Aion has been the topic of hate and love, everybody is rushing to reach the highest level and that is exactly why I am witting this post. As much as I would like to be “hardcore” again and join in the competition, there is no way a “casual” like me can do that; instead I will point out what I have seen in the first 10 levels of Aion.
The first time Aion was installed in my computer, my enjoyment was reduced to pure anger and frustration thanks to GameGuard. What exactly is Gameguard? According to wikipedia
” nProtect GameGuard (sometimes called GG) is an anti-cheating software developed by INCA Internet. It is installed alongside many Asian massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs) such as Lineage II, 9Dragons, Cabal Online, Phantasy Star Universe, GunZ: The Duel, Flyff, Pangya and Ragnarok Online to block malicious applications and common methods of cheating. nProtect GameGuard provides B2B2C (Business to Business to Consumer) security services for online game companies and portal sites.”
You see, Gameguard is more of a problem than a solution (at least for me), my computer stopped responding twice before I could find out the problem. How ironic that in order for Gameguard to work and I could play Aion, my antivirus needed to be turned off. As of now, NCSoft has taken the problematic software out of Aion, good job NCSoft.
Upon starting the game you need to select a server and create your character, here is where Aion grabbed my attention. I can’t remember what other game offered so much customization (except the City of Heroes franchise and Champions Online) to create your own online persona. Gamebynight posted an entry in his site showing two Aion pictures: Michael Jackson and Arthas. That shows the potential and how powerful the creator can be.
Someone wanted to play as Obama in Aion.
Every single time I was in combat my eyes turned red.
The game uses Crytek’s CryEngine and it makes Aion a beautiful game that scales remarkably well on older systems.
The quest system in Aion is very simple, every quest gets logged in your journal and you can read for more information. There is a small twist, if needed you can “ask” for the location of the NPC, item or location you need to find. The campaign quests are very entertaining and gives you a sense of accomplishment in the world of Aion; the rest are pretty much the same “kill x and bring me” kind of chores quests.
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Aion’s combat is very traditional, you have your skills, auto-attack and combat movement benefits. When you’re in combat, moving forward gives you a slight damage bonus, moving backwards gives you a slight defense bonus, and strafing gives you a slight evasion bonus (kinda like AoC). Using the special attacks will trigger other set of skills to start Combo-chains.
One of my favorites things in AoC was how the NPCs in Tortage had their own voice, very inmersive and you can find that in Aion at some degree. Certain elements of the story are provided via a small movie showing mobs or locations that you need to visit. During the quest for my wings at one moment I need to fight some mobs, next thing I know the game pauses and there is a DBZ fight in the game, it was very unexpected.
That’s all for my level 10 experience and I have to say it is a very solid game that has not crashed my computer since release. Complaints? Sure, some users are still experiencing lag, and the server queues can be a pain. My plans are to reach level 25 in order to see some pvp action and decide what’s next for me; if the game becomes “grindy” (as people are saying), I might have to reconsider what to do. Aion is not innovating or game breaking; it is a new well polished MMO that will find it’s target audience and might cannibalize Lineage’s player base.
For those that plan to stay on Aion please enjoy the game to the fullest; however if you hate Aion with a passion or just don’t like it, breath, don’t give in to any temper-tantrums and wait for the “next gen” MMO that will release; after all there will be more MMOs carrying the “next gen” flag even if it is not truth.