Aion: The Tower of Eternity

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Aion: The Tower of Eternity

Post by Shotgun on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:42 pm

Aion: The Tower of Eternity

Developer(s)Aion Team Development Dept
Publisher(s)

  • NA NA NCsoft


  • EU Europe NCsoft


  • KOR South Korea NCsoft

Distributor(s)PlayNC under NCsoft and Shanda (China)
EngineCryEngine
Version2.5
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)

  • SK November 25, 2008


  • NA September 22, 2009[1]


  • JP July 17, 2009


  • AUS September 23, 2009[2][3]


  • EU/ZAF September 25, 2009[4]

Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer
Rating(s)GRB: 15+

  • ESRB: T
  • PEGI: 12+

Media/distributionDownload/DVD
System requirements
System Requirements Minimum: Pentium 4 2.8GHz, AMD Athlon 2800+; 1 GB
RAM; GeForce 6600, Radeon X1550; Hard Drive 15GB; DirectX 9.0c(2008,6)
Recommended:
Pentium Dual Core, AMD Athlon 64 X2; 2 GB RAM; GeForce 7600, Radeon HD 2600; Hard Drive 15GB; DirectX 9.0c(2008,6)




Aion: The Tower of Eternity
(Korean: 아이온: 영원의 탑), known also as The Tower of AION (タワー オブ アイオン?) in Japan is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released by NCsoft, a major Korean game developer. Aion was (up until May 20, 2009)[citation needed] known as "Aion: The Tower of Eternity" but it was released in North America under the one-word title of Aion. The game combines PvP and PvE (a concept the developers call PvPvE) in a fantasy game environment. As of May 20, 2009, Aion has 3.5 million subscribers in Asia.[5]
AION's first major expansion was released to North America and Europe
on September 7, 2010 under the name AION: Assault on Balaurea.
Plot


In the beginning, Aion benevolently watched over his world Atreia. He
created the humans, and the Balaur to safeguard and watch over them.
Eventually, the Balaur became obsessed with power and subjugation. Five
of the Balaur rose to a height of strength above the rest, and became
known as the five Dragon Lords. When Aion refused to grant them the
power they desired, the power to rival his own, they revolted and
declared war on the god that created them. Aion's hand was forced, and
he created the twelve Empyrean Lords, beings of divinity and power to
protect the Tower of Eternity.
Some humans "ascended" to become Daeva and, like the Empyrean Lords,
had wings and the ability to fight the Balaur. With time, enough Daevas
rose to form an army. The Empyrean Lords would lead the Daeva into
battle and fight ceaselessly. Eventually an attempt at peace with the
Balaur was made. The five Drakan Lords were invited inside the barrier
for peace talks, but before the peace-talks could begin, one of the
Drakan Lords was nearly assassinated by an unknown assailant. In the
fighting that followed, the Tower of Eternity was destroyed, resulting
in the cataclysm that broke Atreia in half. Five Empyrean Lords, most of
whom opposed the peace treaty, came to power in the dark part of the
world, "Asmodae," and became known as the Shedim Lords. Another five who
had mostly desired peace became the Seraphim Lords and ruled over the
lower half of Atreia, "Elysea." Two of the Empyrean Lords sacrificed
themselves to keep Atreia from crumbling entirely.
Those that lived in the light part of the world, the Elyos, saw
little change. These followers of the Seraphim Lords created the city of
Sanctum. The inhabitants of the upper part, the Asmodians, saw many
changes. Their hands became claw-like, their feet became talons. The
darkness made their complexion cool, and their eyes grew red adapting to
the absence of light. They live in the city of Pandaemonium under the
rule of the Shedim Lords.
Players begin the game as a character whose background isn't totally
known. It is hinted, through early quests, that the player's character
came to the various factions through an accident, though they (the
player) do not remember where they came from. Due to this memory loss,
it is assumed that the player is human, and they are treated as such.
However over time, by completing tasks increasing in magnitude,
preventing the Balaur from being summoned to the beginning zone, they
"ascend" as winged, immortal Daevas. The ascension process takes place
at their respective capitol cities, though the tone is different
depending on the race chosen. In the case of the Elysea, the ascension
is met with great celebration and treated as though the player's
"friends" (NPC's from the quest chain) suspected all along that the
player was one of the immortal Daeva. However in the case of the
Asmodae, the tone is very different. The character's quests leading up
to that point had them acting as a "scavenger" of sorts, and they are
seen and treated as being a "lower" life form of of a lower station.
However when asked to PROVE their divinity, under penalty of death (this
is inferred by the tone) the Asmodae player spreads their wings to the
shock (and horror to some) of the assembled guests. From that point on
the questing experience is relatively similar, though further minor
nuances are found that do differentiate the two races.
Gameplay


Character customization


The character creation system allows customization such as adjusting
the height, weight and scale of various body parts. Different hair
styles, skin colors, facial textures and voices can also be chosen.
Further detailing can be found in the selection of eye shape and color,
nose shape, ear size and shape and tattoos for the character's face and
body.
The game allows players to dye their equipment to change its color
and to change the graphics of one weapon or armor to that of another
that they have in their inventory. This allows a player to display
equipment graphics of items which they find visually appealing, while
benefiting from the actual stats of different weapons or armors. Players
can only change the graphics of a piece of equipment to that of another
piece of equipment of the same type.
This adds another layer of customization (as it allows players to
control the look of their avatar without sacrificing the better stats of
an item that they find visually unappealing[6]) and strategy to the game.
Skill chains


Many of the skills acquired as characters progress may only be
performed in a certain order, or chain. Generally the skills located
farther along in the chain are more powerful than those at the
beginning, or those that have no prerequisite.
PvPvE system


The end game of Aion revolves around battles within the Abyss
(PvP zone). Within the Abyss are fortresses which can be controlled by
individual Legions (Aion equivalent of a guild).
Battle for control of these castles involves combat against players of
the opposing faction and computer controlled NPCs at the same time,
using siege weapons obtained from end game PvE raid content. Legions in
control of a castle are entitled to funding from taxes and players
within the faction get specials from NPCs and discounts for travel and
vendor items.[7]
The game currently does not allow factions to fight against those of
their own race, except for casual duels or practice in the Arena.
The participation in PvP is rewarded with Abyss Points in the game.
The game ranks players as battles are won against fellow players based
on their participation in the Abyss. At higher ranks the character's
wings will change in appearance to show the character's elevated status.
Also certain items can be purchased with these points such as high-end
armor and weapons. This is referred to as the Abyss Rank system,
and there can only be a limited number of high ranking players per
server. The highest ranking players compete for the relatively few rank
positions available.[8]
Abyss points are gained by killing other players in combat, and points
are lost by being killed by another player. Higher points are awarded
for a kill of a much higher ranked player than for killing an equal or
lower ranked player.
Classes


There are four primary classes, and eight specialized classes in the
game. Players start the game by choosing one of the four primary
classes: Warrior, Mage, Scout, or Priest. After attaining level 10, the
player must choose from two specialized classes associated with their
chosen class. Warriors may become a Templar or a Gladiator; Mages may
become a Sorcerer or Spiritmaster; Scouts choose from Assassin or
Ranger; and Priests from Cleric or a Chanter.
Grouping


Up to six players may form a group,
to assist one another in battle, and share the benefits of victory.
Certain areas are designed for group play and a group is required to
enter some areas in the game. Up to four groups may form an Alliance
for situations that call for greater force of numbers. Being a member
of an Alliance restricts you the rewards received when a quest designed
for single or group play is completed.[citation needed]
Crafting


The base process involves learning a particular form of crafting, of
which there are six in Aion: weaponsmithing, armorsmithing,
handicrafting, tailoring, alchemy, and cooking. Players can learn all
six crafting professions, but can be an Expert in only two.
Any item that can be crafted is actually composed of several
individual components, or materials. The player can either learn which
materials are needed for a particular item automatically or via purchase
of the design. Generally these materials must be purchased from vendors
or from other players, gathered out in the wild (via collection or
extraction), crafted already, or morphed. Not everything can be crafted,
however.[9]
Flight


There are many different aspects to flight in Aion, which plays a
vital role in Travel, Combat, Quests, and Crafting. Flying is only
permitted in certain areas, known as flight zones. Flight is limited to
60 seconds but can be increased with various armor, titles, and other
items in-game.[10]
Quests


There are three type of quests in Aion: ordinary quests,
campaign quests and Work Orders. Ordinary quests require the player to
complete a task to receive a reward. Campaign quests are focused on
story, and are crucial for player progression. Work Orders are used to
increase skill in a chosen profession. Some quests are repeatable. Some
quests especially campaign quests, cannot be shared or abandoned.[11]
Development


Aion was first announced and previewed at the May 2006 E3 Expo.[12] It was developed at NCSoft's software design studio in South Korea. The Korean closed beta test began in late 2007,[13]
followed by an open beta test in November 2008. A localized Chinese
version began closed beta testing in December 2008, with open testing
beginning on April 8, 2009.
The game was then localized for Western markets, including North
America, Europe, and Australia. NCSoft held six weekend long closed beta
tests for North American and European players beginning in June, 2009.
An open beta began in September 2009. During the course of this open
beta, the anti-cheat program GameGuard
was removed. GameGuard is used in many Asian-market games to stop
botting and cheating, but was abandoned for Western markets due to a
range of issues experienced during the open beta. GameGuard is still
used in the Asian markets.[citation needed]
After the release of patch 1.5 NCSOFT began opening up Public Testing
Servers for NA and EU users. Since Korean players had this ability at
launch. Players can experience the new patches with slight increase of
exp and drop rates before they're sent off to the live servers. NCSOFT
offers no In-game support for PTS.
Expansions


AION: Assault on Balaurea


Released on September 7, 2010, this expansion evolves the game’s
story and terrain as it expands the game world of Atreia far beyond the
traditional territories of Asmodae and Elysea. In this expansion,
characters take the fight against the invading Balaur into Balaurea, the
Balaur’s homeland. Players will receive new challenges, novel and
updated instances and zones, an increased level cap from 50 to 55, and
fresh weapons, items, skills, and flight mechanics. The expansion also
introduces functional pets equipped with in-game benefits that will
rapidly become constant character companions.[14]
While Assault on Balaurea is a free expansion for NA and EU players,
NCSOFT released a retail box version with bonus content such as an
in-game pet, which varies depending on the retailer from which the
purchase is made.[15]
Music


The official "Aion: The Tower of Eternity" Original Soundtrack was released as a single CD
featuring 22 tracks written by composer Yang Bang-Ean (Also known as
Ryo Kunihiko in Japan). The soundtrack was released in Japan and Korea
on October 21, 2008, and in North America and Europe as part of the
Collector's Edition. The soundtrack was also released on iTunes on
October 20, 2009.[16]
[show]AION ~ The Tower Of Eternity ~ tracklistNo.TitleLength

The Second official album called "AION - Annales of Atreia" was
released on May 10, 2010 via the iTunes Store for $9.99 USD. Composers
Inro Joo and Wonki Kim created the Original Soundtrack with the Czech
National Symphony Orchestra.[17]
[show]Aion - Annales of Atreia ~ tracklistNo.TitleLength

Release



  • South Korea: Aion was released in South Korea on November 25,
    2008, making this the first country to get a final release of the game.
    Given the success of NCsoft's previous games, Lineage and Lineage II, Aion had been a highly anticipated game in South Korea ever since its announcement.


  • China: The game was released in China on April 16, 2009 and operated by Shanda Interactive Entertainment.


  • Japan: NCSoft released the game on July 17, 2009 in Japan under NCSoft Japan. As of February 2, 2010, Pixiv collaborated with NCsoft for a special fan art contest.[18]


  • Australia: NCsoft is distributing Aion in Australia through
    QV Software, and was released on September 22, 2009. In Australia, 3
    editions were released: Collectors Edition, Limited Edition, and the
    Standard Edition.[19] The game is also being distributed via Valve Software's digital distribution platform, Steam, within this region.


  • Taiwan: NCsoft began an open beta of Aion in Taiwan on June
    7, 2009, and was released on July 21, 2009. v1.5 was released on October
    21, 2009. v2.0 was released on October 13, 2010. And v2.1 was released
    on November 24, 2010.


  • Europe: NCsoft released the final version of Aion in Europe on September 25, 2009.[20] In Europe, Aion
    was available in two editions: Standard Edition and Collectors Edition.
    The latter includes many in-game items, figurines, posters, and the Official Aion Soundtrack CD by composer Yang Bang-Ean (known as Ryo Kunihiko in Japan).


  • North America: Aion was released in North America on September 22, 2009. The release was accompanied by a free comic book from Wildstorm, Aiva's Story by writers David Noonan and Ricardo Sanchez, with art by Neil Googe[21] for those who preordered. Also for those who preordered gained a 3 day head start before launch. Aion
    was in available in two editions: Standard Edition and Collectors
    Edition. The latter includes many in-game items, figurines, posters, and
    the Official Aion Soundtrack CD by composer Yang Bang-Ean (known
    as Ryo Kunihiko in Japan). The Game was made available through
    Retailers for DVD purchase, and Via download from NCsoft, Steam,
    Gamestop's website, File Planet and Direct2Drive.


  • Russia: Aion open beta running since December 8, 2009.[22] In Russia, Aion is supposed to use a mixed payment model with monthly subscription and additional payments for in-game items and benefits.[23]

Sales and revenue


Aion was the biggest MMO release in recent years according to
NCsoft, with 400,000 pre-orders in the US. The game generated 40.6
billion won ($32.7 million) in the fiscal quarter in South Korea,
Taiwan, China, and Japan.[24] In China, over 1 million players logged in within the first four days of release.[25]
On its western release, Aion became the best-selling PC game of September 2009.[26] It also managed to remain at No. 1 on both the Steam and Direct2Drive charts for several weeks.[27][28]
By 9 November 2009, the game had sold nearly 1 million copies in the
west, with 500,000 units sold in the US and 470,000 units in Europe. The
success of Aion resulted in NCsoft's quarterly revenues to rise 112% for a total of $142 million.[29]
Reception


[hide] ReceptionAggregate scoresAggregatorScoreReview scoresPublicationScore
GameRankings79.34% [30]
Metacritic76% (PC) [31]
Eurogamer7/10 [32]
G4 [33]
GameSpot6.5/10 [34]
GameSpy [35]
GameZone8/10 [36]
IGN8.5/10 [37]
PC Gamer US70/100[38]
PC Zone80/100[38]
X-Play [39]
GamePlanet9.0/10[40]
Aion has received generally positive responses from
professional reviewers. Review aggregator Metacritic lists an average
review score of 76%.[31] Positive reviews have cited that Aion provides a "refreshing look" from an artistic perspective and a "great first impression", with a lot of polish and balance.[39] IGN states that Aion "tries to offer something for everyone and succeeds at it, albeit in varying degrees and at different stages".[37]
Negative reviews focus on the game's tendency towards "grinding"
and its lack of innovative features. GameSpot's review noted that the
first levels of the game were "fast-paced and intuitive", but that
grinding "quickly became obtrusive".[34]
X-Play reviewed that "after a few hours it'll become apparent that
there isn't much radically different here". GameSpot also noted that the
servers appeared to be unable to handle the number of players involved
in large-scale PVP.
Awards



  • Best MMORPG, 2009 RPGLand.com RPGs of the Year 2009[41]
  • Best New Game, 2009 MMORPG.com 2009 Awards[42]
  • Best Online Game, 2009 Gamescom Awards[43]
  • Best MMO, 2009 Inside Gaming’s Best MMO of PAX[44]
  • Best Korean Game of the Year, 2008 Korean Game Awards[45]

References



  1. ^ [1] Aiononline.com, June 23, 2009
  2. ^ [2] aion.qvsoftware.com.au, June 24, 2009
  3. ^ [3] Findlay Marketing Ltd., July 21, 2009
  4. ^ [4] Eu.Aiononline.com, June 23, 2009
  5. ^ http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/985/985368p1.html
  6. ^ GC2007: In-depth Aion Overview and Impressions Curse.com
  7. ^ GC 2007 In-Game Presentation GameTrailers.com
  8. ^ "Aion Online: The Official Aion Fantasy MMORPG Website - PowerWiki". Aiononline.com. http://powerwiki.uk.aiononline.com/aion/Abyss+Points. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  9. ^ "Aion Online: The Official Aion Fantasy MMORPG Website - PowerWiki". Aiononline.com. http://powerwiki.na.aiononline.com/aion/Crafting. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  10. ^ "Aion Online: The Official Aion Fantasy MMORPG Website - PowerWiki". Aiononline.com. http://powerwiki.na.aiononline.com/aion/Flight. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  11. ^ "Aion Online: The Official Aion Fantasy MMORPG Website - PowerWiki". Aiononline.com. http://powerwiki.uk.aiononline.com/aion/Quests#hd53227. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  12. ^ CGOnline, Aion Announced by Josh Williams, GCOnline, May 3, 2006
  13. ^ "NCsoft Announces 2007 Second Quarter Financial Results" Business Wire, August 7, 2007
  14. ^ http://powerwiki.na.aiononline.com/aion/Patch+Notes+2.0
  15. ^ http://forums.aiononline.com/na/showthread.php?t=18031
  16. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/aion-original-sound-track/id326637458
  17. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/aion-annales-of-atreia/id389013162
  18. ^ "完成型MMORPG 「The Tower of AION」公式サイト :: ニュース:". NC Japan. http://aion.plaync.jp/board/notice/view?articleID=306&page=. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  19. ^ "Aion - Australian Home Page". QV Software. http://aion.qvsoftware.com.au/. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  20. ^ http://na.aiononline.com/en/news/aion-launches-this-september.html
  21. ^ NCsoft and DC Comics Unveil "Aiva's Story" (press release), Comic Book Resources, September 2, 2009
  22. ^ [5] Innova Systems press release on DTF.ru in Russian, December 8, 2009
  23. ^ [6] Innova Systems press release on DTF.ru in Russian, April 4, 2009
  24. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/25303/Aion_Preorders_Reach_400000.php
  25. ^ http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/04/24/one-million-play-aion-in-china/
  26. ^ http://www.joystiq.com/2009/10/20/ncsofts-aion-perches-atop-the-us-pc-charts-for-sept/
  27. ^ http://kotaku.com/5365525/pc-sales-charts-yeah-yeah-aion
  28. ^ http://kotaku.com/5370618/pc-sales-charts-aion-aion
  29. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/nearly-1-million-copies-of-aion-shifted
  30. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/932526-aion/index.html
  31. ^ a b "Aion: The Tower of Eternity PC Reviews". MetaCritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/aionthetowerofeternity. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  32. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/aion-the-tower-of-eternity-review?page=3
  33. ^ http://g4tv.com/games/pc/62664/aion/review/
  34. ^ a b "Gamespot Aion Review". Gamespot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/aion/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;read-review. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  35. ^ http://uk.pc.gamespy.com/pc/aion/1046013p1.html
  36. ^ http://pc.gamezone.com/reviews/item/aion_pc_review/
  37. ^ a b "IGN Aion Review". IGN. http://pc.ign.com/articles/103/1033350p1.html. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  38. ^ a b http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/aion/review.html?mode=web&tag=scoresummary%3Bcritic-score
  39. ^ a b "X-Play Aion Review". G4TV. http://g4tv.com/games/pc/62664/aion/review/. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  40. ^ http://www.gameplanet.co.nz/pc/games/157054.Aion/reviews/133932.Aion/
  41. ^ "RPGLand.com RPGs of the Year 2009". RPGLand.com. http://rpgland.com/nis-america/rpgs-of-the-year-2009/. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  42. ^ "MMORPG Best New Game of 2009". MMORPG.com. http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/253/feature/3892. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  43. ^ http://aion.ign.com/articles/news/3959/Aion-claims-gamescom-Best-Online-Game-prize
  44. ^ http://blog.me0w.co.uk/aion/2009/09/14/aion-wins-inside-gamings-best-mmo-of-pax-2/
  45. ^ http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/51791

Shotgun

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