The Anvil of Crom: AoC community guide

Cue the Basil Poledouris music, the lamentations of women, and the sounds of armor and steel, for Massively has come to Hyborea. Join me as I kick off the column and chronicle the trials and tribulations of a newb making his way through Funcom's version of Robert E. Howard's harsh realm.

Every week we'll bring you Age of Conan tidbits, commentary, and news and views straight from the horse's mouth in the form of Funcom guests and Q&A. This week, per Massively tradition, we'll take a quick look at the game's community and examine the resources available to the neophyte barbarian and the seasoned throat-slitter alike.

Follow along after the break for a listing of essential resources for the new or returning Age of Conan player.

Official Web Site - This is the place to start if you're brand new to the game, or if you're curious about what has been added since launch. The main site proper features a ton of video and textual descriptions of the game's features, as well as the usual marketing suspects: trailers galore, screenshots, and concept art. The site is heavily flash-based and rather slow performing by modern web standards, but is nonetheless pretty to look at and fairly informative.

Official Community Portal - Here you'll find more in-depth descriptions of lore, game mechanics, and tutorials (both video and textual).

Official Forums - Once you've perused the main site links above, you'll be ready to dive into the meat and potatoes of Age of Conan's community. The official forums are about what you'd expect: a smorgasbord of guides, opinions, discussion, stories, and suggestions. If it has to do with Age of Conan, it's been discussed here. The class forums are particularly helpful for new players who may be unsure of themselves and a bit intimidated by the game's newfangled combat mechanics.

Yellow Gremlin - This is Age of Conan's premier third party resource. Here you'll find the requisite database including items, spells, combos, quests, and zones. YG also features extensive player and guild profiles, PvP and guild rankings by server, and an auction house tracker. Finally, the feat planner is basically required if you're serious about optimizing your PvP or PvE build, and there's also a handy browser plugin and an XML system for data integration into guild and personal web sites.

AoC > TV - This aptly named database-driven site is invaluable for the endgame player. Everything you ever wanted to know about faction gear, PvP gear, and raiding gear can be found here. There's also a handy armor builder, attribute calculator, and player profiler.

Age of Conan Wiki - What's an MMORPG without a wiki, right? Yes Funcom's Hyborea has one, and, though it's not as robust as I'd like, there is still some valuable information to be had, particularly in regard to quest and dungeon descriptions.

Official Age of Conan Twitter - Check out Funcom's official tweet stream for the latest in game-related news and happenings, straight from the source.

Silirrion Twitter - Game director and executive producer Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison's Twitter feed is another valuable resource for keeping track of game happenings.

Famine Twitter - Finally, community manager Glen 'Famine' Swan's tweet stream rounds out the essential list of Twitter-related Age of Conan destinations.

Facebook - The official Age of Conan facebook page features nearly ten thousand registered fans, as well as a number of photo and video galleries and timely news updates.

Assassin's Hideout - AoC's third-party classed-based website community is fairly small, and many of the game's 12 classes are under-represented. If you're an Assassin though, you're in luck. Assassin's Hideout features a great discussion forum full of builds, strategies, and more.

Wiccana Roleplayers - Age of Conan features an active roleplay community, and, though it is spread across two different servers, the quality and quantity of story-based gameplay on display might surprise you. The community-designated 'unofficial' roleplay server is the PvE-focused Wiccana, and their web site, forum, and event information can be found at the link above.

Wiccana Wiki - The unofficial roleplay server also features its own Wiki site.

Cimmeria Roleplayers
- If you like your roleplay with a bit of an edge to it, you'll want to check out the open-world RP/PVP server known as Cimmeria. Cimmeria is the only official roleplay server so designated by Funcom, and its community gathers at the web site listed above.

Cimmeria Wiki - The official RP/PvP server also features its own community-driven Wiki.

Curse - There are several worthwhile Age of Conan modifications available on the Curse network. Everything from complete UI reskins, to mini-maps, to stat parsers are available. A few of my personal favorites are Conan Stats, Caligari BottomBars, and the AOC UI Installer.

User Interfaces - Speaking of UIs, you'll find all of the best ones linked in this official forum post. There's also a nifty do-it-yourself web application called UI Builder for those of you that want a quick custom job.

Scripting - Age of Conan offers fairly robust scripting functionality, and Conanimal put together this useful beginner's guide to making the most of the game's script, macro, and emote systems.

So there you have a rundown on the best and brightest with regard to Age of Conan's community. If you want to tell me I suck, you're looking forward to decorating the streets of Tortage with my blood, or otherwise berate me for leaving anyone out, the comment section awaits. You can also contact me via jef[AT]massively[DOT]com with any Age of Conan-related tips or suggestions.

Until next week, I leave you with the greatest piece of concept art in gaming history:



Jef Reahard is an Age of Conan beta and launch day veteran, as well as the creator of Massively's weekly Anvil of Crom. Feel free to suggest a column topic, propose a guide, or perform a verbal fatality via jef@massively.com.
This article was originally published on Massively.