Funcom's fantasy MMO Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures launches its free trial scheme today, and to celebrate we've got 20,000 exclusive free trial keys to give away.
There are 10,000 keys for European servers, and 10,000 for servers based in North America. Anyone is free to play on either group of servers, although you will have a better play experience if the server is closer to home.
Each key comes with a seven-day free trial of the game and three exclusive in-game items: the Totem of Origins (a teleport back to your home city from anywhere in the world after level 20); the Bag of Holding (all MMO players will know how important extra bag space is in the early levels); and the Enruned Kosalan Ring (a "very powerful" item that increases the damage you do).
Head over to the European giveaway page or the North American giveaway page to claim your free trial keys. You'll need to register with Eurogamer first - don't worry, it's free, and you can sign up now.
Age of Conan was launched in May last year amid a storm of hype, but quickly fell foul of the expectations of players, who felt it was unfinished and lacked content in the middle and later levels. It also fell foul of our own re-review - but we've come some way towards forgiving it now.
Since then, Funcom has been working hard to improve Age of Conan, adding new content throughout the game (notably a brace of new dungeons, and the Ymir's Pass zone), enhancing the player-versus-player combat with its own levelling and consequence systems, improving the siege warfare, making crafting more worthwhile, and of course attending to stability and performance with several rounds of bug-fixing.
Additionally, Funcom has just patched in the long-promised DirectX 10 support - and in the near future will be overhauling the game's itemisation and RPG system so as to give loot-hungry MMO players the gear, and the sense of character development, that they expect and deserve.
"I am very proud of the efforts that have been undertaken since launch to address the various issues identified by our players, as well as the improvements and additions that we have made to the game," said game director Craig Morrison.
But you don't need to take his word for it. Head over to today's article by Eurogamer's Age of Conan correspondent Rob Fahey - who has stuck with the game through thick, and more importantly, thin - to see why we think Age of Conan is worth giving a second chance. (You might also want to check out the Age of Conan gamepage for all our articles to date, including a character class guide that will be useful for anyone starting out in the game.)
Come to that, you don't even need to take Rob's word for it. Go and grab yourself a key and see for yourself!