Elyos Beta Event Video!

Sorry, I have not posted in the last couple of days, been very busy at work and with some personal stuff.  Got a short post for you tonight and will have a couple of posts tomorrow, unless something strange comes up!

Found a nice video of part of the beta event for the Elyos side.  Apparently, Balaur were dropped over the Elyos city to wreak havoc!

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Beta Weekend 3 Report.

Well, beta weekend three is winding down now and, unfortunately, I had to work again for most of it.  I swear the Gods are conspiring against me!  I did get in a bit of time and continued to level my Chanter.

Naamaah

Naamaah

I am noticing an increasing population in each of the events as the servers were full and had a queue for much of the weekend.  I think word is starting to spread about how good Aion is.  I know WAR had a lot of  hype, but it seems different with Aion.  WAR’s hype was generated by the devs, who did an excellent job hyping the game.  Aion, on the other hand, seems to be mostly positive word of mouth by the players.  I have seen a few interviews with Liv and others at NCSoft, but the vast majority is coming from the players.  This is an excellent sign, I think.

I am really enjoying the environments in the game at the moment, it still amazes me that the game runs as smooth as it does.  Running through Pandemonium (Asmodian capitol city) and getting 100FPS with tons of people around gives me hope for mass PvP battles with minimal lag.  Not to mention, Pandemonium looks fantastic.

Naamaah in Pandemonium

Naamaah in Pandemonium

This is also the first time I have really gotten to experiment with flying and even though it is limited at my level, you can tell how much its going to impact PvP.  Introducing a Z-Axis to gameplay complicates PvP battles immensely and we are likely to see a lot of innovative strategies once the population matures and learns the mechanics.  I am also very interested to see what NCSoft can do to incorporate flying into PvE mechanics.  Raid bosses that require flight at certain stages and the like.  So many possibilities are added with the addition of flight, I hope NCSoft can exploit them to the fullest.

I found a very strange but fun video on YouTube today that illustrates aerial PvP very well.  As I said its very strange but I think you will enjoy it.

I think my favorite part is the fight on the bridge.  His target jumps off and pops his wings seconds before he hits the ground and glides.  He follows him down and the fight continues.  Starts a few hundred feet up in the air and finishes on the ground, all in a matter of seconds.  The fights look so fast paced and fun.  I think a deciding factor in most Abyss fights is how well the combatants take advantage of the flight mechanic.

I will leave you with one last PvP video.  This one is a sorcerer and he may be one of the best players I have seen yet.

Thats it for now.  Have to work again tomorrow, but look for more posts tonight or tomorrow night!  Take it easy folks!

The Beta Conundrum

So, the next phase of beta starts on Thursday and with it my Beta Conundrum continues.  What is my conundrum you ask?  Before I answer let me give you some background.

I have played in many, many betas.  I have beta’d Earth and Beyond, WAR, WWII Online, AoC, WoW, LotRO and a few others I can’t, or don’t want, to remember.  I instantly loved WoW, instantly hated Earth and Beyond, thought WAR was very, very fun despite its problems and had varying degrees ambivalency towards the others.

So, again, you ask: “What is this conundrum you speak of?”

Very simply its the very real danger of burn-out when playing betas.  There are so many cool things about beta.  You get to try out different classes, at different levels, see things your friends haven’t and generally celebrate being in a game that the majority of the population knows only from press releases.

But, this comes with a big price.  Let’s take WAR for an example.  I got into that beta very early, as a consequence I created so many characters and had them erased, wiped, annihilated and flung into obscurity that I actually tired of the game before it released.  The initial excitement I had for the game was waning by the time the game released.  I had seen it all, done it all and I didn’t even have a tee shirt to show for it.

Now, I have Aion and, of course, I am in the “beta”.  I so want to play and level a character and experience the PvE, the PvP and the crafting.  But, how much time should I invest in it?  At what point do I risk killing the excitement I currently have for release?  That is where the conundrum lies.  (By the way, I love that word: conundrum!  Don’t you?)

Luckily, the Aion beta is a bit different than those I have done in the past.  So far, they have not given a hint that they are wiping characters and we are constantly starting over.  Also, this “beta” is relatively short compared to what I did in Aion, WoW and others.

So, yeah, expect to see me leveling up my chanter right next to all of you others in the beta.

And expect and in-depth report afterwords!

And Beta Weekend 2 ends…

Well, the second beta weekend for North America ended today.  Unfortunately, I was not able to play as much as I would like, as I worked the entire weekend.

I was able to get my priest to level 10 and then picked the Chanter.  I have tried the Cleric and I can say that even at level 10 the Chanter and Cleric feel totally different.  I was also able to do some Arena PvP, which was a whole lot of fun.  I went in with 5 others and we PvP’d against another full group.  As I suspected, flying brought a whole new level of strategy to PvP and will take a lot of getting used to.

The Chanter’s animations are fantastic.  Some of the best I have seen in an MMO.  They flow smoothly, the staff looks great and the effects are top notch.  All of this with amazing graphics and it still runs at a high frame rate.  Just an amazing job by NCSoft on this!

Speaking of animations, I found some videos of all of the chain skills for every class on YouTube.  These were not made by me, so props to AionHun for an amazing job!

The first is the Chanter.  The staff is just cool!

Next up, the Templar!  I think I prefer the sword and board animations:

And now, the Gladiator!  Very similiar to the Templar:

May be the best animations yet, the Assassin!  The spinning top looking one may be over the top for some, but you can’t deny it looks amazing:

Lets change it up a bit and go ranged!  The Spiritmaster:

Back to the healer archetype with, the Cleric!  Not as smooth as the Chanter, in my opinion, but still well done:

The Ranger really intrigues me, having played a hunter in WoW.  The animation where he throws the target in the air and then unloads with his bow is just too cool:

The Sorcerer is my last choice in classes, as I have never liked ranged magic classes.  This video might change that:

So, there you have it.  All of the current skill chains in the game.  These were made on the Korean client and, again, all thanks to AionHun for throwing these up on YouTube and making some incredibly cool and informative videos!