Euro Aion Beta Key Giveaway

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Purdy-lookin’ forthcoming Korean MMO Aion – the one where flying plays a big role – is having a special European beta event on the 5th to 7th of June.The event will allow participants to play through the first twenty levels as an Elyos. To celebrate this, and, presumably to populate them servers, NCSoft are giving away a whole bunch of keys. Want one? Then all you need to do is email us. All gone, sorry!

Aion’s most recent outburst of prettiness is posted ‘neath the click, and it also happens to be the zone which will feature in the event.

102 Comments

  1. Meat Circus says:

    A drab Korean level grind with wings is still a drab Korean level grind.

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    Doesn’t look drab to me. The grind, however, is another matter.

  3. Tei says:

    AION is suposedly a no-grind Korean mmo*. Is awesometastic popular in Korea, and has been this long (suposedly) to re-localize it for we, the westerners. Reports are that it play almost exactly like a WoW game. This is good news, because these type of games are always fun (like a classic RTS, maybe). So we have here quality + production values. I unknom how popular will be here in europe & usa. Since there are wildly popular games that fall behind the radar. Uh… our radar for all MMO thingies is really bad, and we need things like XFire to even detect massive phenomenom, and XFire is a poor detector, so there can be giganteous phenomeno on the net, totally invisible, something like Club Penguin, etc..

    I forget, It seems AION will be a full P2P.

    *: I can’t disagree, I have not played it.

  4. Jemre says:

    All their zones remind me a lot of guild wars, not surprising since NCSoft makes both of them. pity I’m not in Europe, I’d pick this up…

    Oh, I wonder how large the download would be – doesn’t this use the Crysis engine, or a variation of it? so a large client download?

  5. Gasteropod says:

    @Jemre

    Well, I downloaded the Chinese trial and it was 7.8 GB. I couldn’t get it to work though, there were supposed to be some large patches too.

    OT: Where can I register an account for RPShotgun ? Can’t find the button. Oh, Twitter, nvm.

  6. Meat Circus says:

    I meant the drabness of grind, Jim. As in characterised by dullness and monotony.

    I agree that it looks teh shinies.

  7. Ziv says:

    is israel europe?

  8. CakeAddict says:

    @ Meat Circus

    But don’t you have that with every MMORPG?
    While I like some of the designs in this game the area’s look rather empty to me.
    And what’s with the flying in MMO’s these days? It seems every game has it lately and several where it’s a ‘big role’ which in my experience often isn’t.. meh whatever.

  9. Danny says:

    Still worth a try even if it’s a terrible grind – considering it’s free.

  10. Kits says:

    The grind isn’t as bad as you’d expect from an mmo originating in Korea. I only got to play up to 20ish, but its more along the lines of WoW, where your levelling is quest based, and they’re really well written. Give it a try, it might surprise you.

  11. MonktonGaz says:

    I’d like to try it, but I’ll not put too much store in how the beta runs. I still remember the 10 minute wait to loot a corpse in beta wow. Strangely enough, with fond memories. Ah, I had friends then, and the wine flowed as we waited…

  12. egg says:

    Hmm. It’s not nearly as grindy as Lineage 2, which is good news.

    I played it and found it fun. But it was just a week. And it was the Chinese open beta. And I don’t speak chinese. But yeah, it was fun.

  13. cm7 says:

    Friend of mine here sais its not so grindy

  14. Excalibur says:

    All of the European sites look amazing, and the U.S. site looks like shit. This makes no sense.

  15. Aki says:

    Aion have a lot of quest, you can level with out grind. First try the game, and then talk.

  16. Hajimete no Paso Kon says:

    If I register a Euro account, I’m cool to use the key right?

  17. yawn says:

    If you are pissed at war, this is the game for you

  18. Tei says:

    @yawn: you means, like the people pissed because theres not a playable skaven side? does AION have a skaven’s race?

  19. Gorgeras says:

    Quests inevitably are grinds, Mr Aki. They just make a half-arsed effort to disguise it.

    An MMO without grinds would require there to be no levelling and acquisition determined by competition and limited by in-game assets decaying and regenerating on a cycle. EVE makes an attempt, but inserts a lot of time-sinks that defeat the point.

    Before World of Warcraft, I thought it would borrow some of the best ideas of the Warcraft games: you could capture mines and then NPCs mined them and you got a share. They do the grinding for you while you’re off doing something interesting. That was back when it almost appears like an Alliance VS Horde mash-up. Then they ruined it and forever stuck it on the same path as Everquest.

  20. Lobotomist says:

    I will give it a try (if i get into beta)

    But basically its the same old thing in the new package.

    As a long time MMO player. I simply have no more wish for this.

    Its like if every shooter would be carbon copy of Duke Nukem

  21. Zyrusticae says:

    @Lobotomist

    Y’know… that doesn’t sound so bad. Assuming by “carbon copy” you mean in the mechanics and not so much the world/story/lore/etc.

    In all seriousness, while mechanically the game is little different from what’s gone before, they basically took the core MMO paradigm and polished the hell out of it. If you liked MMOs of old but found their primitiveness, bugginess, or simple lack of production values off-putting, Aion is for you.

    The whole “beta” thing has been corrupted, really. It’s as much of a “beta” as Dawn of War II’s multiplayer “beta” – functionally complete, but somewhat unbalanced.

    I must say, though – the writing surprised me. I didn’t expect such quality. That’s on top of the pretty graphics and the unique world – look up in the sky the first time you log in, tell me it doesn’t take your breath away…

  22. asskicker says:

    All I have to do is send an e-mail right? Does it need any content?

  23. graham says:

    Is Devon europe?

  24. Serondal says:

    I’ve never seen a Korean grind without wings. They may not actually let you fly but they’re always there as a high level (and sometimes not to high level) reward to make your character more wingery. I’m not saying anything about this game directly since I’ve not played it but I don’t expect much. WoW is grindy and if this is like wow then this is Grindy so . . . MMorpgs in general are grindy. Even UO a game without levels where most of the items can be created by players is still grindy, grind your skills doing the same thing over and over again. Life in and of itself is grindy. Pratice makes perfect is just grinding ;P

  25. Flappybat says:

    It’s a good idea to put some content in an email or they may get filtered by spam checkers.

  26. phuzz says:

    @graham: Yes, Cornwall on the other hand…

  27. LionsPhil says:

    There’s something about that music that immediately makes me want to play Civ4. Even though the accompanying visuals are far more Myst.

  28. Golden says:

    @phuzz
    Agreed

  29. undead dolphin hacker says:

    Environment can do wonders for covering up a grind. Case in point: any western MMORPG.

  30. Hroudwolf says:

    Nice Idea good work, Jim

  31. Some Guy says:

    been looking at this, like the armour at the top, would it actualy stop anything?

  32. Serondal says:

    It would stop you from seeing her TOTALLY nude but that is about it. Her stomach is totally uncovered and so are her wings which make up like 50 % of her body :P I wouldn’t mind seeing an mmorpg where locational armor and location damage so if they hit her in her stomach it would be like she’s not wearing armor at all.

  33. Jockie says:

    Hrm, would my email have been spamguarded if i haven’t received a reply by now, or has flappybat just got me paranoid?

  34. Archael says:

    I have played Aion for quite a bit and after playing WoW for more then 5 years its most refreshing and I am loving it! To get two things out of the way that Ive seen mentioned here…grind? well no it has quests…lots and lots of quests. Currently the chinese retail is several versions of the game behind so its missing a lot of content. The Korean version however which is the most up to date has a LOT more quests, more content etc. so no “grind” which means mindless mob killing but quests to do everywhere. Also I saw something mentioned about the wings..those wings arent for show…you’ll use them..a lot..areal combat anyone?!

  35. Nick says:

    What do the quests involve? Is it killing x number of mobs?

  36. Archael says:

    Pretty much the same as WoW with variety between them.
    But your in a different game, different world so you’ll experience will be different…Im loving the game ;)

    You will also interact with the world much much more then WoW for example (its the MMO every other is compared against)

  37. undead dolphin hacker says:

    The idea of “quests” being anything more than “bonus points for stopping by a city and reading our crappy writing before killing x of monster y” evaporated with thottbot.

    World of Warcraft tried to include some things other than kill ten rats at release, but it was immediately evident when the most popular mod was something that made quest text instant so you could skip it and a scrolling list of grossly simplified quest objectives on the right of your HUD, Blizzard figured out that the vast majority of people just don’t care.

    Eventually the most popular mod became Quest Helper, which pointed you exactly where you needed to go and even calculated travel times and drew lines for optimal quest grinding.

    I’m excited to try Aion. I yearn for the old Everquest design of building a world first and fitting a game in second as opposed to building a game first and fitting a world around it later. The former comes off as an imperfect but engrossing experience, the second comes off as Skinner’s boxes in a themepark.

  38. Gerdskies says:

    I hope Australia isnt left out in anyway, or has to wait anylonger than the EU or USA.

    I dont mind grinding a pack of mobs when a quest/reward is involved, as long as im making EXP, Moneys, Items and progress im content. Thats what an MMORPG is all about.

  39. Knqui says:

    Any word on if this is over? >.<

  40. Flappybat says:

    undead dolphin hacker I disagree on the basis that even the best quests in wow are no more than “go to X” and/or “pickup X.” Compare to any full RPG and it’s laughable.

    WoW’s only improvement for quests has been in set dressing. Yes I did play Lich King the full way through and while the quests and zones are much better they are still just very simple tick the boxes affairs.

  41. DigitalSignalX says:

    “the one where flying plays a big role” – You’re hilarious, in a possibly think it’s true but it’s not ironical way.

  42. Serondal says:

    I’m having trouble seeing where you disagree with undead dolphin hacker there Flappybat, looks like you’re both saying the same thing.

    quests in most RPGs are roughly the same thing. You have to go to X and kill Y then go back to Z and tell him you killed Y at X location so you can get a new quest to go save N from M and then come back to Z with N.

    I see little difference between a quest to kill a boss in Never Winter Nights versus a quest to kill a Boss in Wow other than, after the quest in WoW is over the game is not. The key is the story, and if you don’t read the story in WoW why read the story in any other RPG ?

    Oblivion was the same way, made it even easier by giving you a big pointer telling you where to go exactly and at some points you can even fast travel directly to your objective.

    At least D&D online had some puzzle elements built into it and the quests themselves gave you exp not the actually killing per say (Though you did get bonsues for it)

  43. undead dolphin hacker says:

    Oh I think WoW’s quests sucked overall. Even the “best” ones. Everquest’s quests were closer to PnP RPGs by far. Google Everquest’s Fiery Avenger quest for one of the best examples. Of course, you have to remember in the days of EQ that many people were on dial-up modems and alt-tabbing or running windowed was suicide thanks to brand new 3D Accelerator cards and Windows 95/98/Me. Checking Allakhazam (EQ’s thottbot) in the middle of a play session was very impractical. And further, Allakhazam was run entirely by player submissions and discussion. EQ didn’t have a quest journal, and EQ quest givers didn’t have exclamation marks over their heads.

    That all being said, name one “quest” in the history of any game ever that isn’t essentially “go to X” and/or “pickup X” and/or “kill x, n times.”

    All other “quests” in video games derive from these building blocks. They’re the nucleotides of every game objective.

    What I’m saying is, I don’t understand what you want. Do you want more occulsion, more barriers in front of finding easy quest spoilers, ala Everquest? Do you want more narrative and filler text to better hide the fact you’re going to point A to pick up item B which you will use to kill monster C, ala Wrath of the Lich King?

  44. Shinjo says:

    Lets hope its still going on^^

  45. Serondal says:

    Most of the quests in everquest were kill 4 black wolves or even worse kill black wolf until you get 4 ruin wolf pelts and bring them back to me ;P Or kill X monster that only spawns once every week and 10 other guilds are waiting for him too and they’ve been waiting longer. I hardly ever saw any text in ever quests . . . quests. The thing I loved the most about EQ is that you had to work together with other people to do anything ,even the best “soloing” class didn’t solo very well unless the character was very pimped out and the player was highly skilled. That created it’s own story line that was not tied into anything in the game. you were creating your own adventures with your friends. The story of 5 dudes attacking an orc camp. And normally if you found a good group you would continue to get back together with them since you leveled up so slowly they weren’t likely to out level you so badly you couldn’t play with them any more, unlike wow where you could get to the max level very quickly and the peopel you played with one day were gone the next or didn’t play enough to keep up with you!

    I enjoyed WoW don get me wrong, but I enjoyed EQ and lot more and UO the most of all. LotR Online is pretty good as well.

  46. Ickorus says:

    Ive been following this game for years, cant wait for the EU release and i hope to get a beta key cause if i dont i will be rather sad.

  47. Zyrusticae says:

    I just wanted to mention (and I’m completely avoiding the conversation about obvious MMO tropes for obvious reasons) that Aion does have some very difficult content for people who want to team, and a number of quests that require people to team to fight through said massively difficult content. It’s actually immensely entertaining, though it highlights one of my pet peeves of all fantasy MMOs – you need a healer. Either that or you need two tanks and an absurd amount of DPS with someone to put adds to sleep.

    Granted, I haven’t tried the group content with more than four people thus far, so it’s probably a lot easier if you have a full group. Regardless, I find it quite refreshing from the ease of cutting a swathe through all the solo content, as it requires your undivided attention and for you to work with your teammates, and that is good.

  48. Wulf says:

    @undead dolphin hacker

    Incorrect!

    There are quests in Free Realms which are timed races, in which you have to run around a track in a set amount of time, there are quests to play mini-games, and quests to chase down NPCs which are running around. None of which really fit into that formula, and there are so many other kinds of quests too which just defy the very idea that an MMORPG has to be about that.

    [And now more in general…]

    That’s why I love Free Realms though, and why it’s one of my all time favourite MMORPGs. Whilst it’s true that there’s a sort of grind in every MMORPG, that’s true of everything, but the factor we should concern ourselves with is if the objective is fun, or whether it’s joblike.

    The grinding in almost every MMORPG (especially World of Warcraft) is very joblike, when I think of “grinding”, I think of this, because other scenarios are so fun that the present grinding isn’t noticeable, it’s a scenario in which a task becomes like a real World job is where grinding is really… well, grinding.

    If the task is fun, and the amount of time one expends on a task is reasonable, then the grinding element of it is negligible. Look at TF2 for example, playing TF2 matches just for the sake of having fun is grand, but the moment people start focusing on achievements, it becomes joblike and that takes an amount of fun out of it, not just for them but for people around them.

    So what we must seek is an environment in which all tasks possess a high quotient of fun and a low quotient of time required to master them, and to do this whilst still keeping them fun over time if the player chooses to keep at those tasks even when it isn’t necessary anymore.

    Playing TF2 just for the joy of it, to have fun, is a good example of this. As is Free Realms. I love the quests in Free Realms, and I love doing things like mining and such in that game, too. It’s a game aimed at kids, but it’s a perfect example of how to create an entertaining game for adults; don’t encourage a 9-to-5 job mentality as a critical aspect of your game.

    PROTIP: Life is too short to be wasting it on dull, human resources-borne activities unless someone is paying you to do so, and under no circumstances should you be doing that if you’re paying someone else fo the opportunity.

    If you’re going to do that, then you might as well pay for the opportunity to be an accountant or a pizza delivery boy.

    If Aion ends up feeling largely like a 9-to-5 then it fails and falls flat, if Aion can be consistently fun without needing to feel that way then it succeeds. It’s as simple as that.

  49. Lobotomist says:

    Sorry to interrupt this good discussion. But did anyone get their key mailed? I just wonder because i never got any response from entering any RPS contest…

    Am I doing something wrong ?

  50. Orgun says:

    I think it’s a matter of them picking at random, I’m not sure or they just give key’s to frist 200