Aion: Assault on Balaurea set for free release Sept. 7

After the recent Aion Server Merge, NCSoft got its hands full settling name changes and server transfers. But in the middle of all the hoo-ha, the devs found time to drop a crucial announcement over the weekend: Aion‘s next expansion is due out on September 7 and it will be free!

NCSoft released a formal press release which touched on the new features rolling out in Aion: Assault on Balaurea aka Aion 2.0:

  • new and updated instances and zones;
  • increased level cap;
  • new weapons and items;
  • new skills and added flight mechanics; and
  • functional pets.

The Aion: Assault on Balaurea expansion advances the storyline deep into the Balaur homeland, with Elyos and Asmodean forces preparing for a counteroffensive against the beastly invaders.

As early as Sept.7, current players can get the expansion through digital download. Meanwhile, new players eager to explore Atreia for the first time can get boxed copies of the game plus the Aion 2.0 expansion on Sept.7 in the US and Sept.10 in Europe.

“Exclusive in-game pets” can be obtained via these special retail boxes, NCSoft added, but there are no details yet on the list of free minions and participating stores.

I’m 99% sure though they’ll give out a panda. No one can resist a snugly panda, especially when it sports a backpack and some school accessory like a necktie or ribbon (as seen in the left picture from the Korean Aion 2.0 patch notes). In fact, they should just give everyone these cuddly mammals if only to appease players still fuming over balance concerns, particularly Asmodians outraged by Elyos dominance on the consolidated servers who claim they would pay millions of Aion Kinah just to have a “level playing field again.”