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Reader Comments (28)

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 8:17AM Aganazer said

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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.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 8:36AM Boruk said

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That's what happens when game developers try reaching out towards the younger audience and forgoing the older audience in the mean-time. Too many times on the WoW forums did people complain that they didn't want to read the quests to find out where to go, they just wanted a marker...and that's what they got.

Even Turbine fell for this but at least you can turn theirs off if you want.

What ever happened to the strategy or the adventure in MMO's? It has now come down to some structured game like most RTS where you don't explore, you only do the things they game wants you to do.

Aion looked like a promising game that I might try out, but too many instances (which should never be in a MMO), not enough of the "Oh Man!" moments in combat to keep me interested.

I know a lot of people want to get away from the fantasy setting, but I think the need for a truly great fantasy MMO is there. One that is fairly fun to solo or group in, allows greater options for the Role Players, lacks instancing, more social options and a greater crafting system that compets with raid gear without the need to go in the raid to get the mats or the recipes.

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Posted: Jun 8th 2009 11:41AM (Unverified) said

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For some MMO players such as myself, quests are just the chores you do to advance, and are not the parts of the game I enjoy. I wouldn't have played WoW for as long as I did if I didn't have QuestHelper installed, and even then it was nothing more than a giant reminder on my world map that I had a laundry list of chores to do. Doesn't sound like changing the beacons really fixes the issue for players like me, however. I'd much rather be off the rails and in control of my own adventure.

Tell me there's a spooky cave to the north with a prospect of treasure, and I'll go do my own thing. Don't have me go down there to find your wife's missing sock.
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Posted: Jun 8th 2009 12:05PM toychristopher said

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You should remember that this is only 1-20. I have been playing in Korea and there are characterization options through the stigma system although I would also question how much customization talent trees really bring to the game.

The game also has pvp ranking with abyss points so that is two "currencies". Not every quest has location links and the worls opens up a "little" more as you level up. I'm not sure about signature tactical abilities or whatever but I do think each class is a little fresher than in many rpgs.

Aion of course isn't perfect and you are right in that it doesn't take any huge risks or big leaps in design. I think the combo system for spells does freshen up fighting a little bit and flying pvp is fun. It's sad that they didn't show off the abyss int his beta preview because that is probably the thing that is most different about AION.
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Posted: Jun 8th 2009 8:30AM HeavyTank said

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well after spending most of the weekend downloading the client (slow south african internet FTL!) the 30 mins i spent in game was amazing, the graphics are nice and polished, but didn't really get much done in that time, still color me impressed.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 8:38AM (Unverified) said

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Well i didnt think much of the graphics, with the exception of character models it could have been wow. Gameplay copied Guild wars massively but didnt quite pull it off, combat wasnt as fluid, overall a very good game thats clearly had a lot of thought and time go into it, ill definately be playing on release

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 8:44AM (Unverified) said

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I managed to get my Gladiator(Spec I choose at lvl 10) to 14 before the ending late last night. Although there isnt a lot new here I feel it is very well put together and I had a lot of fun.I have to say the game really took off for me once i completed the ascension part.Yep the graphics are really breathtaking in many areas and i was playing with all the eye candy turned all the way up with little to no lag even in crowded areas.I'll definetly be back for the next round.
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Posted: Jun 8th 2009 8:39AM Alarie said

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To me it felt like L2 without the open pvp. I may give it a try. It is releasing at a bad time when I will be back in college so I don't know.

It wasn't to bad, but I agree it was more of the same of other games. Atleast levels 1-7 for this casual gamer, didn't make it to ten to get wings.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 8:49AM (Unverified) said

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I wasn't a fan of Aion but I personally haven't found an MMO I've enjoyed enough to keep playing.The environments were in the right direction but I'm not a huge fan of the art style. A long way to go before I were to play it.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 9:05AM (Unverified) said

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The graphical engine impressed the hell out of me. I have an aging computer and was expecting blocky low-res graphics, but thankfully I ended up with fast moving lush graphics. The music was a little grating at times, but then most MMO music gets a little grating after a while (simply as you're in a given zone for a while, so thus listening to same few pieces of music)

As for the gameplay, well it played almost exactly like the Lineage games (perhaps unsurprising given the NCSoft heritage), but with more meaningful mob grinding through the addition of (more) quests - although I don't know about how bad the grind is at later levels. It's nice to see a fairly decent implementation of the WASD keys too (although I did find myself point-clicking a lot). The increase in quest item drop rate (compared to the Lineage series) is very welcome too!

The lore is intriguing, the in-game flashbacks help a lot I think, and the quests, for the most part, fun. Overall I enjoyed my time in the short weekend beta, and look forward to, potentially, taking part in future Aion betas too.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 9:45AM (Unverified) said

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Still dont get it. Ppl have been playing Aion for over 2 years, selling it to the Failest mmo team ever (the good folks at ncsoft, that let Tabula Rasa Close) Doesnt make it a new game.

Sparkle Screens of horrible art design, Some weird cross between western elf; year'd FF ripoff, and japan horndog of whit skinned avatars with huge floppy funbags.

I hope they decide to cancel distribution and I will laugh myself to sleep 1 year from now, when Aion is the 4th mmo in history to close down.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 10:29AM (Unverified) said

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Strange sentence structure, odd word Choices that mask the Writers, pnt. Why for some Strange hybrid of Leet speak, 3rd grade english, Yoda and Shatner.

Article asked For opinions of players, not some random Take on it from, Someone not in Beta. Ur opinon Matters, not.

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Posted: Jun 14th 2009 12:50AM (Unverified) said

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Way more than 4 MMOs have closed down over the years. You can start counting with Meridian 59 and NWN Classic.
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Posted: Jun 8th 2009 10:15AM icicles said

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Not being a fan of L2 or GW (was more in the EQ and WoW camp) I was going into the weekend not expecting much bar flashy graphics. However, I was pleasantly surprised; not since original EQ and FFXI have I felt drawn into an experience in the way it grabbed me.

The non-queueable combat where you have to actually pay attention was very welcome compared to the hit keys XYZ in this order of other big MMOs. The classes all play very differently (ended up with an assassin, a spiritmaster, a templar and a just pre-ascension priest before time ran out) which is again a welcome change when other games seem to be removing class identities.

Could be just nostalgia, but it felt for pulls to be single or multiple based on where the mobs were, not just a function of mobs being linked or not; the reactive nature of much of the combat and how easy it is to screw up and die definitely helped with providing a feeling of accomplishment; death felt meaningful again (no corpse runs though thank goodness).

Will probably try it on release, with 2 reservations; channel hopping and farmers/bots - channel hopping boss farming seems to be something that needs limiting (restricting channel switch to when joining groups perhaps), and as the weekend wound down, the early lakes seemed to be teeming with folks refining their hp potion drinking farming droids.

Overall, pleasantly surprised.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 10:21AM TheJackman said

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This is the mmo for the grapics people that still not understand that good game play is way better them grapics.... Enjoy playing this easy game and let your brain on off mode, And enjoy your first month like before the 2nd start you will be burned out!

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 10:37AM Myria said

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Does it ever occur to game companies that this level of hype is not good for their game?

We've seen this how many times before? Especially when the words "WoW killer" get whispered (as they have been on this very site about Aion), the hype machine gets cranked up to eleven. Everything becomes an EVENT, the gaming press gets filled to overflowing with 'news' (not exactly hard to grab MMO headlines post-E3 with no other new MMO on the immediate horizon), which players lap up. Everyone is wowed (if you'll excuse the term) by betas-cum-demos, friends are told, family warned not to bother you on launch day, money is plopped down on the Gamespot counter even before the kid behind the counter asks you if you want to pre-order any one of 2,000 games they're not even sure will ever come out but they want your money for their interest bearing accounts anyway.

Launch day comes. Gigatons of boxes have be sold... Err... Gigatons of boxes have been shipped, proving it truly is a WoW killer! Excitement is high, fun is had by all, reviews (the reviewer having gotten to a whole level three before knocking out their "in-depth" review) are glowing, it's a success!

And then reality sets in. Some get bored because the game never really was going to be their cup o' tea and if they hadn't let themselves be blinded by hype they would have realized that. Others are just launch day transients, destined to repeat this pattern over and over. Still others get annoyed by the inevitable bugs and leave. Of those that are left, many get to mid- or end-game only to discover that the further you get from the starter zone the less polish and, worse, the less there is to do. They get to an endgame so anemic vampires offer to make deposits, and they feel cheated.

The game starts dropping subs like fur off a long-haired cat after chemotherapy. Friends and family are warned to avoid it like the plague. The game takes on epic fail status and at that point it doesn't matter how much of the problem was the inevitable launch-day hiccups, how many of the bugs you later fix, or how well you fill in the anorexic endgame content, you're never going to fully repair your image, your game will always have a -- deserved or not -- taint of fail.

MMO companies need to stop focusing on building the hype to levels their game can't possibly live up to. Launch day is not the be-all or end-all, it is not when your game will be made or broken. Many a game has had a fantastic launch, and a few months later had to try and convince itself, it's investors, and the game community how 300K really is a fantastic number and they didn't really mean it when they said they'd have subs in the millions.

Stop focusing so much on launch day, if your game is as good as you think it is then word-of-mouth will build it up no matter what -- word of mouth is this industry's lifeblood. Focus on that month to three month period after launch when your game will really be made or broken. Your game has flaws, no matter how well you test or how perfect you think it is, it does. Listen to the feedback you get and be ready, willing, and able to fix issues and adjust accordingly. Communicate with players -- yeah, they're a bunch of arses, but they're the ones who'll make or break you -- a player base that feels the company is listening to them and working on issue will cut you a lot of slack, a player base that feels ignored or lied to will leave in droves and cost you many more new subs then you imagine.

The Aion hype machine is firmly stuck on '11'. Given MMO history in general and NCSoft's history in particular, that's definitely not a good sign.

Posted: Jun 9th 2009 12:22AM myr said

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Do you realize that WoW was incredibly hyped in the MMO community of the time before its release?

Your argument fails.
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Posted: Jun 8th 2009 12:05PM Celestian said

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I rather liked the graphics and how the system performed even when loads of people were playing around as well.

The quest system was nice. While I can see how some people might find "reading" a quest fun I tend to think doing the quest is the fun bit, not having to pour over the text to figure out where they meant to tell ya to go.

What I didn't like is the localization work that is not done. They really need new voice overs, the 10 year old Asian cheerleader voice got OLD for the females. Backpacks are NOT cubes and "channels" are zone instances.

I'm really curious what the end game is gonna be like? If the game is suppose to be PVP at the end what do you do? Is there something like WAR with RVR ranks and gear to earn? Or is it like Guildwars and just for a ladder system?

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 12:53PM Softserve said

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I was kind of disappointed by it. In a lot of ways it felt way too much like Guild Wars 1.5. Obviously I am only able to judge the opening areas and general single player/group stuff, but it just didn't feel like much of an advancement there.

Game looks good, animation is strong, performance is strong. I can't complain about any of that, really.

I do know that most people like to blow through quests, but I only do this in games where I am not interested by the dialogue or events in the game. This is one of those games where I couldn't bring myself to even care about what these characters were doing... and that just leads to boredom for me very quickly.

Game isn't bad, but I no longer felt a need to pre-order it.

Posted: Jun 8th 2009 1:04PM Keen and Graev said

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So is there or is there not a NDA? It made me agree to one before I could play. Some press can write about the game, but can you invite others to talk about it too?

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