Or rather begins again. Age of Conan, in May 2008, was my first ever MMO experience. My only other knowledge of the genre at that time was World of Warcraft which I avoided despite it’s popularity with my online friends. Why? ‘Cartoony’ games never appealled to me. I like realism, or rather as mush realism as you can get when staring at a bunch of pixels. It’s the reason I never liked comic books, or manga, or hentai. Give me blood, give me hacked limbs, give me anything other than one ‘toon beating another with a club. World of Warcraft was not for me, but Age of Conan looked ‘fucking awesome’.
‘You mean I can cut that dudes head off? Awesome!’
‘Is that blood on the screen? Awesome!’
This is the MMO I was waiting for. Real people. Humans too, all of ’em, battling against other real people (and some monsters) and chopping the shit out of them! Woo! AWESOME!
Yeah, I’m 32, but I still get excited by silly stuff. Sue me (or stop reading, whatever).
Like all good things though, my Hyborian Adventure came to an end. I’d been involved in Guild politics. I’d seen my fair share of assholes infest the server, I’d ploughed days into building a Guild City which was both unused and unappreciated. I had struggled to level one of the least offensive character classes in the game, the Priest of Mitra, and upon reaching the pinnacle of level 80, was relegated to a supporting role whilst others in the Guild got to go bashing Elites in Kheshetta. I was bored of Mitra, and the idea of grinding another characeter to 80 filled me with dread. The Guild was falling apart. Our illustrious leader, some 12 year old Finnish boy (or something ) was grounded. ‘Hell’, I thought, ‘I’m 30 years old. There has got to be more to life than this!’
To be fair though, I didn’t let Age of Conan dominate my life the way I had seen others let games dominate theirs. This was no addiction and I soon shrugged off the shackles of the Guild and then the game. Choosing life over fantasy.
So why then am I keen to go back? It’s the same with anything. We only ever remember the good stuff. I remember the sheer excitment of climbing to the next leveal. I remember the feeling of sharing a successful dungeoon quest. I remember the laughs and some of the cool people I met during my time in game. We never remember the bad shit. I think it’s a human defence mechanism to prevent us from realising the world sucks. ;o)
I am currently downloading the game client over my slow ass cheap broadband. Another 5 hours or so to go. This will give me access to the unlimited trial, which allows access to the Island of Tortage without limit and with some limitations (!!?!!). The plan is to build up a number of characters to level 19 or 20, just before the end game on Tortage. That way, when I do opt to buy the full game, I can do so and move straight to the real post-Tortage content. Besides, Tortage is one of the most fun zones in the entire game, so why not take the opportunity to enjoy it for free?