Saturday, October 10, 2009


Aion DVD Game Cover

After a lengthy gestation, also comes from us one of the online role-playing games the most anticipated of the year. The story begins ten months ago in Korea, where Aion makes its official debut, then arrived in China, a western version is spoken from the start, but developers prefer to go cautious because the tastes of players in Europe and Americans are different from those of the East, especially in the field of MMORPGs. In summer we can finally appreciate the fruits of work thanks to NCSoft Closed Beta, made accessible to those who had pre-ordered: the servers open selected weekends in July and August, the western gamers can finally get a first so idea of the title, an initiative which follows a week of Open Beta asters. And though not very publicized, Aion is in a short time in the spotlight: the beta of the game is in fact being the most stable and comprehensive ever to launch an MMORPG. Expectations rise as well as pre-order, which - it's news these days - have reached the remarkable figure of four hundred thousand. And although the official date is set at 25 September, pre-orders it could take advantage of a pre-release of 20 September that was reported immediately to a dramatic influx of players, who have created code kilometers to play on some servers. Success announced?

Black and white wings

The storyline behind the game is about a god, Aion, who creates the world of Atreia with its inhabitants. The divinity - who watches over his creation from a building that towers above all, the Tower of Eternity - on Atreia want peace and harmony prevail, and thus creates a superior race, the Balaur, which has a mandate to keep watch over the others, including that of humans. I Balaur though, drunk with their own power, they end up rebelling and bring death and destruction on the planet: that is why Aion gives some people special powers and a nice pair of wings, turning them into Daeva and entrusting them with the task to defend the Tower of Eternity, the last bastion of salvation for the human race. The consequence is a terrible war that lasted for centuries, culminating in the destruction of the tower, which occurred as a result of an event is unclear: it tells of a betrayal by Balaur or even inside the same faction of men, but nothing is certain if Not that the consequences are fatal for the world of Atreia, which is literally split in two.
At the bottom of it, fertile and luminous, flees the faction of humans known as the Elyos, while the upper part, dark and wild, trapped the Asmodian. Separate each other for centuries and were unaware of the presence, once rincontratesi the two sides revived dormant grudges and never give birth to a fratricidal war, accusing each other of the ancient betrayal that led to the downfall of Atreia. The battlefield is the favorite Abyss, an area devastated that floats in the center of what remains of the planet, which survived even the last survivors of Balaur, determined to win the age-old conflict by taking advantage of divisions in the enemy camp.

Creative freedom

What has just been told is the background of the world of Aion, with which developers justify the presence of the two factions of angels in eternal struggle between them, where Balaur third force is not controllable by users, act as a destabilizing element.
So forget the variegated fauna seen in games like World of Warcraft, in which humans lived together, elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, trolls, tauren, undead and goblins; in Aion can play only the two variants of a single race ( Elyos are humans with the white wings, the Asmodian have black wings, claws and more feral movements) and therefore the editor inevitably to play a major role in the economy of the product. What Aion is really amazing, one of the best ever seen in an MMORPG, and more. Thanks to it is really possible to have fun in creating your character, being able to intervene on every detail of the face and body. With a little patience, you can then give rise to humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, giants, and any kind of humanoid creature you want, the versatility is such that many players have generously dispensed in reproducing the likeness of celebrities (the late Michael Jackson, Rambo, Obama ...) with very surprising results at times. Of course the end what stands out most in-game are height and girth, while the details of the faces you need to zoom in, but the feeling of actually being in front of so many different characters is strong. And 'the case to say that the only limit lies in the imagination of the player, for better and for worse (it happens sometimes run into horrific monsters, the scale is completely wrongheaded, which ruin the atmosphere in part of the game). A clarification: When you choose a faction on that server will not be able to create characters of the opposing faction, for obvious reasons ...
The customization does not end however, after you create the character: in-game you can speak and even change the appearance of sex (but these are options not yet activated, which probably will be charged). Moreover, the programmers have done more, not only via special dye will be possible to vary the color of their clothing, but it will also transfer the characteristics of a piece from one object to another. In practice, the player will no longer be forced to change equipment every time a piece is more powerful, because it wanted the characteristics of the latter can transfer the team that he likes best: in this way each player will wear the character as he pleases, creating your personal style.

No fly zone

Aion characteristic is the presence of wings, which gives an unprecedented depth to the game scenarios, which can then be run on earth and in heaven, not to mention the battles against other human players, in which the air component plays a innovative and engaging. However it is this characteristic element denotes some obvious limitations. First, the wings are a time to be evoked and disappear after a certain period, which for the first few levels amounted to just a minute. If the strategic importance of this choice stands out in the early stages of PVP (player vs. player conflict, ed), there could be no stage for PVE (player vs. AI, ed), in which the exploration and collection of resources must be continually interrupted to "recharge" the bar of flight, resulting in lengthening of the time. Another questionable choice is one that limits the ability to fly zones rigidly predetermined: this happens very often within the same area of game you are suddenly faced with invisible barriers that prevent them from continuing in flight, forcing the player to land and have it on foot. Even in the same capitals of the two factions is not allowed to fly, forcing players to exhausting race from one end of them. The limit is justified in terms of background (background to the story, note), as Daeva need to fly in the air that this is a known Aerys, abundant in areas PVP, PVE present in those little, if nothing else remains possible groped to evoke the long wings to glide to ground level as possible by jumping off high points. However, we would have preferred that even at levels PVE were structured to take advantage of this interesting feature.


Once you've created your character and choosing a class of departure between these four (Warrior, Scout, Priest and Mage), we are finally ready to dive into the world of Aion, that for the first nine levels, the player takes his hand through an extended tutorial and introduces the main aspects of the game. Reached the tenth level, you become a Daeva and finally you get the wings, choosing a specialty: there are two for each class, which leads to a final eight the number to choose from. The classes are modeled as already seen in most of the previous MMORPG: you can choose classes from offensive or defensive capabilities, which affects melee or distance, or who use offensive magic, healing or support. The differences between the two factions, aesthetics aside, is non-existent: the progression of play is very similar the classes and to practice the same, but the level cap (maximum level reached, NDR) when standing at 50.
Already now you can customize the team through the inclusion of Manastone, who donate upgrades in certain skills: however things start to get really interesting to advanced levels when they come into play and Stigma Godstones. These artifacts, respectively, allow to acquire new abilities to the characters and give power to their weapons, of course we talk about quite valuable items that require time and effort (or just a lot of money) to be acquired, especially those more powerful. There are also titles for your character that is usually acquired by completing quests: those honors, in addition to beautifying our name, it also adds several bonus statistics, thus making the acquisition attractive to them.
The gameplay will be instantly familiar to fans of MMORPGs: you are moving in a world no instances when interacting with NPCs (non-playable characters, NDR) that provides this repeatedly, most of them of the "tot kill creatures, collect tot objects. This is a classic quest system that allows players to level by completing various tasks: most of these missions are very simple to complete, partly because appropriate markers on the map allow you to easily find the buyer, the place where to put them in place and to whom delivered. There are however some exceptions where the player has requested an increased focus on reading the text to understand how to act, the majority of positions are svolgibili solo, but sometimes requires the composition of a party, given the difficulties.
Aion provides three types of missions: Campaign, Quest and Work Order. The third type consists of tasks closely related to the profession, and to speak soon. Campaign missions are mandatory and are the backbone upon which the game allow you to fully understand the plot and in particular focus on the development of our character that we see often the protagonist of animated scenes, for the benefit of the involvement of the player. Such missions, for example, already have been with us through the first ten levels, led first to discover something about our past, then to earn the title of Daeva and consequently the wings, a short but beautiful sequence where we come from acclaimed our peers (Elyos side) or regarded with envy and suspicion (side Asmodian).
The fighting is not proposing anything really new: you select powers and abilities dall'apposita bar by clicking on it and the character will execute the corresponding action. Interesting is thus the possibility of creating a chain, that is, concatenate a series of attacks for more destructive sequence, using skills not available in the first instance. The chains are customizable by the player, who must guess the best sequence according to the opponent is facing.
The management of death in Aion is unique: first, always involves a death penalty to experience points, which can be retrieved only by paying handsomely. When you die you return to life at points of rebirth previously established, which means that if you die while you are very familiar with the execution of a task should be to start all over again. However, there are exceptions: Cleric and Chanter can resurrect on the spot, as well as special artifacts you back to life in the same spot where one has fallen ...

Interface and geography

The interface of game is absolutely classic for the genre of product. A screen we have a variable number of bars on which to place freely powers and actions that we can use, there are of course the minimap, bars devoted to health, magic points, points the divine (which activate special powers) and experience, in addition to the classic space dedicated to chat, customizable to your liking. Worthy of note is good that NCSoft has provided a specific channel dedicated to European languages not officially adopted in Aion: The server will have it as an official language only English, French or German. To prevent the general chat is blocked by many different languages, every other language (including Italian) can be spoken freely in the channel specially dedicated: the option of course makes it much easier to also find on-line players in their own country (the Italian comunity seems to have chosen as their official server Telemachus, but also on attendance and Ferento Gorgos).
Bar is also a double clock showing the time "real" and that in-game, which then departs from it and runs much more quickly.
As for the PVE player is guided by a system of design areas that guides him through a fairly linear sequence of regions, each of which slightly more difficult because of the danger of a mob. The final impression is of a world quite small, especially for those who have had the opportunity to play titles like World of Warcraft, where until now there was a lot more freedom of action and were a great many more regions to explore: on the fact that Each race had its own zones of influence, while in Aion as there one race from this point of view is penalized. For PVP however is a whole area dedicated to it access, called Abyss, which occur in fights or assaults on the forts, it is still an element PVP also in the classic exploration of the environments, because at some point this becomes possible in areas accessible to both factions, with predictable consequences. There are also even the usual istance (portions separated by the persistent world game, NDR), to be addressed in a group.

Economics and Commerce

The first impact with the game is unsettling: the world of Aion is plagued by a monstrous inflation increases dramatically the price of everything, or at least that's the initial impression. The local currency is the Kinah, represented with the classic gold, but what really astonishes is the amount of money that is immediately required for any thing because in Aion, it is good to put it clear, you pay for everything from transport to jobs, everything has its price. From the earliest levels is a simple step to move quickly from one location to another costs hundreds of Kinah, as well as a potion of healing or learning new skills. And soon you go to three or four digits to zeros, as if nothing had happened. We must get used to it, certainly, but Aion is a game where there should never lightly spend hard-earned money.
For those in a role playing game online is not only interested in the fighting and leveling, Aion presents an interesting system of professions is not an end in itself. The game offers six different occupations: Armorsmithing (creation of heavy armor), Tailoring (clothes and light armor), Waeponsmithing (melee weapons), Handcrafting (strings, sticks and other memorabilia), Alchemy (potions) and Cooking (food and drink providing various benefits). Every profession needs to be learned by paying a special instructor, and then practiced in order to increase their skills and be able to create more powerful items. To be charged you must first gather the necessary resources, then practice, perhaps taking advantage of these denominators Work Order: This is true Trust Boards by the holder of the relevant trade and to be performed directly on the workbench place in the same structure.
To bring about the creation of objects and components, you must also possess the advanced recipes (recipes, NDR), which make the character learn the production process of new objects: you can either obtain them from sellers who drop by or rewards from quests. Part of the raw materials for the professions should be collected in the field, using two skill Vitality Extraction (which allows you to collect any resources on the ground) and Aether Extraction (which allows you to collect the Aether floating in the sky): the more resources you collect, our character becomes more skilled and can get better, although of course every step further provides for the payment of a toll.
Time and money permitting (because it takes many of both to move forward) the player can also take all the jobs here, even if in the end only two will be brought to the highest level. Craft (forge items in the game, ed) also guarantees a minimum of experience, and allows you to create objects of absolute value, to use for your character or for sale to other players to get into some of the investments.
To report positive that most of the objects can be created by the player is really useful: Progress in the levels of crafting as you become experienced in the game can be maintained equipment is still competitive, rarely outweighed by the drop or random quest rewards, and this applies particularly to the craft "critical".
The common system is the crafting of objects to the collection and that of "two bars" means indicating the index of success, the other that of failure. The first that comes to completion determines the outcome of the operation. In reality, the Success comes almost always the player, while the chances of failure are variable increasingly remote as the operation becomes familiar. Sometimes you randomly generate the "critical success" that make the resource collection or created good is superior to preventiavato.
The game features a filing system for objects, as well as two possibilities of commerce. The deposit is a kind of bank where you can file the objects that you intend to keep, and then retrieve them at any moment, the few available slots to the top can be extended by paying several times, but the cost is very salty. The same goes for the backpack that came with your player: any extension of that, the price rises so exorbitant.
To sell their properties exist Trade Broker from whom you wish to deposit the goods sold, after the fixed price. Similarly those who need a particular resource - be it a weapon, armor or reactive - can find what they need, navigating through the various offers. For the more adventurous you can also open your stand anywhere in the world of Aion: The character will sit on a stool, attracting buyers thanks to a comic customizable by the player. Although not new, the idea is nice, even if to have a serious chance of success should be sought to place themselves at strategic points: Unfortunately, to keep open its booth must remain on-line in the game, that is standing still properties like salami , waiting for customers unable to do anything else.

Warring factions

Another feature of Aion is to focus much on the item rather than on the PVP PVE, although with some contradictions. As well as the background does guess, you are faced with a product where the realm vs realm (Realm vs. Realm combat, NDR) plays a decisive role: Elyos Asmodian and are in perpetual war with each other, while the faction Balaur ago by third inconvenience.
The first taste of PVP occurs through the Rift, portals that appear randomly in your realm of belonging: crossings is catapulted into regions belonging to the opposite faction. Curiously, however, the game penalizes substantially the "invaders" who, for example attacking players receive penalty if the opposite of the realm, to even be visible on the map averse, thus making it easy prey. Less than Raid (groups of players very numerous, ed) organized through the portals is therefore very dangerous.
But the real area Member of PPA and the aforementioned Abyss, a realm made up of three huge floating islands, where it plays a merciless war between three factions involved. Theoretically, the main goal in the abyss is to conquer the forts therein postal services, initially in the hands of Balaur. The achievement and maintenance of a fortress and unlock bonus istance otherwise precluded, but it requires the cooperation of many people, so it is restricted mainly to large guilds operation, which takes the reputation of Aion Legions. In the shoes of the besiegers and the besieged, the game promises great battles. Alternatively, nothing prevents you from turning into small well-organized groups in search of the enemy faction, for the simple pleasure of destroying them.
Every action done in this area leads to the award of Abyss Point, with whom they can acquire items and equipment specifically designed for PvP and not obtainable by other means.


Finally, it remains to address the technical aspect.
Aion immediately impressed the western gamers for the stability of its graphics engine, dell'engine reworking of the first Far Cry, able to run everything even on relatively powerful. The attention has been paid more surely to the characters, whose level of detail is truly impressive armor and clothes are high quality, rich in detail, and Effective appear "worn" and not glued on as is usual. Movements and gestures have been very well maintained: for every action there is a unique gestures and plenty of special effects that accompany the firing of spells or special attacks. And do not forget the aforementioned cut-scenes that they see as protagonist, the character created by the player and contribute strongly to the involvement of the same: Shame about the lack of expressiveness of the various protagonists.
Although the game world has a particularly inspired design, with colors watercolor and dreamy atmospheres that are perfectly suited to the kind of ambiance, which plays the absurdity of a world split in half. Each zone is varied and detaches from the previous, making it a real feast for the eyes exploration, thanks to a special care placed into the details that characterize each of them. Graphically NCSoft programmers have found an acceptable compromise between a very good yield and the need to ease the burden on resources: on closer examination we find two-dimensional trees, no grass and texture of low definition, concentrated in areas that are not navigable, which in whole does not undermine the good overall yield.
The music accompanying pleasantly exploration, while the cries of the various characters could come soon in trouble for some, but fortunately are disabled. Instead the sound priceless implication that each location offers: anyone with a sound system at will, which is surrounded by nature to explore, with the wind blowing through the leaves, water running or diving quiet rumbling by the waterfall, the rain, the lines of animals.
Infinee different weather events are expected and the transition between night and day, sometimes directly affects the performance of the quest.
Do not neglect the speech server during the beta they have proved very reliable, without encountering problems of stability and lag. We must say that things have changed in part with the pre-release on 20 September due to the enormous - and perhaps unexpected - influx of players has seen long queues to enter (a vole were touched on the four-hour wait) and the phenomenon is even worse at the same time the official launch, the 25th of that month. In part it is also due to a specific strategic decision to NCSoft, which decided to open only twelve servers for the European release, among other things by intervening in the balance of factions. The consequence is that when a server occurs an imbalance of one faction over another, the membership of the first will be suspended until the balance of the situation. This has caused discontent among many people who have not been able to choose the faction or the server you want, but this is a temporary situation intended to lead, or so we hope.
La longevità come sempre in questo genere di prodotto è molto alta ed anche al raggiungimento del level cap le cose da fare paiono assai numerose.
Finally, we remember this is a game to pay: those who buy Aion is entitled to one month of play, after which will pay a periodic fee in line with other goods.


Review a MMORPG at launch is not easy, despite the various beta and early start, which allowed us to prove the title deep enough. The reason is obvious: there are still a game to last hundreds of hours, the value of which must therefore also evaluated for its ability to capture the players for so long and keeping them captivated even once you reach the cap, that is say the maximum level. Aion looks very promising from this point, with mechanical Realm vs. Realm very interesting and competitive, but we have not yet been able to objectively prove. That said we can not recognize in all respects as Aion presents itself as an excellent title, with a good graphics engine, a design inspired gameplay run-in and convincing, even exciting and potentially valuable in the long term. From our evidence discloses no negative elements and is therefore almost impossible not to recommend it, both to fans of the genre (but not those that seek innovations shocking) that novices who come for the first time. And even for those who have difficulty with the English language comes to help a large Italian community and well-organized. The public response so far has been very warm and the servers are clogged by thousands of online players, resulting in long queues for admission, which is currently the only real problem NCSoft title. Ultimately Aion is a great MMORPG and apparently a worthy alternative to WoW, yet another jewel in an autumn truly unique for the fans of the genre, which can then choose and Aion Champions Online, whose review will come soon on our website.

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