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Players of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures might immediately find themselves in a familiar setting when starting a new character. Taking many cues from the Caribbean-based vestige of piracy and prostitution known as Tortuga, referenced in such popular media as Pirates of the Caribbean, Tortage is the infamous swashbuckling village of Hyboria, the setting of Age of Conan (AoC) and other "Conan" titles.

Arrrgh!
Having completed the character creation, the player will wash upon the shores of the Barachan Isles, the Caribbean-esque bay wherein the town of Tortage is found. Yet, unlike other "starting zones" in the MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) genre, Tortage is largely a single-player experience. From levels 1-20, players will be introduced to the various mechanics and their intricacies in what can be more-or-less described as a tutorial experience; however, this is not to mean this said experience is little more than a hand guided tour of combat and social mechanics. Instead, the game takes the form of a story driven RPG (Role Playing Game) akin to games such as Oblivion of The Elder Scrolls series.


Though Tortage is a starter zone, danger certainly lurks amidst the shadowy streets and back-alleys.
As described by Funcom - the makers of Age of Conan - the story driven gameplay is intended to revolve soley around the player, allowing his/her character to have a backstory before being introduced to the gameworld proper. These "destiny quests" directly influence the fate of Tortage and its inhabitants - though it is important to note that these events will only affect the gameworld of the individual player, by utilizing the increasingly popular system of moral choices, as seen in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games and other RPG's.

While players choose a class-archetype when in the initial process of creating their characters - and their are four of them: Soldier, Rogue, Mage, and Priest - the classes themselves are chosen during the course of the player's Tortage experience; these nine classes being the Assassin (Rogue,) Barbarian (Rogue,) Bear Shaman (Priest,) Conqueror (Soldier,) Dark Templar (Soldier,) Demonologist (Mage,) Guardian (Soldier,) Herald of Xotli (Mage,) Necromancer (Mage,) Priest of Mitra (Priest,) Ranger (Rogue,) and the Tempest of Set (Priest.)

Also, the players are introduced to the class feats system. A mechanic similar to the talent trees of World of Warcraft. The Age of Conan feats take the form of three "trees;" two of which are class specific, i.e. the Guardian's Juggernaut and Tempest trees; the third being a general tree that all three classes of an archetype share, i.e. the Soldier general tree or the Rogue general tree.

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