Aion: The Tower of Eternity

Out of the ever-growing amount of Ready Up staff both City and myself were the lucky ones chosen to spend an afternoon at NCSoft, the masterminds behind Guild Wars and the soon to be released Aion: Tower of Eternity. Although I’m the biggest RPG geek there is I rarely play MMO’s, more down to fear of addiction than disinterest, this particular game had caught my eye and I couldn’t wait to see more. Because this game had piqued my interest I started thinking about what aspects of non-MMORPGs I felt really mattered to me as a gamer and therefore what aspects this MMO had appeared to fulfill from a first glance.

The game revolves around three races – The Elyos, The Asmodians, and the NPC faction known as the Balaur. The world was once a beautiful but strange place where the planet was hollow and all the inhabitants lived on the inside edge in harmony but with after your usually world splintering war that takes place in every RPG the world is irreparably changed.  With the world shattered and now resembling an apple core, the Elyos are constantly bathed in light at the bottom, the Asmodians plunged into darkness and the Balaur forever circling the Abyss with complete unprejudiced hatred. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, they’ll kill anything that moves so you may need to be quick when changing strategies.

Right, so on to the aspects of a good RPG. Firstly it has to be graphically stunning. Let’s face it, there’s many artistic styles an RPG can go for but in this day and age it has to make you stand back and say “wow!” when you first see it. I think you’ll agree that this is one game that certainly doesn’t disappoint in that area:

We were given a guided tour of the world of Atreia to see the contrast in artistic concepts in the serene land of the Elyos, the harsh and darkened world of the Asmodians and the dramatic and changing landscape of the central Abyss. I can honestly say these screenshots do not do the game justice graphically. Once I saw it on a huge plasma screen I was completely captivated.

After the graphics, I find music hits me the most. For a game to be a true RPG it must be emotive, atmospheric and exciting. NCSoft decided that in many ways the philosophy of Aion was to bring together the best aspects from both JRPG and the more Westernised RPGs and this is definitely something that comes across in the music. A lot of the music is simply beautiful with Easternised music played by western instruments to give it an interesting and unique feel that all RPG lovers will enjoy. The music played to us had everything from the usually exciting fight music to the location based pieces which were written by a selection of top composers both in and outside of the NCSoft team.

The fighting system is based around four classes: Scout, Warrior, Mage and Priest. Mage is your more traditional projectile firing, lightning throwing class, whilst priests have an average attack but also the duties of a white mage. Once level 10 is hit the classes split into two subcategories and you have a decision to make that you can’t go back on. This may depend largely on the fact that whilst in combat you pick which moves to pull specifically and then that move is improved over time, therefore what moves you decide to use in the first few levels may well help sway this decision.

Finally I feel the character customisation must be pointed out. The worst thing about any RPG is when you get stuck with a character you don’t like because let’s face it, 100 hours in a RPG of any sort is not unusual and in a MMO…Knowing this from the team’s own experiences NCSoft have created a ridiculously in depth character builder for those who really know what they want to achieve in their character, be it themselves, a foxy elf or even a celebrity (it can easily be done so watch out in game for a few celebrities that have got slipped in as NPCs, including David Beckham and even Penelope Cruz!). For those who aren’t fussed about their character then don’t worry, you don’t need to do much to have a fine default character at your disposal. A nice touch added that I haven’t seen before in games is the ability to see what your character looks like in light, medium and heavy armour before you accept the character which allows you to adjust so you have a character you are going to be happy with at all levels (although not all classes can initially wear heavy armour you can pick up runes which will allow any class to gain abilities from other classes…at an in-game price).

Aion: The Tower of Eternity looks set to stun the RPG community in my opinion as it combines everything you could hope for (just get a good monitor else you’ll be missing out!) from various styles of RPG and I am thoroughly looking forward to picking up a copy for myself. I really could write a lengthy essay on everything I saw at NCSoft but I better leave City something to talk about so I’ll call it a day, but check back next week for Part 2 of our adventures at NCSoft!







4 responses to “Aion: The Tower of Eternity”

  1. Tony avatar

    Look at the length of the skirt that girl is wearing in that picture. I could just picture her mother saying “You’re not going out in THAT!”

  2. Michael avatar

    I do like the idea of moves you use improving with regular use; shame I don’t have a PC… and, even if I did, I’d avoid the genre like the plague.

    Still, intriguing.

  3. […] the various english language coverage of the developer conference previews of our favourite game: Ready Up! Aion: The Tower of Eternity – Preview – Gamers Universe Silicon Fusion :: News :: Infinite […]

  4. Cordell Duree avatar

    Thanks for taking the time to write that, I found it very educational. If you get a chance you should visit my blog as well. I hope you have a nice day!

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