Aion: A New Adventure in a New Year

As another gaming year comes to a close and MMOG fans prep their fan power to cheer in another stream of new games in 2010, this year’s releases are clamoring to keep gamers interested.

As another gaming year comes to a close and MMOG fans prep
their fan power to cheer in another stream of new games in 2010, this year’s
releases are clamoring to keep gamers interested.

Established games, whether they launched years ago or
months ago, always find themselves competing with the new kids who come onto the
scene and this coming year has some huge games making a show giving games like
Aion a run for their money. While fans line up for the launches of Star Trek
Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, and a slew of other
impressive titles that make up the 2010 gaming year, the folks at NCsoft will be
working hard to keep us interested and playing.  What will it take for this game
to compete?

More than just a pretty face

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So much about the world of Atreia is good, let's make it great in 2010!

There is no doubt that NCsoft makes a beautiful game and
nothing shows this more than Aion.  With a gorgeously vibrant and beautiful
world, there is almost nothing lacking in the gaming environment in which we
play except variety.

Aion reminds me much of what EverQuest II was at launch; a
good solid game but lacking in choices for the veteran player.  Much like the
newbie areas for Freeport and Qeynos were for starting characters, Elyos and
Asmodian characters have no choice as to where they start and this becomes
downright painful for players who are on their 3rd, 4th,
or more in alternate characters.  To ease this, adding various starting areas
would be a wonderful addition that would not only give new players a choice but
would also give loyal players a reason to try out new classes without feeling
like the first 20 levels were a déjà vu of drudgery.

Content, Content, Content

Did I mention content?  Aion’s biggest downfall has been
lack of quests, particularly between levels 20-40.  It is this lack of content
that has players feeling every single level they grind through and a good part
of the reason players have dropped off to await future game releases.  While it
is clear that NCsoft understands this is an issue and has content in the works,
if my opinion matters at all, I’d suggest getting in sooner rather than later
and making a big splash across all mid-levels before the new games move in and
enthrall waning players.

If fluff is wrong, I don’t wanna be right

Aion is a genuine role playing game that with the pretty
graphics and elegant characters inspires those who care about the finer aspects
of gaming.  I am referring to the fluff: player housing, casual clothing, social
hubs, special events, and all the other little things that allow players to log
in and do something other than actually kill things.

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PvPvE could use a bit more balanced vP.

Many game makers seem to under estimate the power that
these little things hold and while they aren’t technically game breaking, they
can certainly be game making.  In a game such as Aion, these things can be just
the thing it needs to set it apart from the new games, especially since this
year will be more focused on the sci-fi genre with only a few selections for the
fantasy fans.  Filling in these gaps would not only be valuable for the players
of the game, but more so for the company who is looking to keep their game on
top another year.

PvP or Bust

Appeal across player types is essential for any game and
while the fantasy fans and role players are enjoying the new features from my
above wish list, the PvP players should get a little something as well.

Balance is never perfect and while it should always be
something that we strive for, I think most players realize that PvP balance is
an ongoing challenge and never a true state of being.  More hardcore PvPers
(which I am not) may have much more in depth ideas, but my hopes for Aion PvP is
very basic…I desire a level playing field and more reason to kill other players.

I don’t mind getting ganked through open rifts and actually
find excitement from the possibility of fighting for my life against other
players while I’m out adventuring.  My only wish is that if my young and nubile
level 32 Elyos is taken out by a hairy level 40+ Asmodian that the attacking
players not get any reward for taking the coward’s route to fame.  It’s a simple
thing adding a griefer penalty and definitely should be on the to-do list for
this game.

Another PvP feature I’d love to see takes a page from
Warhammer Online.  If nothing else can be said for the Mythic creation, I can
say that the instanced battlefields across all tiers were one of the most
innovative and truly fun aspects of any game I’ve played. While Aion PvP starts
a little later in the game and Battleground Dredgions are available, very few
actually utilize these and they just aren’t as accessible as they really should


As the Aion “Visions” trailer showed us, many of these
features are already in the works. Will they be ready in time to beat the 2010
gaming launches?  To keep players’ attention across North America and Europe, I
certainly hope so!  Here’s to a fabulous first year for Aion and to the
competition that keeps existing games on their toes.  *cheers*

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Aion Game Page.

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