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Age of Conan: Hands-On Preview

Stephen Spiteri | 24 Jan 2008 09:59
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As mentioned in the opening paragraph of this report, I played a level 39 Assassin for two CTF matches, and I must admit I was particularly eager to play this class for at least this play-test as I understand very well that caster classes tend to be a bit squishy when it comes to PvP. I did notice, however, that the Necromancer played fairly well in our CTF matches so it might have very well been my own inexperience with caster/pet classes in general that lead me to think that the Necromancer was not going to do so well.

I spent a bit of time before the first CTF match looking at my feat trees and assigning a few points to combos and abilities that were already slotted in my hotbar by the person that had used the class prior to me. Feat trees, I'll add now, and adding points to certain feats are going to be essential as you progress through the levels as they provide the necessary upgrade to already existing combos and abilities to ensure you are able to go toe-to-toe with even-leveled opponents, regardless of what they are or what class they are if it's another player you're facing.

imageThe Assassin has a nice combination of poison-based attacks and defense debuffs, so the Assassin in 'Age of Conan' is not entirely a far-cry from Rogue or other Assassin classes that you may have played in other MMOs, but what sets apart the Assassin in 'Age of Conan' from Assassins on other MMOs, and this pertains to all classes in 'Age of Conan', are those combos. I quite often found myself going "mano a mano" with a Barbarian or Conqueror, and doing very well as far as dishing out damage is concerned. If you play it right, an Assassin can beat any other armour-wearing class, but this is a matter of choosing the right combos and using them at the right times, but because of the high damage output of the Conqueror and the Barbarian compared to my amount of hitpoints and lack of damage resistance, I could not go "mano a mano" for too long, so after a couple of deaths I had to think things over as I was waiting to respawn.

After re-thinking my strategy somewhat, I had decided to think like an Assassin and do what Assassins do best: stealth! So after investing a few more skill points in my Hiding skill, I would run to where the action was taking place an enter hide-mode before I perceived anyone could get the chance to see me. Because the Rogue archetype's hiding abilities are inherently higher than that of any other class, it was difficult for other players to see me even if their Perception skill was relatively high.

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