As I’m sure everyone knows by now Funcom’s Age of Conan has gone F2P. A good move, I approve. Because of this I decided to give it another go. I popped back onto my trial toon, a level 5 Dark Templar, and started mucking about. After about 10 minutes I was ready to throw things at my monitor in frustration. Why? Because I play a Warden in LotRO.
LotRO’s Warden uses a system called Gambits. You have 3 basic moves (Spear, Shield, Fist) which combine into special moves, Gambits. Once you’ve built a Gambit you can fire it off with another button press. So, for example, if I want to put a DoT on the mob I am fighting I would do Spear, Shield, Fist then fire off the Gambit. I need to place a HoT on myself? Shield, Spear, Shield, execute. Taunt an enemy? Fist, Spear, execute. The system is very fluid, quite challenging and excellently tuned to a keyboard MMO player such as myself as I never need more than 5-6 keys to access all of my powers. I just have to remember all the sequences.
In AoC they have combo moves. In AoC you have 3 basic moves (at the start). They correspond with the direction of your attacks. Upper Left, Upper Right, Middle. To execute a combo you need to chain those basic moves together. Sounds like the Warden, right? Slight difference, you have to choose the combo you want to execute ahead of time. For a keyboarder like me this is horrible since 1-3 are taken up by the normal moves. I have to mouse click the combos I want. Clunky as hell once you’ve had any experience with LotRO’s Warden.
Now, if I’m wrong and there’s a way to do the LotRO style I’d love to be proven wrong. I could probably go far in AoC if that’s the case. But without that I can’t see AoC being something I could enjoy. It saddles the worst aspect of traditional MMOs (tons of skills, limited keyboard space) with an additional system which doesn’t help in any way.