Friday, September 20, 2013

They Keep Dragging Me Back In, Part Whatever

In between running BGs on WoW, poking around Makeb (finally!) on SWTOR, and some occasional forays into other MMOs, I felt a strange tug.

Perhaps it was me passing by a bunch of In Nomine RPG books when I was at one of our local game stores.  Perhaps it was watching the Doctor Who episode The Angels Take Manhattan with the kids. Perhaps it was me watching Illidan's "You are not prepared!" sequence on the BC trailer.  But whatever the reason why, I had a sudden hankering to see this again:

Nothing like a pair of wings to attract attention

Yeah, I know.  You'd think that after I said Aion wasn't for me that would have been the end of it, but like White Castle hamburgers, I got a sudden craving to login to the game again.

Instead of using my Elyos "light side" character, I created a "dark side" Asmodian just to see what that looked like.  To say that they appeared akin to darker reflections of Elyos is pretty accurate, plus they have a furry, almost tail-like growth on their backs.  "Oh great, they're "Furry Angels", I muttered and left it at that.

The Asian MMO nature of Aion means that you get creatures with names like "Sparkie" out there, but that isn't different than the Elyos side out there.  The major difference between factions is illustrated from the beginning questlines:  on the Elyos side you're defending communities from raiders, while on the Asmodian side you are the raiders.

Gold spammers were in full force in the chat areas, which once again rendered them practically useless.  This makes me wonder whether NCSoft actually encourages gold spammers, given how effective ArenaNet, Bioware, and even Blizzard have been at gold spam reduction.

I will freely admit that the best part of the game is the graphics, but still the immersion is ruined by the Nintendo factor:  the goofy enemy names, the tendency of some players to use mushroom heads instead of realistic looking designs, and the obvious JRPG nature of the female toons' graphics.

Part of the Aion v4.0 "Dark Betrayal" promotion pics.
A long time ago, I once had an apartment neighbor who wore leather outfits
like the woman on the right.  She was not one to be trifled with.
In the illustration above, the woman on the left makes me vaguely uncomfortable.  I don't know how such images are perceived in Asia, but over here she leaves the impression of a 12-13 year old dressed up in a sexualized outfit.  This creeped me out, given that I have kids in that age range.  I simply don't see the need to go there.  As much as some people complain about the Dragon Aspects' bikini looks, at least they dress like adults.  (And the Aspects give you the sort of look that says "if you piss us off, you're breakfast."  You don't get that in Aion.)

Aion is popular enough, given the number of toons online, but I wish it would take itself more seriously.

Oh, and I wish it would make the mouse selections the same as on (almost) all other MMOs.  Why decide to do things differently when all you did was kinda-sorta reverse some of the mouse functions?

I suppose I should be happy that Aion hasn't enraptured me, because the last thing I need is another MMO to split my time.  But man, Aion just feels so close to something I'd like, it's a shame that it doesn't.


  1. I remember really liking it for a while but I finally couldn't take the gold spammers anymore. It's a shame to hear they haven't made any improvements. On the other hand it's good to know as I won't feel the need to "try" it again, lol.

    You're not alone feeling uncomfortable with the outfit, I even feel that way sometimes in clothing stores. I see a lot of stuff that does not look appropriate for the age they're marketing to, maybe I'm just getting old.

    1. I will say that while I occasionally see short shorts* when I pick up my oldest from high school, they're typically on girls who look like, well, adults. Not children.

      The spammers just drag the game down. Of course, they don't care, because they get paid by people clicking on their link. It only takes one schmoe to keep them busy...

      *It's not part of the dress code, and believe me, they enforce it. Still, after school hours those short shorts will make an appearance outside in warm weather.