Taking flight with Aion

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Aion is one of the games which first came out as a subscription based game before switching to f2p. While it was released in South Korea in November 2008, we didn’t see it here in the US until September 2009. My husband and I picked up our copies at release, and we had a lot of fun with it as we were starting to get burned out on playing World of Warcraft. 

The graphics were beautiful and the UI system was easy to understand since it was modeled after the current norm. We played for about six months before we took our normal break from online gaming. However, I found it difficult to get back into the game when we returned. It seemed to take itself a little too seriously at that time. 

I personally like my games to be jovial and fun. I gave it another try when it went f2p, but I only played it once or twice, and then I played again for another day or so when houses came out. Still nothing to keep me wanting to truly come back. With this MMO series I’m doing, I thought it only fair to give it yet another chance, and I’m glad that I did. 

Since my last time I played, they have added two new base classes, resulting in three new sub classes. I haven’t played much with them, but from what I've seen I do like them. The character creation has been updated (so many options); as if it didn’t take me long enough to make a character. There still is an eight character cap per account though, which makes the altoholic in me chafe a bit, but it does mean I play a single character for longer.

Personal stores are not usable on the FTS.
One of the new things they have implemented into the game is the Fast Track Server. You can switch between this and the normal server; there is a quest in the starting area that helps you figure it all out. The FTS is nice because while there, your experience gains from quest completion and gathering is increased. However, the FTS prevents you from doing a lot of the social things you’d normally be able to do, deterring people from just always staying on the server.

There are two factions in Aion, the Elyos of Elysea and the Asmodians of Asmodae. When you first create a character you choose from six different classes (Warrior, Mage, Scout, Priest, Technist or Muse). At level ten you earn your wings, and choose between two different paths to follow (except Muse, which at the time can only ascend to a Songweaver). Warriors can choose to be a Templar or a Gladiator; Mages have the choice of Sorcerer or Spiritmaster; Scouts can go for an Assassin or Ranger; Priests can be a Cleric or a Chanter; Technist shoot ‘em up as a Gunslinger or Aethertech; Muse becomes a Songweaver.

I’ve tried playing Asmodian but have always gone back to playing Elyos side. While the Elyos are arrogant and hoity-toity the Asmodians are crueler and I just couldn’t get into it. Which is a shame because the colors in the Asmodian areas are so vibrant and wonderful. Perhaps when this series is over and I haven’t found something else I like more I’ll try playing the Asmodian side again.

There are no gathering specialties for certain professions.
For a good overview of how the crafting, questing, flying, and general game play works, I suggest this Wiki about the game. It provides an outline and is easy to follow.

I didn’t get into the community much as there are only four North American servers with a lot of mixed languages and I only speak English myself. There are still a lot of “gold sellers” or in Aion’s case, "Kinah sellers". It gets in the way of the chat that is going on, though they have made it pretty simple to report them or ignore them. I was invited a few times for questing; I just wish that people didn’t still practice the “blind invite” as it really throws me off at times, especially while I'm in combat. I have a feeling, however, that it’s something I will run into in any MMO.

That jovial factor that I said I was missing when it first released? They have made up for it in a lot of ways. There are costumes that you can buy to make your armor look fun, and they have added pets to the game. Unlike some other games, not all the pets just follow you around looking cute or battling other pets. They can have extra bag space or even be an alert for you for various things. A lot of these things however, are bought from the Aion Store with real money. There are a few things that you can buy from the Aion Store that give boosts in game, but I haven't seen it cause problems with how the players treat each other.

Be an Ailu that grants additional stats.

As for the combat, controls are still pretty standard, but I haven’t been in many dungeons/instances or done any PvP yet. So I can’t actually say if it is something that I would enjoy doing. I am enjoying the questing and crafting though.

If you are looking for a MMO game you don’t have to pay anything for (aside from computer costs and internet) I do suggest Aion. It’s an older game, but a good one that still looks beautiful and has an active player base. 'Til next time, fly free.

 Besides, who wouldn’t love to be able to fly?