Eyes on Aion’s Open Beta

That would make a good segment… Eyes on Aion.  Dibs! Bummer, it’s taken. 😛

Yesterday was the first day of Aion’s “open” beta.  Yeah, it’s not really open.  It’s more of a less closed beta, but we’re used to that by now so stop your complaining.  The client was patched up to version 1.5.3 from 1.0 which introduces over a year’s worth of development to the NA players in just one patch.   Like most of these stress tests (that’s really what they are) it lags.  It lags real bad.  The problem isn’t entirely on NCsoft though, according to some people.  Apparently Comcast is having some backbone issues or something and that people who don’t even have Comcast have to go through these routers.  So it’s a routing issue they say.  Honestly, I don’t care what it is because the only thing that matters to me is that I’m lagging.

Aside from the lag, which is bad enough to make me log out and play Minecraft (more on this in another blog post), the game feels very much the same.  I was expecting something to feel different, but it doesn’t really.  The 1.5 patch is more of a mid-late game overhaul and less of a 1-10 newbie experience (which I am still stuck in right now).  The leveling curve, quests, content, and all that good stuff comes after the newbie experience but I was expecting to log in and be dazzled.

The change that I am most aware of right now is the camera.  The left mouse button now lets me look around like in WoW or LOTRO.  However, something isn’t right.  Holding left and right mouse buttons usually propels and gives drive control but it doesn’t in Aion.  Also, the left and right mouse buttons are conflicting at times.  Perhaps it is just a bad habit I’ve formed over the years, but I do a lot of left and right clicking to control the camera, move me, and look around.  I’ll chalk it up to the DAOC days of paranoia and looking around all the time.  When I try to look around, move, change direction, and pretty much whenever I fell like I’m overusing the mouse the camera dead locks or I change direction and I have to unclick and begin the motions again.  It’s very, very tough to explain something that I’ve developed as second nature so hopefully some of you get what I’m saying and have experienced it yourselves.

My Priest (going to be Chanter) is level 7 right now.  Again, I’m in no rush to level.  I’m hoping to get just high enough to see something that makes me say “Yep, that’s a 1.5 change”.  If I come across anything I’ll let you guys know.

  • Keen, in the options you can turn off “left click to rotate camera”, and that should produce the movement behavior you’re used to.

  • Only one question really. You said, “…but I was expecting to log in and be dazzled.”. Why? You’ve seen enough betas to know better I’d think, especially given we’re testing a a patch at the same time. What exactly would dazzle you in the newbie area (which you’ve probably already played at least once)?

    I’m a bit disappointed by the lag myself given the overall good performance in my closed beta testing, but I’m not surprised at all.

  • I have the same damn problem. i cant move around in Aion. I have used mouse running since shadowbane, and now its just how i move. Once both right and left click are down you should be able to rotate the character freely inclujding making it turn. Instead only the camera turns, which makes me have to move differently than in any other MMO i have ever played in the last 10 years.

    WTH is this, every MMO allows this, all of them i have played. AOC, Chamnps, WoW, DDO, WAR.

    I just dont understand, have koreans never used this control scheme?

  • @Jenosidhe, Most Koreans actually use point and click movement as was native to Aion during the 1.0 closed betas, what we have now is an improvement but i hope it gets that final tweak before launch.

    As for the lag and issues they’re having now hopefully they have put out enough open beta keys to make this a “mini” launch/stress test so when it matters on launch day most of these bugs will have been worked out 🙂

    ok so i’m one of these people who like to be positive but hey here’s to hoping! 🙂

  • oh and

    @xXJayeDuBXx, you cant log in at the moment as servers are down, from Ayase’s twitter feed “NA servers will be brought down for maintenance at approximately 12.30 p.m. PDT (2.30 p.m. CDT, 8.30 p.m. BST). ”

    no new on when they’ll be back up and yes it sucks that their best information comes via twitter >.>

  • I find it kinda odd that they’ve done such a large patch so close to the release date when the actual game seemed totally ready to go for months. Still, I suppose we’ve got a few weeks yet for them to polish the last bugs up.

    I find the new “Western” faces kinda weird but that maybe that’s just me.

    I’m also holding off seriously playing it as I don’t want to ruin the game before it’s release. I’d rather get stuck in when my character won’t get wiped.

  • Hehe, accidently found me a guild already! *EU based, every podcast / blog community is NA :X*

    Have absolutely no lag, apart from entering crowded areas for the first time.

    Warrior at level 7 atm. Only played for 3 hours, still have no idea if thats slow or fast :). Combat remains awesome. (Assassin in CBT6)

  • Still finding Aion unplayable. Able to log on. However, the rubberbanding still present and lag is still terrible. I just got disconnected again. Giving up for the night.

  • I’ve experienced the same issues with the right+left mouse click behavior. I am very happy they defaulted to mouse look for left click though I’ve used the click to move mode before (in games like SotNW you sort of need it).

    I’ve had a bit of lag but nothing horrible. Judging from general chat some are having major lag issues. Had one crash all weekend. One server restart.

    As part of open I decided to roll Asmo since I plan to go Elo at launch. As a rabid alt-er I was disappointed the Asmo start experience is nearly a mirror image of the Elo starting experience from Closed.

  • Maybe that explains my lag! Comcast customers have the same issues with WoW in many areas, especially for some of their instances servers. I can attest that Roadrunner in upstate New York is one of the few that routes through comcast/att routers and gets this issue.

    They took forever to do anything with WoW and many comcast players still have issues. I’m disheartened to hear that it’s cropping up here too.

    @We Fly Spitfires: Applying this patch shouldn’t result in the same issues it would have in other games. The patch was alright tested, tweaked, and bug fixed in the international releases. Our version should have all of that “out the door” stuff already worked out 🙂

  • I immediately switched back to the old control method. The new one is not western either, it is a hybrid that neither exists in the East nor the West.

    IMO they should have left the default controls of the Beta, people with issues could simply switch off mouse movement if they want to.

    No lag on European servers. The worst thing was the introduction of the region chat, worse than Barrenschat. 😛 Some quests were broken, in particular the “incense” quest of the Asmodians.

    Level 18 by now, I hope Morheim will more appeal to me than Altgard – I honestly prefer the Elyos area design, they also seem to have gotten more love with the quests.

    I also agree to WeFlySpitfires: The new western faces do not look so western but just ugly, the old selection of the 1.0 beta appealed more to me, not western either, but you could make more out of the default faces somehow.

    The different body defaults are a catastrophe, an example how one can abuse and misuse the char generator to the max. Not even Bartlebe’s gnomes can compete with some of NCsofts new Aion default bodies! 🙂

  • I agree that Aion should implement mouse steering by holding down both mouse buttons. Being able to move the camera with the left button is a nice addition, but take it all the way and let us move the character with the camera like in other MMOs.

  • In the OB and it’s fun enough. I had horrible lag on one of the servers so much so that I bailed and started again. On the new server, I haven’t had any lag issues whatsoever, even when others are screaming about it in chat. *shrug* It’s engaging enough and has more flavor than let’s say Runes of Magic but has some of the same jerky combat animation and locked feet after casting which I don’ know why these two games do that. I think mouse steering is a must for any game that has player controlled flight.

    I logged off just before going to complete the final quest for ascension. It’s late and didn’t to rush the sequence.

  • There is almost no lag on the european scene. It plays almost flawlessly.

    However, On the 6th, people have had trouble actually logging in.

    “Could not connect to authentication server.”

    It usually was solved by spamming login for 10-30 minutes.

  • The lag made the game unplayable for me on Sunday, but Monday was much better. I too had to disable the “left mouse button to move camera” option, since full mouse moving is most comfortable for me.

    Was it just me, or did anyone else notice a short cooldown on abilities after a spell lands in order to allow for auto attack? I didn’t notice this during previous beta sessions, but it seemed to take away the decision of whether or not to allow an auto attack before casting the next ability.

    I am enjoying the game thus far. The visuals are stunning. Hopefully the lag and rubber banding will be taken care of by the time the game is released.

  • I love the game. There are only 2 things wrong with it.

    1) The character controls!!!! Why reinvent the wheel? Why not just have character controls like WOW and WAR and DAOC and every other MMO out there. This is a major problem and I will have probably have wasted £30 on the game if they do not fix this, as I won’t be playing.

    And 2) the character window, think they call it your profile, where you see your equipped armour and weapons, that screen is tiny and you can barely see anything, for such a lush game you would think they would want you to see your avatar.

    And btw, there is little to no lag on the EU severs.

  • As a comcast customer, I experienced no severe lag yesterday at all. However, if you perform the /ping command, you can get an idea how horrible your connection is. Before the first server maintenance, my ping was 170 or so, after the maintenance it dropped down to the 30s. A significant improvement for me even though I wasn’t even lagging to begin with.

  • Sounds great now NCsoft just needs to get rid of Game Guard. It’s causing all kinds of problems for many players.

    I can’t stay logged in using WinXP, it kicks me out b/c of a game guard error, which no one has found a fix for.

    However, the game runs great on Win7. *Shrug*

  • Hi all,

    Just to chime in, with regards to Gameguard issues and Lag:

    Gameguard – I’ve heard VERY positive responses from people who have deleted their Gameguard files and then launching, causing Gameguard to be reinstalled/updated. This has solved their crashing.

    Lag, possible fixes in order of difficulty –
    1. Force Aion to update. Have it check and update the entire game.
    2. Contact your ISP (seriously, phone them and provide them with the tracert) to have them investigate possible routing issues.
    3. If you are with AT&T, it has been rumoured that they are throttling their traffic due to recent increased bandwidth usage in communications with the Aion servers (located in Seattle). Contact them and bitch.

    I don’t believe Lag is much of an issue anymore. I ran fine during the morning of OB Launch, but when I logged in later on (3:30pm) I was unable to play. Later in the evening, during the usual Prime-Time, I did not experience any noticable Lag.


  • @thekilikabeast

    “1) The character controls!!!! Why reinvent the wheel? Why not just have character controls like WOW and WAR and DAOC and every other MMO out there. This is a major problem and I will have probably have wasted £30 on the game if they do not fix this, as I won’t be playing.”

    How the controls differ from what you’re used to? They’re practically exactly how every other game is.

    WASD to move, left mouse to rotate the camera, right mouse to go into drive mode. Every MMO has this and so does Aion.

  • @ thekilikabeast;

    Aion was conceived and developed in Korea … the controls didn’t follow the traditional Western controls design because, well, the game isn’t a Western game.

    Those type of issues are exactly what these betas have been about (sadly 95% of the testers didn’t understand this), so I foresee issues like the one Keen mentions being near the top of the localization team’s ‘to-do list’.

    I don’t have any info on the new beta unfortunately… I’m opting to take Keen’s advice and abstain from the game until release.

  • @ Bartlebe

    Not everyone uses WASD infact no-one I know uses them. Using WASD for movement really hampers your PvP experience as you are having to use both hands (ie WASD and mouse) to move your character and don’t have a third hand to use abilities.

    What i use is left click for camera, right click for character, and both clicks to move both camera and character. Right now aions “both clicks” just moves the camera so they aren’t practically the same, it is enough to make half of the people on every AION forum to moan about it.

    @ Qpon

    I know where the game was developed, and I know that the controls didn’t conform to Western controls. And I know that this is a Beta and I have already submitted feedback that describes my concerns.

  • Originally Posted by Silverveign on http://www.aionsource.com/forum/aion-discussion/47910-how-give-feedback-some-observations-movement.html

    I think the smart asses in the thread missed the point.

    NCsoft was adding in the left mouse button camera turn for the NA gamers and they got the execution wrong. There is no denying the added feature does not behave as it was intended. After all, you are telling the OP to turn the feature off to be able to control his character correctly. Granted the OP could have phrased this better, but acting like asshats because the internet offers you anonymity is sad.

  • @Keen – I have noticed they put in just a few more plants in the beginning area of the Asmodians. Haven’t noticed anything else in the lower levels though.

  • NCSoft needs to make more public details about their Client Repair tool.

    Each patch you need to run it.

    I had lag issues as well (twice), but immediately after I ran the repair tool the game performed flawlessly.

    I want to see Aion succeed and I hope it doesn’t die because of a complaint that can be fixed in 5 minutes with the click of a button.

  • @Keen

    So funny about things that you notice like the camera sticking that you don’t mention to your friends but think to yourself. I myself was having similar issues when trying to hold down the left/right mouse buttons to view behind me…

    As you said I think we have grown paranoid from previous MMO’s where looking behind you is essential. In fact I can remember plenty a time when scanning behind me while moving saved my butt in SWG.

    So, hopefully they can fix that little quirk. I’m sure it’s nothing big that needs to be adjusted, but the problem was so annoying for me that I spent several minutes looking in the options for some kind of feature that I could disable or turn on to fix it.

  • Actually, WASD has been used in MMO’s for years but I digress.

    If you don’t like, go into key bindings and change it. It’s not rocket science.

    People love to be drama queens over the smallest of details.

  • @Garett: Woot! I’m sooo glad they’re fixing that. I really enjoy my mouse movement.

    Simply a preference thing, but a preference I’ve grown quite fond of over the past decade.

  • 1.5 added “view opposite angle” as a viewing option. Defaults to the mouse scroll wheel button. Does a quick (sort of) 180 view change. Slightly different from doing a look around with the mouse yourself, but it lets me see behind me, which is what I need.

    I prefer Guild Wars’ instant look behind option, but this works too.

  • This is no new feature, the closed beta “1.0” version already had “view opposite angle” bound to the middle mouse key.

    I thought they would have added swimming in 1.5. My chars still walk into the water like King Ludwig of Bavaria and die. 🙁


    Bah, i hate that soo much, in most MMO’s u can turn it off.

  • @Johnjohn

    OMG I hate that too!

    I just deleted my account and demanded my money back. Damn camera swinging feature.

    Nub game, right here. I’m already resubbed to WoW. The first MMO ever.

  • @Bartlebe

    I can’t tell if you’re joking or being serious. I really have high hopes for Aion . . . reading replies to Keen’s blog is disheartening me.

    I guess I’ll see for myself during launch. Pre-order bad idea? lol.

  • @Longasc

    Well, then new to me as I never saw the reverse angle option before. Or maybe it was because I have my mouse wheel button mapped to another function. 😀

  • Well, had my first run in Aion last night. Only got to level 5 but had a good time.

    So far so good.

    But I’m glad you all posted about he camera bug. during combat crazy stuff just kept happening to my camera before I remembered these posts. I have just played WoW and WAR for so long its just habit, and I never really knew I was going it.

  • I’ve always wondered how players of the most popular MMOs would react to a control scheme that worked a little differently than what they were used to. Would they label it a bug, or just something wonky to adapt to, and so on? 🙂

    Having played many nonstandard MMOs, the camera doesn’t bother me at all. I press a key to enable mouselook in CoH/CoV, and back again. Guild Wars controls differently. ATITD controls via point and mouse click. It led to an interesting decision in Aion, where I kept toggling click-to-move off and on, trying to decide which to go with.

    For me, click-to-move is much more convenient for running long distances, WASD with mouselook gives finer, faster control for navigating around aggressive mobs.

    One thing that has been bothering me with my recent forays into Aion and WoW, is how my casters (mage and druid respectively) don’t begin ranged autoattack after a button press to cast a spell.

    This leads to much unpleasantness the moment a mob gets into melee range where I scream at the stupidity of the avatar not reacting automatically to something eating his face and lots of badly aimed right-clicks that fool around with the camera and toggling of combat when I just want the caster to thwack the mob with a cantrip or a big stick and keep going, don’t stop, thank you.

    I figure I am too used to CoX, GW and possibly even LOTRO’s methods, where a spell or power cast locks you into battle and/or a simple tap of the spacebar starts autoattacking.

    Have had to hunt around for an attack button to keymap to simulate GW style.

    Weirdly enough, I have to doubletap the attack/chat button in Aion. The first press seems to do nothing, the second starts the mage’s spellbook animating and his autoattack, which then lets me run evasive manuevers and kite the last few hp off.

    Ah well. Every MMO combat is a little different.

  • Oh, one thing I AM miffed at is GameGuard disabling button 4 and button 5 on my Razer mouse. One of those buttons I use as an alternate left-click so my index finger doesn’t cramp. Need to do some reading up to see if there are any workarounds. Going to get RSI otherwise.

  • Dont know if it was mentioned but the default seems to be pushing the middle mouse button down (scroll wheel) to free rotate the camera while stationary or moving,..