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Aion (PC)
Edition: Standard Edition|Change
Price:£13.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 29 September 2009
Update as of 16th January 2010:
Well the original review still stands except that due to the mass exodus of players from the game, the queues are history. Now what is killing players enthusiasm is the endless grinding required after level 30. Add to that the developer's inability and intransigence towards gold sellers and bots and you have a pretty poor offering overall.

Major problems now are:

1. Lack of levelling content - especially for level 30+, exacerbated by the exponential increase in require XP to reach higher levels
2. Poor combat mechanics specifically mob & kill stealing
3. Crafting is almost a real time activity and wastes hours trying to proc that elusive blue bit of gear
4. Gold sellers & Bots - NCSoft appear to condone their operations by not acting to prevent them. Players using BOT programs are commonplace and reporting them to NCSoft has no effect whatsoever
5. Lack of Game Support from the Devs
6. PvP is seriously broken in the abyss since lower levels are contantly ganked by cruising higher levels just out to wreck others gameplay.
7. The appalling attitude of some of the players in the game, many of whom appear to be from Continental Europe but some of the worst being from our very own shores.

I know of whole legions who have been reduced to single figure memberships in the last 6 weeks due to players quitting and cancelling accounts and not even playing out their remaining paid for game time.

I too have now quit and I really tried to like the game. Having played 5 different classes all up to lvl 25 (two of which are levelled beyond lvl 35) I can say hand on heart, this is not the game for me since the same problems occur in every class once you need to get into the Abyss to make up the vast vacuum of XP from the lack of non Abyss quests.

A shame for a game that promised so much but failed to transition form a Korean Style MMO to one more suited to the European market

Original review below:

I purchased this game and played the betas and had the Headstart as part of my pre purchase bonus. I found the betas to be interesting but the gamplay linear in terms of plot lines and therefore story progression and gameplay very derivative i.e. the same principles as other already successful MMORPGs.

Pre-select and Headstart were disasterous on many levels... servers crashing then getiing filled to capacity leaving no room to create the race of your choice on your chosen server. This immediately caused problems for Legions that were hoping to start up and had already recruited members off line away from the game.

Headstart issues continued with stupidly long game access times due to poor Developer server management. These resulted in queues to enter the game often in excess of 90 mins. Developer support was patchy at most absent at best.....

along comes the day that the game went completely live and once again we now all find ourselves with queues to play the game, often in excess of 2 hours and nothing in the way of a solution from the developers other than to suggest we reroll a new chr and level again on a newer and therefore quieter server. Oh and there is no means of migrating chrs at this stage from one server to another. So in effect this is no solution.

And that is the current state of play as i write this having queued for 3hrs and 26 mins finally achieving game access at 2255hrs.

To cut to the chase:

1. Aion looks pretty, but some of the textures are very poorly rendered even on highest graphical quality.
2. Chr animations are eclectic. For instance running the animation is quite bizarre, but in combat a lot of attention to detail has been paid to making the moves stylistic and visually stunning.
3. Gameplay is repetitive in style and after levelling to 21 I find myself tiring of killig x numbers of beast y, or collecting x amount of plant y and so on.
4. Kill stealing and Quest Mob killing/Quest Item looting is a real issue. There appears to be a situation whereby if another player causes more damage to a mob you have already engaged in combat, the kill is awarded to them. This is very frustrating, exacerbated by the apparently huge number of bad mannered, arrogant and damnright rude players that appear to have adopted Aion.
5. Wait times and Disconnects are issues that will kill the game. Forums are alive with players stating they are quitting or unlikely to renew after the end of their initial subscription period.
6. Poor support from the developers is causing real resentment in the community and again comments made in foums could kill the game in a simialr fashion to some of the other recently failed MMORPGs.

Would I recommend this game? Not at the moment...
Will I still be playing it in a years time? Unlikely....
Will the developers provide a solution to the current issues anytime soon? I personally don't think they are able to....
77 Comments| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 September 2009
Be aware, all servers for this game are full, with queues several hours long. NCSoft have failed to provide sufficient servers for players who have bought this game. Avoid at all costs!
99 Comments| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 August 2009
Although I only played up to level 10, I can tell you now that this game was fantastic, and this review is coming from a die hard WoW fan for a long time. I decided to give Aion a shot, even though by looking at it I would have instantly associated it with Lineage II which did not appeal to me, but because WoW had grown boring over the past few years and I wanted to try something new.

You start off being able to choose Elyos or Asmodian (Alliance or Horde) and then there are 4 classes which at level 10 then change into sub classes such as ranger or assassin (hunter or rogue) I decided to roll a Scout which would then later allow me to become an Assassin.

My first impressions were that Aion is a very pretty game, not beautiful, just pretty. Also it seemed that Aion brought nothing new to the MMO table, as I progressed through the 10 levels, mostly by questing. The quests are all very much the same, kill 10 of this, kill 10 of that. There really is nothing new here which was slightly disappointing but still enjoyable and very addictive.

Although Aion boasts that gear is fully customizable, you can spot any of the 4 different starter classes a mile off because everybody looks the same. Levels 1-10 took me around 8-10 hours to do and I must have only received 30 pieces of armour/weapons from quests and mobs, the majority being useless. I didn't replace my starter chest piece until level 9 and I still had no gloves at level 10! Aion does promise there will be more different gear in the upcoming 1.5 patch, so we shall see.

When reaching level 10 it allows you to choose whether you want to be a Ranger or an Assassin if you are a Scout. I found that when I chose Assassin my damage increased ridiculously, it felt like I'd been dragging myself through the last 10 levels just because the makers didn't want to copy World of Warcraft. Flying at level 10 is interesting, you start off with only being able to fly around for a minute, the controls are slightly irritating at first but you get used to them. Again, this feels like another way of doing something that World of Warcraft does with mounts but in a different and less effective way.

An issue that I picked up on is that all 4 starter classes on Elyos begin in the same area, and obviously all 4 starter classes on Asmodian start in another area. But still, when this game is officially launched it will be absolute mayhem and is likely to be an unpleasant gaming experience.

If your PC struggles to run World of Warcraft on maximum settings then you will be playing Aion on very low settings and will only be able to see a few meters ahead of your player at any one point, which to be honest, sucks. Another downside is that Aion isn't available for Macs but is confirmed to work with Boot Camp! Personally I think the minimum system settings that NC Soft provide were pulled out of a hat because computers with much lower specs will be able to play this, although obviously not take full advantage of the graphics unlike a computer with high end specs.

Although I have just touched the surface of Aion and mostly picked up on seemingly bad points. This game to me seems like a temporary replacement for World of Warcraft, it has all the same traits that make it a fantastic, enjoyable and addictive game but it just seems like certain simple things are missing for the sake of not copying WoW. I will definitely be playing this game to fill my spare time!
55 Comments| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 September 2009
The servers are overloaded, they were overloaded with the early start. So now they are even more overloaded. You can log on in the morning before work, but have no chance in the evenings. NCSoft have a queuing system with a cap of aprox 2000 to get onto a server, at the moment the queues are full. If you manage to get in the queue you're looking at a 2-3hr wait, it will log you out if you afk and miss your slot. They will be adding 2 new servers over the weekend but I don't see this alleviating the problems they have at the moment.

Game wise playability I personally find it a bit dull, it's pretty simplistic compared to some MMO's. My 6 year old can play it with no problems. PVP adds something, and I imagine if you can get on long enough to level a character that's what you'll be doing. If you like PVP you'll enjoy this over Warhammer Age of Reckoning, but if you like PVE I'd recommend Everquest 2. As you can probably tell the PVP bug hasn't bit me on this title and I'm not overly enthused about the other content....especially after having to wait around to just get on it.
66 Comments| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 September 2009
Queue times are a serious issue here. The main point of a MMRPG is being able to log on and play the game. This is not possible as queue times vary from 3 to 6 hours just to be able to get into the server. This is at peak times but if you can play at arount 12.00 midnight till about 8.00 am you may get to find out what it's like. Another sad and quite embarrasing error on NC Softs part is that they cannot post on their own forums and so all the current playerbase are left in the dark about how/when or even IF this huge problem is going to be fixed.

Things may be fixed in the future but by then the damage will already be done, if it hasn't already.

If you are thinking of buying this, please consider the above points from a soon-to-be-ex customer.
66 Comments| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 January 2016
Much appreciated, thanks!
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on 18 February 2015
Like most good MMOs, this game ruins lives. :)
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on 21 October 2009
Reading all the reviews for Aion, has made me want to write one myself, and defend Aion's case.

I don't think any of the reviews are fair what so ever, as they all seemingly appear to be based on the pre-release version of Aion, or very early into the release at best.

I just started playing Aion about 2 weeks ago, and I have to say that every minute I have spent on it I have been nothing but amazed.
I don't like how people in some reviews have been heavily slating the fact that Aion has had a few teething problems within the pre-release versions, and around release. I think these are extremely unfair comments to make, as everybody that plays MMOs know, every MMO is going to have hickups at the start; and according to everyone I've spoke to that has played WoW from the beginning, WoW to had problems. And besides, what do you expect within a PRE-RELEASE/BETA product? It's not going to be perfect is it? and anyone that signs up to them shouldn't be stupid enough to expect it to be perfect. The other complaint I keep hearing is the server queue times. Fair enough, I can see why it would be annoying. But again, what do you expect? It's a highly anticipated MMO.... M M O!! The first "M" meaning MASSIVELY. This means A LOT of players. Most mmo developers can't even anticipate how many people are going to be signing up on day 1. All they can go by is the pre-orders and the players on pre-release (which is probably one of the reasons they even do a pre-release). Imagine if they didn't have that! You will never know how many people are going to buy the game on day of release, and server queue times could have been up to around 10 hours! Sure, they might have seemed slow in fixing the problem. But you can't expect them to have more servers set up and ready to go within 5 minutes can you?

Well after my little rant, all I can now say is that besides the odd bugged quests in the early part of the game (which actually work on a different channel), pretty much all the problems brought up in the other reviews, have been fixed. I have had nothing but pure fun and enjoyment from Aion.
The only thing which may make this review irrelevant to a lot of you, is that I haven't played WoW (not properly, at least). I've played it for a week or so on a trial, and watched a lot of friends play it. So i can't start comparing the two games (which might actually be refreshing to some people).

I have however, been a hooked Final Fantasy XI ONLINE player, and a Phantasy Star Online player. So I do know what an MMO is and how it should play. And I can say that for me, Aion has hit it right on the mark. It still has those typical MMO quests of "collect 10 of these, kill 15 of them, and come back to me for a present" throughout the game, but they are nonetheless new and challenging. And regardless of whether you have been playing WoW for the past 3 years or whatever, it's a new world, with new characters, and new abilities, so you are still going to experience that "new" feeling and the accomplishment. But then, when you hit level 20, you're shot into the world where your allies and the enemy can meet at any time through the Rift system. You could be getting on with a quest quietly, when all of a sudden a portal (rift) will open up just in front of you, and 20 of your PvP enemies will come running at you full force. Nothing is more exhilarating than announcing where these enemies have appeared on the chat system, and having an army appear to resurrect you and chase down these unwanted guests that have entered your world.

I'm in work at the moment so i'm going to end my review there before I get caught :P Which also means i wont be reading over and correcting errors. So I apologize for that.
But there is so much more that I have missed out and would love to write about this game. I'm sure IGN or some other review site can fill you in on the massive gameplay features that I don't have time to write about.

So in short, any problems that were around at the start (queue times, gold spammers, etc etc) have all been sorted and fixed. And the game itself, well in my opinion, it deserves a great 10/10. I'm absolutely loving it. So buy it, and make a decision for yourself :)

33 Comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 October 2009
I played the open beta, then headstart and now retail, but I'm not renewing my subs after the first inclusive month. The reason is that I've discovered what a huge grind fest and time sink this game represents. The early levels are great fun but like so many recent MMOs these seem aimed more at creating a good first impression for reviewers and new players, rather than setting a standard for what's to come. Once you hit level 30 (the cap is 50) you hit a huge wall, the levelling curve climbs like a mountain and the game becomes one big grind. All aspects of the game have a huge time and money sink requirement. At higher levels even dying once will set you back many hours of progress. Quest xps form only a tiny part of your progress. Even when this is addressed in a future patch players will still need to grind through vast numbers of mobs to level. You cannot level via PvP, the xp gains from PvP kills are tiny.

All MMOs are about grinding of course, it's a feature of the genre. But in a good MMO you're often not aware you're grinding because you're having fun. A good MMO eats up the hours in a day because you can't get enough of it. Aion eats up the hours, period. It feels like a job. Part of the problem is that there's little variety in gameplay while you're levelling, so you become acutely aware of the grind.

The positives:

* The game is pretty polished and largely free of any show stopping bugs, at least in PVE as I hear that crashes in mass PvP are common.
* All the classes are fun to play and level, though some have an easier time than others (as usual in MMOs, ranged dps seems to have the upper hand).
* The character generator has a lot of scope for making some interesting looking characters (though sadly most players end up making pretty generic looking toons).
* Flight and aerial combat is handled in an interesting way. Unfortunately the classes are not balanced for aerial combat (yet again ranged dps has a significant advantage)
* Mobs are very agressive. Some may see this as a negative, but it does at least give you a sense of achievement if you survive one of the many bad
situations the game will throw at you.

The negatives:

* No originality of content. The design is a patchwork of ideas 'borrowed' from other MMOs and literary mythology. Storylines are generally dull and
derivative and there's a distinct lack of humour (the legendary Tutty being one of the few exceptions).
* Repetitive grindy gameplay. Mob AI is dull and the quests are the usual 'kill 100 beetles' or run all over the map gathering type. We've seen it all
before and Aion doesn't even attempt to innovate.
* There's no incentives for grouping, in fact you will make more progress solo. Content aimed at groups is pretty limited in scope and choice. This is unforgiveable in a MMO.
* There's too few mechanisms and incentives for building a community. In fact some aspects positively disrupt community, for example my legion (guild) has had to split into three because there's a 90 character limit on membership.
* PVP comes in two flavours, ganking and being ganked. Before the endgame there are no opportunities for sandboxed PvP (such as battlegrounds or RvR lakes)
so getting a fair fight is usually impossible. For a game which claims PvP is a focus this is a real let down.
* The game is totally infested with bots and gold spammers. They are already destroying the community and economy and NCsoft aren't clamping down strong
enough. There are many blatant bots with obvious names who have reached high levels and are farming 24/7 yet no action is taken against them despite
repeated reports.
* The crafting system is a total lottery with success based on pure luck rather than skill.
* The game zones are generally quite dull, very linear and formulaic, there's no eyepopping scenery that makes you feel you really want to explore.
* Only two sides makes for rather boring PvP (though since both sides have exactly the same classes at least there's no factional balance issues).
* Customer support is very poor. You can only contact support during normal office hours, which means there is no support during evening primetime. This
just isn't acceptable in a game with a monthly subscription.

Aion is an old school grinder of a MMO. The developers seem to have failed to recognise that the genre has moved on and I'm not sure who they are hoping to
appeal to. Old school MMO players have seen it all before and probably don't want to go through another major grind in a game again (I know I don't). Newer
MMO players who probably only have WoW as a benchmark will run screaming at the very prospect of it.
33 Comments| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 October 2014
Good price
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