I just wanted this example to illustrate several things. A) We embrace the lore in class names and definitions b) if you want to deal with magic, expect to be dark and twisted c) the specializations build on the archetype strengths, but that was just the beginning of their paths, d) Conan offers different types of classes and they are different from what you see in other games.
Every player can also have a prestige class. This is how you relate to your fellow man, your social role. It doesn't matter which class you chose at level 20, everyone can be any prestige class. There are 4 different prestige classes: Lord (specializing in town building and siege combat), Commander (specializing in squads and formations, changing the way we play in groups), Crafter (specializing in creating items and tradeskills) and finally Master (who has a follower that is a permanent member of his / her team - an NPC.)
Will players ever get to meet the brooding Cimmerian himself? What stage of his 'career' is Conan at during the game? Penniless Barbarian wanderer or Warrior King?
Godager: You will indeed meet the Warrior King, because that is his role at this stage. You will not only meet the King, you will learn that your fate is tied intimately to his rule and truly the fate of the whole world. And, if you play your cards right, you might become his helper or even his friend. The game itself takes place after the novel "The Hour of the Dragon".
Age of Conan features an action-based "Real Combat" system with both combo and mounted fighting already revealed. Can you tell us more about the fighting system in the game and explain how it's unique to those usually found in other MMOs?
Godager: The "Real Combat" system is an integrated system to push hands-on action to the player, for the first time in MMO history. The type of combat you see in games like "Dynasty Warriors", "God of War" or "Prince of Persia" has been incorporated with an 80 level character development scheme with hundreds of combos, loads of equipment and monsters.
This Multi-Point-Melee system (where you direct your attacks in 6 different directions to strike the enemy at their vulnerable spots) can be used to create combos and special attacks, doing the truly heroic feats Conan was famous for.
The melee system is only 1 of 4 action legs the core gameplay rests on. The other 3 are 1) first person ranged combat with aiming and triggered release, like in an FPS, 2) Spell-casting with spellweaving (more on that below) and 3) mounted combat where the damage you do is more defined by the momentum of your mount than simply your skills. The faster you ride the more damage you do.
This all integrates into something that is easy to get into, enjoyable and more skill based than what you see in other MMOs. In most massive multiplayer games the combat is ritualistic. You enter combat mode, you do your specials and the rules of the game more than anything else, define if you win or lose.
In Conan where you stand, where you attack, the order of the attacks and how you react to counter attacks from the AI system define if you win or not. What you do matters!
How have you attempted to deal with Magic in the game world?
Godager: First of all, as you saw from above, magic is something we take seriously. We decided early to not have any typical high-fantasy look on our spellcasting.