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Old 04-08-12, 02:02 PM   #1
jeffmd
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Default Aion now F2P

It is being very low key, but public free to play access to aion went live when it patched its servers over a week ago. The april 11th launch date is window dressing only. So I stepped in for the first time and it was pretty nice. As far as a leveling game goes it is now pretty descent, in one of the last couple of patches they bumped experience up alot to remove the grind. However I kinda stopped playing for I have several fears that I will list below. One thing of note, unlike most other F2P conversions, aion is a %100 conversion where nothing in the level 1-60 game is blocked from the free player. You can be any class and do all the content, get all the gear. It is how f2p should be done.

Positives;

- Character designs look great. Like most Korean MMOs the armor and character looks are attractive and top notch.
- Quest system is fairly polished and as good as WoW's built in one, even better as new quest givers will be marked on your large map so you never miss them. Navigating quest windows took a few more clicks though which was annoying.
- UI was pretty good, again its up to spec on WoW's basic UI. Have not looked to see if custom ones could be loaded.
- World was overall pretty nice, it is using the crysis 1 engine and the water effects were great. Unfortunately I didn't notice any tree movement which harkens back to old games and their snapshot fantasy look. Good use of particle effects.

Negatives;

- The lack of talent system is a throw back to Everquest. This is bad, worse then Guild Wars. You choose 4 starter classes when you level 1-9 and then choose 2 main classes that branch off from that starter class. Also like everquest, once you choose a class you are stuck with it for life. Without different talent specs, each class has one roll and the same set of spells. This is easily the worst part of aion. Also, like everquest, apparently even cleric's are expected to melee/close range when soloing which is wrong on so many levels.

- To add insult to badness... Aion has a heavy pvp element and despite the fact you have 8 classes with no room for alteration of your class subtype, there is still bad imbalances in the pvp system. This is inexcusable really. Also because pvp plays a big role in pve areas, people are blindly forced to gem magic resist/boost for spell resist protection, and HP so they can live long enough to do something. So BORING.

- Lack of endgame energy on the developers end. The game has been out for quite some time and not much has been introduced into the endgame over that time. A lot of things changed and got introduced in the leveling game but the endgame has little additional content, lacks a lot of gear, and is actually where the large pvp imbalances take place.

- Responsiveness for casters. This has been a long bane for players of casting classes, and even more so for clerics. There is a delay of about 1-2 seconds before you start casting as part of your animation, this is made worse when you are not in combat and you need to draw your weapons first. What makes this more hilarious is apparently Melee attack haste stats will decrease this delay because it is a blind increase to the character animation (which means the behind the scenes attack/dice roll system is linked to the animation system). So the healer class, clerics, are sometimes tasked to stack some melee attack haste stats to reduce this cast delay.
I also found that rotating interrupts casting. You cannot twitch a muscle when casting, so it is much harder to make sure your target does not get out of your field of view when you finish casting.

- No option for healing and tanking, clerics are the main healer and warriors are the main tanks. Again this harkens back to the ancient archaic system of everquest. You could try and do some 5 mans with a super geared druids/SKs/Palis, but the warrior has more hp and armor then everyone else, and the cleric does way more healing.


Well that's enough from me, I am probably going to delete the game as I have better things to spend my time on. Id rather spend time leveling in a game that doesn't end when I hit max level. Also I feel I would get bored with the restrictive class system.
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Old 04-08-12, 02:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Aion now F2P

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmd View Post
The lack of talent system is a throw back to Everquest.
Stigma slots and the corresponding skills are something that can make a difference between two characters of the same class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmd View Post
- To add insult to badness... Aion has a heavy pvp element and despite the fact you have 8 classes with no room for alteration of your class subtype, there is still bad imbalances in the pvp system. This is inexcusable really....
These type of games are never ever balanced for 1vs1. This is something you have to accept and I can understand why it might be a deal breaker for some. The whole PvPvE element, where you can use rifts to attack the other side was one of the key points used in selling the game to players. It can be quite fun, if you're in a good group.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmd View Post
You cannot twitch a muscle when casting, so it is much harder to make sure your target does not get out of your field of view when you finish casting...
While true, you can weave in your auto-attack skill between the normal skills to higher the dmg output.

Also, clerics were always a melee/healer class.
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Old 04-08-12, 03:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Aion now F2P

vardant, you can never have a true melee/caster class.. knight types are allways stronger in melee and use magic to back them up, either with DD spells or to add damaged to their melee attacks. Clerics are a healing class whos stats need to focus entirly on magic, and not even destructive magic at that. With their main limited selection of DD being range they should never be in melee distance. You can weave melee hits in when you are in melee range to maximize dps but it doesn't excuse the fact that it was a stupid decision have clerics need to.

Stigma slots are very much like WoW's glyph system... in that they don't differentiate squat. You are pretty much required to have the specific stigmas needed for when you are pve, pvp, and healing. Aion does a bit more then WoW in that it can give a whole new ability, but it does not change the fact that there are pre-determined builds for If I am this class and I am PvE, I use these specifc stigmas.

And no, when you have 10(11) classes with 3 talent builds requiring you to balance for 30(33) trees, then I will easily accept that not all of them will be fair, and some will be downright ignored. When you have 8 classes... no trees so you are only balancing 8 builds (Stigmatas are not balanced around), there is absolutely no excuse why you can't 1vs1 balance them. The biggest reason they couldn't balance them is they went with the stupid idea that only one class can be the supreme tank and only one class can be the supreme healer. These extremes make it impossible to adjust the power triangle of a class (damage/heal/stamina) to be equal footing with others.
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Old 04-08-12, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Aion now F2P

There are weapons, that extend. That gives you a little bit more range, so you don't have to get too close.

Stigma slots don't change that much, you're right. They were supposed to though, which is a shame.

I'm not saying you can't balance them for 1vs1, but they don't do that. It was the same in Lineage 2, there are classes, that you just can't beat with some other classes.

I gave up on Aion, because even though the rifts were fun, they didn't matter that much and they nerfed the attacking side too much at one point, so it was pointless. Also, while the experience tables were adjusted to lessen the grind, you're still pretty much forced to grind some other nonsense in order to get something else like armor sets etc. And the RNG in the game is just ridiculous.

TERA seems to go the same way, focused on PvE in Korea, while the western audience wanted to use the action combat system for an actually skillbased PvP, but it's not gonna happen.
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Old 04-09-12, 02:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Aion now F2P

Not really interested in AION at the moment, but curious how do they make money if it truly free to play?

There must be some catch?
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Old 04-09-12, 03:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Aion now F2P

The European version is not really free, if you want the full experience you still have to pay a monthly sub.
The NA version gives you access to everything, but you can still buy stuff for leveling faster etc. You'll get there eventually too with the free version, but until then, you'll get your ass kicked in some PvP events.
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Old 04-23-12, 01:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Aion now F2P

IMO stigmas slot do differentiate although its not that much (more than the glyphs in WoW, and even more in the upcoming expansion.). I've updated my client to the f2p version (its pretty big) and ran around for 10 mins in Ingission (sp?). Don't know how much I'll play since I'm back to WoW and with D3 coming out soon, its just not that high on my list of things to play atm. Plus, its still a bit of a grind fest to get gear and lvl.
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