Friday, May 16, 2008

Age of Conan Feats

I've talked before on the differences between skill and level based games and how a mix of the two systems seems to be the best for most MMOs. Pure skill based character progression is often overly complex and unfriendly to new players. Plus players tend to choose common skill builds anyways which basically represent a "class". Level based character progression on the other hand is very linear, allows no differentiation of abilities, and tends to get boring. World of Warcraft uses it's very popular talent system to introduce some of the benefits of a skill system into the game. Its not the first time its been done before but the popularity of WoW has made it more common.

Some like Lord of the Rings allow skills to be randomly unlocked and equipped by completing objectives while others like Everquest 2 decided to follow a tree format. Age of Conan also seems to be following the tree format but is much closer to the talent system used by World of Warcraft. Some might find this copying to be distasteful but I think most players will like the familiarity between the skill systems. Just a general browsing through the different Feats trees make it apparent that they allow players the same type of specialization available in World of Warcraft.

The trick will be if Feats comes with the same penalties as the talent system in World of Warcraft. Complaints about the high cost of changing talents are always present and often force certain classes to pay large amounts of gold to play different parts of the game. In fact some people think the way the game is balanced forces players to use the talent trees to overspecialize. Recent rumblings at Blizzard have hinted at some changes to this problem like making protection warriors able to do more damage. Still you have to wonder if Funcom blindly copied they problems with the talent system along with the benefits. Anyways we won't know for sure until players start hitting the max level and are able to use all the points in the Feat system.

Age of Conan Feat Calculator Tool