Aion: Tower of Eternity Launches Today, Rejoice!

Let’s get excited, we just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I just can’t hide it!  I know, I know, I know, I know, I want you!

What? The Pointer Sisters rocked okay? Plus, I think the lyrics are appropriate considering today is September 22nd, 2009, AKA, the day NCsoft blessed the world with the gift of Aion, let us break bread together and rejoice. Unless you happen to be Elyos scum!

So I woke up this morning feeling a strange, unusual sensation, a bizarre vim and vigor, a great power if you will. You know the kind of power I’m talking about right? The kind you feel when you’ve just seen a Jackie Chan movie? Yeah, that sort of vim. A couple of eggs and a shot of coffee later and I stumbled upon an amazing piece of hyper-wonderfulness, the Aion launch trailer. Suffice to say it did little to quell the increasingly frenzied sense of excitement mounting within, but I shall persevere, for I will not be able to step into Atreia today.

You see, being bandwidth challenged I cannot indulge in the miraculous quick fix of digital distribution, as such I shall be procuring my copy from the nearest Gamestop. Unfortunately, I don’t think my PC can hold together long enough to actually play it, would you believe that last night my video card started showing the first signs of  death? The cooling fan now refuses to start, meaning the heatsink gets hot enough to cook an egg on. Perfect timing. I suppose I could spring for a new 8800GT to tide me over.

Anyway, I figure since today is Aion day, I’d dedicate this post to nothing but NCsoft’s Korean masterpiece, I’ve already linked to the launch trailer, but if you’d like to get an idea of the history of Atreia, the world you’ll be spending so much time in, look no further. Epic stuff yes?

However, if you’re like me you’re more excited about character creation and customisation. For those of us who like to tinker, tweak and fiddle endlessly, NCsoft has us covered, Aion has a particularly extensive and detailed creation process, just take a look at this fan made video if you don’t believe, it also shows of just how amazingly good the game looks.

If you’re having trouble deciding what class you’d like to choose, there’s this short class trailer. What’s that? Still not enough? I hear ya, eight classes is a lot at launch, and they deserve to each be given their own individual videos :)

It’s worth mentioning the fourth installment in the excellent Aion Podcast is online, you can watch it here and take in more sights, sounds and like me, wish you were playing. This latest entry focuses, appropriately enough, on Aion’s global community, the generous sections of gameplay footage are also very welcome of course! I have to say these video podcasts seem to be getting better and better, I hope we see more and that they don’t just stop now that the game’s out, it’s great to hear the developers addressing players concerns and answering fan questions directly.

Considering all the positive press so far, and the recent news from NCsoft that they’ve already sold a whopping 400,000 preorder copies, you have to wonder, is Aion too good for its own good? That’s the question I asked myself as I came across multiple stories of folks waiting in the pre-release server cue for up to seven long hours. The bizarre thing is that even after waiting  ages to get in game and fighting through a throng of other players to get their hands on severely camped quest-items… most folks seem to love the game, apparently it’s all worth the wait. Have a look at this excerpt from Kotaku:

My main problem was due to the initial rush. With that many people in your starting zone, quest items will be camped, and quest monsters will be slaughtered mercilessly. At first NCsoft had 10 instances of the newbie area available for players to freely switch between, but each one was packed, causing severe quest bottlenecks, especially when the quest required players to click on one item that spawned every two minutes. It was chaotic.

Later in the day I went back through and completed some of the quests I skipped, and things seem to have calmed down a bit. I suspect the launch tomorrow will experience similar problems. My suggestion?  Skip quests and grind, or simply wait a bit to start leveling up.

I’ve managed to make it to level 12 so far myself, with Caliban the chanter kicking ass and taking names left and right while searching for a guild that’s a little more about roleplay than most. I know, good luck with that right? Either way, I hope to see some of you in game. If I don’t respond, I’m asleep with my face on the keyboard.

I think that last sentence in particular tells us all we need to know, folks can’t stop playing despite the issues. Let’s not forget that pretty much every MMO has these issues at launch, and no amount of Aion Kinah will change that, even World of Warcraft went through some teething issues that most folks have forgotten about, and there’s no need to bring up the Age of Conan madness around launch. If Aion does suffer MMO launch day blues, don’t get too bummed about it, NCsoft is fairly experienced in the genre, and I imagine that within a month at the outside, most of the early issues will have been ironed out.

Whatever the case, the overwhelming consensus seems to be that despite initial server load problems, Aion is a hell of a game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go see if I can’t find something to take my mind off the fact that I can’t play yet. Maybe I’ll watch Gremlins 2 again…


– A WoW players guide to Aion

Aion live theater (yes this is a repeat, but it’s relevant, and I had to suffer through it so you should too!)

10 reasons why Aion is your next MMO (eleventh reason is because, like The Pointer Sisters, Aion rocks)