Impressive, Most Impressive….But I Am Not Impressed?

I have read a lot of impressions about Aion, both from fellow bloggers and on forums all over the ‘net.   Impressions are just that, impressions.  They are full of opinions and what one person deems a strength, another might deem  a weakness.  This I am fine with.  I understand that impressions are opinions and thus, highly personal.  However, in regards to Aion, there is one thing that I see every so often that has gotten to the point of irritating me and thats some people’s impressions about the polish Aion is launching with.

Aion is going to release very polished, of that there is no doubt.  It has tons of content, runs amazingly well and there seem to be no game breaking bugs.  Just about everyone agrees with that and if they don’t they probably have not played it.  But there are a few folks who insist that Aion’s apparent release polish is just not that big a deal. They insist that since Aion has been out since November in Korea that the polish of both the North American beta and the Chinese client is to be expected.

I beg to differ.

First of all, Aion has been out for less than a year in Korea.  Compare WAR and AoC currently to Aion

Hmmm, nice arms ya got there, mate!

Hmmm, nice arms ya got there, mate!

and you will find Aion trumps both in the polish department.  Aion has fewer bugs, better FPS and is “feature-complete” something neither AoC nor WAR can boast of even now.   Even though both titles have been out longer than Aion has in Korea neither touches Aion in the polish department.

Secondly, the beta that all the North American players have played and the Chinese version are still running off of the 1.0 client.  This is the same client, with translation, that the Korean version launched with back in November! Think back to version 1.0 of WAR or AoC, how polished were they?  The answer is simple; not very.  Matter of fact, WAR and AoC were so broken as to be nearly unplayable for parts of the game.  AoC and WAR both ran so poorly that it was frustrating to play with more than a few people on screen, both were loaded with bugs and neither had a functioning endgame.

I understand if some MMO players do not like Aion, really I do.  I understand that for some it’s more of the same.  Some want to get away from fantasy MMOs and Aion does not fit that desire, some want innovation away from “tank, healer, dps” and Aion does not fit that desire either.  I understand all that, but let’s give props where they are due and not act nonchalant about Aion’s polish.

For years MMO players have griped about the terrible releases foisted upon us by MMO developers.  We righteously gripe when we see another AoC-style release.  We bemoan lack of content, missing features and bugs.  We yell at MMO developers that this is not how it should be.  NCSoft has not been immune to this,

This is what can happen if you rush release.

This is what can happen if you rush release.

witness the failure of Tabula Rasa at launch.  But it seems that NCSoft has learned and they are making sure that Aion releases with a polish unheard of in MMOs.

Finally an MMO is releasing polished and ready, yet many have a nonchalant attitude toward this polish and try to make excuses why it’s that way.  Many act like Aion’s polish is to be expected, even though history has shown us that this is not so.  It amazes me.

Instead of doing this, MMO players should be pointing at Aion and yelling to MMO devs, “See?!?!  THIS is how it’s supposed to work!!  THIS is how an MMO SHOULD release!!”.  Even if you do not like the game, Aion should be held up as the standard by which every other MMO should be judged by at release.  We should expect that every other MMO should release this polished.  I mean, if NCSoft can do it, why can’t every one else??


11 Responses

  1. “I mean, if NCSoft can do it, why can’t every one else??”

    Honestly, its because NCSoft has patience. Games like WAR were CLEARLY rushed into release in order to “have better competition within the market”.

    Dear Devs,

    Releasing games early to have supposedly better chances of large sales will have a NEGATIVE NET impact upon your game.

    Word of Mouth is what sells MMOs. Not “Zomg its near Christmas must buy!” If you want large sales, make it so you’re game doesn’t lag like waffle and is chuck full of bugs come the first day of release.

    That, or just decapitate your marketing department to buy you some time.



  2. I completely agree and have mentioned exactly this point in the comment section of other blogs.

    The Aion 1.0 that we’ve been playing for the western preview events (I’m not calling them betas from now on, they aren’t) is the version released more than 8 months ago, with none of the patches that have come out in Korea since then.

    Aside from the problems with Gameguard (that needs to go or be fixed so it doesn’t block anti-virus / firewall / controllers / mice / keyboards / etc) the game has been rock solid for me. No crashes. Only found 1 bugged quest which apparently was introduced with the English translations. The text in a few places doesn’t format properly, again an issue with English word length versus the smaller length Korean ones.

    I can’t believe people continue to pay a monthly subscription for games when they get at least one CTD per week in a game that is over a year old! Or get kicked from raids because there are too many people for the server / client to handle.

    I was in two of the Aion events this weekend, with the places packed with people fighting the Balaur and things went very smoothly indeed. THAT is how games should be released…. in other words “working properly”.

  3. All I can say is … AMEN!

  4. agree 100%

  5. All I can say is I totally agree. As I played both WAR and AoC at launch. I do not think I have ever seen a game release worse than AoC.

  6. […] of both the North American beta and the Chinese client is to be expected. Read the entire post here!!!! And let me know what ya think! __________________ My Aion blog: […]

  7. Great post! I agree 100% with everything written here.

  8. I think the key here, and what most people miss is development focus.

    Aion launched in Korea 9 months ago, back then, they were using 1.0, meaning they were using the same version we’ve tested in Europe and North America, as you pointed in your article.

    We’ve all witnessed the ammount of polish this game counted with at release, 9 months ago.

    Now, going back to my first paragraph, you’d understand why I talk about development focus. While War and AoC devs had to focus during months in patches, hotfixes, stability, server infrastructure, and all that, Aion devs focused on content, 9 months of content development, 9 months of new features, 9 months of decorating a well built house.

    Aion has the chance to become big thanks to that, people seem to forget it, but you dont start with innovation right away, you dont start blowing minds right away, but if you have the proper base to accomplish that, you have better chances to end up doing so.

    Present entertainment added to future potential.

  9. We actually had someone in out legion make a character names Marcjacobs and he just walked around saying, “huh….so that’s how you do that”

  10. Well said.

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