Friday, May 23, 2008

Age of Conan: Questing in Khopshef Province

I decided not to go resource gathering last night as I only have a couple days before I'm on vacation and without a computer that will play Age of Conan. It seemed more appropriate to spend some time killing bandits and wildlife in Khopshef Province. *nods* I don't have any screens again today, as I keep forgetting to photo-document my travels, but I did go and grab this little image to show you what Khopshef looks like. Beautifully rendered, and very Egyptian Nile.

Here's a little Lore Lesson on the zone, thanks to AoC Wikia...
East of the coastal city of Khemi, Khopshef Province boasts no great cities—only fabled ruins recounted in ancient legends and caravan tales. Newcomers arriving in the province at the small village of Bubshur hear stories of a great and ancient pyramid that lies along a tributary of the Styx some distance to the south. Of late, an enigmatic oracle of the Shemite goddess Derketo has braved the haunted lands around the pyramidal tomb and laid claim to a temple structure adjoining the ancient pyramid, where his worshipful followers serve his every whim. What the arrival of this oracle portends and why he chose to settle so close to the mysterious crypt, no one knows. And local fishermen who risk the crocodile-infested waters of the river Styx speak of the bleak island west of Pashtun and the strange ruins located there, said to be a temple dedicated to gods that were old when Atlantis still rode above the waves.

Meanwhile, the people of Khopshef Province pray to their gods and try to go about their lives, mining salt from the flats around the village of Hep-Kab or welcoming the caravans traveling from Medjool Oasis to the south. They keep out of the punishing sunlight at midday and ward their houses against the evils of the night.

But all is not well among the people of the region. The island town of Pashtun, an independent village claimed by neither Stygia nor Shem, has become the hunting ground for a fearsome monster that stalks its citizens each night. Each morning the bloodless corpses of its victims can be found lying along the village’s dusty streets, or empty boats are found drifting in the river’s sluggish current. The village leaders have turned to the oracle, seeking an explanation for the deadly rampage, but he answers them only in riddles.

Now, each evening, as the red sun stains the western sky, the people of Khopshef Province glance furtively downriver and await a hero who will stand between them and the horrors that lurk in the darkness.


I spent a good chunk of time last night doing some pretty hairy deeds. I stumbled across a dying man who was poisoned by a jilted lover who also happened to be a cook for his clan of bandits. He asked me to not only track the cook down and kill her but to also bring him back one of her freshly cooked meals so that it could be his last. Apparently while she was a bit of a murderess, she was also a damn fine cook. I ran down river to the camp where the cook was holed up, slew her buddies and lopped her to bits with my polearm and more than a decent bit of electricity. In exchange he told me where he had hidden the treasure that he and the cook were going to share before it all went south.

As I strolled down the riverbank on my way to the next quest objective I came into some close contact with a particularly nasty crocodile. After fending the beast off, I did a little "JAWS" style investigative work to find the upper torso of a man's wife in the croc's belly. Yep, another quest. I stuck the torso somewhere on my person and kept on truckin'.

I also slew quite a few lions, lionesses, and cubs in order to protect the caravan route. I had to lug the heads of 4 of the males from the pack back to the town of Babshur for proof of my work. I'm not sure where I put them, as I don't think JoBildo's leather armor had pockets, but I assume it was the same place as the half-digested female torso.

In all, it was a successful night of deed-doing. Though I did run into one trouble spot. Escort quests are few and far between in Age of Conan, a fact I'm thankful for. I ran into a lost boy (not the Peter Pan variety) when I was out hunting lions, and he asked for my help getting home. No biggie, I figured, I was heading back to the town anyway and if all else fails at least I can use the kid as a bargaining tool if we get in a jam.

The problem is, when we got about 100 meters from the dork's home he went all David Copperfield on me and *POOFED* out of existence. I had no idea where he went to. He just disappeared. This same thing happened back in beta when I was escorting a maiden out of the Black Ones' place of worship on White Sands Isle. Apparently, it's still an issue. I won't be doing another escort quest any time soon. Especially if the next one I come across is as boring as this little kid's was. He wanted me to protect him from the lions, but there were no lions... not an enemy of any kind really for the entire slow saunter back to the kid's home. And then the little bastard had the audacity to bug out on me.

Ah well, I did gain two levels despite this set back. I can't wait to continue on tonight as I've moved on to another quest hub that involves a man named Captain Nut and another guy who calls himself the Cock Handler. Mature content indeed.



Nick said...

Honestly, why is it that developers feel the need to make escort quest NPCs walk [b]ridiculously[/b] slowly?

Thallian said...

I'd like to second that motion.. they either walk ridiculously slowly or they charge headfirst to their deaths.. How is this so hard to get right and test before you push it to production?

Brendon said...

Didn't you guys know that all npcs on escort quests are required to be:
1. mentally handicapped
2.ridiculously slow walkers
3required to have no vision of the danger ahead of them and the ability to be brave/stupid in face of said danger.

With this said I have hated escort missions and quests in all video games.

Swift Voyager said...

Personally, I like the Eve variety of escort missions: You are told to meet the convoy at the rally point and arrive to find it already blown up. All you need to do then is return to the idiot who gave you the job and he says "my bad. here's a reward for trying". They must not have been able to get the escortees to behave any better than the other devs. lol

Flying Norseman said...

I wrote in my blog that I was going to pass on this game, but I keep reading your posts and wanting to try it. Curse you! Thanks for the updates.

Bildo said...

Hey Norseman,

Even if you're looking for just an in-between game right now you could do far worse than AoC.

This is the most fun I've had in an MMOG since WoW first hit in 2004.

I'm loving every minute of it.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Khopshef. I'm kind of slow in leveling so I reached it only recently. I gotta say it looks absolutely amazing on High settings. And the night/day cycle really change the atmosphere. What a beautiful game :)