Today I finally quit Aion... As a dedicated payer who has been with the game since first open beta I really wanted to stay at least half a year (yes, those wings were very tempting). I simply could not make myself to log in. I felt sick from very idea of it. And still not sure why...
There is a nice saying about beautiful picture – “eye candy”. I love this expression. Though I use it a bit broader when talking about games. For me every game is like a candy store. Some can offer you just a few varieties of sweets. They are really high quality and you enjoy every bite. But one day you want to try something new. AoC was that type of a game for me. Others, like WoW – several store building full of all kind of candies, very colourful, in all shapes you want and – as you think – all tastes you can imagine. But one day you understand that it’s the same sugar in disguise. Colour and shape IS the only difference. You get tired of it and leave for something less sweet.
Interestingly, I cannot really find a place for Aion in this system. It is very sweet and shapes and colours are there – yet, it does not feel like a real product. Something like an artificial sugar for those who wants to lose weight.
There are many things Aion get right. Character customisation is almost perfect. Skills animation (and animation in general) is great. Itemisation is wonderful and the ability to use any skin your like for you armour/weapon must become a standard in any game. Very convenient GUI (except chat, but it’s a general problem of Asian games). Classical RvR with a fun rifting system, typical quests and interesting story-line, and so on and so forth. However, every nice feature has some flaw in it. And the more you play the more you feel it. Like you have wings (LOVE this feature) – but can really use it only in one place. Customisation of anything is not really free – you choose from what is given to you and some things (like best dyes) are not even available. Well designed Auction House with great navigation system has very limited amount of slots for sales. Unpredictable, level and players amount restricted rifts become very annoying pretty fast. I can continue, but you’ve got the idea. And my main pet peeve – artificial time-sinking features. You have to get some boss. The only interesting fight in that dungeon is with him and the only loot you expect is also from him. Yet, you have to spend hours sometime to get to that boss trough countless amounts of useless mobs. Same with rifting with searching for the right rift and inability to play when YOU have time. In order to have fun or get what you need you have to go through hours of something so boring that cannot be called “playing”. And without any reason but for time-sinking purpose only.
I tried to entertain myself with other stuff besides pure grind (take my level 43 after playing from early start as a proof). It did not help. Artificial sugar does not taste like one. Back to EVE – quality is better than quantity.