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A heavily pvp, and group orientated game. Solo players will be able to manage the first half of the game with little difficulty, however after that it is an endless grind fest with very few solo quests. The main game revolves around The Abyss which is an area that both factions Asmodians and Elyos have access to. However it is nearly impossible to go there and survive without grouping. Also the solo aspect of the game is further hindered by the opposing faction being able to jump through rifts that appear radomly throughout the game day and are able to come through in groups and repeatedly gank any solo players in their own area and there is no option to turn off pvp in Aion, ofc you are able to jump through any rifts that appear and go and gank them if you choose.
Levelling up in Aion is really a slow process once you get mid way through so much so that Aion had to introduce double XP weekends to pacify the thousands of complaints that appeared on its forums. Levelling up is made even more difficult as there are rifts into some instances that appear maybe twice a day, no one knows when it will come up and yes you need a group to go through it. It is bad enough trying to get a group with all classes that you need to complete it only to find there is no rift up for that instance at the same time as everyone you need is online.
Looking at the good side of Aion, there is very little down time, maintenance is weekly and is usually between 2 and 4 hours and in the 6 or so months i was playing there was very few server crashes or downtime other than that of normal maintenance. The community is also quite nice, however Legions (guilds) are suffering badly as a lot of people have left the game or are "resting" their characters until improvements are made on the levelling up and end game content. My verdict is, if you enjoy pvp and are willing to wait for more end game content then give it a go, but if, like me you prefer solo play and questing then unless you really love to grind and spend hours killing the same things over and over then steer well clear.
There is a monthly subscription to Play Aion currently £8.99 per month and the cost of the game varies depending on retailer but average is around £25
I have recently purchased this game as it was just released and I wanted to get into a MMORPG which hasn't established itself a lot in the Europe market.
Well, I am impressed. This game had an instant impact on me with a free flowing world of many characters, each user can choose what they want to be.
The number of different variations into monsters you can kill, with squads of teams battling to complete quests there is always something new you will discover each hour.
There is also a decent social side to the game with different language servers meaning you can meet those in the language you want.
This game is a lot similar to WoW, so if you have played it and enjoyed that, you will also enjoy Aion.
The game is a resonble price of £9 per month which you can buy in bigger lengths to get cheaper per month rates.
You must have a lot of disk space for this game. The CD (if you purchase in hard copy), requires a minimum of 15GB, and this is before update. You also get a 30 day period with the disk to help get you started.
There are also ingame problems of gold spammers and quick leveling sellers. However, this is the next key task that NCSoft want to get rid of.
Aion has a lot to live up to.
Billed as a the "next big thing" in MMPORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and set up as a challenge to the mighty World of Warcraft which has millions of players worldwide, the creators of the game NCSoft have taken a gamble with the hype they have fed the PC gaming public. If this game bombs, they will be a laughing stock and not trusted again.
The risk was worth it. Having beta tested this game, I can truly say I was impressed. Set in a mythical land you choose to become one of two competing races - at a certain point in the game you fight against other players of the other race (similar to WoW factions), at present this feature was not open to beta testers. What has been open is the beginning of the game. The first thing that hits you as you log in is the level of customising that is possible when creating your character; as well as the usual hair style and colour, you can choose to have a fat, skinny, tiny or giant character. There is less of the perfection of Lineage 2 female characters, which may be better for the body image of young teenage girls playing this game.
After creating your character, which may take some time, you jump into the world of Aion. In a word: beautiful. The graphics on this game are outstanding, every area is uniquely crafted, this is not a hastily put together world. Levelling is a mix of grind (killing monsters) and questing. It is a mix of WoW and Lineage 2. I think Lineage 2 players may find the amount of questing unnatural at first, but it would be up to the individual player whether it is a good or bad thing, the rewards are certainly better than in L2.
At times the world seems almost too big, it takes five minutes to run from one end of a city to another. Although this is great at first when discovering a place, it becomes tiresome when you simply want to buy something or chat to someone (proabably about some Princess that went missing..).
The game leads you through the first 20 levels through quests, that you feel compelled to do due to the high rewards for them (in experience and in items). This story based aspect is unusual and gripping. The first time. Levelling multiple characters on this game would be monotonous, and I fear this may be a game which provides a great three months, but little after.
Player versus player (PvP) action starts in the later levels, this was not available to beta test yet. My only comment on PvP is that it is strange no PvP was available in the lower levels, and that is would take some time before you would get to the point where you were able to take part in this.
The game sells for £50 on the NCSoft site, or £25 on Amazon. There will be a monthly subscription.
I think Aion is a beautiful game which is worth having a go on. I cannot see it overtaking the popularity of WoW or the longevity of L2 due to the story like quality to the progression ingame.
Due for release: 25th September 2009.
System spec available from: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NCsoft-Aion-Tower-Eternity-PC/dp/B000WGU9M6