Spotlight On - Aion Progress Report

We get a brief update on Aion and the upcoming 1.9 patch at GDC 2010.

The Game Developers Conference event in San Francisco is rolling right along and so is Aion, NCSoft's 2009 massively multiplayer online game. If you recall, Aion is a game that let you play as a winged character belonging to one of two factions that inhabits a shattered world; a "light" faction and a "dark" faction. It also let you participate in competitive player-versus-player battles, as well as demon hunts in the void between the world's halves. While Aion had some interesting ideas, many players found the game to be too severe of a "grind," requiring many hours of slaughtering monsters to gain higher experience levels (which are required to access the game's top-level areas) and the conquering of instanced areas multiple times to get a chance at the game's best items.

NCSoft feels that Aion will continue to improve, especially with the upcoming 1.9 update.

In response to player feedback, NCSoft has implemented additional ways of obtaining bonus experience, such as "energy of repose," which, after you log out of the game, then later log back in, grants an experience bonus when you return that is similar to World of Warcraft's "rest experience." The studio has also recently implemented "energy of salvation," which is an active experience point enhancer that gradually gives your character bonus experience for as long as you're logged into the game. In addition, NCSoft has reduced the number of instances required to get to the better loot by increasing the "drop rates" of key items so that players are more likely to find them the first time around.

NCSoft is otherwise optimistic about how Aion has developed since launch, and representatives pointed out that there are still high-level instances that have not yet been conquered by players. This means the player base still has room to grow into the content. In addition, the studio feels that the upcoming 1.9 patch will help "lay a foundation" for a better game experience going forward by implementing such changes as letting two-handed weapon classes, such as the gladiator and templar, merge two two-handed weapons to create a more powerful item (to address a character balance issue), as well as a return of the game's final instance to make it more fast paced and action packed.

The studio has no official launch date pegged for 1.9 but plans to continue dutifully bringing over and localizing content from the game's Asian version as soon as is humanly possible, considering both translation to English, as well as modifying and adding content, to make it more comprehensible and more pleasing to Western audiences.

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12 comments
kempofuryfist
kempofuryfist

Aion is a Great game while not for everyone . you will notice everyone who does't like the game compairs it to wow or complains about being ganked or the ammount of "grind" it takes to level. Fantastic game but be prepaired for a real MMO not one that gives away free epic loots to every type of gamer and one that allows played to reach max level in a week and be fully geared by the second week.

Jato_81
Jato_81

One of the best looking MMOs out there. But just so hard to stay focused in it. I was a lvl 43 Cleric when I stopped playing.. My nights were made up of Soloing Elites for Molars and 400k XP. And even getting 400K+ xp a kill it was still so long and boring grinding levels. If it wasn't for the Guild I was in Chatting over vent all night keeping me entertained I probably would of left earlier. I hope Sony Online does a great job at FFXIV.

Schym
Schym

I really want to see Aion succeed. I personally love the game but can't seem to gather the time and focus required to get past the low-mid 30's for leveling. I think they should either increase the base exp gain from mobs and quests (and maybe even pvp) or lower the total exp needed to gain levels. Being a low level in the Abyss pvp area simply means your going to get slaughtered. Repeatedly and without mercy, and since the abyss has the highest yielding quests and rewards, casual players are left to rot, unable to attain high levels while grinding monsters reach pvp levels and make it hell. But I do want to see the game succeed.

Barujin
Barujin

This is another instance of NCSoft tweaking flawed concepts. They tweaked Guild Wars to death without actually fixing anything. It looks like the same will happen with Aion.

Barujin
Barujin

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

deep_sea_six
deep_sea_six

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

deep_sea_six
deep_sea_six

Absolutely what Shiffallout said, the games difficulty is perfect, its the tediousness of the game that sucks. Most people dont realize just how bad the item problem is, sometimes you will go ten levels without finding a single piece of new equipment and the entire game has a gold sink built into everything.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

The problem with AION is that its not a hard game, the difficulty was never the issue. Rather, it was tedious, like work. Where WoW is reward based, AION is punishment based. Meaning there is a lot you have to do in the game and not get anything out of it. They need much much much more items and a higher drop rate. If you complete a raid, you should get at least a drop of any kind off the boss. In AION its not surprising ot have NOTHING drop in a raid. Couple of hours in a raid and nothing drops... whats the point? Crafting is no different, and everything requires tons of money. Even dying costs money. This system clearly is set up to help Gold Farmers one way or another. The game lacks depth and its core concept is under realized.

Syrenz
Syrenz

It was pretty fun. Then I had to kill 20 kobolds. Then I had to kill 10 big kobolds. Then I had to kill 3 huge kobolds. Then I had to kill a kobold boss. Then I had to keep doing that same mission sequence a hundred times in every place. Then I stopped playing. Too much grind :( .

drokmore
drokmore

Ya overall a good game. Unfortunately the grind in the upper levels was crazy repetitive and the end game was lacking with item balance issues. I must admit the flight pvp was quite fun, but the fort raids were just too unplayable to enjoy it and open world pvp after the first month or two just disappeared.

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

Lozvil I feel the same way. Was really amped for this game, but the hardcore grind drove me batty. I dont see me coming back either.

lozvil
lozvil

wow, first comment... i was so excited about this game, got it at launch... but it's too late AION... I don't think I'm going back...