I’m Done with Aion


I finally got back from a 3-week business trip overseas. I played Aion very sparsely in January, and the sad thing is I didn’t really miss it.

So after only 4.5 months of playing Aion, I’ve de-subbed.

The reasons are pretty simple:

  1. the leveling was boring and very time-consuming. Fundamentally Aion felt like work to play based on its design
  2. the main PVP zone, the Abyss, was largely empty. This was nothing like WAR, WoW, or LOTRO, where it was easy to find opponents to fight

The funny thing is my Chanter is only just over a level away from 42, which was my original target level for making PVP videos – Chanters get a ranged stun at 42. But the main thing is I simply don’t believe in Aion. I would not recommend Aion to a new player who is used to “Western” MMOs (e.g. WoW/LOTRO/WAR). So I figured it didn’t make sense for me to invest the time to level up and make videos.

I think some of the good qualities of WAR really set me up for disappointment with Aion. WAR was fun from level 1 all the way to 40, aside from the game instability issues. Aion was incredibly stable but consistently boring.

A YouTube subscriber sent me a PM back in September 2009 about Aion, and he was right about the game:

Not a big fan of aion, knowing the principle is Korean mentality based, it’s going to get old fast.

I myself been hooked in so many same type mentality game design and they all ending up a disappointment.

I work in the gaming industry, and I know how Aion is build as. [Aion] makes it more efficient for people who has time to waste, then instead of people who actually has the skills to show off. Quite imbalance approach, but then again, that’s their mentality of designing video games. (The american version is based off the asian version, same set of rules will apply.)

Hope you won’t spend too much time on Aion, you might setup yourself for a disappointment in the long run.

I’ve been following Keen’s posts about Allod’s Online so I might check that out.

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Posted in Aion, PVP, Warhammer Online
17 comments on “I’m Done with Aion
  1. kaldeem says:

    Hm. I’m so glad you posted this. I was about to purchase Aion in hopes of “something” that maybe I or many blogger’s missed out on.

    Allods seams like a real winner, but I’m worried about the MT that might play a roll in end-game. I’m still going to play it because it’s ‘Free’, but still looking for that MMO to call “HOME”

    Sad that after 5 years, the only truly “thriving” MMO is still Wow.

    Well w/e you find to call home(game-wise) good luck and there are those of us still looking forward to your videos.

    • taugrim says:

      WoW has succeeded for so long because of a virtuous cycle:
      1. the game is very newbie friendly. Not saying that it doesn’t require skill to be a good player. But it is the 1st MMORPG that most people play, and it does a good job attracting and retaining them
      2. the game is incredibly polished and is not demanding from a system perspective. I played WoW for years in a raid environment on a crappy laptop and was still able to MT
      3. the vastness of the content, which is in part supported by the fact that the game has a ton of subs which generates incredible cash flow which enables Blizzard to profitably deliver new content with a huge staff

      WoW isn’t the only game that has continued to grow. There are several MMOs that seem to have steadily grown in terms of subs over the years. E.g. Eve Online (which I’ve never tried) and LOTRO.

      As for Allods – I’ve very encouraged by what Keen has written about the game – enough that I will check it out. What’s your concern about MT? I’m looking at either Warrior or Warden as my main. Both suit my playstyle (either durable melee, or hybrid with utility).

  2. Asherony says:

    Your post was the last thing that made me quit Aion… again.

    I never actually believed blogs/forums/etc but after playing for a fair bit of time (50 SM) it has become clear that this game is even worse than WoW in terms of time wasted > skill. Granted, RPGs will never be fair since there are levels and gear, but Aion pushes this to a new limit with its dependency on consumables and gear upgrade levels.

    On top of that, I’m not from the US, so I’m curious – how was the NA community? Because it was filled with Lineage 2 elitists that blurted “come back 2 wow” and “kill yourself filthy subhuman casual” every time anything bad about Aion was mentioned. Well, at least on the EU server I played.

    On a side note – be wary of Allods, since it has many flaws and game balance issues, including but not limited to RMT. I’ve played this since its closed beta (I’m from Russia) and some things really turned me off. Not that it’s bad – but it’s not as awesome as some people claim it to be. Just to protect you from another disappointment.

    Maybe you’ll give WoW a chance? It has changed a lot since TBC, and you’re no longer required to do high-end PvE content to be viable in PvP. On top of that, you can level your character to 80 in about 3 weeks of semi-casual gameplay (3-4 hours a day). Would love to see some PvP vids for it ^~

    Oh, and curse you EA for rushing WAR’s release date ^~

    • taugrim says:

      You’re from Russia? Ochen preyatna! Your English is flawless, I assumed you were from North America or Western Europe.

      The NA community on my server, Lumiel, was very good. I would attribute that partly to the server being the unofficial role-play server. Most of the people I met did not RP, but they were simply mature and friendly. People were very willing to PUG instances and quests. I don’t fault the player base at all. I met some very skilled, friendly players on Aion.

      There certainly is a level of elitism in Aion. Most of the NA players still playing didn’t perceive the game to be a grind. I found it to be incredibly grindy.

      WAR did really ruin me LOL. I was able to earn enough money from PVP player drops to not have to farm at all.

      What are your specific concerns with Allods?

      I’m just not that interested in WoW. It has become much more casual-friendly, which is probably a good thing overall. But there are some things about WoW I just didn’t like. E.g.:
      1. I found WoW’s game mechanics to be a bit simplistic. When I started LOTRO, I was blown away by the number of situational abilities each class has. Same with Aion, and WAR to a lesser extent. 90% of the time in WoW I was hitting the same 5 keys over and over
      2. the WoW forum community sucks. There is a lot of in-fighting within classes and between classes on the forums, and this is caused IMO by the game design which has too many classes able to play a given role (tank, heal, DPS)

  3. Nathan says:

    Told you do, heh.

    You just quit later than me I suppose. I am playing WoW again now, why don’t you check it out again, It is a very different game now, some say too easy.

    The gear issue you had is vanished, as a new badge system allows even newly-dinged 80’s to easily claim some of the best gear.

    Also, a new ‘Dungeon Finder’ tool was implemented, simply like Battlegrounds, you select your role (dps,tank,healer) queue up and wait five minutes, it pops up and you enter then dungeon, you can do this over and over again. It is really easy to level alts this way.

    Not trying to sell WoW to you or anything, its just I, myself, can’t find much else to play at the moment. I’ve even thought about playing WAR again, but have heard my server has been merged >.<

    • taugrim says:

      I doubt I’ll ever pick up WoW again, despite the changes, for the reasons I stated to Asherony above. The game just doesn’t appeal to me.

      My WAR server (Phoenix Throne) was merged too. And the player base lacks critical mass. The amount of forum traffic over at warhammeralliance.com is pitiful. It’s really a shame. WAR was ground-breaking in so many positive ways. I loved being able to level via PVP. I loved how active Open RVR and scenarios were. I loved how tanks were implemented. I loved that healing classes could actually kill people.

      • Nathan says:

        Is the general player-base for WAR so low now then? Has there been much news from the Devs?

        I totally agree, tanks were just machines and it was a game where every single class/race combo was extremely well-thought out and fun to play.

        As aforementioned, I’m playing WoW now and it is sometimes desperately tricky to keep a momentum and commitment going, I have only 1 main and have done for years. Only now have I started experimenting with other classes, I’m right in thinking that isn’t a good thing.

        Ive checked out Allods, not sure what to think.

        • taugrim says:

          If you haven’t yet, check out my last post re: WAR:
          https://taugrim.com/2010/01/05/social-gaming-may-kill-traditional-mmorpg/

          EA is pulling resources away from Mythic, which is not good for WAR.

          EA won’t publish the subscriber numbers for WAR, but given that it was 300k in Q1 2009 and the game kept losing players and servers since then, my guess is it’s well under 100k now.

          • Nathan says:

            Okay, first glance, another RoM WoW clone.

            Second glance, WAR clone, and a bloody good one at that. The steampunk/sci-fi fantasia disney-esque art style is really something else too.

            If you’re fed up of the usual high fantasy, roll an empire character.

            Graphically this game is astonishing, in that it is free an’ all.

            Combat is a bit sluggish and slow at these low levels, hope it changes.

            Still playing, we’ll see what happens.

      • Skutrug says:

        Yo Taugrim, your ol’ buddies in Agony are still well and kicking in WAR – Come back to serving the Great Eye… or Sigmar depending on your inclination ;-)
        Agony destro is on Badlands – Agony Order is on Iron Rock. Irony/Obliteration moved to Gorfang I believe – you have both Order and Destro characters, so you will likely experience both sides.
        WAR is still a ton of fun, specially now that most annoying bugs have be eliminated – I have steady non-lag gameplay with over 150 characters on/around screen.
        Population side seems to be a constant flux, as people seems to be playing across different servers and swinging to the dominant side. Mythic has very much tried to improve things – sometimes their ideas appear odd – like the recent scenarios debacle – but it is often a manner of communication (or lack of it).
        T1 is still a blast – and you can be competitive from level 1 to 40… as you know well. The next patch will put everyone at the highest level of scenario tier, so no more farming the 36-38 in scenarios. We are all hoping they bring back the fortresses in a functional way sometimes soon. New RvR weapons are on the way, the current classes are pretty much set at their right position – a few still do need a bit of love, but all are playable.
        All in all, WAR is fun.
        Skut

        • taugrim says:

          Glad to hear Agony is still having fun and that WAR is much more stable. It was still very buggy when I de-subbed back in 1.3.1.

          The population flux is a huge issue, and one that I wish Mythic had spent more time thinking through before going live with the game.

          You guys have a great guild. Say hi to the Agony crew for me!

          • Shiara says:

            Hey Tau (and Nam and others), miss you all. Hope you all are doing well! I’ve since fallen in with the Agony crew in War (and LotRO, though I haven’t gone creepside there in forever).

            Will bump into you folks in some game soon, hopefully. :)

            – Kytara

  4. Namaste says:

    Yeah Taugrim, Warhammer really spoiled me as far as fun PVP. Nothing is better than PVP from level 1 in a game.

    I barely lasted 3 months in AION. Got an Assassin to level 47. Just couldn’t find much PVP like I could in WAR. I was too bored in the game and I was one of those who didn’t mind the leveling grind.

    I may try Allods. I hate that it’s a free game with MT though. I am actually playing EVE Online right now. I can really see why so many people either find EVE boring or love it. The game is so complex and deep. I just wish I got into EVE in 2003 ;) So this game will be a decent filler for me until Guild Wars 2 comes out. Even though Guild Wars is an NCsoft game it is made by Arenanet. It is the exact opposite of a grinding game. You easily hit max level in a few days and pvp right away. So I am patiently awaiting GW2 while I play EVE Online.

    • taugrim says:

      I’ve heard great things about EVE Online, but it sounds like it takes a lot of time to get advanced in the game, and that is a bit of a turnoff.

      WAR really defined for me what an MMO experience should be in terms of fun factor and the ability to compete against better-geared, higher-ranked opponents. I don’t like games that give the much better geared player an insurmountable advantage (WoW was that way). In WAR I was able to defeat much-better geared opponents via skill, positioning, and timing of cooldowns.

      Let me know how GW2 turns out. I didn’t play GW1. And I’ll be posting how Allod’s goes for me. I’ve been having trouble installed the Beta 5 client, but that’s pretty commmon. I’m still sorting through that now.

      • Namaste says:

        Yeah EVE does take time to get advanced in the game for sure. I am mostly playing it now to see and learn the game. I really have wanted to see why so many people love this game so much.I only plan to play it for a few months.

        I hear you can be viable in the PVP in just a few weeks if you become a “tackler”. Basically disabling the opponents warp drive and slowing them down.

  5. […] I played several other “new” games to the Western market: Aion and Allods Online (AO). Aion’s grindfest killed my interest before I even reached level cap. AO had a terrific Beta experience go into the toilet when the game developer implemented a Death […]

  6. […] to pan out well for western audiences, in particular Aion and a lesser-known title Allods Online. Aion didn’t adapt sufficiently well for a western audience – the leveling experience was painfully grindy to say the least (unless you enjoy repeatable […]

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