Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ten Hints for Taking on Tortage

Not my normal type of post but I thought I would share some things I thought were useful to know in the newbie zone for Age of Conan. There are a couple of loot hints that I would like to thank Steve for finding.

Skills - Press "P" to assign the skill points you earn each level

1) Endurance and Sprinting
Sprinting is done by holding down the shift key which makes you run very fast at the cost of stamina. It actually eats through your stamina fairly fast but if you max out your Endurance skill you'll notice it does so at a slower rate. Age of Conan keeps all of its mobs on an aggro leash so it’s very easy to survive a bad encounter by Sprinting away.

2) Run speed
Run speed is your normal run pace and it's useful to max out since Tortage takes great delight in making you travel back and forth between the same locations. Having Endurance and Run speed maxed out should make some of the traveling less painful. You could just ignore the quests and grind your levels but like most other MMOs the quests provide much better experience.

3) Save about 50 points for climbing
There are a couple quests in the day world and the night world which require a minimum amount of points for climbing. I believe skill points can be reassigned without a penalty cost but I not sure if there is any limitations on the number of times you can do this.

Loot - Just like WoW: green - blue - purple

4) Visit the Acheronian ruins
It’s one of the few instances not flagged for PvP and you can get quest here in peace while learning your abilities. The big advantage is that because Age of Conan has such small inventory space that a lot of people just leave loot lying around that they don't have room to carry. A lot of treasure chests drop here and you can pick up a full set of level 10-20 greens by just switching between the different instances and playing garbage collector.

5) Visit the Merchant on the Docks at Night
During your Destiny quest line a merchant appears on the dock and will show up on the map. He sells a lot of good quality green items including a blue chest piece that you aren't supposed to get until later in your Destiny quest line. The items are wearable at level 10 and will help you out a lot in the early levels. I'm not sure if this is something left in by accident so it might be fixed in an upcoming patch.

6) Bosses and Treasure Chests
Better quality loot is usually found in treasure chests that drop from mobs while normal loot is usually found in bags. While leveling through Tortage you'll find a lot of harder enemies marked as bosses but they don't always drop treasure chests. In general if a mob is marked as a boss but doesn't have any guards it doesn't drop a treasure chest. This is especially true for the large number of animal bosses which usually don't drop anything. Mobs marked as bosses in your destiny quests tend to always drop a treasure chest.

Quests - Too many to Count

7) Don't try to grind through on just the Destiny Quest
The Destiny quest line has some level gaps between the different portions of it. You're really are supposed to switch between it and the day time version to quickly level. However, If you level to 17-18 in the day world then you could probably start the Destiny quest and complete it straight through to leave the island.

8) Picking up Quests
Tortage has more quests then you need to reach level 20 and leave the island. Every time you level check your map and look for exclamation marks which represent quest givers. Be warned that some NPCs will make you run back and forth between the same locations for each new quest they give. I recommend hitting the acheronian ruins and doing quests you have there while hording the quests for the Underhalls and White Sands. Both White Sands and the Underhalls are flagged for PvP if you are on a PvP server so being a higher level before going there will help prevent ganking.

Combos - Press "B" to bring up your combos/abilities

9) Usefulness
Combos do a lot more damage than a normal attack but use up stamina and require you to hit a number of keys to activate them. Below level 15 you'll mostly have combos that only require you to hit one key and are executed fairly quickly. In general combos are very useful since they tend to make the mob focus all of its shields on a single side thus leaving him much more vulnerable to follow up attacks.

10) Multiple-key combos and Stamina
As you get more advanced combos they'll require you to hit more keys to activate them. In general they will hit much harder and take up more stamina. I unfortunately made the mistake of trying out my first 2-key combos on a group of mobs and didn't have any left stamina left over for the adds I got at the end of the fight. In general the stamina mechanic works a lot like a mana bar and thus melee classes should watch it closely during fights.

Assorted Commands/Hints that you might find Useful
/cc addbuddy #Name - add a friend to your friends list
click on the white arrow next to the mini-map to select what instance version you want
the esc key actually brings up your game options instead of exiting you from the game, weird
ctrl + alt + f will display your frame rate on your main screen