Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Aion, Not feeling it

Recently, Aion buzz has taken hold of many blogs and gaming sites. I did not play during their preview weekend but was curious about the game so I did some research. It was not an easy task, as it seems different Aion patch versions are run in different countries. AionSource turned out to be a decent resource though.

The Basics. Aion is a traditional Diku-style MMO. You quest/grind to gain experience, loot and level up to 50. It has its own combat style, but it is fundamentally the same as other MMOs, using abilities, a hotbar and a global cooldown.

Graphics. It's graphics look to be top notch (for a MMO) and it seems to perform very well.

Raids. There are no raids currently in the game. There are a few Level 50 dungeons for small groups, and world bosses but no raid encounters. Word has it one is coming, see below.

The Abyss. This is one of the features that piques my interest in Aion. The Abyss is a PvP zone with no population cap and has siegable castles and a fortress. This zone is only for Level 25 and above. There is no bolster effect, so you may face much higher level characters. There is also a relic system that can give your side a buff in a certain area. While there is no population cap, there is a NPC 3rd party that will help the outnumbered side.

If your faction captures a fortress, it may unlock future raid content. This is similar to The Ettermoors and Delving in LoTRO,WAR's new Land of the Dead and WoW's Lake Wintersgrasp. At this time it doesn't look like any of that raid content is in the game.

Abyss Points. When fighting in the abyss you gain special points. These points are a currency. You can spend them to buy new gear, then you have to earn them back. You gain points by killing players and NPC's. If you die, you lose abyss points. There is also a ranking system that depends on how many points you have.

Crafting. Aion has a relatively simple crafting system. There is a single gathering skill for all materials and multiple crafting skills (i.e. Armorsmith). You can craft using recipes or NPC work orders. There is no mini-game like EQ2 has or anything as complex as SWG.

Style. It's an Asian/Anime styled MMO.

Wings. Flying is one of the more original features of Aion. In the Abyss, flying is a big part. However, in the rest of the world there seems to be a lot of invisible walls and no fly zones.

That is pretty much what I found in my research. Some of the details may be off but I believe it to be mostly accurate.

Personally, I do not like the Anime style, so that is an immediate turn off for me. Also, while flying is nice, the wings just are not my style. Give me a jetpack or even a gyrocopter and we'll talk. This is just superficial stuff though.

While the Abyss looks interesting, you have to PvE through the first 25 levels before you can gain access. My interest in PvE, especially for 25 levels, is nil right now. Once you reach 25, you will still be at a large disadvantage since there is no bolster mechanic.

The abyss points also worry me. They seem to reward PvE in the abyss by having npc kills give points. Add in the fact you can lose points when you die and you'll have a lot of people avoiding PvP. I play WAR, so I know about people avoiding PvP ;)

I may try Aion someday, but right now it isn't really something I am looking forward to. This is surprising considering how much press the game is getting. There just isn't much that draws me to the game.


It's the MMO Love Affair all over again. I've learned to set my expectations.

NCSoft has been good with Guild Wars, but the grind of RO and Lineage 2 was excruciating, and cheating abounded in the latter. A game that looks good is not enough for me.

From nearly every source I can obtain, it is an improved Lineage 2, just like Lineage 2 is an improved Lineage. It is not revolution of MMO or even that of PvP/RvR like some people hoped, though the balancing mechanic should be copied to a certain mmo :)

If you like L2 and korean mmos, you will like it; if you don't , you may find yourself in a awkward position later on.

Without going into specifics, the game was actually a bit different in practice than it was based on what I read around the net. That said, I was actually a bit disappointed, but I haven't had sufficient testing experience to really get a good feel for the entire game.

Basically, I'm witholding judgment until closer to release.

If I could play in the abyss from day 1 and it had some sort of bolster... I would be very excited.

All that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if I gave it a shot near launch.

I'm kind of on the same page as you. When I first heard of this game, I was excited to be able to fly wherever I wanted, PvP against others, and have a third NPC balancing faction. However, the more I hear of it now, is that it lies heavily on the Korean Grind Style, PvP isn't as free-wheeling as I thought, and flight is ultra-limited. So, it pretty much turned all my hopes to dust rather early. I may still give it a shot. Maybe.

p.s. Thanks for the comment!

Your article is prettymuch what I expected from Aion. Standard MMO issues.

Thanks to RL recession caused issues I'll be sticking with an MMO i have already paid the box charge for :)

well i have tried the beta and it is actually pretty fun the flying amy be limited in the regular world but in the abyss it is unlimited

Boring, 2 charac lvl 42 CLeric and 45 Assassin. Boring cause ely and asmodians look the same, there's just this 2 races. Can't drive the camera during moving!!! So you have to run and fly without nowing movements of the ennemy, really nut. Have to stop and then turn the camera.. and die... or not. Many good things (like private store) but the immersion is null. Can't swim lol. Don't expect to chat cause of goldsellers who as killed the sociality of the game allready. Gameguard is like DRM to ennoy those who have paid.

I forgot the most important to my eyes: the charm is not in AION. Bling-bling yes but the charm is no where else, can't stop thinking to return one day to towns of the horde, Thunderbluff... Orgrimmar.. my lovely Undercity and its tiny spiders you miss me after 2 months :(

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