November 7, 2009
A Casual Approach to Aion (Part 1)
A few weeks ago I wrote about my debate as to whether or not Aion would be worth the purchase and monthly subscription fee considering my limited availability to play. This is a follow-up post outlining my time in game and hopefully providing some tips on how to plan and maximize your own game experience. As always, any feedback is appreciated and we would like to hear about your own experience with Aion so far!
So, what has changed after my initial debate? Well, after a little thought and some discussion, it became clear to me that I did actually want to play the game. Speaking with Middea about the upcoming release, the latest news, and everything else surrounding it only made me that much more excited to check it out. On top of this, there were a few factors that convinced me that it was actually worth my money to purchase the game and pay the $14.99 US ( approximately $16.36 Canadian currently) monthly subscription fee. Middea’s breakdown of the cost of entertainment, as well as our decision to play casually and make sure we enjoy ourselves instead of rushing to the end game both weighed fairly heavily in the final decision.
And so I promptly pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition and have been playing since the head start fairly often, although somewhat sporadically. Some days I play for a few hours, other days I can log on for an hour maximum, and sometimes (fairly often recently) I can’t even play at all. Even with these limitations, and the initially long queues, I’m confident I’ve been maximizing my time in game in order to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself, and most importantly, I’ve been able to have fun while doing so.
So, what’s the secret to playing an MMO casually? Well, there are three main points to keep in mind while reading this:
- Be patient. MMO’s are designed and developed as a time sink, just like any good role-playing game.
- Plan your play time. I’ve come up with a few points that hopefully will help you with this.
- Have fun! After all, that is the entire point of playing, right?
It would seem that the first point should stand fairly well on its own without the need to further clarify. However, thinking back on the role-playing games (RPGs) I’ve played, sometimes its not so obvious that the games were intended to provide hundreds of hours of entertainment. In the case of MMORPGs, this usually is extended to thousands of hours. I know for a fact that I played WoW for well over 200 days… Just keep that in mind when you approach Aion and understand that there’s no reason to experience everything immediately. The game will be around for years to come and you will have time to work your way through it. The important thing here is to remember to start off with an idea of what you want to accomplish in game early on, and set the rest aside for later.
Once you know what is important to you, you can easily start to plan your time spent in game. For me, there were a few things that I had on my list from playing in a couple of the beta events. First, I wanted to make sure my gathering skills were kept up to the appropriate level with the content I was working on. This was important for a few quests, and I knew that it would help out later on with the professions I had chosen to focus on. For professions, I decided that Alchemy and Cooking would be important to me, but the former was the most important for my class and general interest. So, part of my plan was to level Alchemy immediately as I leveled my character, and set Cooking aside until later on considering the general expense, both in terms of time and kinah, to level a profession. Finally, the leveling process itself was important to an extent (as it always is), so I made sure I had an idea of how I wanted to approach questing and grinding at my casual pace.
Considering those three goals, there were a few things that became immediately apparent to me. My profession leveling could be done at any time, and didn’t have a time constraint on it. This made it an ideal choice for shorter periods of game time. I also knew that the gathering goal could potentially set me back a bit in terms of time spent questing, which was something to consider, but essentially a variable factor dependent on node spawns, general activity level in game, and other factors that were out of my control. The questing and leveling process itself is fairly variable as well, but can be controlled to a certain extent with a bit of thought put into it.
To be continued…
Be sure to check out A Casual Approach to Aion (Part 2) for more information on time management and planning while leveling. In the meantime, make sure you’re having fun!