Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Aion, You are a Confusing Woman

I started playing the release version of Aion, and I must say this little lady is giving my betrothed a run for her money. Aion is in many ways a game that I have been waiting for, and it feels very next-generation, whether or not you believe it is. My personal opinion on that matter is a bit shrouded, but then again, it is still close to the release day, so I'll give it some time to evolve before I give it my harsh judgments.

The game, however, is beautiful, but with some flaws. Namely, there are a large number of botters and gold farmers. These tend to crop up in any MMORPG, as lazy slobs don't want to play the game they bought, they just want to experience the end-game content, which largely amounts to going to a movie and paying someone to save you a seat, only showing up for the ending credits. NC Soft is working on a solution to both, and I must say, the auto-report function for botting is a handy tool. I'm not sure what it does, but the few botters I've reported disappeared from the area I was in, presumably they were forcibly disconnected I do wonder about the griefing potential of this tool, but more remains to be seen.

In any case, Aion has a few major flaws that need fixing. Well, major is just a word that sounds good, in all honesty, the game is good as-is, sans the aforementioned lazy slobs. The game could be improved in three major ways:

1. Add an overlay to the mini-map that shows quest givers (and also make the greyed-out quest symbol appear more distinct from the largely gray-tone backgrounds). This makes finding quests so much easier, as I've been around the entirity of major cities and found half the quests by sheer chance (mostly after having to land in a weird area after running out of flight time). Secondly, make the "Quest here! but you're too low level" symbol more distinct. A good deal of the scenery is in grey tone, as is that symbol. This makes it very hard to tell the difference at times.

2. Input Lag: There are some significant input-lag problems with the game as it is. This isn't a problem in combat, or PVP in my experience. It is a problem in resource gathering. There is about a 10% chance that you will start gathering and stop immediatly (and hence fail, and loose a chance at that resource) because of input lag. Also, many people report auto-attack periodically stopping for a similar reason.