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Aion Revisited

twocowtwocow Member Posts: 4

After giving Aion more than a fair try for the first 6 months of it's life here in the NA, I threw in the towel and moved on.  Returning to this game sure has been exciting, and has also held my attention far longer than I expected it to.  This writing is more geared to those who quit the game like I did at some point.

I had a level 50 ranger on the Elyos side when I resubbed, along with a few other mid level characters, but I found it to be a pain to try and relearn all of my skills.  So I decided to start out fresh, and began leveling up a chanter and a cleric.  I had given away most everything I had when I quit, which made it a bit more challenging starting from scratch.

Levels 1-10

Poeta, the Elyos starting area, much like I remembered it.  The graphics and music were still outstanding.  The quests were the same, and still very linear, although I did skip every quest except for the level 9 campaign on my cleric, which is needed to hit level 10 and choose your class (ascend).  On each character it took me around 1 hour or so to hit 10.  I would guess a newer player might take 2-3 hours or more depending on how many of the quests they actually read or how much scenery they stopped to look at. 

Levels 11-20

Welcome to Verteron, and my least favorite area in this entire game.  I do still enjoy parts of it, namely the Krall area/quests.  This area to me though is entirely too linear with the questing and there isn't a lot of wiggle room to do anything but be in the place where you are supposed to be.  Haramel is a new solo instance added to the area that I believe is for players 18-22.  I ran it 2-3 times on both the cleric and chanter.  The instance is nothing special, and actually somewhat boring, but the gear is decent and the exp is very good.  It definitely helped speed up the leveling process. 

Levels 21-30

Being in Eltnen again was refreshing.  The area is much more open than the previous two.  Leveling is no longer linear as you can also visit Theobomos at 20, which I did not visit this time around.  The options began to open up quite a bit at 25 with repeatables, elite areas like Kaidan Mines, and the Abyss.  The Abyss is accessible at level 25 after completing a quest, and is the only area in the game that you can fly around anywhere in.  There are plenty of places to quest/grind and even pvp if you are lucky enough to not have your face ripped off by someone 10 levels higher than you.  Nochsana Training Camp or NTC, the first group dungeon, is available at level 25 and located in the Abyss.  The instance was fun and helps you to learn your role in group play for more challenging dungeons to come.  The quests, especially campaigns, seem to reward much more experience than before.

Levels 31-40

This is where most players hit the wall when leveling, myself included.  The exp around 34 or 35 spikes upward quite a bit while the quest rewards and exp from grinding mobs do not.  Fire Temple is available at 30, and the drop rates from the last boss (Kromede) are still horrible.  Lower Fort instances are also accessible at 30 if your faction owns them.  A new solo instance, Kromedes Trial, was added for levels 37-44, which greatly increases leveling and I believe is on a 22 hour cooldown.  I spent my time doing a multitude of things once I hit 30 because the options of what you can do explode.  My first priority was to run Fire Temple at least 1-2 times a day (takes about 30 minutes a run).  Then I did my campaigns and quested in Eltnen, Heiron, and the Abyss simultaneously.  Heiron is an area for 30+, and is home to Poya Jungle, my favorite place in the game.  I could run around and gather there all day (unless I get ganked repeatedly by Asmos).  Watching Takun and Gojira (godzilla and king kong) fight in the jungle was amazing!  Although more than once I got demolished by them as I happily gathered egrasi without paying much attention.  All in all I enjoyed this stage of the game, and it felt great to be completely out of that one dimensional beginning.  Whereas 1-20 is doable in one day, 31-40 probably took me at least a week of playing for a good portion of each day.

Levels 41-50

I love the Steel Rake instance, I really do, but I don't think I can ever run it again.  I grinded it and grinded it (only for my hat), and once that was done, that was it.  Well designed instance however, and the first one I would actually consider challenging, especially for new players and unorganized groups.  There seem to be a good number of quests added, including repeatables.  I personally do not mind the repeatables, but I know others may hate them.  The ones at Jepairan Village made for extremely fast leveling 40-44, and was actually faster than 36-40.  I had quite a few encounters during this time with asmos in Heiron.  Many of them twinked to the teeth and able to three shot me.  I like me some pvp but I can say without a doubt that even if I wasn't fighting a mob, that I would have gotten destroyed by 90% of them in less than 10 seconds.  I say that because the tendency is for the opposing faction to attack you while you are enganged in combat.  I can't really blame them however, wouldn't be very wise to stop and wait for you to finish what you are doing so that they can begin, this is war!  While I saw many others whine about it over open channels, I simply just move on to another area if there is too much heat.  Steel Rake, Theobomos, Eltnen and the Abyss are all viable options.  Eltnen and the Abyss are good until 44 at least.  At 46 I began running Theobomos Labs (Tlabs), which was very exciting the first 30 or so times.  The run takes about an hour with a decent group.  I also spent a few hours mountain climbing around Indratu, which has to be one of the most amazing things if you can actually pull off the jumps.  There are certain people that just can't seem to get the jumps down, but if you've been up there you know what I am talking about.  At 46 you can also start running Dredgion for abyss points (AP), a PvPvE instance.  I completely ignored the Dredgion during those levels and I regret it.  Never pass up free AP!  Although 40-44 was faster for me than 36-40, 44-50 slowed down quite a bit.  It probably took me a good 10-12 days to go from 40-50.  I decided to focus on my cleric, and left my chanter at 46 during this stage.

Levels 51-55

Balaurea  (accessible at 50) is the newest addition to Aion, which includes three new areas (Ingisson, Gelkmaros, Silentera Canyon) and 4 new instances.  Ingisson is the Elyos area, Gelkmaros the Asmodian area, and Silentera Canyon is the area in between the two.  Upon first arriving in Balaurea I was overwhelmed with quests.  There were so many quests to pick up it was a bit of a headache.  Graphically the world looks great, and the windstreams make getting around a bit interesting (especially missing one).  I do not enjoy the scenery or design nearly as much as I do Eltnen or Heiron though.  There is a safe zone where the enemy faction cannot access and allows one to quest free of harm.  The larger part of the area however can be infiltrated by the opposing side.  The last solo instance added was Talocs Hollow.  This is probably the worst out of the three solo instances added in terms of fun.  It is easy and the experience is good, so it was worth running if only for that.  Udas/Lower Udas, another instance available at 51 is also somewhat easy, but not without complete challenge.  The gear from this instance is great and really helps set you up for success in Beshmundir Temple.  Also the drop rates weren't completely terrible, I saw a few pieces of gear for my cleric running through it.  The higher level quests (53-55) are located in the unsafe zone (still unsure if there is a name for it).  This is what brought back the excitement of rifting for me however.  I was ganked multiple times while leveling and even though it can get annoying it always made me play "on my toes."  It just added that element of surprise that you might be hunted and chased at any minute.  At 55 I started running the end game instance, Beshmundir Temple (BT).  BT is a fun and well designed instance.  Some of the boss fights have interesting mechanics and are not just tank n spank, Isbaryia for example.  BT was not so kind as Udas was in drops for my cleric however.  At the annoyance of swapping between healing stigmas and dps stigmas every day and not getting drops I quit running BT and began to focus on Esoterrace (AP instance) and rifting over to Gelkmaros to fight Asmos instead.


Most people say that rifting is dead, at least in Eltnen/Morheim.  It is true that the buffs now in place make it almost impossible to kill someone that is within your level range.  In Heiron/Beluslan there are also buffs, but they are lifted every other week so rifters can go and pvp without restriction.  Most of the rifting (players don't refer to it as such, but it is) occurs at or near end game now in Balaurea.  You essentially rift over to the enemy side, the concept is the same, and it is very fun to be both the aggressor or to have the enemy in your lands. 


The abyss is not what it used to be.  There are still tons of people fighting at the Western Shard... still?!  Everywhere else though seems very empty.  There isn't much sieging going on for control of upper forts, I know they used to be a huge deal.  This is probably because Eso gives better AP and isn't near as boring to run, and can also be ran in small groups.  If the upper fort instances gave improved rewards or were revamped so they weren't so boring I think there would be plenty of fighting over them again. 

Abyss Gear

I did not even think about getting my abyss gear until I was 55.  Besh Temple was the only thing on my mind on the trip up.  In one month of doing Eso and Dredge I managed to get a full set of 50e armor, which is very respectable.  Currently I am working on my 55 eternal neck (just made the 82 plats), only 100k more ap to go!

Cash Shop

The only questionable thing I have seen in the cash shop was the 2 week period (that recently ended) where they were selling the guaranteed manastone socketing supplements.  I still don't know how I feel about this one.  I did not purchase any of these, instead I have spent millions upon millions buying regular supplements from the forts in Ingisson.. and they don't always work.  Manastone socketing and enchanting sure are frustrating.  However I don't think there is any greater satisfaction than hearing the success ding on the last manastone in a six slot piece of gear (maybe the success ding on a +15 enchant, but I wouldn't know).  I think the biggest problem is everyone believing that they need green manastones, the whites are affordable and seem to go in easier.  Hopefully they come up with another solution, although there is one in place they just need to improve upon it.  Make the in game supplements have 100% success rate, just increase the price.  I see no problem with this at all. 

Overall Thoughts

I wrote a review on Rift some months back.  After I left that game I hopped around again to old favorites.  Nothing really seemed to have that same spark until I decided to revisit Aion (oh how I said I would never play it again).  The game is much less grindy than before.  Some grinding will need to be done though as the quests do not cover all of the levels, be it on your own or in a dungeon with a group.  I really like the fact that someone cannot just replicate what I have done on my character in a week or two.  My character is a piece of work in progress, it takes time and effort (it is fun effort!).  Perhaps it reminds me of the days when I played Muds ( text based online mmos) and players would spend years developing and improving their characters.  It is a huge turn off for me to watch someone go from 1-max level in 3 days and then be fully geared in another week or so.  That just doesn't happen here.  On the plus side it isn't so grindy that it makes one realize that something isn't attainable within a reasonable amount of time (for example the old coin weapons being 2000 coins, now they are 300-400).  I have no plans to leave Aion at this time, and I am looking forward to the new 1v1 arenas in 2.7 in a few days and the big 3.0 patch in the spring.



  • TaeranTaeran Member Posts: 8

    I know what you mean, I recently came back with the re activation event and I payed for a month now. I'm really having a blast, being lvl 48 right now it's kinda slow but between Steel Rake and TLabs I don't get bored. 

    I also agree with you with the Character in Progress stuff, you just don't get to max level and can raid *cough*WoW*cough* in less than a week. Having a good character takes effort and it's very satisfying. 

  • askdabossaskdaboss Member UncommonPosts: 631

    Yeah I agree with pretty much everything, one of the things that bothered me in Aion though (during leveling) was that the world was basically a long corridor.

    So in other words, there is no exploration, you pretty much go to one zone (one long corridor), do a few quests/kill a few mobs then move a few hundred meters down the road to do another quest/kill a few mobs, and by the time you have reached the end of the corridor you are ready to move to another one (the words being probably verteron That felt a bit cheap.

  • ShadanwolfShadanwolf Member UncommonPosts: 2,392

    AION 's reason for being was faction conflict. PVE games are everywhere.Unfortunately that aspect of the game has recieved little attention in this review. I like many tried the game. Could not wait till I got to the abyss.What I found then(and I havent been willing to pay money to acess it lately) is a staggering poor mess of faction conflict. The terrain  looked like it took 10 minutes to construct and was overrun by gankers. Gankers in high level groups just waiting to pounce on the solo  players questing.The concept of putting players of similar levels in a 24/7 persistent world of conflict either eludes or is of no interest to this games creators.


    Has this changed?  For me...I could care less.Clearly the company had not the faintest clue not interest in what makes good faction vs faction conflict at its creation...and i've read nothing that suggests things have improved.

  • CuradorCurador Member Posts: 24
    Thanks OP I enjoyed reading :) I wish I had the patience to play Aion...bought CE at release but got tired by level 12 in the second zone. I did come back 3 more times and quit around the same level.
  • joanne71joanne71 Member Posts: 63

    Thanks for the post.  I assume servers are still not all equal - I left Zikel because it was hideously overrun by Elyos - numbering around 5 times as many active players at any time of day.

    How many playing hours did it take you to get to level 55 from scratch - I shudder to think :-)

    I loved this game, I was hopelessly addicted which was one of the reasons I had to step away.

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 CommonPosts: 6,690

    I'm going to check out Aion as well. Thanks for the heads up!

  • twocowtwocow Member Posts: 4

    This post out turned out much longer than I had anticipated, whoopsie.

    Originally posted by Shadanwolf

    The terrain  looked like it took 10 minutes to construct and was overrun by gankers. Gankers in high level groups just waiting to pounce on the solo  players questing.The concept of putting players of similar levels in a 24/7 persistent world of conflict either eludes or is of no interest to this games creators.

    While I realize everyone has different taste, your comment on the terrain is very off.  Graphically, there is little argument that it is one of, if not the best looking MMO out, although this is not why I play.  If you are referring to the design of landscape and object placement then I'd like to ask what area you were in and why you made this comment.  There are so many positional advantages one can get and nooks and crannies to make PvP quite interesting.  There had become too much of a problem with ganking (while I was not playing), in the medium level zone Eltnen/Morheim (20-40).  Apparently super twinks were rifting into these lands and destroying undergeared players, both new and old.  This resulted in a buff being put in place that gives those in their homelands a significant advantage in these areas.  The current buff actually seems a bit too strong, as I have went rifting myself and had a hard time even hitting an enemy (even much lower than I), let alone killing them.  There also similar buffs in Beluslan/Heiron (30-50), but they are lifted every other week, allowing rifters to go and have their fun.  In the endgame areas of Balaurea (Ingisson, Gelkmaros, Silentera Canyon), yes you may get ganked by a group, or even by one person.  Everybody in these zones is 50-55, and if having a chance encounter at pvp isn't your thing, then Aion wasn't/isn't for you.  Like I wrote in my original post, I love being in those areas because it keeps me on my toes.  Always having to watch over my shoulder in these areas is a feeling I enjoy, and both winning/losing a fight is part of the experience.  When I am not in the mood for that, I simply do not travel out of the safe zone.

    Originally posted by joanne71

    Thanks for the post.  I assume servers are still not all equal - I left Zikel because it was hideously overrun by Elyos - numbering around 5 times as many active players at any time of day.

    How many playing hours did it take you to get to level 55 from scratch - I shudder to think :-)

    I loved this game, I was hopelessly addicted which was one of the reasons I had to step away.

    I will try to estimate how many hours it took me to hit 55 as best I can!  This is considering no double exp.  Although at least once during the leveling of a character you should encounter double experience for at least a few days.  I believe we had a week of double in June, and then another 2 weeks of double in September (2 year anniversery).


    1-2 hours


    10 hours


    15-20 hours:  You can do 25-30 in about 7 hours if all you did was log on and run NTC once a day.  The previous level cap of NTC at 28 has been removed completely.  Also Haramel is 18-22, so if you run that every time cooldown is up (3 hours), you will be able to 20-23 in 2 hours.  11-12 hours would be my guess if you only played when your instance cooldowns were up.


    30 hours: Fire Temple (FT) doesn't give great experience in a 6 man group.  If you 3-4 man it doing repeat runs, you can get good exp at a nice pace.  34-40 will probably take about 2-3 hours per level if you are actively questing or grinding.  The solo instance Kromedes Trial (KT) 37-44 helps out a ton.  Their seems to be a bonus to exp in there, I would guess around 20%, and the the mobs are not that challenging since it is designed for every class to complete. 


    10 hours:  Doing the repeatables in Jepairan Village will make these levels go by fast.  Some of them require 41-42 but you can start with the chain quests and single quests that give nice chunks of exp.  This may be hard to do if it is the rifting week (every other week) as you will have multiple PvP encounters.  Getting a group for Indratu Elites, Kaidan Headquarters Elites, or Lepharist Citadel Elites are also nice alternatives if this is the case and provides good experience.  Also the Steel Rake (SR) instance begins at 40 and there are multiple quests, both repeats and chains that you can complete while doing, along with a chance for nice drops.  SR has three sections, mid/upper/lower, which can be considered individual instances among themselves, allows you to run this until your upper 40's for decent exp.

    Edit:  I would like to note that only if you are doing the Jep village repeatables efficiently will you make this 10 hours.  This is about what it took me on both my cleric and chanter.  If you are doing anything else it will take a good deal longer.


    30 hours:  There is still one great repeatable that begins at 44 in Jeparian Village if you completed the chain quest, this will knock out a nice chunk of the level.  KT is still available up to 44 although the experience will be much less than when running it at 37.  The quests in Theobomos (Observatory) also open up at 44.  45-46 or 47 (depending on when groups will take you to run Tlabs), can be a bit of a sticking point.  SR is good for these levels as well, the mobs in upper/lower being 45.  At 46 you can began running Theobomos Labs (Tlabs).  On a three hour cd, this instance provides a fair amount of exp and a chance at good weapon drops.  There are other instance such as Azoturan Fortress, Draupnir Cave etc., which are viable options.  Dredgion starts at 46 and gives great experience if you complete the quests in it!  It can be ran up to three times per day.  Post 47 you can begin doing some of the quests at Jamanock Inn at northern Theobomos.  There does seem to be a lack of solo quests for the last few levels.  If you aren't running dungeons at this point you will probably be doing some solo grinding.


    78 hours:  While I stated in the original post that I gave up my chanter at 46,  I did decide to level up some of my other mid-range characters.  My templar is 53 and my original 50 ranger is now 53, while my main is 55.   Some of that was during double, most of it was not.  They are sort of side projects when I want to work on something else (not very often).  There are many quests available in Balaurea.  When you first arrive there you may be overwhelmed with the number of quest NPC's on your minimap.  There are also many quest chains and repeats in the unsafe zone of Ingisson, some of them are at the forts, and some are at little outposts scattered througout the area.  In Balaurea there are no shortage of quests to do, and at 55 I still have an annoyingly high number of quest NPC's available (I should turn those off on my map). 

    50-51: 8 hours

    51-52: 10 hours

    52-53: 15 hours

    53-54:  20 hours

    54-55:  25 hours

    This is just an estimate based off of my experience with my three characters that are post 50.  Running C-Dredgion for the repeatables up to three times a day would have made this faster for me, but I neglected to do that.  There are also quests you can do in Esoterrace and Talocs Hollow(solo instance) that can speed up the process.

    Total: 180 hours

    There are many things you can do to speed up the leveling process which I did not mention above.

    1.  Use or a similar website.  This will help you identify which quests are more valuable exp wise, and maybe reveal quests that you did not previously know about.

    2.  When possible, quest or grind on mobs 2 levels below you.  You will take no experience penalty for this and usually they will be easier to kill.  At 3 levels below you will incur an experience penalty.  Higher level mobs give more experience, but if they are +3 levels above you, they will start taking 30% damage reduction, and this scales 10% with each additional level they are higher until you are dealing 1 damage.  Also I believe the bonus experience for mobs caps at 120% @ 4-5 levels above. 

    3.  When doing repeatables, choose ones that are near each other and that don't require drops (if possible).  In Jepairan Village for example there are many repeatables.  One of them is to kill a snake that has a horrible drop rate for an item which you only need 5 of.  A second has you collect 5 objects off of three different mobs (higher drop rate), and a third is to kill bats, but they are a bit out of the way.  There are 5 other repeatables though worth doing  there that are all in the same area as one another.  Two of them you can do at the exact same time by killing the correct mobs that the quests share in common!  Solo this is much faster choosing to do the 5 instead of 8, and in a group it is MUCH faster, especially since most of them are kill quests, not requiring others in your group to loot items from corpses. [In general, mobs that drop quest items will only drop for 1 member of the group.  This rule does not apply to campaigns however]

    4.  SAVE your campaigns for sticking points.  The campaigns reward much more experience than they used to.  From 29-30 it might be a good idea to turn in 3-4 campaigns and ding that level in a very short time so you can begin running FT as opposed to questing/grinding for another couple hours.  I turned in a handful of Eltnen and Heiron campaigns at 44 and was able to hit 46 in no time.  The downside (and upside) to this is that when they increased the experience they also reward nice items now.  Upon completing the last campaign in Eltnen and Heiron you will receive new rewards.  The one for Eltnen rewards a gold weapon and the Heiron campaign gold boots.

    5.  Gear:  Use boots that have run speed, even if they are inferior stat wise to another pair.  Going from point A to point B faster, kiting, leashing, and training are a few of the reasons why.  Max run speed is 22%, and at level 33 you can get boots that have 18% or 22%.  Also, keep your weapon updated!

    Edit:  This estimation is the time I believe one will spend leveling.  Of course we do other things in MMO's like checking the Broker/AH, chatting with friends etc., so it will likely take longer.




  • Eldonan85Eldonan85 Member Posts: 32

    IMO... your post was WAY TOO WORDY, and I still don't understand what your trying to explain really.

    Aion is A LOT BETTER THAN IT WAS. I know, I have played since beta, every month. GM's always there to help, lots to do, lots of people online, things running well, and its damn fun for pve and pvp. Nuff said.

  • twocowtwocow Member Posts: 4

    Originally posted by Christopherc

    IMO... your post was WAY TOO WORDY, and I still don't understand what your trying to explain really.

    Aion is A LOT BETTER THAN IT WAS. I know, I have played since beta, every month. GM's always there to help, lots to do, lots of people online, things running well, and its damn fun for pve and pvp. Nuff said.

    Aion is gud go play nao.  Is that better for you?  This is a forum and I wanted to share some of the experiences that I had with coming back.  You may have stuck with the game but more of us LEFT than stayed with it.  Feel free to share constructive criticism, but showing you are an ass doesn't make our community look any better.

  • Eldonan85Eldonan85 Member Posts: 32

    Yes, I apologize.. I did come off a bit rude, I didn't mean to. I got all "don't talk smack about my fav mmo" lol. Which, u really didn't after reading all the way through like I should have. Anyways, your right, a place where we could get some constructive criticism, people's ideas, suggestions, help, would be beneficial.

    I hope that you will forgive me.



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