Mitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan ColumnAge of Conan Editorial: What I Really Want for ChristmasMitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan Column - RSS 2.0
My third Christmas wish, and this is at the stage where one of Santa Gaute's little helpers has taken a photo for me to frame and send to my relatives with a Christmas card, would be concerning the world of Hyboria. From what we've seen in game videos and demonstrations so far, every zone and region is going to have its own unique and distinct look, but it's the little things and subtle differences that make a place look and feel different than another place you have been before. I've been fortunate enough in my own life to have flow overseas and visit countries in Europe and North America, and aside from the very obvious differences in geography and other land features, it was the way people went about with themselves interacted with each other that made me feel I was in a very unique and special part of the world. It's this same wish I would have for Age of Conan. If I'm an Aquilonian in Old Tarantia (Aquilonia's major city), then like it is in real life, I should be treated like "one of the locals" or like a "favourite son" returning to his home town. Be I an Aquilonian passing through a village in a remote part of Cimmeria, for example, then I shouldn't be trusted (at first), in fact, I should be met with hostility because it would be unlike a true Cimmerian to take to an outsider warmly so soon if ever at all.
The dress and costume of a city's inhabitants should be distinct from those that live regions apart. In other MMORPGs NPCs tend to have these bland and generic look about them that would give the impression that the character artists were simply too lazy to give them that unique look we're wishing/hoping for. Facial features and body shapes are a different issue all together, but dress and attire are things you notice foremost about other player characters and NPCs. For example, the women in Cimmeria should dress notably different to the women in Aquilonia or Stygia. But why stop there? Perhaps the women in two different Cimmerian, Aquilonian, or Stygian cities should dress slightly differently to each other as well. It shouldn't be a dramatic difference, like comparing the way people dress in Los Angeles to way people dress in Nashville (I'm generalising here, so no offence intended, of course), but just enough of a subtle difference in attire to make a player acknowledge that even within a nation's borders, there are these distinctions.