But It’s So Pretty…

Like many, I’ve read through some of the recent conversation about Funcom’s first expansion, Rise of the Godslayer. I have to say, the temptation to return to Age of Conan is strong. I’ve long been a fan of Howard’s lore; but more than anything, it’s because the game is just so pretty. The world of Age of Conan is gorgeous – plain and simple.

I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for these kinds of graphics. I played AoC at launch, even bought the Collector’s Edition. I started on day one, and played for the first month. And, like many other games, that was about it for me and Age of Conan. There were, and are, a lot of good things about AoC – the combat system, I felt, was a step in the right direction, and even at launch it was much more interactive and immediate than most games I’ve played, Funcom seemed to do a fine job with the lore, and they had created an amazing visual experience. For an exploration player, and a photographer, that’s huge.

My machine was even equipped to handle the game at reasonable resolutions. The problem was simple, and big – content. I got bored, quickly. Granted, there have been many changes to the game since launch, including more content, more zones, and improved graphics performance. So many changes that the main site has a multitude of links to details about what has changed since launch. Clearly, Funcom is making the attempt to overcome poor “buzz” and entice old players back. To an extent, I think Godslayer has helped a lot.

Because I have limited playing time, and I’ve found a wholly-renewed interest in LotRO, Age of Conan is a hard sell for me. There really is no comparison between content – even if Funcom added tons of quests, Tolkien’s work has always been far more compelling and interesting to me. So I’m left with visuals; I did a quick comparison using screens from both games’ official sites.

I’ll admit, they’re not perfect comparisons. But you get the idea. Clearly, Age of Conan wins out based solely on visuals (at least, it does to me). But does it win out enough?

I’m not sure. Have a suggestion that might help me decide? I’d love to hear it.


2 responses to “But It’s So Pretty…

  1. I never played much AoC at launch (never even got out of Tortage), so I have gone back to finally escape the starting zone and check out the new content. I’ve been pretty amazed at how beautiful the world is, and I agree it’s a bit more realistic looking than LotRO. There’s no comparison for me, though, because of the additional emotional component that Middle-earth carries.

    My suggest is to save AoC for when LotRO is starting to wear thin and use it as a break to recharge.

    • That’s more or less the way I was leaning. I only got out of Tortage once, with a Stygian Assassin character, and found the next zone (I don’t remember it’s name) to be visually exciting,but definitely lacking when compared to Tortage.

      I remember when AoC was announced, they discussed that the first 20 levels would be a single-player RPG, with the attention to detail and personalized experience that came along with that type of game. While I liked what it eventually became (night vs. day activities with the night quests essentially being instanced areas), it’s clear that Tortage received that level of attention and development, where a lot of the rest of the game just did not.

      I quit soon after.

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