November 18, 2009
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 of this article here.
Last week I briefly discussed the variable factors in terms of in game goals and play time, including profession leveling, gathering and questing. I’d like to start out by discussing the latter two of these in a bit more detail considering they will make up the bulk of my in game time and affect the planning stages the most for those of us who have limited availability and are more casual players overall.
The main factors in my decision making process for questing versus gathering were the size of the quest hub I was currently working on and the current state of my gathering skill in comparison to the nodes in the areas nearby. If I felt like I was behind on gathering skill, or knew that I needed to level it up before I moved into a new area, I would focus more on gathering and less on questing. Although the two are not mutually exclusive, sometimes it became apparent that ignoring the quests for a short time and hunting nodes to gather would be more beneficial than focusing on the quest goals. During these periods of time, I would simply farm the nearby mobs for XP gains while waiting for nodes to respawn.
For the most part however, questing is generally better suited to longer gaming sessions and gathering / grinding is better suited to shorter ones. The exception here would be the smaller quest hubs that are restricted to a fairly limited area as they can usually be completed in shorter time frames. Always remember that you can skip a quest hub and save the larger ones for another day when you do have the time to go complete them.
Looking back on my experience, I leveled from 1-16 solo for the most part. It is entirely feasible to level up further solo as well. There were a few times when I found myself killing mobs several levels ahead of myself. As a sorcerer, the main thing I had to keep in mind was that since I’m fairly squishy, playing carefully in situations like these was of utmost importance. Dying is both a costly and time consuming mistake (and one that I’ve made many times). Making sure to take my time and think strategically, I was able to work through them with little to no problems at all. The last few levels in this range become the hardest, just be sure to play carefully and not to rush, and you will be able to work through them alone.
When you hit roughly level 18, you’ll want to work on the quests relating to the Mau and the Black Claw area. For this, you will need to find a group (and it is most likely your first major group experience in Aion). It also means you will want to be sure to set aside a larger chunk of time to play. The area isn’t too large, but the elites are tough and the quests take some time to work through. I had a ton of fun here in the beta, and can say its well worth the effort if you can plan for the time to head over to the area with a group to check it out.
At this point, I’ll have to admit that the next few levels really tested my patience with this game. Going from roughly level 20 to 25 was very rough in my experience, and involved a lot of solo grinding that I wasn’t initially prepared for. Looking back on it I could have probably done it better by strategically choosing mobs that yield the highest XP possible and focusing my efforts, but my haphazard method at the time made it more painful that it had to be. Needless to say, I’m much more used to grinding in Aion and far more focused now, but for those of you who may still be in this range fear not; once you finally hit level 25 the process becomes easier for a while and much more enjoyable when you get to enter the Abyss!
I have a few more tips for casual and hardcore players alike:
- Leveling professions is both costly and time consuming. I recommend doing it in short bursts and make sure you do the first free work order repeatedly, as Middea has already mentioned in another post.
- Make sure you focus on gathering as you go if it is important to you. Going back to do this later on can be extremely annoying!
- Off peak times are excellent for farmed quests, waiting on spawns, drop rates and other tasks that are difficult to accomplish during peak hours. If you can and have the time, leave these for those times when there are fewer players around to compete with.
Overall, my main strategy was to know in advance how much time I had available for the day so that I would have a plan of attack before I even logged on. This helped immensely considering I tend to get sidetracked quite easily and can become distracted with legion chat, browsing the broker or selling items, or just randomly wandering the world around me. It isn’t exactly uncommon for me to spend hours in a game and not feel like I’ve accomplished much if anything at all, so being prepared and organized is crucial to keeping my focus while playing an MMO casually. Of course, this strategy is only really important if you are trying to level in an efficient manner. If you simply wish to enjoy the game at your own pace, feel free to do so.
November 16, 2009
November 11, 2009
Middle of the week, but, we’re back with puzzles! Feel free to keep submitting them to email@example.com
Future ones are scheduled up for Monday mornings at 8am again.
November 7, 2009
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!
November 4, 2009
|And now ladies and gentlemen –
the Keeper of the accounts,
the Countess of the servers,
the keeper of Atreia,
Matron NCsoft Corporation!
Ask any of the birdies in my pen
Got a little motto
There’s a lot of favors
They say that life is tit for tat
|Don’t you know that this
hand washes that one too –
When you’re good to Mama
Mama’s good to you!
If you want my gravy
When they pass that basket
The folks a top the ladder
Let’s all stroke together
So what’s the one conclusion
From Chicago: The Musical
Moral of the story:
Birdies pay for 6 months subscription (tit)
NCsoft gives us pretty sweet wings (tat)
Free wings? Yes please.
What are your thoughts on the Veteran Rewards Program?
And just a reminder, able to apply first month’s rewards already 🙂
November 2, 2009
We’ve recently come across a few more Aion blogs that we didn’t know about previously and would like to share these with the rest of the community. It’s always nice to read about what other people are working on in game and to find out their thoughts and opinions on the current state of this fairly new MMO.
So, without further ado, here are some new blogs we’ve added to our readers this week:
- Another Aion Blog
- Attention Deficit Daeva
- Flying Bishounen
- Kill that Cheerleader
- The Aion Experience
If any of you have recommendations for Aion blogs you have stumbled across that aren’t currently on our blogroll let us know. We’d love to check them out and add more to our daily reading list!
October 30, 2009
Fortress sieges at the present moment are definitely zergs. What makes them zergs? Well, if you break it down, a zerg is a large force that overwhelms whatever they are attacking by way of large numbers rather than strategy and/or gear. A zerg does not require skill, just a massive force that cannot be turned away.
Currently in the patch notes:
You now receive contribution decorations as reward for successfully defending a fortress under the control of your Legion.
This is different than live. On live, you receive nothing from defending a fortress from enemy capture. Or, do you? My argument is that you do receive something from defending. Owning a fortress gives all players of that faction access to the dungeon.
This is important to remember because access to the fortresses gives ALL members of the faction that owns it access to the dungeon inside. The fortress dungeons give access to AP without the opposing faction’s interference. You can get medals, icons, seals, crowns, etc from the chests which are worth even more AP upon turn in. More on the fortress amenities can be found on the Powerwiki.
Currently on Lumiel’s Asmodian side, small legions and pugs coordinate with each other and some of the bigger legions in /joinchannel fortress to defend and attack fortresses. We band together to form a zerg and most times we are successful in what we’re attacking/defending/preventing Elyos from gaining.
It is however, notably harder to muster forces to defend fortresses. A few legions that actually capture the fortresses do not appear to even bother showing up to defend their own fortresses at all. Why not? It’s not as profitable for them, they get no medals for defending, so why spend the kinah to keep it out of the opposing factions hands?
Keeping the easy AP from the opposing faction is worth defending in my humble opinion. Not bothering to even show up to support that while you have almost all members on? But showing up en mass to regain it? Even just picking off stragglers or something would help the puggers/smaller legions that are defending it for their chance at medals/icons/easyish AP.
A zerg does require participation and attendance to work. If this part of the patch goes through, I don’t see the pugs/smaller legions working together to defend a fortress for a legion that never bothered to help them get easier AP/exp early on via the fortress dungeons.
I personally wouldn’t want to help a legion that right now likes to win trade the lower abyss fortresses. Yes, you don’t get anything by way of medals for defending at the moment, but you do help your entire level 30+ faction by allowing access to the fortress dungeons.
I don’t know that the patch changes for rewarding the owning faction are necessary but I bet that the rewards will help encourage the owners to show up and help defend.
What are your thoughts on fortresses/ownership?
- Would you help defend for a legion that participates currently in win trading?
- Do you participate in fortress defense?
- Are you part of a larger legion that captures fortresses but doesn’t defend them?
- Do you see the value in owning a fortress and what all it provides in terms of access/options for your entire faction?
October 29, 2009
Still working on the moving. Lots of things to be done and really not much time to do them sadly. Well, technically have the time, just Aion is so darn tempting to play.
Aether gathering right now allows me some down time while recharging flight timer and so have been updating the links to point to this blog instead of at WordPress.
Noticed that quite a few of our Aion blog links just really are dead, either from people quitting or just completely missing in action. So, have an Aion blog you would like to have linked on our sidebar? Feel free to leave it as a comment or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have been slacking on new screenshots (continue submitting any you want to see in a jigsaw format!) for our puzzles, so brief hiatus for new ones.
What level is everyone up to? Doing any crafting? Abyss rank?
I’m up to 38 on my cleric. Stuck on the Asvata bow part of the Handicrafting expert quest, premium weapon flux just cost too much.
Currently rank 5, but I did buy a nice blue necklace because being level 28 and rank 5 wasn’t working too well for me back in the day and I really didn’t want the big SHOOT ME FIRST rank 5 tag on my head. Bad enough I’m a cleric.
Have been grinding Mist Mane Mau Hairs for the speedy boots and sneaking into the Abyss for hunting when I can find a partner in crime.
-Shameless plug warning- Also have been trying to recruit folks for our community driven legion <Natural Selection> on Lumiel. Recruiting is a nightmare, everyone has a legion already it seems. Oh well, quality over quantity is the motto.
Enough random ramblings for now, must go back to gathering that aether and beating the bots to spawns.
If you aren’t on blogroll, feel free to leave link in comments.
Also, keep submitting screenshots.
Subscribe to the new feed: The new feed to subscribe to is http://feeds.feedburner.com/QuirkyQuiescence
October 24, 2009
Well, I’m going to try and keep this fairly short. We’ve debated moving away from a WordPress hosted blog for a while, and actually had everything setup for it once before, but this time we’re going through with it.
This will be the last post made to this site, all new content will be found at the new address. I have already copied over the current content, including all of our past posts and comments.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to email us.
Thanks to all of you who read our blog. Please remember to update your bookmarks, links and RSS feeds to the new address!
October 23, 2009
By now I’m sure some of you are in the level 30 area and hopefully have had an Abyss fortress. If you don’t want to spoil your first experience in one of those fortress instances, I suggest you change the channel, err page.
67 mobs sure does not sound like a lot when you get that quest to clear out the Right Wing (insert whatever number for the other two fortresses). Then you get in there. And perhaps the first night it is not so bad. Perhaps.
By the second or third or even fourth night, you’ve had it up to your eyeballs in glorified Abyss grinding. Yes, it’s safe from evil Elyos attacks. Yes, it’s essentially free AP. Yes the experience and kinah are good. But it’s SO monotonous.
The first 15 minutes might be somewhat fun, but once that timer runs out and chests go Poof! you’re left with, plus or minus, 35 mobs that still need killing.
But, did you know? Those Pesky Drakies that hit for 1 damage are possessed! If they land a critical hit on you/your party member/your healer basically, they hit for 3,000 damage. Check your HP. Be prepared to set up a Drakie Death Squad to deal with those Pesky Drakies or your healer(s) will die!
Trust me, your healers will love you for not letting them eat a Soul Heal bill.
Were you planning on informing your groups? Legion? Did you fall for it?
Trust me, it’s an excellent way to pass the time, you’ll be rolling on the floor laughing so hard you’ll cry. Especially if you’re on vent with someone who believes that they really are saving you.
“Watch out! Drakie incoming behind you!” *they leave mob alone and run full speed for the killer drakie*
>.< My screenshots for this are on a computer in another country. Dang it. Was a flock of drakies chasing me hehe. 😉 I’ll work on getting a new one next fortress run.