January 30, 2010
Well, it would seem that our little Aion blog has come to an inevitable end.
We began with great enthusiasm for the game during the closed beta days, when Middea introduced Fedoldinn to the game and we spent much time online during the test periods playing. Come launch day, we had pre-ordered two copies and were excitedly awaiting the servers to come up. Early leveling seemed promising, even if it was a repeat of what we’d seen before, and we spent a lot of time online engrossing ourselves in the Aion universe.
It seems like no surprise that level 25 and the Abyss sparked even more enthusiasm for the game. During this time our little blog here had taken off quite well in its original WordPress.com hosted incarnation, with many hits per day and several successful articles written that were viewed by many people… many more than we’d initially expected considering we wrote for our own enjoyment and to entertain ourselves, clear our own thoughts, or rant on what was bothering us at the time.
Early in our Aion careers, this was next to nothing. As the game progressed and as time wore on, it seemed we were ranting more than we were enjoying the game. Several attempts were made to improve our overall enjoyment, from merging our original small friendly legion with another to experience more of the PvP aspect of the game, to moving back to our friendly legion to try and rekindle the sense of community that we had experienced before, and finally to moving to a more competitive, high end legion on our server to take fortresses and conquer content. In the end, none of these moves provided what we were looking for.
The grind was rough, but not the end of the world for either of us. The small legion provided a sense of community in many aspects; from people logging on and chatting while accomplishing their goals, to getting to know one another better and also to spending time on Ventrilo chatting casually. The high end guild provided a larger player base, the promise of regularly scheduled PvP nights for fortress raids and a supposedly greater chance at finding those ever elusive groups for conquering content while leveling.
The fact remains that none of this was enough. In the smaller legion we were faced with the constant issue of not having enough players in any level range to successfully run smaller group content, as well as the issue of legion management and recruitment which both take a toll on those responsible for them. The high end guild had many players, but it never seemed to be a friendly enough atmosphere to get people to head back to old content, or jump in and join others looking for groups instead of focusing solely on personal goals in game.
Aion holds a lot of promise as a game, and it has many positive aspects about it that most people overlook. There are many areas in which to group up and conquer content if that is your goal, there are also many opportunities to play alone. The game has a nice mix of PvP and PvE which should satisfy many. The grind is rough, not much is handed away for free, and it takes general effort to reach the level cap. However, without even the remote ability to find groups and play with other people, it hasn’t been what either of us is looking for in an MMO. The LFG channel is almost devoid of action, generally you see a few groups for areas that you are either too high or too low to play in. The experience penalties severely decimate the number of players willing to go back and help out, or those willing to accept help from people who are more than a couple levels above them.
Unfortunately, I’ve turned this into a semi-rant about what I found wrong with the game. A less severe experience penalty may help these issues, but its far from a solution considering there just doesn’t seem to be anyone willing to play the game for the sake of having fun and joining others in their conquests. To that end, our accounts have expired and neither of us has logged on much in the past month. Maybe that will change in the future if subsequent patches improve the game content or we decide to give it another try, but I know for me that chance is slim to none.
To those still playing, take care and enjoy the game. To anyone who’s read this blog or follows our writing on Aion, take care and farewell. Best of luck to you in the future.
– Fedoldinn and Middea
January 2, 2010
Yes, we’re still here. Things have been pretty chaotic lately with work and the holidays coming up, but we’ve still been playing Aion regularly.
Lately, I’ve been working on leveling through the upper 30s and having just recently hit 39, I still have a ways to go in the process. Many hours spent in Mist Mane grinding, and I still have many more quests to complete there which should be good for quite a bit of experience when I finally get to turn them in. I’ve also been working through some of the campaign quests I left lying around, and generally clearing out my quest log in the Abyss when I can. Right now, I’m taking some time to focus on gathering again since my potion supply has dwindled and I’ve lagged behind severely in my Aether Extraction skill.
Anyway, with more time spent grouping and hopefully more opportunities to group for instances coming up, I’ve been debating once again on which Stigma I want to pick up for my open spot. I’d left it for two reasons: because I wasn’t entirely certain that I wanted to get Curse of Roots, and because the general cost of the Stigma Stones was extremely high on the broker in comparison to my kinah supply at the time. Now, cost is less of an issue, but I’m still not completely sold on Curse of Roots.
Let’s take a quick glance at some of the the stigmas available for Sorcerers:
- Lumiel’s Wisdom I – Level 20 – For 15 sec, you can use skills with only 50% of the required MP.
- Curse of Roots I – Level 20 – Transforms the target into a tree for 20 sec. The transformed target cannot move or act, and its All Elemental Defenses increases. Once the target is attacked, the effect disappears immediately.
- Zikel’s Wisdom I – Level 28 – Increases your Magical Skill Boost by 300 for 15 sec.
- Curse of Weakness I – Level 28 – Curses a target within 25m. For 1 min, each time they use magical skills, they take magic damage equal to 5% of their Max HP. This damage will not exceed 500.
- Wind Cut Down I – Level 31 – Deals 687 magical wind damage to a target within 25m of you, causing it to bleed for 6 sec.
- Vaizel’s Wisdom I – Level 37 – Reduces your skill casting time by 25% for 15 sec.
The first on the list, Lumiel’s Wisdom, is the first stigma that we get as sorcerers. I still use it a lot for grinding and soloing, as well as in instances to keep my mana supply up without having to use potions repeatedly. The other stigma that I picked up early on was Zikel’s Wisdom, for those times when you need a mob to die faster or for adding some damage when out killing Elyos. I find these two to be very useful in different situations, even though they are on the same 30 second cooldown.
Taking a look at the others, we have Curse of Roots, Curse of Weakness, Wind Cut Down and Vaizel’s Wisdom. Curse of Roots adds yet another form of CC to our arsenal. Even though we already have Sleep, Root and Aether’s Hold, having another more permanent crowd control ability that also keeps ranged targets silenced is extremely useful in many situations, both PvE and PvP alike. Many sorcerers tend to pick this one up early on and use it quite often. Curse of Weakness does damage to targets as they cast, however, the damage done is fairly limited and so is its usefulness. Personally, I’d recommend passing on this one. Wind Cut Down is more useful, adding a bleed to targets who try to run. This one seems more useful for PvP, and I’ve even contemplated picking it up myself, however I’m not entirely sure how useful it is since I’ve never seen anyone using it. Finally, Vaizel’s Wisdom is yet another stigma on the same cooldown as both Lumiel’s Wisdom and Zikel’s Wisdom, but this time it reduces our casting speed by 25% on spells.
I’m still leaning towards picking up Vaizel’s Wisdom if I can, I’d like to be able to dish out more damage in less time in PvP situations personally. Curse of Roots is tempting though since I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve had an extra mob or player around that Root or Aether’s Hold simply wasn’t useful enough to take care of. Of course, the latest broker prices on both of these has me waiting yet again. The last time I checked, Vaizel’s Wisdom was 3 million kinah on our server, and Curse of Roots was around 500 000 kinah, both far overpriced compared to what they had been before. What are your thoughts as a Sorcerer? Which stigmas do you prefer for PvE and PvP purposes?
December 14, 2009
For being a group oriented game in both PvE and PvP aspects, it seems to be surprisingly difficult to actually find a group already. In the early leveling days, groups were everywhere, but as everyone’s levels have gotten more spread out from 30-50, groups that are pugging seem to be very rare. Most people seem to have a set group they run with, as did I for awhile. A set group is pretty wonderful as I’m sure we’re all aware, you know what to expect from everyone, what folks are capable of, and pulls are a fluid and continuous chain, you trust each other.
But what happens when you get behind in levels to your group due to whatever circumstances and are no longer within 2-3 levels of them and you are abandoned? You are forced to resign to wading through the spam that is the LFG channel in the desperate hopes that someone, somewhere, needs you. Even if not for the instance you need/want. And heaven help you if you want to go to the middle deck of SR – the red headed step child deck that almost no one anywhere wants to touch with a ten foot pole.
Levels 42 and up are a plethora of group quests but not many solo quests, I have literally 27 group quests in my quest log at the moment at 43. Grinding solo is a dangerous activity with all the Elyos gank squads running through Beluslan. So what’s a cleric to do? Suck it up and grind alone, running to new grind spots each time the 4+ Elyos wreck you whilst locking you down? Troll LFG while crafting? I have tried many combos of these basic ways of passing the time in game, and it’s been over a week since I have found a group to run anything at all, from Fortress guard grinding, Steel Rake, Alquima, to anything at all. Heck, I’d even go to Mist Mane again if anyone would take me.
What’s to happen with the alts in the future, or players late to the game… If it’s already this difficult to find a pug group, and grouping is pretty much needed to effectively level at certain levels due to a lack of solo questing options, at least for players like me who refuse to grind for hours on faceless mobs, what’s a solo player to do?
I feel like a panhandler. Instead of beer, I just want exp.
Anyone else having issues finding a group to go anywhere?
November 28, 2009
Hopefully everyone has had the chance to experience the Abyss by now, and if not, well, you are in for a treat.
The first thing I learned in the Abyss when leaving Primum was that there are floating rings one can fly through and receive a short +flight speed buff for 3 seconds, and second, it gives you +7 flight time each time you go through. Tasty rings.
While recharging my wings, I initially went through with w and s, forward back. I graduated to looking sideways and strafing back and forth through it, to eventually, lag permitting, just bouncing off the glow where it activates for an even faster charge up.
While I was still in my forward-backwards phase, I realized that this looked quite dirty, humping the rings as I was. Then when I started strafing through it, it clicked.
I was pumping in and out of a female condom. unF unF!
Click the below images to get bigger pictures if you so desire.
Not only that, but to add injury to the insult, meteors really love the rings. Meteors, as I’m sure most have painfully found out, are not just aesthetically pleasing. Oh no, they burn. A lot. Instant death burn.
Have you managed to avoid death by meteor? If so, have any tips? No matter how much I watch the core, pesky meteors still annihilate me the minute I turn my camera around.
November 24, 2009
Last night, NCSoft released their trailer for the future vision of Aion. Needless to say, a large portion of the community is extremely excited about what’s in store for the future of this game based on exclamations heard in vent and seen in chat channels in the game.
Although nothing is set in stone and some of this is sure to change, there’s quite a bit in this short video to look forward to. Some of the more obvious changes include:
- Updated graphics all around
- Dynamic weather and environments introduced
- New player mounts
- Ability for players to swim with new water environments added
- Player or Legion housing added with what appears to be a lot of customization
Less obvious changes and potential speculation:
- Player pets
- Combat mounts
- Updated spell animations, or possibly new spells added to the game
- Updated zones or new zones
- Massive battles in zones making the world more interactive
Aion always impressed me as being visually stunning for an MMO, but the changes here make it even more breathtaking. I’m sure NCSoft must be pushing the CryEngine to its limits with these updates, and it will be very much appreciated by the players.