Aion Release Trailer, Are You Playing?

By Jim Rossignol on September 21st, 2009 at 8:08 am.


Aion is out tomorrow in Europe and North America, and the pre-order has been topping direct-download charts for weeks. But are you going to be playing? Did you get on the beta? Did you pre-order? Have you signed up for the full game? If you are playing, what’s the appeal? Do those wings really make all the difference? Or is this a case of hype over content? RPS communal-voicebrain: speak!

, .

102 Comments »

  1. Rob says:

    I never got to play, but I don’t really mind. It looked like a generic MMORPG and the wings were a real turn off.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      “It looked like a generic MMO and the non-generic elements like aerial combat and an actual flight engine that feels like flying turned me off” – What?

  2. Spoon says:

    I’ve heard a lot of people AREN’T playing, because the queue times are murder. But I digress, that’s all hearsay. I tend to be allergic to MMOs made by Koreans. It’s usually the heavy grinding or the insistence to use nProtect GameGuard.

    I know Aion has disabled GameGuard to try to facilitate a smooth launch, but they’ll bring it back as soon as they can.

    • Paxeh says:

      “I tend to be allergic to MMOs made by Koreans.” — I totally agree with this but not because of Koreans. It’s the art and the general idea that these games project into my brain tissue that makes me reel in terror. After playing Guild Wars for 6 months I just got allergic to anything that feels or looks like the cliche Asian mmo.

      I’m not totally going to write it off though; I’ll genuinly try it in about a month or 6 when I’m sure all the pre-order hype children have angrily quit playing the game after the launch for whatever reason and NCSoft manages to tweak the game and iron out any obvious launch bugs.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Right, because WoW doesn’t involve insane amounts of grinding??? You must be kidding me… in the end MMOs in general are all about grinding and it’s a sad thing to see this generalization is still very valid these days.

      I’m already getting tired of all these MMOs that basically without exception tend to rip players off like crazy.

    • malkav11 says:

      There’s grinding and there’s grinding. Around the days of Everquest, you were pretty much supposed to find areas with monsters you could kill efficiently and camp them until you’d levelled up enough to need to find a new set of monsters. That’s pure, soulless, crushing grind and one reason I never really got into MMOs of that era. I think Aion may be the first Korean MMO that’s figured out it might be time to move past that into something a little more WoW-like. With WoW there’s some late game grind running dungeons and raids until you’re sufficiently geared for the next tier of content, but along the way you’re spending your time with quests and storylines and vehicular stories and murloc disguises and stuff. -That’s- fun.

  3. Prankster says:

    I would like to say i’am not playing this as it seems to do nothing new, but then i have just started a trial in DDO, so go figure ;p

  4. Daedren says:

    I think the failures of AoC and Warhammer Online have turned a lot of veteran MMOers off of MMO’s, especially “run of the mill” ones like Aion.

    I’m sure the hearty fanbase will contest that Aion is new, fresh, exciting, or whatever – but the bottom line is it’s still a fantasy MMO where you’re running around trying to hit max level by the way of mass genocide. The fact that it’s a Korean based MMO makes anyone that played Lineage or anything like it very wary of the probably grindfest / timesink that it will involve.

    Another limiting factor is the 2 race “Civil War” thing. Pretty much Alliance vs. Horde all over again, except you can only play Human or “Slightly different looking human” races. Also, 1 Tanking class and 1 Healing class. Yay. ;P

    Good God, it’s almost 2010. Give me a solid game with a skill based progression system. We’re tired of levels. We’re tired of health bars and exp bars and unchanging AI mobs.

    /rant off

    Yeah, I’ll probably end up playing it. : P

    • Dave says:

      Good God, it’s almost 2010. Give me a solid game with a skill based progression system. We’re tired of levels.

      How soon people forget Ultima Online. Skill-based progression systems are not new, exciting, or inherently any better than levels. Designers keep going with levels not because they are not creative, but because they work better.

      I say this as a former GM in DragonRealms, which was a hybrid skill- and level- based game. It was never as popular as our other game, GemStone, which was purely level based. The skill stuff really is a HUGE turnoff for many people once they find out what is involved.

    • Clovis says:

      I think I’ll pass on Ultima Online..

      BTW, I really enjoyed DragonRealms. Playing that pretty much ruined me for MMOs. They all just seem so simplistic, boring, and carebeared compared to DR. The empaths in DR were the best healer class evar!!1!

    • Daedren says:

      Me, forget about Ultima Online? Blasphemy!

      http://www.r1ft.com/uncategorized/first-love-a-tribute-to-the-magic-that-was-ultima-online/

      I didn’t say they were new, but I will argue that they are exciting. Sure, skill “grinding” or skilling-up just might be leveling in a leisure suit, but it’s still A) more realistic and B) more fun, for a lot of people. SWG pre-Fucked was a shining example of this.

      The mentality of “customers can’t handle system X” is precisely why we’re fed failed WoW-clone one after another.

    • PHeMoX says:

      What is UP with you people. World of Warcraft has the very same grindfest going on and everyone seems to pretend on Korean MMOs do this. Lineage and Everquest have been the very model World of Warcraft was based on basically. It’s very odd to read these kinds of comments all over the place.

    • lethu says:

      You obviously didn’t try EVE-Online. Did you ?

  5. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Personally, I’m not that interested beause the art style isn’t my thing. That, and I’m pretty happily going without an MMO for a while with enough games to keep me quite busy (just got BloodBowl, for example).

  6. weegosan says:

    I only managed to get about 2 hours of the beta due to downloading/connecting/queue problems but no doubt I will buy it, just as I bought every other MMO since WoW came out, desperately hoping that at some point someone other than Blizzard in the MMO market might show something akin to a spark of imagination and creativity. Not that I have anything against Blizzard (far from it, I’m a long time 2 account WoWer) , but a bit of variation is never a bad thing.

    For the love of God I even bought Tabula Rasa!

  7. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I’m stuck with Dungeon and Dragons Online right now…with a right group it’s a great MMO (and different from WOW and more like, say, EverQuest II), I may as well buy my first points since the beta (all the points are gone T_T).
    Playing irregularly (so the fixed subscription is not what I like much), I’m so happy I finally found some good f2p MMO that I can play&pay when I want…

  8. Nostra says:

    @ Daedran

    Mortal Online might be something you would be interested. I is going a new way with a kind of Sandbox approach in a Fantasy World.

  9. ColdCoffee says:

    A lot of hype around this from the burned Warhammer community. They say this has good PvP similar to daoc… Everyone is going over to Aion and leaving what is left of WAR to rot. Well I played the Closed Beta I wasn’t to impressed with overall combat and art style. It’s Korean made you can’t get past that. Really the only reason people are talking about Aion is because noting else is coming out. I want something fresh and AION is just more of same. Plenty of non-mmo pc games out there to keep me busy while this blows over.

  10. GibletHead2000 says:

    I downloaded the beta and created an account. Then a friend told me how much grinding he’d had to do just to get his wings, so I skipped. I don’t really have the time to play a grindy MMO.

    • Lafinass says:

      Huh?

      You get your wings at 10 at the same time you get to pick your class specification. Dunno what your friend is on about.

  11. Daedren says:

    Hey, isn’t Fallen Earth coming out as well tomorrow?

    RPS guys, I’m waiting on your thoughts on that! Should be entertaining. ;)

    @Nostra: It looked interesting, though most that I’ve talked to that have played the closed beta have said it’s looking a lot like Darkfall. Though the Fantasy based theme makes me nerdrage a bit, I’ll still give it an honest look.

    @ColdCoffee: I agree – similar to what happened with AoC. People were so hungry for anything not-WoW that they were not reasonable. AIONNNNNNNNNNNN BRAINS!

    • jwc says:

      Played it in beta. Unbelievably boring. From the level of polish I saw, it shoulda been free to play.

  12. Ingenu says:

    I played the beta last week, the soundtrack is amazing, and the graphics are nice, but there was nothing compeling in the gameplay, no reason to play it for me.
    The fact that you couldn’t fly in a lot of areas just after getting your wings didn’t help either.

  13. Choca says:

    As usual with new MMO it’s gonna be the BEST GAME EVER until it finally comes out and turns out to be the same crap as every other grindfest on the market. Yay.

    • Wooly says:

      Pretty much this. It gives you wings. Ok, but it’s still a generic grindfest like every other goddamn MMO.

      The only MMO I’ve really enjoyed was Guild Wars, since it didn’t rip you off money-wise, and the low level cap made skill actually worth something, instead of how much free time you have to waste grinding creeps to get to the “real meat” of the game, aka the level 80 xp cap.

  14. def says:

    As a beta tester I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions:
    - it’s a very quest- and pvp-focused leveling system (doesn’t mean you can’t gain wealth in both xp and money through grinding)
    - flying in aion is more than means of transportation, which adds a lot more depth to endgame (in Aion, endgame starts around level 30)
    - I’d take 1 tank, 1 heal, 1 buff and 1 debuff class any day over the senseless unbalanceable mess that is WoW

    It can be fun, but I think a lot of MMO gamers of the “WoW generation” will leave the game before long, since it doesn’t cater to their idea of effort vs. reward.

    • PHeMoX says:

      “- it’s a very quest- and pvp-focused leveling system (doesn’t mean you can’t gain wealth in both xp and money through grinding)”

      Right, but fans from WoW say the very same thing. You’ll get higher rewards for quests obviously, but to be honest, the main grinding is quite essential to quickly level up, isn’t it?

  15. Jye Nicolson says:

    Never play in the first six months :) I’ll check it out when it’s stabilised.

    • def says:

      You actually SHOULD play in the first 6 months, because that is when communitys emerge and the spirit of exploration leads to great, funny or dramatic events, that the server’s inhabitant will be talking about for ages.
      Yes, some games die throughout this time, but if you’re in it for the game, there will be such moments, that will be remembered forever, even if it eventually crashes and burns.

    • Butler` says:

      Ye all MMOs are at their best in the first two weeks. Even AOC and WAR were worth the price of admission for a while just to be the first to go there / do that / make that talent spec / get that item.

  16. MaskedSolitude says:

    Well personally I love Aion since the closed/open beta stages and through class progression it is excellent! I agree it can be a bit grindy but i love that! how else would you level in an MMO without making the game more instanced rather than open world?

    The likeness to WoW is comfortable. Any WoW player could come accross to Aion and feel instantly comfortable with it’s play style.

    The wings when you reach lvl10 are brilliant and add a lot of “depth” to the game and give each environment the 3D element. Also when it comes to battles they are essential in tactics.

    PvP is intense and with the wings breathtaking! this is one thing Aion holds over WoW the PvP is just AMAZING!

    It does have it’s flaws but all in all another great MMO from ncsoft!

    • jwc says:

      Up to level 28 in Champions Online. No grind to be seen. Way better than Aion/WoW.

  17. def says:

    @GibletHead2000
    If your friend needed to grind at all in the newbie zone (Levels 1 to 9), he told you bullcrap. Even if he just did the minimum amount of mob killing required for the quests and skipped all the XP gained through gathering (yeah, you heard right), he would be level 9 and thus able to ascend and gain access to his wings without a problem.

    There will be times from level 20 onwards, when quests will not account for 100% of the XP needed to level up. This is intended, since they want you to start participating in PvPvE around that level range. Because that is, what the game is all about. People who regard the road from 1 to 50 as one huge speedgrindfest to the finish line will a) loose out on a lot of neat gaming experience and b) be smacked in the face by players 10 levels lower but decked out in stigmata and who actually got to learn playing their class.

  18. Mawich says:

    I got put off a bit by the whole ‘oh we have an MMO where you get to fly a lot, but you can’t actually fly in all these areas’ thing.

    To be honest though I’ve not looked into it any more than that, but since I’m playing Champions Online, I don’t think I should be looking at any other MMOs right now. I try to stick to one at a time if at all possible.

  19. progtology. says:

    Tried the closed beta and didn’t like it at all.
    As much as people keep telling me “its nothing like WoW”, to me it feels the same.
    The grind, the two factions, the fantasy artwork/scenery.
    Maybe it is different….. maybe I just don’t play enough MMORPG’s to notice it…..

  20. MaskedSolitude says:

    @progtology
    erm……the similarities you have defined are incorrect. The grind is there but is so little that it should not even come into consideration. The two factions, yes ok, there are two factions but even the “much hyped” The old Republic is going to have two factions. And as for the fantasy artwork and scenary arn’t all MMO’s fantasy based. The artwork is “obviously” completely different to WoW. Think you have a hidden hatred for MMO’s there my friend!

    • progtology. says:

      @MaskedSolitude

      Yes indeed I have a personal Vendetta against MMO’s ever since it killed my cat…..

      Personally I think that it looks like NCSoft have taken WoW and tried to improve rather that try something new.
      I will admit that the grind is considerably less than WoW, in terms of quest drop rates and with quests giving enough XP to level (incidentally havent Blizzard increased drop rates and XP in WoW recently?).
      As for artwork, yes its “obviously ” different but try telling me that it wouldnt look out of place in WoW.

      Also not all MMO’s are fantasy based, there are a few space based ones (EVE, Jumpgate), theres a spy MMO (The Agency), superhero based (Champions Online, City of Heroes), football management (Football Manager Live) I could go on…….

    • PHeMoX says:

      The two factions are quite obviously a result of Good vs. Bad aren’t they? The very same will be true in virtually any game that has at least two factions. I wouldn’t consider this copy cat behavior of developers, but rather basic content in the abstract sense of the word.

      When it comes to art design though… too much games are trying to imitate.

  21. nine says:

    My thoughts: some MMO called fallen earth just got a news page in the Steam news popup thing and you guys haven’t mentioned it yet! At least tell us if you’re really worried it will be sh*t.

  22. Psychopomp says:

    @Nine

    It’s been mentioned a lot. I’ve heard nothing but bad about it in various comments threads.

    • CMaster says:

      The reason for hearing nothing but bad about it in previous comments threads was that when those articles went up the NDA was still in place. So those who liked the beta enough to want to continue playing it couldn’t say anything for risk of being banned.

      That said, the game is a dissapointment – you really need to go into it with friends already, unless Launch ends up rather different from beta. It does nothing at all to help you find groups and played on its own it is pretty poor. The FPS-like combat feels rather fake and you soon end up with 36+ different abilities to manage. The world overal feels fake and the storytelling is poor, although some of the stories themselves are good. I played beta for 2-3 months and am not playing it now, partly because the FE dev team have given no incentive to whatsoever. Their plan is to not provide “endgame” content, but to keep developing content to just over 3x what is there now. At the same time, they are continuously fixing bugs and improving balance (which is good and all) – but the question is why pay and play now, when you could wait ~12 months until after the bulk of new content is out. Overall my two biggest issues with FE is while it breaks away from a few MMO-tropes (skill based system, post-apoc setting, FPS-like combat), it keeps far too many that don’t really fit with what they are trying to do (hotbar full of slight stat tweaking actions, towns are nothing more than collections of quest givers) and doesn’t make enough of what it can do – there’s no rewards for exploring the vast world. The other big issue is that it is a game that genuinley believes in making you work for things. Combat has to be prepared for by hours off crafting ammo, food and repairs for armour (thankfuly this can all be done while offline). Travel takes up huge chunks of time even with vehicles – it can be 20 minutes + journeytime for you sometimes. Important equipment and skills are always just that bit too expensive for you. Crafting important stuff involves time spent scavneging scrap and harvesting plants.

      I wouldn’t buy it without a trial. If you do try it, stay beyond the first hour – sadly, almost nobody enjoys their first hour in FE – you have to give it 3-4 hours before you know if you’ll like it. Most people won’t. Some however will find that it is exactly what they have been looking for. Not me though.

  23. MaskedSolitude says:

    @ Nine

    Avoid Fallen Earth if possible wait for a trial to see if you like it. It is very buggy and the graphics are very dated feeling! I expect this one to go Free to Play not long after launch. My opinion anyhoo! :):)

  24. Nevarion says:

    What MaskedSolitude said. Graphics don’t make the game but, least for me, the whole package just doesn’t make the cut and I cannot really put the finger on it.

    • PHeMoX says:

      The graphics are dated? Since when has that become an issue with MMOs? WoW still looks like outdated crap, although many people seem to like the overall STYLE.

      I really don’t agree with the statement that Fallen Earth looks outdated. It certainly looks less impressive than say S.T.A.L.K.E.R or Half-life 2, two games that seem to come close when it comes to style.

      Anyways, I have no experience when it comes to the gameplay though. Might be crappy!

  25. no says:

    It looks like every other asian MMO I’ve ever seen, which differentiates it only slightly from every MMO I’ve ever seen. I’ll probably skip it and then check out Fallen Earth, which I’m sure I’ll waste $50+ on to play for two weeks before realizing I’ve been suckered into yet another pointless “single player game with multiple people on the same server” treadmill piece of crap just like I did with Champions Online (which I actually only played about four hours before never touching a gain and realizing I’d wasted $50 on an MMO box for the 800th time).

    • PHeMoX says:

      @no:

      Maybe you are like me, MMOs just aren’t for us? I expect games to be deep, have engaging story lines, not crappy treadmills of grinding, leveling up for the sake of leveling up basically… gosh, there’s so much stuff they could improve upon.

      When I’m honest, the most impressive MMO so far, has always been EVE online, but I’m not quite that much of a die-hard space /sci-fi MMO fan to really feel like I need to dive into that one.

  26. MaskedSolitude says:

    Just another point about Aion. :)

    The character creator is phenomenol! Within it you can creat various different familiar races from various fantasy backgrounds have seen halflings and dwarfs roaming around and what can only be described as fairy’s. Tiny characters! LOL!

    • Koozer says:

      Can I make zombie dragons? Disco robots? An alien with a beard?
      You really can’t call the Aion character creator phenomenal if you’ve played a certain other 2 similar games before. If you compare it to similar standard fantasy MMO’s I admit it is an improvement over most, except possibly AoC.

    • ascagnel says:

      Please don’t feed the trolls (or spambots).

    • PHeMoX says:

      He’s got a good point though. Character customization is important in MMOs, you really don’t want to see the same combinations of attributes and facial / body characteristics.

      Another thing that could elevate the overall experience if done right.

  27. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Creating “familiar races” from just about every single vanilla medieval fantasy setting in existence is probably a big no for some players, if not many – but then again that seems to be Aion’s angle. Perhaps more disappointing than finding copies of well established heroes in comics while playing Champions Online, is to find people who go about creating elves, especially drow. Drow! I thought the whole exotic race with added dominatrixisms had cooled off by now. At least create tarts in the glorious tradition of superheroines, like Power Girl.

    I will probably *have* to play Aion in any case, although (un)fortunately(?) I haven’t yet been contaminated by Korean MMOs, so I’m not finding any particular reason to dislike it. If the grind is as high as people make it out to be, though…

  28. TwoDaemon says:

    Having played in the open beta, I did enjoy the wings and felt ascending was more than fast enough – indeed, levelling suddenly feels oddly slow once you crack level 10, as the previous nine went like a blur.
    On the other hand, it doesn’t change enough. In a fundamental sense in all things it is still the basic WoW model with some shiny bits on. Which is fine – if that’s what you’re after, Aion is one of the better examples of that kind of gameplay. Sadly, what I want is something genuinely new, so it was unable to hold my attention.
    I should note that I didn’t reach the Abyss, so I can’t comment and am not commenting on the PvP. However, it is my opinion that no matter how good it is, if I can’t bring myself to get that far it doesn’t count for anything. Others may disagree.

  29. Skalpadda says:

    It is definitely not the new revolutionary MMO we’re all waiting for, but I’m playing it and so far enjoying it a lot. Although I only had a quick stab at the beta it was enough to convince me that it’s a good enough diversion and offers enough interesting exploration to be worth a go.

    I enjoy the art direction (the environments and enemy designs are great, and you *can* make an interesting character with the character creator if you put some effort into it) and the combat is visceral and entertaining even though it’s very standard MMO stabbing and setting things on fire with cooldowns and cast bars (granted, it has some neat additions and twists). The quests are almost all “Go there and kill X of that”, but there’s an underlying storyline that’s rather entertaining and the dialogues and cutscenes add a lot of charm to it all.

    For me it manages to capture enough interest to be fun, and having the opportunity to play it with good friends seals the deal. The thing that makes or breaks it will of course be how the PvPvE works out in reality.

    I’m not the least surprised that many dislike the game or just find it plain uninteresting.

    Also, the flying is kinda neat and extra bonus points for making a healing class that doesn’t feel totally useless when not in a group.

    • Skalpadda says:

      Still no edit function, eh?

      Since someone mentioned it above, I just thought I should add that the outrage of people not getting onto the servers was mostly because NC decided to not let everyone flood the starting areas at once and letting the queued people on as soon as the first batch of players had moved on a little a few hours later. It makes a lot of sense, but making it clear before the server opening would have saved a lot of tears and teeth grinding.

    • PHeMoX says:

      @Skalpadda: It totally makes sense. I guess disappointment in this case caused the negativity. Sort of a shame though.

  30. Luther Blissett says:

    It’s nothing particularly special but haven’t seen any bugs and what time i’ve had today has been completely queue-less… so I don’t know where all these reports are coming from.

    It’s pretty, it works – and i’m enjoying playing it more than Champions Online. Have to say DDO IS different and is pretty damn good as well.

  31. Dubbill says:

    The wings are fun but it was extremely frustrating to get my wings at level 10, then head to the next zone where flying is prohibited. You can’t even fly in the capital cities which seems like an odd choice for a race of winged beings.

  32. The Great Wayne says:

    No offense meant, but I find kinda amusing that everyone is now praying for an original MMO. I’ve started MMORPGs with Ultima Online, played it for some years, only to see the genre fall into the dark ages of the EQ-like. That genre was a poor excuse for what a MMO could offer, but was yet more accessible, better sold thanks to marketing and overall more “e-peen growth” friendly.

    There have been some wonderful softs since then, which brought something to the picture (Planetside, first era SWG, etc…), but they’re all history now, for various reasons. The only “inovant” game succeeding to survive and grow right now is EvE, and yet is still less played than most of its counterparts.

    There’s the paradox, people want originality, but when you present something different – revolutionnary, even – it’s underplayed. I think right now we can’t talk of Mmorpgs as a genre anymore, it’s a platform. EQ-like is now a genre, and Aion is enough an evolution in that particular genre to earn its rightful place. Qualifying it as “not original enough” is like requesting from an fps to have some sort of gestion/real time strategy aspect: While it can be done and is interesting, it’s not a mandatory element to the genre’s codes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have no sympathy whatsoever for WoW and EQ-likes, but I think originality isn’t a valid argument to dismiss a mmo as a whole anymore without considering it belonging to a particular niche. If you want something different, go play EvE, Darkfall or, hell, even UO.
    The point is, judging mmo gaming now requires to look at the big picture. Cursing Aion because it’s not EvE is pointless. Oranges and apples here.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      I think you make a good point, that MMOs including more inventive gameplay mechanics are underplayed. I certainly admire the way EvE works, and yet I can’t bring myself to play it (though I haven’t tried in a year or so, which might mean it’s time to try again…)

      I’d say that people are sick of WoW et. al. because of their static worlds. WoW’s expansions introduced a little bit of “change,” (what with the Death Knight quests, which I hear were pretty neat) but they’re not really monumental movements, and don’t affect everyone.

      What I’m looking for in an MMO is a situation where one player can make some real concrete changes to the game for everyone, without having to spend a vast amount of time doing it. EvE already permits changing the game, but it takes a lot of time and massive amounts of cooperation.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      I know what you mean.

      However, allowing individuals to durably and easily alter the whole gaming environment would be too much of a risk.

      Imagine what Goons, as much as I love them, could do in that kind of game ^^

    • PHeMoX says:

      EvE Online is still one of the bigger MMOs if I’m not mistaken… I think it’s easy to underestimate it’s one of the few still going strong after all this time.

      SWG was doomed from the start, they should have put more effort into it I think. Just because it’s Star Wars, doesn’t mean it’s a great game. I think LucasArts realized this though, as The Force Unleashed showed. I think the Old Republic MMO isn’t going to disappoint as much as SWG did.

      Then again, I think companies should be able to fail when it comes to these MMOs. In a certain way, I think the MMO business model is the future of gaming as it more or less circumvents piracy issues.

  33. beetleboy says:

    How about us players that never, ever PVP? I’ve tried PVP on many an occasion and I well and truly hate it, and so, I am not interested in participating in it at all. You may point out that pvp in this game is new and different – well, I don’t like playing against other players in starcraft, quake, WoW, AoC, UT, or any other game I’ve tried, ever. Cooperative mode is for me.

    So, is there any endgame content in Aion for us non-pvp’ers?

    • Lafinass says:

      Not really.

      It’s first and foremost a PvP game. The PvE content is certainly respectable and of high polish, but even a great deal of that is in a PvP zone in end game.

  34. Tei says:

    I feel bad.

    It seems is one of these games that you buy but finally don’t play much. I think I have played enough on beta. I have played a lot in beta. I have played enough of AION. I want MMO’s to feel more like a RPG, and less like a slow Hack & Slash, but thats what is available :-I

    • def says:

      In a fantasy setting, that won’t happen very soon.
      In a sci-fi setting, EVE Online still is your best bet, if you can do without a physical 3d manifestation of your avatar (well at least until they implement it, which is kinda the big thing they are working on right now).

      When it comes to complexity, UO still reigns supreme and will do so. If you can get past the “outdated” graphics, try google and find out, if there is a freeshard (i.e. free to play server administrated by fans) for your country or language region. For example, there is a very popular german UO freeshard.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      In fact, I think that especially on the complexity level, EvE is still on top, but it has mostly to do with the whole scale of the game compared to UO. No, the choice is really about the universe, space opera or med-fan, while I’ve always found Ultima not to be your tongue-in-cheek everyday fantasy setting.

      Also, Ultima allows for more personnalization of the players, for different reasons. EvE shows more distance on that subject.

  35. Zaphid says:

    I tried the open beta, it was actually pretty good, but then I started my MMO-life with Lineage 2. Every game can turn grind into advantage if you have people to play with, because there is no rush to finish that quest and you can explore and interact with other players as much as you want. Unfortunately, this approach is unmarketable these days where people want to drop in, get “something” and drop out. That said, it really feels like L2 was the mother and WoW was the father and they had a beautiful child. you can whine that is grindy and that you can die easily if you are not carefull etc. etc., but I enjoyed the fact that I tried to think of use for every single skill I got and used it regularly instead of tossing it into the depths of my spellbook.

    Still, if you want something completely different, try EVE or Guildwars, those are probably your only bets these days.

  36. Mort says:

    I was in closed and open beta, with a pre-order etc. But cancelled last night.
    Had a massive ‘what the hell am I doing?’ moment during beta killing umpteen generic mobs, and I very much doubt I’ll ever play one of them types of mmo’s again.
    Played Eve for 6 years, I guess I’ve ‘changed’. ;o)

    Did like the flying, but it’s a bit of a missed opportunity, could’ve been much more. Everything else is very generic.

  37. coupsan says:

    …=/

  38. Aphotique says:

    I really don’t understand the ‘generic’ argument people append to their views of a video game. WoW has been out for what, six years? I would consider it generic, and yet it still destroys all things in terms of how many people are playing it. EQ 2? Generic today, yet still played.

    I love new and innovative things, but I don’t believe every new product has to be new and innovative to be successful. In fact, most people seem to like generic, because generic comes with a bit of ‘comfort’. The knowledge that even though this product is ‘new’, you already ‘know’ it.

    Generic combat? Its a fantasy game utilizing Swords and Bows. You can’t expect them to try and make it like Mount and Blade, where one players skill can overthrow balance. As neat and cool as it would be, it would destroy their potential sales. “Skill” sounds good, but the vast majority of players that fill up the MMO market are “unskilled” and wouldn’t enjoy a system like that. I feel that Aion does a good job of keeping things simple for an “unskilled” player, while giving that little bit of an edge to “skilled” players via aerial combat where skill can and does play an important part.

    The grind? Some people enjoy grinding, some people don’t. Even WoW had its grindy moments, though in most cases it tried to ‘mask’ them via a quest. Sure, you’re doing a quest, but when that quest literally has you killing 100 NPC’s just to find a drop item, yeah, that’s grinding. It wasn’t until years later that they actually buffed the end result XP you got when you turned it in, and that was when they pretty much decided they wanted the ‘meat’ of the game to be the endgame. The same can be applied to Aion, the grind is there (and its really not that bad, nothing compared to free MMO’s that want you to spend your money on XP potions/scrolls) to slow you down as much as it is to help you get a feel for your character and their skills because the endgame is pretty much the meat of Aion, the pitched battles in the Abyss of Elyos vs Asmodian vs Beliar.

    I’m not trying to belittle anyone’s opinion. Everyone is certainly entitled. It is definitely NCSoft’s fault for putting the ‘meat’ of the game far enough in that most of those that don’t like a little grind or a little generic will give up, but I don’t think either of which is present enough to fully discount the game. The best thing you can do is try it if you’re interested, and avoid it if you aren’t. As for me, I pre-ordered the collectors edition and have been playing pretty solidly since Headstart began.

  39. M.P. says:

    From the few hours I played during the beta, I felt it’s easily the most polished, engaging and good-looking of all “traditional” MMOs. The combat system isn’t revolutionary, it’s still click-the-skill rather than having “actiony” pretensions like Tabula Rasa, Conan or Darkfall all promised (and, to varying extents, but with limited success, delivered). But Aion is _slightly_ more fast-paced, and things like the rudimentary combo system make it just a little bit more dynamic than traditional MMOs, in that it pays to think which skill to use next rather than just relying on a standard 1-2-3-4-5 rotation 90% of the time. I also welcomed the fact that there’s a meaningful death penalty – a pvp game without one would make little sense (I actually think that’s one of the major things the WAR and AoC devs got wrong, but that’s another story). It’s only a minor XP penalty at the levels I was playing, but apparently you stand to lose more in higher levels.

    I didn’t get to the Abyss to do any pvp, but people were quite excited about it. Didn’t even get my wings either, but they do apparently get a lot of use in the Abyss.

    The one thing I’m disappointed by is that I hear they scrapped the class hybridisation system, which was what stigmata were originally meant to be. That’s what I was looking forwards to the most in this game, personally, being able to come up with broken new skill combos, Guild Wars-style. If that was still in, I’d have most likely bought it.

    So, if you’re looking for something revolutionary, as has been said, this isn’t it. But if you’re a WoW, WAR, EQ, LOTRO or AoC refugee looking for something solid, new, progressive but not fundamentally different, you’d probably like it.

  40. Mechalith says:

    I played for about 2 hours in the Aion open beta. Barring some sort of massive change in the future I see no reason to ever repeat the experience. The art is pretty, but that isn’t enough to hold my attention. The quests were pretty standard “Bring me ten buzzard asses” type things, the starter zone was open enough as to not feel like it was railroaded but the navigation tools weren’t good enough to keep that from being a bit frustrating.

    My biggest problem though, is that the gear setup reminds me of Guild Wars (this is not a good thing IMO) in that the only thing differentiating different types of swords and other weapons is the numbers. They didn’t even bother to name them different things, which seems like a basic immersion thing to me.

    Some might enjoy it, but I’ll pass.

  41. Klaus says:

    Nay. I am not, I am resistant to all MMO’s after what Tibia entailed. Looks nice though. But, I’m sure I’ll give Guild Wars my first good try.

  42. Marty Dodge says:

    They didn’t mention Fallen Earth because its a steaming pile. Played the beta and its bloody awful. I was stunned they were going to release it and expect people to pay for it.

    I am currently betaing a fantasy game that has far exceeded expectations. It will be fun to see if it takes off when it launches. The devs have a sense of humour, but know a lot about good gameplay.

  43. M.P. says:

    @Marty: Would that be Mortal?

    @Mechalith: I hate gear-grinding (which is why I love GW), but how much gear did you really expect to find in 2 hrs?

  44. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I know those weren’t levelled at me directly, but still.

    Being generic isn’t exactly a problem. Much like a cliche, it all depends on how you spin it. Planescape: Torment’s roots were those of a medieval fantasy setting, with spells aplenty and races galore… Then the main character was immortal, there were fantasy races that usually aren’t very explored in similar games and belief was literally power. Zelda games are an institution, yet, most titles in the series manage to reinvent themselves in smart ways. Champions Online certainly isn’t the first or last superhero-themed MMO and there’s a lot to quibble about it – grind, for instance – but overall remains fresh with a good number of activities, humor and accessibility (if you discount those somewhat muddled powerset sinergies, of course).

    I have no expectations toward Aion, either good or bad. Generic or rather, familiar, is a good place to be for some. It’s certainly not an impediment for many players, who still support World of Warcraft or make 1.35 million Halo 3: ODST pre-orders or spend all day clicking away in social platform games like Facebook. Hell, Star Wars has been beaten to death and is about as cliche-fuelled as possible but look at how Knights of the Old Republic fared and how the anticipation towards the Biowarian MMO is still rising.

    It comes down to how attractive you manage to make the whole package. Sometimes dross is dross and will still draw people in; sometimes finding a level of comfortable expectations just isn’t enough. What matters to me, when I start playing Aion, is how much it’s going to pull at me, whether I’m breaking down each aspect of it or taking it all in. The art looks solid enough. Flight seems a good idea, even if not original, for instance. I’m curious about it. Grinding, not so much. PVP, hopefully I’m not forced into it since I’ve long lost the ability to conjure up stat monsters that go on like the Energizer bunny and developing something that has to contend with both PVP and PVE on a regular basis usually ends up producing results that never trully excell in either.

  45. Wulf says:

    What I have against this is something I have against a lot of Asian MMOs;

    “Hi, I’m Generic [Insert Skill Here] [Human Guy/Girl]. I have [Gimmick] to make me look interesting!”

    If I had the choice between playing a mutated werewolf/bat-creature thing with telepathic/telekinetic powers or just some everyday spod with a sword, I’d choose the former. It doesn’t really matter that the human can fly, because the aforementioned creature can too!

    This is something I never got about these kinds of games, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to play that and it would really bore me silly, moreover I wouldn’t be able to get any kind of feel for it, because I would look like every other person of the same class in the game.

    All the end-game tanks look the same because they have to be in order to be viable, all te buff providers, healers, and so on, and so on, and so on. Frankly, that’s why I’m playing Champions Online at the moment, because I don’t have to be Mr. Generic in order to be viable.

    Were that to change, I’d leave Champions Online behind in a heartbeat too, because if I’m going to play a massively multiplayer game then by Jove I want to stand out for being brilliantly and uniquely creative, not simply because I happen to have the bally purple of the week!

    And that’s the thing, see? In a game like Champions Online, characters enjoy the boon of presence primarily because they have the mind to do so. They’re noteworthy because of their sublime visual design and aesthetics, and how their power and even their origin story fit into that.

    What amuses me especially is that people who enjoy playing generic games tend to have either bland, randomised, or blatantly cloned (such as exact Deadpool copies), and thus they have no presence because they’re just playing what they’d play in a game where they have no other choice, and completely missing the point of being able to create something special.

    So that’s why I’m really not interested in this. This isn’t to praise up Champions Online, so don’t misunderstand me here, it’s more to praise systems like Champions, City of Heroes, and Dark Ages of Camelot. If a fantasy game allowed for race/armour bits to be selected, and allowed the players to create their own classes by picking and choosing skills and abilities that applied to them, then that’s a fantasy game I’d be excited about.

    Aion looks like another tea party involving Lord Generic, Sir Purples, and the good Lady Gimmick.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    • Wulf says:

      Oh, and said creature has a velvet trenchcoat too, which he brandishes with camp panache!

      No flavour of the month wear on that guy, no Sir.

  46. The Great Wayne says:

    Hmmm, last time I checked, Dark Age of Camelot was pretty much full of clones too. There was just more to the game than “looking different”. Same for Eve, the game offers very few possibilities of personalization, yet this isn’t the core of the game.

    On the other side, Champions for example is built on this. If you ever remove character customization in this game, you just end up with a subpar generic mmorpg gameplay.

    Don’t get me wrong, to each his own interest in playing x or y game, however one can wonder if cosmetics are really an element relevant to core gameplay. It’s obviously appealing for some players, but successful games have proved that’s it’s not mandatory to produce a solid gaming environment.

  47. MeanCoffeeBean says:

    I’ve played closed and open beta, as well as the head start as of yesterday afternoon.

    Is it a copy/paste of pretty much every other fantasy MMO out there? Of course. Does it have elements about it that make it compelling enough to spend some time in? Absolutely.

    It’s not going to be a WoW-killer. Not even close. Actually, WoWs continued persererance amazes me despite its utter mediocrity. That’s a topic for another day though.

    I think Aion brings enough to the table to give me a heaping helping of entertainment when I want it. That is ultimately what playing a game is about anyway. I’m not looking for the great MMO archetype from which all other MMOs can only aspire. I’m looking for a fun game to play that offers sufficient entertainment value that I feel it justifies $15 a month. That’s the price of one movie ticket, a drink, and some popcorn, and I can play it whenever I want for a month at that cost. The PVP is fun, the quests are tongue-in-cheek and even the character’s dialogue repeatedly makes references that break the fourth wall and let you know that it is all just for fun anyway. The crafting system isn’t as deep as I would like, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me. My character is entertaining enough and the skills are interesting enough to justify the monthly cost.

    The one thing that this has going for it more than anything else is the playerbase. The people I am meeting and talking to are not the WoW-kids. A lot of them are like me. Old EQ, DAoC, and Shadowbane veterans. We’re not new to the game. Hell, we’re probably a little crusty, but that is what makes it fun. Yes, there are some brats taking a few moments away from their WoW fix, but they will be shortlived and flock back to Azeroth soon enough. In the meantime, a lot of the players are pretty decent, and that is about all I can ask for in an MMO these days.

    Even if Aion falls apart after six months, it is still a fun and interesting game that justifies the investment of time and money from my perspective.

    • Lafinass says:

      Well said.

      And you’re spot on about the population, it’s been a far less bratty experience then I’m used to.

  48. M.P. says:

    This thread pretty much says it all re: the maturity of the population:
    http://www.aionsource.com/forum/aion-discussion/62189-cute-ribbit-post-if-you-won.html#post1361023
    Though I couldn’t help but chuckle at the absurdity of the situation! :p

  49. Hug_dealer says:

    the graphics are good, but not my style. the gameplay just feels like ive done it all before. Its also made by ncsoft, i am not a fan of thiers and never will be.

    Good luck those that enjoy it.

  50. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Pre-ordered, bought it, played the beta, made the my character in the pre-selection, currently queuing to play…