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Author Topic: Aion, anyone heard of this MMO?  (Read 9523 times)
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Vindel
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« on: April 14, 2009, 09:16:47 PM »

Looks very nice, but how does it play and what type of game is it? PvP, PVE??? Anyone know any details on this one?

Here are some links to some movies. Again graphically it looks great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y3SBd5p2gE

Watch in HD
http://www.archive.org/download/AION-ChineseBeta-Gameplay/Movie.wmv
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 11:13:59 PM »

I've actually tried it out. There were directions posted on mmorpg.com on how to get into the Chinese open beta this past week, and even an English text pack that makes playing it much easier, since I don't read or speak Chinese.

I only have one character to level 10, but I've seen the Asmodian starter area. Graphically gorgeous. Vibrant colors, atmospheric music. However, the quests are the standard FedEx and kill X style. It's kind of an Asian WOW, with bits of other NCsoft titles and some FFXI thrown in, like regular cut-scenes for the main quest line. It's very polished. I've seen no bugs whatsoever in my limited time so far. There is gathering and crafting, but I haven't had time to investigate that much. Class/Level-based. Standard hotbars with skills/spells, which are purchased from class trainers. Unlike WOW, and more like say, LOTRO, the skills level as you do, so you don't have to buy "fireball 2", as a fireball spell will do more damage as you level. WASD to move, although you can also click the ground as with many Asian MMOs. Gameplay-wise, there is not much new, although the ability to sprout wings and fly for limited duration in some zones is relatively original.

I have 1 day left to go before the beta ends and I'm done. It's supposed to reach North America/Europe later this year. The English text pack is excellent, definitely no hack-job babelfish translation. This bodes well for a western release if it's already this far along.

As for PvP and PVE, the starter areas are PvE only, but I've read the later zones are set up for PvP between the main 2 races, and there is a third (dragon) NPC race that is the enemy of both sides.

Apparently this is already a huge hit in Korea, and from the looks of it, will be in China as well. I heard Japan is next in the release cycle, and then North America and Europe.

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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 12:20:09 AM »

Great write up thanks. Well I don't know how true this is, but I heard that one of the lead creators of WoW is helping with this game. And from some screen shots I have seen it is very WoWish. But again. I don't know how true that is.

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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 12:29:16 AM »

If you ever want more details on "lower profile," MMOs, I recommend looking them up at TenTonHammer and/or Massively.com as a good starting point.  icon_smile

TenTonHammer's Aion: The Tower of Eternity section
http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/254

Massively (articles related to Aion)
http://www.massively.com/search/?q=Aion&invocationType=wl-auto&searchsubmit=

Me, I have read this and that about it. Too, too many of Asian MMOs I've tried either feel too grindy, are too PVP fixated for my tastes, or have no questing to speak of (I played one where the "main" quests were "Kill 100," "Kill 150" and "Kill 200"  saywhat. There are exceptions, and I think some of the Asian dev companies are getting a better handle on western MMO tastes, so that may be changing.
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 12:54:11 AM »

Great, thanks for the links Blackjack.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 01:28:24 AM »

is this the one that's supposed to use the CryTEK engine?
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Barrakketh
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 02:28:39 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 15, 2009, 01:28:24 AM

is this the one that's supposed to use the CryTEK engine?

Yup. The CryTEK logo is on the splash screen.
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 10:11:33 PM »

Yep, doing the Friends & Family North American/Europe test. It's very nice graphically. Very immersive.  Love flying. There's nothing quite like feeling the air beneath your wings as you look down below.
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 01:09:39 AM »

Quote from: Rumpy on April 22, 2009, 10:11:33 PM

Yep, doing the Friends & Family North American/Europe test. It's very nice graphically. Very immersive.  Love flying. There's nothing quite like feeling the air beneath your wings as you look down below.

So, am I a friend or family? Can I get a beta invite? biggrin
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 09:56:32 AM »

Any news on when this game might hit N.America?
The graphics, from the 2 videos I just watched, were really nice looking. So that's one point in their favor.
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2009, 12:45:46 PM »

Quote from: Arclight on May 29, 2009, 09:56:32 AM

Any news on when this game might hit N.America?
The graphics, from the 2 videos I just watched, were really nice looking. So that's one point in their favor.

From what I've heard it will be released in time for the holiday season.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2009, 01:00:06 PM »

It's all the rage in Korea (it's an NCSoft-Korea creation that won some Game of the Year awards last year), but NCSoft hasn't seem to have marketed/hyped it here with much fury to this point:
http://www.aiononline.com/us/game_guide/what_is_aion/
Quote
Here are some distinctive aspects of Aion:

    * The World: Aion is set in a unique land where players explore the inside of a shattered world, separated into two halves with the Abyss between them.

    * Aerial Combat: No longer limited to two-dimensional combat on the ground, players in Aion can fly. Now think of online combat on a massive scale where attacks can come in any direction.

    * PvPvE: Players will be able to engage in intense raids and other encounters with computer opponents, not to mention the opposing player faction.

    * Classes: Players have a choice of four classes to start with, and can then move on to two more specialized classes once they attain a certain level of capability.

    * Character Customization: You can customize your character in a multitude of ways with a thorough character creation and crafting system, as well as detailed item customization options.
I've played and been dismayed by too many Korean "grindfests" to be all that excited about it. They are very different markets, and often times what works here (City of Heroes for example) has trouble making much impact in the Asian market; and sometimes what's incredibly popular in the Asian market (Lineage I/II) never really catches fire here. Probably half the challenge is "localizing" the text properly (they have to translate a lot of Korean dialogue into English, for example, and a poor translation can really hurt the game).
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 01:03:18 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2009, 01:28:32 PM »

Yeah but you gotta give em credit for trying. I hope this one translates well in North America. I loved the music in the videos I watched. Now if this was set in space...............ah, but I digress.
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2009, 01:52:26 PM »

It won't be a poor English translation. If it were, the game would already be released. There are already some English translation patches for the Chinese version. The only reason the game has been delayed until later in the year is to get the translation done right. The best news is that by the time the game is released here it will have been out in other countries for about a year. That means all the bug fixes, balance fixes, and performance tweaks of the last year will all be included.

It won't be another Asian grind game. It will be polished, complete, and very high quality.

But there are some things that some people may not like. It doesn't have many innovative features. You'll be playing it essentially the same way you played WoW, WAR, and RoM. Some people may not appreciate the art style either. I am always a bit wary of any Asian inspired art style. I've never been a fan of dudes that look like women, oversized heads on small bodies, and the hair styles. Aion seems to have taken the safe route and didn't go overboard on the art style.

The only thing that kind of freaked me out is the female squeeky voices. I mean, I've had a ton of Thai girlfriends and I made sure to make each and every one of them squeek at some point in time and none of them sounded like those voices from Aion girls when they take damage.
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2009, 02:36:30 PM »

Quote from: Aganazer on May 29, 2009, 01:52:26 PM


The only thing that kind of freaked me out is the female squeeky voices. I mean, I've had a ton of Thai girlfriends and I made sure to make each and every one of them squeek at some point in time and none of them sounded like those voices from Aion girls when they take damage.

Yea, but did you make your Thai girlfriends 'take damage'.  For it to be a definitve study you really neede to hit them wit ha sword or fireball.
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2009, 02:40:16 PM »

Quote from: morlac on May 29, 2009, 02:36:30 PM

Quote from: Aganazer on May 29, 2009, 01:52:26 PM


The only thing that kind of freaked me out is the female squeeky voices. I mean, I've had a ton of Thai girlfriends and I made sure to make each and every one of them squeek at some point in time and none of them sounded like those voices from Aion girls when they take damage.

Yea, but did you make your Thai girlfriends 'take damage'.  For it to be a definitve study you really neede to hit them wit ha sword or fireball.

I'm sure that would cost me extra.  icon_twisted
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2009, 07:28:54 PM »

I'm beginning to hear good things about this game, and it's now in my radar. The graphics are sickeningly gorgeous, and I just read a couple of favorable impressions from folks who tried the recent Chinese Beta:

http://www.mmocrunch.com/2009/04/11/aion-chinese-beta-impressions/comment-page-1/

and...

http://warpsweb.com/gaming/2009/04/15/aion-impressions-from-the-chinese-open-beta.html

It looks like it's around the corner.. and I saw a release date of Sept 30th, 09 on one of the sites. Graphicswise, the game looks very much like Guild Wars (or what Guild Wars 2 should look like). This one's got my interest. On the first impressions linked above the guy says the flight aspect is just awesome. Looks like I'll be trying this one out.
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2009, 07:59:06 AM »

Quote from: Arclight on May 29, 2009, 09:56:32 AM

Any news on when this game might hit N.America?
The graphics, from the 2 videos I just watched, were really nice looking. So that's one point in their favor.


Well, the Alpha/Friends & Family/Open Beta phase just ended and they're gearing up for closed beta now. Can't really say much beyond that, and the reason for the lack of hype would be that they're not ready just yet to start hyping it since they're not at that point yet. And yes, lots of localizing. The game's really outstanding graphically and you often do have to think in a 3rd dimension.
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2009, 09:59:12 AM »

Quote from: Rumpy on May 30, 2009, 07:59:06 AM

Quote from: Arclight on May 29, 2009, 09:56:32 AM

Any news on when this game might hit N.America?
The graphics, from the 2 videos I just watched, were really nice looking. So that's one point in their favor.


Well, the Alpha/Friends & Family/Open Beta phase just ended and they're gearing up for closed beta now. Can't really say much beyond that, and the reason for the lack of hype would be that they're not ready just yet to start hyping it since they're not at that point yet. And yes, lots of localizing. The game's really outstanding graphically and you often do have to think in a 3rd dimension.

For not saying much beyond that, you said enough that I saw a few feet beyond that. (um, I think?) paranoid nod
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2009, 07:43:43 PM »

Quote from: Arclight on May 30, 2009, 09:59:12 AM

Quote from: Rumpy on May 30, 2009, 07:59:06 AM

Quote from: Arclight on May 29, 2009, 09:56:32 AM

Any news on when this game might hit N.America?
The graphics, from the 2 videos I just watched, were really nice looking. So that's one point in their favor.


Well, the Alpha/Friends & Family/Open Beta phase just ended and they're gearing up for closed beta now. Can't really say much beyond that, and the reason for the lack of hype would be that they're not ready just yet to start hyping it since they're not at that point yet. And yes, lots of localizing. The game's really outstanding graphically and you often do have to think in a 3rd dimension.

For not saying much beyond that, you said enough that I saw a few feet beyond that. (um, I think?) paranoid nod

Did I say too much?
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2009, 02:33:01 AM »

For those with an account at mmorpg. com, they are giving away 5,000 Aion North America/EU beta keys for this coming weekend right now. It's just the weekend June 5-7, but it would be enough to sample the game-play. I know I got into the teens in level with very limited play time in the Chinese beta awhile back.
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2009, 03:33:30 PM »

Quote from: Barrakketh on June 03, 2009, 02:33:01 AM

For those with an account at mmorpg. com, they are giving away 5,000 Aion North America/EU beta keys for this coming weekend right now. It's just the weekend June 5-7, but it would be enough to sample the game-play. I know I got into the teens in level with very limited play time in the Chinese beta awhile back.

Zero keys remaining.

Now to see if NCSoft makes good on their offer of beta keys for old Tabula Rasa subscribers.
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2009, 04:56:49 PM »

I got a closed beta key for this weekend which also gives me entry to all other Aion betas as well.
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2009, 09:38:15 PM »

Saw this back in September and it was stunningly gorgeous even then. Of course it was in Beta at that point in Korea.
My impressions from playing it at that time were that it looked to be a prettier version of WoW. I like that it's a fantasy game but has an alien feel to it.
Signed up at that point with the NCSoft guys to get in the Beta and got an email yesterday. Downside is that my machine is in the shop for repair.
The backup rig I'm playing on is below minimum spec (it's a P4 2.4 w/ a GeForce FX5200). So I'm not even sure if I'll be able to get it to run.
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2009, 05:13:11 PM »

Pah, can't get the downloader to work, it starts but nothing downloads, cant seem to register on the beta boards or find anything out about this issue.

Anyone have any ideas?
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2009, 06:23:35 PM »

There are apparently some issues that people have encountered.

check this thread: http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/238384/page/1

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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2009, 06:42:20 PM »

Thanks for the link, the fix didn't work for me though.

Hopefully be able to download the client direct at the weekend from somewhere
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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2009, 11:11:12 AM »

The download was really slow too. 5GB at under 100KB/sec
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2009, 02:12:00 PM »

My wife and I were both Tabula Rasa subscribers so we got into the Aion beta as part of our closing gift. I downloaded yesterday evening on both PC's. I got 350k/sec on both PC's which maxes out my 6Mb connection. No problems at all.

Now to figure out what class to play tonight. I have a feeling its going to be very very crowded.
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2009, 03:33:53 PM »

Hmm..I was a subscriber of TR, but I'm guessing you had to still be active at the close of TR to get in on the deal?
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2009, 05:27:35 PM »

Quote from: Fez on June 05, 2009, 03:33:53 PM

Hmm..I was a subscriber of TR, but I'm guessing you had to still be active at the close of TR to get in on the deal?

Yup it had to be active the day before they announced the closure. The funny part is that I had *just* resubed two days before the closure. So that $15.00 got me about $100.00 worth of stuff.
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2009, 05:50:33 PM »

Still no luck for me, also no luck getting on the beta forums atm.

I am getting this error message if anyone has any more ideas?

Genghis.CommandLineParser+UsageException: TargetApplication: Required argument not found
   at Genghis.CommandLineParser.Parse(String[] args, Boolean ignoreFirstArg, Boolean allowUnrecognized)
   at NC.BootStrap.CommandLine.ParseArgs(String anArgString)
Genghis.CommandLineParser+UsageException: TargetApplication: Required argument not found
   at Genghis.CommandLineParser.Parse(String[] args, Boolean ignoreFirstArg, Boolean allowUnrecognized)
   at NC.BootStrap.CommandLine.ParseArgs(String anArgString)

Ok fixed it, seems it needed verdana regular to install it and i didn't have it installed.
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2009, 07:27:40 PM »

Quote from: Reemul on June 05, 2009, 05:50:33 PM

Ok fixed it, seems it needed verdana regular to install it and i didn't have it installed.

Those darn verdana regular's will get you every time. Always climbing up your leg and biting the inside of your bum... Oh That verdana regular!
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« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2009, 02:03:05 PM »

Some thoughts from the beta this weekend...

There is a lot of good things about Aion. The graphics are great. The performance of the 3D engine is about as good as it gets. The servers were stable and everything was smooth even in the overcrowded newbie areas. For the people that think polish and stability is everything in an MMOG this will be their game.

But, for me the bad is just too depressing. Would you believe that its dumbed down from even WoW? Where is my talent tree? Every character will be exactly alike without a talent spec of some sort. One currency. Quest objective markers and location links on everything. Zones with invisible boundaries keep the player from straying off the themepark rails. Even the classes in combat seem to be missing many of their signature tactical options that I have come to expect in other MMOG's.

So two steps forward with the polish and graphic quality, but five steps back with the gameplay. I guess after Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa, NCSoft wasn't interested in taking too many chances. I've got two free copies and I'm sure I'll play Aion, but I can't help but be thinking about how good a game like this could have been.
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« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2009, 04:00:49 PM »

Quote from: Aganazer on June 08, 2009, 02:03:05 PM

Some thoughts from the beta this weekend...

There is a lot of good things about Aion. The graphics are great. The performance of the 3D engine is about as good as it gets. The servers were stable and everything was smooth even in the overcrowded newbie areas. For the people that think polish and stability is everything in an MMOG this will be their game.

But, for me the bad is just too depressing. Would you believe that its dumbed down from even WoW? Where is my talent tree? Every character will be exactly alike without a talent spec of some sort. One currency. Quest objective markers and location links on everything. Zones with invisible boundaries keep the player from straying off the themepark rails. Even the classes in combat seem to be missing many of their signature tactical options that I have come to expect in other MMOG's.

So two steps forward with the polish and graphic quality, but five steps back with the gameplay. I guess after Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa, NCSoft wasn't interested in taking too many chances. I've got two free copies and I'm sure I'll play Aion, but I can't help but be thinking about how good a game like this could have been.
What could they have done to make this MMO a home-run in your opinion? It will give me a better Idea of what to expect.
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« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2009, 04:13:14 PM »

I agree, i played for an hour and stopped. It's like a poor man's WoW with pretty much nothing new. The core of the game is just the same in every way.

This has dropped off my to play list for now.
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« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2009, 06:28:50 PM »

Quote from: Arclight on June 08, 2009, 04:00:49 PM

Quote from: Aganazer on June 08, 2009, 02:03:05 PM

Some thoughts from the beta this weekend...

There is a lot of good things about Aion. The graphics are great. The performance of the 3D engine is about as good as it gets. The servers were stable and everything was smooth even in the overcrowded newbie areas. For the people that think polish and stability is everything in an MMOG this will be their game.

But, for me the bad is just too depressing. Would you believe that its dumbed down from even WoW? Where is my talent tree? Every character will be exactly alike without a talent spec of some sort. One currency. Quest objective markers and location links on everything. Zones with invisible boundaries keep the player from straying off the themepark rails. Even the classes in combat seem to be missing many of their signature tactical options that I have come to expect in other MMOG's.

So two steps forward with the polish and graphic quality, but five steps back with the gameplay. I guess after Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa, NCSoft wasn't interested in taking too many chances. I've got two free copies and I'm sure I'll play Aion, but I can't help but be thinking about how good a game like this could have been.
What could they have done to make this MMO a home-run in your opinion? It will give me a better Idea of what to expect.

Some character development options would have been nice. Right now every single Chanter will have the exact same spells and play style as every other Chanter. There is no skill set to make your character unique, nothing that will ever change the character's play style. My main character in WoW was a mage. I was constantly changing from Fire to Ice to Arcane and all kinds of hybrids just to mix up the play style. Aion has Stigmas which can do that somewhat but they are for higher levels and have much less effect than something like the WoW talent trees.

So there were no real choices in character development, but there also weren't any choices in where to go or what to do. The quest progression was completely linear (at least for the first 16 levels). The level 1-10 area is a narrow corridor and doesn't even allow any off the path exploring. In Fallen Earth you can head out and find new cities and play areas with no real boundaries or level restrictions. Champions Online offers a couple choices on where to go for each level range. WoW has a bunch of different starter areas and doesn't necessarily usher you down a corridor the whole time you play. A little more freedom, even if its the illusion of freedom (like WoW) would help a lot.

I am always critical of combat systems because that is what you spend 75% of your time doing in MMOG's. I had no tactical options. My strategy never changed from MOB to MOB. Games like Tabula Rasa and D&D Online have a well defined set of resistances, vulnerabilities, and AI features that force the player to change tactics while they play. Aion had none. I found myself repeating the same pattern during every fight. WoW was like this too (but to a lesser extent) and I ended up making a single button macro (with a Belkin NE52) that would do the whole chain of abilities. This may change as I reach higher levels, but the combat felt dumbed down even compared to WoW.

One of the saving graces of WoW combat was their use of signature abilities for each class. The Warrior Charge. The Paladin Bubble. The Mage's Blink and Frost Nova. These made the gameplay interesting. I won't say Aion doesn't have these, but they are downplayed because its a PvP focused game. I had the same complaint about the WAR combat system. All the big powerful class defining abilities were watered down to make PvP more fair. If I am going to be using a slow auto-attack combat system, I would at least want some unique toys to play with.

There were no group quests during those early levels. Not even smallish ones like you'll find in most MMOG's during the low levels. A couple small group quests during the early levels would be nice. I played with my wife and we never found a MOB we couldn't handle. On the other hand, the combat is mildly difficult solo. A few group quests would have made the community more meaningful.

Its certainly not all bad though. I am only mentioning the bad points of the game. There is a lot to like. Its a beautiful game. I am constantly noticing little things in the environment that are interesting. Nothing interactive and they don't effect the gameplay, but they are nice and add to the atmosphere. I didn't find any bugs. No crashes, no rubber banding, no lag. It was very stable and polished.
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skystride
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« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2009, 08:25:18 PM »

First time I am hearing about this game, so does it have any similarities to Guild Wars? (since it's NCSoft).  Also, Aganazer could be right about his complaints but I disagree with the statement that WAR is not strategic and classes don't have unique skills.
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Fez
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« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2009, 04:13:43 PM »

Quote from: Aganazer on June 08, 2009, 06:28:50 PM

Quote from: Arclight on June 08, 2009, 04:00:49 PM

Quote from: Aganazer on June 08, 2009, 02:03:05 PM

Some thoughts from the beta this weekend...

There is a lot of good things about Aion. The graphics are great. The performance of the 3D engine is about as good as it gets. The servers were stable and everything was smooth even in the overcrowded newbie areas. For the people that think polish and stability is everything in an MMOG this will be their game.

But, for me the bad is just too depressing. Would you believe that its dumbed down from even WoW? Where is my talent tree? Every character will be exactly alike without a talent spec of some sort. One currency. Quest objective markers and location links on everything. Zones with invisible boundaries keep the player from straying off the themepark rails. Even the classes in combat seem to be missing many of their signature tactical options that I have come to expect in other MMOG's.

So two steps forward with the polish and graphic quality, but five steps back with the gameplay. I guess after Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa, NCSoft wasn't interested in taking too many chances. I've got two free copies and I'm sure I'll play Aion, but I can't help but be thinking about how good a game like this could have been.
What could they have done to make this MMO a home-run in your opinion? It will give me a better Idea of what to expect.

Some character development options would have been nice. Right now every single Chanter will have the exact same spells and play style as every other Chanter. There is no skill set to make your character unique, nothing that will ever change the character's play style. My main character in WoW was a mage. I was constantly changing from Fire to Ice to Arcane and all kinds of hybrids just to mix up the play style. Aion has Stigmas which can do that somewhat but they are for higher levels and have much less effect than something like the WoW talent trees.

So there were no real choices in character development, but there also weren't any choices in where to go or what to do. The quest progression was completely linear (at least for the first 16 levels). The level 1-10 area is a narrow corridor and doesn't even allow any off the path exploring. In Fallen Earth you can head out and find new cities and play areas with no real boundaries or level restrictions. Champions Online offers a couple choices on where to go for each level range. WoW has a bunch of different starter areas and doesn't necessarily usher you down a corridor the whole time you play. A little more freedom, even if its the illusion of freedom (like WoW) would help a lot.

These kinds of concerns are exactly why I feel it's impossible for a new fantasy MMORPG game to truly captivate an audience like WoW did.  To me, WoW and EQ2 offer just about all of the options one could expect out of a traditional fantasy MMORPG, and any new game just starting out that is based on that formula is going to lose once the eye candy wears off.  Simply stated, I feel it takes years for a game to build up their playable options like EQ2 and WoW have (talent trees, specs, etc.).  Games like AOC and Warhammer just didn't break the mold enough, although each had some new ideas, and the eye candy gloss wears off after a few weeks.
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skystride
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« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2009, 08:15:06 PM »

Are talking about captivating the mainstream audience?  A lot of us don't even like WoW.  I thought EQ2 was pretty good but the gloss has worn off.  So I don't think it's impossible for a new MMO to captivate a niche or non mainstream audience.  They just have to avoid the obvious stumbling blocks that games like AoC and WAR faced.
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