Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Shiny - Aion (MMORPG)

I just found my new, pretty, precious, shiny thing.. And it's Aion. In case you live in a cave like I do most of the year, Aion is predicted to be the next BIG MMO to hit the game-o-sphere. It features a 50 level usual MMO practice, BUT with a "new" thing to the field - the chain system combat abilities. Also, a flight system that all characters get upon reaching level 10 (easy to do, no grinding there).

Now, when I first heard that NCsoft was making another MMO that focused on PVP, I as skeptical. NCsoft has City of Heroes (and City of Villains), and the PVP in that/those games just sucks. It's not even "pew pew pew I WIN" it's basically dominated by just a couple of classtypes, with little reward for actually succeeding in PVP. For a heroes vs. villains comic-book-y game, I was ashamed. The PVE was fine and all, I loved to pretend to be a hero and go rescueing and defeating bad guys, or be a villain and tear shit up... Until I felt like I was grinding at a snail's pace through the levels. Then my zealousness toned down quite a bit.

Needless to re-say, when Aion was first announced, I was very, VERY skeptical. PVP in most MMO's usually turned into 3 second battles, or zerg-fests. (Zerg-fests can be fun if they fluctuate from side to side, such as the Realm-vs-Realm battles in WARhammer Online could be like; however, Zerg-fests turn into moral-crunching menaces when there's no fluctuation. There's no fun in always winning, in always losing. It turns into stagnation.)

Anyway, I was very surprised when I stumbled into PVP in Aion. It started with a requested duel against another of my race (Elyos in this example), and I soon discovered something. Certain classes definately had an advantage, but these were not 3 second fights! These were battles that took some skill, as certain chain attacks worked better depending on the situation. It wasn't just about who struck first, who could jam the keys fast enough to defeat the other before they could even register an attack. It was about prediction, and a little preparation. Certain chain combos worked better against certain class types, worse against others. It's a dynamically new combat system in the world of MMORPG's.

As if that wasn't enough to draw me in, the art is BEAUTIFUL! The CryEngine is able to render the graphics at such a lower CPU cost that most other MMO engines could hope to achieve for the same quality. It's so lovely, the graphics alone could make me want to pay for this game..

I'm gushing over this game, and it hasn't even gone live yet! It's got an anime-ish look and feel to it, but with Christian religion-mythology-like undertones in the basic plotline; these are 2 things that are normally turn-off's for me, but for once I'm able to look past that and onto the high quality/low cost graphics, and the inventive combat system that makes fighting, PVE or PVP, feel epic. I almost want to say it's like having a Mortal Kombat MMO, with all the moves you can chain together for certain effects, but saying just that would give a horribly wrong impression.

If my words are not enough to draw you in, I ask you to wait until the game goes live (scheduled September 22, 2009), and try out a trial account once they're available. I know that trials will be available eventually, probably soon after release. Even if you have to be sent a trial ticket from a registered member, contact me when the time comes and I promise that I can try to help you. I'm very sure that I will be playing this game when it goes live, and even before then (prepurchases FTW!), and knowing NCsoft, trial accounts are a given - they bring in the business.

Until then, happy gaming!

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