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Reader Comments (27)

Posted: Jul 20th 2010 10:13AM (Unverified) said

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There are zones without PvP...yeah 2 of them (without 1-10lvl noob zone) and since 30 to ~45lvl you "have to" grind in zone with opening rifts.
Anyway there is not much ganking there now...all because NCFail killed it by adding "daily quest" (hunt 3 opposing race players). Now when you try rifting you will get 10+ high lvl/heavy geared players on you in 2-3 minutes.
Rifting died honestly...

What about merges? Well they increased playerbase (EU servers), theyr even quite balanced.
But since people get used to fact that their race is dominating many guilds/players want to use "free transfer" option.

PS. Aion is falling again...after "1.9 shock" massive amount of players is cancelling subs. Till 2.0 will came out situation will be only going worse (less players/bigger imbalance).

Posted: Jul 20th 2010 11:27AM ChongShin said

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Ah, so these zones don't go beyond level 30? That doesn't make a lot of sense and is very unfortunate. I remember pre-release there were a lot of people with 20-some level characters complaining about the rifts and the ganking. Personally I leveled from 20 to about 25ish in a rift-free area to avoid the problem and to get some level and gear on my character before dealing with it.

A lot of people didn't know about them because the game simply didn't draw any attention to the areas. The main story line takes you from rift zone to rift zone.

It's a shame if they don't go 30+ though. I wouldn't know. I threw in the towel at that point.

Posted: Jul 20th 2010 11:47AM (Unverified) said

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It is possible to level in pvp-free zones from 1-25 (though 18-20 is pretty thin) and 45-50. From 25-45, where people are really learning their classes and learning how the game works beyond the beginner go-get-10-bat-spleens content, there is no choice but to level in PvP zones. Shortly after launch, that wasn't a big deal. Now that hordes of bored lvl50 players have twinked out alts that they leave in that level range, you'd best not go anywhere alone for those 20 levels.

Posted: Jul 20th 2010 11:54AM (Unverified) said

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The mergers, in my experience, have been a rousing success even if my server's Elyos / Asmo PvP balance is fubar (Israphel).

As far as rifting and some of the outcry so far, I have an alternate view: it's nice to see what effort spent improving your character can lead to. For everyone that is upset that they were rolled by a fully twinked out rifter in full PvP gear I hope that you look at that as a goal, or at least, as something equivalent to reaching the next level. These people have made an obvious effort, both financially and in terms of time spent, to get their characters to a point where they are the ultimate killing machines for their level range. Personally I think it's great to see these rifters try (and often succeed) to kill characters that are much higher level than they are, but much less geared. The ability for well geared players to bridge the level gap is lacking in many popular MMOs, and this is one of the modern examples of an attempt to solve that issue. I think Enchanting goes a long way to solving the level disparity, which is great to see (+1 seems to relate roughly to .75 level on a piece of gear, so +10 makes you function as ~7 levels higher than you actually are, though there are diminishing returns).

As far as griefing goes (what I'd term ganking that affects you repeatedly and in such a manner that prevents you from making progress on your character) I can't really sympathize. After level 20 there are always multiple options for leveling areas, including areas that are not PvP flagged at all, perfect for escaping the paranoia of facing a marauding Sin for a while. By level 30 you often have 4 or 5 prime areas to be questing and grinding for your level. At 38 I'm constantly struggling to clear my quest book of quests that I want to keep simply to remind me to go there to find out if it's another quest hub for that level range! Also your corpse is never tied to a spot (unlike WoW) with the obelisk respawn, so unwelcome griefing is almost impossible to maintain without willful participation.

A brief aside on the “stun lock” paradigm of rifting – it is in a word false. True in the 20s and 30s those characters with stun are very deadly (and not coincidentally usually the classes of choice for the dedicated rifter) this complaint is actually a result of three things which stuns exploit so well:

• Preparation Disparity
• Extending the Opener
• Focusing on Frustration

Preparation disparity – rifters are prepared, questers are not (usually). There are potions to escape stuns that are fairly cheap and even the result of quests (though to be very fair, those rewards that I’ve encountered were added in 1.9 to the x10 repeatable quests). In addition, stun lock is usually not long enough to kill people by itself. It’s the addition of a helpful mob that usually seals the deal, which leads to me to my second point.

Extending the Opener: Rogues, Sorcerers and Rangers (some of the best gankers/rifters) exploit the opening as long as possible. This means keeping that mob hitting on you (keeping you stunned and/or rooted), or simply blowing you up before you can react. They get away with this because questers are usually not prepared (see above) with healing potions, cooldowns, DP, food or scrolls (all things any rifter worth their salt will have at the ready, as will anyone worth hunting in the Abyss). Extending the Opener is frustrating because it takes the player completely out of the fight almost instantly, leading to my final point: ganking sucks because it’s non interactive.

Frustration is all about understanding that players might enjoy PvP, if they ever got to engage in it. I know I’ve been the victim of a marauding Sorcerer on my Chanter before (he was 22-24 at the time) and there was quite literally nothing I could do. I had no potions on me, no scrolls, no food and no prayer. He would approach me, murder me, and move on, all in the space of seconds. I even got the jump on him once near the Morheim icefall and he calmly popped a cooldown, a shield, and murdered me. It wasn’t fun, and I only escaped with the help of some friendly passerbys that eventually found him.

However this experience didn’t frustrate me very much, though I can certainly understand why it would the average player, as I was able to maintain some perspective. I had choices and options available to that would have given me a fighting chance against this guy, most of which didn’t involve grinding for hours, gaining levels, or spending infinite on twinked gear. I could’ve gotten Speed Scrolls and DP food to pop my 2K ability (100% attack boost) and been able to counter his CC ability with my improved speed and really hard melee hits. One of the weaknesses of Extending the Opening focused PvPers is that their mid-end game is non-existant, so surviving the opener instantly gives you the edge. To ensure I survived, I could’ve purchased a few Greater Life Serums (which are surprisingly cheap on the broker!) which function as almost full heals. Gank that!

I hate that I come off as a rampant fanboi of Aion on these articles, but it's frustrating to see such negativity for a game that I think has so much going for it. It's certainly refreshing, and this is coming from a long time FFXI and WoW player (and MMO player back to the days of EQ launch), to participate in a distinctly Eastern flavored MMO, with player freedom at a premium and railroading/handholding at a minimum.

Since 1.9 I think this game has reached a point where I wouldn't quite consider it mature, but where I think it has begun to truly hit its stride. If the server PvP balance can be figured out (hopefully with some judicious but behind the scenes nudging of players off and on to lower populated servers) by the time 2.0 comes out this game could be a serious contender. That would be great to see as the Rock-Paper-Scissor balance is, once again, both refreshing and really enjoyable, and the flat level curve (though frustrating at times) allows for leveling gear to feel worth attaining rather than temporary trash to be traded up at the very next town.

new Israphel

Posted: Jul 20th 2010 12:27PM Dblade said

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Talisen, dude, you have no idea.

-Twinked out rifting isn't a goal because twinks use Daeva sets which take getting 5 characters up to a certain level, as well as using weapons most normal levelers wont see. Even Abyss gear takes a long time grinding for the basic 30 gear: I had only managed to get one piece back when the Abyss was empty. It must be murder trying to level there now as a lowbie with the population move.

-stun lock works because of lack of preparation. You are speaking from an experienced player's point of view. Most questers simply aren't going to be prepared as they are money poor and learning the game. I think you forget not everyone in lowbie areas is an alt of a vet player.

Part of dealing with PvP is being able to learn how to counter it, but a lot of these counters you mention aren't really taught in game. A PvP mechanic centered around spamming items is a bad idea: they should have counters innate to the class, not something that you have to spend kinah on.

-You still aren't talking about gear disparity, which is a huge difference. Abyss gear gives flat percentage bonuses to damage from other players, and it's something only a twink can really get: a lowbie in the abyss wont be killing to earn AP often and will probably have to earn it through PvE.

Look, I played FFXI too. Compare Aion PvP to FFXI Ballista. FFXI Ballista wins no contest, and it's a throwaway mode of PvP. Everything in Aion's mechanics pales when compared to FFXI, and it's an 8 year old game:

-FFXI has real endgame, and beseiged supports 500+ plus and remains playable.

-FFXI has ten times better party mechanics. I played a chanter in Aion, and it was pointless compared to a FFXI bard or corsair.

-FFXI's only weakness is the lack of open world PvP, but Aion's mode is so busted outside of the abyss it's hard to even call it a victory.

There's being negative, but a lot of the negativity you see here is because the game is radically flawed. It's not just sour grapes from being beaten in PvP-most people in Aion wouldn't mind that, but most rifting interactions are ganks, not PvP duels. They really need to take a hard look at the mechanics and spend time doing real balancing.

Posted: Jul 20th 2010 1:00PM (Unverified) said

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@ddblade (cause I can't seem to reply to your post...)

-I think work on the account is equivalent to work on the character, it’s all your work after all. I don’t think Daeva armor necessarily means you didn’t work on it simply because you only did 1/5 of the work on that one character.

As far as Abyss gear, I agree, I don’t know how they do that level 30 Abyss gear. Perhaps grinding 25-30 exclusively on Abyss mobs, rifting like crazy with consumables or carefully picking their targets, doing every abyss quest imaginable, I’m not sure. But I’ve certainly seen it, and kudos to them for gearing themselves up to take on characters up to and beyond level 40 if they’ve worked for the gear capable to do it.

-I think this is a good point, I think that that the overreliance on items at low levels when looked at from this perspective can be a problem, however I’m discussing everything that a player has at their disposal in order to gain an edge. I’m talking about a professional that is infamous across the server (Katerria comes to mind on old Lumiel) who uses everything and anything to win. People see, and come across, healing potions all the time, and scrolls such as Lesser Anti-Shock scrolls, and even simpler stuff like Shards. It’s a matter of putting everything together that makes it more complicated, and that takes the mind of a skilled player to do, similar to combining all of the abilities that you gain along the level curve. Skill, patience and practice will lead to better results, which every MMO teaches naturally in the leveling process.

Also let’s not discount Remove Shock, which although level 40, is exactly what you’re talking about, and was added in patch 1.9 probably for these very reasons.

-I think gear disparity is exactly the point, % based on items are very interesting because it’s only going to become amazing when combined with all of the rest of the gear. A single item or two, even a weapon with x% PvP bonus, isn’t going to break your damage if the rest of the gear is green quest rewards. I think this is a good thing. Abyss gear IS a specialized set, it’s designed for the dedicated PvPer, and that is true from level 25 through level 50. I know some people that I’ve seen rifting literally all day (or at least heard about from the shouts through the zone) must consider rifting in their level range their “endgame” and I’ve even personally heard mention from someone that they had no interest in doing something because once they got their level 35 weapons they were done. In fact he said that Kromede’s Dagger meant so much to him for this very reason, it was the best weapon he could get, and the last he would get.

This is a choice and investment. Because some players are roadkill next to that investment doesn’t invalidate the investment, and again, the obelisk regeneration system nullifies almost any argument that they are being griefed. Corpse camping doesn’t exist in this game.

-My machine runs the fort sieges (given at low settings, but 2560x1600 resolution and 2x AA which I’m too lazy to change before the fort opens). FFXI is an old game and it was designed to cater to as many people as wanted to play it.

PS2 limitations anyone? That said, I hope that technical improvements make large scale PvP more accessible to the masses. Until you've flown into a sea of white wings with people barking commands over Vent and watching the skirmish begin, you really haven't seen what the game has to offer.

-I have to agree, I found Chanter to be a poor man’s bard/corsair at times, a useless bufbot that could afk if he wanted. However the hybrid nature of the class comes from their ability to do DPS while supporting, which becomes apparent as you level. I haven’t hit the 40s where Chanter truly start to shine, and I agree that they could stand an extra DPS move or two in their leveling career, but having main healed Mist Mane two days ago I can never again call Chanter boring or pointless.

-I’m giving you a pass on FFXI’s pvp, which was a token gesture at best. The less said about it the better, however open world PvP outside of the Abyss doesn’t exist yet, wait for 2.0. Rifting is a specific type of activity that results in open world PvP, it’s not true open world PvP that is staged (like the open air combat of the Abyss, or the 2.0 expansion with its ground forts).

-I think ultimately, and I’ve said this here before, that the mechanics and balance exists at 45+ when most abilities are finally in play. I think they could do more to balance the game at the lower Abyss bracket (~30-35) in order to make it more accessible to the masses, especially considering just how long the leveling process is in this game.

Posted: Jul 20th 2010 2:01PM (Unverified) said

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Yep, server merger looks like it went off with little issues, but when there is not that much to move I would not think thee would be many issues. I've only been on for a couple of months but am constantly learning as I go. For instance when you know you're getting ganked don't fight it, just pay you're one kinah and move on to another place. As far as questing goes please read the previous statement. Hey I did try the Abyss for awhile, please see previous statement. This morning I was just at the end of the walkway and, please read previous statement. GANKING IS NOT PVP!!! When I get ganked I take it as the individual has no faith is his toon to beat a lowbie out leveling/gathering or whatever. I plan on staying around till Tera comes out, maybe longer, all depends on where the toons get as far as leveling goes. Believe it or not I really do like this game but it could be so vastly improved by just modifying the way rifting works. We shall see.

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