While most people have been spending their time in single player or co-op RPGs this month (how can you not, with big titles like Borderlands, Torchlight, and Dragon Age all releasing at once) I have managed to squeeze in time to play Aion on a fairly steady schedule. There’s one main reason for this considering it wasn’t that long ago that I said I wasn’t going to be giving the game a shot. Turns out I need to write about it for work, which is why I haven’t talked about it until now.
I’m leveling up a cleric as both Asmodian and Elyos, and yesterday I reached level 15 with both characters. The game is exactly what I thought it would be, offering nothing ‘new’ to the table but then again it doesn’t really have to. There’s a pretty heavy population on both servers that I find myself on especially later in the day. I spend most of my play time between 9am-4pm EST so servers are a little quieter, but there’s still a lot going on in channels and on the PvP front.
The quests so far have been your usual ‘go kill x number of y creatures’ and ‘go to x location and bring back y object’. I haven’t had to do any grinding at all to gain levels, I’ve had more then enough quests to get me through. I am enjoying the story lines, and adding campaign quests along with ‘regular’ quests give a nice feeling and flow to the over all picture.
There are some bugs, of course. There are quests that don’t work (I’ve stumbled into a few) drop rates at times are exceptionally low, and there are bots galore. While NCSoft has taken some great initiative in blocking spammers from channels (I typically only have to block one person a day if that per server) that doesn’t stop the masses from swarming on mobs. Thankfully, you can also switch ‘channels’ in game, which basically allows you to switch zones to a less populated instance of that zone. There are five ‘channels’ open at any one time (once you’re out of the starter area, there are 10 channels to those areas) so if you find yourself unable to kill the mobs you need for whatever reason you can switch to one of five channels. It will port you there (3 minutes between ports) and you’ll be in the exact same location. This is also ideal for farming named that may be up, although I haven’t encountered any quite yet.
I don’t dislike the game, but I also am not in love with it either. If it were not for the articles I need to complete for work I’m fairly confident in saying that I wouldn’t be playing the game, and I’d find my spare time eaten up by LotRO or some other MMO as my 3rd choice (VG and EQ2 being my first two choices). I do have a friend playing with me which makes a HUGE difference, there’s no way I’d want to play this game alone it would just be.. well, not fun. Thankfully I don’t write reviews, not that this would get a bad one but it’s just another game, imo.