''Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures'' is a MassivelyMultiplayerOnlineRolePlayingGame set in the [[TheVerse universe]] of Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian, originally created by Creator/RobertEHoward; and developed by Funcom. It was originally released in 2008. As of July 2011, it has moved away from the original subscription-only model to a hybrid [[Webcomic/PennyArcade "Freemium"]] model, with a combination of free and paid content.

The world is remarkably faithful to Howard's original stories; with notable influences from both film versions (the original by John Milius starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the 2011 remake by Marcus Nispel starring Jason Momoa). Unsurprisingly, it partakes of many of the tropes present in its source material; as well as many specific to {{MMORPG}}s. Nearly all of the background music in the game is inspired by, or taken directly from, the [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome soundtrack of the first movie]].

The original release of the game met with considerable critical and public reaction, both positive and negative, for being more frankly and explicitly [[BloodierAndGorier violent]] and [[{{Fanservice}} sexual]] than was typical for {{MMORPG}}s up to that point. It was notable for being the first MMO to deliberately aim for a "Mature" rating; which was played up strongly in the advertising and promotion for the game. The "mature" aspect was similarly played up as part of the conversion to a "Freemium" hybrid model; with the original name for the update billed as ''Age of Conan: Unrated''. The "Unrated" was changed to "Unchained" by release time.

One of the earliest criticisms of the game was the lack of story or character-development driven content available for mid-level players; with most quests consisting of [[TwentyBearAsses extended grinding sessions]]. The game developers explained that they had not expected players to advance so quickly; and had delayed development of content beyond the beginner areas. However, from other sources, it seems equally likely that Funcom [[ExecutiveMeddling wanted to delay development]] until they were able to gauge the player reaction and membership numbers. Subsequent expansions have released a considerable amount of mid-level and high-level content; but the drop off in subscriber numbers after the initial release is thought to be a large part of the impetus for the move to a free/paid hybrid model.

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!!This game provides examples of

* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: There are plenty of commodities in the player market which are prohibitively expensive to low level players, and of course they are most useful and necessary to low level players to advance.
* AdjectiveAnimalAlehouse: The Thirsty Dog and the Purple Carp.
* AffablyEvil. Some [=NPCs=], like the [[SinisterMinister Set priest]] quest-giver in Kheshatta. He isn't condescending and thanks and congratulates you for a job well done, even if said job is killing deviants of [[ReligionOfEvil his religion]].
* AgeOfTitles
* AllegedlyFreeGame: Although a lot of the game is now free to play, several of the mid- and high-level areas are available only to paid subscribers, or as a separate purchase. This includes the entire Khitai region outside the hub city - as well as Khitan as a cultural origin. Certain gameplay mechanics and abilities are also limited to paid subscribers. Nevertheless, the advertising really pounds on the "Free To Play" thing.
* AmnesiacHero: Yes, we know, it's one of the oldest plot devices out there. [[MST3KMantra Just roll with it, OK?]]
* AnAdventurerIsYou: Played pretty much straight, with many classes falling into the traditional roles. However, there are also some uncommon hybrid classes as well.
* {{Arcadia}}: It's hard to wander the rolling hills and fields of Poitain without feeling relaxed and content. Even the RandomEncounters that happen from time to time are hardly more than a nuisance.
* BackTracking: There is an enormous amount of this in the game; especially at beginner levels. Some quests consist predominantly of running back and forth over long distances carrying messages between [=NPCs=]. Others consist of chains of running back and forth between the same area, because the quest NPC couldn't be bothered to tell you everything you needed to do there up front. (Some character dialog choices [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] this frustrating bit of activity.) Particularly frustrating at early levels, before mounts are available.
* BeefGate: The Vanir Ymirish warriors are one of the earliest and most notable examples. At first glance they appear to be the same level as other Vanir foes, but hitting one is like punching a brick wall that punches back ''hard''. They are practically unkillable by a single player that isn't at least 20 levels above them. Rather than 'sealing off' an area, their intent is to encourage low-level characters to team up.
* BlackKnight: The Dark Templars are heavy armored warriors wielding BlackMagic provided by demons or [[GodOfEvil dark gods]].
* BloodierAndGorier: Much more than was typical for MMO games when it was released.
* BribingYourWayToVictory: A lot of the content in the premium shop will provide substantial advantages to gameplay, especially at low levels. This is particularly true for [[WithAHerring the weapons and armour available to beginners]].
* BuildLikeAnEgyptian: Stygia has pyramids that are far more impressive than those of Egypt (which canonically exists ten thousand years afterward).
* ChainmailBikini: Averted, oddly, as the comic adaptations were the trope namer. Although there are items of clothing/armour that fit this trope's appearance, the effectiveness of such armour is realistically low. The more effective the armour, the more it covers.
* CommonplaceRare:
** Many of the non-player inhabitants of the game wear cool armor and it can also be seen on armor racks. Can you buy it?... Nope! You'll usually be stuck with what you can afford, which will be the crappy looking stock vendor armor with half a dozen different texture variations. The really cool armor all comes from rare loot drops and raids.
** Horses and horse training are expensive. Extra inventory space (in the form of a bigger bag to carry stuff) is hilariously expensive.
* DarkestAfrica[=/=]TheSavageSouth: Stygia is this, being full of [[ReligionOfEvil death-loving cults]] who worship [[GodOfEvil dark gods]] and practice BlackMagic; a population that will willingly sacrifice themselves in whatever way their evil masters tell them to - all ruled by an EvilSorceror whom only King Conan himself could possibly hope to face and survive. It is a land regarded with awe and fear all across Hyboria. To drive the point home, two of the player factions (Aquilonia and Cimmeria) are busy repelling invasions, despite the [[TheKingdom great wealth and power]] of Aquilonia and the legendary reputation Cimmeria [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy has for its warriors]]. Nobody... ''nobody...'' is trying to invade [[TheEmpire Stygia.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: You can play as an [[MurderInc assassin]], [[BlackKnight Dark Templar]], [[TheNecromancer necromancer]], demon-summoner or [[SinisterMinister Tempest of Set]] and still choose to aid those in need and defend the weak.
** Many of the characters met in Stygia are decent everyday folks, despite living in a land governed by a evil theocracy.
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: Dying means a short debuff; but it also allows you to teleport to any previously-located respawn point, making it a useful way to travel [[BackTracking at times]].
** {{Lampshaded}} in one quest that requires you to be cursed in order to retrieve an artifact. The curse will "kill" you in ten minutes if you don't get the MacGuffin and give it to the quest giver who lifts the curse. If you die, respawn and return to the quest giver to try again, he asks how the hell you can be alive again. Your only reply is 'ItsALongStory'.
* DiabolusExNihilo: The 'World Boss' events that were added to the game in 2013 produce super-powerful bosses that dwarf the threats ordinarily faced by maximum-level characters. It takes dozens of [=PCs=] working in relays to finish them off... but they really don't have anything to do with the game-world at large.
* DiscOneNuke: The store that sells in-game items for real cash is replete with overpowered low level gear that will make a player extremely effective for a long time. The cash store low level gear usually have stats that are 10-15 levels above the standard ingame low level gear.
* DoorToBefore: {{Averted}} in many, but not all dungeons. An EscapeRope teleport is available once every half hour, otherwise BackTracking is often your only option.
* ElaborateEqualsEffective: The most badass looking armor and weapons are almost always top level raid and pvp reward gear and are all better than the generic looking craftable gear.
* EscapeRope: The "Path of Asura" is a free teleport you can do from any location in the game that will take you to a safe location, usually one of the starter towns for each character race. You can set your home point to any one of these preset locations at any time you like, but you can only use the ability once every half hour.
* FakeLongevity: The game suffered from this trope at its initial time of release - lots of TwentyBearAsses and BackTracking. Updates, expansions and a focus on more character-driven content have ''nearly'' removed all trace of the trope.
** However, crafting quests still invoke this trope quite strongly. In order to advance in the gathering skills necessary for crafting, players have to spend exorbitant amounts of time farming for extremely rare drops. Locations for the drops are highly limited in lower-level areas; or surrounded by strong, aggressive monsters in higher-level areas.
* {{Fanservice}}: Characters can be played completely naked, with the exception of genitalia, which is covered by a sort of unremovable g-string brief. Fighting this way is generally not a good idea - without armor you'll be shredded.
** An option known as "vanity" mode has been added. With this active, you can cause select pieces of your armour to turn invisible, but you still get the full protection from it.
* FightingIrish: ''Creator/RobertEHoward'' wrote the Cimmerians as ancestors of the Gaels: the stone age clans that would later become the Irish and Scottish people. Hence the Cimmerians in game have strong Irish/Scottish accents, art and architecture with a strongly Celtic aesthetic, and a talent for battle.
* FinishingMove: Depending on your class, this can be anything from a decapitation to dragging your opponent to hell.
* ForcedLevelGrinding: This was an enormous problem for players at launch trying to get past level 40 after all the questing content had dried up. Players were forced to grind the "Villas" which were repeatable quests involving killing mobs in a npc mansion over and over and over and over and over and over and over just to level up. This was one of the major contributing factors in the early downfall of the game. Player numbers evaporated to almost nothing in the first year of release because of the Sisyphean grindfest that didn't even provide any useful loot.
* GhibliHills: Poitain, the Lacheish Plains and the Purple Lotus Swamp are all these for Aquilonia, Cimmeria and Stygia respectively. RandomEncounters are common but not overwhelming. Poitain even reaches {{Arcadia}} levels of beauty.
* GiveMeYourInventoryItem: The resource gathering quests require you to hand over the resources you've gathered, including the quests for the ultra-rare resources (such as... tin?!) that take forever to find. The quest-givers demand you fork them over, rather than let you hang onto them for use in crafting later. Thankfully averted with the later craftsman quests - you get to keep your handicrafts to sell or give away as you like.
* GoKartingWithBowser: It's not uncommon for the priests of CrystalDragonJesus to join forces with assassins or wielders of BlackMagic in order to beat up petty thugs or hunt big game.
* HandWave: The original Conan mythos would have... in fact, ''did...'' regard teleportation and spontaneous return from death as black magic of the highest order. But this is a MMORPG, so you have to have them. Averted by some clever story work for some other things - for instance, the sudden upsurge of Cimmerian heroes visiting foreign lands is a consequence of their natural curiosity at hearing that one of their own now sits on the throne of a mighty kingdom.
* HaveANiceDeath: Among other things, "The maidens question your virility."
* HeroicBuild: While character creation offers a bit of customization in build, even the skinniest or heftiest player character falls in this region.
* HotterAndSexier: This was perhaps the first MMORPG to feature female nudity. Additionally, prostitutes can be found in several locations throughout the game world.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: There are many of these for each character class at endgame, to the point where it's hard to tell if there is an InfinityPlusOneSword somewhere amongst them.
* LevelLockedLoot: Just as inexplicable as it is in most massive multiplayers. Maybe more: in addition to the usual GameplayAndStorySegregation that affects armor, weapons, food and drink, you are [[YouHaveResearchedBreathing too dumb to ride a horse]] until level 40, at which time you also finally figure out ''how to wear a cape.''
* LittleBitBeastly: A creepy form of the trope applies to some Stygians - in particular, the ruling caste of Set worshippers have faint serpentine characteristics.
* MagicIsEvil: In keeping with the literary inspiration, almost all the magic-wielding classes use some form of BlackMagic: at best a mage is a WellIntentionedExtremist. Fortunately, if you race through town followed by your pack of skinless demons, [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight the city guard don't bat an eye.]]
** The two exceptions are Priests of Mitra, who receive divine gifts from their benevolent god, and Bear Shamans, whose power is totemic.
* MoneySpider: Despite the prevalence of VendorTrash, animal mobs that drop loot when you kill them still drop money too.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: Thoth-Amon, the game's GreaterScopeVillain, is perpetually plotting in his evil lair.
* OrganDrops: Most animal mobs will drop claws, teeth, tails, venom sacs, etc. Aside from a few quest-related examples, these parts are just VendorTrash.
* OurGiantsAreBigger: The "Ymirish" half-giant elite warriors of the Vanir stand roughly ten feet tall and are very hard to kill due to their heritage and magical nature. At higher levels they appear next to their full giant brethren, the smallest of whom are ''twice as tall.''
* PerpetuallyStatic: Despite all the adventures a player will embark on, the game world never experiences any fundamental change. The Vanir are still always on the doorstep of Cimmeria, ready to invade. Tortage is endlessly teetering on the brink of revolution while the Picts howl outside its walls without ever actually coming over them. The Nemedians are still trying to subvert Aquilonia and have Conan assassinated, Thoth-Amon is [[OrcusOnHisThrone still on his throne]] in Stygia, trying to call forth whatever dark gods will help him conquer the world.
* RatedMForManly: Remember the name of the game! You will fight a tiger. You will fight multiple tigers. You will cross deserts and glaciers and climb mighty mountains to battle [[EldritchAbomination unfathomable horrors]]... on a regular basis.
* PurelyAestheticGender: Temporarily subverted: A short period after the game's launch, females did less damage in melee combat, due to slower attack animations. Otherwise, the trope is in full force; to the degree that even the more "mature" dialog choices are available [[HoYay regardless of character gender]].
* RealIsBrown: A common complaint during the early days of the game was how dark and muddy the artwork appeared compared to other games. Some improvement has been made, but it is still a strong example of this trope.
* RevenueEnhancingDevices: A whole lot of functional and purely cosmetic stuff in the premium cash shop. See AllegedlyFreeGame and BribingYourWayToVictory, above.
* ScaryImpracticalArmor: Many of the endgame armors look incredibly intimidating, yet are not quite as effective at physical protection as their stats suggest.
* ShiningCity: Tarantia, capital of Aquilonia is incredibly beautiful with shining white spires and spacious buildings with beautiful facades of enormous pseudo-Greek columns. The whole city is made out of gleaming white limestone and is by far the most impressive city in the game.
* SocketedEquipment: Craftable weapons and armor have sockets for gems that boost their stats. This is as an alternative to endgame gear drops which are still almost always superior anyway.
* SortingAlgorithmOfWeaponEffectiveness: {{Averted}} with item vendors: the top level vendor gear is usually available at the same place that the low level gear is available, players just can't use it [[LevelLockedLoot until they have levelled up.]] Played straight with the handful of gear that can be scavenged from enemies: the tougher enemies always drop higher level gear.
* SquishyWizard: Applies to varying degrees to all Mage classes. Particularly bad with the Herald of Xotli; a hybrid melee/mage class whose magic is limited to buffs and close-combat attacks, with some damage limiting abilities, and which is limited to weak cloth armour.
* StatSticks: Some weapons have these effects, like boosting a player's intelligence or stamina/mana regen. The weapons themselves are still class-locked and cannot be wielded by players with the wrong class type.
* TakeYourTime: In full effect with all but a precious few timed quests. Sometimes your quest journal will tell you that that time is of the essence and you have to race to get the task done. You don't.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: One quest in Tortage involves you killing an army of Children of Acheron... but they've got a HealingFactor that extends beyond death. How do you bypass their immortality? [[spoiler: Call on ChekhovsVolcano to [[KillItWithFire reduce the whole bunch to ash]]!]]
* TwentyBearAsses: While many quests of a more interesting nature exist, this trope is still often in effect.
* UnusableEnemyEquipment: Every sentient enemy comes at you with as much gear as they can afford (even if that's just a filthy loincloth and a sharpened stick), but when you loot the remains you'll be lucky to find even one of the bits of gear that are clearly visible on the corpse.
* UnkemptBeauty: True of all player characters and a startling percentage of the computer-controlled ones. It's rare for a man ''not'' to be brooding, handsome and muscular... while the women tend to look like shipwrecked glamor models.
* VendorTrash: Not as much as some [=MMOs=]. Mostly used to avoid {{Money Spider}}s, and the drops are reasonably realistic. Monsters still drop body parts that you can sell for cash, and human mobs sometimes drop chunks of semi precious metal and semi-rare gems in lieu of money.
* WeBuyAnything: All that VendorTrash has to go somewhere. Just about every npc shopkeeper is happy to take it off your hands.
* WheelOfPain: One appears in Cimmeria. It might be the same as the one from the 1980's film.
* WorldOfBuxom: The models provided don't even allow for female player characters with a modest bust size, even using the advanced customization feature. Even the smallest-breasted women in this game would be considered stacked in real life.
** As of the "Unchained" revision, a [[RevenueEnhancingDevices premium shop item]] was added that allows females to significantly increase their bust size (temporarily); well into GagBoobs territory. A similar item allowing males to enhance their physique is also available.
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