NCSoft Hard At Work!

‘Nuff said:

Working late. Liv passed out. Ayase sleeping on floor. Chager and I going strong.

Working late. Liv passed out. Ayase sleeping on floor. Chager and I going strong.


Spirit Master Pets Can Now Fly!!

One of the biggest gripes that potential Spirit Masters had with their class was the inability of their pets to fly.  It was a legitimate gripe, as their pets were a substantial portion of their DPS and utility.  PvP in the air was tough for them for this reason and many a potential Spirit Master abandoned the class when they found that their pet was gimped in aerial combat.

No more.

In the newest Korean patch notes (translated version here) all Spirit Master pets have gained the ability to fly.  This is fantastic news for everyone who wanted to roll a SM.  It is also an excellent sign that NCSoft is listening pretty closely to the community.

Here is a short video of the pets in action:

The Total Debacle and Continuing Drama of the Aion RP Server

I have said many times that I do not roleplay, though I totally respect those that do, but I do tend to role on RP servers.  The community always seems more mature and there are a whole lot less ridiculous names running about.  I rolled on Phoenix Throne in WAR, on Cimmeria in AoC and on many other RP servers over the years.  All of them were light years ahead of other servers in terms of community and I loved all of them, even if I ended up disliking the game itself.

Now we come to Aion.  Every phase of closed beta there was a long, long thread and petition on the Beta Forums to create a RP server.  The overwhelming response from the community, RP’ers and non-RP’ers alike, was positive.  Ayase or Liv posted in all the threads that they were asking around and would get back to us when a decision was made.

It was.  And they did.

“No official Aion RP server” was the answer.

The RP community took the blow well and started organizing to create an “Unofficial” RP server.  Websites were created. Forum posts grew. If NCSoft wouldn’t create a RP server, by God, the players would do it themselves!  A poll appeared on Aion Roleplayers and the Lumiel server won by a fairly wide margin.  Pretty clear cut, right?

(More after the break!)

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My biggest fears for Aion.

I am having a blast in Aion right now.  It runs so smooth, looks so good and combat is so tight, its really hard to not have fun if you like this type of game.  However, I do have worries about the game.  Hopefully, they are unfounded, but that is something only time will tell.

1.  Bots.  NCSoft is notorious for being “bot friendly”.  Lineage 2 is totally bot ridden from what I have read, bad enough to be a lost cause on those terms.  Will Aion be the same?  Surely NCSoft must realize that a game can not be successful in the West with those problems?

2.  The Grind.  I don’t mind a bit of a grind.  Hell, I prefered WoW when leveling was much slower.  With that being said, I have a life and gaming is not 100% of it.  Leveling should be challenging but not life consuming.  Asian games, in general, have a reputation for a huge grind.  I hope thats not the case in Aion.

3.  Support.  I will admit,  I’m selfish.  I’m used to American games, where the American player gets the newest patches first and doesn’t have to wait.  With Aion it looks like Korea and the Asian markets will get the patches first, the new content first and we will have to wait.  I can deal with this as long as we are not an afterthought.

4. NCSoft abandoning the game.  I played Tabula Rasa.  I thought it was a unique game with problems.  One that, with the right support and developers, could be turned into a fun game.  It was never given that chance.  NCSoft abandoned it.  I worry that Aion could turn out to be the same.  Now, Aion seems to be in much better condition than Tabula Rasa, with much better content and with a polish that Tabula Rasa didn’t come close to matching, so that will help, but MMOs are a long, tough road.  There are no “instant” successes in MMOs and that include WoW.  Developers have to have a roadmap to where they want to go, how they mean to get there and they have to stay the course even when subs are down.  Hopefully, NCSoft will do that with Aion.

So, thats my top four fears for Aion.  Anyone have others or disagree with mine?