Fight Night, Part 9 (The Aion Edition)

Oh hooooo…

So, no updates in a while, mostly because of what can be described as “gaming overload.”

I’ve been hearing a lot of things about Aion, here and there, off and on. Game Informer did an article on it few months back, and it sounded fun. I really want it to be a WoW (World of Warcraft) killer because WoW had started to grind my nerves. It just felt, stale.

Anyway, upon going to GameStop to pre-order Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (which by the way, I am still very excited about) something in me whispered “preeeee-ordeeeer Aion…”

I scratched my head and obliged.

Lucky me, I got a key for the Open Beta (I know, I know, everyone gets one if you pre-order.) Well, I downloaded the Beta, and started playing.

I can confidently say, I love it. It’s the same feeling I got when I started playing WoW many years ago.

Some would argue Aion is just another grind-fest MMORPG, in the lines of WoW, but something about what I played made it feel like a fresh injection of ideas into an old formula. Here’s what I mean.

I love the art direction. The fantasy element is of course, still there, but it looks extremely mature. And it looks amazing, even if my computer can’t particularly show it in all it’s glory. With 2g of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 4550 graphics card, and a 2ghz AMD 3200+ processor, it looks decent and runs okay, with hiccups here and there… but it is a gorgeous game on a high end system.

Upon entering the first screen, you get to choose who your avatar will be. You have a choice between two races, the angelic looking Elyos, and the eviler, black winged Asmodians. Personally, I went with the Asmodians… they have black wings! I can see they’re trying to keep the separation high, so on a server (I assume only on each server) you are not allowed to make one race when you have already made a character of the opposite race.

Actually, I kind of like this. All those little kids who would hop on to their Horde toon to complain to me or give reasons as to why I killed them really ground my nerves. This solves that problem nicely.

There are 4 main classes, the normal fantasy stuff. They are the Warrior, Scout, Mage and Priest classes. Simple enough.

Aion Classes

The key is, once you’ve hit level 10, you get to then subdivide your class. There are 2 sub-classes to choose from. For the Warrior, they are Templar and Gladiator, the Scout has Assassin and Ranger, Mage has Sorcerer and Spiritmaster and the Priest has Chanter and Cleric.

Basically, 8 classes total. Not bad I suppose, WoW has Warrior, Rogue, Priest, Warlock, Mage, Paladin, Druid, Hunter and Deathknight… 9 classes (mind you, this doesn’t include the skills you choose in each class, which might make it seem like more classes), which all have a slight hybridization in them. So honestly, this may be a positive thing, as it seems each of the 8 classes are completely and utterly different. And you can PLAY each of the 8 Aion classes different. I made a Gladiator, and decided I liked Polearms. But you don’t have to stay with Polearms, so you aren’t stuck in your favorite role, if you decide later it isn’t your favorite role.

When you finally get through all that, you start out as a human. You do the normal leveling thing, which I actually enjoyed thanks to the action bar. I like the action bar, it has a WoW feel, with a Diablo flare (the HP and MP bar on the left) and the minimap on your action bar. It feels… compact, everything is in one place.

Action Bar

On top of that, the skill system is a little different. You do the normal “hotkey to select a skill” deal, however, some moves are moves in what’s called a chain. Aion has made this system much more compact, and I love it. If you have a chain 1 skill on the action bar, and you use it, chain level 2 automatically replaces it! It’s awesome. Then, if you have multiple skills for chain 2, you can place the ones you know you won’t use as quickly, or as much, on the action bar. No worries about your action bar filling up. I think the chain idea is awesome.

chains

As you can see, there are multiple links in chains, starting from chain link 1. It’s a nifty system.

Character Info

There’s nothing special so far about your actual character, stat wise. You still equip items to make yourself more powerful, just like WoW. I haven’t quite figured out what some of the nuances of the different attributes are just yet, like Will or Knowledge (I assumed Knowledge is like Intelligence in WoW, thus it has to do with your MP), but I’ll get there eventually.

Finally, the last two things that make this game awesome for me.

First, whenever you pick up a quest, it shows up on your quest tracker on the right. The BEAUTY of this quest tracker, is that if you click on this arrow:

Quests Direction

It pops up the information for the quest:

Quests Info

Here’s the part I fell in love with. By clicking on the name of the NPC, the location, or the enemy, if possible, they will give you directions to your objective!

Quests Location

It will put it on your minimap, and larger map, and you can follow it right to your destination. Of course, it doesn’t show you were mobs are or special items, but anything else is a go. This is great for finding people and locations, if you’re like me and you forget directions easily. On top of that, the Dictionary is just nice to read, get more background info on your quest or important figures.

Second, and a real selling point of this game. Aerial. Combat. ‘Nuff said.

wings

Now, I wish you could see your wings when you Ascend (as they say in the game) at all times, but alas, you only see your wings when you take flight. Still cool, but they should of let us keep the wings. Also, flight is limited to a short amount of time, however, you can learn to extend this, so I assume at higher levels, you can fly infinitely. Either way… awesome.

Anyway, thanks to the Beta, getting some Street Fighter in and some videos up has taken a while. But fear not, for I do have video! From a few days ago, a straight championship win online. So 4 videos, enjoy.

Match One

With this Dhalsim, I decided to keep the pressure on when I knocked him down. Other than that, I played it patient, although twice, I got hit by his Ultra. I swear I was blocking, but knowing me, I tried to headbutt him or something, to no avail.

Match Two

After the initial “wow” of me getting hit by moves I should not have been getting hit by, I decided to put a little more pressure on him. I personally loved the Ex-Rushing Upper I did to cross him up, that one was actually intentional, I’m just surprised I thought that fast! This was not a bad Ryu though, after my initial overhead combo, he stopped getting hit by my overheads. He actually blocked 3 overheads I though I’d connect with and a low hit where I was trying to trick him into blocking high. Good stuff.

Semi-Final

This Sagat… needed to stop throwing out random Tiger Uppers and Tiger Knees. I’ll even admit, that’s what beat him, not me. Well, I had a little to do with it.

Final

The first Ryu was actually better. This one kept throwing out Shoryukens and Focus Attacked when he didn’t have enough life to Focus Attack. Fairly easy match honestly.

Phew, that’s it. More later.

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~ by machombie on 09/12/2009.

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