Second Night of Open Beta Observations.

Tonight I logged back into the Open Beta after work to find just as many people playing as I saw last night…maybe more.  My future chanter was around level 4 but I had a friend who had just started and had rolled on another server, so I jumped over to help him out.

He was playing a Warrior so I made a Priest and away we went.  This is the first time I have really had a dedicated friend to level with at low level and everything went smoothly.  Aion really gives you all the tools you need to run as a party efficiently.  Shared quests, location links, all the normal tools are there and they work great.  We were flying through the quests for most of the night and nearly hit Ascension before we called it for the night because of work tomorrow.

The Gameguard errors were all fixed for me today so I must give kudos for that to NCSoft.  Hopefully everyone else had their GG issues disappear.  Lag, however, hit me with a vengeance a number of times tonight.  It would come in waves and then disappear for long chunks of time.  Very strange and still seems that it has no rhyme or reason for when it comes and goes.  I have heard that its a routing issue with NCSoft and they are working with their ISP for a fix.

Other than those issues the evening went smooth and was a lot of fun.  My friend enjoyed his first foray into Atreia but is waiting until he gets his wings to make his final decision about the game.  I think he is hooked however so I expect to see him running with us in retail.

That’s it for tonight, more observations tomorrow as I hit Ascension and further!

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Aion Open Beta: “We Are a GO For Launch…..Sorta'”

Well, for those of you living on the moon, Aion Open Beta started today.  I got in late due to work (FTL!) but was able to log in some time this evening.  Problem was the lag was horrible for quite a few people, though I was not affected.  What I was affected by was the horrible Game Guard issues.

Bad GameGuard!  BAD!!!

Bad GameGuard! BAD!!!

This is the first time they have reared their ugly head for me personally but it was frustrating.  I was constantly getting Game Guard messages warning me that I had modified the game files or the Game Guard files, though I have done no such thing.  Then GG would error and sometimes would close the game.  Apparently many others were getting identical problems and they are working on it.  I hope so because it was extremely frustrating.  I think it was worse because the error made it sound like it was my fault and that I was cheating!  Not a good way to start out Open Beta.

The lag was an entirely different issue and seems to be hitting people randomly.  From what I could tell there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to who gets hit with lag and when.  People would be fine for two hours and then get horrible lag for no apparent reason.  At the same time people in the same zone would not be affected at all.  I was okay for the entire night but many people I talked to reported differently.

Next issue I am having is with the “new” control scheme.  They added the ability for the left mouse button to control the camera, something which I was very happy to hear, but now you can only run in a straight line while holding down the left and right mouse buttons to run.  What?!?!  Look I will make it easy for NCSoft with this….Ready??

Look at the WoW control scheme and Copy/Paste.

Simple, right?  Don’t have to reinvent the wheel here, just give us a control scheme like WoW.  Holding down the left and right mouse buttons at the same time should make us run but we should be able to turn as well.

Other than those issues the beta is going well for me.  I made a Chanter and a Warrior and started with the Chanter.  The new

Hold on!  It's gonna be a rough ride!

Hold on! It's gonna be a rough ride!

character customization options are awesome and the game is more “Western” than ever.  I am really interested in seeing how they massaged the leveling curve, especially after level 20 or so when quests seem to start to dry up a bit.

All in all, the Open Beta has launched but is a bit rocky at the moment.   Not as bad as some Open Beta launches I have seen but it certainly can be improved.  The rocket has launched but is having problems getting into orbit!  I am sure that NCSoft will get the issues sorted out as the Game Guard problem and the lag will be a deal-breaker for a lot of potential players.

I Have ONE Open Beta Key To Give Away!

I have one Open Beta key to give away for tomorrow’s Open Beta.  Rather than give it to the first person who posts I am going to have a bit of a contest.  Really simple rules:  Just look over Aionic Thoughts and pick out your favorite or least favorite post and tell me why I am right or wrong in it.  The best one gets the key!  Make me laugh with your post and you get bonus points!  I will send it out tomorrow after I get back from work!

Put your entry in the comments!

Good luck!

Open Beta Dates!

From Keen and Graev’s forum.

Lots of threads popping up on forums with important dates.  The source of this info comes from pre-order info being sent to people and other websites.

Open Beta: September 4 (Friday)

Server and Character pre-selection: September 15 (Tuesday)

Head Start: September 20  (Sunday)

Launch: September 22 (Tuesday) (duh)

Full post located here!!

Looks Like Open Beta Will Be 1.5!

From an interview with Brian Knox and Liv it looks like Open Beta will be using the 1.5 client!  This is great news, as it will give potential Aion players the latest build with as little grind as possible.  Full transcript below and thanks to Illi of the Aion Source forums for the transcription!

AionOnline

Interview:

Q: Will there be any expansions?
A: Yes. * It’s an MMORPG, this game is gonna go on for a long time and you’re going to see lots more content to come. We’re already launching with three major updates since Korea launch, so definitely expect more and more updates.

Q: When and how is the preselection going to work, and maybe you can describe a bit what preselection is?
A: So preselection is for everybody that preordered the product and there’ll be actual * create their characters, pick their servers and basically get everything in order so day 1 they can just, bam, hit start *

Q: What is in your opinion the coolest 1.5 feature? So as you guys know we’re launching with 1.5, what’s your favourite feature?
A: Ehm, I got two. Is that alright? So one is kinda the shugo ship that has all the pirate bosses(?) and it takes quite a long time I went through it, even cheating in it, it took me about an hour or so. It was kindof a *
Q: You cheated!?
A: A little bit. I gotta learn a little bit, so?
(From the audience, heard on the background: Booo!)
A: And then the stigma system enhancement, I really am kinda proud that we got it to the point where we wanted it to be because I know everybody at launch was, you know, kindof wanting a little bit more out of it and I think now we have a real way to diversify your class within your class and it’s really kinda where it should be now, so.

Q: Was there any aspects of preparing Aion for the Western market that went unexpectedly well or easy?
A: I * can tell we didn’t rehearse this. There hasn’t been all that many things are easy, I was happy that our biggest feedback from everybody was, they wanted to be able to rotate the camera with the left mouse button and it was one of those things, I talked to the developers and they was like ‘Okay’ and so it happened.
Q: * was a small feature for us to change but a huge thing for the players. Yeah, really important.

Q: When will patch 1.5 be available for download?
A: We’re working on that right now, we wanna make sure that we have the latest possible in terms of localization for all three languages, so that you don’t have to patch and patch again and so. We’re gonna be working with a lot of partners and working on getting it up on Bittorrent, so everybody can get it. It’s gonna be for all the betaplayers now about 4 to 5 Gigs, depending on your language, so to start patching up to 1.5.

Q: Is the ballancing between the classes ok? So that you can’t find an overpowered class during pvp.
A: I think that’s kindof one of those opinionated questions and whatever class you play tends to be the one that’s not overpowered and whoever kills you tends to be overpowered. But that said, I think every stage we balance more and more and we’re lucky because we have three updates that have helped * ironing out a lot of the kinks. No class is going to be balanced one to one with every single person, you know it’s a PvPvE, so it’s meant for large scale environment with lots and lots of people so there are some classes that are going to be better in support roles, some are going to be a little bit better in solo roles.
Q: And I guess a lot of it comes down to player skill, too.
A: Yes, definitely. There’s a lot of skill differentiators, like the positional movement system, just knowing your stats and how you create your character and your armour and your stigma system will give you a huge advantage. You could have the same set of tools in front of you but how you use them will make a big difference in the end.

Q: Are there any plans for interface modifications, so that everyone can create their own theme?
A: We’re actually looking into it. So it’s not dismissed yet, but eh, no promises right now.

Q: Right now we’re launching in English, French and German, will we be offering any other languages?
A: We’ve created Aion to be very scaleable in terms of languages, so it’s going to work very well with our launcher tool, you can select a language and we can easily patch languages, it doesn’t affect people who don’t need them. *

Q: How can people play Aion on a Mac?
A: I actually just bought a Mac. I’m really pushing for it, but eh, it does run perfectly fine in bootcamp, I ran it full settings on my * people will be * you sit down for an MMO, you tend to play it for a good amount of time, so booting(?) in a bootcamp isn’t all that bad of a deal.

Q: Is there any information about an alliance between legions?
A: Nothing at this time.

Q: Has a French community manager been chosen yet?
A: We’re still in the process of interviewing, so we wanna make sure we * is really important for that person to be able to take what the community says and make sure they get it right and that they don’t misunderstand so we can * developers and get the feedback in the game.

Q: Is there going to be a talent system to make classes capable of being different from one another?
A: I think I touched on that a little bit earlier with the stigma system so you’re really able to differentiate your class in that sense it’s a collectable item system as well, it’s easier for us to expand and grow that system.

Q: What exactly do the five preorder rings give and what is the difference between them?
A: So each of the preorder rings adds a small resist with each of the elements in the game and it also adds a visual effect. But it’s not an equippable ring, because when we were deciding on items, there’s been many times that I’ve gotten something in the beginning and later on it kinda became, you know, worthless and you * keeping it in the inventory is kindof a fake ring * it actually means you can always carry it around and always use it and will always be viable to you.

Q: Aion is known for its great customization, but what it really lacks is dyes. Where can players get new colours?
A: At the vendors in the town? ? And in our preorders.
A: Yeah, I was surprised by this question ’cause I’m like, there’s lots of dyes?

Q: How much freedom does the North American / Europe office have to make game changes?
A: A lot. We talk to developers every day and ??? the other day and * 1.5 is a combination of years of us giving feedback and input, it’s a lot like the closed beta but we had pre-alpha * you know, a lot of the features may be rolled out in Korea first, but that that’s from us * good idea that’s a good idea so they’re gonna implement it as well, it’s all the west * put them in their version as well

Q: This question was probably asked by every other person but, when is open beta?
A: We have an announcement today for open beta and *
Q: Announcement next week for open beta

NOTE: He didn’t say that open beta would be next week, it may still look like that from the cut up dialog above. The announcement will be made next week.

Next: audience questions

Q: Will there be a community manager position for the oceanic region? (reformulated, was too cut up)
A: Not at this time, we’ll have the English community manager, we’re looking to start hiring probably additional * as he may keel over if he tries to manage all English. If everything goes as planned and you know we really * and hopefully we’ll have, you know, 50 community managers out?

Next question was from someone asking about that in China beta, he read you can play only PvP and don’t have to play PvE, but he couldn’t choose, he thought he went to the Abyss. The question wasn’t quite clear due to really heavy sound cuts at that time and also the answer was rather difficult to follow.

Q: (With reference to DaOC) Will there be a third front in Aion?
A: Right now it is the three fronts of the Balour, Asmodians and Elyos, and that’s all that we have planned right now. * other features, it’s a growing game, it is a new IP and there’s lots of ways we can grow and a lot of it will be shaped by the communities * right now there’s not planned or announced.

Q: Will Aion get a housing system?
A: Kinda once again that goes back to that front, it’s like everybody, you know, we have lots of different features that we wanna implement and we want to make sure that when we do we do them right and we don’t just tag something on without any reason. If you give a house but there’s nothing to do within the house or no quest or items to collect and, you know, then you’ll just sit in an empty box all day like, and that’s not ? we wanna make sure that it’s fun and that there’s content to fill it so the housing system is definitely something we’re looking into

Q: More about rifting: which is quite cool * (rest of the question was not understandable due to multiple sound cuts)
A: It’s the ability to go across to the other side through different quests and it’s actually portals that open in random locations on your side of the world and will port you to the other side and when * a lot of problems that I know are in closed beta there were some issues too and * so a lot of those issues have been addressed and – the previous updates, you know, there’s lots of debuffs that are happening, you’ll appear on the map * there’s also a limited amount of people that actually can go to the other side, as well as when you die you obviously go back to *

Q: *
A: Yes, once we get eh? we’ll go through our open beta, which we’ll announce next week, and then when the servers come on for the headstart, from then on it’ll be 24/7 from then on out. We’ve used these last closed beta events as a way that get the Aion name out there and you know the IP * a way to test our infrastructure and billing system and make sure that every time you guys hit it really hard in the beginning that we’re able to stand up to the load, * a lot of people have had trouble logging in in the first 30 minutes so we’ve made sure that we set our infrastructure * place so we can start just * for launch, it’s been nice for us because we’ve been able to go up, you know, test something for three days, let people kinda have fun, go down, find out what went right, what went wrong, fix it and then bring it back up again. But once we’re live we’re live and it’s 24/7 and that means lots of night*

Q: There’s no more questions, thank you very much you guys, and thank you Brian!
A: Thank you everybody!

Source: Aion Source Forums