Monday, October 5, 2009

Aion Review

(click the picture for high res version)

I spent a long 3 day weekend in a seedy motel doing secret dirty things behind the back of my first love. While it was a great experience I have decided to come clean and confess my sins. I have not logged in to WoW since Friday and I have stories to tell.

One sentence review: Aion is not a WoW killer.

Long review: While Aion is a beautiful game it will not replace WoW for me. I am going to break this down into two sections, what I liked and what I did not like. Now mind you I have not played this to End Game. In 3 days I was only able to make it to level 15, and did not see any dungeons or group quests.

What I liked:
NC Soft is the king of character creation. My first MMO was City of Heroes. A game that allowed for huge character customization. Aion takes what City of Heroes did and expands it exponential, and the models both male and female are down right gorgeous. One of the features that I thought was neat was Titles that you earn grant buffs to skills. Like "Tree Hugger" grants +20 magic protection. The starting zones are well laid out, and quests flow quite well from quest hub to quest hub. The trade/gathering skill system is quite nice too. As near as I can tell you can select every trade skill and there is just one "Gather" skill that allows you to collect any resource. When you choose a profession you are given two quests to introduce you to the skill one with mats provided and one where you have to gather and process the mats. It is quite nice, although I am not sure how this affects server economy with everyone being able to gather all materials.

I will hide my shame no longer:
I am also going to come clean and admit something I have never told anyone. I am a gold buyer. What can I say I was young I needed the gold pieces. I only did it once, way back when I first started and did not understand the implications of gold buying/selling. I bought 100g back in the olden days when I hit 40 to buy my first mount. If I could take it back I would. The only thing I can say in defense was it was in the early days of WoW and long before the malicious hacking/spamming that occurs today.

Not a problem with the game per se, but a serious problem.
Spam. Holy dog in heaven there is a severe spam issue. All the gold sellers that left WoW when Blizz struck entire IP ranges with the Ban Hammer have jumped to Aion. Some of the spam looks a lot like system messages directing you to sites with key loggers that were one letter off from the actual NC Soft account management page. A character that I grouped with to complete some kill x numbers of y an hour before came back on and spammed trade as a bot. NC Soft needs to get control of the spam problem.

What I did not like:
Quests: Aion breaks no new ground here. Basic FedEx, kill x of y etc. etc. some of the quests felt down right "grindy". I know the RNG hates me, and I will never get luck and have a quest item drop from the first kill, but I spent 45 minutes today killing thieves trying to find a journal for a quest.

Classes/Abilities: There really is only 4 classes with 2 specs each. I started as a Priest as I really like playing healing classes. From level 1-10 every priest is just a priest. At level 10 you "Ascend" and become a Deava and get your wings. You also get to choose your "spec". For the priest the choices were Cleric (healing class) and Chanter (similar to Enhancement Shaman). I accidentally chose Chanter, and am stuck with that decision. There is no option for a respec what ever you choose you own.

One of the much hyped aspects of Aion is flight. I hear there is in flight combat, the only in flight combat I experienced was a quest to destroy 3 floating rocks. It was kind of a "this is how you do it" quest, not really enough to get you into combat. So far at this low level the flight is just a gimmick. Not even on par with a regular ground mount in WoW much less a flying mount.

I have 27 more days of my initial Aion subscription, and I will continue playing. Hopefully I will be able to level enough to experience some dungeons. I am not sure if I will be able to make it to "End Game" content before the end of my subscription, but I will write another review at the end of the month.


  1. I think you'll find the experience post 25 is where this game starts to shine. The abyss is flat-out fun.

    Think old-school TM/SS world PvP, on a 100x larger scale with meaningful points of conquest. NCSoft even overlaps questing areas between factions in the Abyss - guaranteed to instigate warfare.

  2. I am really hoping to get to 25, but I am finding it hard to level past 17. It seems to be taking a long time. I guess I am just spoiled by the super fast leveling in WoW. I hardly remember how long it took to get to 60 the first time (I think it was something like 19 days /played)

  3. Interesting, I am glad it is you trying it out and not me. :)

    Looking forward to more reviews of Aion.

  4. I love this game and have my own blog following my gameplay at Ashlique's Aion Adventure

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