1.5 Open Beta Patch Notes!

Patch notes for Open Beta have been posted!  You can read the full (very long notes!) here. In the meantime, here are some highlights!

  • 7 new instances.  Including Dark Poeta and a PvPvE instance, the Dreadgion.
  • Boss from Dark Poeta

    Boss from Dark Poeta

    Repose.  The Aion equivalent to WoW’s Rested XP.  Only available after level 20 but gives 20%-30% more XP from mob and player kills.

  • New Titles.
  • Increased PvPvE rewards.
  • Information on the new Slayer system.  This system is used during Rifting and basically makes players unable to grief PvE’ers constantly.
  • More information on the Greater Stigma System.
  • Damage decreased in PvP play.
  • New Class Skills for levels 46-50 and even new skills for 1-45!
  • Over 90 New Stigma Stones.
  • Tons and tons of new items and quests!
  • Left mouse button now controls the camera!!
  • Click to move is disabled by default.
  • Invert mouse option!
  • New character customization options.  New hairstyles, ability to change eye color and shoulder width.
  • The Search function for the Broker has been improved.
  • Class exclusive chat channels!
  • NPCs that can create character change have been added to the Capitol cities.  These changes include: Plastic Surgery and GENDER change!  To think, Blizzard charges real money for this!

All in all, this is a really strong patch.  I knew about most of it, but some still surprised me.  Looks like NCSoft has made a very good game even better.  Can not wait until Sunday!!

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1.5 Impressions Here!! Get Your 1.5 Impressions!!!

A really nice article about Aion version 1.5 was put up Kotaku.com yesterday.  It gives us an idea of what 1.5 brings to the table and how NCSoft is handling content in the future.  Armor set bonuses, a tighter more integrated story, rested XP, tons more quests and even more character customization are all headed our way with 1.5, which coincidentally is the version Aion releases with in North America!  An excerpt:

Four of the 14 New Instances in Aion Version 1.5!

Four of the 14 New Instances in Aion Version 1.5!

The one thing Knox doesn’t want to hear about Aion version 1.5 is the dreaded “G” word. Grind, in his opinion, is something that’s monotonous and Aion goes out of its way to never be that. It’s tough, he says, because the term “grind” has been blown out of proportion in the last five years of MMO history – and that’s a lot of time for his game to fight against. But he’s confident that his team has gone through the game enough to respond to criticism like “there’s nothing to do at level xx!” and prevent mid-level lulls.

A really fantastic read and you can find the rest of it right here!!

What features would you like to see added to Aion?

Aion_logo

Aion has a lot going for it.  It’s fun, stable, has great graphics and has a lot of content for a game just releasing.  But, even with all those positives, there are some things in other MMOs that I would love to see in Aion.  This post is about exactly that, what I would like to see in Aion that I have already seen in other MMOs.  Take a look at my list and see how it matches up with yours.

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Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online

Let’s start with LotRO.  I have played LotRO, off and on, since release.  It’s a very good game, with amazing environmental graphics, an epic story and a ton of features that appeals to the Rings nerd in me.  Unfortunately, it’s just a tad too PvE-centric for me.  I really don’t like the PvP portion of the game, so I can only play it for a short period of time before I head off to look for PvP elsewhere.  Even with that, there are some features I love in LotRO.

  • The Epic Story Quests

The Epic Book Quests in LotRO were really cool, with an overarching story line, some instance play (solo and group) and some excellent writing.  I would love to see this move over to Aion.  I know Aion has its version, but it seems to be a much more intrinsic feature in LotRO.

  • The Music System

Yeah, call me a roleplay nerd if you want, but the Music System in LotRO was just cool.  I never really used it myself, but it was really awesome to run into a tavern and find a band playing in the corner and people standing around just to listen.  It may just be fluff, but it was really fun fluff!

  • Legendary Weapons

I love the idea of nameable Legendary Weapons.  I am not 100% sold on how they are implemented in LotRO but the idea is really solid.  Get an sword at low level, name it and it gets better with you.  Give it better stats, better effects and a really cool name and you have a sword all your own.

Warhammer Online

Warhammer Online

As stated before in this blog, WAR was my holy grail.  I awaited this title with anticipation, only to be completely devastated when the game launched.  Even with all its problems, however, there are a few features I would love to see in Aion.  By the way, I was really attempted to put the Tome of Knowledge in this list, but I suspect that the ToK is the cause of many of the performance problems in WAR.  I may be completely wrong about this, but, for this reason, I will keep it off the list.

  • The Dual-Targeting System

This is probably the biggest thing on this list.  When I started WAR the dual-targeting system was just one feature I thought was cool, but not really a big deal.  After leaving WAR and going back to WoW, LotRO and Aion, I find that its the one thing I miss the most.  Being able to have both an offensive and defensive target at the same time is amazingly cool and intuitive.  NCSoft needs to put this in as soon as possible.

  • Public Quests

This is another feature that I love but thought was poorly implemented by the originator.  In WAR there were simply too many Public Quests.  It lessened their impact and made them a crutch for other content.  They could be amazing in Aion though.  Imagine a competitive Public Quest in The Abyss.  Both sides fighting to complete the objective first.  It would be amazingly cool and something I would love to see.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

I played WoW from release.  I have canceled my account a couple of times but I find myself going back.  I am fed up with the game for the most part, but there are some great things in WoW that I would love to see in Aion.

  • The Hunter pet system

I played a hunter as my main (and only!) character for 4 years.  I loved him.  One of the things that endeared him to me was the hunter pet system.  Unlike other pet classes, WoW’s hunter allowed you to find a pet in the wild, name him and train him.  He was my steadfast friend and I loved the system.  Adding this to Aion would probably necessitate a new class, but I would like to see something similar in Aion sometime.

  • Complex Boss fights

PvE has never been my favorite thing in MMOs, I am much more a PvP’er.  With that being said, I do enjoy PvE.  Especially well done PvE.  WoW has some amazing boss encounters; Nefarian, C’Thun, Vaelstrasz and even a few of the 5-man bosses are incredibly well done.  I am not asking for more instances but I would like to see some complex boss fights in the game.  Tank and spank is all fine and dandy but every so often I would like a challenge.  By the way, can you tell I much prefer old-school WoW?

Everquest II

Everquest II

I tried EQII at release, was pulled away for WoW and came back for a bit later.  It has tons and tons of content, deep character options and very good graphics.  For me, however, there was something missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  I could never play it for more than short periods of time and I always found myself getting bore.  There are still some amazing features in the game I would love to see in Aion.

  • The Guild system

EQII has one of the best guild management systems of any MMO.  Options to recruit in-game, a great interface and guild writs allowed options I have not seen in any other MMO, though some are starting to add these features.  The guild writ system added the ability to level your guild by doing quests centered on your guild and the guild interface gave you all the information you could want right at your fingertips.

  • The crafting system

I am not totally enamored of the crafting system in EQII.  For the most part I found it unintuitive and hard to learn.  But it did manage to do something that most MMOs do not, keep you at your keyboard.  In WoW, I queue my materials and go afk until its done.  I do the same in LotRO and I imagine I will do the same in Aion.  EQII required you to be at your keyboard and actively participating.  If that idea could be taken, made more intuitive and fun and put into Aion, I would love it.

Dark Age of Camelot

Dark Age of Camelot

This is it.  My Holy Grail of MMO goodness.  I love this game.  I played it for years and finally left after the population dropped so much it was hard to play.  I have tried to go back numerous times but left for one reason or another.  Surprisingly, even though it is my favorite MMO, I have less to to put in this list from DAoC than any of the above.  This is a good thing.  Simply put, Aion is so close to what I think DAoC was it doesn’t need to add much from it and the one thing I would like to see from DAoC  is something NCSoft has little control over.

  • Realm Pride

DAoC had the best Realm Pride of any faction competitive MMO I have ever been a part of, period.  When Keeps were under attack and Relics were in danger of being lost, the entire Realm stopped what they were doing and came to help.  It didn’t matter if you were PvE’ing, grinding or crafting…you helped.  There was pride in being from Midgard, Albion or Hibernia.  WoW had a bit of this early on with the Horde and Alliance but it has totally disintegrated after Burning Crusade and WotLK.  Even so, it was nothing like DAoC.  NCSoft has little control over this but they can help influence it.  Less instancing, no cross-realm battlegrounds, reasons to defend Fortresses and the like, will help nurture Realm Pride.  Give me DAoC level Realm Pride and I will be ecstatic!

So, that’s it.  That’s my list.  Keep in mind that, though I have played many MMOs, I have not played them all.  I am sure I have left many great features off the list and that’s where YOU come in, what would you like to see in Aion?  What do you not like on my list?  Comment and let me know!


Dark Poeta (New Instance in 1.5) Screens and a Small Bit of Info!

I found some information on the new Dark Poeta instance that is coming in 1.5.  From Fei of the Dark Avalanche Legion:

It’s a pretty big map ( ~same size as the lvl 10-20 area)
There are 16 Bosses, and you have to kill them in less than 4 hours. Heroic armors drop on these bosses, heroic weapons drop on the last boss. The last boss’ power depends on your score i.e if you reach the final boss pretty fast it will be stronger and it will drop some pretty good stuff. ( unfortunately we sucked and wiped 2 times, therefore we didn’t get the biggest boss (S grade is the best score.)

In addition he passed along these screens:

Nice armor on Fei

Nice armor on Fei

Ugh.  Flashback of Fungal Giants from WoW!

Ugh. Flashback of Fungal Giants from WoW!

Tree boss!  MMOs can always use more Tree bosses, imo.

Tree boss! MMOs can always use more Tree bosses, imo.

I'm not quite sure what that is in the background, but it looks mean....

I'm not quite sure what that is in the background, but it looks mean....

Hmm, guess it wasn't too mean....

Hmm, guess it wasn't too mean....

Flashbacks to Metroid.  Reminds me of Mother Brain for some reason.

Flashbacks to Metroid. Reminds me of Mother Brain for some reason.

This is the Timer after you finish the instance, before the last boss.

This is the Timer after you finish the instance, before the last boss.

And this is the last boss.  Onyxia eat your heart out.

And this is the last boss. Onyxia eat your heart out.

That’s it.  You can find a couple of more screens and a thread on this topic here.

Tips for Aion

When playing Aion for the first time, its easy to miss a lot.  There are no tutorials in the game yet and some of the intricacies of the game are easy to miss.  So, here are a few tips to get you started, things that are not readily apparent when you first log in.

1.  Gather early, gather often. You can begin to gather “Angelica” at level one.  Not only does this allow you to upgrade the skill but it also gives you experience points.  Not a ton, by any means, but enough to make it worthwhile.  Plus, at later levels there are quests that require you to gather materials and if you do not have enough skill to gather the items you have to buy them or not do the quest.

2.  Shards, use them. Shards are items that can be purchased from a General Good vendor or picked up off a defeated mob.  If purchased they are relatively cheap for a stack of 50 at low level.  Make sure you equip them (standard right click to equip) and use them.  They work pretty simply, when activated (default key is ‘B’) they add + attack power to each hit.  Each hit consumes one of the shards so you go through them pretty quick.  For that reason, I save them for “emergency” situations when I need to down a mob quickly for some reason.  When activated they generate a cool lightning effect around your weapon until you deactivate them, so its easy to know when they are active.

3.  Avoid adds. This is not WoW, nor is it WAR or LotRO.  Adds will kill you.  One mob is tough enough, but if you get two of your level, prepare for a tough battle.  3 mobs is a recipe for disaster unless you are a healer, even then its really tough.  Pull carefully, watch for patrols and always have an escape route planned out in case it gets hairy.

4.  Manastones, use them. Manastones are a lot like gemming in WoW but easier to acquire.  They drop from mobs fairly consistently.  Most gear can have manastones socketed, white gear normally has one slot, green has two and so on.  Socketing can fail, which consumes all manastones on the item.  For this reason make sure to socket your least valued stone first.  After socketing the stones give various bonuses to the gear, such as +5 evasion, +20 health points and so on.  As I said, they are easy to get so do not make the mistake of letting them sit in your bag waiting for better gear, use them!

5.  Glide. Anytime its available, glide. There are no mounts in Aion and only limited places you can truly fly.  You can glide anywhere, however.  Gliding will allow you to cover ground much, much faster than hoofing it on your two feet.  To glide all you need is a decent sloped hill, large rock or tower to jump off of, once gliding you can hit your ‘S’ key to allow you to “ride the currents” and stay aloft for longer.  When going from place to place I find myself constantly looking for things to glide off of, even if they are a bit off the beaten path.  Gliding is fun and it can decrease travel time noticeably.

6.  Use the Locate feature in your Quest log. If you click on a quest in your quest log, you will notice that NPC names and locations have a blue hyperlink.  Click that hyperlink and a new box will open up telling a bit about the NPC, mob or location and at the bottom there will be a button marked ‘Locate’.  Click that and a waypoint will be placed on your map that shows the general location of the NPC, mob or item.  This will save you a ton of time.  Use it.

That’s it for now, I intend to add some more as time goes on.