I’m going to admit something here… until yesterday, I’d never played Aion. Gasp!
I know that as a writer for this site I’m supposed to on top of every major MMO release, but Aion was one that just slipped by. My work never required me to look into it, and I was too busy with other games to really give it a look. I was okay with this when, after the game’s first month or so had flown by the general consensus seemed to be that the beginning was great, but the middle and later parts got bogged down by a long leveling grind via killing mobs. And as an admittedly slow leveler who prefers leveling via quests to the old school ways of monster farming, I felt like I’d dodged a bullet.
But then the swag came. At PAX this year players, fans, and press who attended the Aion: Assault on Balaurea panel were greeted with a nice surprise on their chair… a newly minted retail copy of the game in its Assault on Balaurea packaging. It seems that Aion is really trying to rebrand itself as the free expansion launches by putting new boxes on store shelves and letting the press and players know that they’ve been listening to their complaints since the game launched.
Now whether or not those complaints really have been addressed is yet to be discovered. I know from talking to friends and fans that in the late teens is when players first run into content gaps, and then again in the late twenties. I’m going to be putting my all into playing Aion for the next couple months, and hopefully even though I’m a newbie I’ll be able to stack my experiences up with those of the game’s initial reviews and see if NCSoft has indeed improved the experience for the Elyos and Asmodians of the world.
Plus, really, what excuse do I have anymore for not having tried Aion? Best swag of PAX 2010? The free game of course! Now if only I could have convinced the guys at the Duke Nukem Forever booth to give me the same. Maybe next time.
What about you? Have you spent time in Aion? Did you leave, only to come back with the launch of 2.0? Share your thoughts on the game! I’d love to hear them.