Even though I was stuck at work for far too long yesterday, I was still able to spend a decent chunk of time in game when I got home. I arrived home at about 9PM EST and was able to login to the Lumiel server by 11:30. That was the worst part of the experience, bar none. I was lucky though. Some people were reporting random D/Cs but, once I was on, I stayed on. My connection was rock solid, too. I had a ping that fluctuated between 120 and 220ms but that’s acceptable during a head start.
My first spin out with my Scout, Syeric, was fun. The leveling curve is vastly lower than it was in previous versions and I was able to hit level six much quicker than I have with any characters before him. It’s slower than WoW, to be sure, but it doesn’t feel painstakingly slow like it did at this time with WAR. The beginner zone was crowded but not as much as I’d been hearing about. The only real competition I found was with herb nodes, since they are part of a very early quest. Once I moved past this area, even that dropped out and I was able to level up in ease.
I did manage to die, twice, and found out that the death penalty is still in the game. I’ve never played as Scout past the first few levels, so it took some getting used to. The class is very much a glass cannon and you take damage easily. A fellow guildmate and I were chatting in vent about how often you’re forced to rest between fights. I still found it a lot of fun to play, though. There’s something about stringing together criticals without even trying that I find very satisfying.
One thing that I found a little bit confusing was the combat arrows. These are also referred to as movement modifiers on various boards. Aion’s combat is augmentable in that you can give yourself a temporary buff by running in a particular direction. Running forward increases damage, backward increases mitigation, and side to
side increases avoidance. What was confusing is the most of the people in chat seemed to think that you got the buff by running after you saw the
arrow and that there was no indicator if it was actually up or not. As a Scout, that would mean to get the full benefit of the buff I would need to constantly be moving forward. As I’m sure you can imagine, that was more than annoying to have to run in circles non-stop for every mob and it didn’t seem like a decision any reasonable developer would make. A little testing and chatting with other guild mates revealed that, no, once you see the arrow the buff is up. If you’re not moving that direction, it drops quickly but you’re not stuck mouse turning 15 times a fight.
The community seemed fairly good. People were talkative and, yes, they talked a bit about WoW. For the most part though, I didn’t find that to be the majority the conversation. It’s easy to make your own chat tab and ignore it anyways.
So, on the whole, the first day of head start was a great success. Server stability and lag were top notch on Lumiel I didn’t see anyone complaining about either the whole time. The biggest issue was about the queues but, apparently, CM Ayase is of the belief that they’re better than server consolidations, so they’re going to stay until it’s sure than another server will remain populated even after the initial hype dyes down. Hopefully, the official launch day will go as smooth as this one did.
To finish off today, I’ll leave you with some pictures of your first introduction to the Abyss. After one of your early missions, you get a glimpse of your future. It looks something like this…