As the launch of Aion looms ever closer, more and more people are coming out of the woodwork to voice their opinions on it. That’s all well and good except for when people spread little bits of misinformation left and right.
The current doom and gloom is all about endgame PvP. Some people would have you believe that Aion’s endgame rewards you for not engaging in Abyss PvP but wants you to grind quests instead. The logic is that, since you can lose abyss points (think honor in WoW) when you die, at higher ranks you stand to lose more by PvPing than PvEing.
This is true. We’re all chipper here, same page in the same book. Except, when we look a little bit deeper we see there’s a little extra context to the story.
Look at the date
The main place people are getting this stuff from is this interview. Look at the date on that. May 31st, 2009. Not only is it far outdated but the guy is obviously going on a shady memory. He says that “After 400k I killed a 3rank soldier and only got 350 pts. If I die I lose 5,000 AP.”
According to the chart I’m posting below, that would have put him at a 3rd rank officer and he should have earned over 3k AP for that kill. Yeah, it’s not that relevant anymore. I re-read this and didn't take into account the rank difference. The fact remains, he would have lost gained more/lost less in the current version of Aion. You'll also see that he claims to play solo more often than not while PvPing in the Abyss. Since Abyss is based primarily on group combat, he would have far more potential to die often than the average player in a group. His risk/reward ratio is skewed.
Only the Highest Ranks
Have a look at this wiki article. Hell, wild man that I am, I’ll just include it here.
Now, unless I’m reading this wrong, only the top four PvP ranks stand to lose more abyss points than they’d gain if they die. Now, have a look at the “Req’d Positions” column. By my math, it looks like that’s only 44 people on the entire server at any given time. Let me repeat, 44 people. No offense, but big freaking deal. If 44 people on any server in any game decide to PvP or PvE or dance naked on mailboxes, it makes no difference whatsoever in anything. To put that in perspective, that’s less than 2% of over moderately ranked PvPers and far less than that for all combatants.
Sorry, that’s probably not us
The other fact that bears repeating is that you and I will probably never see those ranks. At least I won’t. Special PvP ranks tend to be reserved for the more hardcore among us. Unless you’re holding on to you’re Abyss Points for the sole reason of hitting those top notches, you’ll probably find yourself lower in the “Req’d Points” than you’d need to be. And even if you do,
Those positions will change hands often
Abyss Points are won and lost when as you kill or die yourself. On top of that, you use those points to buy armor and other rewards. Your total amount of points will rise and fall with the tides, so unless those “top performers” now grinding PvE quest decide to sit on their points and never log off, they’ll be back in the fray sooner rather than later.
There’s more to it than just the above for both sides of the argument but these are the core holes in their argument. If there’s 3000 people on at primetime and 500 in the abyss, who cares about those 44. They’re still targets no matter where they are.
Now, I'd be remiss not to address a counter argument to my own. But, the amount of AP you get depends on the other player's rank, so it's less reliable even earlier! That's true, the amount does drop if you're killing people of a far lower rank than you and you still lose the same amount if they kill you. There's a couple points I'd like to make regarding that though. First, Aion is a gear game. The people of far lower rank are probably also going to be of far lower level, too. If you lose to them you deserve to take more of a hit the same way you should if a level 25 killed your 50 in WoW. Second, the game's PvP is based on group combat. If you're going it alone all the time, yeah, you're going to lose more AP. The other side of that coin, however, is that you're also going to earn it much slower and will probably have a lot harder time doing most things in the Abyss. When you're with a group, you should be making more kills than you're taking.
The fact is, the end-game of modern day Aion revolves around PvP. NC Soft isn't stupid. They're not going to break the core of their game right off the bat. It's worked fine in the eastern part of the globe and it'll work fine, if not better, here too. It's version 1.5, a game minus the Korean grind, and with more options than ever before.
(and remember to bump/bury!) =)