Last week, the Ten Ton Hammer staff had the fantastic opportunity to
sit down with fiifty MMO
fans and Ten Ton Hammer readers in a Vooncast focused specifically on
NCsoft’s upcoming MMO, Aion: The Tower of Eternity
Aion has been such a popular topic, the Ten Ton Hammer staff quickly
transcribed the entirety of the Aion
and we now have the text version up for you
to enjoy. But, if you really want to listen to the subtle nuances
hinted at in the Vooncast, make
sure you click here
*Please Note: The text
has been modified for easier reading. It may not be word-for-word. All
game references remain the same.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you
give us a quick status update on Aion and how it’s
testing the game with our friends and family right now, and
we’re have a lot of fun. There are a lot of people that are
probably playing the game more than they should, but that’s a
We’re moving towards a fall release, and the localization
team is working hard on the content. And we do have a lot of content.
Not only are we working with what was released back in November, but
we’re looking at all the other content that’s been
released since then as well.
It’s quite an undertaking. We want players to be wholly
immersed in this game, and we want them to feel like it’s
been culturally made for them. We don’t want players to feel
like they’re taking part in this odd, foreign world. It still
has to make sense, even when you can fly or when you see three eyed
goats. There still has to be a cultural footprint.
you’re right. We do get asked quite a bit about the
localization process and why it’s taking so long when the
game’s already launched in Korea.
The truth of the matter is that it’s not just a direct
translation. We’re not going through all of the written words
and just translating it into English. There are a lot of inside jokes
that are culturally relevant to specific countries, so what
we’re doing is more – and this is what we call it
internally – a culturalization process. We’re
taking everything that’s written and making it relevant to
our Western market.
We’ve hired a team of published fantasy writers that are now
working on this all the time. It’s a big task; definitely no
Ten Ton Hammer: And these
are writers, and not just translators?
Exactly. We do go ahead and get it translated, but then we
“rewrite” it. These writers have worked on previous
titles before for other Western developed games. We really want the
quality to be high; we don’t just want to correct the grammar
of the translators. That’ll get you nowhere.
Ten Ton Hammer: The idea
of crafting in Aion has been a little bit misconstrued in the
community. Can you talk a little bit about crafting in Aion? Is it like
a traditional MMO? Or a little different?
give a lot of option in our crafting system. You’ll actually
be able to pick up every profession: weaponsmith, armorsmith,
alchemist… You can take all of those – I think
– up a few hundred points. At that time, you’ll
need to choose one of those to take up to an expert level. We try to
give everyone a little bit of everything, it’s kinda similar
to our class system as well.
Crafting really goes through and fills in the gaps in the game. A great
example of this is that you can get store bought gear, drop gear, quest
gear, and crafted gear. You’ll get quest and drop gear at
random intervals throughout your leveling progression, but store bought
gear you’ll only get at levels 10, 15, or 20 thereabouts.
Crafting gear you’ll be able to access between the store
bought intervals, like at level 13, 17, and higher.
It will always be worth it for crafters to make their gear. If
you’ve got two sets of armor at level 20, we don’t
necessarily want the weaker set to be the crafter gear. On top of that,
you’ll have the chance to create special items as a crafter.
These are items that are much more valuable.
Then, of course, there’s all the consumable professions as
Ten Ton Hammer:
It’s funny that you mention that crafting will
“fill in the gaps” because one of the concerns is
that particular classes – for instance the
Gladiator – have to rely wholly on store bought
gear. Is that just a problem until the crafters really begin to get
into the game?
and no. I’m pretty much relying exclusively on questing gear
right now, and I’ve filled in a couple pieces. But
I’m also playing on an employee populated server where there
isn’t this huge bustling economy. That said, crafting is one
thing I generally let my wife do, and she helps me gear up so I can go
Everyone has their thing. Some people love crafting, and they do it all
day. But for others, not so much.
Ten Ton Hammer: Could you
talk a little bit about melee combat, since we have these
class interviews that are featuring these hefty, melee style
classes? Maybe touch on the philosophy of combat in Aion and how flight
changes the dynamic of the game.
Flight definitely adds a huge dynamic to combat. That’s so
true. There are other things now that you have to think about.
For example, anytime that you’re actually in the air, your
defenses decrease so you’re actually a bit more vulnerable.
So you can’t just get everybody to fly above a monster or an
opponent and start hammering down on him.
You also have to take into account your flight time and speed. There
are certain buffs and effects you can give to yourself to increase the
time and the speed you can fly.
it goes both ways. You can have a character that’s focused on
flight, but you can also be “ground-heavy.”