Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snap Judgements of Age of Conan's Free Trial

Age of Conan isn't really anywhere on my list of games I want to play. However, they just rolled out an unlimited free trial, "valid for those that create an account and log into the game before January 1st 2010".

I don't see why a game that's trying to get more players would announce and then discontinue a free trial program during the busy final weeks of the year, so my guess is that it will become a permanent offer. That said, on the off chance that they're NOT bluffing, I decided that an unlimited trial was worth downloading the client and spending 20 minutes in game just so I'd have the option of revisiting it in the future.

Overall, it turned out about as I'd expected. The game's combat uses an interface where you click to swing and you hit whatever is in front of your weapon. I've never been a fan of that model in stat-driven RPG's - I'd rather just play an FPS or a 3rd person adventure game. The branching dialogue trees are an interesting addition to the single player story, but I could be playing Dragon's Age for that feature.

(I ended my brief session with an absurd "negotiation" with a slaver. He wanted me to kill a monster that had the key to the gate we were both trapped behind, and then surrender so he could sell me into slavery. Given that I had a quest that demanded his death for having enslaved me in the first place, my counter-offer was to kill and loot him instead. Somehow, it took another three dialogue steps to complete this conversation and get to the killing.)

Overall, I don't think I'll be in any hurry to get back to this game, if I ever do. Then again, the free trial was enough to win it at least a few minutes of my limited gaming time. I guess that the fact that I can now return to Tortage at will technically improves the odds of my visiting the game from zero to some small but non-zero number.


mbp said...

I have no opinion to offer on AoC but I do think that the current trend towards unlimited free trials is much more sensible that the time limited free trials that were common in the past.

One or even two weeks was never enough time to make my mind up so I usually didn't even bother.

Thallian said...

@Green Lol
@mbp I agree whole heartedly. Two weeks in an MMO isn't enough time for me to decide anything, except about the graphics and art design.

Stabs said...

It is definitely worth playing up to 20.

Even when people were leaving AoC in droves the complaint was that subsequent content failed to match the awesome Noob Island content.

You won't regret seeing the Tortage nighttime storyline.

Yeebo said...

I take it the trial only allows you to access the 1-20 game?

If you want to get into the rest of the game, do you merely sub or do you need to pay for the client as well?