Welcome to Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place mainly about LotRO, Guild Wars 2 and any other interesting things related to gaming (hopefully weekly… depending on whether we’ll actually have some interesting links to share).
Age of Conan is adopting a hybrid payment model (like LotRO and DDO). There’s already an overview of what you get for free and a FAQ. In short: 2 character slots, 4 out of their 12 classes, some dungeons, some raids. Doesn’t sound bad to try to get a feeling for it. And there’s stuff you can buy (like access to certain dungeons) which means that again, there’s no subscription necessary. But you can subscribe if you want to, of course! This also seems to be the only way to get access to the remaining 8 classes.
Guild Wars 2 has announced its 7th class, the engineer. I’ve heard people speculate about such a class before so it didn’t really come as a surprise to me. Having played an engineer in Warhammer Online, I was also looking forward to playing this class. After watching the videos, I’m a bit disappointed, though. For me, it’s not a problem that there are grenades and guns in the game. In my mind, it fits perfectly to a fantasy setting and I think steampunk etc. makes it more interesting. What I don’t like is the feeling I got from watching the videos. It reminded me too much of FPS shooters and the land-mine really is over the top, I think. I am ready for technical advancement but this was a bit too much for me. I’d rather have some more traps and all that old-fashioned stuff. Of course, before I make a final judgment, I’ll have to see the class in the game. If you want to know more about the engineer, have a look at ArenaNet’s engineer link roundup.
Then there’s Lord of the Rings Online. The merge of the European servers with Turbine’s service is coming closer. Please make sure not to have any auctions running when the merge starts (servers will go down at some point between May 31 and June 1, I assume) and empty your mailbox! There’s nothing definite about them deleting auctions or mail but it’s safer to empty everything to make sure you don’t lose anything. Codemasters have also added a nice screen saying “goodbye” when logging into the game. Watch the Dev tracker on the EU forums for Sapience’s postings. He might have useful information about the merge!