Aion

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Aion is a popular 3D fantasy MMORPG set in the mystical world of Atreia where magic and combat coincides. Choose between two warring factions and soar into the action, literally. As a rising hero complete challenging quests, fight gruesome monsters, raid instances, participate in intense PvP matches, and battle a powerful race of dragons for territorial control. Unlock the secret to the planet’s dark past in order to create a new future, in this now free-to-play adventure.

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Publisher: NCSoft
Playerbase: High
Graphics: High
Type:  MMORPG
EXP Rate: High
PvP: Open World
Filesize: ~45 GB

Pros: +Impressive Graphics. +Aerial combat. +Large-scale PvPvE battles. +Good character customization options. +Cool chain attack feature. +Built in quest objective tracker. +Equip and command pets. +Player Housing. +Grind Reduced

Cons:  –Obtrusive UI. -Needlessly Complex Basic Functions. -Poorly Optimized Game Engine.

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Overview

Aion Overview

Discover a world of beauty, magic, and bitter conflict. You are an immortal Daeva. Take flight with celestial wings and fight as never before to save the remains of your world from the sinister Dragon Lords. Explore breathtaking lands, brave challenging group and solo dungeons and claim fortresses for your faction in massive PvP battles. Now, a new chapter in the story of Atreia begins with Dark Betrayal, AION’s latest full-sized, Truly Free content expansion. A sinister threat has emerged and Daevas will need the combined skill of current allies and the power of the new Gunslinger and Songweaver classes to prevail. Brave the new zones, explore expansive dungeons, conquer the darkness!

Features: 

Experience Deep Customization: With tools available to edit some of the most minute parts of your face, to an engaging class system with 6 primary classes and 10 subclasses, players are sure to make their mark with a character personalized to their liking.

Beautiful Expanding World: With 4 updates under its belt already, Aion continues to expand its mystical world with constant updates adding to the story and gameplay features.

Fast-Track Server: Players looking to skip the grind can experience double experience on the fast-track server.

Expansive Crafting: From alchemy to construction, players are sure to find the usual stand-bys as well as new experiments in the world of MMORPG crafting tools.

Classes:

Warriors – Specializing in close combat and are notorious for their sheer strength this class is equipped with a variety of swords, maces, and shields. Warriors can transform into front line soldiers as Gladiators or knights known as Templars.

Scouts – Despite their weak armor this class utilizes their speed and agility to get the best of their opponents. Masters of the art of hit and run this class morphs into trained Assassins with an arsenal of poisoned blades, bows, and swords or Rangers skilled in both melee and ranged combat.

Mages – This class uses the elements of water, fire, earth, or wind to destroy their enemies. Mages can transform into Sorcerers capable of damaging magical attacks or powerful Spiritmasters.

Priests – Always a valuable member of any party Priests possess the ability to heal. They can use both long range spells and melee attacks to bring foes down to their knees. Priests morph into Clerics with incredible healing and protection spells or Chanters gifted in boosting the combat skills of their allies.

Muses – Muses study the power of song. Currently Muses may only become Songweavers, which focus on healing and debuffing.

Technists – A new line of classes introduced in 4.0, players focus on using technology to their advantage. Currently Technists may only become Gunslingers, ranged DPS specialists.

 

Aion Screenshots

Aion Featured Video

Aion 4.0 Trailer

Full Review

Aion 4.0 Review

By Eric Kandel (Misanthropologist)

Aion‘s 4.0 latest major update, Dark Betrayal, has been heralded as the start of a renaissance for the aging Korean game. NCSoft reported a greater volume of Aion-related player traffic in July than at any point since its western release in 2009. Pundits around the web have announced a “golden age” for Aion, stating that 4.0 “breathes new life” into the game. Conversely, many long-time players believe it to be on its last legs. Accusations of neglect at the hands of the developers and even the publisher are commonplace, accompanied by complaints about class balance, business model, and game engine performance. Such contrasting extremes of praise and scorn are standard fare for the genre, though, and a veteran gamer knows that it’s much more important to study the facts than it is to listen to regurgitated opinions.

Gelkmaros Falls

On that note, let’s get started.

 

One of the most drastic alterations any MMO can make to its fundamental gameplay landscape is the addition of a new player class. With 4.0, Aion has added two: the Gunslinger and Songweaver. In most people’s eyes, player and reviewer alike, the Gunslinger is the more prominent of the two. Featuring snappy gunplay and a host of instant cast skills, this is a fast-firing glass cannon class designed to overwhelm its enemies with a barrage of bullets before they can react. Accordingly, the PvP-centric community (and make no mistake, this is a PvP-centric game) is hotly divided over the Gunslinger’s addition to the roster. The hills are alive with the cries for nerfs. Interestingly, some veteran players speculate that the Songweaver is actually the more potent of the two. That class, however, lacks the streamlined simplicity and obvious appeal of the former. Instead of firearms, the Songweaver uses musical instruments to slay their foes. A multi-faceted supported class, the Songweaver’s capacity for burst damage is mitigated by long wind-up times and a class emphasis on team support that will keep them preoccupied in group encounters. While the Songweaver is often relegated to the role of “mana battery”, the coming months may see their role expanded as the community incorporates them into the ongoing meta.

Katalam near Jotun Lake

Less drastic changes to the game include facelifts for the character selection menu and character creation screens. Aion still boasts one of the most elaborate character creators in the genre, not only ahead of its own time but even standing head and shoulders above many of its successors. Indeed, one of the main draws of the game is the amount of time and effort a player can invest into the process of making their character as unique as possible. Although the game has only two races to choose from (semi-angelic beings of varying light and darkness), an enormous range of customization exists within each of them. This is further supported by an extensive catalogue of outfits and, on top of that, personal housing. While these luxuries have no direct impact on the mechanical heart of the game, every MMO player has experienced the soul-deadening dread of spending days and weeks of precious time, grinding for experience and then grinding for gear, only to find themselves looking like an exact duplicate of every other player of a similar race or class. The genre as a whole has begun to take steps to address this issue, but any game that’s done as much as Aion has to prevent it deserves a special tip of the hat for that alone.

Middle of a shattered plane

Touching back onto that whole “mechanical heart of the game” thing, though. For all that Aion soars in departments like aesthetic sense (the afore-mentioned character customization, the unique music, and its ambitiously designed environments), it’s mercilessly dragged down by a primitive game engine and an awkward user interface. There is no anisotropic filtering or anti-aliasing here, no texture smoothing nor animation blending of any kind. Auto-looting is available only as a button that takes up precious space on your action bar. The tab-targeting will confound you at every turn and incessant inventory management will demand your constant attention. You will frequently encounter quests that require you to sort through multiple pages of NPC dialogue just to be directed to another NPC who will require that you sort through multiple pages of dialogue just so you can get to the point where they tell you to collect 10 monster butts. This is the norm. While much of the genre has spent the past four years learning how to further streamline and improve the user-friendliness of the gameplay experience, Aion stubbornly refuses. Expect to be impeded by gratuitous bureaucracy when performing the most basic and menial tasks. Look forward to stiff, antiquated gameplay as your reward.

Near the Besfer Ghost Villa

To be fair, the game has made some strides forward in the performance department, cleaning up their network code and removing the need for Pando Media Booster; framerate issues and lag spikes are still common phenomena. Many players loathe and distrust the Media Booster, and many more have complained of crippling and inescapable latency over the years, and these concerns, at least, have been addressed. Many more have not, however, with the official North American website still lacking basic functionalities. MyAion, the online character database, simply does not work. The official game guide hasn’t updated for Dark Betrayal. Patch 4.5 is on the horizon, but the website’s class list doesn’t even feature the Gunslinger and Songweaver yet.

Primum Landing in the Abyss

This leads into what might be the community’s ultimate complaint: that the North American playerbase is a neglected relic, a peripheral-at-best interest to the Korean NCSoft. By all accounts, Aion is thriving in its home country while languishing in relative obscurity here. The 4.0 update saw a brief resurgence in player activity, which has since appeared to drop off, and there are already calls being made for server mergers. Veteran players criticize the top-heavy nature of the game, citing the widening gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” while noting the lack of reliable new blood. Even the more optimistic players admit that the four remaining servers have reached a point of stasis. This is compounded by the perpetual faction imbalance, with NCSoft offering in-game incentives to players looking to level characters of the less popular Asmodian faction on certain servers and locking out creation of the consistently more popular Elyos faction characters during certain times.

Ruins of Roah

Final Verdict: Fair

In closing, Aion is a unique game. The grind to level cap has been greatly reduced. The community is small but devoted. The gameplay shows its age, the UI is more hindrance than help, and the art team’s ambitions are often viciously checked by the game engine’s limitations… but it’s an original product, unique in many regards, and potentially a paradise for anyone who loves old-fashioned world PvP.

Previous Review:
By Ange Perdu

Aion is a 3D fantasy themed MMORPG by NCSoft where players join either the Asmodians or Elyos faction in a battle for control over various zones in the world of Atreia. Each hero must go on their own journey through the mysterious shattered lands to discover the secrets that has divided the once glorious planet. Complete challenging quests while fighting odd creatures and hostile enemies encountered along the way. As players level up they can earn a pair of wings that allows them to take combat to new heights. Destroy foes in mid-air by executing damaging blows or casting powerful spells. Battle other players in a massive PvPvE showdown with dragons as the third wheel. Join alliances and raid instances with friends. Take up a crafting profession or go on a monster killing rampage. The sky is the limit in this free-to-play MMO where anything goes.

Life in Atreia, the Gameplay

Most of the gameplay involves tackling quests and monster slaying. Players start out in a rural village with stationed NPCs scattered throughout. These non-player characters delegate various tasks for heroes to complete. Quests can vary from relaying messages between NPCs to creature killing. Similar to WoW in terms of quality and theme users get to explore an enchanted world populated by mythical beings and dangerous beasts. Kill Sprigg Workers in the basin causing trouble or giant winged insects called Sparkle Hills. The detailed graphics are breathtakingly beautiful. Aion has to be one of the most visually impressive F2P MMORPGs out there. Unfortunately navigating through this scenic world isn’t as inspiring. Although there’s a built in objective tracker manually trekking through miles of lush fields can be tedious, especially for those players that are used to auto-walk features.

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Sometimes quests will require heroes to find a specific location and collect items like rare flowers, grain sacks, or fruit baskets. There’s a level cap of 55 and only 3,900 quests to complete. It may sound like plenty but most of these quests are spread relatively thin throughout the game which leaves players with nothing to do in between levels, except grind. There’s lots of grinding. From cute creatures frolicking through the meadows to hostile mammoths patrolling grasslands it’s all fair game. Heroes earn XP, coins, and random items during monster drops and for completing quests as well. To help break up the monotony of relentless grinding players can raid instances with their friends or duel other players. In order to access instances for raids a player must be level 18 or higher. Enter the Fire Temple, Draupuir Cave, Miren Chamber, or Sulfur Tree Nest to fight off hordes of monsters.

Battles in the Abyss

One of the features that stand out the most in Aion is the combat. It’s far from ordinary. Players can alternate from ground to aerial combat as early as level 10 by earning a pair of wings. Only certain zones in the world permit flying. Heroes can maintain flight for about a minute when first starting out. As their character levels up and purchases wing boosts to extend flying time they can become a terror on and above the ground. At level 25 or higher players can enter the Abyss. The majority of PvP battles take place in this area. Factions fight each other for control over their stationed fortresses. Battles in this PvPvE battleground can quickly turn into adrenaline pumping fun as players attempt to defend their nation at all costs. Randomly an NPC faction of dragons known as the Balaur will intervene causing even more chaos and bloodshed. Heroes have an arsenal of skills at their disposal during combat as well. There’s a convenient chain attack system that allows players to drag a particular skill to be executed automatically during combat in a set sequence. Double click to initiate an attack using a flame bolt and it will shoot two consecutive shots and then perform an ice chain for a damaging final blow. Skills are also instantly leveled up along with your character.

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Swords & Crafting Pets

Most of the weapons and equipment in the game can be purchased through local NPC merchant shops. Depending on hero’s level and class, weapons such as the mighty sword, deadly dagger, mace, bows, and spell book are available. Generic gear in the form of breeches, boots, tunics, shoes, leggings, gloves, hand guards, jerkin, vambrace, and shield are sold as well. Buy minor power shards to increase damage, bandages for healing, mana and life elixirs, and even extraction tools to obtain enchantment stones from other items. Despite the meager pickings in the NPC shops the customization options in Aion is great. Much like Champions Online users can make their character look any way they want. Adjust body size, face shape, shoulder width, breast size, height, weight, and determine every noticeable detail about your hero. Players can really take their time to create on original looking character.

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In the premium shop hero costumes ranging from school uniforms to sailor outfits can be purchased. Weapon skins to add a dash of color, dyes, boosts, and furry pets are available as well. Similar to Lineage 2 players can equip and command pets. There’s about a dozen or so unusual pet companions in Aion that users can adopt. They can be earned through special quests or purchased as eggs through the shop. Each critter earns their keep with a special function. Buy a buff pet like the Pointyhat Sprigg or a loot pet in the form of Teasing Jefi who picks fallen foes pockets. There are even crafting pets like the Pudgy Porgus that produces enchantment stones and manastones when properly fed. This pet can be handy since the crafting system for heroes is more of game of chance than skill.

Final Verdict: Good

Aion has a lot to offer for new and Veteran players alike. It’s not one of the top Korean MMORPGs for no reason. The graphics in this game is incredible. You’ll find yourself strolling through a grassy meadow just to take in all of the stunning scenery. Although the storyline and quests are average the aerial combat in the Abyss more than makes up for it. Rain down lightning bolts on foes and conquer unknown terrain. Fight hordes of monsters, raid instances with friends, and rumble in mid-air. Fans of titles like WoW, Lineage 2, or Faxion Online should definitely check this game out. Adopt a pet companion to escort you along your journey to greatness in this free-to-play fantasy themed MMO by NCSoft.

Videos

Aion Videos

Aion 4.0 Trailer

Aion 3.0 Trailer

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Aion CGI Trailer

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Links

Aion Links

Official Aion Website

 

System Requirements

Aion System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP (SP3) Windows XP x64 (SP2), Vista (SP2), Windows 7 (SP1)
CPU: Intel Pentium4 2.8 GHz / AMD Sempron+ 2800 (With SSE2)
RAM: 1 GB
HDD: At least 40GB
Graphics Card: NVIDIA Geforce 6800 GT/ AMD Radeon X800 XL

Recommended Specifications:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Pentium Core2 Duo 2.9 GHz / AMD AthlonII X2 2.9 GHz or higher
RAM: At least 4GB
HDD: 2 GB Free or more
Graphics Card: NVIDIA Geforce 9800 GT, AMD Radeon HD 4850 or higher

Aion Articles

  • Aion Celebrates its 5th Anniversary - Posted on September 17, 2014
    Throughout the celebration, players will experience added buffs, increased item drop rates, interaction with GMs, special armor and plenty of chances to win prizes through social media contests and giveaways.
  • Aion (EU): Update 4.5 brings the Aethertech to Europe - Posted on April 10, 2014
    Version 4.5 of multiple award winning fantasy MMO AION Free to Play launches today in all European language versions.
  • MMO Valentine’s Event Guide 2014 - Posted on February 13, 2014
    MMOs from A to Z are celebrating Valentine's this year. Check in OnRPG and MMOHut's guide for the latest V-Day events!
  • Aion 4.0 Review - Posted on October 9, 2013
    One of the most drastic alterations any MMO can make to its fundamental gameplay landscape is the addition of a new player class. With 4.0, Aion has added two: the Gunslinger and Songweaver.
  • Aion Celebrates Four Years with a Month of Festivities - Posted on September 11, 2013
    NCSOFT, the world’s premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), kicks off a month-long celebration commemorating the introduction of Aion to the West exactly four years ago this month.

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