Aion: Ascension Synopsis
Aion, or Aion: Ascension as it is alternatively referred to is a 3D free to play MMORPG published by NCSoft with a large focus on not only grinding, but also on PvP. As it is a PvP-oriented MMORPG, the game does not have as extensive a PvE community nor as large a variety of PvE activities.
Nevertheless, it remains one of the most popular PvP MMORPGs on the market, often having people reminisce about it and compare it to current gen MMORPGs.
Is Aion Worth Playing in 2017?
Today I’ll be going over, A.. I guess a more touchy subject for some of you, than we normally do; which is whether or not, Aion is still an MMORPG worth playing and investing time into it as it is currently. Now this will be of course based around my own opinion and that of people I know’s experience with Aion, and based around what’s generally said regarding Aion. The reason I am doing this video, is because, there are a large number of people interested in Aion, the premise at least, however they’re just unsure, and to be honest there’s a lot of conflicting information all around, and I hope by making this I’ll be able to shed some light regarding the good parts of Aion, the bad side, the annoying and the in-between. So you can make an informed opinion on whether or not you would like to play it, in its current state.
Aion is a hugely successful, semi open world fantasy MMORPG. It was originally released back in November of 2008, and is still popular to this day, granted its player-base and popularity has dropped since its initial launch, it’s to be expected, as Aion features, graphics and general gameplay becomes more dated as more time goes by. This is by means a negative on Aion’s part, as its natural for older MMORPGs to feel older. Aion is set in the world of Atreia, where two factions or, I guess there called races in this case are at war with each other. The races are the Asmodian’s and the Elyos. These two races being at war, is a fundamental part of Aion as a whole, besides from just from giving you the ability to PvP the other race in the open world. As Aion has at its base, or I guess its core, is a very story oriented MMORPG as its solely around the Asmodian’s and Elyos’s struggle against each other, and there struggles against enemies they both share. However that being said, the stories, while they require different things from you, as the quests will be different, area’s and regions will differ and what not, the general outcome of said story, or the special story events that take place are the same, just from the Elyos’s perspective or from the Asmodian’s perspective. general cutscenes from area’s or normal quests, will differ from Asmodian’s to Elyo’s, as they are from different NPCs and regions.
Alright so, before we get into anything serious, lets go over the the character creator, and customization you can do with it. While there are some people who play MMORPGs that don’t actually care about how there character looks, or just generally skip over customizing there character. I feel as though, there are a lot more MMO players that generally enjoy being able to create characters that are unique to them. And having a good character creator, gives you this ability. granted not all character creators a equal in depth, as a lot of MMOs have a small selection of hairstyles, faces, and no sliders. So where exactly does Aion’s character creator stand?
Well it’s still to this day, generally considered to have one of the best character creators. That’s with it up against other MMORPGs character creators like Black Desert Online (BDO) and Blade and Soul (BnS)
In Aion, not only are you given sliders to customize your characters face extensively, but you’re also given the freedom to edit your characters body, just as extensively. This means body girth, height, and general proportions, head sizes, leg length, breast, and butt sliders. Basically, any and every part of your body can in essence be edited.
Being able to edit your face and body isn’t all you can do, as there is a massive selection of hairstyles, eye patterns, face decorations, face types and tattoos. Whilst given the ability to use the Hex wheel, to color your skin/hair and eyes the color you actually want. Although there is a general limit to coloring your skin depending on whether or not you’re an Elyo’s character or an Asmodian. In prier patch there was more of a physical difference between the two races however, they have since removed said differences from the Asmodians, like there claws, and there clawed feet that protruded through there shoes. The mane is still within the game as an option that you can choose to keep if you want.
This is generally the character customization found within Aion, it’s very detailed, and if you actually take the time and put in the effort, you can truly create any character you imagine.
Combat in general, whether we’re talk MMORPGs or not, are always important, none want’s to play combat that’s stiff, or boring. However everyone has there own definition of good combat. As some people enjoy tab target combat, because they find action combat too fast paced, or find it hard to aim skills correctly. Whereas other people fined Tab target boring, plan, and generally sitff. An, in essence can’t properly get into or invested into an MMORPG, without action combat.
So then, what is Aion’s combat? It uses tab targeting. However the combat is by no means slow, at least at higher levels, if we’re talking early levels with minimum skills it can be very slow and tedious, and that’s an honest opinion. However this could be said for most early game combat in most MMORPGs.
The classes that suffer most earlier on, in regards to combat are casters, as you cannot move while casting, and the casts of your skills can be slow. Once again this is early game combat, but it’s still pertinent information as there’s no point in having fantastic later game combat, when you’ve got to sit through hours and hours of slow or stiff combat, do note I’m not saying Aions is necessarily like this. I’m just explaining, why I’m talking about early game combat.
The combat in Aion gets a lot more interesting as you progress through enough through your levels. As you’ll have so many skills to use and have so many skills chained to said skills, that you’ll have to micro manage a lot during fights, if you want to use your class correctly.
Aion’s combat can get complicated. As I pointed out, when you use skills, chained skills will pop up after you’ve successfully used the skill, sometimes with 3-4 differing chained skill options, with you being required to quick which one you want to use. And said chained skills may have another skill chained to it as well. Allowing you to consistently use skills in succession.
I will give you a basic example of what I mean, so for instance it works like this; I use skill called, Devastating blow, once I’ve used this skill, I can choose to use, “smack” “stab” or “jab” “smack” can stun my foe, “stab” is another attacking skill and “jab” is a bleed. So you see, this adds another layer to the combat, as you’ll need to plan your skills and use chains effectively.
Now for instance, after I use Devastating blow, I choose to use the follow up skill “smack” I stun my foe, and another chain skill pops up, which also has two options. “knockdown” which deals good damage and perhaps slows my foe. Or “stab” just like from the previous chain where I chose not to use it and instead chose “smack”, I can choose to use it this time and bleed my target.
I hope this sufficiently explains the intricacy of the Skill chains found within Aion. So whilst is tab target it still has a lot of depth, and is not actually that slow, as you’ll find your self spamming through your skills.
Combat becomes much more complicated in PvP as not only will you have to manage your skill chains, but also, movement, or flying as there’s Ariel combat, managing your self buffs, and what the enemy is doing, and how to counter his class, or how to combat the cooldowns he’s used. Combat and PvP in Aion is interesting and fun, even if it has a slow start.
There’s an abundance of PvE related content found within Aion, from while you’re leveling up, to max level. As you’ve got your typical quests, and story related content. With huge quest chains, that lead towards solo challenges at times, some of which can be quite frustrating at times. There’s a large selection of dungeoned content for most levels. These dungeons start at level 18, granted the first one is a solo dungeon. which is Haramel. Then we’ve got Nochsana Training Camp which is for level 25, Fire Temple, Aetherogenetics Lab, Azoturan Fortress and of course Kromede’s Trial, these are all for the 30-40 level ranges. Although in regards to Kromede’s Trial it is also a solo instance. And I could continue to name said instances or dungeons, all the way to 65, however I feel like you guys get what I’m saying. There’s a lot of instances to partake in. No dungeons aren’t the only thing to do, as there are I guess, mini-games? that you can queue for that function as similarly to dungeons, but different at the same time.
Now speaking honestly, there are dry areas of Aion’s PvE related content. As you’ll find yourself grinding monsters, and doing boring quests to make it to the levels required to enter said dungeons. And even once you are said required level, you’ll still need to form a party, as these dungeons are quite punishing. And while Aion still has a player-base, there is a drought of players in earlier areas.
I won’t sugar coat it, you could end up waiting an hour plus to enter a dungeon, because of this. Where the only thing you can do while waiting is complete tedious and boring quests and grind monsters.
Now while there is a lot of content for PvE, in essence Aion is, at its core a PvP game. With the game having full, open world PvP. Where rifts will appear allowing you to travel into the Elyo’s continents if you’re an Asmodian. – or Asmodian continents if you an Elyos. Aion at its peak would have, whenever a portal opened would open, would have tons of players poor out, creating some serious havoc. Nowadays however you’ll only find small groups of people actually coming through these portals. As there aren’t enough higher level players in said regions to warrant traveling through, and well it’s just generally easier to PvP in the abyss. The main players that still use these portals into enemy areas and generally griefers. That go around killing lower leveled players, for fun. these players are for the most part, taken care of by other higher leveled daevas that are nice enough to come help you, as I’ve found the Aion community quite friendly. However there will be times when this is not the case, and greifers are left to run rampant for hours. Which can really ruin your day. Not that I’m saying that this frequently occurring, just that it does happen from time to time.
So onto the abyss. The Abyss is a large area, designed for large scale PvP. and it still has the largest population of players inside. and is generally the “go to” place for PvP in Aion. Even today, you’ll see Daeva’s amassing in groups ready to fight the other race. In the abyss you can fly around without restrictions, discluding flight time of course, however this becomes less of an issue when you’re higher leveled as there are skills that refresh your flight time, potions and etc.
Flying while PvPing is something that’ll happen in the abyss, as there isn’t a whole lot of flat ground in there. Therefore PvPing can become a lot more difficult for close ranged characters, or even just straight up annoying.
there are a varied number of tasks to complete while you’re in the abyss that aren’t directly connected to killing the other race. However you should always be on guard whenever traveling there, as most people in the abyss don’t travel alone.
So generally PvP in Aion isn’t dead, it’s just generally localized to the abyss. However you’ll still see people fighting in earlier zones every now and again.
Endgame for Aion has a mix between PvE content and PvP, but with the main goal or focus behind said PvP and PvE content being the bettering of your gear. Now to get, better gear, is where you might say the real struggle begins, even though Aion isn’t an easy MMORPG by any means. Generally speaking Aions, leveling can be slow, but for most people, getting to level 65 is still a fun experience. However after 65 this is where a lot of complains come from. As at this point you’re left to farm coins that can be used to purchase gear, farm the same instances over and over to gather more EXP, or generally fighting against much more geared players then yourself and getting your ass beat.
In Aion you will find a lot of people struggling to make it through past 65+ as the required EXP in order to level up is quite high, and the general difficulty is increased. Now I’m not saying all of Aion’s endgame is horrible, I’m merely pointing out how it is. Some people enjoy the grind, some people like to work hard, and enjoy having something to work towards each day. But at the same time, people don’t like to spend hours repeating the things they did yesterday.
All in all Aion’s endgame can be repetitive, and frustrating. But it’s also rewarding, depending on whom you ask. Now before I end the discussion of end game content, I will bring to light that there’s the common argument Aion, at endgame is P2W. And to answer this It’s more like Pay to go faster. Even if you spend money, it’ll only speed things up, it won’t actually get you to the location instantly.
Ping and Optimization
Aion, while not being graphically intense for nowadays standards, has poor a rather poor performance. Not in regards to Ping per say, as I personally don’t have much of an issue with Ping in Aion. However it’s the optimization that is an issue, while visiting area’s with a large number of players, of even just roaming around, you’ll encounter major FPS drops. Now this makes traveling around the cities a nightmare, even for myself, who has a strong computer. Imagine someone who has a potato PC trying to traverse the city.
Now while the FPS issue doesn’t play up much while running around in the world, it still plays up. The major problem regarding it is in larger scaled PvP, where you’ll need to have quick reflex’s and not have your screen constantly freezing up do to the FPS dropping.
So while generally it’s not much of a problem, there are times when it can be very annoying. And is definitely something that should have been fixed by now.
Is Aion Worth Playing in 2017?
So now is where I’ll be giving me genuine opinion regarding whether Aion is still worth playing in 2017. Or whether it’s worth it for a new player to invest time into it. If you’re looking for a long term MMORPG, that is challenging, and grindy at times, with a fun combat system especially for tab targeting, with a medium player-base of mostly friendly players. Then yes, Aion is for you.
Aion isn’t a casual MMORPG. If you wan’t to achieve something in Aion it takes effort, that goes for leveling as it can be slow at times, and this also goes for gearing, and perfecting you chosen class.
So if you’re looking for an MMORPG that you spend a little bit of time into, you won’t progress far in Aion. But if you want something to truly sink your time into, Aion is definitely the MMORPG for you. The game is large, and is filled with lore, and story, whilst having a good PvP element. Although you may feel overwhelmed after reaching end game, but each person experiences games differently and therefore, what others may find grindy, you may find as rewarding.
Aion isn’t an MMORPG for everyone, but it is still definitely worth being tried in 2017.
Aion Minimum System Requirements
Operation System: Windows XP (SP3) / Windows XP x64 (SP2)
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz / AMD Sempron+ 2800 (With SSE2)
Video Card: nVidia GeForce 6800 GT / AMD Radeon X800 XL
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 40 GB
Aion Recommended System Requirements
Operation System: Windows 7
CPU: Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo 2.9 GHz / AMD Athlon II x2 2.9 GHz or better
Video Card: nVidia GeForce 9800 GT / AMD Radeon HD 4850 or better
RAM: 4 GB or more
Hard Disk Space: 40 GB or more