Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 19, 2008
 
Following my destiny

The best feature of Age of Conan for me up to now is the destiny quest line, which starts at level 5 when you first reach Tortage, and ends at level 20 with you leaving the island and entering the big world. I haven't done that last part yet, but only because you can't start the final battle for Tortage before level 19. I've done all the previous parts (except for the one bugged one), and received a rare (blue) quality robe as reward.

The destiny quests can only be played in nighttime mode, which is solo. But because it is instanced just for you, your destiny quest line depends on your class, or rather your archetype. Warriors, priests, mages, and rogues get 4 different quest lines. But the really fun thing is that the 4 quest lines all tell the same story, but from different angles. Some quests are the same, like for example every class has to fight through the volcano instance to talk to the slave master. But other parts of the quest are class specific. The rogues have to sneak and steal stuff, the mages have to become apprentice of the evil sorceress to learn her plans and foil them, and so on. And quite often the quest givers tell you that somebody else will do one part, and you are charged to do another part. And then when you replay the game with another class, suddenly it is you doing that first part, and your told somebody else is doing the other part. So basically you need to play all 4 archetypes to see the story from all angles. It's pure Rashomon, for the Akira Kurosawa fans out there, a great way to tell a story.

But even if you just play one part of the story, the destiny quest line is great fun. It is a coherrent story line, explaining what is going on in Tortage, and enabling you to vanquish the evil tyrant. By shipping you off to the mainland at the end of the story, the game nicely gets around the inconvenient fact that the evil tyrant will of course still be there for the next player once you beat him. It creates a good illusion of you really having changed the game world. What you have to do in the quests isn't that special, talk to this guy, slay that guy, etc., but the way the story is told is far superior to normal quests. You actually read the quest texts because the story isn't as random as regular quests, and there are cutscenes for the big events. I liked the destiny quests in AoC even better than the lore book quests in LotRO, where the multiplayer nature often made people hurry through them and not have time for the story.

Most of the normal quests in daytime, multiplayer Tortage aren't bad either. There are some bad apples, like a quest to kill 40 crocodiles of which there are far too few. But there are plenty of quests, far more than you'd need to level to 20, and so you can just skip the bad ones. What could be better is the placement of quest givers. Quest NPCs are placed all over the city and island, and it is far too easy to receive a quest, march off to an instanced quest location to do it, come back, and then find a quest NPC sending you back to kill the same mob in the same instance hidden in a different corner. So better run around Tortage and pick up all quests first, which then are conveniently sorted in your quest log by location, before going off to places like the White Sands Island to do all the quests there at once.

You could theoretically level up from 1 to 20 just doing daytime quests, and then skip the destiny quests, but why would you? I can only advise you to always first do the nighttime destiny quest line, and only switch to daytime when you need a higher level to continue the destiny quests. There only being one starting area from level 1 to 20 is certainly a disadvantage to replayability of Age of Conan, but I feel that the 4 interwoven destiny quest lines really make the best out that limitation. Well done, Funcom!
Comments:
Yay for innovation Funcom. Although it sounds like there are a lot of mixed opinions on this area (both sides with good arguments), they definitely put some thought and finally gave a little story to feed us players who like that sort of thing.

Also, they have mentioned releasing more starting areas in the future...now..if that's next week or next year...phooey, who knows.
 
btw your Destiny Quest doesn't end at 20, it's just that part, you pick it up again at 30.

Your Destiny Quests don't stop until you're 80.

Glad you're having fun :)
 
Yes, I've had a lot of fun in Tortage, and due to the different Destiny Quests, I could probably manage it again with an alt of a different archetype.

The crocodile quest is indeed a little silly, and it will probably be one of the only ones that I skip. Not a huge problem, unless there is a really interesting chain of followups!
 
I noticed today something about skipping the Destiny Quests by one of the quest givers...
This was interesting and I wonder if they listened to people who decided to forego this quest line after doing it once...hmm
Wonder what happens if you do?

As to crocodile...I am doing the "many other quests in the same zone" playstyle...hopefully it will make the crocodiles more tolerable..(started it this morning and got 4 right away (within 10 minutes)...hooray...36 more to go..)
 
Well now you've done it! I'm officially interested in this game now!

I will have to get a trial and see what it's like. I find that the class mechanics are what make/break a game for me. I realize they can change over time, but if I could get ten solid days to play each class to 20 I'd know if I wanted to stay.

"Destiny" quests all the way to 80, especially if they're all/mostly solo, sound like a ton of fun.
 
I'm having a lot of fun in the game also. Anyone figure out all the differences between normal and epic versions of the dungeons. I know the normal ones are shared with other people and you can get ganked in them. Someone told me the Epic ones were the private versions and required a full group to do.
 
I'm starting to get more interested in this game atm. Since Warhammer Online is still far away I will probably try AoC when a free trial comes.
 
@relmstein

From my brief foray into one of the Epic zones, it seems that the mobs were 'elite', and therefore meant to be tackled in groups, as opposed to the normal mobs in the solo friendly zones.

It's a nice addition for those that want more of a challenge when questing with friends, and I hope to see it extended further into the game.
 
Oh, and I'm pretty sure the Epic zones aren't private. There seemed to be plenty of other people in the one I checked out on Saturday night.
 
I wouldn't mind trying it...I had a fun month or two in LotRO before I gave that up.

But I have no interest in playing a Human in game. Perhaps it's the fact that it's usually the most boring race to play,(for me, anyway), or the hardwired WoW reaction that Humans are filthy Alliance.

I may give Warhammer a try when it comes out...I think they'll have something to appeal to a hardcore Horde player like myself.
 
Just to clarify, you can't really skip the Destiny Quests at all.

You can put them off for a long time, but to leave Tortage, YOU HAVE to do them.

The storyline in them explains why.

Glad to see you're liking it, Tobold.
 
> So better run around Tortage and pick up all quests first

I'm surprised to see such a comment from a WoW veteran. Isn't this exactly what you would do in WoW, run around to pickup all the quests for a certain area or instance before going there?

> which then are conveniently sorted in your quest log by location

Gasp, imagine that! such innovation! oh, wait... ;)

But the "destiny" quest does sound nice, and from comment that they pick up again at 30 and all the way to 80 (I guess every 10 levels), makes it sound like a really fun part of the game.
 
I'm surprised to see such a comment from a WoW veteran. Isn't this exactly what you would do in WoW, run around to pickup all the quests for a certain area or instance before going there?

In WoW that would apply only for dungeons, not for solo content, especially not for newbie content. WoW solo quests are more grouped together and conveniently located.
 
@relmstein

Like unwise mentioned, the Epic are sort of like WoW Heroic.

At 18 I went into Undergrounds (pvp) to finish a quest solo this time and there were way too many people trying to gank me. So I hopped out and went back in but in Epic mode and I didn't see anyone there.

The first guard I pulled was only lv 14 but wow, the health bar was barely moving on her. I'm a PoM and suddenly a Player assassin jumped me. I turned to fight him more and he was only lv13 and took off running. No idea why he was there haha. But anyway, I ran back towards the beginning door incase it got ugly and on the way picked up a PAT guard, so I ended up fighting two NPC guards. It was hard but I killed them and got my quest done.

So yea, epic is just harder, can do in groups or solo, get more xp mostly likely, better awards? not sure. But they have alot of health and hit like trucks. I tried Arch ruins at 13 in a group of two and we thought the mobs were broke because their health didn't move at all haha.

@Tobold,

Awesome on the quests. I didn't know they went thru differend perspectives. I typically stick with one class for a few months and then try another so it will be awhile before I see any other viewpoints if I stick with the game.

Finished up my DQ and warped out to my City and hit lv 22 so now I have to figure out the rest of the game. Wow the Aquilonian city is enormous.

Oh yea, feel like such a newb after all my WoW time. Trying to learn how to group up, change instances when in the starter areas, use diff commands haha. It is fun having a new game to play though haha.
 
So the most awesome thing about these quests is that they're instanced and only you play in them, and that you can play them from different perspectives depending on what class you play as? Ummm....isn't that basically like a lot of single player games. Why are quests meant to be played by yourself an awesome feature for a MMO game? Isn't that kind of missing the point?
 
So the most awesome thing about these quests is that they're instanced and only you play in them, and that you can play them from different perspectives depending on what class you play as? Ummm....isn't that basically like a lot of single player games. Why are quests meant to be played by yourself an awesome feature for a MMO game? Isn't that kind of missing the point?
Your first 30 days is included with the price of the box..
So basically you have paid 50 bucks for a single player game...which happens to be the price of all single player games..
Then after your 30 days, you officially have this new game...called an MMO that you pay a monthly fee for...ingenious..!
 
How do I make Renton talk for Nightime quest? Been trying few times and get stuck at he's house. He is sitting with question mark above the head. Can't get pass that point...any advise?
 
How do I make Renton talk for Nightime quest? Been trying few times and get stuck at he's house. He is sitting with question mark above the head. Can't get pass that point...any advise?

That is the bugged quest I mentioned. You need to level up to 14, go to your trainer, and select "bypass destiny" to skip the bugged quest.
 
Honestly, the Rashomon difference is one of the things I liked the most in WoW about the Aldor/Scryer quests in Netherstorm (SMV wasn't as good about it). They played off each other, with the one faction getting information and the other often realizing its relevance. I was lucky enough to be duoing most of them with a friend from the other faction, and was impressed at how nicely they dovetailed. Sometimes they'd have the same goal, and sometimes they'd separate to deal with different aspects, then come back together with X done.

Which means that AoC just got more interesting, admittedly. :)
 
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