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On Transitioning To an Asian-Style MMO, Such As Aion 256

Posted by Soulskill
from the mixing-real-culture-with-virtual-culture dept.
A. Harvey writes "Ten Ton Hammer has an interesting article about the transition to Asian-style MMO games, specifically Aion. 'In many ways, the West is catching up to the East in terms of gaming. Per capita gaming ... and broadband proliferation is markedly higher in Asian markets. Gaming is much more social in the East as well; many players gather together in internet cafes to spend their game time with each other. Another surprising difference in most Asian-based games is that most functions of game control are mouse based.' I think the author hit the nail on the head that Aion will be a big success in North America and will introduce a lot of players to games with an Eastern feel."
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On Transitioning To an Asian-Style MMO, Such As Aion

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  • sweat shops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436)
    i'm sure sweat shops are very social - all day farming gold leaves time to talk.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:23PM (#29061521)

    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue...who will be hungry again in an hour.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      ...and as you catch your reflection in your ridiculously oversized sword, you see that you look like a hermaphrodite with really silly hair.
  • Aion will Flop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:35PM (#29061591)
    Aion will go the way of every other non-WoW MMO, because it can't compete with the dumptruckloads of development money and years of lead time that game has had. It is just a poor copy of The One MMO that yet again tries to outdo it with the graphics, while the developers continue to ignore the fact that part of WoW's mass market appeal is that it will run on any piece-of-crap computer with some sort of 3D accelerator in it.

    Aion will have a couple hundred thousand subscribers if it's lucky, and those will churn out in a few months, the numbers will stabilize somewhere around 80K, and NCsoft will still be scratching their heads wondering why they can't publish a GOOD MMO.

    Age of Conan had BOOBIES and awesome graphics and some new game mechanics, but it was poorly balanced and the highly polished tutorial was just a facade. Once you went to the mainland the game got dull and boring with a quickness. Plus, low-level male characters looked like gay pirates and the sexiest female clothes you'd see were the ones a character started with. And Age of Conan flopped.

    Warhammer Online was accessible, with graphics comparable to WoW's; it had fun gameplay comparable to some of WoW's more recent additions, and it still flopped. Why? Because it was TOO MUCH of a WoW clone on the surface, and many of its systems were not polished or balanced and relied too much on social interactions where "alone together" is king.

    For what it's worth, I think Bioware's KOTOR Online thing will have huge box sales and big initial numbers, and it will be a great Bioware RPG, but static content does not make for MMO subscriber retention. They'll have huge initial numbers and huge churn. But they at least have a little bit of a chance, if only because it's not more cookie-cutter mythical fantasy; It's STAR WARS.

    The MMOs that are succeeding these days are not MMORPGs. They are MMO-strategy like lighter-fare Web/social network games. To make a new MMORPG be massively successful, it's going to take a re-invention of the genre. EVE Online has carved out a nice niche for itself and is clearly a shining star. The current MMORPG monoculture sucks and it's time for more experimental and different kinds of MMO games.
    • Re:Aion will Flop (Score:5, Informative)

      by blackraven14250 (902843) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:05PM (#29061791)

      Have you played the Chinese game? How about the Closed Beta? I have, so I'm going to comment from actually playing the past 2 months, both in beta and on Chinese servers.

      Speculation on numbers is rubbish if you don't have any reason for them other than "it happened to every WoW-clone before it". This isn't quite a WoW clone. It's familiar, but no the same.

      Aion is actually very well polished compared to AoC. It's at 1.0.12 in China, and it's supposed to be at 1.5 by the NA release. That will make it much better than it already is, which is on the level of good. AoC fucking BLEW at launch. Completely.

      I never played warhammer, won't comment.

      You negelct to realize that every day brings WoW closer to it's death. You know how many people jsut get so damn bored of it already? Do you think eternal life is possible, even for a given product?

      Granted, reinvention is usually the winner during a change between generations. But you don't need to reinvent the Corvette to sell more; you need to give it a bigger engine. Then, when that doesn't catch people atttention anymore, change the body. Then, some large number of years later, scrap it for a new kind of car.

      • I've been in the Aion Beta, being an Ex-TR player gave me that "privilege". If I could sell my free 3 months (once Aion finally gets available...), I would.

        Say what you want, Aion is "WoW meets JRPG". It has the graphics and style of a JRPG (cynical me would say they salvaged some of the original TR graphics and slapped them together for a "new" game) and basically the same game makeup and system mechanics as WoW. Yes, it looks different and probably, with any luck, we'll see a more mature and stable game a

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tony Hoyle (11698)

          ) Why should anyone who sunk 4+ years into WoW abandon it, there's no need. The game is still offering what it always offered, the people are still around, they managed to avoid pretty much everything that fu..ed up other MMOs in the past, why switch?

          Because they're bored.. because the game has changed significantly in the last few years - it's now heavily PvP based whereas that was barely a factor 4 years ago. Because the graphics engine is a good 5 years out of date and performs like crap on a modern gra

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by montyzooooma (853414)
        I played the first EU Beta weekend - for a couple of hours. I don't have great hopes for the game at release. There's much made of the quest system, but it still comes down to grinding monsters for experience. I actually had more fun with Runes of Magic, for the also couple of hours I played it.
      • by ukyoCE (106879)

        Do you think eternal life is possible, even for a given product?

        You say "for a given product" as if WOW was stamped on CDs five years ago and has never changed since.

        WOW is constantly changing and improving, and through that, getting new players. It doesn't have this ever-shrinking player base as you insinuate.

        Toppling WOW is much more comparable to toppling Windows. People have a lot of time invested in WOW, as well as their friends and guild. It'll take a mistake of Vista-proportions to drop WOW.

        However it's also a misnomer to say that games have to topple WOW. Pe

    • Re:Aion will Flop (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:36PM (#29062009)

      "To make a new MMORPG be massively successful, it's going to take a re-invention of the genre..."

      I'd like the see the MMO genre die, single player RPG's have all but been abandoned in an attempt at a cash grab for monthly fee's from MMO's.

      The real problem is RPG's can't evolve within an MMO framework since the gameplay is ALWAYS the same in every god damn mmo, it's ALWAYS auto controlled and non-action (twitch/full control ala God of war) based.

      That's one of the things I can't stand about MMO's is the focus is on a single character and yet everything is automated out the ying yang and there is barely any skill involved. Not only that, the lag prevents certain kinds of design in terms of action and effects from happening due to latency.

      I hope all MMO's start to fade away as players get sick and tired of their monthly fee's. IMHO I've hated the MMO trend since the beginning how gamers can stand to get dinged $15 a month on top of full price for a game is pure insanity.

      • by Taulin (569009)
        What's worse is Champions online. Not only is there a monthly fee (pre-order discount is $10/m, so I am guessing normal is $12-$15), BUT they will ALSO charge microtransaction money for gear and stuff like asian games. Talk about trying to hit you in both ends. I don't mind micro-transactions or subscription, but please, only one.
    • Everyone I know who plays WoW is quitting to play Aion. None of them are raiders, and they are very adamant about quitting forever. They weren't this way with Warhammer.

      I forswore MMOs, but I'm seeing a paradigm shit here. I think Aion has the ability to last.

    • Re:Aion will Flop (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dnaumov (453672) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:59PM (#29062143)
      You are confused. Not reaching the userbase of WOW does not make an MMO a flop. EVE has been thriving for years with just ~250,000 users.
      • Re:Aion will Flop (Score:5, Informative)

        by dnaumov (453672) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:03AM (#29062165)

        Aion will have a couple hundred thousand subscribers if it's lucky, and those will churn out in a few months, the numbers will stabilize somewhere around 80K, and NCsoft will still be scratching their heads wondering why they can't publish a GOOD MMO.

        You do realise that the game has been out since November 2008 and has millions of active subscribers in Asia?

        • You do realise that this is about Eastern MMORPGs appealing to Western players don't you?

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      For what it's worth, I think Bioware's KOTOR Online thing will have huge box sales and big initial numbers, and it will be a great Bioware RPG, but static content does not make for MMO subscriber retention.

      What do you mean? The world in WoW is very static and we see how well that has done.

      AoC was a terrible, shit game and flopped for many other reasons than you stated. One, a lot of stuff advertised was not in launch, I don't even know if DX10 is implemented yet, I stopped paying attention to that wreck a

    • by Cordath (581672) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:33AM (#29062293)
      One thing that I think the article is absolutely wrong about is that Western RPG's or MMO's are in any way behind Eastern ones. From Baldur's Gate to Planescape: Torment to the KOTOR series, single player western RPG's have really pushed the boundaries and given us compelling and unique experiences. While the West churns out fewer RPG's than the East, they tend to be much more varied and innovative, especially in terms of characterization and plot. When a good Western RPG comes out I can look forward to a fresh experience, while most Eastern RPG's feel annoyingly familiar. Playing them, I always experience deluges of deja vu and have to carefully switch off parts of my brain. (e.g. The part that doesn't want to play a bitchy adolescent male prodigy saving the universe... again.) The things that appeal to Eastern audiences, like those fucking chocobo's, aren't what float my boat. Likewise, to say that the West is behind in the MMO department, with WoW absolutely stomping Eastern MMO's in their own bloody markets...

      Aion looks like a solid eastern MMORPG, but nothing compelling enough to dethrone WoW. It's artwork also feels distinctly Eastern, which means it will flop in the West. Lots of people in the West love anime, love Kurosawa, love Chan-wook Park, but they're still a very small minority. The majority of people will not go for something that feels too Eastern, just as Eastern audiences flocked to Lineage but not to western MMOs. Cultural barriers definitely do exist between the East and the West and Aion doesn't look like a MMO that transcends them. It really is extraordinary that WoW has somehow managed to appeal to both the East and West, and I'm not sure even Blizzard knows how they managed it.

      So, what's going to dethrone WoW? Slap me silly with a mackerel if I have a clue. Probably WoW2. It's not really a terribly interesting question. What is an interesting question is when we're going to see hugely popular MMO's on the scale of WoW in genres other than fantasy. There are a lot of people out there who love sci-fi and not fantasy, or who love historical settings and not sci-fi or fantasy. These are largely untapped markets. There is probably room for several big MMO's to do well at the same time, provided they target different genres. (another reason why Aion is probably doomed.)

      Bioware's KOTOR MMO looks promising. It's sci-fi, which hasn't really been done well in a MMO sense except possibly for Eve Online, but the space-sim market is arguably a different genre from what KOTOR targets. Bioware has a long track record of excellent single player RPG's, but it remains to be seen if they have what it takes to put out a MMO, especially now that they have their own sort of "imperial entanglement" predicament now that they're under EA's umbrella. (You can bet there will be pressure to release early coming from EA, no matter how much Bioware claims they are the master of their own domain!) A lot of single player RPG fans are up in arms over KOTOR being turned into a MMO, since KOTOR's strength was it's compelling stories, which are remarkably hard to do in a MMO that is more about player dynamics. Bioware claims they've found the holy grail of MMO's though, a way to bring single player plots to massive online environments. That's a bold claim, if ever there was one. I wish them luck.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xalorous (883991)

      Regarding SW:TOR. It is a fully realized MMO, not just a RPG. Bioware's first. LucasArts is fully behind the project. The graphics look gorgeous, and they're claiming that it will be "fully voiced". They have a really deep background universe to draw on including the movies, novels and prior games (MMO and RPG and action and FPS and flight sims, etc.) Plus they have probably the (most, second most, top 3 most) rabid group of fans in the sci-fi world, and probably the largest.

      If Bioware/LucasArts can p

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by MogNuts (97512)

      The problem with /. groupthink is that since you read it everywhere, you assume it to be true. Case in point: Age of Conan.

      Age of Conan is actually a really fun game. I know /. loves to bash it left and right, but this is a case where they're wrong. And it's one of the few MMO's where there is actually a story and the quests aren't "kill X monsters and fetch X roots."

      • Age of Conan is actually a really fun game. I know /. loves to bash it left and right, but this is a case where they're wrong.

        Yes, because it can't possibly be that "fun" is very subjective.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        It has nothing to do with group think... maybe I started off wrong in AOC, but it's not something I would describe as fun.

    • Rewind 10 years, people were saying the same thing as that about EverQuest. Noting lasts forever, one day WOW will be too outdated and they will have to bring out WOW2, and then there will be a chance for some pretender to step in and snatch the crown, just as WOW did when Everquest finally went stale and EQ2 failed to step up to the plate.
  • by Guppy (12314) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:35PM (#29061593)

    From the Article, concerning killing a PKing player (a "slayer"):

    6. If you or someone else kills a slayer, 12 nearby players of the dead body will receive buffs.

    Is the buff substantial? It sounds like it may be possible for players to use an alternate char to PK deliberately for the purpose of getting themselves killed, to buff their main characters. This might have the unintended consequences.

    • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:39PM (#29061623)
      You'd need a separate account, as in, if you roll an Asmo, you can't roll an Elyos on the same server. So, it's possible, but costly just for the buff. Plus, PKing is such a huge problem in the Chinese Aion, it's ludicrous. Capped chars (45) run into lv. 20 areas all the time. They needed to do something, and I hope it works out. I don't know, as they haven't rolled out the patch with this upgrade to all the Chinese regions yet.
      • by nschubach (922175)

        This is the primary reason I hate PVP. Ganking.

        Personally, I don't think this "Slayer" method will stop it from happening. I think it might actually give "purpose" to the ganker: "Hey, you got a free buff out of it when I died... quit yer bitchin. You should be thanking me. I got to have the fun of killing massive amounts of noobs and you got a free buff."

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:39PM (#29061637)
    Right now someone in Japan is writing an article about how he's going to try putting on 300 pounds and importing a La-Z-Boy, just to get the full Western experience. Then he's going to see about getting one of these "basements." The idea is appealing to him; it's like an underground lair of sorts, typically accompanied by a pronounced lack of responsibility for personal development and a corresponding absence of hygiene. Sugee!
  • Warhammer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gearloos (816828)
    What? Warhammer Onlines dead? oh dam.. and I just hit rr70! Well, there is a couple servers still cranking along with good population.. but only a couple.
    • by Dan667 (564390)
      Warhammer sucked. Just trying to log in and log out was a chore. You would think that at least they could get that right. WOW was one click to log off. Warhammer was a series of click and a giant pain in the ass. I guess they though that you would some how play longer, but instead of watching the stupid splash screen for the 1000th time, most people choose to never login again.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FreonTrip (694097)
        I don't have any personal experience with the game, but are you really concerned about a few mouseclicks before jumping into a game driven almost entirely by mouse-driven activities?
      • by nschubach (922175)

        It wasn't the logging in and out that was a chore, it was the part where you got to level 20 and had to repeat quests 10 times just to get experience or do about 10,000 RVR matches in the same area to get gear to make it easier to hit that level 25 area.

    • by Fross (83754)

      I was really looking forward to WAR when it came out (got the collectors edition), played it avidly in the beta and when it launched, and REALLY enjoyed it. Got toward the level cap... felt a bit of a grind... got to 40, had some fun, it was good again. Then got bored. My subscription expired yesterday, hadn't played in about 2 months.

      The good:

      The world is very well rendered, very "Warhammer". The quests and NPCs have a devilish sense of humour in them at times (what other game could give you a quest ca

  • "Asian Style"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by countvlad (666933) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:15PM (#29061853)
    Can someone explain to those of us "stuck in the west" exactly what an "Asian Style" MMO is? Is it a game where the men look like women and the women are hot? Mouse-driven gaming sounds scary, kind of like using Macs before the switch to OSX and multi-button mice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Impeesa (763920)
      The distinguishing characteristics, as I understand it, are typically A) free to play, supported by micropayments for vanity stuff, and B) monotonous grindfests.
      • What MMO, at all, isn't a monotonous grindfest? WoW doesn't count, because it doesn't matter if I'm gathering gold or Mithril, I'm still grinding the shit.
        • When UO first came out (almost 11 years ago now) there was really very little grinding. Things got harder as the in game mechanics were adjusted, but macroing took a lot of the monotony out of the repetitive tasks required to raise skills.

          Of course when UO came out, it was raw, untamed, and breaking new ground in gaming. There was a lot more risk involved and a lot less rules enforcing any kind of social behavior; looking back, I miss watching the enforcement of social order by the players and not the
        • by Impeesa (763920)

          What MMO, at all, isn't a monotonous grindfest? WoW doesn't count, because it doesn't matter if I'm gathering gold or Mithril, I'm still grinding the shit.

          Understand that when I say that, I mean "relative to Western MMOs." You can go grinding in WoW, yes, but you can also play without doing it, or at least without doing it to any excessive degree (unless you're one of those people who defines "grinding" as "performing any actions to advance your character", in which case why are you playing WoW?). Asian MMOs, though, really take it to another level.

    • Re:"Asian Style"? (Score:5, Informative)

      by blackraven14250 (902843) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:34PM (#29061991)

      They usually let you use the keyboard alot too. I dunno what the mouse thing is about.

      There really isn't much of a difference between Western and Eastern MMO's IMO. There's the difference in raw ridiculousness of the graphics, and sometimes the quality because if you target China, the shittiest MMO will bring in some players. Sometimes there's a difference in ridiculousness of story and various mechanics, such as Aion's flying vs. WoW's only-walking. I don't know what else is really different between the two. Maybe level of grind is one thing, and wether grinding PvP or PvE is better for equip at endgame.

      The biggest difference wouldn't be in the game itself, but in the players, IMO. Chinese players on Aion don't give a fuck about killstealing or anything. Ganking is ubercommon. One time, I was gathering some oysters, and a guy running up to me says stop, so I go to type "Why?" (I was in Asmo territory, in an area where Elyos were common and there was a rift open for them to get there). As I hit enter, I get back to him gathering the last oyster right there, and he sends a message going X-P. That would definitely empitomize the difference in culture when it comes to playing MMO's.

      • WoW's only-walking? What? WoW has flying in 2/4 of its continents, which was introduced to players at level 70 in the previous expansion (released in 2006). Flying continues to be enabled for players entering the Northrend continent from 77 onward. There are many different types of flying mounts from magic carpets, dragons, giant robot heads, giant red rockets, hippogryphs, etc.
      • I dunno what it means, but it sounds unpleasant. And possibly messy. Hmm, better watch where I step... :P

        Cheers,

      • by mako1138 (837520)

        I dunno about MMOs, but my friend was telling me about this "crappy Chinese RPG" he was playing. Apparently he got to the final boss and was expecting this big, huge, epic battle. So when he hit the boss a few times and the boss proceeded to roll over and die, he was pretty disappointed.

        So yeah, how about balance issues?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I think it means you spend a thousand hours picking grass so you can raise your grasspicking skill 1% which increases your rabbit faction by 0.001.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      GrindGrindGrind Also requires that tag. That's an Asian MMO, very work oriented, aiming for a specific goal with a long train that you need to follow through. It's very high on the skinner box. For most western gamers, we enjoy a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable return for that time. Either some type of reward, enjoyment, etc. It just seems to go on...forever.

  • Lineage II seems to have nowhere near WoW's popularity in the US. Given that Aion is done by the same company and is viewed by many as a LA2's "more/bigger/better", would it see the same fate?
    • If you mean that by people banging away at the engine to find the "unfixable" engine bugs and 80% Chinese goldfarmers, yes.

      If you mean that they'll create another region for a market test(that ends up being the most anti-bot region outside Korea), and dump it a couple of years later, yes.

      If you mean that the only way to get a truly permanent ban is to royally piss off NCKR, yes.

      It certainly will meet the same fate as L2.

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      In many ways yes.

      In one very important way, no. Aion is nowhere, nowhere, nowhere near as grindy as Lineage II (or Lineage I for that matter).

      Lineage II: you could count the number of genuine level 85s (the level cap) on a given western server on one or two hands. It has taken them literally years. I've played Lineage II hardcore for 5 years and I am only level 79 (which is a long, long, long way off 85 because of the insane exponential level curve at levels 75+ ... level 79 alone is equal to levels 1-78 co

  • by obi (118631) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:20PM (#29061901)
    I think there just isn't a lot of room on the market for subscription-based games. I suspect most people will have a budget for one or so, and they will have invested quite a bit of time in it - so there's very little incentive to switch.

    I think the Guild Wars model is much better: you pay for the game, you play for free. If you decide to stop for a few months, and pick it up later - no problem. If you decide you like the game and want access to more content, you buy the expansion packs.
    • Or the Chinese model (at least for Aion): don't pay upfront, pay like 20 cents an hour for playtime.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by edremy (36408)
      Or you can try the LOTRO "lifetime subscription" option. Pay your $199/$299 (depending on sale) up front, -you still have to buy the game and any expansion packs like Moria, but you don't have any more subscription fees. Most of the serious players I know are lifers.
  • A few years ago there was a Korean operation in my town that was basically a big LAN farm (ok, they had a couple DDR machines too). It didn't seem to catch on (and we were fish out of water as we weren't Korean), though a new one has opened up.

    North of the border they have a number of Asian arcades that are both full of those sit-down arcade boxes (all of which seem to play a Mechwarrior sort of game), and desktop gaming farms.

    Despite the (young, childless) American geek's love of LAN parties, and the popul

  • by introspekt.i (1233118) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:02AM (#29062161)
    Why all these games have pictures of half naked women running around in the snow like it's no big deal. They look really, really cold.
    • by nschubach (922175)

      Cold and women together does have a certain appeal to some...The only problem is that you are staring at their back in a game and the game doesn't fully monopolize on the effect so you just have to imagine. That's as far as I'm going to go with that.

  • by PsyQ (87838) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:56AM (#29062369) Homepage

    Most Americans (at least judging by American MMO bloggers' postings) don't really like the concept of MMOs running on RMTs, but if you want a preview of the Asian style of MMO, try Runes of Magic [runesofmagic.com]. You'll notice that most Asian games come with a lot more convenience features than you'd find in e.g. WoW, where basic things turn into a chore. In RoM you have auto-walk, auto-find-NPC, your quest journal's important words are linked directly to an auto-walk path to the monster/person you need to find, there are many methods of instant or fast transport, free player housing from level 1, permanent mount available for purchase from level 1 etc.

    If you can for one second swallow your hate of mouse-based walking (there's WASD too, for chrissakes) and RMTs, you'll see that a game doesn't become stupidly easy just because it is convenient to play.

    You can find some of that in Perfect World and Jade Dynasty [perfectworld.com] or any of the Aeria games [aeriagames.com] as well, but I wouldn't recommend those. Runes of Magic is very well-adapted to the Western audience. Many other Asian MMOs are endless grindfests, because it seems that people there don't mind grinding to achieve things in a game. Radiant Arcana (as the original Runes of Magic is called in China/Taiwan/Japan/Korea) is a much more grindy game than Runes, since Frogster figured that Western players don't have the patience for a grindfest. I think they may be right.

    So before someone writes an article about Eastern vs. Western-style MMOs, they should perhaps look at deeper game design elements rather than just imply "oh wow, mouse control is so you can smoke with your other hand". Also, I think the author of TFA didn't even notice that Aion's Western version had a lot of grind removed and is faster to play than the original. If he thinks the leveling curve is bad here, he should play the Korean one.

    Someone get a Taiwanese, a Korean, a Japanese, a British and an American game journalist to work on an article, that way they'd talk to each other and debunk some of the myths :P

    • A) I'd rather pay a monthly subscription to a game than enter a game that has micro transactions for items. The potential for impulse buying is way too high. Yes, players should be more responsible with their money blah blah blah......but you tell me that impulse buying isn't going to be a significant problem for the players (obviously not for the company).

      B) I don't like grinding--period. The only time I ever grind in wow is on the very rare chance I am bored and have nothing better to do. My grinding last
      • by PsyQ (87838)

        Then you'd be happy to hear that Runes of Magic requires neither purchase nor grinding :)

        Also, the items for sale there are convenience items. They are both truly useful and not required to complete the game. You should really try out the game before forming an opinion, chances are you'd even like it.

        If you want a more difficult WoW, you probably need to go back to old-school games like Shards of Dalaya. It needs good coordination, strategy, planning and all that, but the downside is that you are forced to

  • So I wanted to correct a few assumptions people are making with this post, I'm biased but will try to stick to facts =p 1. Aion is a grindfest ~ Untrue, aions leveling is a little bit easier than WoWs. I can't comment on raiding and crafting but early crafting is easier than WoW also. 2. Aions graphics are too good to beat WoW in the casual segment with older computers ~ Also untrue, Aion runs much more smoothly than WoW for me on my rig. I have a nice rig but I get 70-100 fps in Aion, I'm lucky to hit 30
    • by Tridus (79566)

      According to another post in this thread, Aion stops giving you soloable quests by level 18. If that's true, then by definition levelling is not easier then it is in WoW. In WoW, you can get to 80 compeltely solo if you want to.

  • West vs Asia? (Score:5, Informative)

    by andersh (229403) on Friday August 14, 2009 @04:58AM (#29063363)
    What a bunch of nonsense. The "West" is not exactly lagging in broadband, however the US is. The West is not synonymous with the US. Europe is doing quite well in the broadband ratings, especially Western Europe [or Northern Europe].
    Furthermore Asia as a whole is not exactly leading the broadband race either. While Japan and Korea are of course very well developed, try making the same comparison with India or other large nations such as Indonesia.
  • What transition? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tridus (79566) on Friday August 14, 2009 @05:30AM (#29063465) Homepage

    I've played in a couple of these beta events. Far as I've seen, no transition is required. It's the same game.

    - Combat: You stand there pushing buttons to activate abilities, same as every other MMO on the planet. Some skills can chain into other skills, but the UI puts the next skill in the chain on the same button as the first skill, so you can really just mash that button and make it work. If you're playing the healing class (Cleric), the number of offensive skills you get is pretty small and they're boring as shit (primary nuke with a 2 second cooldown, yay autoattack?).

    - Flight: Flying around is neat. But for some reason, you can't use it in Sanctum (one of the capital cities). You can't use it in the zone immediately after the one where you are first allowed to use it. Flying as a part of combat is mostly... floating stationary so you can cast spells. It probably becomes more important in the Abyss, but from as far as I got it was a gimmick.

    - Quests: Kill 10 of these, go collect this, go talk to this guy and report back. Nothing you haven't done in every other game. In the beta there's no particular etiquette regarding gathering, people will run up and try to take nodes that you're already working on. Gathering itself actually uses some weird random system with two bars (pass/fail) dueling that takes far too long and is like watching paint dry. They could have added something interactive here to improve it considerably over WoW, but they didn't.

    - Grouping: Remember "LF1M, need healer"? It's back. Only two classes can heal, and only one of those is "the primary healer". That class is incredibly boring if you're not healing, which is great since you can't heal mobs to death in the soloable areas. Is it some kind of design law that healing classes in MMOs must be designed to be mind numbing to play when grinding? There's no option for dual spec like WoW has to turn yourself into a DPSer and make the suck stop.

    - Graphics: It looks really nice, if you have the hardware. High end performance is better then WoW, considerably. Low end performance is non existant on a lot of hardware that will play WoW. Which isn't surprising since WoW is optimized at the low end and totally CPU bound at the high end.

    I cancelled my pre-order this week. May pick it up in a few months if I'm bored, but right now I'm not bored of WoW, and Aion pretty much plays like the same game.

  • One word, GameGuard (Score:4, Informative)

    by nsanders (208050) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:10PM (#29068659) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GameGuard [wikipedia.org]

    nProtect GameGuard (sometimes called GG) is an anti-cheating software

    Because of the way that GameGuard hooks into core system DLLs and interrupts[6], it is impossible (without hacking GameGuard and violating the TOS) to run games protected by GameGuard under Windows API Emulators, such as Wine under Unix-based operating systems[7]. The key issue being that GameGuard bypasses the OS safeguards in order to:

            * Hide the game application process.
            * Monitor the entire memory range.
            * Terminate specific applications without the user consent (sometimes tries to disable Kernel hooks).
            * Block specific calls to DirectX or the Windows API.

    Don't try and compare this to Blizzard's Warden, which no longer scans out of game memory, doesn't kill process as it wishes, doesn't actively block API calls, nor does it imbed its self into your OS only to be removed via a reformat and reinstall.

Your own mileage may vary.

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