Aion was one of the bigger releases of 2009 and as with any big release there comes the myriad of complaints. Well folks, your complaints have been heard as the game closes in on its six month anniversary.
Aion is planning a major update; Update 1.9 which I have been informed boasts 26 pages of patch notes. Both the English and Korean translations of the patch notes will be released simultaneously. The developers’ theory is that this allows players to be informed directly through Aion themselves rather than allowing one set of notes to be released then having pages translated through an online service that could lead to some incorrect data.
Leading up to the release, I was fortunate enough to talk with Chris Hager, the Lead Producer for Aion. Chris was generous to spend a little time highlighting some of the major points of the 1.9 update:
Basic Update Overview
- Enhance the player’s experience
- Fix a number of existing issues.
- Listened to what the player’s have talked about and have tried to respond appropriately.
- Change up to the game’s routine
- Make things easier for the players
Specific 1.9 Highlights
While there is no way to cover all the points of the upcoming patch in as great a detail as the patch notes themselves, here are a few of the high points to pique your interest:
15 New Skills
Minor Tweaks to existing skills
Reduced Costs for the following
- Soul Binding
- In addition to lower costs, there will be additional flight paths added to the game. Minimizing a player’s time running from place to place and increasing play time as opposed to travel time.
- Soul Healing
- The reduced costs for soul healing well benefit all players, especially the high level players where those Soul Healing prices can really mount up. By reducing this costs players may be able to explore and experiment a little more without the concern of spending their hard earn Kinah on Soul Healing.
- Boosts to quest experience
- Assists with levelling
Better rewards from missions
- Rewards will be more “appropriate” from questing. The complexity of the quests will determine a more “appropriate” reward.
Additional Daily Quests Variety of quests from “easier” solo quest to “difficult” group quests Increased rewards
- Time based armor sets
- Increased drop rates from all mobs.
- While not at liberty to state a specific percentage change in the loot drops, Chris Hager assures that “Players will notice the change”.
Changes to Dredgion
This high level PvPvE instance will be seeing some changes.
- Reduced time to complete
- Increases to some of the monster’s difficulty
- Increased challenges to the objectives.
Brand new looking for group system
- Much easier for the user
- User Interface Element
- Post Open Slots for groups
- Looking for group slots
- Search for instances by keywords
- View types of players in existing groups
- Post for specific character class
Set your LFG parameters and an icon to the bottom right will let players know if the parameters have been met. There are high hopes that his improved system will make it much easier to both find a group or a player, without all the scrolling through text that exists now.
Two Handed Weapon Merging System
- Merges two two-handed weapons (say that five times fast)
- Helps to stay competitive with dual wielding classes
- Helps balance the offset number of mana stone slots a two-handed wielder may face against a dual wielder.
- Stat Merger
- Combining statistics from both two handed weapons.
Author’s note: I’m sure this system will be the point of much controversy amongst the dual wielders. I’m hoping the full notes shed a little more light on the subject. Balance is never easy to achieve in any game, I look forward to seeing how it plays out.
Weapon Rental Shop
This is will allow a player to rent a weapon at a fraction of the purchase price. These rentals will be come in either a twenty four or forty eight hour time period. Utilizing the weapon rental shop will save both casual and hard core players a significant amount of Kinah. This method will also be ideal for players looking to take advantage of something such as a double experience weekend, without the regret of buyer’s remorse.
In closing, Chris stated that these changes are “all aimed to make the game more fun from time logged on to the time logged off.”
These highlights were certainly enough to spur me on to read the full patch notes. While not every patch can make every player happy, this one seems to have enough for everybody. Read the notes once they are released and let your fellow readers know what you think.