What is best in life? To crush monthly fees, see us playing for free, and to hear the lamentations of the pay to play model! That’s right Age of Conan has gone free to play in celebration of Crom and this 4th of July weekend! Now that the game has eschewed its monthly fee leaving zero entry fee to the barbaric lands of Conan many gamers will likely be interested in checking it out. Join me now as I chronicle the early adventures of Hearst the Barbarian!
The first major restriction you will find upon loading up Age of Conan: Unchained is that free players are restricted to only 4 classes. Other classes can be purchased from the AoC Store but that kind of defeats the purpose. What this class lock essentially means is that Cimmerians can only be Barbarians, Stygians can only be Mages, and Aquilonians can only be Priests. I suspect with the new free to play model and these restrictions we may see a large influx of Cimmerian Barbarians in the coming days… and without further ado: Hearst the Cimmerian Barbarian!
I was being brought to these strange lands as a slave to be sold to the highest bidder, however it appears fate has a much different outcome for me. The ship suddenly shakes and trembles as we hit something and I fall overboard. Hours later though my life is spared and I washed upon the shores of Tortage just as I originally entered the world, naked and alone. Well… wearing underwear and with a large strange man hovering over me at least…
The man informs me that people have been washing up on the shore like this for the past few days. Odd, but I pay it no mind, I’m a free man now! Except for the fact that I have a giant slave tattoo on my chest and apparently the people of Tortage don’t take kindly to my… err kind around these parts. Morgan Freeman informs me that the slavemaster survived the crash too and if I’m to free myself from the bonds of slavery I’ve got to find him and kill him thus making myself free property. Well ok, these are rules a barbarian can really play by!
Armed with my trusty boat mast that I salvaged from the wreckage and my very European speedo underwear I ventured into the jungles to find the slavemaster and my freedom. As I head up the path though I am greeted by the wailings of a captured woman. I ask if she can move out-of-the-way so I can pass through the jungle but she says some nonsense about being locked up against her will and how I have to free her to get by. I tell you, sometimes you’d think these pirates put her there because they WANT to be beat up. The guy holding the key isn’t even more than 20 feet away!
I stroll on back down to the beach I just came from and find the captor standing around a campfire all alone. C’mon man, you’re not even trying. Well if he’s going to sit there waiting to die, then by Crom, TO HELL WITH HIM! I pull out my giant boat mast and bash his brains in on the sand. His friends in the back must’ve been so impressed by my primal rage that they don’t even bother coming to his aid. I let out a guttural scream of power to honor Crom with my victory and pick up the key to release the woman and finally get into the jungle. Of course as soon as I let that woman free she wants to follow me around everywhere I go, yeah I get that pretty much. I allow her to tag along figuring I might get a little action out of this whole thing if we ever get to town.
Now that I had proper access to the jungle it was time to begin my real quest:
Finally outfitted with some respectable rags that could properly hide my shame I was ready to move on to step 2 of my plans. I walk along the lone path through the jungle destroying pirates and picts along the way with my giant boat mast. Eventually some of them drop some crude weapons that I swap out in lieu of my giant hunk of wood. As I approach a giant gate I finally see the slavemaster apparently locked out as well. He tells me a story of some giant creature which stole the key to the gate and had its way with him leaving him for dead. As his slave he commands me to retrieve the key for him. I do as any good Cimmerian would and put him out of his misery.
With the slavemaster dead the only thing standing between myself and my freedom is this locked gate. Having nothing more to go on I heed the slavemasters story and begin looking for the beast that could have taken the key. I head to a nearby pict village and proceed to drive them before me and hear the lamentations of their women. At the back of the village I find an altar which I approach. Suddenly I am flanked by some abominations and a giant monster leaps towards me to test me in battle. The beast is savage but I am a barbarian of at least level 3! With my newfound abilities like hitting things after spinning and hitting things so hard they get knocked down I easily best the beast and take the key to the gate.
One step closer to my goal, little could I have known the ultimate evil would be waiting beyond this simple gate. DAMNED DIRTY APES!! I grab my newly acquired large ass sword and do battle with the hairy brutes as I make my way towards the city gates. I see the bridge leading to the city but it is blocked by the largest ape I have ever seen. With no other choice but to make an ash tray out of the beast I engage it in combat. The beast is extremely strong but having gained yet another barbarian level from beating on his friends I can easily incapacitate the monster.
With the beast destroyed I am free to approach the city gates with my female concubine in tow. We cross the bridge and open the gates when she stops and tells me she has no money or valuables to reward me. However, she does offer to see me again later on in the city where we can come to an “arrangement” on the terms of my reward. I knew this whole damsel saving business would pay off in the end. Now to enter the gates of Tortuga and begin my career as a guy who hits stuff with sticks!