Over the last year since Aion's North American and European launch, NCsoft has been striving to make the game
better and working to address the concerns of the playerbase.
Part of this has been the recent massive 1.9 update that introduced UI changes,
dungeon requirement changes, cheaper in-game money sinks, and daily quests to
fill in content holes. While the update went a long way in boosting player
morale, many are still looking towards the next big thing in
Aion, and the
on Balaurea, fits that bill!
Aion's first expansion goes live next month on September 7th, 2010 and with
it brings tons of end game content, a level cap raise, new zones, new dungeons,
and new features for players of all levels to enjoy. One such feature is the new
pet system. These dedicated little creatures will soon be every player's best friend! We wanted to find out more about Aion pets so Ten Ton Hammer's
Reuben "Sardu" Waters got in a few minutes with Aion Associate Producer Sean
Neil to talk a bit about the expansion and the pet system. Find out now how you
can snag up one (or many) of these fun expansion additions for your very own.
Ten Ton Hammer: Companion pets are being introduced into Aion with the
next expansion and are a very fun and exciting addition. Can you tell us a bit
about what these pets are and what what they will do for players?
Aw! So cute!
Sean Neil: We decided that regular vanity pets were not the only kind of pets
that players wanted to see so we wanted to introduce functionality with these
pets without altering gameplay. We'll have several types of pets available at
launch. First, we have the companion pet which is the typical trophy vanity pet.
Then we have signal pets whose purpose is to keep you safe from enemy
players. Like everyone else I have been out gathering flowers and have had an
enemy player come out of nowhere to gank me. These pets will be your little
siren that will let you know when danger is near so you can either pack it up
and run or get ready for a fight.
We will also have pack pets which are
basically warehouse storage. They range anywhere from six to twenty-four slots
and are functional storage that you can use even if the pet is put away. He has
to be active to access his pack, but you can use his storage and then put him
away to use a different pet and your stuff is still there.
There will also be
fortune pets, previously referred to as production pets. What these guys do is
when they are really hungry, you feed them junk items and when they are all full
up they will give you a little present that will range from little packs of
potions to green or blue items, manastones, or enchantment stones. They have a
huge variety of different items they will give you and they are random little
packs that you will receive. Finally, we have purebred pets which are
multi-function pets. A purebred could be a signal and a pack pet or a signal,
pack, and fortune pet. These are a sort of all purpose type of pet.
You'll have about 100 slots for your pet list and none of the pets will take
up inventory space. You receive them as an egg or a bag then you'll go to the
pet vendor to learn your pet at which point you can name it. You can learn up to
100 pets but you can only learn each pet once. Each pet likes to be unique so if
you learn a panda, then you won't be able to learn another panda while you still
have the first one. Each pet will take up one slot in your pet list but they
will all be unique.
Ten Ton Hammer: How will players acquire these new pets?
Sean Neil: There are multiple ways to get them. First, if you pick up a box
copy of Assault on Balaurea that will come with limited availability pet. In
game there is a vendor who will sell pets of all different types. More rare
versions of the pets will definitely be drops. We will also have pets available
as vet rewards and through promotions.
Ten Ton Hammer: With the fortune pets you mentioned that you will feed
them items. What kind of items will you be feeding them?
Sean Neil: It is specific junk items that you will feed the fortune pets. If
you try to feed them something they don't want, they will tell you. As players
will find, it is mostly grey items that they will eat and there will be an
opportunity at some point to buy food for them in game as well. It will depend
on what type of production pet you have. If you have a pet that produces dye, it
may only eat a specific type of root. A pet that produces manastones may eat a
specific type of biscuit that you have to get for him. Some pets will tell you
what they need and some don't so you'll have to figure it out.
Ten Ton Hammer: You have 100 slots for pets, how will you keep track of
all those? Will there be a new UI element?
Sean Neil: Yes, after you learn it you'll have a new pet list UI element.
When you open the UI window you will get a little icon of what the pet is, a
column with the pet's name, and another column with the pet's function, if it
has one, then you can sort by any of those columns to find which pet you want.
There is a summon button on there so you can summon the pet once you've found
it. There is also a pet information window that tells you what each pet's
functions are, what their current name is, and if they eat there will be a tab
that shows their current state of hunger.
Ten Ton Hammer: What will interaction with the pets be like?
Sean Neil: They will follow you, they stick pretty close to their owners, but
there aren't any commands. When you're playing with these little guys it's
pretty immersive to see them. You're flying through a windstream and you have
your little pig flying behind you with little white wings, it's really cool and
you feel like you've got someone out there with you.
There is a simple quest you will get when entering the city that will award
you a praise pet emote that will trigger a unique animation that your pet does.
When the pet is eating it has its own animation, if you're running too fast and
get too far away from them they have a special animation, if you're flying they
have a special flight animation to follow behind you. They have a lot of
different animations for everything that they do.
If only my real life house pets left "packages" that
Ten Ton Hammer: You mentioned that you can only have one specific kind of
pet of each kind. Like the panda, for example, if you pick up another panda can
you trade it with other players?
Sean Neil: The pets that are dropped will be tradable and sellable. The more
rare pets may be untradable but for the most part the pets that you find in
game will be tradable as eggs. Once you've learned that pet though, it won't be
tradable and is yours forever unless you set him free or abandon him.
Ten Ton Hammer: With the pack pets, will you be able to acquire multiple
pack pets to gain additional slots?
Sean Neil: Yeah, as long as they are unique. As an example, when the game
launches there will be, I believe two different pack pets on the vendor
available for purchase. They are each a different type of pet so you can learn
each one and you'll have access to both of their inventories once you summon
them. So you could have twenty or thirty different pack pets that have
inventories you can use but none of them can be the same type creature.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will there be any faction specific pets?
Sean Neil: Currently we don't have any but that doesn't mean in the future we
Ten Ton Hammer: Other than the signal pets, are there any others that
perform that sort of gameplay function?
Sean Neil: Not right now there isn't but the system has proven to be popular
so far so I think that once it hits here in the western market that it will get
even more popular. We are working in conjunction with creative and developing to
create more pets and we will be able to devise even more functions while we come
up with more and more ideas for pets.
Ten Ton Hammer: If you play a pet class, such as the Spiritmaster, will
there be any issues with having multiple pets out at once?
Sean Neil: No, not at all. They will be on a completely different system and
the pets won't have any effect on gameplay or combat.
We'd like to thank Sean for taking the time to talk with us and sharing with
Aion players about the new expansion and the pet system. Be sure to look for
Aion: Assault on Balaurea on September 7th. It is free for Aion subscribers but
if you want those limited edition pets, be sure to pick up the box version of
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Aion Game Page.