Toward the end of June, Norwegian game developer Funcom debuted what it called the "biggest and most influential" update to its massively multiplayer online role-playing game Age of Conan yet. Titled The Gangs of Tarantia, the update added in a new district for gamers to explore, as well as overhauled the game's RPG and crafting mechanics, included new items and quests, and implemented a final round of residual tweaks and fixes from the game's launch in May 2008.
Launch bugs thus addressed, Funcom today announced as part of GamesCom 2009 in Cologne, Germany, the first full expansion to Age of Conan, a move first teased in August 2008. Titled Rise of the Godslayer, the expansion introduces the Empire of Khitai, a region with culture and traditions mimicking the Far East. Funcom did not say when it expects to launch the expansion and had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.
"Since the turn of the year, the team has been working hard on bringing the Empire of Khitai to life," Fumcon game director Craig Morrison said of the expansion. "Our focus now is on expanding on the strengths of the game by providing massive new regions of the world to explore, and the Empire of Khitai offers a whole new perspective on the Conan lore and universe."
Of the new features included in the expansion, Funcom promises an all-new storyline, as well as new regions, faction gameplay, and an alternate advancement system. The storyline draws its inspiration from Conan the Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard's story "The Tower of the Elephant." The story involves the events following Conan's defeat of the Elephant God, with chaos erupting as the Hyborian Age finds itself with one less deity.
Funcom will offer the first hands-on time with Rise of the Godslayer from this year's GamesCon, and GameSpot is on hand to cover. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Age of Conan.