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Details Revealed for Aion's Empyrean Calling Update

Posted Tue, Mar 15, 2011 by B. de la Durantaye

This year at GDC and PAX we took a look at what's coming down the pipe for NCsoft's PvP-centric MMOG where the players have wings, Aion. The team has a whole lot planned for Aion players and will be introduced in the upcoming update: Empyrean Calling. The update will offer more features for Aion fans to keep busy and entertained for some time yet.

First, the level cap is increasing from 50 to level 55 giving players more gameplay and more ways to advance their character. More levels mean more content and more fun.  Also, the game will be seeing a graphical upgrade to make the environments much more vibrant and alive. We were shown some before and after images, and while we've always considered Aion to be a good looking game, the updates to the engine really make the environments and models pop out of the screen. It feels fresh and clean.

aion

Legions will also get a bit of a boost as they will now have five ranks for the Brigade General to define and assign. This means more customization for Legions (also known as guilds) and each rank will have customizable guild privileges.

More functional pets will also be added to the game, giving more diversity in group makeup and solo play. Aion's had functional pets for some time now and NCsoft is looking to expand that even further.

New instances are being added. The first of which, Drana Esoterace, is a giant outdoor instance designed for group play. The instance is large enough to support its own wind stream system right within the instance itself. For those who may be unfamiliar, wind streams are tunnels of air which allow the player to travel quickly around the area by gliding through the streams - a perfect bit of fun when your character has wings.

The Empyrean Crucible is the second instance players will see and it offers a gauntlet event players can progress through. The instance supports a full group and consists of up to ten stages of five rounds each where players will face increasingly difficult opponents. The longer they can hold on to victory, the better their reward will be at the end of the event. The environment shifts and changes around the group of players as they progress through the rounds, creating a fluid change of scenery.

aion

Terrain maps have received an overhaul as they become more functional with zooming options, detailed terrain markings, and a set of toggles for various waypoints a player may find useful. The map controls and scrolling is similar to what would find in a Google-maps application.

The Empyrean Calling update launches later this month and we suspect it will be met with much rejoicing from the Aion community. Stay tuned to Ten Ton Hammer for more on Aion and the Empyrean Calling.
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