Now that the NDA is down for NA, I’m free to talk about my Aion beta impressions. Don’t forget to take a look at Tipa’s impressions too, they closely mirror my own. The game is not innovative, but that’s not what I was looking for. I don’t need everything to be new and make me think that it’s the most unique game of all time – I want specific features, coupled with a few bugs as possible, and that’s exactly what I got.

I love the beta, I’ll be honest. I had not given much thought to the game this past little while but as soon as I was playing, I knew I’d probably end up buying it when it came out. Will I keep subscribed? Not sure, we’ll see.

Character creation grabbed me and pulled me into the game before anything else did. I’ve always loved the character models from Guild Wars and Lineage II (even if I didn’t love the games quite as much) and there is so much customization, I haven’t seen this much since Vanguard released (and when it did most of their character models were looking more like 3rd world children then anything resembling people). While you can’t exactly make an ugly character, there are so many options you can at least look unique. There were over 30 hairstyles for females, with a huge selection of colours, and many sliders to adjust proportions all over the place. People WANT to feel a personal connection to their character (not because they look alike, though if you do that’s neat, but rather because you put the time and effort into making the character the way you wanted to look). Already I was impressed.

When I logged in there were people EVERYWHERE but the game still ran smooth. It was much like every other MMO where you have quest hubs and they send you out to slay creatures and bring back body parts and goodies to the NPC’s. People were friendly, talking in channels and exploring. It was a little difficult to obtain my quest objectives because there was just a huge mass of players, but that was to be expected. Re-spawns were fast which helped.

As Tipa mentioned in her post, the weather affects your character. I went afk for a drink of water and came back to watch my character brandishing her make shift umbrella over her head snarking at the sky for opening up over her.

The world is absolutely beautiful. It’s as though they took the bits from Lineage II and Guild Wars that I liked, and left out the bits that I didn’t like (lack of jumping anyone?) which I find just perfect. There is a lot to see, little eye candy treats everywhere that draw the player in. Not to mention, the combat had me squeeling and going “woah that was SO COOL” every time I pulled off an attack – and I was playing a priest, not a melee character.

Maybe it’s the Asian flare (in a game that’s not a F2P which, well, we all know how those can turn out) and the awesome cries of battle the character makes as you choose them from character select, or the fantastic moves as you press your attack keys – but I loved every second of it. Sure, it could have just been due to the fact that the game is new (to me) and there for it’s not a move I have already seen a million times in the past, but it was wondrous and I enjoyed playing a great deal.

I’m looking forward to the next beta event which is this weekend, the download was REALLY slow in order to obtain the game (a full day and a half of downloading) but now that I have it, it’s much better. I don’t want to get too burnt out from the game already before it even goes live, but this is certainly one that I’ll be giving a try once it comes out. Plus, there’s flying. Who doesn’t like to fly?!