See also Geography | Maps.

Is Age of Conan about exploration and adventure, or PvP and city building?[]


A large ogre in the highland mountains.

All that, actually, and more! While PvP battles, city building and siege combat are all important features in Age of Conan, it is still a game based on great adventure – either through solo-play or team-play – through a huge, massive and persistent game world. Despite featuring numerous genre innovations, Age of Conan is still like a traditional MMO game where you start a life in a gigantic online world and explore it with other people or by yourself.

How big is the world in Age of Conan?[]

The Hyborian world is incredibly huge. The world – crafted by author Robert E. Howard in his original short-stories and books – is basically a fictional version of earth some 10 000 years BC and as such, there is a lot of land to cover. In Age of Conan we have focused on developing regions found within the three nations of Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia, as well as the Barachan isles. The in-game world itself is huge, and will offer incredible opportunities for exploration.

Is the game world seamless or is it based on zones?[]

It is based on zones, but these zones can be quite big in size – often up to several kilometers in both length and width. We're using zones because we want to create such a detailed world that it would be technologically unfeasible to do it seamlessly. This, however, will in no way detract from the feeling of being in a massive, persistent game world. Age of Conan is, after all, an MMO.

How many zones are there in the game?[]


A map of Hyboria.

There are dozens of different zones, or regions as we like to call them, in Age of Conan. We are including areas chosen from Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia and we are trying to show the diversity of these nations through this selection. You will find northern regions with tall mountains covered in snow, southern regions with their sand dunes and rust-colored mountains, and everything in-between that ranges from thick forests to plains, swamps, highlands and lowlands. These regions have been picked because of their importance or relevance to the lore, or what Conan did there.

Will the game world be big enough?[]

Yes, absolutely, it will be huge, but our focus for these regions is actually on detail and gameplay, not on making the gameworld huge for the sake of being huge. Many other games try to create the biggest world of them all, but our lessons with the MMO Anarchy Online means that we try to go another way - towards handcrafted detail, loving and care for the characters there - rather than doing corner cutting to increase the size.

What is the setting of the gameworld in Age of Conan?[]

Age of Conan is set in the world of Hyboria, a fictional representation of our own planet earth some 10.000 years BC. We are currently focusing on the nations of Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia, but we may go even further in expansion packs after launch. The in-game world is based on accurate descriptions taken directly from the original works of author Robert E. Howard, which feature a world known for its grittiness, its violence, its realism and its mysticism. The setting is one far different from the high-fantasy you find in most MMOs today, even though you will travel to fantastic places and meet creatures beyond your wildest imagination.

How do players move between the regions?[]

To keep the game true to the lore, there is a small or big journey between the different regions by either boat, horse and so on. Players do not actually move up to a zone-line and then teleport to the region, because some of the regions in Age of Conan are often far apart on the world map. Instead you select different ways of traveling such as by horse, boat and other means of transportation. As an example, to travel from Stygia to Cimmeria on foot in a real-life sense of way would mean a lot of running. This is a game after all, so we try to design the experience to be as fun as possible.

How intelligent are the computer-controlled characters in the game world?[]

Our artificial intelligence is extremely elaborate, and many of the inhabitants of Hyboria react according to a need-based AI system. Computer-controlled characters in online games have often been nothing but static robots standing around, but in Age of Conan we have tried to bring them more to life and make their presence meaningful. This is also true for the monsters of the world, who will fight you in an intelligent manner, should we wish them to.

What is the needs system the artificial intelligence operates against?[]

The need system in Conan artificial intelligence is loosely based around famous American psychologist Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs. In Age of Conan we have a computer-controlled artificial intelligence which categorizes several distinct needs – like eating, sleeping and surviving. Each of the levels of our pyramid contains a steady growth in need, and the AI will make sure they are fulfilled accordingly where we want it to. So at the night, an NPC may grow tired and close up his shop, and might walk home. On his way home he might be attacked, the need to survive will be kicked into high-gear, letting him defend himself. And so on.

Are there any factions in the game world?[]

Factions are not a major part of Age of Conan, at least not at launch. That being said, there will be certain factions involved in the game in one way or another, and you may be able to gain and lose reputation with these, but how this will play is something we will announce closer to launch.

How will players be able to traverse the world?[]

By foot would be the usual manner for most people, but once you're able to buy a mount, you can also acquire a horse or a camel to carry you as you go on about your brutal and action-filled adventure.

All information from [1]

Developer quotes[]

Hyboria, Conan's universe, is a massive one with creative contributions added for more than 70 years. The task of selecting the base material was a massive one, but luckily, when we chose to focus the base of the game around 3 countries in the land, much fell into place. The snow-capped peaks of Cimmeria, the rolling hills and dark cities of Aquilonia and the burning deserts of Stygia lent themselves naturally to our task of recreating Hyboria. Seeing that I am a huge fan of this universe, like so many on the team, working on a Online Action RPG based around the Hyborian Universe is a dream come true, and I think this will show in the final game. By selecting three countries we got a natural selection of the Lore in place. Basically we try to include as much lore as possible in our game.

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

How much of the game world will remain to be explored after the single player game has been completed by a player? Gaute Godager: Hm, in terms of real estate - something like 95%. In terms of quests, dialogue and story, less. In terms of levels - exactly 75%. I guess it all depends on how you measure. We project, though, that when you leave the single-player game, you have only just begun!

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The gameworld of Conan will be compromised of regions in three of the major countries of Hyboria, namely Cimeria, Aquillonia and Stygia. In total, there will be around 30 regions ranging from one by one to four by four kilometers. These regions have been picked because of their importance or relevance for the country, or what Conan did there etc. - and most of them are far away. As you might know, Anarchy Online, the first MMO Funcom made, pioneered the use of instantiated areas in MMOs when it came out in 2001, and it is natural that we build on the technology that has proven its worth for almost four years now.

IGN, 17th June 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Our focus for these regions is actually on detail, not on making the gameworld huge. Many other games try to create the biggest world of them all. We try to go another way - towards handcrafted detail, loving and care for the characters there - rather than doing the corner cutting you have to do to make something that's millions and millions of square feet.

IGN, 17th June 2005 (Gaute Godager)

At launch there will be about 30 regions found in the game spread across Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia, so there will be a lot of real-estate. That said, it's impossible for us to implement all of Conan's world, this is after all one of the richest and most diverse fantasy licenses on the planet, but I am sure you will get to see even more through expansion packs and updates after launch., 8th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures feature three countries at launch, Cimmeria, Aquilonia and Stygia. Howard’s Hyborian World of 10,000 BC is a massive, massive universe. We could probably build a whole game with 10 expansion packs only from Aquilonia if we wanted to. We have tried to focus on the regions most meaningful to the Conan fans, typically those visited by Conan in the most famous stories (but not exclusively so).

The world is not seamless. To keep the game true to the lore, there is a small or big journey between the different regions by boat or horse, etc. This also works well with our technology that is not seamless. Naturally with the more than 100 books published in the more than 70 years since Howard wrote his first stories, it is impossible to let the players explore every inch of the world. This is though, without a doubt, the truest, deepest and most immersive representation of Hyboria done in any computer game ever.

PC.Gamezone, 22nd September 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Yep, Conan will be a big world brimming of life, steep cimmerian mountains and burning stygian deserts, where danger constantly lurks. It's too early to talk about expansions, let's get the original game out first before we start discussing how to expand it.

And No. No Orcs. No Elves. We take the Hyborian age very seriously and we will stay as true to Howards work as we possibly can. If we find that we need to add things not in his stories, we will take utmost care to create them so they fit.

Forums, 19th October 2005 (DaveDread)

The grass movement was a very annoying little issue, but we found it. We can customize the environment settings including wind speed, weather, fog, and lighting which will in fact effect the grass.

Forums, 5th December 2005 (Athelan)

We have people working fulltime on particle effects, so we hope to have stuff like blood look very realistic.

Forums, 18th December 2005 (Mjoellnir)