Will there be any magic in Age of Conan?[]

Yes, absolutely, magic is a vital part in the Hyborian world. There is a fully functional magic system that closely relates to the Conan lore and the original books of Robert E. Howard. Just as we're making huge advancements in the field of combat in massive online games, we're also handling magic and spellcasting quite differently than other games in the genre. Spellcasting will not only require certain skills and feats of your character, but there is also a very interactive system to it that will take human skill to master.

How do you cast spells in the game?[]

In Age of Conan we're introducing something called spellweaving. Spellweaving is the art of stringing together a series of spells to create one massive spell that will produce devastating and otherwise extreme results. Spellweaving is an art that will take skill to master, and it is very much a tactical and strategic part of the game that requires planning and thinking to carry out.

What is spellweaving?[]

Spellweaving is the art of combining multiple spells into one big spell. The player will start the spellweave by activating their spellweave ability. This places them in a trance-like state where they cannot move and the only actions they are allowed to perform are adding more components to the weave. Once in the spellweave the player can add as many spells into the weave as they can manage or want to. The maximum number of spells that can be called into a weave is dependant on the players level. Deactivating the ability will then cast the spell and produce the results.

Are there any dangers associated with spellweaving?[]

Very much, yes. Spellweaving is almost a balancing act. How much power can you summon forth without incurring some ancient curse or other mysterious ailment? The risk of this depends on how powerful a weave you are performing based upon the power of the spells you are trying to combine and their level. Stray too far beyond what you are capable of and you will run the risk of incurring one of these side-effects! Using more mana than what you have can also be devastating.

But can you spellweave as much as you want?[]

Yes, but there are penalties if you are spellweaving too much and too often. The other element to spellweaving is a characters magical burden. Every time a weave is performed they incur a magical burden, a debt as it were that weighs upon them. If too many weaves are attempted consecutively, or you attempt a weave that pushes your limits to the burden, you will increase the chance of incurring ill-effects on the next weave. This burden naturally decays when a caster is not in a spellweave.

What exactly is mana?[]

Mana is the currency, so to speak, that is used to pay for casting spells. Your mana pool works much the same way as your health pool and when you cast spells this pool is emptied depending on how much mana each spell needs. Your mana pool grows over time as your character develops.

Will magic look and feel as in other online games?[]

It is true that we try to make the visual look and feel of magic in Conan different from what you have seen in other games. The traditional fireball-tossing magic users in pointy hats, with puffs and multicolored robes, are not part of the Hyborian universe. In Conan's age, magic is dangerous, hidden, and dark. Men who meddle with dark magic may fall to its temptation and powers, so magic uses you as much as you use it! Naturally, the ultimate power comes when you are able to walk the fine line--the one between destruction and creation.

Will spellcasters be able to summon demons and other creatures?[]

Yes, some of them certainly will. There will even be classes dedicated to this form of magic, and spellcasters can create special formations called summoning circles. By doing this, they can summon special types of demons and creatures that could never be summoned by one spellcaster alone. Again, this is a dangerous art and as with all spellcasting in Hyboria, and it could lead to disastrous results if not done right. It all relates to your skills and powers.

Will all magic revolve around death and destruction?[]

Not at all, you will find a wide array of spells you can perform. There are spellcasting that involves healing people, giving them benefits.

Developer quotes[]

It is true that we try to make the visual look and feel of magic in Conan different from what you have seen in other games and the more traditional fantasy settinGS. The clownlike, fireball-tossing magic users in pointy hats, with puffs and multicolored robes, are not part of the Hyborian universe. In Conan's age, magic is dangerous, hidden, and dark. Men who meddle with magic inevitably fall to its temptation and powers. Magic uses you as much as you use it. Naturally, the ultimate power comes when you are able to walk the fine line--the one between destruction and creation.

Gamespot, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

we have tried to make magic more "real," in a sense. Manipulation of the natural forces of the world, the summoning of "real" demons from a dark, untold hell, and touch-based shamanistic powers are major parts of our magic system. Yes, there will be magic in many forms, but you should feel the difference when playing this game. You should feel the age of darkness, the weight of history, and the fear of being corrupted when you walk the path of arcane magic.

Gamespot, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Spellcasters are different in Age of Conan than what you normally see in online games. First of all, only Stygians will use arcane magic -- this foul form of power is not used by the saner Cimmerians or Aquillonians. Second, magic will look, feel and handle differently than in other games. There aren't any magic missile tossing clowns with funny hats. Instead we have more "real" magic, manipulating reality, shaking the Earth, and summoning the odd demon from an unspeakable Hell.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

In Conan's Hyboria, arcane magic is deemed dangerous and foul and is very often focused around the manipulation of artifacts, more than the simple channeling of energy. To simulate this we are playing around with a system called "Soul Corruption" that will determine the degree to which you have sold your soul for power. Naturally, for most, this will be fatal and something to be avoided. For others, walking the edge is the only form of true excitement there is, and is, by far, the most efficient way to gain maximum power. It is still uncertain if "Soul Corruption" will make it all the way to the final game, though.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Since you must "aim" as a mage in Conan it is possible to somewhat avoid magic by having high resistance or by getting out of the line of fire. Magic-like powers can be also be gained through shamanistic and religious powers. They are more close-up and personal, and most forms of healing or "buffing" will be team based.

Gamespy, 17th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Magic in Hyboria is darker, scarcer and more powerful than in most other RPG campaigns. You delve into the arcane arts at your own risk, your soul being the only truly powerful bargaining chip. Our focus has been to give magic a visually more realistic look, less floating shiny things, and more the rumblings from hell.

The users of magic fall, as normal, into two main categories, the ones with magic being offered from their gods or the earth, and the ones where magic is created through rituals and bargains with darker powers. In both cases, you memorize spells into your spellbook, and use mana to cast them.

The current system allows you to prepare a set number of spells for casting into your arcane wheel - our ritualistic shortcut system. Casting the spells in a certain order will allow for magical combos and criticals. Most buffs will be team-based only, to eliminate the need to run around targeting everyone all the time.

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Many spells - most notably the highly effective forms of healing - will be touch-based, or very short range. Many spells require different directions to gain maximum impact. The spell casting in Conan will thus be a much more tactical and proactive type of activity. There will not be time to wait around for mana to regenerate during combat. Casters should be as active as the melee or ranged fighters, constantly switching sides, targets and spells to do their best / worst.

Moreover, the different priest classes will look and feel different. The various gods in Conan are extreme in their outlook on life and death, and casting them all in one mold would be wrong.

We have summarized what magic should look and feel like in the four words "realistic" (visually), "scary" (it should have consequences casting and using magic), "dynamic" (the system should have depth) and "empowered" (the ease of use and the feeling of power given to the user).

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

I could talk about these for quite some time, but I would focus on the concept of having "dynamic" magic. We have designed a system where magic spells and effects can be combined by the user to get new results. These "combo spells" can be further combined with new deadly effects, allowing the casters to experiment - but at their own risk. One of the concepts used to moderate this risk taking is something very familiar to the fans of the Conan world. Magic is dark, and always with risk, and as the casters walk that edge of deadly power, they will accumulate something called Corruption of the Soul. Naturally, having a corrupt soul might make bargaining with demons, um, different. ;)

IGN, 11th July 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The more power you draw the stronger the potential side effects and soul corruption. If you commune with demons to gain strength things will happen to you.

Forums, 17th October 2005 (Athelan)

The way we plan to do it is that you'll need to stay in the team to get the buff. So, if you team up to get a buff, it'll wear off quickly when you exit the team. Personally I like buffs a lot, it increases diversity. A team of 5 different classes should do better then a team of 5 similar classes.

Forums, 1st December 2005 (DaveDread)

We intend to have most of the buffs disappear when you ungroup, or perhaps that they linger for a short amount of time. So short that it'll be pointless to try to use it for adventuring on your own or in another team anyways.

Forums, 1st December 2005 (DaveDread)

I think we'll simply avoid buffing stats that is used as criteria checks for equipping things. Also, it's early days so don't take this as hard facts. It might change in the future.

Forums, 1st December 2005 (DaveDread)

I don't really think his opinion is "against" the devs. The problem with mini game forms of input is they get old very quickly and become very tiresome. A good example is the spell casting via hand gesture in the Black and White games, cool concept, kind of nifty the first time but when you need to cast a fireball and instead you get water droplets or something of the sort its quite aggravating. Magic will be more prevalent in Conan than it was in the books, simply because in the books its almost always in the hands of someone else so you only see it in glimpses. We rarely follow a magic user in what their routine or daily life would be like and see how often they might use various types of power.

Magic will have dangers associated with it, I certainly dont think opening a dimensional portal to some outlying hellish void and calling forth assistance from a demon could be considered safe.. ever :P

Forums, 7th December 2005 (Athelan)

Mages will manipulate dark and dangerous forces and it will not be safe. For anyone!

Forums, 8th February 2006 (Khayman)

The spell-weaving, for instance, is a brand new system where players use their spells as COMPONENTS to a larger, more devastating spell effect – perhaps one that's too large for them even… Maybe it might blow up in their face, taking the wizard down in a blaze. That's the dark side of magic truly unique to the Hyborian world.

Ogaming, 20th January 2006 (Gaute Godager)

Speaking of spells, entering mage-only formations, or summoning circles, can be very useful in these battles too. A really hungry 8 meter high Demon summoned from Hell by 8 Demonologists surely will be able to gobble quite a lot of Mitra Priest before it is banished...

ShackNews, 16th June 2006 (Gaute Godager)