In order to help Asmodians recruit more players against the popular Elyos, NCSoft plans to launch a full-scale Faction Incentive Program, which will offer rewards and bonuses to anyone who rolls the darker-skinned race.
This is the boldest step NCSoft has taken to achieve faction population balance in North American and European servers, where Elyos often outnumber Asmodians.
“Our goal is to grow the Asmodian population on those servers through race creation, reactivation and transfers,” said NCSoft in an official announcement. The Faction Incentive Program will be launched in this month’s Aion 2.5 patch and will offer three kinds of advantages to Asmodians:
- XP buff items. Asmodians level 10 and higher will receive a “huge supply” of Berdin’s Amulet, which grants a one-hour 50% xp boost buff for hunting, gathering and crafting activities. The item has a one hour cooldown. Planned for selected servers, but exact list still to be announced.
- Special entrance gates. Due to having a smaller population to compete for fort ownership, Asmodians do not get access to instances. NCSoft plans to roll out frequent Gateway Getaway events, which will provide exclusive access to selected Upper Abyss fort instances, the Divine’s Abyssal Splinter and Silentera Canyon. Planned for selected servers.
- Fortress siege incentives. Every week for selected servers, Asmodians will receive bonus medals for capturing fortresses, in an attempt to rally the faction despite the odds.
This landmark intervention by NCSoft shows the important role of faction population balance in such a PvP-centric MMO. Aion designed the game so that Elyos and Asmodians would always compete for glory, but the race from Elysea has proven to be a more popular choice.
Fan discussions comparing the two factions point to the “prettier” aesthetics of the Elyos faction, from their skin color and wings to their less “depressing-looking” home world. Given that the character designs obviously can’t be changed, the Faction Incentive Program is aimed at making the Asmodian faction attractive to those who value looks less than having an in-game edge.
In any case, if these measures still prove to be too weak a come on for new players, they can always bribe with Aion Kinah, because we all know the best way to cause mass desertion from the Elyos is the promise of epic gear on the other side.