2019 New Player Experience And Tips

I recently started Age of Conan and leveled to 80 on the PvE server Crom. For new players like myself, it may be overwhelming to see a decade of forum information and wonder where to start nowadays. I want to provide a small list of notes on leveling based on what I experienced.

  • Premium or Free? A premium account (monthly fee) primarily gives you 30% bonus XP on everything and an AA expertise point for every level (I’ll discuss later). I played through tortage as a free player, and I recommend this. I made a second character much later when I was premium and the 30% bonus xp made me level so fast that I wasn’t getting a feel of my character or tortage at all. I wasn’t even playing the quests of tortage, just the main story quests were rocketing me through levels. If you are a new player I think you should just enjoy yourself and see if you like the game for a while, at least through tortage. That said, there is an end game feat tree called alternate advancement (AA) and if you level as a premium character it gives you an expertise point for each level, so 80 points by the end. I may be mistaken but I think those points take some work to earn late in the game, so it can be useful in the long run to be premium while leveling.

  • Leveling to 80 as a bear shaman took me about 130 hours according to steam. I leveled solo 95% of the time (you don’t have to, plenty of people will help you, I just liked questing solo). I began premium after tortage. I really DO recommend premium 20-80. You know how MMO leveling is a brutal crummy grind? Yeah, premium basically solves that. It’s honestly what mmo pacing should be. I never felt burned out until about level 78 and that’s because I ran out of quests and had to grind a few repeatable ones. That’s also just because nobody apparently likes running the onyx chamber group quests because they take a long time, so I had to make up the xp I would have gotten there.

  • After tortage, the game splinters into many regions. You could level in various different places for the same level range, which can be confusing. I followed a leveling guide I found EXTREMELY helpful 20 - 80:


My only modification to that guide is that it should include Ymir’s pass region around 55 and the tarantia commons district around 75. I think they were added later. Those two places fill in the gaps you will need for leveling.

  • Run group quests / dungeons as often as you get the chance. They make you a ton of xp, give a chance at cool items, and are the most fun you will have. Most of all, be sure to do sanctum of burning souls around level 40 (run it a few times if you can). Some of the coolest looking gear is in there and a single level 80 friend can run you through it when they are bored. Many 80’s still wear gear from sanctum as a vanity item (visual only). The gear may be functionally better than anything you get for 15-20 levels.

  • When you hit 40, you can visit the resource zones and start your artisan journey. Each race has their own resource zone, like purple lotus swamp for Stygians. There is gathering, and crafting. You can enroll in every type of gathering, and you should. You can pick up all the wood, stone, etc. Picking up these things while questing, and selling on the trader, gave me more than enough gold to buy any equipment I wanted through 80. And honestly it’s a fun thing to do on the side to break up the pace. The top tier resources sell for 5-7 silver for each piece. And you get 10 of them from every node. So half a gold each time you stop for a minute and pick it up. Crafting is different- you can only pick 2 professions (EDIT: You CAN change your craft profession if you don’t like it, thanks Kwalya). They say weapon and armor smithing may not be as useful as you expect because the best crafted gear is inferior to gear you can get pretty easily at end game (Note - when you hit 80 you can literally buy a Tier 3 PvE full set in the item shop for like $60). So mostly these artisans are selling gear to people leveling alts. Alchemy is always useful because you can make 4 hour potions that boost your health, mana, stam, by like 5%. I have them running continuously. Note: When leveling gathering skills, you CAN buy the materials on the trader. I wasted a lot of time trying to find rare gathering drops before I learned they changed this rule and you could simply buy them to turn in the quest. Artisan quests give good xp.

  • Regarding crafting and materials, you will notice you have a separate bag for these crafting items. This bag is limited and it can be a giant pain to try and manage all the little pieces of wolf meat and uncut gems that tend to fill up your bag and your bank space. I bought the giant 102 slot crafting bag on the item shop for like $8 and I don’t regret it at all. Never had to worry about that problem again.

  • You can get a horse at 40, I think there’s a specialty camel at 20 but I don’t know how that works. The horse is great, but I’m gonna be honest: At 79 I broke down and just bought the exotic tiger and handling manual in the item shop and I feel like a fool for not doing it earlier. It’s like riding a missile. I don’t want to skip through the leveling experience in general, but the one thing I don’t care about is the hours spent commuting, sprinting long distances. I wish I got the tiger earlier and got hours of my life back. But you don’t need it, I was fine without it. (EDIT: After being premium for 60 days you get a free fast mount with no training required in the rewards section of the item shop, thanks Kwalya)

  • There are daily login rewards, be sure to grab them. Mostly it’s for advancing your AA tree, you can get 2 AA perks while you are leveling. I recommend reading about AA separately because that topic has some length and it would derail my purpose here. It’s basically irrelevant until you are 80. It’s something for people to keep working towards after max level, hence alternative advancement.

  • After you level your first character past 50, you get the option when making a second character to instantly start it at level 50.

  • There is something called a World Boss (WB) you may hear about. On the first Wednesday of each month, on each hour for a week, they spawn some giant boss in the open world. It’s determined by which month it is, you can search the details. But the point is it’s a giant boss that takes dozens of 80’s to kill. Even as a random leveling toon, if you are nearby you can simply shoot an arrow at it to participate when it dies and everyone gets a random award. Some of the awards are crazy. The second time I did it as a level 60 it gave me an entire set of vanity armor called the Slayer set that in my opinion looks better than anything else including raid gear I’ve seen for my bear shaman. I also got 15 T3 raid tokens and a fancy cape. It can drop T1 and T2 raid gear pieces. You can look up details on the world boss elsewhere, but fyi if you want a break from leveling at some point and you see people in general chat talking about the WB - that’s what it is.

  • I recommend joining a friendly guild, it really improves the environment of the game. I turned off global chat because it’s often toxic but having guild chat is nice because people behave reasonably within a guild. Also crafting will require that you are in a guild with certain guild city features to progress into the upper tiers. And obviously guilds drive your end game raid experience. Personally I joined the Black Lotus Rogues and they have been a great group for both leveling and end game!

Overall, I had much more fun leveling AoC than I expected. I originally just meant to mess around on tortage. Because it is an old, free game trying to maintain income they have adapted the game to be what I think is a great mmo experience for a few bucks - as compared to the brutal endless grind AoC was when it first released (I originally leveled to 70 at release). The environment of the AoC world is just awesome and immersive. With the money you would have spent to buy a normal game you can have leveling at a great pace, a fast mount or even raid armor available to you at the end if you want to quickly catch up with people already raiding the very high tiers. So the option is available for you to enjoy the meat of the game without having to slog through the traditional grind other mmo’s require.

If you want to try Age of Conan for the first time, definitely check it out. You aren’t too late and you will enjoy it. There are lots of experienced players with time to burn between raids who like helping new people.

EDIT: See the comments for more good tips from experienced players


Nicely done Vercinorix!!

This should help new players a lot.

Thank you, I hope so

Very nice overview. One thing you didn’t mention are the Achievement points. There are many ways to accumulate these… panoramas, quest completions, killing targets of interest, levelling each class, doing leaps of faith, kiĺling lots of specific mobs (i.e. undead) etc. Most are character-specific, but some are account-wide. This includes doing “purist” dungeons, such as Black Castle with a group at the designated level for the dungeon. Also levelling an “unconquered” toon… getting a toon to 80 without dying. With 1,000 achievement points, you can port to any hub city. With 1,500 points, you can port to just about any map. After that, you can get special runes, combat pets, titles, etc. so they’re worth the effort.

P.S. If you have the Turan expansion, you can port to the Coast of Ardashir even if you don’t have the requsite 1,500 achievement points normally required.

Thank you for this, I actually didn’t know about Achievement points or what they are for until this post!

About lv 77-lv 80 running out of quests in Keshatta, you have other options to make those levels entertaining: buy expansions, specifically those set in Khitai (Rise of the Godslayer) and Dragon Spine.

  • You can take quests in Khitai at lv 77 and in Dragon Spine at lv 78.

  • Almost all quests in open field pay more than 100k xp plus Mark of Acclaim and lv 80 stuff (potions, gear).

  • Everything in Khitai/Dragon Spine open field is soloable at lv 77-79 with normal gear even if for a new player the experience will be hard (and some contents still remain hard even for an experienced player like completing Crawling Chaos quest chain at lv 79), but if you have one or two friends levelling with you (new players like you so you can take your time and experience the discovery), you can have great fun and satisfaction levelling there even being a newbie. Plus you can already start faction quests before lv 80 and short your time to be ready to try expansion dungeons. And last but not least, it will be a great training to learn the class you’re playing.

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Thank you! I haven’t explored the expansions much yet

Regarding the crafting profession (Eg alchemy etc):
You can go to an NPC in each of the gathering zones to unlearn a crafting profession so you can then go and pick up a different one.

Re: mounts
If you have subscribed for 60+ days you can claim a fast mount at any level which does not require any training to ride. This is in the rewards menu in the ingame shop.
So if you purchase two single months of sub time then you can get that horse across all characters on your account.

Thank you! Two very important notes to add

Do not forget that there are PVP weeks [CROM perspective].
During PVP weeks, you can pick up quests and complete them by fighting other players. This is accessible after you leave Tortage only.

PVP minigames: as soon as you hit level 6, you can start doing PVP minigames. To do so, click the top-left button and select “PVP”. Maximize the window to see all of the queues (this is often overlooked).
You can group up with others and sign up together (the group leader should do so). It is always a good idea to level up at least to level 2 in PVP with your character before you hit level 80 in PVE (yes, on Crom; yes, that is possible).

When queueing up for a minigame, consider these level brackets that may participate in the same minigame:

A good idea is to reach level closer to the end bracket and disable PVE XP gain while you are levelling your character. I used this forumla on Crom: reach PVP level 1 at level 19, reach PVP level 2 at level 39, reach PVP level 3 at 79. Hit 80.

Also, always enable PVP XP bar from the Interface option.

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Ohh I never knew any of that! I wondered what the PvE xp disable setting was for in options. Thank you

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At lvl 78 you can go to Thunder River and do the former attunement quest for Xibaluku, in the Slaughterhouse Cellar, which has also some repeatable quests.
In theory, you could do it even earlier, but you have to pass from Prison Colony, which is quite crowded with lvl 70 group mobs, so at lvl 78 they become white and you can pass freely.


Well done, mate! Invaluable info for new players and maybe some vets too. :grinning: