I had the day off from work today and it turned into one of the most fun and productive days I have had in AoC. I started off around level 22 on my conqueror and was finishing up some quests in Old Tarantia before heading off to the next zone. I ended up at level 30, having completed scores of quests in the Gateway to Khitai zone. Not only did I gain eight levels but I had tremendous fun doing it.
Getting from Old Tarantia to the Gateway of Khitai requires a bit of travel and sight-seeing. From the docks of Old Tarantia, one mus take a ship to Khemi, the capital city of Stygia and from there a ship to Khitai. The ship to Khitai requires either expenditure of coin or a promise to help protect the ship and caravan on the journey. Being short on coin, I signed up to protect the caravan. Hey, free passage is free passage, right?
Of course, along the way we find ourselves in a canyon area, which is the perfect place for an ambush. I was enlisted by the Caravan leader to earn my keep and scout the canyon before the caravan proceeded. Inevitably, I found myself pinned down by archers in the canyon and had to scale the canyon walls to kill each one in turn. After succeeding in defeating the would-be brigands, I returned to the caravan and we completed the journey.
The first steps in Khitai are the perfect example of just how brutal the Conan world can be. The first quest area is an ambushed trading caravan pinned down by enemy forces. Your initial quests are from this caravan, as you fight off waves of attackers, find supplies for the sieged caravan or trek to the Great Wall to ask for assistance. The quests are nothing extraordinary and are along the same lines of any other quest-based MMO but the story, the atmosphere and, of course, the graphics set AoC apart from other MMOs. This is a barbaric world, filled with dead bodies, half-eaten corpses and vile death all around. It is 100% Conan.
After helping out the caravan, I made my way to a small village surrounded by enemies. This is the next quest hub and sends you on various quests to help the village residents. It was here that I was treated to my first gank in Khitai. Matter of fact, the entire evening was a solid mix of PvE and PvP. I intend to post more in-depth about my PvP adventures later this evening or tomorrow, so let me get back to the remainder of the evening.
I quested for a couple of hours solo which got me to level 24 or so. About this time I was invited to a group by a Priest of Mitra. Figuring a Conqueror and PoM (healing class) was a good combination, I took him up on his offer. I am glad I did. For the next six hours we made our way across the zone, finishing quest after quest. From killing undead Samurai to killing Yak and feeding their meat to a dog, we did everything. And we had tons of fun doing it.
At the end of the night I joined his guild. The guild is very small and brand new, they do not even have a city yet, but I figure it will be fun to help grow a small guild and see one built up from scratch. I look forward to seeing a guild city built and the guild grow into a raiding guild. It has been awhile since I have been a part of that growth process and I miss it.
We picked up another healer along the way, a Tempest of Set, that I uncouthly killed after mistaking him for a player who had attacked us earlier. I rezzed him (yes, a tank class with a rez AND a battle rez!) and he joined us for the rest of the evening.
By the time I logged off I had reached level 30 and completed the first set of Khitain gear. This gear has a totally different look than the other gear in the game and keeps with the Asian feel of the expansion. I look positively samurai-like at the moment, which is a nice change of pace from other MMOs.
We also set up a time tomorrow night to venture into the first six-man instance in AoC, the Black Castle. With two healers and a tank, we should not have a problem finding three more folks to head into the castle with us. I am extremely excited to experience my first “dungeon” in AoC and I will be writing about it more tomorrow night.
I am going to leave you with a few more pictures from my initial taste of Khitai. I hope you enjoy them!