Returning to Aion wasn’t something that I planned on doing. To me, the game had served it’s purpose and in its latter stages sustained its wounds. I wanted to remember the good times I had with Aion, mostly pre 2.7 (The Coliseum Update) and leave it at that. I found the housing system to be a chore that was necessary to get an increase in potion sales, and I’d earned the best gear in the game (at that point) through a combination of crafting and fighting in the Coliseum. When Redh (the Cyrus Guildmaster) decided that he was going to try Aion, I was curious and decided to join in. A few hours later and we had a group of six or seven that were willing to pile in.
They had chosen a new server as a fresh start, since neither of them had brought their accounts under Gameforge EU’s ownership for varying reasons. I chose a Bard, and quickly became bored with it. I never told Redh that, but frankly it was a one-rotation pony that did a group MP restoration. Granted I only took it to level 27, but frankly the other classes at that level were so much more involved and developed.
We were speaking about server transfers (note: lol, transfers) when I said that all Redh and his wife had to do was email Gameforge, supply some information about the account and the characters, and they would at least have a chance at getting them back. Even Redh’s banned account (hacked to facilitate RMT and then banned) was reinstated, and Dia’s was ported over. So the three of us power-levelled our trio of fresh level 1s.
I missed a couple of dungeon nights but I ended up moving over to my Chanter, Knute, who was already at level 50. She’s no Spiritmaster like my main, but an off-healer is what the group needed and the Chanter was designed in that role. I remember way back when Aion was less than a year old it was a pain to recruit from the dearth of Chanters in groups, then the first wave of alts came in and everyone had a Chanter, myself included.
There’s several things about the game that I don’t like, at least at the moment. The Stigma system has been, from what I can tell, completely overhauled. You don’t install your stigmas with shards anymore, nor do you have pre-requisites. You’re given stigmas at predetermined levels, and you install them with Kinah (the game’s currency). The Hot Heart of Magic, the single most wanted item in the first few years of the game is now something that gets given to you as a quest reward. There’s a lot of these but those are the ones that stuck out so far. I understand that Gameforge and NCSoft want us to get to the new content quickly, but come on!
The Miragents title was a prestigious one even in later years because everyone knew how much effort it took, even when 5-10 levels above the content. Now? Meh, you don’t need to be a Master of a craft, here’s your Hot Heart. I think this is the one that sticks with me most because I remember when I crafted mine. It was a mini-celebration in my chair because I’d worked so hard on gathering the materials (most were lucky to get a single try in a month), and I had failed once and failed to crit the craft to make it a Hot Heart.
Not only that, but they removed Tiamaranta and Sarpan entirely. I’m not sure if the areas replacing it have Elyos vs Asmodians again or whether like Tiamaranta and Sarpan, they were a collaboration between the races to stop the ‘Big Bad’ from that patch. We lost that, by the way, and as soon as you enter the new lands, the game reminds you of it. The new area reminds me of Vashj’ir from World of Warcraft, if they raised it from the depths. At least, the 55-65 area. I’ve not visited the next one, and I’m looking forward to it.
As a guild, Cyrus doesn’t plan on staying. We’ve only taken six people in, and honestly, this is a stop-gap, a skill-sharpening tool and little else. There’s something about Aion’s charm that I can’t help but enjoy. I deliberately didn’t want to play another Spiritmaster, as I knew that class too well. But it’ll come to an end and we’ll move on to Camelot Unchained in time. If this had been a full guild endeavour, we probably would’ve left some people behind. Not this time though; we’re just waiting for a game that keeps getting pushed back.