Aion: Ooh, Impressive Developer Blather

By Jim Rossignol on June 22nd, 2009 at 6:35 pm.


Via IGN we get a massive Aion trailer (clickwards below), with the world, background, and factions explained by the American development team. Loads of game footage, plenty of action, and a general explanation of how a few aspects of how the game will play out. Looking up and seeing the other half of the world is a neat visual flourish. In fact it’s all looking rather impressive, and I’m now starting to see see why our Aion beta key giveaway was bombarded with over five thousand emails: the flying looks quite good.

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41 Comments »

  1. MrMud says:

    Its a shame the game seems to be just your generic MMO but with better graphics. At least those were my impressions after 15 or so hours with the beta

  2. somename says:

    yeeeeaaaahhh – another fantasty MMO – because we don’t have too many of those…..

  3. Flobulon says:

    I’ve not really paid much attention to this before, but it looks like perhaps I should have. I understand there’s no word of a European/British release though?

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    I understand there’s no word of a European/British release though?

    The European beta is in progress now, release date “autumn”.

  5. Fat says:

    September 25th release, from all i’ve understood.

    Just finished playing the beta, not bad… not bad for a beta at all.

    It reminds me of Lineage 2 with the control style of WoW/WAR… which is better than point-and-click (like in L2), which is also an option.

    I actually bought a beta key for £4 from a website, as i missed the pre-order offer for this weekend by a few hours, well worth it to try. Gonna preorder as soon as i can be bothered to find my debit card.

  6. Lobotomist says:

    I am hopeless MMO addict. Bought (against my better judgement) every single released MMO.

    I got 2 closed beta keys for Aion. Didnt even used them. Gave them to friends.

    Aion is generic WOW clone with better graphic that came 2 years after everyone was sick and tired with WOW clones.

    I am so glad there is at least one MMO i can pass on

  7. dafire says:

    @Lobotomist:
    maybe you should have better passed some other mmos .. most people I know had fun with aion and some are even playing it on chinese servers (with the english client)

  8. viper34j says:

    @Lobotomist

    I agree with dafire, you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this mmo. It is as accessible as WOW, but it is very different IMO. Give it a try next beta, in the beginning of July, I think you’ll like it.

  9. Koopa says:

    Aion looks nice and all, but I like looking at Lani more. <3

  10. JKjoker says:

    what ? another MMO ? how many mmos do they think ppl can play at the same time ? jeez, 1 or 2 might be succesful and the rest will fail for sure
    how about making a good single player game experience one of these days ?

    and what is it with the trend of having devs/random ppl talking during trailers lately ? they are boring, completely pointless and uninteresting, i rather watch the same footage with good music (and who the hell cares about story in a mmo where the world is static and you are mr. nobody ?)

  11. Tei says:

    Caveat: AION is cool, is one of the most beatiful mmos created to date. NO, is not like the video. Even the in-game stuff you see on the video is not that “awesomecool” as you see on the video. The video editing guys have really extract really amazing images from the game. (note: the video looks somewhat strange to me, I suppose I am not on the demographic this video is targeted, because giganteous sterile rooms don’t make it to me. Where is teh creative people? where on that dead area? wheres the pizzas box? )

  12. undead dolphin hacker says:

    I might buy it. I’m tired of WoW’s half-baked expansions and the morons that play the game, but I’m not necessarily tired of the gameplay.

    If Aion turns out to be an average of Post-WoW western MMORPGs and Korean MMORPGs in terms of hardcore-ness required, I think I’ll enjoy it. I’m tired of no-talent noobs making it to the level cap — there was a time where character level used to be an indication of player skill and experience, not only sheer hours dedicated to the game.

    WoW made the genre trivially easy to the point of completely castrating any semblance of gameplay. This is evidenced undeniably by the fact that 9 out of 10 level 80 PUGs will fail and ragequit before the first boss of a dungeon, even in the laughably easy “normal” mode.

    You can’t out-WoW WoW. Period, end of line, STOP, semicolon, [A]bort/[R]etry/[F]ail: a.

    So start making MMORPGs that are hard. Be transparent about basic mechanics and nothing else. Don’t be afraid to make content that only 5% of your players will see: that 5% will be walking around in the prettiest, shiniest, most-particle-effects-by-pixel gear and even the most casual of casuals will hang around in the false hope that someday they might look that cool too. Don’t design to ensure everyone hits the level cap. The level cap is an achievement in its own right, make it not only a status symbol but an indication of player skill and knowledge. Make a world first and then build a game around it. Show, don’t tell. Don’t try incorporating a narrative, only have a backstory and a pool of lore and say “here you go.”

    If you make WoW again, you’ll sell 2 million boxes and thirty days later have 200,000 subscribers. Thirty days after that you’ll have 125,000 if you’re lucky. And every single one of them who haven’t given up MMORPGs entirely will be back playing WoW because WoW is better at being WoW than your game is.

    Of course, two million boxes is not much to scoff at. A cynical company could make quite a pretty penny in playing to this inevitable cycle and not actually attempting to make a decent product or even “beat” WoW. Makes me wonder if anyone’s done this intentionally yet…

  13. undead dolphin hacker says:

    @JKjoker: “jeez, 1 or 2 might be succesful and the rest will fail for sure”

    Not at all. Even the “failed” MMORPGs are making money. Maintence costs are nowhere near $15/player. These games print money as long as you can keep your head above water, which isn’t hard to do at all for a big commercial release.

  14. JKjoker says:

    @undead dolphin hacker: maybe they can come ahead of the monthly costs but what about the development costs and marketing ? and i doubt all of them can “print” money if they have to compete against hundreds of them, many using a free-with-micropayments model (that i think will probably end up wining the not-that-popular-mmo market)

    and they will hurt the whole game industry in the long run, mmo players probably spend less money per month on games than your average anti-mmo player (any idea if there are studies about that ? havent seen any)

  15. Dodomaster says:

    @undead
    they may be making money but the (pre)production costs are a lot more then maintenance costs
    It takes considerable time to have all the money back they’ve put into it.

  16. DigitalSignalX says:

    THE FLYING IS A LIE.

    The game is only as vertical as the hot air coming from the PR team. That said, I still want to play it >.<

  17. Zyrusticae says:

    Like I said before, flying is unimportant. For the most part it’s a very nice touch to the game, letting you move around more quickly and in a much more aesthetically pleasing manner than simply walking. But again, adding the Z axis is just that; it adds the Z-axis. People who think that doing something so simple would transform an entire genre are simply deranged and need a good slap of reality.

    That aside, on the rather off-topic talk of MMO oversaturation: Production costs are frequently recouped by box sales, if not the first three months of subscribers. (See Age of Conan: Even if only half of the 500k remained, that’s 250,000*$15 = $3,750,000 for that month in addition to however many box sales). That said, a number of MMOs are surviving on an extremely low number of players, many going below the 6-digit mark. See Vanguard, SWG (yes, it’s still going), and even the original Asheron’s Call. Don’t ask me how they manage this; I lack the firsthand information to make any kinds of conclusions.

    Also, lol @ free-to-play MMOs superceding pay-to-play. Free-to-play MMOs are very frequently lower in production values in addition to being derivative, poorly balanced, and just not at all fun to play. See FLYFF. Or Perfect World. Or whatever else you care to dirty your mitts with.

  18. no says:

    Wow, Jade Raymond has some competition. *drool*

  19. Okami says:

    Funny. Whenever I think about MMOs and why I never play them for long and how MMOs would need to change in order for me to start playing them, I always end up with the same conclusion: They’d need to get rid of all those other pesky players who’re totally destroying my gaming experience.

    Also: Wow, it took 18 comments for somebody to comment on the fact that there was a handsome woman in the video. It’s a sad thing that this does indeed set RPS apart from most other gaming sites.

  20. JKjoker says:

    Okami seems to be implying a high GAY rate from rps readers o.O

    then again she sounds so stupid that probably turned some ppl off

  21. ids says:

    it pretty much from what i played during the beta a grind fest. The flight was great but there hardly any chr class that really stand out. Grinding for exp reminds of the what friends used to say. It like a hamster in wheel. But i think for there retail price 50 should be about 30 because there not much to it.

  22. Zyrusticae says:

    @ids

    The game has a crapload of quests and there’s not many points in the game where you actually have to grind for XP.

    Of course if you consider questing the same thing as grinding then there’s no difference there, but lots of people disagree on that point.

    Also, you can’t say there’s “not much to it” when you’re playing a level-capped beta where you aren’t even allowed to experience the meat of the game (the Abyss PvPvE portions). That’s just incredibly misleading, if not outright slander.

  23. Sonicgoo says:

    I see it has brooms and sweeping animations. I wonder if they have quests where you sweep the streets?

  24. malkav11 says:

    It looks pretty. If I get into the beta or they give out ten day trials I might try it sometime. I’m not into PvP, so the Abyss stuff doesn’t exactly excite me, and I’m dubious about the apparently very limited flying.

    As to their claim that no other MMO has offered the experience of flying, I just have to boggle. Maybe they do something with flight during combat that’s novel, but I can name at least three other MMOs that do plenty of flying just off the top of my head – WoW, City of Heroes, and Champions Online. I believe you can also fly in Anarchy Online, under some circumstances. (I.e., if you’re the right class.) I think it may have been possible in SWG as well – I never took to that game, so I don’t know for sure.

  25. NuZZ says:

    /me waits for blizzard’s next mmo.

  26. Erd says:

    @Zyrusticae

    Questing is a form of grinding, but in a much different way. You have multi-leveled ways of short mini-goals/reward system which is essentially an exp bonus (which can be little or generous) and a reward in the form of loot. This game, however, requires you to grind in the most literal way: Find the most beneficial mob for your level and kill it over and over – rinse repeat.

    The crapload of quests that you mention is a little carrot that is strung out in front of you, dangling and enticing you but never really get to eat that carrot. When you reach level 25+, there is mostly nothing but repeatable killing quests with meager incentive to do.

    I’ve played Aion China for the past 4 months and I doubt with the localization they will be changing the “hardcore-ness” of the grind.

    The flying is overrated because on the mainlands, there are *very* few parts in which you actually fly. You’ll be doing most of the flying in the Abyss. This can definitely change end-game and I hope they make this viable in subsequent patches, expansions, etc.

    I really do wish the best for the game and want it to succeed, but it really does nothing new to innovate from previous trends. At this point, I can think of it as a mild Lineage II with WoW-ish mechanics and a little window dressing in the form of glorified graphics.

  27. Noc says:

    Re: the difference between quests and grinding:

    Are the quests content? In the sense that, do they provide enough interesting things to do that they’d be fun to run through even without the rewards?

    Or are they just directed monster-killing, to separate out the grinding you’d be doing anyways into short-term chunks with rewards?

    Or, to put it another way, are the quests, you know, interesting?

  28. Erd says:

    @Noc

    They are your typical quests, namely kill X mob, deliver message, run errands, etc.

    The Mission quests however, do contain some content. In the sense, that it directly relates to the main storyline and it actually very fun to do. Notably, it ends in a cut-scene driven sequence, staring your toon, in a personalized fashion (which entices you want to complete them faster). Unfortunately, they are limited every 10 levels.

    The rest of the quests are just your typical grind quests which very *bad* rewards. Typically, you can go to the auction house and grab superior items for half the effort.

  29. Kommissar Nicko says:

    For some reason, at this very moment, the idea of another MMO being birthed into this wretched world makes me want to bash open my own skull, rip out the brains and gnaw on them.

    Which gave me an idea: an MMO where the whole point is to die.

  30. Fat says:

    I don’t know why everyone is bashing the flying in Aion. The fact that it is limited to 1 minute worth of flight every 3 minutes is great. You regen 3 seconds of flight every 6 seconds so it isn’t just some flat cooldown after usage. There is a cooldown of about 10 seconds, so you can’t take off, land, take off every second, but why would you.

    What this means is that it’s GOOD for quickly scaling or hopping over a mountain or other obstacle, chasing down a PvP target or making a quick escape yourself, or just speeding up travel.

    What it is NOT good for is floating around in the sky avoiding any PvP contact and generally being a big girl’s blouse, like you can in WoW. Flying mounts put the final nail in WoW’s world PvP coffin, and restricting use like this while still making it USEFUL for times when the terrain may call for a quick flight is great.

    It’s a Korean MMO… and for that very reason, i doubt it’ll every be as popular as WoW in the Euro/US market, but that in itself is a plus point as you won’t have the mass market of ‘tards that plague WoW. Most people don’t enjoy the grind of a Korean game or the often unforgiving rules (see Lineage 2) which keeps a LARGE portion of the kids out that you’d otherwise find in your MMO.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next beta. Was so busy with work, Father’s Day and other chores that i only just managed to get my Chanter to level 10 an hour before beta ended. Gonna level up a Warrior and Scout next time around. :))

  31. Crescent says:

    What propably annoyed me the most in the last beta was the fact that both sides are almost mirrored. Ok asmodian side is darker and colder, with slightly different terrain but it still felt strikingly familiar after playing through elyos side in the beta before that. The quests have different background stories, but they still require you to kill the exact same monsters and collect the same items as on the other side. There’s some differences, a few unique types of monsters and areas for both sides but it doesn’t make you want to play the game twice on both sides.

  32. Half Broken Glass says:

    With the amount of space Aion gets on RPS I am beginning to think some money exchanged hands somewhere.

    EVE is understandable, being one-of-a-kind MMORPG and one of the most… PC games ever made. So is WoW, because whatever one might think about it’s quality it is the undisputed master and commander of the genre and will still be one for a long time.

    But Aion? Mechanically it’s a WoW-clone – and there is one WoW-clone MMO coming out every week in Asia and I’m probably not even exaggerating – and it’s main features are… bloom and wings?

  33. Kieron Gillen says:

    I like how HBG didn’t close his italics brackets. It kind of gives the impression of him leaning closer, ever more insistent.

    KG

  34. Jim Rossignol says:

    With the amount of space Aion gets on RPS I am beginning to think some money exchanged hands somewhere.

    Oh, yeah. That must be it.

    I cover Aion because I think it looks interesting. Which is pretty much the only criteria necessary for me posting anything on RPS.

  35. simon says:

    Fantasy? AGAIN? Are people really so lacking in imagination that there has to be ANOTHER fantasy MMO?

    /me logs on to EvE.

  36. Vaemer-Riit: Sneaky Cheetah says:

    I played the beta last weekend and I had a lot of fun with it, I only hope it doesn’t end like Tabula Rasa (which is incidentally how I got a beta key)

  37. undead dolphin hacker says:

    @Okami

    Possibly because no one actually watched the trailer.

    @simon

    Why pay to play EVE when Facebook is free? It’s got all the drama and glorified IRC and mindgames that constitute the hinge of EVE’s gameplay plus it’s got a wide selection of simple minigames which more or less emulate the depth of interaction of EVE’s actual, pressing-buttons-to-do-something-other-than-scam-people gameplay.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like EVE, but I like it like a TV show or a movie: it’s much more entertaining to read about than it is to actually participate in.

  38. Tworak says:

    Fuck Aion (for releasing later in EU), more Lani.

  39. Acosta says:

    Where is the option in RPS to kill with fire the author of any comment about RPS getting money to cover anything? It would be a interesting feature to have.

    OMG, videogame page covering a videogame! scandal! outrageous!

  40. Heliocentric says:

    That option does exist, its the donate button. Donate enough and the problem poster will disappear.

  41. Acosta says:

    Would be a great idea to bid for banning or not certain posters. RPS guys would have more pennies for beer and we would have less silliness and less angry internet men.

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