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Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia: Aion entices returning players, removes reviled manastone mechanic

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia

If you haven't checked back into Aion in a while, now might be the time to start plotting your return. Next week on January 28th NCsoft is introducing a special new experience for those who have been away from the game for more than 30 days; it includes special zones called Abbeys that provide exclusive bonuses as well as quests and gear upgrades. Even better, if one of the reasons you left was the frustration involved in losing all your equipment's manastones when you failed to socket a final stone, you'll be even happier to learn that that particular mechanic is being removed from the game! That's right: Aion players will no longer risk losing already successfully socketed manastones when trying to put another one in (a much needed change that I championed years ago!).

We've got the scoop on these new changes from Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski -- along with news of an upcoming Shugo event instance and the breakthrough system that raises enchantment levels -- in this special return of Wings Over Atreia.

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Wings Over Atreia: The spoils of Aion's fifth anniversary

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Wings Over Atreia, Anniversaries

Another year has flown by! Aion is turning five years old, and that means it's time for Daevas to enjoy cake and presents during the nearly month-long birthday bash. What goodies are in store during this year's North American festivities? Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski has shared with us the schedule of events that span from today until October 8th; it includes contests, buffs, double drop rates, and a special anniversary-day GM hosted event. There's also a special new Daevonian armor set for only 1 NCoin (which is practically free) that even new players can use.

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Wings Over Atreia: A guide to Aion's menagerie

Fantasy, Aion, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia, Guides

What does every Daeva need while jetting around Atreia besides a sturdy set of wings? Why, a Daeva's best friend, of course! And there is certainly quite an assortment of pets to choose from in Aion, from the standard pooch to the very non-standard heavy machinery. Introduced three expansions ago in Assault on Balaurea, pets have become a common sight as you travel about the world, whether you are chillaxing in town or hot on the trail of some XP. Pets are even commonplace in PvP; practically every contestant in the recent PvP tournament had a pet out. That's because not only are pets fun, but they are functional, too.

Just how many pets are there? Back when I first started this project, I had almost everything together in fairly short order. Then I blinked, and the pet population exploded! And every time I thought I had them all, more would pop up. So chances are NCsoft will throw another one into the mix by the time you read this, but we'll forge ahead anyhow; it's time to get this guide out there to help all those who wish to adopt the cute cuddliness of some little critter (just one look in those big puppy/panda/bulldozer eyes, and you know you're a goner) or even those who just want to know where that pet they just saw comes from. So regardless if whether you're in the market for one pet or just have the urge to collect them all, welcome to the Aion menagerie.

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Wings Over Atreia: Inspiration from Aion's latest PvP tourney

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), PvP, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia, Player-Generated Content

There's always room for improvement, right? No matter the subject, be it your personal skills, group tactics, or your favorite game in general, all things can be bettered. That's just a part of being in an imperfect world. Aion is no different. And through a recent convergence of events, I've come up with a couple of ways NCsoft can make this PvPvE game even better (and help with player retention, too!).

What precipitated my inspiration? The first thing was a comment from another player that really stuck with me; he lamented that Aion really comes into its own at the endgame. I say "lamented" here because this player was saddened that his friends couldn't make it through to the highest levels in order to experience what he considered the best aspects of the game with him. The second catalyst was Kahrun's 1v1 PvP tournament held yesterday, an event I was privileged to witness from a special vantage point. While watching the matches play out between various max-level toons, I realized exactly how Aion could capture that PvP experience and offer a taste of it to any player.

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Wings Over Atreia: Return of the Aion Easy Button, starring Sauro Supply Base and Steel Rose

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Aion, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia, Dungeons

Wings Over Atreia  Return of the Easy Button, starring Sauro Supply Base and Steel Rose
First there was Easy Button. Then came Easy Button Strikes Back. And now we have Return of the Easy Button. Yes Daevas, the next thrilling adventure of the easy button is on its way to an Aion dungeon near you! Well, two actually -- so it's a double feature. And we think you might just like this show. The stars of the show? Sauro Supply Base and Steel Rose, two of the new dungeons introduced in 4.0.

Unlike my previous reports on the easy button invasion that were post-production reviews, this one is a sneak preview. And joining us to reveal this new Aion blockbuster is Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski, who provided a coming soon trailer filled with highlights to help get you ready for the main attraction. Return of the Easy Button releases next Wednesday, November 6th, on a game client near you.

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Wings Over Atreia: Jumping on Aion's limited-time events and pumpkin-carving contest

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia  Jumping on Aion's limitedtime events and pumpkincarving contest
As much as I know you probably want an announcement about the release of Aion 4.5 and the long-awaited Aethertech class, I am afraid I can only offer a distraction. A few distractions, actually, in the form of various in-game events and a real-world contest. And these events are ending PDQ, so to take advantage of them, you need to jump in now.

First off, this weekend only level 65s get a little incentive to dive into the Sauro Supply Base and and Ophidan Bridge dungeons. For all Daevas over level 21, there's a Brax Cafe event (with free food and rewards) that closes up shop at maintenance on Wednesday the 23rd. And for any and all Aion fans out in the real world, NCsoft is holding a pumpkin-carving contest until Halloween with an in-game reward for winners. And I've got all the details right here!

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Wings Over Atreia: Aion's Black Cloud Marketplace evolves to let you play more your way

Fantasy, Aion, Business Models, Interviews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia  Aion's Black Cloud Marketplace evolves to let you play more your way
Those of you who know me a bit know that I am not really a fan of cash shops. In fact, I don't sit in the cheer section for free-to-play at all; I am a die-hard subscription gal. But I know free-to-play and cash shops are a very entrenched and popular part of our gaming culture now (though I do celebrate when F2P games turn to subs!) and as an avid gamer, I can't avoid them. However, I also feel that there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do both F2P and cash shops. The former, Aion already nailed on the head with the Truly Free model where all content is actually free to all players. The latter... well, in my opinion the Black Cloud Marketplace had definite room for improvement.

As it turns out, some of those improvements are happening now. And according to Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski, those changes represent a permanent new direction for the Marketplace. We're going to delve into those improvements and how they might affect the grand scheme of Aion right here in this edition of Wings Over Atreia.

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Wings Over Atreia: Aion's anniversary marks four years

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia, Anniversaries

Wings Over Atreia  Aion's anniversary marks four years
Hmmm? What's that you say -- another year has passed? Well I'll be... you're right! If you are anything like me, a large chunk of Aion's fourth year crawled by at an agonizingly slow pace as you waited through all the newsbytes and teasing for the big 4.0 expansion and its new classes. Then, once Dark Betrayal finally arrived, the last quarter of the year just zipped by with hardly a notice. And quite frankly, it doesn't really feel as if four years have passed since Atreia first opened up and welcomed eager Daevas, but it really has. So happy fourth birthday, Aion!

As is customary here at Massively, on this auspicious anniversary day I'm going to dedicate this Wings Over Atreia to a reflection on the past year, looking at what has changed since our last stroll down memory lane and what has stayed the same. And you are cordially invited to join me for plenty of reminiscing... and of course, CAKE!

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Wings Over Atreia: Aion's birthday bash delivers daily presents

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia, Anniversaries

Wings Over Atreia  Aion's birthday bash delivers daily presents
If you had the opportunity to celebrate your birthday for an entire month, you would, wouldn't you? I mean, what reason could you possibly have not to stretch out the festivities for four weeks... as long as you don't have to foot the whole bill, that is! Well that's exactly what Aion is doing in the weeks leading up to its fourth birthday later this month -- it's throwing a multifaceted bash with a variety of activities for Daevas to participate in.

So was can party-goes expect first? How about daily presents and the return of the Wheel of Fortunerk! You heard me right: You join the party and you get the gift! And while you might have missed part of Aion's recent summer block party event, there's no reason to this time. The Alchemy Event runs until maintenance on September 18th, so you have plenty of time to get in and start hoarding your goody bags.

While there's more a-comin' as the week's wear on, keep reading for all the details about these first festivities (and maybe a hint or two about the next ones).

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Wings Over Atreia: No Aion block party for you!

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia  No block party for you!  Aion ends event early
Batten down the hatches and prepare yourselves for a storm, my friends, because I have a rant that's just waiting to burst forth! I know, I know -- it's hard to believe I am that riled up over anything in Aion. After all, I've managed a grand total of only four rants in more than three years. But I am! I am downright annoyed. Ironically, this rant also comes right when I was going to give you all the heads-up on an Aion job opportunity. It's not exactly what I'd call the best timing for NCsoft to make a blunder, but it is what it is.

So what is "it" exactly? You know that big summer event block party that was advertised as going until September 4th? Well, I hope you got what you wanted out of it because the bartenders have packed up and gone home. That's right: The event ended two weeks earlier than announced. Not only did this seriously put a damper on my personal Atreian adventuring plans for the next couple of weeks, but it seriously screwed with my event guide for this week's Wings Over Atreia (no point now, right?). Even worse, "it" is the fact that Aion outright said one thing but did another. And that, my friends, just chaps my hide, ruffles my feathers, and gets my goat. The whole things leaves a sour taste in my mouth and gives the game's credibility a big fat black eye.

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Wings Over Atreia: Does adding aether make a mech class more Aion?

Fantasy, Aion, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia  Does adding aether make a mech class more Aion
NCsoft tried to do it to me again! Smack dab in the middle of my two-part new dungeons guide for Aion's latest expansion, the studio slipped out the news about the third new class and tried to derail my plans. Well this time, it did not succeed! But just because I made the topic wait a bit doesn't mean I am not about to devote a lengthy span of words on it.

At long last, there is a date for when the mechanized Aethertech will join the Gunner and Songweaver in 4.0, even if the date is only about hitting the Korean beta servers. But that means that it's not far from going live there, and when it does, its debut on the North American servers won't be far behind.

As you'd expect, this news sparked a bit of excitement. Some folks, however, are decrying Aion's flagrant foul of destroying its own mythos and all but spitting on the sanctity of its genre. So we're here to discuss that: Is the Aethertech an inexcusable aberration in the lore, or does it actually fit right in?

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Wings Over Atreia: A quick guide to Aion 4.0 dungeons, part 2

Fantasy, Aion, Expansions, Lore, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia, Guides, Dungeons

Wings Over Atreia  A quick guide to Aion 40 dungeons, part 2
Do you want to know why you are wading into a particular instance and decimating all you see? Or are you more of a just-get-in-and-get-it-done kind of Daeva? Either way, you've come to the right place! Welcome to the second half of the handy dandy Aion 4.0 dungeon guide. From lore to location, this guide will aid you in your journey to lay the smackdown on the latest Atreian troublemakers that are so rudely keeping your new loot from you.

In the first half of the guide we could cover only six of the new instances: Steel Rose, Kamar Battlefield, Danuar Mysticarium, Danuar Reliquary, Danuar Sanctuary, and Idgel Research Center. Today's part two introduces and offers a bit of insight into the five remaining Dark Betrayal dungeons spread throughout Aion's newest zones of Katalam, Danaria, and Idian Depths. Each of these instances is for Daevas level 65+ and for groups of six (unless otherwise noted).

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Wings Over Atreia: A quick guide to Aion 4.0 dungeons

Fantasy, Aion, Expansions, Lore, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia, Guides, Dungeons

Wings Over Atreia  A quick guide to Aion 40 dungeons
Last time, when sharing my initial impressions of Aion Dark Betrayal, I mentioned how the expansion was so big that there was no way one Wings Over Atreia could cover it all. Well, that's putting it mildly; there's no way two or ten can, either! in fact, I am still finding gems tucked away both in game and in the patch notes, so we'll definitely have plenty to discuss for a while. This week, we're going to try to make a dent in that pile of topics by grabbing one and just running with it. Up this week: 4.0 dungeons.

Now, this guide is not going to delve deeply into tips, tricks, or strategies for Aion's newest dungeons. Instead, it's concerned with the who, the where, and the why, offering a synopsis of each new instance and a look at the lore behind it. Heck, with 12 new dungeons, that's about all we could fit in -- and only half of them at that! Check out six of these new dungeons now, and stay tuned for the second half of our guide next time.

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Wings Over Atreia: Initial impressions of Aion 4.0

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Aion, Classes, Expansions, News Items, Opinion, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia  Initial impressions of Aion 4.0
After a bit of a rocky start (though an extended patch beats hours of waiting in a queue any day!), Aion's next big expansion finally made it out of the starting gates. And boy, did it hit the ground running! If you tried to make a new character, be it one of the new classes or not, you were tripping over new Daevas-to-be on the regular server and dealing with wait times to get on the very full Fast Track server. I, myself, made a new Asmodian Songweaver.

Sadly, contrary to previous expansion launches, the new publish date for Wings Over Atreia did not leave me with nearly enough time to really wade into all the new content. There's simply so much I was barely able to dip my toes in! So diving even deeper into Dark Betrayal will have to wait until next time; for now, I'll just share my initial impressions gleaned from my first glimpses of 4.0.

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Wings Over Atreia: Exclusive peek into Aion 4.0's new zones

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Aion, Expansions, Previews, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia Exclusive  Peek into Aion 40's new zones
I have a pretty standard M.O. when it comes to my MMOs: Regardless of how various tutorials want to direct me, I wander off and explore the new world I find myself in. I love to poke around, look into corners, and see all there is to see. The same goes for any time a patch or expansion opens up new places to meander through. That's really just how I roll/run/fly/shamble/hop. So it should come as no surprise that I am excitedly awaiting the new lands of Katalam and Danaria when Aion: Dark Betrayal launches on the 26th.

I know that I am not alone in my anticipation, so for all those who are also looking forward to taking off into Aion's new realms, I've got something special for you. No, I can't let you into the game early (but if they ever open the door early for me, I'll prop it for you!), but I do have the next best thing to a first-hand experience: a visual tour.

I've gotten a hold of -- legitimately, I swear -- a video and a number of screenshots showing off all three (yes, I said three) new zones, and I want to share them with you. On top of that, I also have some highlights of the story behind these new areas that Daevas will soon be soaring into. Join me to take a tour and learn the lore of Katalam, Danaria, and Idian Depths.

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