Posted by: L1H | May 14, 2008

AoC: Beginner’s Guide

This guide is written exclusively for anyone that is going to give Age of Conan a try either during the Early Access Program and/or the free thirty days Trial Account period. The game retails for 49.99, pretty standard: it’s not too late to get a “Pre-Order” copy which may confer any number of bonus items or features depending on the retailer you purchased the game from.

Starting Races:
You’ll start on a slave ship and at first you’ll pick your gender and class. Your class is limited by what race you are, so think about what you want to play THEN see what races are available for that class.


Assassin – Not for beginners. This class is tough to solo despite their stealthy ways. You’ll be doing a lot of hit and run tactics to thin out mobs. I’ve seen Assassins do some devastating damage in PvP, but again it’s heavily reliant on the player’s skill and Feat selection.

Barbarian – One of the most fleshed out classes in the game. Although a Rogue, the Barb hits very hard and preforms very well in PvP. Getting hit with a Knock Down/Stun/Combo Chain from a Barb means you’ll be dead before you stand up. Little armor is the Barb’s weak link. Despite the image you might be picturing, these are lightly armored ‘stealthy’ fighters. You can go Duel Wield for DPS or go 2-Hander for AoE and limited CC.

Conqueror – Probably the best PvE melee classes in the game. You can stack your Feats in so many directions: no two Conquerors are alike. PvP isn’t their strong point, but a skilled player can compensate. They also offer some decent PvE group buffs similar to Captains in LotRO.

Bear Shaman – Healer blunt melee class. Your heals can soak up a lot of damage, ironically making for a decent tank, but a warning: level 1-20 is a painful climb. This class doesn’t get effective healing until you’re almost out of Tortage, but don’t get discouraged, after 20 this class is solo friendly and is a great team mate to have in PvP.

Dark Templar – You are a caster tank (read: Dark Paladin). You’ll have a lot of HP and stay alive by leeching life from your foes as you attack them. Lack of DPS makes a DT slightly less effective in PvP, but they make up for it with AoE Procs, Stuns, Fear, and Limited CC (via Feats). PvE Tanking isn’t easy at lower levels due to a steep power curve, but once you start to get your signature Abilities and Spells, you’ll become a bullet proof tank powered by dark magic.

DemonlogistUpdated What you have here is a caster ranged nuker that can summon pets and has limited CC.  This class feels like a classic wizard, throwing spells from a distance, decent AoE damage, and a few CC tricks up their sleeves.  The real complaint here is their pets feel a little weak, but at least they’re sexy (Succubus anyone?).  Very gentle power curve, leveling is fun, and would be a good class to duo with.  PvP is circumstantial: AoE nuking is always welcome.  Again: Feat build is really the determining factor here.

Guardian – Honestly I think this is the second most fleshed out class in the game. It feels really complete. They are supposed to be the melee tank class, but don’t be fooled, they can do decent damage. The only class able to use Polearms, Guardians can do it all: tank (taunt), nice melee damage, decent CC. Fantastic PvP and PvE class.

Herald of Xolti – Not for everyone. A cloth wearing 2-hander caster class that minimizes any squishiness with protective spells and dishes out major damage (read point-blank damage; no ranged attacks here). Feat selection is key here, but a joy to play beyond level 15. Not a fantastic PvE class, but they can hold their own if prepared. PvP is solid but not exceptional: area root, good damage, and an alternative demon form that makes other players run away (mostly because of the area fire DoT).

Necromancer – AoC creature handler caster. Cool looking pets, moderate damage spells, and a variety of DoTs. Feat selection is key to making this class do what you want with it, but this class still feels like it needs another pass before I would recommend it to anyone.  Again pets feel underpowered, but what makes the Necro unique is a pet point system which feels like your managing a pack of monsters: like Pokemon in Hell.

Priest of Mitra – AoC clerics wouldn’t do this class justice as a description. Are they healer casters? Sure, but what you really have is a CC/AoE class in disguise. They are fun to play, very survivable, and an awesome asset to any group – PvP and PvE. Like the Bear Shaman, the first 10-15 levels are a little rough, but then it’s cruise control from then on.

Ranger – The new effective range of ranged combat (14m?) will result in one or two attacks at most until the mobs are pulled to melee range, but ironically that’s where the Ranger surprises you. They are neither squishy or weak, and kick ass up close and at range. Switching to duel wield style then back to bow (or crossbow) is easy and opens up different combos. Traps are available for some limited CC, but they need another pass, honestly. The ability to switch to FPS mode when using a bow isn’t implemented well, but I’m sure that will get polished soon enough. PvP is STILL a Ranger’s strong suit: Let your group engage the enemy, pop out of Hiding, then commence nuking. It takes forethought, positioning, and timing to pull off ranged combos now, but still, your fingers aren’t quite as busy as a melee class, especially in PvP.

Tempest of Set – This caster class resembles a Druid in that you can wear light armor, do decent AoE Damage, and can also heal (HoT) yourself and your group. They are PvP (Stun) and PvE viable, but Feats and player skill are a major factor here. This is one of the most complete feeling casters in AoC. The only downside is the limited damage spell variety, how long before your bored of throwing down lightening on enemies? Never, I say.


Video Settings:
Wait until you get washed on shore and get past the Intro dialog THEN start playing with video settings. I suggest you start with Medium and adjust up or down from there. The game is gorgeous on High but scales well enough on Medium and Low. If you can get away with Medium settings but keep the textures on High then you’re not missing much as you might speculate. Once you get into Tortage you might have to readjust (lots of players on screen).

Welcome to the Jungle:
Get past intro dialog, run up hill towards jungle where you’ll notice a chained up Slave Girl. Speak to her by right clicking and you’ll get to see the fancy NPC dialog cinematic for the first time. She’ll tell you to go down to the beach and kill an NPC. You’ll have weapon already with which to to complete this grisly task.

First Kill:
1,2,3 keys are your basic swings. Enjoy.

You’ll immediately notice ring of shifting shield icons around the mob. These represent how the mob is stacking its defenses. Attack where the mob is less protected.

After you kill the NPC you’ll see a glowing loot bag drop. Loot it for the key (right click), but don’t go back to the Slave Girl yet.

I would open options and explore the controls. Personally I make the tilde key (left of 1) my toggle combat button. After you kill the NPC you’ll see a glowing loot bag drop. Loot it for the key (right click), but don’t go back to the Slave Girl yet.

Beach Party/Tool Bar:
Continue up the beach and kill all mobs and monsters you encounter to practice the new combat system. It takes some getting used to, like any fine motor skill (Guitar Hero), but you’ll get it eventually.

Keys 1,2,3 are your melee attacks with 4-0 being your toolbar slots.

There are two additional tool bars (invisible until you mouse over them) to the right of the screen. These tool bars can be turned horizontal or vertical by right clicking them while you’re mousing over them. They can also be stretched just like a window to open more spots.

You won’t have any combos to start with, but once you gain a few levels you’ll learn spells, abilities, and skills.

You can open your Ability/Combo/Spell window with the ‘B’ button. Click and drag your special moves or spells into the 4-0 slots.

Combos are executed by first clicking the ability icon, then executing the directional attack that appears in the center of the screen. The higher you level the more complex your combos become.

The rest I’m sure you’ll figure out.

What am I missing?

  • Every time you level you earn Skill Points. Open your Skill window with ‘P’. On the right of the screen you’ll notice a list of skills and points that you have to distribute to them. Click on the ‘+’ symbol to level them up.
  • ‘U’ key is the Use Key. When you’re near a climbing location (a white ring will appear at points you can climb) just stand near it and click ‘U’, then begin climbing. You have to have a high enough Climb Skill to overcome the difficulty. Most starting areas have very low Climbing Point difficulties, such as 5 or 10.
  • ‘H’ activates the Hide Ability. Even non Rogue Classes can eventually point Skill Points into their Hide Skill, but they use Stamina and move slower than real Rogues in Stealth mode. Heavier armor penalizes your Hide Skill.
  • Fatalities happen when you kill a mob with a Combo. Wait until the mob is almost dead then time your Combo for the kill. There appeared to be a 25% chance of a fatality if I killed a mob with a combo.
  • Double tapping forward gives you a short buff that may Stun your target with your next melee attack.
  • Double tapping backwards gives you a short Dodge buff.
  • Loot bags and chests that are left with contents in them become free-for-all loot bags if left on the ground too long (before disappearing).
  • Your melee combos are less effective if used against a mob’s shielding. Wait for an opening then activate your hard hitting combos.

You’ll arrive in Tortage during the day. To earn your way out of Tortage you have to complete the Destiny Quests for your class and achieve level 20. These quests are all given by your trainer NPC in the bar and are single player only.

Your NPC trainer will give you the option to go to the Single Player (Night) Tortage to complete these quests. You can switch from Day (Multi Player) and Night (Single Player) at anytime by speaking to your trainer.

Often you’ll complete a few legs of your Destiny Quest Line then not be able to continue until you level up some more. No problem, go to Tortage: Day and solo or group with other players until you achieve the minimum level to continue the Night (Destiny) Quests.

All instanced Destiny (Night) quests will scale to your level, i.e. all mobs will become your level. It’s a great idea to start an instance just before you level, get enough kills to level, and then gain +1 to all mobs for the rest of the quest.

Once you complete the Destiny Quest line and achieve level 20 you’ll be ported to your race’s home land and begin the REAL MMO on the mainland.

I’ll add/edit more later.


  1. Excelent startet guid i must say!! Covered the lot. Thanks:D

  2. starter*

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