We also wanted to involve the player more. The "nukers" should do more than watch "aggro management" (in layman terms this means that the mages should try not to cast spells so quickly that monsters hit too much on them) and healers do more than watch their mana bar and life bars of their team. We wanted a lot to invigorate the themes. Thus we did this:
a) We invented spellweaving. Here you gain special effects and bonuses by combining several spells into one super-spell. Note: this is quite dangerous. One spell too much or one flawed roll, and it will backfire. Walk the line, be creative, and be prepared to pay the price. This means that casters, mages and priests alike, will have to think, balance and change their strategy constantly. It is easy to do, but hard to master this more creative form of spell casting.
b) We introduced cone based heals to all priests. This means that you heal the players in front of you in a cone. You have to position yourself -- resting on a hill with a lazy distant overview of the battle will NOT be an option for priests. The Priest classes are also excellent damage doers and you will see them be active parts of the fighting.
c) Everyone can get some soul corruption. This is when you interact with nasty artefacts, overreach on your weaves or do bad things in quests. Doing this will change the way you cast your spells, and their effects. For some this is really bad, like the Priests of Mitra, for others it is a tempting drug. If you are a Herald of Xoti you will perhaps benefit some, but become too corrupted, and I promise you - literally, you will go straight to hell!
Summary: Magic is strong, different looking and different feeling. I think we have taken it one step further, certainly one true step towards unfolding Howards grim vision of the destructive and corruptive powers of magic.
Few details have been spilt regarding Age of Conan's PvP gameplay - can you give us some info on this?
Godager: PvP will basically come in 4 forms. First off, if there is enough demand for it, we will set up specific servers with free PvP combat.
Secondly, on the regular servers, we have the Siege PvP where different guilds and super guilds build battle keeps in the desolate regions of Kragsfell in the Border Kingdoms. Then other guilds may lay siege to their castles trying to wrest the areas and the bonuses they yield from their hands.
Thirdly we have PvP mini-games where you are put into smaller play areas to battle it out in team vs team action.
Finally we have the Age of Conan exclusive, drunken brawling. You enable this by going to bars and taverns and drinking yourself into a stupor. You will then be able to attack other drunks in a fun-and-games approach, where you don't use your level, equipment or abilities to fight, only how drunk you are.
From what we know, Age of Conan will feature PvP and PvE siege battles - what will these entail?
Godager: Yes Age of Conan will feature PvP and PvE siege battles. PvP I explained somewhat above. You stake claim to a certain limited amount of areas by building a battlekeep. Here you place buildings and walls in certain prepared areas. Building these cost you resources harvested from the PvP or PvE areas. Thus it is a guild endeavour.
When they are built, once every now and then other guilds or super-guilds (where several small guilds are teamed up sharing an area) may slap a "virtual glove" on your gate, demanding the right to fight for the bonuses and resources yielded by the PvP area. A time is agreed upon and the gloves come off. Currently the plan is to make it so that if all buildings are destroyed the attacking team wins, if the time runs out and some buildings still stand, the defending team wins.
Now do not mix this with the PvE siege and village building I am now about to explain. It is similar but not the same. They are done for different reasons, in different places and they won't mix. You and your guild may build villages or towns for crafting, trading and for the inherent bonuses. This is done in the so-called resource and building regions.