Monday, July 6, 2009

angels and demons

Everyone can't stop talking about the new sensation in the MMO gaming world, the incoming Asian release currently in beta testing, Aion. Several people got beta keys and are sharing their first impressions.

I don't plan on leaving World of Warcraft anytime soon. While it's not as compelling as it was one year ago, I still enjoy it. I play with my boyfriend, so it's a way to get in touch with him on weekdays. The folks in my guild are a lot of fun. But raiding content of late (Ulduar) doesn't deliver - I'm up to Yogg-Saron, sorely missing TBC and Black Temple - and I'm above all a raider, so I'm slightly frustrated. I'm open to a new outlet to go along with my possibly waning WoW addiction. And Aion, from what is being said, is very reminiscent of WoW - albeit with several Asian touches.

I bear strong bias against Asian MMOs. My first Massively Multiplayer Online experience was Ragnarok Online, and it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I hate how it's so goddamn cutesy. There's a limit to sugary and Ragnarok definitely crossed that line. Now, Aion. Thankfully it doesn't resemble RO in the slightest manner, but it still looks very, how shall I put it... "soft". I'm not looking for a hardcore, dark, gory setting: in fact I detest those as much as, or even more than I dislike overly cutesy. But does everything need to be bland, pale and slightly ethereal? WoW's hit a soft spot. It's very diverse; there is some colourful scenery here, but there's some darker or more earthly settings there. To a degree WAR did that too, but Aion graphic style, from the screenshots I've seen, steers far away from what I like. But I'm better off waiting for more screens and videos to pass proper judgment.

The world of Aion has two races. "Demons" and "angels", for short. Oh man. I despise anything resembling demons and angels. When they aren't in a slapstick-silly setting like Disgaea, they reek of angsty drama. And angels mean wings, which are up there with pointy ears as the biggest design turnoff for me (terrible memories of Angel Sanctuary, Sephiroth, "otaku-moe" coolness... ugh! *shudders*). If wings were something special only certain characters could end up getting, I wouldn't mind it, but it seems everyone gets wings. Ewww!

I must say like the classes. They don't stray from the traditional Fighter-Rogue-Mage-Priest sacred cow, which means they can't do much wrong. And there's an Assassin class, so they got me covered in case I eventually subscribe.

So, yeah... I bear lots of prejudice towards Aion already. But that's prejudice, not an opinion - I haven't had decent exposure to the game to properly judge it. Those dislikes might very well end up being completely unfounded. All in all, I'm not highly anticipating it. More like cautiously waiting for more information, especially regarding the actual gameplay. Depending on what I hear, I might as well give it a shot.

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