Aion: First Impressions

Aion, the long awaited MMOG which was first announced back in 2006 has finally arrived in the West after a record breaking run in the East. It's done extrem

the long awaited MMOG which was first announced back in 2006 has
finally arrived in the West after a record breaking run in the East.
It's done extremely well not only in sales...
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the long awaited MMOG which was first announced back in 2006 has
finally arrived in the West after a record breaking run in the East.
It's done extremely well not only in sales but in recent polls,
averaging much higher than previous MMOG releases. Its potential for
high subscription retention is due to the confidence players have in a
pre-released game. We all know that if a game can retain
and grow that player base, good things are in store.

Aion for me is bitter sweet, simply put. Coming into the game I was
statistically like some of you, a WoW player, having played the game
for years and finally throwing in the towel. The Cataclysm stuff didn't
really help; its the same content with fresh make-up. I still am
partial to kicking into other NCSoft games like Guild Wars; nothing
beats a well developed game with no fee - but I had made up my mind
regarding Aion during the Closed Beta events. Bottom line is the game
is something new and innovative, and I think that sold many players.

So what's new and innovative? Well to be honest, I would say just about
everything. I refrain saying everything completely, because you'll
still pick up those familiar MMO controls, why would you want to lose
yourself all over again at the helm when there is so much more to see
and explore? They can be bound any way you like, should you choose to
be one of those players. The fun comes in once you attain level 9 and
ascend. People say it's 10 but you're technically a Daeva and can use
your long awaited wings before. All you lack is a Ceremony and gaining
level 10, which you do upon completion. Oh, and be sure to knock out
any quests you have in Poeta before ascension, though you always have
the option to go back and do them later on.

I've been following the game and its development for quite awhile now,
and I have to say their community involvement has played a large part
in their success. Anyone who remembers the GameGuard virus will vouch
for this. Our international friends in the Baltic regions will make
mention of their not having to play in objectionable areas, violating
their moral responsibilities. Our Oceanic and roleplaying communities
will recognize the unique chances they had to make a difference in
which servers will be theirs. This unique decision by the company has
given the community at large awesome power, and this will only prove
more useful as time goes on.

In terms of game-play and mechanics, if you're looking for an MMOG
without the grind you should forget the leveling system in a game like
this. If you have something completely different in mind, this game is
not for you. However, if you like leveling and you have an appreciation
for the recognition you get later on, by all means this is for you. My
only gripe is that you should not compare this game to WoW as the PvP
systems are completely different, and the group structuring and over
all dynamics of team play are also much different. The only thing
remaining is the trinity - aka healer/tank/DPS classes. Of course there
are other similarities such as having a 2 faction system and at least 1
non player faction.  

The game itself is very linear as you progress, but hopefully with the
next few content patches this will become a bit looser. Crafting and
gathering are, very much a time sink. If you want to be the best you'll
have to earn it. It really does take some effort get there. The
crafting system is expected to be expanded also which may help broaden
its appeal. There is very much in the way of lore, for you lore junkies
out there. I love a game with good lore, and I see the potential for
much more down the road.

The PvP system returns us back to the good ole' structure system where
you can see where you are, and you do lose your rank to gain equipment,
instead of attaining rank just to acquire it. You can be awesome with
equipement and regain your rank because you have it, or you can be good
without it, either way your opponents will judge you by your rank.
Being killed does degrade your rank, also.

The Abyss is a game unto itself almost. There are so many variables
here, so don't turn your back too long. Someone is sure to sneak up on
you the moment you do. But the Abyss is also home to the fiercest
battles in the game. You'll learn to have fun here even if you say, "I
don't like PvP." Because the game is just so damn fun, there's so much
to do and if you don't fall in love with the PvP, you'll definitely
fall in love with the view. So put that Tandy 1000 away, and give this
game a try.

My overall impression of Aion is that
this is a solid game. The game is created very well, and with a very
talented staff which has turned this into a game that the world can
enjoy. I do not see many shortfalls here with the removal of GameGuard.
A positive company decision  here went a long way. I think
this game will show its true colors in 6 months to a year when they
start promoting expansions and such to keep us all interested.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Aion Game Page.

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