Just got done playing some Closed Beta 5, this time on a new character. Decided to make a Warrior and, perhaps, go the way of the Gladiator this time. Still playing on Siel, I made a Warrior named Democritus. Here are my thoughts thus far about closed beta 5.
- I think the character voices still need some work. I chose the deepest, most threatening voice I could find during character creation, yet came out sounding like a high-pitched Kung-Fu artist. Brucetta Lee, anyone? I think it was a bug, but I am not sure.
- I think I am more impressed with Aion’s graphics every time I play. Aion has the best balance of graphics/performance of any MMO I have ever played. LotRO had great environments and mediocre character models. Age of Conan had great environments and very good character models but poor performance. Aion has very good everything. Some of the textures look a bit muddy up close but all the important things look great and the performance is top-notch.
- I think something needs to be done with Aion’s naming conventions. Being able to have random capitol letters, numbers and spaces is making the normally horrible names even worse. Plus, the fact that you are limited to only 10 characters in Legion names, is really limiting Legions.
- I think the players coming over from WoW and Warhammer are in for a shock regarding mob difficulty in the early levels. Mobs are tough even at the lowest levels and mobs in the Deforested Area of the Elyos starter zone
can be murder. Adds are a death warrant unless you are a healer in most cases. Dying to a Grain Snuffler made me question my MMO-manhood.
- I think I am torn on the issue of UI Mods. On one hand I would love to see some mods that allowed for some UI customization, on the other hand its refreshing not having to worry about getting the “must have” mods that can make the game easier; Deadly Boss Mods type mods for instance.
- I think I am equally torn on the issue of character size. Being able to make your character small is pretty awesome from a customization standpoint, but its awfully silly looking sometimes.
- I think the server was really laggy earlier, but calmed down after a bit.
The server was absolutely packed. I got on my level 20 Chanter and it was packed at that level too. Tons of people, all over the place. After a bit the lag calmed even in busy areas. Again the performance is impressive. WAR would have been unplayable with half this many people. Nice to see the capabilities of this engine again!
- I think they really need to turn on general chat. Even with everyone running around there was no chat because general chat was off. I have no idea why they are doing this, because general chat is working fine in China and Korea.
- I think I am not as concerned about kill-stealing as I was before. Not having mob-ownership at first hit but instead after most damage, really concerned me at first. After playing tonight and on C-Aion, it hasn’t been much of an issue for me. Every so often I have problems, but its a rarity. I would imagine people who regularly kill-steal will have problems with the server community.
- I think that the cut scene voice overs sound pretty damn good and really add a lot to the cut scenes. Similarly, the NPC voices are pretty well done. Nothing ground breaking, but solid. They add a fair amount of immersiveness and are a welcome addition.
Thats about all I have tonight. I will say that each time I play the game it reinforces my decision to make Aion my next full-time MMO. NCSoft is doing a phenomenal job and I judge that Aion is headed toward big things!