The final stage of our adventure was a look at the city building areas. In Conan, there are maps where guilds can capture and build levels of encampments. In some ways, it is like an RTS. First, the guild must capture and harvest from resource nodes. Once they have enough, they can claim a plot of land to build up a keep of their own. These structures are massive and will take weeks of cooperation to build, although like an RTS, once the stuff is ready, it won't take too long for the new structure to appear.
Of course, it wouldn't be combat without the threat of a raid. Nearby factions will try and tear down these structures. The full mechanics of this was explained in our last preview (story), but this is the first time we got to see the full scope of what waits.
The keep we saw was truly massive, complete with workshops necessary for some high-level crafting, internal common areas and layers upon layers of walls. Potential attackers could need to break through as many as three battlements and find themselves stuck in kill zones if they do not plan their attack well.
The setup is poised for a massive tactical game, where defenders can use the architecture to their advantage. For example, archers on walls have a limit on distance as per usual, but that doesn't count height, while those shooting up do. That means defenders can fire a bit further than attackers. However, attackers who can find some high ground can neutralize this. For example, if an incoming force captures a tower, they might well be able to turn that advantage against the defenders below.
Prior to launch, Funcom still has to show off spell-weaving and a couple other major features. Nonetheless, over the last few months, the game seems to have tightened up into something that continues to impress, but now also looks a lot like a practical MMO. Until we get into the Beta, it will be hard to say how all the parts come together, but they are well on their way to a solid product.