will now invest time and resources into developing my crafting.

The random element and the time based system
I very much like the concept of "critical success" where I might end up with better item that I have hoped for. This is what makes crafting exciting. The game director also hints at possibility of adding special place in game that will speed up crafting. Speed up? Oh yeah, it is time based system, did I mention that I love it? No more spiting out 1 million artistry points for grinding gems for 1 hour. And, of course, with time based system FC can allow crafters to create some very powerful items while not allowing the marked to be saturated with them. But back to the "crating center" this place is supposed to speed up crafting. I think it is great that crafters can hang out in one place (even if artificially "forced" to). Some sort of market place for buyers and sellers would be dreamy.

Lack of recipes
I hated the idea of farming recipes. Yes, I can understand that if anyone can get recipes then no one will be able to sell item, but AOC took it to extreme. I don't want to camp mobs to trigger an even in Tarantia Commons so I might have a CHANCE to get recipe. This is why Game Director says: no recipes!! It is all about player's knowledge of the system and the resources that he has. I can understand the frustration of current top crafters, ones that have collected it all(TM). While I sympathise with them (I wouldn't like something like all of my AA's going into waste either) what AOC currenlty has to offer in terms of crafting system is sub par and people shy away from it. It has to change. The game has to change sometimes. I loved my 1.4 Age of Conan when armor stats hardly mattered. It was great. But people complained that the stats contributed now enough to the power and the progression. Then came patch 1.5 that made the stats matter. I had two choices: accept and embrace or quit. I have chosen to stay. I very much feel that this is similar change. Well, kinda. Someone will get shafted in this scenario because recipes will be gone. I am just glad that I ain't the one.


The amount of resources AOC has is absurd. Furthermore those resource drop like candy whenever you some much look at a mob. After 4 years I have 3 bank characters stuffed with resources. With the new system the resources will get "normalized" meaning that the amount will be manageable and their color will indicate their worth. Got blue resource drop? In current system it might be a common drop turd, but it new system this will indicate that there is some serious money to be made on it. Now here is a problem: I have 4 bank characters stocked fully with resources that I have been hoarding for the last 4 years. What will happen to those? They might get converted or trashed when the new system launches. I am just fine with either of the options. This is new system and some sacrifices have to be made.

Old items
Apart from T3 crafted items (like the still awesome Spine of Dagon dagger) AOC's crafting is out of sync with the current state of the game. Whatever blue items you can muster, be it armor or a weapon, a mere rank 1 faction item in Khitai beats it in every way. Not only current crafting item are missing the vital critigation stat (you NEED it for Khitai), but also other stats like protection, constitution or combat rating are not enough for the high end content. In other words: Funcom left crafting behind about 2 years ago. With the new system those items can't be ever made again, but will stay in game as "legacy" items. What is legacy? Crafter's epeen. For other people? Some old junk from the times the crafting sucked in AOC. Those items will still be in game, but rather for showing off than for being viable piece of armor/weapon.

The "knowledge" factor
The new system is supposed to be knowledge based which means that crafter will be only as good as his resources AND knowledge how to "blend" them. Just having great amount of resources (which you can buy with gold) won't cut it. I am already planning how I am going to keep track of my crafting recipes: evernote. Take a snapshot of AOC screen with my iPhone and send it straight to the proper AOC tag in my evernote. Yes, it's a shameless plug for *ekhm* EVERNOTE, but it is a free software and I am using it for EVERYTHING in my life that is related to data collection and retention. Hell, I am even using it to back up every single post of assassin's hideout and store my "I want this" list of in-game items. I am sure it will be great for storing and sorting crafting blending "recipes" as well.

To sum it up: in case you can't tell I am super excited for new crafting system. Bring it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The wind of change

Age of Conan is in a tough spot right now. On one hand there are sooooooooooo many good things on the horizon, but on another hand veterans are currently starving for any content and I am not only talking about PVP. Obviously I am posting less assassin related news and guides because I think I have covered most details about this class. Worry not, however, I still have a few guides lined up. The blog itself, I think, reflects the current state of the game: I am stretching to post something, anything to keep you reading. Or perhaps I am trying too hard and ultimately posting things that most of you are not interested in? I have decided to gather up all my "episodic" posts in one place to ask you which things are you really interested in seeing more on Assassin's Hideout:

  1. Slith's cheesy exploration guide (tag: exploration) - interesting places in Hyboria that were not ment to be explored.
  2. The workbench (tag: crafting) - my progression and experience with crafting (when the revamp comes)
  3. [Guides] (tag: guides) - guides on all things assassin and things that can help to develop your character
  4. Dagger and a bowl of rice (tag: PVE) - my progression in Khitai (the episodes are finished but can be resumed)
  5. Assassin's Hideout Podcast (tag: podcast) - podcast about AOC done in my car on a way to work.
  6. PvP (tag: PvP) - my experiences and progression in PvP
  7. PvE (tag: PvE) - reviews and experiences on new PVE content.
  8. Rants (tag: rants) - me going bat-shit insane on things sorta Age of Conan related (aka nerd rage)
  9. Lorewhore (tag: lore) - bringing you interesting bits of Conan lore with quotes from REH's books.
Please let me know in the comments what makes you come back to Assassin's Hideout and what makes you lose interest in it.

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The deed is done: pvp lvl 10

I have finally reached the end of my journey: pvp level 10 done without Bori.
Patch 1.7 that brought levels 6-10 hit the servers in march 2010. Right nowe we have march 2012. Two years. Obviously I must have enjoyed my pvp otherwise there is no chance in hell I would have sticked with something I hate for such a long time. Since pvp lvl 8 my levels have been without any gear motivations and still I have been actively pvping. I must just like pvp then, eh? Undoubtedly. And to be absolutely honest with you: my push for pvp lvl 10 (if doing normal minigames like every day can be called pushing) was more of "let's get this done" than "I want to be level capped". You can ask: what now? Well, I guess I will do more pvp. And what if I have done Bori in 2010 and gained my level and gear through farming? It seems like it wouldn't have made a slightest difference since obviously I am not staying engaged with pvp for gear or level progression.
Anyway, minigames as a gateway to pvp lvl 10? Don't try this at home!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Slith's cheesy exploration guide ep. 10

In this 10th episode I want to give you less tease and more cheese with a complete guide on how actually get onto outer wall in Old Tarantia. Explorific, eh?

For this stunt I recomend getting these boots. Speed is your friend. The higher you speed is the longer your jumps will be, it's that easy.

We start at Tarantia's library gardens, near the main stairs. Try to gain as much speed as you can.
 This screenshot shows you the crucial moment. You have to time your jump. The right moment is when you at the very edge so much that most part of your mount's body is already in air.
 This is where you should have landed if you have done it correctly. In my screenshot I have used veteran boots and tiger mount (no accelerated althou it makes the jump much much easier).

 Simple jump, but do not underestimate it. You have to land at the center of the dome or you will fall down.
 Back up a little and sprint-jump up
 For this part it is better to dispmount. Short, precision jumps are key.
 Up and up..
 ...and up..
And there. Welcome to the outer wall. From here on you will be exploring on your own. And remember: nothing feels more rewarding for an explorer that /squat on rooftops, looking all cool, gazing down on the poor shmoos that are unaware of your presence.