The game feels ultimately familiar. I ran through the beach, crocs, Saddur, jungle section as if I’d been away days rather than over a year. The combat system remains as fluid and intuitive as I remember it. Testimony to the design that I didn’t need to read up on any of the swimming, moving, fighting guides and I just ploughed straight through. I did have some concerns however as my first landing on the Tortage beach and fight through the Picts and Scavengers was plagued with major lag. Lag like I don’t remember having experienced before.
It could be that my switch from a cable broadband to an ADSL broadband service has made all the difference in terms of connectivity. It could also be a case that playing over wi-fi rather than connected directly to the modem is screwing with things too. I’ll play on and see what it’s like as I venture further into the opening quests.
One thing that I did notice was how unpopulated the world was. I rolled on Crom which is where my Age of Conan adventures have always been played out, and it was usual to see a bustling crowd of players outside the Thirsty Dog. This time there was little more than a handful of other players. I remember previously having to be quick to get kills in against the pirates behind the brothel as other players would be doing the very same quest at the very same time. This time I was able to play at my leisure (I’ll temper that by adding I was playing at about 4pm, so not exactly peak time).
Currently I’ve collected all the quests at the top of Tortage and I’m going to make a play of breaking the back of them this afternoon (after the server update!).
So far so… good. It was an enjoyable, if laggy first romp through Hyboria and one I’m keen to continue later today.