Updated Mon, Dec 28, 2009 by Stow
Let's face it; killing monsters gets old. Between the boring AI, same attacks and predictability there are only so many ways to spice it up. Fortunately, you've got some options in Aion. The Player versus Player market is quite lively... whether you like it or not. This game isn't for the faint of heart when it comes to killing one another, so I'll help you break down the fine art of slaying thy neighbor.
Each capital has an arena where, well, you can guess what goes on here. Two men enter, one man leaves. This is probably the best primer for getting yourself familiar with the various tactics each class is capable of, and in a more friendly setting than the abyss.
Whether or not you like it, this is probably going to be your first taste of PvP. Rifts will open up throughout level 20+ zones and you can use them to move from your current zone to one of the enemy's zones. From here, you'll likely set a resurrection Kisk you can use like a portable Obelisk/Graveyard. Now you're free to confront whoever the heck you want to, and introduce them to the dirt. Ideally you'll be traveling as a big pack and locking down single targets immediately before they can glide away. Protect your healers and be wary of stray stealthers or attacks from above!
The main thing you have to realize is you can be the victim of this as well. You can be casually grinding and then a train will roll over you. There is little to nothing you can do about this except signal the location for others to see, and try to rally a counter attacking group. An alternative is to strike at their resurrection point. Once they are killed and no resurrector is around, they'll have no choice but to respawn at their home bind point--in their original lands.
Whatever the case may be, no XP will be lost in the result, so get dirty!
This is where it's at. Once you hit level 25, you'll have a little quest chain to get you familiar with the aspects of the abyss such as Flight Rings. Once you complete that chain you'll have access to the Abyss Gates in each of your primary campaign locations. Step through there and welcome to the lands of glory.
The Abyss is a fully open PvP area with only a few sanctuaries. Death here will cost you abyss points rather than experience points. Abyss points are the currency of real men of courage, and used to purchase some of the best items in the game. In addition, abyss points and standings will get you a title not unlike the old High Warlord system of World of Warcraft. There can be only a few of each of the higher ranks, so fight hard and earn your title! You can view the various ranks at any time by clicking on the Abyss tab of your character window.
You can duel another player from your faction by right clicking on their portrait and selecting 'Invite to Duel' from the dropdown list.
The topography consists of many linked islands, and you will be flying a lot here. Maintaining a stock of flight time potions and movement speed bonuses is essential to keeping alive and not becoming a crater. Flight Rings will give you a boost in flight time and speed, and memorizing the location of them in key areas will give you an advantage when you can fly faster than an opponent. Also, note that this will probably be your first taste of using your Flight Bonus passives! Bask in their power!
There are a multitude of fortresses that can be captured in the Abyss. Capture of an abyss will give your whole faction bonuses and give you access to teleporters, merchants, and generally a good staging point for a further offensive. To take a fortress, it's as simple as slaying the General of the fortress--not an easy task. To make it a little easier, you can take out the Anti-flight field surrounding the fortress by destroying the generator powering it, enabling reinforcements from any angle rather than through the front gate. Participating in a fortress battle will give you a reward of Medals, another high end currency of the Abyss.
If you prefer a toe to toe struggle for supremacy with no outside assistance, the Arena is your ticket. If you prefer to be the bane of soloers, grab a few buddies and jump in a Rift for some world PvP. Once you're ready for the big time, get your whole legion involved and assault one of the Abyss Fortresses in a grand battle for the ages. There's a little something for everyone, but I have a feeling I'll be seeing all of you in the Abyss before long! Get to 25 as fast as you can, and a whole new world awaits you.