| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (65)

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:12AM Jesspiper said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Can't say I liked the no soul comment. Also as for being Vanilla, I more or less agree thus far, but I think the Abyss experience will lean this game slightly from Vanilla to Vanilla-PvP.

It is, at its heart, a Realm PvP game afterall.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:09AM TexRob said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I was very against this game, but have given it a fair shake since friends all want to play it. I agree to some extent with the soul comment, but I notice it getting better as you progress.

I disagree with the flying and the combat though. Skill chaining is very cool, especially for something like an assassin. I think the combat offers a fair amount if uniqueness, and classes seem to fill roles in a group nicely.

As for flying, I think you need to spend some time getting good at gliding. Gliding is almost like a totally separate aspect of this game, one that you have to conciously think about the best way to traverse an area. Like leaving basfelt village flying down into the lake, you can run out your timer on flying long before ever coming close to landing.

Mainly I think it's way too early in the game for you to make a call on combat or flying, as we don't really know how they will play out later on. You can already see a shift from 10-20, so there is no telling what 20-50 will change/make better/make worse.
Reply

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 12:44PM TexRob said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Oh, one other thing, there is a decent amount of soul, but a lot of it is disjointed and not tied to quests. Anyone else feel the freaking nyerk nyerk squirrels are the Murloc of this game? I can see my friends and I saying nyerk LONG after this game has come and gone, and to me that is a sign of charm/soul.

Reply

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:16AM Nef said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Sums it up quite well. The basic game (play) is quite traditional and doesn't push into any new directions (except the pretty direction). The wings I can see from a game design point -- makes it far more challenging if you can't simply fly over all the obstacles and get to what you needed. I know in CO I've done that a LOT.

The Abyss and Rifts are what's going to set it apart, I think.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:22AM Arkanaloth said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
pity it's so pvp centric or I'd give it a go... stunning imagery and good storytelling are what I go for, it has that apparently but generally unrestricted PVP is a big enough "con" to outweigh those two "pros" for me. *Waits patiently for FF14*

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:18PM Jesspiper said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
It's not unrestricted. It's one side versus the other. You have guaranteed allies and guaratneed enemies. It's not FFA like AoC or Darkfall (thank goodness!)
Reply

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:26AM (Unverified) said

  • Half a heart
  • Report
This title has always just looked like something to do while waiting for the next WoW expansion if you feel you really must play MMOs all the time. That is, unless you're so dazzled by the graphics that you can stick with it on that merit alone.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:28AM Saylah said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I was thinking about that comment when I was playing, as it was also hurled at ROM. I found that to be a true statement for that game but much less so for Aion. They are at least building a plausible back story with the quests and cut scenes.

I'm starting to wonder if this is a cultural bias we're witnessing where Asian games don't find the need to have the melodramatic character arcs, and focus more on the player activity in a game. Perhaps this is why the game content is so polished. Even after a year, we had AAA NA titles languishing in bugs, players outrage from core features still being poorly executed- AOC and WAR as examples. In the same amount of time, having been released in Korea, Aion is extremely stable, performs well and is practically bug-free, as was ROM for that matter on release. I'm starting to think that our cultures put emphasis and value in different areas when building these games. Just a thought.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:09AM Seraphina Brennan said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I so, so, so, so totally agree with you Saylah. I too had the culture question cross my mind when I was writing this, but I didn't know how to say it without it sounding like a detractor from the game.

I don't think it's a detractor at all, but very much as you said -- simply a cultural difference between the Eastern and Western markets. And, certainly, when you design a game for a different audience, your attention goes elsewhere.

Yes, I very much agree with your statement. :D
Reply

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:36AM Holgranth said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
While this might sound a little old from what I have seen and heard so far Aion is basically another Asian themed "WoW clone" (Wow being an EQ clone) with a few unique ideas and gimmicks.

Admittedly its a lot more polished that 99% of the WoW clones out there that much is obvious.

I still don't think it is going to do to WoW what WoW did to EQ2 though, namely take the same idea and add so much depth, polish and acessability that it utterly outshines the compitition. (But don't tell the Aion fanbois they are convinced its going to blast WoW to little pieces)


I won't be trying it not unless cataclysm gets delayed untill next fall or is an utterly unpolished mess. (Hey its possible) I'm happy with wow and see no reason to abandon my character/guild/friends to go play somthing with few diferences and many many similaritys.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 2:10PM Celestian said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
LOL, WoW clone...man these guys will never stop. I guess Outback is a clone of McDonalds too.

This game is pretty damn far from a WoW clone. The leveling pace is much harder, there are not enough quests to just level up solo... you'll have to grind it out or group and do something with... you know people before end game (unlike WoW).

The game is also PVP centric, not PVE... WoW is nothing but PVE.

I wish people had some sorta clue about games before they spew their ignorance.
Reply

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:34PM Holgranth said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
GG for not understanding my comment, by WoW clone I don't mean complete CLONE I mean, level driven, gear driven, cooldown based combat system, classes, and all the other everquest decendant mish mash that goes with it.
Reply

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:42AM Tom in VA said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This is one of the best "impressions pieces" of this game I've read so far, Colin. Thanks for posting it.

I thought the "no soul" comment was interesting, and I think I know what you mean by it, although which games have a "soul" and which do not is going to be a very subjective matter among various players, I imagine.

For my own part, I found WoW, for all its flaws, to have "soul", as did GW. LotRO had "soul" at the beginning but somehow lost its way in the Mines of Moria (in my opinion) and, in doing so, lost my interest as well.

It sounds odd, I guess, but in MMOs as in a good novel, I have to care about my character, my actions, the world, the overarching story, and the quests to some degree or else it just seems mechanical and pointless, however, polished it may be. Aion looks to me like a furniture display at a high-end department store: very pretty to look at, but no place I'd want to stay for very long.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:57AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The game hardly considers itself a WoW clone. It does what solid games do. It borrows from the public pool, adds a little spice and creates a solid recipe it can call its own. A little of Vanguard here, a little of DAoC there, some L2 and sure a bit of WoW? What it doesn't do, is expect you to come in and know whether or not you're in a committed relationship. This game takes it's time showing it's heart, and those of us who enjoy PvP are really looking forward to exploring that part of the relationship. Where most games fail to merry PvE and PvP as equals in development, I dare say this one has surpassed. I agree to some degree that it is lacking that certain soul in early PvE that few games have captured and it is a bit too linear. I'm curious to see our evaluations 3-4 months from now. WoW clone however, it is not. That term has become so loosely thrown around that it has no meaning and frankly it's annoying. Apply it where it counts, but not here.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:58AM Wisdomandlore said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I totally agree with the "no soul" comment. In retrospect, that was the reason why I didn't enjoy the CB and OB, and why I didn't buy the game. While other MMOs (WoW, EQ2, LOTRO) at their core are basic MMO grinds, you can feel the love the developers put into the world. There's a certain magic and history underneath it.

Aion, while it has an interesting concept, basically plops you into a generic (ableit beautiful) fantasy land and says, "Level up. This part of the game doesn't matter." Maybe it changes in the Abyss, which I only saw a little bit of.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:58AM Meagen said

  • Half a heart
  • Report
"If games could be graded on polish and polish alone, then Aion is one of the most polished games I've come across in a while."

If sentences could be graded on logic and coherency, then this sentence has a certain lack of connection.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 10:59AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I totally agree on the no soul part, especially with Eastern MMO's.

There are HUGE fields of HUGE amounts of creatures with absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why they are there, or what they are. It seems many Western MMO's have this need to explain their ecosystems and have it feel like a living world, where as Eastern MMO's don't care as long as there's plenty to kill.

In Western MMO's the wolf is there because there's a forest. The orc scout is there because there's an orc army a few miles over. If there's undead somewhere its because there's a Vampire's Castle near, which you can go and raid. Frogs gather near swamps... intelligent monsters are near the river because they fish for food.

Its so hard to pinpoint exactly why these Eastern MMO's do not feel like a living breathing world. WoW does it well, EQ did it well from Velious onward, and LOTRO does a very good job of it as well. Even Conan, with its amount of problems, at least had a world with different cultures and moral values to each city. In LOTRO the citizens of each city know exactly what's going on with that city, they refer to each other, they talk about the things going on: the NPC's just aren't interchangeable.

Many of them just feel generic.

Runes of Magic I'm a large fan of though, they really seem to be trying to get away from the generic fields of generic monsters doing generic things. If it were subscription instead of Micro-trans I would perhaps play it for a few months, just to see how they do end game.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:02AM Cendres said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This game has no soul.

No I have to vehemently disagree with you there. If anything all it has is soul, well along with solid pvp. Everything else is borrowed from other games, which to me is a great thing not a bad thing, but if you have to say Aion has anything at all is that it feels like an entirely new world and everything in the game intergrates together so well.

I just got a serious kick out of getting express delivery by a shugo (those merchant critters), seriously when was the last time you got mail from a delivery guy in a game let alone an mmo?

I think what's going on for some of us is that you're looking at the game from the outside and not actually diving into it. Now I don't mean you don't want to enjoy the game I'm sure you do, but because as mmo players with possibly a few disappointments under our belts we don't want to be fooled again for 30-50 levels. So you look at everything in parts with a critical eye, while really the experience lies in the whole.

That's my opinion anyway, this being possibly one of the most stable launches ever, I guess you need something to pick apart.. ^_^

Saylah also brings up very valid points about cultural perspective.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:30PM Synthetic said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I actually agreed with the No Soul comment.

To add a little context, I've got the collectors edition sitting next to me as I type this and I've got a few friends that played the beta with me who are now encouraging me to open up the box and join them live. And everything Colin said praising the game, I've also found to be true.

However, I found myself feeling hollow when I played Aion. You say it feels like a new world to you; well, it is a new (online) world. Not to detract from your enjoyment or opinion of Aion but have you considered that maybe your impressions are rose tinted by that fact? It's a fresh, not-crappy, pretty game that's come out in the wake of disappointment after disappointment.

The world of Aion, to me, was not more than the sum of it's parts. I did not feel as though I were walking the path of the Elyos/Asmodian and that instead I was sitting in a chair waiting to get to the abyss because that's where the fun is supposed to start (excluding character customization). This lack of immersion to me meant I had very little vested in my avatars and no motivation to progress other than to gank.

I'm not sure if I'll take the advice offered me and tear into this $70.00 gamble.

It's not a world, it's a game: those are the last sentiments I walked away with.
Reply

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 11:36PM Cendres said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
No actually that was my impression it does feel like a world to me, an alien world very much unlike our own and the usual high fantasy.

And I do feel that every part of it fits together well, if that's not your impression that's fine.
Reply

Featured Stories

Betawatch: August 23 - 29, 2014

Posted on Aug 29th 2014 8:00PM

The Stream Team: Becoming a TERA BAM killer

Posted on Aug 29th 2014 7:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW