Aion - endlessly yearned for - is finally here. And it's been long enough for the ticker to turn over and my account to be billed for a subscription so I feel safe in saying that it's launched! Woot!
So. Aion. Here's my two cents in my self appointed role as the Not L55t Player of the Year. That's right - I'm a normal player which means that sometimes I'm hardcore, sometimes I'm squishycore but most times I'm playing for fun and yes I know the difference between lose and loose.
The first thing that strikes me each time I log in is the visual excellence of the game. Very beautiful world - regardless which faction you are. Clothes get more and more ornate as you level and the full on armor gets positively stunning. Wings look just like they should. Very purty place.
Community is another matter. The wowkidz are here folks, and in force. I tried 4 different servers then gave up trying to get somewhere without the stereotypical idiocies that run rampant through the chat channels turning everything into barrens chat. The global looking for group channel is pretty much a cesspool of insults mixed with occasional sprinklings of fun conversations about gear and skill builds. I wound up just turning it off after a few weeks.
As usual I rolled a healer type first. If you want to get the harshest part of a game first I recommend rolling a squish healer and seeing just how balanced your classes are at low levels. It's always a riot as you attempt to keep them alive when everyone runs around nooblike trying to master their class in a group setting. Aion turns out to be quite pristine in its class structure and each class is VERY well defined in that if you're a Cleric you're gonna have healing skills and that is a about it. A few dispel bad stuff on group members skills as well and you can rez. Other than that if you're used to other healing types from different games that have a wide range of stuff to do, you're out of luck.
Leveling is pretty simple. You can get pretty far solo and pugs are everywhere so it's actually quite easy to get by at this point without a Legion/Guild/Kin/Insert Name Of Large Group Of Players Here. We'll see what shows up in a while. Role playing so far seems pretty minimal unless you count the rage-outs on the general channel. The levelasfastastheycan nutters are already halfway through leveling their second character.
Biggest problem with the game? Bots. They're everywhere. Kill stealing shamelessly in quest areas, popping up on chat channels, sending private mails, pestering players with private tells. The thing that gets me really steamed is seeing a bot advertising a web page using the private store function of the game. I don't particularly care if someone buys gold (ducking as people start throwing things at me) but the first week of the game you could not read any of the channels in chat due to the constant gold spam. My block list was full in 3 days.
Biggest fun in the game? PVP. There I was, minding my own business, gathering pretty lil flowers by a fort when suddenly a red dot showed up on my radar and I was taking damage from this red eyed monster from hell that came from nowhere. I ran towards the fort/guards and ha! They killed the overleveled ganker in seconds and I had my first taste of the fun of PVP in this game. Besides the perpetual PVP in the rift, there are random gates that open between the two factions in the game and you can slip through and kill the other side. VERY fun. Of course after my triumph with using the guards I went back out and got throroughly trashed by the same player not 5 minutes later but it's just such a blast running around looking for ways into the other side and waiting tensely for someone to pop up and fight.
My advice? If you've got the game then log in, turn off the general chat channel, level up to at least 30, then PVP your way to glory. It's a close call due to bots and wowkidz but when all is said and done the wings are worth the work.