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Aion: Review

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com reviewer Sean Bulger turns his sights this week onto NCsoft's newest title, Aion.

Players create a character from one of one of two factions, the angelic Elyos - who live on the temperate and blessed half of a shattered world, or the black-winged Asmodians - who brave much harsher climates and have evolved to survive them. While each race might hold a stereotypical hero/villain appearance, neither fit these stereotypes. However, that doesn't mean that players won't be seeing plenty of combat between the two sides, and their true enemy, the NPC-controlled Balaur.

While the story is largely fluff, it does set the stage for Aion's main gameplay mechanic: PvPvE (Player vs. Player vs. Environment). While PvPvE largely focuses on faction-based PvP combat, it still manages to bring in plenty of PvE to add variety, and ensures that all playstyles will get some attention. However, despite its seamless and polished integration of both these systems, Aion still remains a conservative game.

Read the Aion Review

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon

    Decent write up, but I think some of the game's short comings have been glossed over a bit too much in this review.    I agree for the most part with much of what was said, the game is solid and polished. I think people should be warned about a leveling curve that gets fairly steep in the 30's.  This makes me wonder what level the author reached before writing this.  The amount of exp needed to level ramps up dramatically and the number of quests available does not.  While not everyone thinks this is a bad thing, it is definitely worth mentioning considering the amount of debate in various communities about it.

  • AganazerAganazer Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,319Member

    Is it okay for a game to change focus so dramatically half way through the leveling? No mention of this as either a pro or a con.



    Are there enough quests to level up questing after level 25? No mention of this either. I'll avoid calling non-questing advancement a 'grind' because of the negative connotation of the word. In most games they would call it a 'lack of content'.



    Is PvP forced on PvE players? If so, wouldn't it be a con for those who prefer PvE? He says that the Abyss can be avoided, but what exactly are you supposed to do when you avoid the abyss? Is the gameplay sub-par when not in the Abyss?

     

    As a player with limited information that may be deciding whether or not to play the game, these are issues that are keeping me from making a decision of whether or not to play. The review doesn't really address them.

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    I'm in an agreement with Paragus on this one. Part of a review is painting a picture so people with different playstyles can decide if they'll like the game. For example, my first MMO was DAoC, and I love the whole PvPvE concept. However, I didn't much like the game, but it wasn't so much because of the gameplay, rather it was because of my playstyle. I'll elaborate.

    This game is extremely linear levels 1-20 and not much better after that 20-25. Maybe the Abyss opens things up a bit until more zones become playable, but I never made it that far to choose, due to my playstyle. Because of the linearness, replayability is near to none, if not none for a lot of people. So for a person that likes only 1 type of class, and only levels one character, they won't notice the same negatives that a person like me would see. A person who likes a variety of classes, and can only choose once he tries them all, will bore very quickly of this game. I for one created around 10 characters, so I could try each class, because I actually like the way all the classes sound on paper. For those that'll comment on the 10 part, I rerolled servers. Anyways, I was so sick of the content that I couldn't even make it past lvl 22 without wanting to claw my eyes out. At that point, I'd rather watch paint dry than kill even one more monster. The game is very repetative, moreso than most games these days should be.

    Customer support and community is also big factors. One NCsoft has control over, while the other is the luck of the draw. When you see the same gold spammers day after day, and the same scammer day after day, you KNOW there isn't any GM support in the game. Let's be logical here, how long would it take YOU to watch the chat channels, write down all the names spamming gold adverts. and scam websites, take them to your boss, and he delete those accounts? It took me around 3 minutes to block 15 gold spammers and 1 scammer, upon logging in with a brand new character. So if every server had 1 GM, which is bare-minimum, since there's usually many more in any MMO I've ever played, the server would be rid of gold spammers within 3 minutes of that GM logging in. So we KNOW there isn't any GM support, which speaks volumes about NCsofts opinion of customer satisfaction. That alone is an insult to us as customers and is enough to quit the game out of disgust for their business practices. How many of you would go back to a restraunt if there was bad customer service?

    The community varies on the server you choose, and I can only comment on Lumiel and Meslamtaeda, but others can chime in on their server communities. General chat is flooded with questions that are answerable if they'd just read their quests, or explored a little bit. So the first strike against the community is that their either dumb or lazy. Next are the racists and sexists, which a spewing their crap on a regular basis. That's the second strike against the community, although these people can be ignored. Next are people who are disrespectful and are just plain assholes. This comprises the majority of the people on general chat. Yes, you can just leave the chat channel, or ignore a long list of people, but you're really starting to take away the entire community at this point, since General chat IS used by good people who are trying to communicate with it. There's good information on General chat, that you'll miss out on by turning it off. This was Elyos by the way. The community IS something you can get around, by joining a Legion (full of people you don't know and could possibly be just as bad as the people you're trying to avoid), but any wise person will know that you don't rush into a Legion. It's better to get to know people first, and then create a Legion with those people, or join theirs.

    Lastly, there's the grind. Okay, so the grind isn't as bad as the older games. I get that, because I played those games. But those games were played in a different time, when none of us knew any better and the communities were MUCH better and worked together. How many of you would play a single-player game where you had to grind on mobs for hours? I think we'd all agree that'd be a pretty sad single-player game. So why would you accept it in a MMORPG? Shouldn't MMORPG's be entertaining as well, not snoozefests? I'm not advocating for a lot of of meaningless quests to do, but you can't honestly say that standing in one place killing the same mobs, using the same skills over and over and over again for hours is actually fun? I'd hope people have a bit more intellect than that and would require more mental stimulation to be entertained.

    Anyways, despite all of that, AION is a good game, but it is playstyle dependant, which is my whole point in posting. The reviewer did a good job, but I think he glanced over the negative stuff.

  • SgtFrogSgtFrog LondonPosts: 5,001Member
    Originally posted by Paragus1


    Decent write up, but I think some of the game's short comings have been glossed over a bit too much in this review.    I agree for the most part with much of what was said, the game is solid and polished. I think people should be warned about a leveling curve that gets fairly steep in the 30's.  This makes me wonder what level the author reached before writing this.  The amount of exp needed to level ramps up dramatically and the number of quests available does not.  While not everyone thinks this is a bad thing, it is definitely worth mentioning considering the amount of debate in various communities about it.

     

    had no idea you played Aion, always thought you where the darkfall guy.

    image
    March on! - Lets Invade Pekopon

  • Demz2Demz2 londonPosts: 435Member

    Seems like a populist review to appease the rampant fanbois on this site.  8.7 plz dont make me laugh.

  • SacfedSacfed Victoria, BCPosts: 212Member

     

    Writing a review must be very difficult. I would never attempt it.  However, I just want to say that with some things you say I disagree and others I agree heavily. But in the end the conclusion is the same. 8.7 seems to be a very fair number for myself.

    I really am enjoying AION more then any other mmo every.

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SgtFrog




    had no idea you played Aion, always thought you where the darkfall guy.

    I've done a few write ups on Aion if you click my sig.

  • DevilXaphanDevilXaphan n/a, LAPosts: 1,144Member
    Originally posted by nate1980



    Customer support and community is also big factors. One NCsoft has control over, while the other is the luck of the draw. When you see the same gold spammers day after day, and the same scammer day after day, you KNOW there isn't any GM support in the game. Let's be logical here, how long would it take YOU to watch the chat channels, write down all the names spamming gold adverts. and scam websites, take them to your boss, and he delete those accounts? It took me around 3 minutes to block 15 gold spammers and 1 scammer, upon logging in with a brand new character. So if every server had 1 GM, which is bare-minimum, since there's usually many more in any MMO I've ever played, the server would be rid of gold spammers within 3 minutes of that GM logging in. So we KNOW there isn't any GM support, which speaks volumes about NCsofts opinion of customer satisfaction. That alone is an insult to us as customers and is enough to quit the game out of disgust for their business practices. How many of you would go back to a restraunt if there was bad customer service?
    The community varies on the server you choose, and I can only comment on Lumiel and Meslamtaeda, but others can chime in on their server communities. General chat is flooded with questions that are answerable if they'd just read their quests, or explored a little bit. So the first strike against the community is that their either dumb or lazy. Next are the racists and sexists, which a spewing their crap on a regular basis. That's the second strike against the community, although these people can be ignored. Next are people who are disrespectful and are just plain assholes. This comprises the majority of the people on general chat. Yes, you can just leave the chat channel, or ignore a long list of people, but you're really starting to take away the entire community at this point, since General chat IS used by good people who are trying to communicate with it. There's good information on General chat, that you'll miss out on by turning it off. This was Elyos by the way. The community IS something you can get around, by joining a Legion (full of people you don't know and could possibly be just as bad as the people you're trying to avoid), but any wise person will know that you don't rush into a Legion. It's better to get to know people first, and then create a Legion with those people, or join theirs.
    Lastly, there's the grind. Okay, so the grind isn't as bad as the older games. I get that, because I played those games. But those games were played in a different time, when none of us knew any better and the communities were MUCH better and worked together. How many of you would play a single-player game where you had to grind on mobs for hours? I think we'd all agree that'd be a pretty sad single-player game. So why would you accept it in a MMORPG? Shouldn't MMORPG's be entertaining as well, not snoozefests? I'm not advocating for a lot of of meaningless quests to do, but you can't honestly say that standing in one place killing the same mobs, using the same skills over and over and over again for hours is actually fun? I'd hope people have a bit more intellect than that and would require more mental stimulation to be entertained.
    Anyways, despite all of that, AION is a good game, but it is playstyle dependant, which is my whole point in posting. The reviewer did a good job, but I think he glanced over the negative stuff.

    Have to disagree with the statement about GM's they are actively monitoring the servers and killing the gold spam when they see it, as far as bots they have to go thru an investigation which can take a month but includes several other bots and bank toons when banned. So far the bot problem is not out of control but do agree that some in house security does need to be made to lessen the problem.

    Yes general chat has it's problems but what MMO does not have that problem.So tell me what other MMO does not have a grind in it at a certain level huh?

    image
  • Frostbite05Frostbite05 Jacksonville, FLPosts: 1,880Member
    Originally posted by Demz2


    Seems like a populist review to appease the rampant fanbois on this site.  8.7 plz dont make me laugh.

     

    Do enlighten us on how the game doesn't deserve that. Think about it for a sec its the first good game since lotro.

  • YunbeiYunbei HamburgPosts: 898Member

    I dunno, but 8.7 feels quite overrated. Aion isn't all bad, but it surely is not that great, at least once you play a while it feels quite repetitive and grindy. I feel it is more like a fast food game, but thats my perspective. I would not rate it mor than 6.9 or so.

    image

  • QyntQynt seattle, WAPosts: 1Member

    Nice write up and although I totally agree with the label "standard" and "nothing new" from an MMO I think the crafting write up was a little short.  I find the crafting / gathering system to actually be very good and fun.  I think it should be pointed out that you can choose how you level up your crafting and there is in fact no need to gather materials if you have money to do work orders (where you can be rewarded with recipes and materials).  In fact you only need to gather materials to craft items that would use or sell which so far as I have experienced are roughly available when you would use them.  I also really like the "crit" effect they have added where you have the chance to make something even better.  Lastly the two little bars (succeed / fail) that compete while you are crafting or gathering do make it interesting.

     

    Please take all I have said with a grain of salt as I am not overly far into the game and my crafting is only 200ish.  Like you I am also biased to the sylized art of game and other like it.  Either way, I am enjoying it and thanks for the review.

  • DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

    Remember everyone, 8.7 is the school equivalent to a B+.

    A good score, but not epic.

    Dana Massey
    Formerly of MMORPG.com
    Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  • tryklontryklon PortoPosts: 1,370Member Uncommon

     There they come... the trolls are already leaving their caves and on their way here. 

    8.7 is unacceptable to them... you are gonna pay.

     

    Good review for a great game, and with a very fair score

    image

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    That's wierd. I read this review, which starts out with a quote from John Milton, and then I start reading some of my critical thinking textbook and guess what the Introduction begins with?

    "The mind is it's own place and in itself can make a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell" (John Milton).

  • FastTxFastTx PTBO, ONPosts: 756Member
    Originally posted by Aganazer


    Is it okay for a game to change focus so dramatically half way through the leveling? No mention of this as either a pro or a con.
    Some might think of this as either a pro or a con. It's up to us to determine that, the review does mention and does inform that there is a difference in gameplay starting at level 10, 20 and 25. Some people can enjoy the 1-25 and continue to roll alts then quit and have a fun time. Some might enjoy the atmosphere of 25+ which really never changes. You can pvp at level 25 and pvp at 50 so why is 50 so important to get ASAP?


    Are there enough quests to level up questing after level 25? No mention of this either. I'll avoid calling non-questing advancement a 'grind' because of the negative connotation of the word. In most games they would call it a 'lack of content'.
    Well, there might not be quests but there is always something to work for. Once you hit 25 you can start hitting your first instance to 29 and get a feel for the abyss and there are plenty of quests too. After 30 you can start leveling in Fire Temple instance and 35+ you can gather Molars which will give you what will most likely be the best pair of boots and armor until 50, then 37+ start doing Lepherasists for the jewelry. Also 35+ you can start contributing in fortress sieges. I don't see a lack of content anywhere in the last half of the game. I'm sure they will add enough quests later on to appease solo quest grinders, so if thats what you are looking for Aion can be the game for you, just not right now.


    Is PvP forced on PvE players? If so, wouldn't it be a con for those who prefer PvE? He says that the Abyss can be avoided, but what exactly are you supposed to do when you avoid the abyss? Is the gameplay sub-par when not in the Abyss?

     
    I've never ran into PvP in anywhere but the Abyss and I'm level 38. People who want PvP stick to the Abyss, people have more Abyss Points there and better rewards. Players rifting will likely find a lack of rewards from killing people because they will usually be much lower level and they have a low rank. There is plenty of PvE content and good content too so it is not subpar. Everyone in endgame will have to run Dark Poeta over and over again to get the best gear anyway.
    As a player with limited information that may be deciding whether or not to play the game, these are issues that are keeping me from making a decision of whether or not to play. The review doesn't really address them.
    Maybe not, but the review mainly rates the game in general and really can only talk about a few elements of Aion or it would become it's own book.



     

  • AlivadaAlivada NorwichPosts: 86Member

    How does 'A standard MMO' get an 8.7?

    Anyway, IMO Aion lacks a little feature called fun, and no I don't want to grind to 50 before the game begins.

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dana


    Remember everyone, 8.7 is the school equivalent to a B+.
    A good score, but not epic.

     

    I agree.   I'm not big on assigning numbers on games because I know a lot of people have different tastes when it comes to this genre.   The game is solid in terms of gameplay and polish, and it's probably the first time in a while NA has seen a game that didn't feel unfinished at release.  The grind will be turn off for a lot of people, and others won't mind it.   If I had to give it a number I'd probably have given it somewhere between an 8 to 8.5, but I can understand how some people would not rate it as high.  I don't think it deserves any higher though until they really get a grip on the gold spammer, bots, and some siege performance issues.

  • AlexTheTallAlexTheTall MontrPosts: 174Member

    Very good review and you say the things that I do believe too. Been a while I didn't had that much fun in a MMORPG and I'll be playing this game for a lot of months, this is for sure...

  • GeridenGeriden DublinPosts: 391Member

     I really think its more of a 7.5 - 8 but definitly no more than an 8 its a fairly good game but like other's said its nothing special.

    And if you take into the handling of the game by ncsoft west the should be slammed for the shitty service they provide aswell (in the eu anyway). This is one thing that anoy's me about mmo review's they talk about the game and fail to mention how the game service is run.

    Its the only reasson i quit.

  • cyranacyrana MybusinessPosts: 180Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by DevilXaphan
    Have to disagree with the statement about GM's they are actively monitoring the servers and killing the gold spam when they see it, as far as bots they have to go thru an investigation which can take a month but includes several other bots and bank toons when banned. So far the bot problem is not out of control but do agree that some in house security does need to be made to lessen the problem.
    Yes general chat has it's problems but what MMO does not have that problem.So tell me what other MMO does not have a grind in it at a certain level huh?

    This doesn't seem true to me in the EU. I've seen the same gold seller spammer for over 8 days straight.

    The review seems a bit high, but scores are definitely subjective. I agree it's a polished game, but the beginning is very linear and the first 20 levels (not to 25 yet) seem a bit small and the areas are 'fenced' in. I'm liking the chanter a LOT, though, and the character customization is top notch. (I wish fewer monters were cute...personal preference.)

    Ningen wa ningen da.
    ----
    http://twitter.com/Ciovala

  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member

    With regards to NC Soft's level of support...

    I think the lack of service NC Soft's part has definitely been glossed over in this review. Not that it's necessary to be overly negative, but NC Soft has more or less been an 'empty uniform', at least in my experience as an EU player.

    Barely a single response from NC staff on the official forum, because apparently, "they can't log in to their own forums" - for a few days I could believe that, but 3 weeks after release? Yeah.. right.

    Not a single response from NC about the rubber-banding issues for wireless users, and nothing on the infamous Crysystem.dll crashes..

    I'm still getting the same gold spam whispers from the same people three weeks into the game. So I suspect the gold sellers are simply deleting and re-making characters to continue.

  • Demz2Demz2 londonPosts: 435Member
    Originally posted by tryklon


     There they come... the trolls are already leaving their caves and on their way here. 
    8.7 is unacceptable to them... you are gonna pay.
     
    Good review for a great game, and with a very fair score

     

    This coming  from the biggest troll and hater?    Pot calling the kettle black.

  • majimaji ColognePosts: 2,000Member Uncommon

    I didn't play Aion myself. But since I read the threads about it every now and then, watched some videos, screenshots, read about the praise and the complaints, I of course got an opinion as well. :)

    In my opinion 8.7 is a bit high. I mean, let's say a person says "I want to try an MMORPG. I don't know anything about them. Aion? I like the screenshots. 8.7 rating? Wow, that is very high, one of the highest ever given. This game must be great. I'll buy it." That's kinda the effect that rating has. Nearly everyone who will read the review and didn't research the game by himself/herself will assume that it is a safe buy, something that will always be liked.

    But is it true? Will really everyone who didn't research the game but just relies on the review love it as much as the review claims? I have my doubts.



    I mean, either was the reviewer a great fan himself and such didn't want to give it a lower rating because he'd feel like a traitor. Or he didn't want to give the lots of Aion fans in this community a bad feeling. The feeling that they are disliked and thought lowly of by the people who run this site and community and approve or even write the reviews.

    If that's true, they also kinda lure people into buying this game, although they do know that more people than the 8.7 verdict lets us assume will be disappointed. And that is a depressing thought.

    Of course there are trolls out there, writing bad stuff that ain't true about the game, exaggerating it's flaws and not mentioning the good stuff. But not all of the people who have complaints about the game are making them up. Some people are obviously really disappointed, and probably not only 1 or 2 people.

    Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)

    Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)

  • gboostergbooster Indianapolis, INPosts: 712Member

    8.7 seriously?

    That would make it the highest rated game ever on here (by the staff), wouldn't it?

    For such a small, linear game, you gotta wonder if the reviewer got caught up in the initial experience, but an MMO is about longevity too, hence, there are monthly fees.

  • tryklontryklon PortoPosts: 1,370Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Demz2

    Originally posted by tryklon


     There they come... the trolls are already leaving their caves and on their way here. 
    8.7 is unacceptable to them... you are gonna pay.
     
    Good review for a great game, and with a very fair score

     

    This coming  from the biggest troll and hater?    Pot calling the kettle black.

     

    troll and hater? by all means, what did i troll or what do I hate?

    image

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