Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Age of Conan Released, Wrath Leaks

Age of Conan has dropped in North America and is due to arrive in Europe on Friday. Early indications of the game are good, and the sales figures are look promising with 700,000 pre-orders and CE's sold out. Plus, they've layed on new servers for the NA launch, which is always a promising sign of high demand. Will AoC be able to maintain this momentum?... only time will tell, though it has to help that WoW has no new major content patches due between now and the launch of Wrath. With any luck I'll be able to snaffle a copy/trial for the EU release this weekend.

For More AoC news and updates, check out AoCWire.net, part of the IncGamers network.

On the subject of Wrath of the Lich King, more leaks are coming out from those datamining the F&F Alpha (initially posted on MMO-champion, but no doubt they'll be taken down so I won't bother linking). It cannot be assumed that any talents or spells mined now will be in the final release version as is (indeed some of them sound enormously powerful, too much perhaps), but they do indicate possible changes in class design philosophy. Nothing new for Paladins as yet (lol, surprise!), Hunters and Rogues but here are some thoughts on the other classes.

Warriors: They are now entitled to have viable AoE, though of course it is Point Blank in nature and will probably have an associated downside.
Shaman: Snares and CC, and possibly a new Shock mechanic. A lack of CC (stun, polymorph etc.) has always been the Shaman's most significant inherent weakness.
Mages: On demand Stuns for Frost and more AoE, but no clues yet on anything truly innovative.
Druids: AoE HoT's and more multi-form talents for Feral. Expect to see abilities stolen from Hunter's, Rogues and Warrior's here, but I guess that's to be expected in a tanking hybrid.
Warlocks: AoE DoT's, advanced Forms (e.g. Shadowform) and non-negateable (Chaos?) - not even by immunity - Damage. All bar the last are natural extensions of abilities we've seen in the game so far, from both NPC class surrogates and similar PC classes, and so shouldn't be too shocking. The last is always going to be questionable, but with Immunity now always being prefaced by 'not quite' and the Deathknight's anti-magic abilities perhaps this is inevitable. If AoE DoT's are released, expect more magic/disease dispel/immunity abilities for Druids, Priests and Paladins.
Priests: PvP and Pets, in one form or another. Of course this means damage reduction, instant direct heals and unique pet mechanics, but there's nothing revolutionary here. Expect raucous laughter from Paladins if the rumoured 51pt Holy talent goes through.
Deathknights: No ability except direct healing appears to be verboten. Powerful pets, AoE snares and self-rez are the order of the day as the most powerful talents, aswell as some undead-flavour abilities appearing throughout the talent tree (*cough* Will of the Forsaken). Right now, Blizzard seem to be throwing everything at the DK and seeing what sticks, pretty much what you'd expect from a character in Alpha. But by extension it implies that the vision for what a Deathknight should be is weak, much like the vision for Paladins in late Beta and release was weak. Hopefully this is sorted long before the Wrath Beta.

Hopefully I'll find out something fun about Paladins over the coming months. Hunters and Rogues... I'm less concerned about ;).


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