Aion: The Tower of Eternity – Key Gameplay Features at Launch

Aion: The Tower of Eternity – Key Gameplay Features at Launch

Aion: The Tower of Eternity is a new MMO from publisher NCSoft. Although it’s been playable in Asia for a few years, the game won’t go live in the west until the end of September. With the closed beta finished, and the open beta week having drawn to a close, here’s a quick look at some of the features we can expect at launch.

Key to Aion’s release over here is the 1.5 patch. This brings key features which are critical to move Aion beyond it’s roots in Korea and China. Westernised faces for avatars, western references in quests and missions are obviously key for Aion to succeed in a new territory. What’s really helpful are the new video tutorials. Instead of a mass of text explaining what’s going on when you encounter something new, a quick video pops up and walks you through an explanation. These video tips appear all the way up to level 20, and it’s a nice feature to move away from text boxes so prevalent in other MMOs.

After the initial character creation, the 1.5 patch presents you with a short series of prologue videos. As with other NCSoft titles, Aion has a strong storyline, and these video prologues – as well as the standard cutscenes throughout the game – build on the story line, and help re-inforce your character’s importance and play within the Aion game universe.

One of the key features of Aion is flight. All characters have wings, which they can use to fly within the world. Flight is a key game mechanic, and air combat features heavily in quests, missions and PvP. Initially your character won’t have wings, or access to flight, but once they reach Level 10, they take part in a special trial known as Ascension. This might ring a few bells for Guild Wars players, where Ascension was a trial in Prophecies that really opened up the game.

Another interesting feature to new players is the monster ranking system in Aion. Instead of having a monster’s name highlighted in red, the colour changes depending on how much of a challenge they pose to your character. White monsters are very safe, yellow are safe, dark orange ones will pose a real challenge, and monsters marked in red are highly dangerous.

As can be seen from the packed and over-subscribed betas, Aion has been hugely anticipated by players. Packed with interesting new features, as well as a typically strong storyline and wonderful graphics, Aion promises to be another huge MMO success for NCsoft.

Tom Kranz has been playing MMOs like Guild Wars and EVE Online since their UK launch. He currently writes game guide reviews, and has written several Aion reviews.

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