Alliance wars heading to Age of Conan

Funcom details the bloody road ahead.

Funcom has let us in on some of the big changes it has planned for Age of Conan this year.

Top of its list is the consequence-focused overhaul to player-versus-player battles. This "to the death" update will come later this month, and adds the "fugitive" system where the more you kill lower-level players, the easier it becomes to murder you in return.

That's just the tip of the killing-each-other iceberg, mind you, with an enormous "kingship" patch scheduled for later in the year. Here guilds can band together and form alliances, which can then go on to build castles, and even fancy culture-specific wonders.

These wonders are linked to higher powers; it all sounds very much like Dark Age of Camelot's relics that players fought to control. Funcom is also hard at work expanding the existing player-made villages, with promises of more computer-controlled characters to dot around the place and sell things, or just talk to.

Age of Conan is looking reward you active types, too. A "powerpoint" update is expected in the autumn, and will dish out rewards for a whole host of activities: killing lots of people, killing lots of monsters, doing guild things - generally making an effort.

You will be able to buy "powerfeats", weapons, armour and potions with your points.

All of this is on top of loads more quests and areas to explore, plus a fresh dungeon in Aquilonia, and makeovers for three others in Stygia. Funcom is revamping a mountain range as well - let's hope it doesn't peak too early oh God I am sorry.

Dancing will also be added very soon; not just a boring automated command, but a whole system in which you actively combine moves. The developer even hired professional hip-wigglers to motion-capture the moves from.

"While we have enjoyed the initial success for Age of Conan, we know that a solid launch is but the start when it comes to the MMO genre," said game director Gaute Godager.

"As we look ahead, we are preparing a huge amount of new content, and what we are presenting today will evolve Age of Conan even further. It's naturally an incredibly ambitious update plan for a live MMO game, but we are certain our players would want nothing less."

Age of Conan came out on PC last month, and the free trial period is almost at an end. Our full and review will appear next week, alongside an interview with Godager. Until then, head over to our initial thoughts on Age of Conan for an idea of what to expect.

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