[Beta test] Aion

Platform: PC
Developer: NCSoft
Publisher: NCSoft
Release Date: 25 September 2009
Engine: CryEngine
Gameplay Modes: Multiplayer
Website: AionOnline.com

There a few MMO’s lately that i’ve been interested in. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mortal Online, Guild Wars 2 and of course.. Aion. So let’s see if Aion really deserves the title of most anticipated MMO. That’s a beta test, of course so i haven’t gotten much into the game to write a detailed review.

First steps.

The first thing you’ll notice about Aion are the stunning visuals. Everything is set in a manga style that will make hentai fans go crazy. Everything is so well modeled and detailed, especially the character models. The music of the game is typical – fantastically magical.

The first thing i thought when i got into Aion was: Finally, a universal MMO! Aion will offer you everything that you love about a MMO in a unique setting.

What the hell is that?

The first thing about an MMORPG is the grind. We all know how most Korean games are complete grindfests, but Aion is a surprising exception. The game features lots of grinding, of course. But it’s much less than in most Korean MMO’s. The first few levels will be typical – lots of grinding, some questing and lots of tutorial boxes popping up. The interface of Aion is standard and combines the best of most MMO’s. You can place the typical hotkeys in the hotkey bar, but you can also bind items/actions/skills to certain keys. For example you can put a potion on A+1 so every time you splash those keys you get that action. Binded keys also have a hidden bar that becomes visible every time you press a bind key or start moving items. The inventory is your average box system. The authors remembered to include the auto-arrange key to help you with managing  your items.

Combo skill in action.

The role playing side of Aion is also both standard and unique. I mean, you have standard skills and unique skill combos. Every time you cast/use a skill that unlocks a chain reaction you will see a small window of skills on your screen will pop-up telling you that you have just unlocked those skills. One click away and you have your skill combo. Next come the classes. You have two factions – Elyos and Asmodians that fight each other for dominance. Once your done selecting a faction you have to select a class for your character – Aion has several classes that you’ve seen if you’ve played almost any fantasy MMO – Warrior, Scout, Mage and Priest. Each class can advance in an advanced class. The Warrior can be a Gladiator or a Templar, the Scout – Ranger and Assassin, the Mage – Sorcerer and Spiritmaster and the priest – Cleric and Chanter. I haven’t gotten into either of these as i’m only level 10 yet(it’s a beta, after all) but my experience from Lineage 2 tells me that each class will be very well balanced. The game also includes a so-called Stygma system that makes sure that once you specialize in a second class you won’t be identical as the guy who specialized in the same class. Here’s how it works – there are the so called skill stones. Each of those stone holds a unique, very powerful skill. Each character can hold up to 5 stones depending on the level(level 20 – 2 stones, level 30 – 3 stones, level 40 – 4 stones, level 50 – 5 stones). The Stygma system is unlocked by completing a quest. That quest also awards you your first stone. As for the rest – you’ve got to get them with monster drops. Each stone is unique so choose wisely as to which one you’ll be placing.

Nice water effects!

The creators of Aion have taken the best from their previous hit – Lineage 2. Now let’s talk PvP. The PvP in the game isn’t open like Lineage 2, but you can do duels anywhere. If your opponent accepts, that is. I didn’t get a chance to do much PvP but from what i’ve seen so far – it looks amazing. The creators of the game are proud with the so called PvPvE system. That means that once you enter the Abyss(the open PvP zone in the middle of the world) you won’t be facing players only. There is also a third force – the computer controlled enemies. I didn’t get a chance to go to the Abyss yet, but even if i did i’m sure it would be nearly empty. Aion also has the so called “Divine Power” system. You can gain divine power by fighting a special sort of enemies. Then you choose when to release that power and utterly annihilate your enemy in battle. Of course, the divine power isn’t easy to get so it plays a strategic part and could turn the tide of battle in a PvP match. The authors have also taken the “Hero” system from Lineage 2 and placed it in Aion. If you’re wondering what the hell it is – Hero is a special status a player can receive and it grants him some very powerful skills and abilities. I don’t have to tell you that the heroes are the most hardcore players that could kill up to several enemy playeres at once.

Welcome to mushroom land.

The flying system of Aion i didn’t get to test, but from what i’ve seen on videos – it looks amazing. And best of all – you can do PvP in air! As for the thing that made Lineage 2 the great game it is – the clans & clan wars – the team decided to keep the main ingredient to those massive battles – the sieges. I didn’t get a chance to see if they kept clan levels and such but it’s a beta test, after all.

I’m hit!

Over-ally,  i’d say Aion is a MMORPG for everyone. The hardcore players have a great PvP system with unique skills and character customization, the casual players have a great world and story to explore, and a great PvE system and the RPG fans have a great system implemented that makes it surprisingly easy to create a unique character.

Aion has the potential to kill every single MMO out there. Once the game is released and i test every single aspect i’ll work hard to give you detailed information. Right now, Aion is proving to be even more than what i expected and from what i’ve seen so far i’m ready to give it my seal of approval.

Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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  1. A couple more things i’d like to report in:
    -There are several small details i grew to love. Today i was fighting Turskin in the desert when i noticed something – the screen featured a humidity effect(you know, your screen gets water-like in a hot place you’ve seen it in the movies). When i stopped for a second to enjoy it my character took a fan out(female) and started winding her face. I was stunned. Those are the kinds of small details that differ a good game from a great game.
    -Tested out the flying system. Taking the amazing visuals while flying aside, you are free to go wherever you want while flying. Of course there are some areas where you can’t fly over. Also tested in-air combat – it’s awesome 🙂

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