A New Interview With Liv…With A Couple of Worrisome Quotes.

Inc Gamers has released a new interview with Liv Blazier, Associate Producer of Aion.  Most of it is stuff we have seen before, she talks about PvPvE, how well the game is selling etc..  However, she has a few new things to say, some of which are, to me, troubling.

I have said from the begininning that one of the things that worries me about Aion is the possibility that the Western market would be “second-class citizens” when compared to the East.  We could get patches late, the possibility that our game input would not be listened to and the like.  I was reassured quite a bit when I saw some of the stuff coming in

Liv Blazier...The Anti-Paul Barnett

Liv Blazier...The Anti-Paul Barnett

patch 1.5, UI tweaks for us Western folk, less grind and more quests.  Furthermore, I had heard from multiple people that we would be getting new patches at nearly the same time as the Eastern servers.  Then, Liv said this:

Although we all strive to release updates as close as Korea as possible, each territory has its own update schedule. In the West, we are launching with version 1.5 of Aion, which synchronises us with Korea’s updates. After launch our goal is to release updates at least least 2-3 months within Korea’s updates.”

Two to three months, at least? That is a lot more than what I was hoping for, nowhere near what I had heard.  Now, to be honest, this isn’t a deal-breaker for me.  Do I like it?  No. Will it cause me to cancel my preorder?  No. I can deal with this as long as it isn’t too long a wait but the second it seems like we are an afterthought I will rethink my options.  I hope that the two to three months becomes the maximum we have to wait as NCSoft gets into the “swing” of things, so to speak.

Now, to the big one, at least to me:

We haven’t announced anything regarding microtransactions, but stay tuned. We are going to focus on paid services at launch.”

Wait….what?!?! Let me get this right, I have to buy the box, pay the monthly fee and then I might have to pay for other things with microtransactions?  To be fair, she may be talking about server transfers and such, which I can handle.  But, if she is talking about vanity pets, additonal customization or the like, I am pretty upset.  The question that recieved this anwer was:

Will there be any added extras we can pay for with microtransactions, such as additional customisations, in-game pets, and so on?”

The question and the answer seem, at least to me, to mean that she is referring to things other than server transfers and name changes, but instead to things like customization, vanity pets and equipment.  I certainly hope this is not the case.  I really do.  I just can not see paying for the box, the monthly fee and then microtransactions after that.  I have no problem with the microtransaction payment system but if you go that route then I think the monthly fee should not be a part of it.  One or the other but not both.

Maybe I am overreacting, or maybe I am reading too much into a short couple of sentences.  I really, really hope so.

Link to full interview can be found right here!


14 Responses

  1. The first quote doesn’t worry me but the second quote…eugh. I already debated whether or not I enjoyed Aion (or any game with a monthly fee) enough to pay to play it each month–and clearly I decided I do–but adding on other things on top of that? I am not a fan. I suppose we shall see,

    “Aion is and will remain a subscription-based game. The ‘micro-transactions’ I know have been discussed so far only involve lesser additional services, rendering ‘micro-transaction’ a fairly erroneous word to describe it. Overall I think we’re looking at a fairly conventional subscription system, but as the reply in the interview states we aren’t at a stage in planning yet where we can tell you exactly what we’ll have. Rest assured that it wouldn’t make sense to anyone to have a game which requires both micro-transactions and a subscription fee to be played decently.”

    Fear solved… kinda.

    • Oh, as to the patching thing, we’ll just have to hope that they stay on their A-game. After all, we American’s are known for our impatience. 😀

  3. Definitely wouldn’t be fair to come to any conclusions based off this tiny hint of evidence. In this case, the term “micro-transactions” could absolutely refer to “small” services such as paid server transfers, name changes, faction changes, etc, etc. There is no effective way to group them, and by saying them outright would be interpreted as a “promise” to the community, so “micro-transaction” is the best term to use within the current environment. Jumping to the conclusion of seeing paid-mounts (for example) would be more hysteria than anything.

    • I am hoping this is the case, which is why I said it may be server transfers she is talking about. I hope that is the case.

  4. I really hope they keep the micro transactions to a minimum. I know Champions is already planning on having an in-game store from which you can buy stuff with real money. Not cool.

  5. the updates dont worry me so much, i think there is actually a possible upside to it… If asia gets the updates first, at least we know what were in store for and may even be able to prevent bad updates from being introduced until they are fixed up etc…

    as for micro transactions… it all depends… if any gear other than vanity crap is purchasable with micro-transactions… im outa here. I think they must surely know that alot of people would leave the second they did something like that. It would likely cost them more than it would make. Heres hoping there smart about it!

  6. eww… just say no to micro-transactions. stop milking us gamers.

  7. oh and maybe i missed it, but I don’t see an actual link to this interview…. don’t make me google it ;P

  8. I’m not too worried about the updates being a bit behind. Having some international production experience behind my belt working in the japanese anime/manga industry, I can imagine that NC will -want- to take their time in translating / localizing / spell checking the patch, and roll it out as soon as it’s of bang up quality. We’ll get what Eastern audiences get. I don’t think there will be any special consideration for the western audience (begs the question, do we need special consideration?) outside of localization of content. That doesn’t make NCSoft biased to the East audience. I think it makes them cost efficient and delivering content as close to the original content as possible. I have friends who are worried about being the bastard step children of the Eastern gamers. Personally, I haven’t experienced that, and if you think about it… Most business wants your money and your loyalty, so after expending all the effort, resources, and money to bring Aion out to NA/EU, wouldn’t that be a pretty counter-productive attitude to have toward the West?

    Microtransactions… not enough to go one to really comment.

  9. Liv seems nice, but she sure makes a lot of PR fumbles. It’s becoming a common recurrence for her to respond to questions with either incorrect or incomplete information.

    • I haven’t really noticed mistakes in her information, but when I read interviews, her answers do seem a bit contrived. I think she’s devoted to keeping NCWests marketing strategy, but sometimes her twitter answers are way more helpful than the ones she gives in interviews 😉

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