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Aion: Assault Balaurea Re-Review

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,588MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Originally released in 2009, Aion was cast as a mold-breaking MMO by NCSoft. It didn't, however, measure up to its hype. In the years since then, the dev team has worked quite hard to make Aion into the game it should have been on release. With the Assault on Balaurea expansion, did the team reach its goal? Find out in MMORPG.com Lead Writer Bill Murphy's re-review of Aion in the post Assault on Balaurea era.

It’s polished, pretty, and content complete with a much smoother progression that will please most Western gamers looking for an Eastern-influenced fantasy MMO that comes without the mindless mob-grind. Still it does rely a little heavily on repeatable quests to fill in gaps, but new solo dungeons help spice things up quite a bit. By and large Aion of today is a much better game than it was at launch, but it still won’t be a title to attract the masses.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Aion: Assault on Balaurea Re-Review.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member

    I think, Bill, you need to let those NCsoft scales fall from your eyes as Aion is DirectX 9 so for 2011 it isn't visually amazing. What I think is that you may be gaming on a mid-range PC as it is favourable to WoW Cataclysm in terms of visuals, but WoW is a very old game. 

     

    Anyway, I think we all know that Aion wasn't a game to Western tastes on launch, and while it may have improved it still offers quite a dated mmo game to players, and gimmicks such as wings on the player gets tiresome fast.

  • carebear77carebear77 tswhanePosts: 86Member

    Just turned lvl 50 and entered the expansion for the first time and you can really see the Hard work the the dev team have put in since the original release.  I have a high- end pc and gpu and the graphics are amazing with the cry engine really delivering the goods. There is no lag, no dc and a generally mature following to the game.

     

     The new graphics patch is almost here and then Aion will be  the best looking mmo. 

     

    Aion is by far the best Epic PVP out there and once you have done a siege you will never look back.  Nothing in wow, rift, war or dcuo even comes close. And i play almost all new mmos just to make up my own mind about the games.

     

    Aion has so many amazing character customisation (not talking char creation ) features and depth that it amazes me that other mmos arent copying them left right and center.  A strong char in wow is kinda the same as any other on the server but in Aion you can make an absolute monster.  From armsfusion to enchanting, no other mmo comes close. 

     

    Aion assualt on balauria  is probably the only mmo where you can instantly team up with 200-500 other players and wreak absulote chaos and destruction open hundreds of other real players. If you never played Aion you will never know Epic pvp. 

     

     

  • NaqajNaqaj Frankfurt am MainPosts: 1,673Member

    He spoke of the games design, which has fairly little to do with the DX version. Good art direction can do much for for the visual appeal of a game than tech specs.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Illyssia

    I think, Bill, you need to let those NCsoft scales fall from your eyes as Aion is DirectX 9 so for 2011 it isn't visually amazing. What I think is that you may be gaming on a mid-range PC as it is favourable to WoW Cataclysm in terms of visuals, but WoW is a very old game. 

     

    Anyway, I think we all know that Aion wasn't a game to Western tastes on launch, and while it may have improved it still offers quite a dated mmo game to players, and gimmicks such as wings on the player gets tiresome fast.

    I really get tired of this DX9 criticism, when you get down to it, even DX11 is not that much of a change.  Sure you can spice up the effects somewhat, but most of the games that claim to use DX10 & DX11 rarely use them to the full effect.  So yeah, compared to the competition the graphics effects are still really good.  Anyway graphics are a minor point for most of us, gameplay is what sells games.

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog SPosts: 1,124Member Uncommon

    I just find strange your con and pros,

    dungeons are hardly difficult anymore, maybe beshmundir temple on hard mode, but even so the most difficult is the last boss, but people use a res loci thing who make it pretty easy.

    its not slow to lvl, hiting lvl cap in 2 months (I start november 2009) and I old my lvl for 1 week on 45 to finish some spy quests.

    sounds are not boring, well save for the pets, but most of the time its good, the music is also good, I don't need to run a CD over the music from the game

    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
    image

  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,969Member Uncommon

    Anyone who says aions gfx are bad must need their head testing.. the only place it falls short is on some ground textures. The character and model (PC or NPC) design is some of the best around.

  • SuniojSunioj Saratoga, NYPosts: 261Member

    Aion has very good graphics, but the story and setup of the world are very drab and make it a chore to want to play.

    Momo sucks, I have proof.

  • anxhelino123anxhelino123 londonPosts: 3Member

    I want this game back now... Wait... Ill just go re download it and patch it lol

  • MayadevaMayadeva romaPosts: 21Member

    Aion is one of the most beautiful world I played in. Is a game rich of contents, characters are amazing, leveling up is quite smooth- But has a couple of big issues in gameplay. One is the PVP system that is a gankfest, encouraging bullism. The other is the RNG system that affects crafting and drops. Is a gear based game, so beware.

  • PuremallacePuremallace Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,856Member

    Core mechanics are still broken. MMORPG can give it a great review, but I played it for 16 months and was a huge fan. Lack of a local developement team is killing the game plain and simple.

    You can argue with me if you like, but it is still broken.

  • jerkbeastjerkbeast Ridgecrest, CAPosts: 247Member

    One question. Do all of your toons of one faction still start in the same place? If yes I will not try it again, but if you made unique starting areas I will play again.

  • GPrestigeGPrestige Guelph, ONPosts: 521Member

    I don't think they have or plan on fixing the linear leveling this game offers. Pass.

    -Computer specs no one cares about: check.

    -MMOs played no one cares about: check.

    -Xfire stats no one cares about: check.

    -Signature no one cares about: check.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    -Narcissism: check.

  • KanuvaniKanuvani Windsor, ONPosts: 33Member

    Originally posted by jerkbeast



    One question. Do all of your toons of one faction still start in the same place? If yes I will not try it again, but if you made unique starting areas I will play again.


     

    Still only 1 starting zone per side.

  • drazzahdrazzah SoJers, NJPosts: 444Member

    Spelled Review wrong on the front page picture (Re-Reviw is what you put)

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  • jawalijawali slubicePosts: 195Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Kanuvani



    Originally posted by jerkbeast



    One question. Do all of your toons of one faction still start in the same place? If yes I will not try it again, but if you made unique starting areas I will play again.


     

    Still only 1 starting zone per side.


     

    how many zones do you need for 2 raCES?

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  • TheMinnTheMinn Parsimony, CAPosts: 397Member

    I 100% disagree with your cons. They really make no sense. I have played this game for a very long time. Your 'cons' are nor justified or make any sense. Your cons don't exist in the game nowadays. The only reason why this MMO is not bigger than it should be is because the players will not go back because of how the game was launched. It is a great MMO.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    Well, I'm glad someone noticed that Reviw is not a real world (in this dimension).

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,717Administrator Uncommon

    Originally posted by Sovrath



    Well, I'm glad someone noticed that Reviw is not a real world (in this dimension).


     

    I've let the guys know about this. Thanks!

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • ersingibleersingible BreePosts: 70Member

    "but because it’s pacing and mechanics catered more towards the Eastern market."

    Yes..

    That and the assumption on the devs part that itwas ok to leave goldspammer garbage litter the game world, because "asians are ok with it".

  • Scorp1usScorp1us Campbellsville, KYPosts: 26Member

    I never really thought that Aion was an ugly game, just a boring one.

    Emberlord ~ Defiant to the End!

  • WSIMikeWSIMike Catskill, NYPosts: 5,564Member

    Originally posted by jawali

    Originally posted by Kanuvani



    Originally posted by jerkbeast



    One question. Do all of your toons of one faction still start in the same place? If yes I will not try it again, but if you made unique starting areas I will play again.


     

    Still only 1 starting zone per side.


     

    how many zones do you need for 2 raCES?

    When you have a strictly class-based MMO, where people are likely to start brand-new alts to play new classes... it's kinda nice to have options, so you're not seeing the same... exact... areas.... doing the same... exact.... quests.... over and over.

    More variety is better.

    "If you just step away for a sec you will clearly see all the pot holes in the road,
    and the cash shop selling asphalt..."
    - Mimzel on F2P/Cash Shops

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  • wfSegwfSeg berkeley, CAPosts: 96Member

    To go along with your high school analogy, Aion is like the really hot cheerleader in class. Very pretty, yes, but awfully dull, dumb, and boring at the core.

    When there's a project to do, it procrastinates and turns it in late (have to wait 3-6 months for them to 'translate' patches into the Western market).

    I wouldn't grade it an 8.0 (a B on the grade), but more a 6 or 7 (a C). The game barely does enough to get a passing grade.

    "I am the harbinger of hope. I am the sword of the righteous. And to all who hear my words, I say this: What you give to this Empire, I shall give back unto you."
    -Empress Jamyl Sarum I

  • alderdalealderdale anaheim, CAPosts: 301Member

    I always kind of liked the enviorment though the colors were to washed out for me, I like richer darker looking games, but the deal breaker was the cloths and armor, they are so over the top ridiculously fruity, with everyone standing around posing I just couldnt take it.  Im pretty sure nothing has changed in that area.

  • AmannasAmannas AthensPosts: 95Member

    Been reading your comments people..and in all honesty,judging by what is said here,you seem to be missing something very crucial..

    This was a game conceptualised and designed so as to primarily draw a huge chunk of their Lin2 fanbase, which is what they depended on to get their initial subscriptions from, along with (hopefully) a healthy number of the WoW (or insert clone) gaming populace..now to me,unless you sit down and think how such a 'marriage' could be reality wise,you won't get near the point. You can't fuss about it being a gear-based game (Mayadeva i think your name was), not when you came from Lin2, or about the clothing/gear looking "fruity" (i forget your name,sorry)..just as the other 'half'' should not complain about the levelling been linear..And am only refering to posts from this very thread,and see where we are already :) It is alright to say i,insert name,hated it oh so vewy much,in which case you are entitled the lack of any serious consideration,and quite another to name issues affecting the gameplay as intended. And if we stick to that..it didn't reaaaaally have that huge number of bugs..no,it didn't. It didn't even have as many bots as folks whine about,least not in comparison with previous NCsoft games (aka Lin2?).

    Yes they progressed the story and content very slow,yes nothing was (don't know about now) perfect,true..but we have all played far worse,and for far longer..what killed it was their marrying two opposite types of gameplays. Just my opinion.

  • Hellfyre420Hellfyre420 Oakland, CAPosts: 861Member

    I gave up on AION when i hit miragents on my lvl 50 char only a few months after release.. Wasn't much content besides dredgion + Dork Poeta.. And then the max exodus as more people hit 50 and released miragents wasn't worth it.. I went from a full legion (#3 on our server) of 100+ players to it having to close down because so many members quit logging in (includeing our legion leader.)

     

    I eventually joined up with the #1 legion on fregion and continued to play for a bit.. We had the world bosses on lock down.. Was fun but after fort raids died the content was just way to light to continue playing.. Not to mention i failed miragents like 6 times so i was pissed.. My buddy on my friends list offered me $200 for my character, since i told him i was jus gonna quit and no longer log.. So i took the $200 and ran lol (later the acnt got banned for "account sharing" or some shit ncsoft made up.)

     

     Still , i had a very enjoyable experience.. No other MMO has given me the feel that AION has, but i'am afriad that was because it was "all new" and i was experienceing it on launch day.. I don't know if i'd enjoy it as much if i went back, but i probably will end going back to use it to fill the gap until SWT


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    Currently Playing:
    Rift + Starcraft II + Gears Of War 3 Beta

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