Posted Thu, Sep 10, 2009 by Savanja
As launch quickly approaches, NCsoft is working towards the smooth implementation of the Aion update 1.5 that will put the North American and European version of the game up-to-date with the Korean version.
While it is no doubt no easy task to squeeze in nearly a year of additional live game content before a major launch, North American players are getting the benefit of well tested content and a fuller end game experience.
The 1.5 update has been added to open beta and continues to undergo optimization but for those who haven’t had a chance to get into beta, here is the scoop on what the finished version of the game will have available.
With more than a dozen original zones and instances, the game has been beefed up to give a broader end-game including a raised level cap to 50. Update 1.5 adds a couple of new large zones along with some interesting instances that take the high level players into an alternate timeline where war has ravaged the lands of Poeta.
Contested dungeons make gameplay a bit more interesting. The Dredgion allows both Asmodian and Elyos players to enter allowing for true PvPvE combat as players battle it out while progressing through the instance.
The Abyss has added fortress instances that take PvP to a whole new level. If you want to get into the fortresses to play, your faction has to have control!
For lower level players, the Nochsana Training Camp is a new zone intended to acclimate new players to the Abyss. Consider it to be boot camp for newbie PvP.
These are just a sample of what has been added. The new add more content, more quests, and more rewards rounding out the end game and tying together PvP and PvE in a very nice little package.
Quite possibly one of the most important additions is the class changes, new skills, and greater stigma stone slots. In a game that focuses on PvP, class balance and customization is insanely important.
First in PvP, players are discouraged from hunting in the opposing faction’s lands making the world just a little bit safer for PvE players. These opposing faction hunters will suffer penalties for not only encroaching on the lands but will suffer them faster if they are ganking lower level players. In addition, they will be shown on the map and marked as an intruder making them fair game for the region’s protectors. Kill an intruder and you will receive blessings and heroic tidings!
Classes are getting more skills and more stigma slots! Greater stigma stones have been added into game, allowing for further customization of your character. Great stigma slots have been added to receive these stones but the greater stigma slots can also be used with regular stigma stones if you haven’t picked up a greater stigma stone just yet.
A whole lot of new skills are being added, mostly for levels 45-50 which beta players haven’t experienced yet and won’t until after release. Tweaks were made across the board and players will find several skill alterations for every class in game. These alterations are made in the name of balance and while you will be seeing quite a few decreases in skills (or nerfs) you’ll also get many increases. Click here for the full list of class skill changes.
For the casual players, the awesome idea of “Repose” has given you a boost to make things just a little easier when you struggle to keep up with the bulk of the player base. Repose builds over time when you are logged out of game so that when you log in, you can enjoy a 20-30% increase in experience when killing enemies in PvE or fighting in PvP! This is a nice bonus for the weekend warriors who don’t get to play as often as they’d like to but still want to be competitive in game.
As part of the localization, large amounts of smaller features have made it into game at the request of the player base. Some of the highlights include:
So far, NCsoft has been very on the ball with player requests. Feedback is being heard and utilized in some cases, so all are invited to join the open beta and share your own feedback. To see a video preview of some of the 1.5 update features, check out Sardu's PAX video interview with NCsoft's Lani Blazier. If you haven’t picked up an Aion beta key yet, then you can finally get in for the low, low cost of free. For a limited time, Fileplanet is offering beta keys with registration, no purchase required. This is your chance to check out what could be the game of the year before it goes live!