(Forgive the jumbled thoughts, I'm still deciding how I'm going to go about this blog. I just wanted to get something posted.)
I've been fighting with myself the past few months trying to decide if I was going to pick up Aion. I've been dying for a new MMO since I built my PC a few months ago. Unfortunately, I'm tired of WoW, Warhammer was a disappointment and I have a hard time supporting Cryptic's ridiculous changes to Champions Online since launch. Aion seemed to fit the bill, but I was wary that it would feature the same horrible grind that is prominent in other Korean MMORPGs. The fact that Aion was developed by the same company that did Lineage 2 did not give me any hope.
In the end, I went against my better judgment and picked it up on Friday. After the 10 GB download from Steam and setting up my account on NCSoft's website I was ready to go. After a bit of research I decided on my race and class to play, and went to the character creator. Without giving a giant lesson in lore, I will just say that there are two races to choose from -- Elyos and Asmodians. The game is heavily focused in Player vs. Player content between the two sides from mid-game on. I will detail this further in later impressions.
The first thing you notice when you begin is the ridiculous character creation system. Because of the freedom they give you in picking your looks, the chances of seeing another character in the game that looks like you is slim to none. The game gives you the option to pick from pre-made faces and bodies, or customize each with tons of sliders. You can make your avatar a model or a real freak in this game if you truly desire.
There are four starting classes in the game -- Warrior, Scout, Priest, and Mage. Each of these classes branch off into two unique classes once you finish the lengthy tutorial zone at level 9. Warriors can go with the offensive-styled Gladiator or defensive-styled Templar. Scouts can become stealthy Assassins or bow-wielding Rangers. Priests can go with the powerful healer Clerics or buffing/combat oriented Chanters. Mages can split into the high damage-dealing Sorcerers or the pet-controlling Spirit Masters.
I decided the Elyos Chanter would be the best fit for me. I liked the idea of a monk-type class wielding a bo staff. I picked Elyos because the Asmodians seem to be the more crowded race across the servers, and I prefer the lighter looks of their areas. I went with a lower-population server as the game has had MASSIVE queues since it launched last week. People have been waiting hours to get in on a lot of servers. Luckily, I haven't experienced that problem. I play more casually at the moment due to school and other things, so I don't expect to be levelling very fast.
In the next part, I'll get into the PvP aspect of the game along with the Abyss, and my impressions up to level 15.