Without a doubt, boasting a set of extreme-looking armor is one of the
coolest elements of any fantasy MMO. Many of those "Whoa" moments come
when a player first observes a special type of in-game armor. Out of
all the classes in Aion,
the melee-based Templar sports the best armor in the game, and
according to the NCsoft devs makes them look like "metal gods."
In our second exclusive Aion class interview, it seemed appropriate to talk about the Gladiator's more heavily armored brethren, so the Ten Ton Hammer staff quizzed the Aion team about the Templars. The answers we received were excellent. Armor, abilities, lore and more subjects were all explored, so make sure you check it out!
Ten Ton Hammer: Will the two factions in Aion have any influence on the classes that characters select? Will a Templar of one faction be stronger than a Templar of another?
NCsoft: The strength of a Templar is completely dependent on the skill set of the player, so no; being on a particular faction doesn’t give you an advantage. Each side has a rich history and background and I think that will be one of the biggest parts of why a player chooses a side.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will the Templar be seen as more of a “meat shield” type of tank, with the Gladiator being seen as a higher DPS alternative? Or will the Templar be playing a different role?
NCsoft: Calling the Templar a maestro of defense wouldn’t be far from the truth, but I wouldn’t say its only purpose is to be an Atreian punching bag. With their high defense and various shield skills, they can inflict some serious damage on their opponents. Also, depending on the situation, a Templar can change the sword, mace or shield into a great sword and can morph into a “damage delay” form. So while its attack is lower when compared to the Gladiator, it would be unwise to ignore the Templar’s powerful attacks.
Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of backstory have you given Templar characters? What is their purpose in the world? Will the Templar have any religious aspects in relation to the gods of the game?
NCsoft: The first Templars were elite soldiers chosen to be an honor guard for humanity’s grand temples—including the Tower of Eternity itself. No duty could be more prestigious, so soldiers competed fiercely to become a Templar. When the monstrous Balaur besieged all of humanity, the Templars served as a reserve force of last resort, leaving their temples only when humanity’s defenses were about to collapse. To this day, Templars quote the proverb: “When all else fails, send a Templar.”
At the start of the Abyss War, each century (100 soldiers) had 10 heavily armored Templars that would serve as living “rally points” for the other soldiers. As the war progressed, the Asmodians and Elyos started experimenting with more flexible organizations, and now Templars can be found in units large and small. But the notion of protecting the other soldiers—and being at ground zero of the fight—is never far from a Templar’s mind. Many Templars go so far as to inscribe their comrades’ names on the inside of their shield to symbolize that the shield stands between those soldiers and the perils of the Abyss.
Ten Ton Hammer: Templars seem like a very melee-oriented sort of class. How does this affect the flight mechanic in Aion? Will Templars be powerless once they leave the ground?
NCsoft: All classes are more vulnerable in the sky, but thanks to the Templar’s higher defensive skills and rating they will be more protected that most. Strategy of when to fly and when not to fly will affect the Templar’s just as much as any class.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you describe some of the Templar’s skills and abilities to the reader? What are the areas they really stand out? Do they prefer knockback sort of maneuvers?
NCsoft: Templar’s really shine in grabbing and holding agro from mobs and then smashing them back with their shield. They have direct taunts, as well as AoE taunts. Combine that with a Stigma skill that allows them to blow off the doors of a castle; they do everything they can to keep the damage off of their party members. In fact, they even have a skill that allows them to target a party member and take on their damage.
The shield is what enables knockbacks and by Level 13, the Templar already has 4 different skills utilize the shield. At first your shield will merely stun the enemy for a brief time but after you progress some more you will be able to knock enemies right to the ground. This will open the enemy up to be blasted by more chain skills by you or your group.
Ten Ton Hammer: In some games, Templar-like classes have some healing abilities. Will this be the case in Aion? Will Templar’s be able to tank and heal?
NCsoft: Yes! More specifically, they can heal themselves while tanking - they can fight with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other, while chanting spells of protection. Healing as they defend from the frontline of the battlefield is one of the best features of being a Templar.
Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of armor progression will a Templar have? Will Templar characters be given full plate from the first day? Or will they need to work through the levels to gain better armor?
NCost: Before you choose the path of the Templar you’ll play as a Warrior for the first 9 levels, at this point you have a choice of cloth, leather or chain. Once you get to level 10 and have chosen the path of the Templar you will be given the option to wear plate armor.
And even though the Templar has health increasing properties, it’s still a good idea to raise your survival rate by equipping manastones that increase health, such as Manastone: HP.
Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of weapons will a Templar be using? Are they limited in any way? Or are we going to be seeing Templars wielding all sorts of weapons?
NCsoft: The Templar is similar to the Gladiator in its equipment, but it has fewer weapons that it can choose from. The Templar’s primary weapon is the one-handed sword, mace and two-handed sword. For the defense-heavy Templar to maximize its abilities, it’s best to equip plate armor and a shield. A shield also doubles as a weapon, because it deals heavy damage and stuns. I’d say its greatest characteristic is its accurate chain skills and its various conditional skills that activate depending on the situation. When a great sword is equipped, you can still use all the chain and attack skills of the sword and mace – which is, obviously, an awesome perk. As for limitations, the Templar isn’t as mobile in combat as the other classes but it possesses more than enough defense to protect itself and its many skills for interfering with the opponent’s movements fully makes up for it.
Ten Ton Hammer: The notion of “organic armor” has been one of the more intriguing features in Aion. Will Templar armor in particular have special situational effects? Will it do anything beyond glowing in pretty colors?
NCsoft: Templar’s do have the advantage of being able to wear all 4 types of armor, cloth, leather, chain and plate. All classes will have the ability to change and manipulate their items so that they get the stats they want and the look they want. The actual armor design (look/feel) is very organic; we wanted them to be able to mix and match their armor and still have it look kick-ass, we also wanted the players to feel like they had cool looking armor from level 1. I realize it’s not a fashion show but still, it’s no fun waiting to complete a set before you look “complete”.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else you can tell the Ten Ton Hammer readers and Aion fans about the Templar?
NCsoft: The armor, flat out, rocks. When a Templar is really decked out they look like metal gods. They’ll be your opponents will instinctively target since they’re so noticeable – which is the way it should be!