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Reader Comments (36)

Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 5:12PM (Unverified) said

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I'll put this in a separate message so Shawn can reply directly to Ashin. If Shawn indeed didn't take advantage of having a good legion to help him then he did a disservice to himself and the readers. Several of us even mentioned that if the legion was available then that is best way to play the game. With a decent group and putting in some game time one should be able to quickly get to the Abyss, if nothing else.

Ashin, just curious as to what 'bad advice' you refer to. Certainly, if a player is lucky enough to have a good legion (or even just a few good friends), then it is vastly easier to play through the content and do fairly well. It is also more fun. But if not, then many will end up like me, watching legion after legion after legion quickly fall apart and having to either PUG everything (which I pretty much refuse to do any more, it just is terrible) or else figure out ways to level up solo.

The hardcore legions want to just run a few instances over and over; or else go gank low levels. The casual legions quickly fall apart. And I've yet to find any middle ground group that has enough players, has nice people and isn't just about leveling as fast as possible. Now and then, if I'm lucky, I will run across one or two people needing the same quest as me at the same location and we can team up. But that happens less and less. But many seem to be out doing a different quest and/or grinding mobs, and not interested in teaming up. Partly I blame myself, as I've gotten less inclined to group; from needing a break now and then for my old and hurting hands, getting yelled at when I make a mistake (yeah, once in a great while I accidentally pull a second mob or forget to use a skill), or just the fact it is often easier and faster to solo instead of waiting around 30 to 40 minutes for a group to form.

Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 6:13PM (Unverified) said

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Just to address some of your questions.

By bad advice I mean people telling him to solo grind repeatables, skip crafting, and get to 50 as soon as possible. This has to be the least enjoyable way to play the game, and it is no wonder someone would conclude the game is grindy when the only activity they choose to undertake is solo grinding. I mean, this is kind of circular logic, no?

We are not a hardcore legion and we explicitly reject that premise. However we are definitely active and we definitely play to win. So there is a middle ground between the false choice of hardcore and casual and that ground is what we try to occupy.

Anyway my criticism of his review is in no way related to my legion, its policies, or any "drama". There is no drama. We are just frustrated because our sole intention was to make sure he could learn as much as possible about the game, and I feel like this review is based on very limited exposure. (Limited by his low level, true, but more importantly, limited by the way he approached the game.)
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Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 6:52PM (Unverified) said

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Okay, thanks for the reply Ashin.

My suggestion to stick to only one craft or not spend much time doing that (unless he really enjoyed Aion's crafting after playing with it some) was that with the limited time Shawn was going to spend in the game I thought he wasn't going to get far enough into crafting for it to be useful, especially at the level he was, plus the time and kinah it would take to level up the craft for something useful, aside from Alchemy or maybe cooking.
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Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 9:18PM (Unverified) said

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What would your good advice have been, then?

There's nothing to do in Aion at levels 20-40 except grind levels via quests and repeatables, and the repeatables and campaigns are what give the best XP and items. If you're the type (like Shawn) that only plays a few hours a day crafting is a huge waste of time because it just gets more boring until you get into the high levels where you can craft stuff that actually is useful. And then it's still boring, you just sometimes get items out of it worth using.

Yeah, you can do these things in a group if you have one (except crafting), but the game goes out of its way to make this inconvenient with level penalties if you're not within two levels of everyone in the group, nevermind if you and the other person just don't really get along.

Nobody suggested he grind to 50, that would be insane in six weeks. I told him to hit 25 because most of the major content unlocks at 25. That's not just a soft floor, it's absolutely mandatory if you want to see a fort siege or fly around the Abyss. What was his alternative, to not grind and not see any of that?

-SirNiko
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Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 5:37PM DancingCow said

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I had the same initial impression of Aion.

At launch I was stunned and thrilled to be playing an MMO that was almost entirely bug-free and finished. That's so rare for MMOs. The graphics were lovely etc. etc.

But yeah, I suppose you could say it had "no soul". Though the way I saw it, I just couldn't distinguish Aion from its predecessors except for a few minor improvements. It didn't feel like a new game - it felt like a new skin wrapped around an old one.

So while I thought Aion was an excellent game (and still do), it very quickly felt stale to me because I'd already spent several years playing WoW and growing bored with that.

Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 6:21PM Deadalon said

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Once again - still waiting for real 10 day trial... Its not happening and the game isn't good enough for me to spend a dime on before I can try it out.

Posted: Jun 24th 2010 8:35AM (Unverified) said

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Fair enough, I wouldn't consider Ashin's response as guild drama but more of a critique but I'll leave this lie.

Thank you for recognizing your time constraints and handing off the role to someone who can dig at least deep enough to access the main original selling point for the game, the Abyss.

There are still issues worth discussing but it will take a lot longer to reach those.

Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 8:50PM shinkie said

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I was level 29 and could not even be bothered to get to level 30, I was just so tired of the grinding and gameplay was kinda boring too. I was in a legion and even that didn't really retain my interest.
Now I'm waiting for TERA and SWTOR.

Posted: Jun 23rd 2010 9:02PM (Unverified) said

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I said goodbye to Aion in 2009, what a disappointment this game was.

Posted: Jun 26th 2010 9:44AM Maraq said

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Game is good looking, great interface. Up to the point me and my gf left, the community on Castor server was awful. Kill stealing, people pulling mobs into another group already fighting a zone boss just for the fun of it, griefing at its extreme. The few decent players there were quickly got out of sync level wise as they either stuck to or switched classes, played at different times etc... Again, in a game where grinding is the norm, switching classes is not a trivial decision unless you specifically want an alt. if the community had been older (not possible with a new game) that might not have been a problem, with more players with developed alts who could switch between them to help out buddies who were lagging.

Even with awful community, grinding (crafting is INSANE) and a fragmented group of players on my friends list my gf and i stuck at it, and after having helped others with gear and quests we both hoped that a shift in the community would eventually materialise and the time and emotion invested would be worth it.

The thing that ruined it for both of us was the account hacks, bots running rampant, and blatant in your face gold selling, with NCSofts almost malicious seeming and idiotic inaction in addressing these issues. No in game support, and a system that only allowed you to log a ticket in game within the working hours 9-5 of the zone the server belonged in? wierd. maybe thats changed now i dont know. but to recieve a message back from the game system that you should try to log a ticket again within the specified hours just beggars belief. a response i can understand would be to say that your ticket had been logged and you will be contacted via email. But to prevent the ticket itself being logged due to it being "out of hours" is dumb and offensive in its stupidity.

Then came the cruncher, my gf's account was hacked. we realised after coming back from a christmas away from home and her account had been banned. No problem, these things happen, but NCSoft decline to reset her account as apparently she has a long history of rmt, apparently not just for the two weeks her account had been hacked. No further communication would be entered into.

before this had happened i came across a bug in their authentication system. i logged onto the forums with my account details and a minute or so later realised i was staring at someone elses account, not mine or my gf's. i dont save passwords on any of my games or my browser, so i know it was my details that i entered. the forums use the same authentication servers as the game does. after logging off quickly, i did a bit more reading and came across other people who managed to log into others accounts in game without realising. bit more reading and i came across a known hack, that if someone was prepared to spam login attempts, like a hacker would be prepared to, if they knew the hack, there was a chance each time the authentication system would incorrectly log you into someone elses account. game over. i didn't believe it at first, it couldn't be that simple to do or there couldn't be a login system with a hole that big in it surely...

I build the pc's we use and i have current and legit software only, no shareware, downloaders or other crap, and current anti-virus and malware scanning. we are as legit as it comes. we are both as angry as only legit players can be when we are accused of rmt after our accounts have been hacked. NCSoft got a bit crazy with their ban hammers to over compensate for their own lack of support and surveilance in-game and innocent players paid the price.

I reactivated my own account a month ago to dig up some friends emails that i'd been told to check for, and realised how little spamming and griefing on the channels there was now, i was pleasantly surprised. i chatted a mate who was online and i found ourt why. the server was almost empty most of the time. i wonder why.

Ex Aion player (Maraq)

Posted: Jun 24th 2010 7:16AM Dread said

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I pre-ordered Collectors, then got into Beta. I got 4 toons to around 13-15. Deleted game off HD. Cancelled pre-order.

It was just 'meh'. I agree it didn't have any soul...but it also didn't have any heart either.

Looks like nuthin's changed.

Posted: Jun 25th 2010 2:17PM kevinsal said

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I find this game to be awesome. I have played every MMO out there, started with FFXI, beta tested WoW, Warhammer, Age of Conan, and it seems like all the rest.

This game is not for amateur gamers. When you die you get hit hard with a death penalty. Quests place you in uncharted enemy lands and you have to find mobs and items, this is not done by any other game. Sure its a grind to get to level 50 but thats how it should be. A game like wow is just way too easy to get to the main level.

This guy on the review didn't even get to the Abyss yet.. lol That is the main part of the game. PvP in the Abyss gaining, capturing and defending sieges and territory. Getting to that level you really aren't giving it a fair try.

This is a hardcore MMO, so nooblets expecting spoon feeding don't play. It is the most well polished and best looking MMO as well. The game is fluid and seemless without clunky edges or battles. Anything out now just cant come close to this quality. When 2.0 comes out it will be hard to beat. this is acculmination of all MMOs put into one.. Power Shards, DP, Territory battles.. mmm my mouth is watering

Anyone thinking about trying it should really give it a shot if you are down for a hardcore game without Carebears.

See you in game

Posted: Jun 24th 2010 8:39PM (Unverified) said

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"This game is not for amateur gamers."

If by amateur, you mean people who are unwilling to accept false promises and thrive on random dice rolls as a reward for their effort, then you're right.

Classing anyone as an "amateur gamer" is ridiculous, everyone goes into a new game as a newbie, and you just lost any credibility in your post because of that statement.
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Posted: Jun 25th 2010 12:28AM Enikuo said

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First of all, everyone knew that Shawn was only playing the game for 6 weeks. He said that from the get-go. He accomplished plenty in the time he was in the game. It's not his fault that the game is designed so that you don't get to the main point (the Abyss) for the first 25 levels. That's just the way the game is designed.

And for the record, there was a lot of stuff wrong with the game outside of the grind. The grind, rng, myriad of kinah sinks, and army of bots/spammer were just added bonuses to the fact that core game mechanics had problems.

Sieges crashed, lagged, and disconnected players all the time. It was essentially PowerPoint PvP (on good rigs). On top of that, the ranking system encouraged players to PvE instead of PvP for points. Severe level penalties coupled with a poor rift design that gave high level hunting parties no alternate but to jump into low level areas, encouraged players to rush to the level cap.

Add to all of that the oblivious, callous, and incompetent management style of NcSoft West. The CMs couldn't even post in the official Aion forums for months, so long that a fan site morphed into the official forums.

So, stop pretending that the complainers are just a bunch of amateur carebears that can't tolerate a grind. There were major problems with core mechanics of the game. And, there were problems with the management of the game that left players with little confidence in its future.

I appreciate that some people still play the game and enjoy it. That's great. But, it's no badge of courage. There are plenty of "hardcore grind" games with subscriptions still going strong, some that are 5-years-old, while Aion is merging servers. That says something. You may not like it, but it does.

The review was fine. Shawn did a good job balancing the good with the bad. And, his articles seeded the comment conversations from players that do know more about the game, which is valuable. The legion leader should have been part of that conversation throughout the six-weeks Shawn was covering the game, especially if he felt that Shawn was getting bad advice. Popping up at the last minute was poor form.

Posted: Jun 25th 2010 2:25PM kevinsal said

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inazagi86 you can easily have amateur gamers playing an MMO. Especially people thinking ohhh I can fly in this game weee. Well I'm sure they were in for a surprise when it wasn't a fast level like WoW. They probably died and lost EXP and then said forget this I'm going back to wow or some other easier game. You certainly do have a wide variety of gamers, you are silly to believe we are all created equal just because a game is new.

There are experienced gamers and beta testers looking for a challenge and there are gamers just looking to get to the max level easily. This is what I meant by that statement. Sorry it made you feel so bad, do you fit in that category? ;)

that being said, they are trying to enhance the game by making updates. Sure it isn't perfect, but I still think its a fun game overall. I've played them all and this is the only one challenging enough to keep my attention. Sure I'll be playing FF XIV when it comes out, but I don't think this is a failure like some people claim.

Posted: Aug 10th 2010 8:49PM (Unverified) said

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I played AOIN for I think 6 months? Anyways I had a pretty high lvled cleric and just started doing steel rake instances.

I stopped playing because,
* A single steel rake instance took 2-4 hours to complete, I don't have that time.
*After spending all that time there was a 0.000000000000001% chance of getting something usefull for me.
*Limited flight time, flying not everywhere.
*bots and NO GM's or propper support.

I played a f2p mmo before this called perfect world, and I'd rather recommend that than aion.

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