The Implications of the Aion Population Distribution on PVP


This morning while reading legion (guild) chat, I was struck by the different experiences our players were having.

One of our two level 50 guildees was expressing how bored he was; he couldn’t find people to run instances with. I responded in guild chat that people would eventually catch up, give it 4-6 weeks.

If you haven’t played Aion, let me provide some brief context. Relative to mass-market MMORPGs in the past several years, Aion requires a lot of time to level to end-game. My estimate, based on talking to the 1st player in our guild to reach 50 (a Sorcerer named Loreilai), is that leveling to max level (50) will take roughly 500-600 hours. That is multiples of the past 2 games I’ve played (LOTRO and WAR), where I was able to reach max level in under 200 hours. Some folks would debate the 500+ hr number, but check the server censuses. Very few people have made max level in the first 2 months.

I made a comment in legion chat that went something like this:

The players of Aion who are having the most enjoyable experience are those in the “middle of the pack” in terms of their level. They are the ones who can find many near-level opponents they can fight in PVP and plenty of groups for PVE, and while they get occasionally get ganked by the hardcore player of much higher level, overall it’s enjoyable.

Several other guildees agreed, and a picture popped into my head to describe it:

Aion-population-distribution

In terms of PVE, the experience of folks who leveled ahead of the curve should improve as the population in the 40-50 range fills out, which it inevitably will. At that point, there will be a high supply of players to run end-game instances, which is good for the player base.

But let’s stop for a moment and consider Aion PVP. Here are 2 areas of concern:

  • there is no system for preventing ganks in PVEVP zones. Once you level to 20+, many of your quests will be in zones that the other side can invade via rifts, and there is no “filter” for preventing high-level opponents from coming and ganking your low-level ass. That’s life in the big city, Aion style
  • there is no system for ensuring same or near-level PVP against the other faction. Other games have implemented systems for this. E.g. WoW has battlegrounds (and arenas), WAR has level tiering and scenarios (1-11, 8-21, 18-31, 28-40) and a buff to adjust stats for the players at the lower end of a given tier

So what happens, in 2010 and on, when there is a high population of players at max level? There will be a lot of players who deliberately spend time (for fun or out of boredom) invading the other faction’s lands to gank lower-level players who don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of fighting them.

I’ve listened to players in-game and on Vent express frustration at being ganked and then camped by griefers. I have a reasonably thick skin, and from a practical standpoint, I’ll simply move on to a different zone or take a break. But the bottom line is it’s not an enjoyable experience on the receiving end, and getting killed is a time setback, which matters in Aion, given how extremely time-intensive the game is for leveling.

When I look forward and think about what this means for Aion, I think there is a big risk of the PVP system creating a “vicious cycle”:

Aion-curve-shift-risk

Simply put, new players in 2010 and on will have a rougher experience than players now, and it should get increasingly worse if NCSoft doesn’t implement mechanism(s) to address PVP level differentials.

I’m not saying Aion will fail or that Aion sucks. After all, I choose to spend my valuable free time playing  (and occasionally writing about) it. But I don’t foresee Aion having a strong “pull” based on the PVP mechanics; I expect the opposite to be the case. Most players simply won’t have the patience or willingness to hope that end-game PVP is actually fun, when the road is very long and full of getting ganked along the way. The people who rave about Aion PVP are players already in the game, whereas new players months from now are going to have a very different experience.

There is an inane sentiment from some players, esp the hardcore or old-school ones, that people just have to gut it out, the “uphill both ways” mentality. But that doesn’t fly from a customer or consumer experience standpoint for most products and services.

I can give an example from one of my hobbies: cycling. There is a leather saddle manufacturer called Brooks. They’ve made classic, beautiful saddles for decades. But the kicker is that it took several hundreds hours to “break in” a Brooks saddle, at which point it is very comfortable. But these days, the saddles that sell well are the ones that are comfortable out of the gate, such as the Terry saddles that sold like wildfire to women back in the 1990s, and then to my surprise, to men over the past decade. The game has changed, and even Brooks had to adapt by releasing saddles with a perineal channel to stay relevant.

Will NCSoft respond, if there are long-term issues with the PVP system? We shall see!

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Posted in Aion, Business Analysis, Game Design
37 comments on “The Implications of the Aion Population Distribution on PVP
  1. Skutrug says:

    And contrast this with WAR, where RR70 players regularly reroll alts for the fun of playing T1 and T2.
    I still think it is a miracle rather than a design, but T1 and T2 were always fun for me in Warhammer, even at the top of the “AOE debacle” that led to management changes…
    Now if Mythic could think us some cool ways to make T3 more attractive, so players don’t just PvE-rush to T4 (and often disappointment), you would have a smooth journey to the end-game. We are getting there, but I agree first T4.

    • taugrim says:

      Great post.

      I do wonder why it took so long to make across-the-board nerfs to AOE damage – the game was so much more enjoyable with Patch 1.3b, as I discussed in this post:
      https://taugrim.com/2009/08/20/war-patch-1-3-1-state/

      If WAR has launched with the Patch 1.3b mechanics for lower AOE damage, the game would not have lost so many players in the first 3-6 months. Back then the AOE damage resulted in too many frustrating cheesefests. Mythic set expectations too high in terms of “RVR” (which implied mass PVP), because the servers couldn’t handle it and the AOE damage was out of control.

  2. Fezzick says:

    Sorry our first fight had to be a 2v1 (Ridge), but it was nice to see you out there in the abyss.

  3. Oozo says:

    Nice analysis.

    When the game grows top-heavy, the pursuit of gear will keep many players in the Abyss fighting level appropriate players. However, there are those who will always gravitate towards griefing. These players will research the quests and items that lower level enemies are likely to do and will camp those areas.

    Life will be difficult for latecomers to Aion, and the amount of time to become competitive will be disheartening.

  4. Asherony says:

    I have to agree with you, mainly because I’ve played a similar grindy world PvP based MMO called Rising Force (Online). The game was essentially like Aion, albeit it had three factions instead of two and an organized PvP event.

    Following two years after the game’s release, newbies were reduced to finding quiet places which had worse exp and drops, but were safer. I remember that there was a “moon”-like cratered location, and newbies actually had to stay in the craters in order to remain safe from high-level gankers. Perhaps there was some fun in it, but I think most MMO players are not stealth game enthusiasts.

    I know some MMOs (Darkfall) which were intentionally going for “uber hardcore PvP action”, but Aion was marketed as something aimed at the mainstream crowd. One can only hope that the marketing executives will be able to talk some sense into the original developers :)

  5. Shava Neras says:

    Isn’t there the “curse” mechanic to discourage rift ganking possible lowbies? Perhaps thatcould get strengthened to take pressure off midlevel pve zones from rift predators…

    • taugrim says:

      That “curse” doesn’t affect a ganker’s abilities at all.

      It’s merely an indicator on the map of the ganker’s location after they’ve slaughtered a bunch of lowbies.

      In addition, experienced gankers know which areas of the map they can take refuge in to make it difficult to get to them, e.g. because mobs will aggro on lower-level players on the map trying to reach the gankers. There are plenty of chokepoint areas of the map that make it easy for a small group of gankers to hold off superior numbers of lowbies.

  6. Longasc says:

    Your chart is totally wrong.

    If you are alone, you are easy prey for sure. You will have to run even in small groups, gank squads are usually bigger, better organized and they are on the attack.
    What does your level matter in this regard? It just makes you feel even more vulnerable as you are already. Nothing else.

    Sure, high levels gives you an edge as grey mobs wont attack you. This means you can retreat from a pack of lower level players if you manage to run away for QUITE a long time.

    Do the Koreans have extreme problems with getting ganked? No, only the westerners have their beef with open PvP. Where someone could be stronger than them. Because this is not fair.

    Right. Why play a pvp game, ask for pvp or even open pvp, if people want a checkerboard of equal opportunity and fairness.

    This is why the western gaming world is mostly a Trammel. Nobody can stand being the victim, despite wanting to pvp.

    This idea to have only fun at the ENDGAME and having to be max level to enjoy the game is something what I would like to call another western disease.

    But no worries, there are many more other issues that can make people unsubscribe from Aion way before they are level 35 or even 50.

    I just want to point out that this analysis is really fancy, but full of fine western whine. Sorry, could not resist. But as you can see, I do not really agree to that.

    • taugrim says:

      Hullo my German friend! (I love reverse IP lookup)

      Thanks for chiming in. I was expecting to get a lot of flaming and criticism for this article, here or on AionSource, which hadn’t happened until you posted :)

      Well, I think first of all, there is a gap in our perspectives, in terms of the following statement.

      “only the westerners have their beef with open PvP. Where someone could be stronger than them. Because this is not fair.

      Right. Why play a pvp game, ask for pvp or even open pvp, if people want a checkerboard of equal opportunity and fairness.”

      I don’t have a problem with an opponent being stronger than me, in terms of level/class/gear, as long as I have a slim chance at victory. E.g. check out some of the fights in this video, especially the 1st one, in which my opponents both outnumber me and have a significant level advantage:

      Those fights were stacked heavily against me in terms of the odds, but I was still able to kill opponents because of skillful play. That’s all I want…a fighting chance.

      But what is the point if you have no mathematical chance of defeating your opponent, which is often the case with Aion ganking, because your opponent has a huge level advantage?

      So please understand, I’m not asking for 50/50 fighting, where it’s always an “equal opportunity and fair” match and either side has a 50% chance of winning. But 0/100 fighting, which by definition is pre-determined (outcome already decided based on numbers, not skill) is as stupid as it gets. And Aion sets the table for 0/100 fighting all the time.

    • taugrim says:

      And I want to circle back to this comment:
      “If you are alone, you are easy prey for sure. You will have to run even in small groups, gank squads are usually bigger, better organized and they are on the attack.”

      Being grouped isn’t the silver bullet to prevent getting ganked. It would certainly help if Aion had mechanisms for ensuring near-level opponents, but it doesn’t.

      But for the sake of argument, let’s go with what you suggest…one could run around in a small group all the time. Will that help? Not in a lot of contexts. E.g. a small group of lowbies has very little chance defending against a single much higher-level player. The higher-level character will shred the group of lowbies. And it’s worse yet if there are a group of higher-level characters, they’ll run over groups of lowbies with their eyes closed. And that is why a lot of people consider Aion to be a griefer’s dream game.

      The bottom line is level differential in a lot of situations is what drives outcomes, and Aion enables big level differentials in PVP. And that is essentially why I wrote my article in the first place.

      • Longasc says:

        I often played solo and I did not stand a chance against a group of guys who were lower level than my Gladiator. I did not escape all the time.

        You made a graph to illustrate that a very high level player can gank low level players with impunity.

        And please, I think you did not mean it in a negative way, but looking up my IP for some reason and feeling free to reveal details about it here and implying something about Germans for sure does not make me your friend at all and I regret posting here. Bye.

        • Oozo says:

          Well, let me pull out my hyperbolic paintbrush of idiocy and boldly state that Germans obviously never PvP for the challenge.

          What you see as a desire to not be a victim is actually a desire to have challenging and meaningful fights. Not predetermined fights.

          All games will have phases where you are outgeared and/or outlevelled and *serious* “western” PvPers don’t whine about that. In fact, some see beating better geared and higher level opponents as a personal challenge.

          The problem with Aion would be the length of the grind in which you would be disadvantaged. Because, while killing with a disadvantage can be fulfilling. Over time, it grows tiresome.

        • taugrim says:

          “I often played solo and I did not stand a chance against a group of guys who were lower level than my Gladiator. I did not escape all the time.”

          Understood.

          But look specifically at what I said, and I will mark the important text in bold and italicized text:
          “a small group of lowbies has very little chance defending against a single much higher-level player”

          To give you an example, a level 40 character would steamroll a group of level 20 characters. The level 20 characters would see RESIST, EVADE, PARRY, etc when they tried to attack. It would be a pitiful slaughter.

          “looking up my IP for some reason and feeling free to reveal details about it here and implying something about Germans for sure does not make me your friend at all and I regret posting here”

          I didn’t “reveal” your IP address, I merely stated “Hullo my German friend! (I love reverse IP lookup).” I just wanted to see what country you came from, because I’m curious where people are reading my blog from. I think it’s cool someone from Germany read my article. I do appreciate your posting your thoughts.

          If you want to take my response in a negative personal way, that is, of course, up to you.

        • greg says:

          ahahahaha, you may be tough in game but you run like a chicken when confronted in real life, where as i run like a chicken in game when confronted but i stand my ground when i make a point in real life

          and ncsoft didn’t promote aion as an all out pvp, kill all you can game!!! only a stupid company would do that considering that hardcore pvp killers will never be a majority, their numbers could grow as population increases but they will never be the majority player base

          and who knows what the koreans think! for all we know, they might simply be thinking of dota or lol and how lucrative those games are when they designed aion. but those games are structured pvp games, and by that i mean there’s one set of players looking for a fight and another set AGREEING to fight w/c is far from what aion pvp is!

          fact is, it’s a ploy of games like this to force pvp unto the players for the chance that players might like it and start buying whatever to up their game. that’s probably why the starting areas are pvp proof!

          i just started playing aion 3 days ago, was a lot of fun until today when i got killed by another player in en…something w/c is why i’m searching for info about aion and how to avoid getting into a fight even though i didn’t agree to it! cause the game is great and it would be a shame to have to leave because of the stupid pvp, like as if i need kill someone else’s avatar so i could feel good about myself, please…!

  7. Skutrug says:

    In addition Longasc, I find it amusing that you speak so boldly of what the Korean like or not…undoubtedly this comes from your vast knowledge of non-western culture gathered… in west Germany???
    Regardless – Your comments exemplify the attitude of a certain segment of the AION population, which is that games must be hard to be worthy… It is certainly a position that I respect, unfortunately it is not one that is shared by a large base of paying customers in the US. It therefore does not bode well for the economical staying power of AION in North America. And that was all what Taugrim was stating. I don’t really care… since I don’t play the game.

  8. Arclighte says:

    Knowing all of the above, would you recommend Aion, taugrim? Do you feel there’s a certain minimum time investment required to enjoy the game? One of the things I always liked about WAR (and Champions, Oozo!) was that I could jump on, play for an hour or two and logoff but still feel as though I accomplished something. I contrast that with my WoW experience years ago (pre-TBC) where a minimum of ~4 hours was required in each playing session to make any real progress. I get the impression Aion resembles the latter but perhaps I’m wrong.

    Also, going by the chart, I assume -now- would be the best time to grab the game? Would I be right in thinking each day that I’m not working on a character is another day I’m behind level/gear/content curve and the harder it becomes to reach the ‘fun’ of being in the middle of the pack?

    • taugrim says:

      Hi Arclighte,

      TLDR: no, I wouldn’t recommend Aion for you

      Especially given you said in terms of what you are looking for: “jump on, play for an hour or two and logoff but still feel as though I accomplished something.” If you thought WoW took a lot of time to “make any real progress,” Aion is going to feel much worse.

      Transitioning from WAR to Aion has accentuated both the good and the bad of Aion for me.

      The good, in terms of Aion’s polish in terms of game stability (although botting is a major issue) and the coolness of the ability animations.

      The bad in terms of the grindy nature of Aion, and the lack of consistently challenging and enjoyable PVP. In terms of that, WAR nailed the fun PVP experience starting at level 1.

      In terms of PVE, Aion has been disappointing. It offers nothing new or innovative. At least the PVE in other games, such as LOTRO, have an immersive experience (e.g. the LOTRO Book story quest line, which is the common thread throughout the game).

      • Cosimo says:

        Good post. It sums up my biggest concerns about Aion (ganking and the grind) and why I don’t think it will do very well long term in NA. We will see though. I think a bolster system like WAR’s would go a long way in making pvp more enjoyable because the level range of the pvp and pvpve areas is so large. For those reasons, I have a feeling I am not going to enjoy the game long term, but I have Aion as a way to keep in touch with people from my last guild in WAR.

        I have a similar question to Arclighte’s – would now be the time to start playing? I only started playing a few weeks ago and am currently only 15. I level slowly in Aion since I am still playing WAR, and would probably hit 25 at some point next month (probably earlier in the month but we will see). All I know at this point is that there are a lot of people questing in the lower lvl areas, and I have no idea what to expect once I get high enough for pvp (assuming I make it that far).

        • taugrim says:

          “I have a similar question to Arclighte’s – would now be the time to start playing? I only started playing a few weeks ago and am currently only 15”

          I would recommend trying to get to 20 sooner than later, so you can start accumulating rest xp bonus at 20+. That way you’ll leveling more efficiently.

  9. AnathemaOne says:

    Coming from WAR as well, I think many of the aspects of Aion actually bring out a lot of things that WAR did wrong more than the other way around.

    Granted, WAR does a great job with involving players in PvP early on. It also has the open grouping system, which is fantastic.

    Beyond those things, leveling in WAR is no challenge at all (and that’s how I view it). Getting to 40 is no big deal, and renown ranks are nothing more than an investment in time (nothing to do with quality of play). The death penalty in WAR is nothing short of a bad joke. The PVE in WAR is perhaps the worst in the MMO genre, and is too easy to boot (something Jeff Hickman admits). The tiering system in WAR always had a very “game-y” feel rather than feeling like a living virtual world (Aion does a better job with this though it is somewhat linear).

    WAR is also an exceptionally shallow game. You have RvR, some really poorly done PvE, the worst crafting system imaginable, and… nothing else, really. When there’s no RvR going on, often the player is left with nothing to do but log out.

    With regard to WoW, while you’ve accounted for BG’s and Arena as providing relatively level-equivalent PvP, that only covers the consensual kind. As I’m sure you know, on a WoW PvP server, high-on-low level ganking is every bit as possible as it is in Aion – perhaps even moreso, since players from both factions share questing areas more than they do in Aion. Why doesn’t this cause similar problems? It’s not the speed of the leveling curve, in my opinion. It’s the fact that as the game matures, both sides will have higher level players all over the place. As the gankers go, so shall the players that delight in slaughtering gankers (as you have in WoW). More than that, however, WoW provided a lot for players to do at high-level. If Aion can also do this, it will alleviate some of that ganking problem.

    I think it’s still too early to tell how Aion will pan out, however. It should be interesting to see how it is in another 2 months or so when the majority of players have 50th level toons.

  10. Oozo says:

    “since players from both factions share questing areas more than they do in Aion”

    Which was a saving grace since you could actually get level appropriate fights more often than dealing with higher level people playing down.

    Of course, hard for me to judge since I was generally the ganker as a rogue, not the gankee. ;)

    Also, many people on the WoW PvP server I played on levelled in the instances and avoided open world quests. Kind of counter-intuitive to start a character on a PvP server, and do nothing but PvE to level… but there you go.

    To me the only real advantage Aion has over WAR is game performance. That is a pretty huge factor though. I think I lost my interest in Aion while harvesting. Or maybe it was when I was doing RL chores while my toon was chain crafting.

    • taugrim says:

      “To me the only real advantage Aion has over WAR is game performance. That is a pretty huge factor though”

      Indeed. Game performance and stability were my top 2 beefs with WAR.

      My impression from the outside as a long-time software developer and architect is that either
      a. WAR was built on a very crappy software framework and code base, and / or
      b. the Mythic team had really poor programming practices, in terms of things such as automated unit and regression testing. How many times did we see new patches break existing functionality? Shouldn’t happen much, esp with the massive leaps that the software industry has made over the past decade as automated unit testing became the status quo

      And as I’ve said elsewhere, the idea of trying to launch with 20 (or 24) different class implementations was unwise from a scope perspective. Getting 8 classes right is challenge enough, let alone doubling that number. If you go live with 20 classes and there are issues across all of them, most players are not going to be happy with their class.

  11. Redtah says:

    Sup Taugramalam.

    Your charts are right on the money.

    Just about everything you say is right on the money about Aion.

    I’d just like to add the one thing that most people don’t seem to realize.

    in Aion skill actually matters, I know its a shock since there hasn’t been a game where class/gear haven’t mattered more in a long while.

    Running around at level 30 PvPing for a week straight with Bolt and Skrigg we were able to kill just about anybody and everybody, We killed level 40s, we killed level 25s, we killed a 12 man of equal level Elyos, We killed level 35+ in half gold gear. Thats something that I just don’t see happening basically ever in War or WoW or AoC (for my breif stay) or any game I’ve pvped in.

    As frustrating as it is to get ganked by a much higher level, its so rewarding to watch their wings pop out in their last breath.

    If you were wondering, I’m a Cleric Skrigg was a Gladiator and Bolt is a templar. People may argue that thats a pretty good group. I would agree if we were level 50 but at level 30 neither the gladiator or templar shines so, if it takes me 2 and a half months to hit max level and have some good pvp I guess thats what I’ll do.

    • taugrim says:

      Hey Redtah,

      Thanks for stopping by :)

      “in Aion skill actually matters”

      I agree with that comment.

      It’s part of the reason I feel that Aion has such huge potential; if just a few game mechanics were tweaked, Aion would be a much more compelling game.

      “I’m a Cleric Skrigg was a Gladiator and Bolt is a templar. People may argue that thats a pretty good group”

      In my experience, physical damage classes tend to do better against higher-level opponents in PVP. So from that respect, your class makeup can be advantageous.

      While you will have a lot of attacks parried and blocked, those attacks still land and deal damage, which means their CC effects do too. Whereas a caster won’t be able to consistently land an attack on an opponent of much higher level, due to the magic resist mechanics.

      I’m glad you guys are having a good time, y’all were very worthy foes back in WAR.

      There have been some former Phoenix Throne players who have gone back to WAR. I’m not planning to, partly because I think the game just doesn’t have enough positive inertia anymore.

      • Redtah says:

        Melee does usually have an easier time, but between Templar Gladiator and Cleric we have one snare, Yea one. 2 Roots, one which breaks on any damage on a short cooldown and one which usually doesn’t break on damage, but can with a long cooldown. And basically the bread and butter of our CC Templar pull which is also the one snare.

        The classes who definitely have an easy time with higher level opponents are the Scout subclasses they get HUGE bonuses to accuracy via passive skills and short cooldowns.

        I have also noticed a lot of PT guys going back to WAR, a few of them tried to get me to come back. But I never will, the game is hemorrhaging they had their chance to make the MMO work and they totally blew it.

        “My impression from the outside as a long-time software developer and architect is that either
        a. WAR was built on a very crappy software framework and code base, and / or
        b. the Mythic team had really poor programming practices, in terms of things such as automated unit and regression testing. How many times did we see new patches break existing functionality? Shouldn’t happen much, esp with the massive leaps that the software industry has made over the past decade as automated unit testing became the status quo”

        WAR was built on a crappy pre existing engine, but without even knowing anything about their server structure I can tell you 90% of the problem stems from this.

        All zones in a T4 pairing are grouped together. So lets say you opened a fort, well the 4000 people who didn’t get into the fort are STILL going to try and get in, and as I’m sure you know they are still in that pairing. Meaning the cap on Forts never really helped anything since all those people one zone away are still contributing to the lag.

        They should have more forts instanced like the City, but better since there could only be 1 Fort instance it would mean the cap would actually matter.

        Even instancing cities was a poor choice because to the best of my knowledge ALL OF THE CITY SIEGE instances ran on the same hardware too.

        So this had to be their thinking alright. When a fort opens up we’ll get the entire Active T4 population funneled into one area and basically force the server to deal with the entire population as if it was just one huge zone even though they are spread across two zones. And then they must have thought, well hey if that will work lets do the City Siege instances the same way! EVERYONE that is currently online will be forced into the same piece of hardware again! YEA GO DEVELOPMENT TEAM!

        Catch ya later grimTau

  12. Tarvitz says:

    I’ve seen a lot of complaints and reasons for leaving WAR as game stability and performance, I would just like to say, you HAVE to check out 1.3.2. Arguably did more for the game than any other patch. Framerate improvements on the order of 40-50% for a lot of players I talked to. Also fixed some hickups with server side lag, cutting the ability delay’s by over a second.

    Also, had a 100 vs 140 keep siege last night in CW, it was flawless. The days of pairing crashes are behind us. But, they took out the one counter zerg mechanic this game had, forts. So now the realm with the population advantage is in the city, getting to stage 2, several times a day. This is leading to a cascade effect where the losing sides players are leaving in droves, solidifying the opposing realm’s dominance. I hear PT is a ghost town, sadly.

    I cancelled Aion due to time issues but I’m going to pick it back up after the new year (At least till SW:TOR). And where are the vids???

    • taugrim says:

      WAR 1.3.2 may be too little too late in terms of saving the game. I never saw so many people quit a game so quickly as with WAR. It’s a huge case study for the industry, in terms of generating tremendous hype but failing to deliver.

      “This is leading to a cascade effect where the losing sides players are leaving in droves, solidifying the opposing realm’s dominance.”

      Aside from game stability and game performance (which were my 2 biggest criticism with WAR), there was never a mechanism to address the lack of balance when one faction was clearly stronger than the other. As you said, that tended to have a vicious effect on the weaker side. I heard that WAR is implementing a counter-balancing mechanic in 1.3.3 to help the losing side, but IMO that, like the game stability and game performance improvements (1.3.2) and nerfs to AOE (1.3b), are coming a year too late.

      “I hear PT is a ghost town, sadly.”

      My main (Taugram the Swordmaster) is on PT, so the fact that it described as a ghost town doesn’t encourage me to re-install WAR. I’ve checked the WHA forums recently and can tell, based on the number of threads and posts, that # of players on PT and for my class has really dropped off. I could level my Shaman to T4 on Iron Rock, but that server’s community just doesn’t “pull” me in, aside from the level of player activity.

      “I cancelled Aion due to time issues but I’m going to pick it back up after the new year (At least till SW:TOR). And where are the vids???”

      There haven’t been any Aion videos for over 6 weeks, partly because the leveling is slow, and partly because I haven’t found many compelling fights against opponents where it wasn’t a gank or ROFLstomp.

      • Redtah says:

        The balancing factor for any PvP MMO should always be skill IMO, when numbers matter more then skill one side is desitned to be the zerg while the other side is the one getting zerged. without a third faction to rally agains the zerg side, a la DAOC, Your borked!

        Everyone is looking forward to TOR, I don’t get it. to me it sounds like it will be a GREAT RPG and a TERRIBLE MMO, why the hell even make it an MMO? It’ll be like I’m paying a monthly fee to play a single player game where my friends can kind of play with me some times.

        I’m wondering how you get such Great FPS while frapsing Taugrim, I can basically never get a smooth video no matter what game I play it seems, its pissing me off.

        • taugrim says:

          “I’m wondering how you get such Great FPS while frapsing Taugrim, I can basically never get a smooth video no matter what game I play it seems, its pissing me off.”

          I actually have a slow laptop, and the FPS is typically 20 or under while recording.

          I did make some tweaks for WAR, which seemed to help:
          http://www.tweakxp.com/article37016.aspx

          Also, recently I’ve been experimenting with disabling some of the Windows services that don’t seem necessary.

  13. […] Originally Posted by Kaluro Grind = doing something over and over again Quests to kill mobs = Grinding with a goal Mindlessly kiling mobs to level up = grinding with a goal Gathering for hours straight as you're gonna need loads of procs for your gear = grinding group quests over and over again for drops = grinding repeating instances for drops = grinding A lot of these things seperately, are grinds. but if you combine them and switch between them regularly, it becomes.. a fun game! And I only mentioned 10% of the stuff you can do in aion. Go harass somebody else.. please, and come with proper comments instead. TY this is how you dicuss things. I did not harass you i simply point out you can't have a discussion about apples if you talk about bananas. At last you agree with me what a grind is defined as. First of all i will ignore your '10%' stat as its made up and not true. The 'fun' you speak about is very subjective. Am trying my best to explain to you as is Aion lacks 'content'. The options are few a grind doesn't have to be a grind. You do know you can keep the xp curve the same BUT do other things to address the issue. Look i am not hating Aion. The grind does not phase me BUT am trying to improve on where it is currently. Aion is a very 'level' devependant game and in the long run it will affect the new players wanting to join and also how well Aion matures. we can chose to ignore and pretend that everything is OK and then have our selves to blame. IF you have a bit of spare time i suggest you read this article: The Implications of the Aion Population Distribution on PVP Taugrim's MMORPG Blog […]

  14. […] of gaming and how Aion may play a nice roll in that, or about the balance of player fractions and population in an MMO, and one of the worst things a lot of companies do wrong, or have no costumer support […]

  15. RPG Titles says:

    At would have to say with it taking so long to get to the higher end of levels then your assessment would naturally have to be correct. Given enough time it will be griefing newbs for a while or fighting over gear vs. like levels.

    • taugrim says:

      Well, I de-subbed from Aion a couple weeks ago. I expect that Aion North America is going to have an extremely difficult time retaining the level 50s. When I stopped playing the Abyss wasn’t that active except for the zergy fort battles.

      I’ve moved on to Allod’s Online and it’s been a breath of fresh air.

  16. quiqueangeday says:

    why not:)

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