14 Dec 2017

Rich facial customization is key to Aion’s appeal

In a game like World of Warcraft, the typical pattern is the same: you create a character, customize the race, class, physical attributes, basic gear and then it’s off to hours of grinding mobs in lowbie zones until you can get upgraded gear that affects not just how your avatar performs, but also how it looks to the rest of the world.  I can’t deny that that games like WoW have tremendous amount of item customization. But I think it lacks one key customization ingredient that would allow us to truly “bond” with our avatar:  the face. Lets face it (no pun intended), our God given mug is the most important thing to us.  Look at any group picture that you are in. What is the first thing that you do? You look for yourself. (Its the same with our names: pick up a new pen, chances are that the first thing you script to test it is your name)

It’s okay to admit it. We are all guilty of such shallowness, albeit some more than others. The collection of BMWs and Porches in any plastic surgeon’s garage banks on this very human trait. So if we are so in love with ourselves, then it only makes sense that it should be a feature that more game developers would put more time and thought into.

I hate to keep referring back to WoW, but I must since it is the leader of the pack. I have always hated how you were never given more than a couple of facial structures when creating your character. There over 7 billion humans on earth, and excluding the small number of identical twins, the rest of the population of the world all look different. So why is it that every person in Azeroth has to look like they came out of the Kamino cloning station ?

It can be argued that one of the main reasons why people love MMORPG based games is because it allows you to create an alter ego. While many like to create avatar completely different from thier real life persona, a large portion of the population still try to mimic avatar to its real life version…albeit, a bit thinner, more muscular, taller and with more hair. Generally a slightly better looking version of the real thing.

05 Oct 2017

Expanding your Inventory in Aion 2

At this point we’ve discussed a total of nine rows worth of cube space, thats an amazing 81 spaces compared to the starting 27. However, with a little work there is still another row to be obtained. The quest to receive this last row is unlocked at level 35 and is quite long. It starts at a shugo named Poporinerk near the center of the Heiron region. The quest is relatively simple although a couple areas may become confusing. The diary for the first part, called “The Legend of Vindachinerk,” drops off the named porgus “Jaku the Glutton.” Jaku can be found near an intersection on the road east of Poporinerk. It should be fairly simple again until you are asked to speak with Garkbinerk.

Garkbinerk is located on Black Cloud island, yet another unmapped location that takes a little faith to find. It is located in the southern part of the upper abyss and anyone with their level 30 wings should have no trouble reaching it. The map below shows the shortest flight possible to find the island.

The last piece of the quest that may be confusing is trying to find Vindachinerk. The confusing thing is that he only appears during specific hours of the day. In addition to only appearing during specific hours, Vindachinerk has three possible location where he may appear. The map below gives the appearance times and the three possible locations where he shows up.

Vindachinerk spawns from 01:00-06:00, 08:00-14:00, and 16:00-22:00 game time.

That should allow you to complete the quest and achieve the full 90 cube slots available in Aion. If you find yourself having trouble with some aspect of the quests that this guide doesn’t cover, remember to read the quest text and it should get you on your way. Good luck with your hunting and may all opponents fall beneath your wings.

P.S. I’m going to apologize that I don’t play an Asmodian and as a result cannot make this article applicable to both. With that in mind if anyone playing on the Asmodian side wishes to provide me the information necessary to do a similar write-up related to the Asmodian series I would very much appreciate it. I would give credit where it is due and may even be interested in a permanent communication involving future articles with relevance to each faction

31 Aug 2017

Expanding your Inventory in Aion !

Getting the most out of your time wandering the world of Aion also means bringing back as much as possible. Most players are surprised to discover that you can actually expand your inventory from the initial 27 spaces all the way to a full 90 spaces. If only doing it were that easy. You start the game with just 27 spaces of inventory and as early as the beginning zone you may expand it! In Aion your inventory is referred to as your “Cube” and can be expanded one row of 9 spaces at a time. The first 5 expansions can be purchased while another 2 rows are available via quests. Only a few shugo through out the world offer the cube expansion option.

__Baevrunerk – Akarios Village (Poeta) – Offers only the first of 5 expansions.

Heerunerk & Yiehmonerk – Hall of Prosperity (Sanctum) – Offers 4 of the 5 expansions.

Jarumonerk – See below for location – Offers all of the expansions.__

Finding Jarumonerk can be complicated but luckily the level 37 campaign quest “New Wings” requires you visit his out of the way location. The island is not on the map but is located in the upper abyss. It takes approximately 80 seconds of flight time to reach it without the use of any flight speed scrolls or potions. I personally recommend 90 seconds if it is your first trip.

Following the five purchased cube expansions a simple quest is unlocked in Sanctum which provides you with yet another row of cube space. It starts at Demodocos, who resides just behind the elevator platform under Protectors Hall. After receiving the quest “A lucky day” you will have to cross Sanctum and speak with Yiehmonerk. This will conclude the quest and grant you an additional row in your cube.

03 May 2017

Banning of bots in Aion

It is what everyone wants in Aion.  Every day the forums are filled with Ban the Bots posts.  Everyone complains they are ruining the game.  NCSoft has taken action, and now look at the state of the game.

I know on Zikel several of the better known pvp guilds were banned from the game for botting.  These guilds weren't interested in the pve grind.  They just wanted the end game pvp that was so anticipated to where they could actually have fun in the game.

Were bots really the issue ?  Should have Aion looked at the root of the problem that caused players to bot, and solved that instead ?  If the real issue was addressed there wouldn't have been bots.

The real issue is the grind.  No one wants to spend half their life grinding a character to get to the point of the game that they would enjoy.  No one can really stand the grind, and the people who say it isn't bad haven't reached 35+ yet.  If you play an MMORPG for the pvp than grinding a character to max level  is a nightmare if it's only pve.

If Aion would have just made the grind reasonable they would still have a growing customer base, but instead people are leaving the game faster than ever.  Will the new xp boosts help ?  I doubt it with the millions and millions of xp needed for levels the small little boost isn't going to make your bar move any faster.

Why do you think players bot in Aion 1000 times more than any other mmorpg ?

01 Mar 2017

Did Aion fool you into buying the game ?

Do you feel like Aion fooled you into buying the game because they limited your level in beta ?  Would have you bought Aion if you could have experienced the grind post 30+ ?  Do you think they knew, and wanted to keep it a secret ?

I think I was fooled into buying Aion.  The grind didn't seem bad in the beta for the lower levels.  It seemed reasonable.  The problem is NCSoft hid the real grind from me.  If I was able to experience the grind first hand in the beta I would of never bought Aion, but instead they stopped me at level 30.  It is after thirty that the real grind starts.   I bought Aion not knowing the true story even though they said they removed the grind for the US version.

I also thought my pve grind was over at fifty, but it continues as you have to farm pve mobs in the abyss for AP's.  It is the everlasting gobstopper... I mean everlasting grind in Aion.

01 Jan 2017

Mechanics : Customizing equipment skins

It will only be moments before you meet up with your fellow legion and embark through a dangerous dungeon. On your way there, bandits are making their every attempt in stopping you from reaching your destination. You fend them off easily as if it’s a daily ritual. But something is out of the ordinary this time; when you loot the last killed enemy, a magical weapon presents itself in the looting table! Just looking at the exceptional stats makes you feel ecstatic. This rare sword has bonuses that will FINALLY allow you to out damage that cocky assassin. He’s been gloating all week about his “uber dps”, but now it will be your time to shine. As you anxiously wait for the item to soulbound, your jaws fall to the floor; this weapon may have amazing stats but it looks like something the graphic artists designed while intoxicated.

This is something that happens to all of us. We find equipment with incredible stats but quickly feel disappointed when it isn’t visually appealing. Because it is a superior item in terms of numbers, we often find ourselves wearing gear that doesn’t look good at all. Unappealing gear may result in "facepalms" from friends.

Although it is pretty hard to find gear that is not graphically exquisite in Aion, certain styles may not mix well with people. Take for instance, the sword above. I thought the sword above did not look that great. We can see the feeling was mutual between my friend and I. I still had to use it however just for the sake of stats. What Aion has built right into the game is one of the most simple, yet robust customization systems for your gear. essentially, you can take the “skin” of any equipment (some restrictions apply, explained later) and literally put it on any item (again, a few restrictions apply). Below are pictures in how exactly you go about doing this process.

Once these two steps are done, a cost is calculated. After paying the relatively inexpensive fee, the weapon will now have the stats and skin that you chose! Be aware, the item that was used to extract the skin from will be lost. One of the ways people look at this is that you can basically level up your equipment. This is however, UNTRUE. Infact, its the opposite. You are putting the SKIN of an item. You are not putting the STATS. It is a difficult concept to understand without actually trying it. The system also does have a few restrictions.

The following are the main ones :

Must be level 30 : You must be at least level 30 before your character may utilize this system.

Cannot cross armor types : You may not put the stats of a plate gear on something that has the skin of leather; the skin and stats have to be from the same armor category.

Certain items cannot be changed: Sets like the Daevanion armor, Abyss armor, and other certain unique equipment.

Dyes will be lost: Any dyes used on the STAT item will be lost. Dyes on the SKIN will NOT be. A simple tool like this can have strong influences in how much someone can customize their avatars. Gone are the days of countless people looking like clones just because those particular items had the better bonuses (tier gear anyone?). This system allows players to create a stronger “bond” with their character because you will be picking gear based on style, not stats.

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