With September creeping up on us, so does the release of many great games. Just one of these is the awaited expansion to the MMO with a lot of the ‘improvements’ shown in the vision mentioned here. Right from the get go, the first thing you’ll notice is the change to to the log-in screen which has been completely revamped, in addition to randomized with around six-in-total logins.
If NCSoft has ever been good at anything, its been creating beautiful visuals in both character models and environments and they fully take advantage of the Crysis engine in this aspect. Moving forward from here, there are various changes to the character creation screen but something hardly used if you already have been playing since launch. They have also added a few animations to somewhat ‘enhance’ game play but one of these being semi-functional. They have added a change for the glide animations as well as a visible (and actual) increase in speed when holding forward.
Since 2.0 isn’t on the live servers, I had the fun of leveling up a character from zero to fifty-five. Thankfully, it was a x10 increased rate and it also gave me a chance to experience some of the newer instances. It would seem that they are trying to take some of the grind out of the game and expand the content of the game — which is somewhat impressive. Most of the content added are solo instances with a slight twist to them. The item and armor drops from the final boss are actually class specific — this meaning if you are a tank class, then you will get an appropriate armor type.
Drop rate wise its a bit hard to tell, but on the PTS I was granted 3/5 of the set with just one boss kill. Other good news is these instances are HUGE and also come complete with quests and repeatable inside (Hurray for Grindables). It seems the main focus of these areas is-to-level-you.
Overall, this is a exciting expansion with quite a few favorable additions. They’ve increased kinah gain from campaign quests as well as improved upon the mapping of quest NPCs on the map (for both available and turn ins) The quests are also color coded depending on what that quest is for and by level. These colors range from green, gray, yellow, red and blue. The pets seem to be a good addition as well — there are several different types. Some being purely cosmetic while other serve and actual function. There are pets to increase your storage, pets that give you rare minerals and jewels when fed (kinda like Phantasy Star) and others that are just purely cosmetic.
For every positive, I would say that there are two complaints. There is a lot of things for NCSoft to finish before they actually roll this out onto shelves and the live servers. The user interface is more or less incomplete — many of the new options are inaccessible due to poorly sized windows and poor localization. Many of the added quests are still in Korean in addition to many UI elements such as the Broker and even enhancement menus. These are vital parts of the game that are more or less not usable even if you knew Korean. I’m also a little confused as to what NCSoft NA is doing with some of the ‘westernization’ of the game. In the two new pvp zones they have added a surplus of guards into what should be a open pvp area. (These guards aren’t there in the Korean or Chinese versions) As well as various nerfs to rifting, while these things may change.. it is pretty doubtful. It would almost seem as they’re trying to discourage PvP (In a PvP based game) in both new and old world content. Which to me, seems like its limiting its lifespan in a game that all they have going for them IS the PvP. PvE content is severely lacking and they’re basically shooting themselves in the foot with the addition to the pvp nerfs.
Will it be good, or will it be bad?
Thats still undecided since its still beta. Only time will tell. I plan to give it a fair chance but things for me are looking rather dim.
PCGamer Aion 2.0 Leveling Guides
Asmodian Leveling Guides
Blood for Blood! This guide introduces the new features in the expansion and starts you on your path into Gelkmaros and level 51. Discover the route to new extendable fabled weapons. Follow the quest paths into the legendary Talloc’s Hollow, or begin battle inside the new Chantra Dredgion.
Get ready to take on the Abyssal Splinter, and learn how to obtain platinum medals and eternal grade equipment. Find out what it takes to battle Yamennes, and get a sneak peek into Beshmundir Temple and the infamous boss, Stormwing.
Elyos Leveling Guides
For the Seraphim Lords! This guide introduces the new features in the expansion and starts you on your path into Inggison and level 51. Discover the legendary Talloc’s Hollow, make a group and do battle in Udas Temple, or take on the new Chantra Dredgion.
Unveil the path to unlocking the final Greater Stigma slot! Learn how to obtain the Rosarea’s fabled equipment, and collect Decrees of Valor. Discover the path to unlocking an extendable fabled weapon, and get a sneak peek into Beshmundir Temple and the infamous boss, Stormwing.
Contested Region Guide