Aion: First Impressions

Although I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked this weekend, I was able to try out a few different classes of both factions and get one character to 10 so that I could do the ascension questline, get my wings, and see a capital city. Miz had done Elyos, so I did Asmodian.

  • On the technical side, everything seems rock solid, and there was little lag even with everything turned all the way up. I didn’t experience any bugged quests…or even bugged mobs, which really surprised and impressed me.
  • Although I understand from a Wow guildie that we’re playing an extremely limited beta, the existing content was wonderful, with some good questlines. He had played the Chinese beta to 27, and said that it was a better, more mature client.
  • The quest cutscenes didn’t bother me, although they did seem unnecessary since they were so short. The Ascension cutscene was spectacular, though – and I look forward very much to experiencing that with voiceovers.
  • The camera irritated me. It would swing around wildly on occasion, and I hope this is something that they fix – it would make boss encounters quite difficult. I also quite miss the ability to swing the camera around without changing the direction of my character. I know that you can do it with a shift/right mouse, but that would be tough in combat.
  • Mobs, even the tiny forest critters, are all gorgeously done. Wonderful textures, and some of them show real character. The purple-and-blue birds in the Asmodian starting area were so beautiful, and I loved the little goat people who hopped around on their hind legs.
  • Everything is very expensive, but then you do acquire a lot of kinah.
  • The character customisation rocks – I saw two pretty good Obamas while I was playing.  :)
  • I had thought that running everywhere would seem very slow, but it’s not bad. Is the environment smaller than Wow?  Feels like it.
  • Priests rock. I love characters that can do a bit of healing and a bit of kickass, and at this low level, they’re quite overpowered. I was also playing a warrior, and I think I’ll do one of each, perhaps with the priest as my main.

Overall?  Gorgeous, and an enormous amount of fun to play. I can’t wait for the game to go live, and it will seem like a very long time until it does.  This is one of those games like Wow where you want to get everyone you know playing it…one of our best friends is playing on my account today, and he’s already ordered two of the collector’s editions.

A huge thumbs up for Aion.  :)

2 thoughts on “Aion: First Impressions”

  1. I found your blog doing a Google search on Aion reviews. I’ve been an MMO player since the days of EQ 10 years ago, and currently play WoW, but I’m always looking for something new and exciting to play.

    I came across Aion accidentally. I heard about it in passing, but a guildie started raving about it yesterday. Not one to be left out, I preordered the game tonight and MADE the guy behind the counter find the beta key card that I knew the store had (he huffed, thinking I was nuts, but found it and said “oh, we DO have it”).

    I look forward to playing it this weekend. If what I read is correct, people that preordered get into the weekend betas, and not just the special ones. I can’t wait to see it.

    One thing – is there any music? If so, how is it? Teldrassil’s music and environment is what pulled me into WoW years ago.

  2. Actually, the music was one of the things I intended to write about, and totally forgot. :)

    I don’t like the music. Being a very longtime Wow player, I really appreciate good music in a game. Warcraft has gorgeous environmental music (Howling Fjord is actually my favourite).

    Does Aion have background music for the different zones? I honestly couldn’t tell you. If so, it’s not that memorable. What is does have is music that starts whenever you’re in combat that sounds like your usual Japanese/Korean fighting games – totally at odds with a fantasy-based game. I found it jarring, anyway – some may like it.

    And making the guy find your beta code? I totally respect that. I think I might have been willing to mug an old lady for mine if necessary. :D

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