If you're an experienced player, you may know most of these already. If you're new or casual some of these may come in handy. This list will be updated over time ...
1) If it's your first time creating a character, just remember that the cosmetic elements (hair, tattoos, markings etc.) can be changed later in the game; gender, race and body proportions cannot.
2) Explore the beach area (e.g. there's a loot chest underwater, near where you washed up and several others as you make your way up the beach).
3) Before you rescue Cassilda: a) kill all the crocodiles and enemies, you'll pick up at least one level; and b) after you kill Saddur, explore the Pict village as there's helpful starting loot there too.
4) Although sometimes a new player might start with promotional items and accessories (including inventory expansions); don't worry if your inventory is not large. Just discard the clothing that's priced at 2 or 3 pieces of tin; keep gems and generic items, as you will sell them when you get into Tortage City. You'll gather enough loot to buy items from the vendors and from other players through the trader.
5) If you're not liking the class or gender that you initially chose, and you decide to create a new character, don't delete the one you're abandoning immediately: Make your way into Tortage City. Start the new class and re-play the beach and journey with the cheerful but perhaps sedated Cassilda; get Turach his bricks etc.; and then take the new second character into the city, as well. You can use the trader to send any unbound items from your first to your second character. Then you can delete the one you want to discard. You might want to try a couple of different classes or create a character of a different gender. Some players even play a less favoured class through to level 19-21 and move escape the Barachan Isles zone just to keep the character idle in the background as a 'Bank' a character which serves only to provide extra inventory.
6) If you get the pirate eye-patch, you've really scored big time! It's exceptionally rare: look at what it's selling for on the trader (I've seen it go for 5-10 gold).
NEW ... (Jan. 4th, 2013)
Here's an all purpose trick that may help some players to improve game play smoothness in the DX10 Client. I've read varying opinions about this, but I notice some improvements in overall smoothness.
If you feel that your FPS drops sometimes or that your game could be more responsive, the following might help players who are using older quad-core machines.
1) In Windows Vista, 7 and 8, ensure that your Age of Conan executable (.exe) file (the one corresponding to your desk-top shortcut) is NOT set for Administrator Privilege [Right-click on your shortcut, click 'properties' and then in the resulting Properties window, click the 'Compatibility' tab. Then confirm that there is no arrow in the box for 'Run this program as an administrator' as in Figure 1. Click 'OK'.] If the Administrator Privilege had been chosen, you would not be able to do the remaining steps.
|Fig. 1. Shortcut Properties menu under Compatibility tab|
2) Start your game as per normal: a) click the shortcut; b) hit 'Start' on the launcher; c) wait for the login screen but when it appears don't log-in yet.
3) Hit 'alt+tab' to temporarily minimize your game
4) When you see your desktop, use 'ctrl+alt=del' to open your task manager (If you skip step 3 and just open the task manager, you might jinx your start-up and end up having to close it all down and start again.)
5) In the 'Task Manager' window, select the 'Processes' tab ... lucky for us Age of Conan will appear near the top of the alphabetized image name list.
|Fig. 2. Task Manager under Processes tab|
6) a) Select 'AgeofConanDX10' and right-click and you'll be given a window with a set of options; b) click 'Set Affinity ...' (see Figure 2, above).
7) You should get the 'Processor Affinity' window which shows checked boxes for all the processor cores that your game is apparently using, as in Figure 3.
|Fig. 3. Processor Affinity window with all processors checked.|
8) Now here's the trick part. Apparently Age of Conan may not use all your cores, despite what's shown. So deselect all the cores, except one (it doesn't matter which one you leave checked) as in Figure 4.
|Fig. 4 Remove all selected boxes but one.|
9) Then re-do the steps to get back to this 'Processor Affinity' window, a second time. Then, re-select all the now empty boxes to restore the checks. (You can do this quickly by clicking the top box labelled '<All Processors>'. and click 'OK'.
|Fig. 5. Restore the removed checks to the empty boxes.|
10) Close the task manager, normally by clicking the 'x' on the window's top right corner. On doing so, the game might kick back in to full screen mode instantly. So then you just log and play as normal. However, if the game doesn't kick-in, you can just click the icon on your task-bar at the bottom of your screen, as you would for any minimized process; then log-in and play.
The idea here is that you are tricking Windows into threading the game into processor cores that it doesn't normally employ. This only takes a few seconds, and you should do it when you start your game each time. There were software workarounds that did this for you, but they are apparently no longer applicable.
A few years ago, FC added the 'AoC tweaker' tool to the game's start-up processes. It was supposed to do this trick for you behind the scenes, so this trick may not make a difference for everyone, as users' systems are different. Some posters on the forums suggested that Age of Conan currently should now run on multi-cores. They maintain that thanks to the tweaker this trick is no longer needed. While others say for some systems the game will still only recognize dual-cores, as that's the way the game was designed originally. It's worth a try. It won't hurt your game or your computer.
I find that although I don't specifically gain FPS, when I use this; I don't suffer as many FPS drops in busy areas (e.g. Pin-Pin) or on raids with heavy particles running. If you're curious to see its effects, you can try setting the game to just 2 cores, then play an area; then try 3 cores in the same area; and finally, 4 cores in that area.
I'd genuinely welcome feedback on this topic, particularly if you notice improved gameplay. If indeed this trick is a waste of time, I'll remove it.
1) Learning to use the 'momentum stun effect' on PvE enemies is actually worthwhile. It's a short Crowd Control effect that briefly stops an opponent's attack. The momentum stun is available from your first appearance on Tortage Beach.
Here's what's involved:
- Identify an enemy who is at a distance
- Decide on your plan for your next few melee attacks (i.e. your rotation of white hits, CCs or combos)
- From a short distance away (2-3 steps), directly point your character at your enemy
- Double-tap the "w" key
- Execute your planned melee strike as intended (i.e. don't wait for the effect, as it may not trigger)
- It will trigger about 20-25% of the time
When successful, a small buff 'hammer blow' icon will appear on the lower mid-right of the game UI, just above the enemy's name. The log in the combat tab of your chat-box window will indicate you "gained momentum" (you will probably have scroll up through the log to confirm it, after the bout is over):
|It may pop in and out for only a brief moment, so keep your eyes peeled.|
It's worth recognizing that despite it being a small buff, if successfully triggered early in a bout, you might get a solid DPS lead on your enemy. Experiment with double-tapping backwards to evade while in combat, and then double-tapping back. Many opponents can be momentum-stunned a few times during combat. If you have a knock-back, you can, occasionally follow it with a momentum-stun.
|A level 2 Guardian evades and then gains momentum on Tortage Beach.|
Practice the double-tap, learn the distances, and get a feel for how far your character will spring forwards or backwards. If the enemy is closing the distance, you can spring into their path and trigger the effect.
After level 20, (if you have access to the Alternate Advancement options) you can further improve it by adding AA points to the perk "Empowered Momentum" which increases the minor amount of damage the momentum effect does. Your combat log will indicate the damage.
As you know, combat in AoC can hinge on timing, and learning this little buff can sometimes provide a useful option for you to take the initiative.
It's probably never going to save your butt, if you're at just 2% of your health. However as with many CCs, it may give you time to retreat, escape or, at the very least, to ensure that your headstone is in a more advantageous location after you resurrect.
NEW (April 19th 2013)
Here's a great tutorial by a player called Banto, who's got a series of MMO help videos on his YouTube channel... several cover AoC.