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Aion too grindy? Nah, it’s just a matter of Concentrated Actions.

People are split right now on the subject of whether or not Aion’s leveling is too long/tedious/grindy/etc.   I’m going to focus on three schools of thought:

1.  It takes forever to level

2.  Aion has a lot of grinding.

3.  Regardless, it’s not as big a deal as older games.

They’re all correct, in my opinion.

It does take a long time to level, there is a lot of grinding, and it’s not as big of a deal as older games.  The key here is that these things are all relevant.  Relevant to what?  Relevant to the experiences we’ve had and the type of game we’re playing.  To me the game falls somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.  However, to someone who started playing mmos when WoW came around Aion is probably a huge grind.  Aion and WoW share the same basic model yet approach that model differently (even though it’s only ever-so-slightly a different approach).

I want to point towards something I call “Concentrated Action” as the main cause for the “grind” or “long time to level” complaints.  Concentrated Action represents how mmos are all about micro-acts, sprinting in the moment, and condensed content today.  We’re always doing something, always moving forward, always this and always that.  There are no real side-paths to take that are designed into the game — you may try to create them on your own, kudos, but they’re not designed into the game.

Inserted Edit: I’d like to add another thought here and I’m going to borrow the verbiage from a friend (Damage).  We’re dealing with finite game design now.  MMO’s, when they were MMORPG’s (I’ll talk about this in tomorrow’s blog entry), were designed with a wider brush stroke making the word ‘expansive’ more applicable.   MMORPGs used to be expansive in scope of design and now they are finite.

Let’s look at an example:

In mmos like Aion the main goal from 1-50 is to level up.  The game is designed for that to be the main goal and everything in the game centers around pushing the player to actively partake in it.  You have to kill mobs (lots of mobs), do quests, and run in groups.  There is no other way to play the game to level up (which I’ve established as the main goal) than to do those things (don’t mention crafting/gathering as it is NOT a valid means of leveling up.  Just don’t.)  So we kill mobs in tiny cages linear zones or accomplish mini-objectives, get a cookie, then get told to go do it again.  It’s Concentrated Action, or Concentrated Acts.

In the Aion/WoW mmo model this repeated and concentrated action makes anything you do very apparent and very much at the forefront of everything you do when you log in to play. There is no world to explore since you’re told exactly where you go at this level and told exactly what to kill.  There is no alternative activities because, as I pointed out, leveling is the dominant activity.

A-> B->C->A->B->C

The concentration of our actions is much greater and a pattern is recognizable.

In the EQ -> Sandbox Model it’s less apparent because Concentrated Action is very rare or very spread out, and thus not as apparent or recognizable.   However, it does exist in these games and perhaps even to a greater degree; We just don’t realize it.  There are other things to do, more important things to think about, places to go, people to see.

A-> B-> C-> D-> E-> F-> G-> H-> I-> J->K-> L-> M-> N-> O-> P-> A-> B-> C-> D-> E-> F-> G-> H-> I-> J-> K-> L-> M-> N-> O-> P

A pattern exists, but it is not as concentrated and takes longer and more attention in order to notice.

This is why people are going on the forums saying “I’ve played for 3 weeks and I’m only level 25!!!”  Dudes, I’m right there with you.   Based on this mmo model, you expected a greater degree of output for the amount of time you spent on these concentrated acts.  In the end you haven’t done any more  than you would do in WoW – you’ve just been rewarded less for it.

My advice to you is slow it down as much as you can and realize that Aion is going to require a much greater degree of effort per act to yield the same results as other games in the same model.  Ultimately it is not any better or worse because of it, that’s just how it is designed.  I like that Aion is this way because it’s going to draw a lot of attention to the concept of Concentrated Actions.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to leveling….

A-> B-> C-> A-> B-> C….

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Higgs - October 15, 2009

After a month of Aion i dont really know what to say about it.

I always find myself telling my non-aion mmo playing friend how its great in many aspects, but i dont play it all that much. I dont mind the grinding but i just dont see myself logging everyday to simply grind my way to 50.

Thats why ive got already 3 chars 20+. I enjoy switching between them and hoping to grind only when rested.

I know its gonna take a long time for me to get to 50. If i ever get there.

But hey, i had 4 lev 80s in wow and a couple others 70+. Yet ive never come close to hit top level in Everquest.

Did i enjoy EQ ? Hell yeah. exploration ! fear !

Aion? .. If Jumpgate comes out, its gonna be hard not to switch.

Till then, still trying to find what class im enjoying the most.

~Higgs

xXJayeDuBXx - October 15, 2009

Excellent post, I would agree with all of it. I think my biggest problem is finding a class that I will like. I am just not all that thrilled with the Assassin at the moment.

Keen
Keen - October 15, 2009

Alt-aholicism is really a detrimental thing in Aion because classes take such a huge investment before they yield any amazing results — enough to show you what it will be like for the rest of the game. I’m level 23 (almost 24!) and I still do not have an understanding (as in, that I’ve experience personally) of my real role in the game.

If I didn’t stick with the Chanter I think I would have already burned out on the lowbie experience. In hindsight, I didn’t like the 1-20 leveling all that much.

Dismantled - October 15, 2009

In Aion, for me it came down to grinding in a concentrated Theme park setting. Which I found after a few weeks that I didn’t bother even pushing the log in button anymore.

If it’s going to be linear zones/Theme park type of play, then there better be alot of “Rides” in your game for me to keep an interest.

Melf_Himself - October 15, 2009

For you and for other people who don’t mind grind, the game is not “ultimately any better or worse” because of the increased grind. I’ve talked to some people who even prefer the grind – these people play the game a lot, and like feeling more powerful because of it.

For me and for others at the other end of the player spectrum, the game is much, much worse because of grind.

Being better or worse is always a subjective thing. Therefore my advice to people dissatisfied with the grind would not be to “slow it down” and thus take even more time to level. My advice would be to find a different game – the tendency to latch onto an MMO and to stick with it even though you don’t like it is unhealthy.

Your idea of “concentrated action” is interesting, but I think even discussing it misses the more interesting point to disucss, which is: why are (most) MMO’s designed to make people do the same thing over and over again when they have already shown that they can do it just fine with those first 9 rats they killed?

My answer: to milk more subscription dollars. Interested to hear if you think that the grind has some other purpose.

Keen
Keen - October 15, 2009

@Dismantled: That’s another way of putting it Dismantled. Grinding in a concentrated theme park setting feels worse than grinding in a sandbox setting. It would be like getting a concentrated dose of all the feelings you get when grinding.

I think grinding is a great thing — in the right context. I really enjoy group-grinding and killing monsters. I could be happy finding a location in a zone and pulling mobs to that location like we did in the EQ days. The game and design was conducive to that style of play though. In Aion/WoW it would be the most awkward thing ever.

@Melf: The reason I would say slow it down is because by speeding up you’re going to overdose on it. You’re getting a super high concentration of all the feelings grinding gives. Now, if you don’t like the style of play definitely quit.

Repetition is a big part of MMO’s. It’s less noticeable, which I suppose is a big part of what I’m writing about tonight, in games with a more expansive scope of design. In a game like Aion, repetition is all you’ll think about and you either like what you’re repeating or you’ve quit already. Is it to retain subs? Maybe. I think there is definitely a degree of busywork inherent to MMO design. The key is to hide it.

evizaer - October 15, 2009

I think using the word “concentrated” hurt my understanding of what you’re trying to describe. Perhaps “focused” is better. Whatever you’re describing is a game-on-rails philosophy. This philosophy’s execution in Aion has led me to categorically disregard the game because it has nothing to offer me as a player and it has zero impact on the genre.

The game-on-rails approach is doomed. The result of following a perfect games-on-rails mantra is progress quest: watch a progress bar fill–only time determines your success. MMORPGs on rails streamline the decision-making out of gameplay. Do that much further and you have a bad movie instead of a mediocre game. There is no future for rails as a design methodology. It costs too much money to make games with enough static content to keep 300k people occupied. There’s much more of a future in dynamic worlds and dynamic content, and that doesn’t necessarily mean open-world PvP.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t enjoy Aion or are wrong for enjoying it. People look to achieve different mindsets through gaming. Some people like to grind–the repetition lulls you into a meditative state that they’ve come to enjoy. Other people like distinct, memorable encounters that require strict attention and some degree of player dedication (i.e. knowledge and skill are necessary to succeed, not just time). I’m in the latter camp along with most serious gamers and probably most casual gamers.

Skryre - October 15, 2009

It reminds me of the days when I played AO which apparently no one besides me liked, but I had a ton of fun grouping and doing tons of different things. Always had options.

coppertopper - October 16, 2009

“In hindsight, I didn’t like the 1-20 leveling all that much.”

So true. I raged at the 1-10 levelling because it is a POS tutorial that NEEDS a skip option, but have made peace with it cause I can do it in under an hr now. 10-20 is useless relative to end game, but is made much easier with good gear (supplied by your main toon). What makes it all go down easier is that you don’t just concentrate on levelling – choose another crafting profession that will support your guild/main. Also, you know what is waiting for you at 25 – where the game becomes what I wish 1-24 would at least hint at.

I think the main frustration for me is that Aion is the polar opposite experience of 1-20 in WAR which was the best MMO levelling experience I’ve ever had.

Bhagpuss - October 16, 2009

I’m not commenting on Aion because I haven’t played it, but you claim that WoW follows the same “concentrated action”, linear model and that simply is not true.

After four months playing WoW, starting as a total novice who’d never followed the game and knew next to nothing about it, despite having played other MMOs for a decade, I can categorically say that WoW has not directed my actions in the way you describe. Not AT ALL.

I was not “told exactly where you go at this level and told exactly what to kill”. I was sometimes given some mild suggestions, but almost always I was left to make up my own mind where I went and what I did. I travelled wherever I took the fancy to go and did whatever quests I stumbled over. I moved from continent to continent, backwards and forwards, spending more time travelling than I ever did fighting, entirely at my own whim and choice.

I have never felt directed or channelled in WoW any way. From the first day I felt I was in a proper, functioning virtual world that made sense and which was mine to explore as I wished. To say that “There is no world to explore since you’re told exactly where you go at this level and told exactly what to kill” is just plain wrong. It was the “worldiness” of WoW that most impressed me from the day I logged in.

There may be MMOs that fit your description, but they are few and far between in my experience. Most MMOs are bursting with options at every level until you hit the level cap, at which point some do become very linear. The indisputable fact that players create and maintain narrow, “optimum” levelling paths in some MMOs is generally not the fault of the game design, but of the players’ impatience and lack of real interest in anythign other than getting past sub-cap content as fast as possible.

Of course, if players keep playing this way eventually game designers will dispense with anything beyond a straight linear path because it will be a waste of development time. And then, as is happening already, the same people who rushed past that content in the first place will complain that everything is too rushed and lacking in options.

Jeromai - October 16, 2009

I fear that’s what happened with WAR. When they didn’t try to hide the fact that it was a straight designed railroaded path up to level 40 (x 3 racial options), people complained it didn’t feel like a world, and too much like a metagame (with instanced scenarios to break up any feeling of immersion even more.)

Classic WoW after you get past the railroaded tutorial of the Barrens did feel fairly open to me. In fact, I was inefficiently pulled between Ashenvale, Thousand Needles and that Silverpine area way across the other side of the continent. I wonder if a certain amount of inefficiency and dead-ends is necessary for that world feeling.

Players, though, can optimize a straight boring path through anything. I place the blame squarely in the max level raid game, which bred the elitist mindset that dismissed the leveling game for ‘the real game at lvl MaxWhatever.’

Intruder313 - October 16, 2009

Did you not mean “it’s all relative” rather than “all relevant”?

Anyway, I do agree in general with your take on Aion’s Levelling – it’s a fairly straight linear path with quests being slowly doled out to you as you hit the right levels – with the pace of combat and XP gain being slower than MMOs like WoW and WAR (and the time required to progress your crafting) makes it more of a “grind”. Relatively.

I also certainly agree that the required time-investment means it’s not very Alt-friendly which suited me fine this time as I decided I’d pick one character and stick with it (I managed to swamp myself in characters and cross-character item exchanges in LOTRO, Conan and WAR).
I did succumb to temptation and create 3 alts in Aion and played them to the 7-13 only and that’s probably it for them because I find the effort-to-reward ratio really slows down at 14 – if measuring reward as XP or item gains and other such “tangibles”.

Personally I’ve decided that I won’t be subscribing beyond the free month because in that month I’ve not found enough beyond that grind to grab my interest substantially or make me really want to see the endgame. I know that MMOs are usually composed of a level-grind then a completely different endgame but by L25 I’ve seen not a hint of the PvP and no Dungeons and I am just not feeling inspired to do so.
The feeling I get is that I’m just hanging on and playing while it’s free to give it the fairest chance possible to captivate me.

I think this could be a problem for Aion in the West overall: not a single player I know has gone beyond this point and so all of them are planning to let the game drop when their free month expires or are already finding they just don’t login. Everyone has ideas about what they want from an MMO but in the end it’s a game you pay to play and if you find your just not playing it, then ceasing to pay for it soon follows.

Aion’s initial takeup was of course huge but I find myself ghoulishly wondering what the falloff rate will be in the next week or so. I suspect the planned boost to XP gains needs to come fast if they want to retain a bigger chunk of the playerbase….

Werit - October 16, 2009

My character is currently level 27. Level 26 took forever and I’m not sure I have it in me to get to 28, much less from 30 – 50.

There really isn’t much PvP to be had due to the high level gankers. If there was, it would help break up the grind. Maybe the next patch will help.

Andrew - October 16, 2009

The mentality that players have to rush to max level is a leading cause of burnout. I wish people wouldn’t play MMOs that way – they’d find them infinitely more enjoyable if they slowed down and enjoyed the journey instead of only focusing on an artificial end point.

sikk - October 16, 2009

You know I was an EQ junkie, reformed to a WOW junkie over the past years and even though WOW is currently awaiting a big content patch I just can’t seem to find a good reason to even try Aion, even after trying to find one by reading up on the game. As soon as I heard they were doing multi zone instances like how Age of Conan did I chose not to buy it for starters. One of my biggest gripes about mmo’s is a fully connected world and even though WOW isn’t fully connected, the majority of the world is and what can I say it has good PVE endgame and decent PVP. Enough about that for now though.

A few of my WOW guildmates decided to start playing Aion due to no new WOW content so I began trying to find a reason to try it out as well. From what I’ve picked up I keep hearing it’s WOW with a nice sugar coating. So I think ok, but other than some pretty graphics what would make me want to try it. I pretty much know end game PVE is not gonna be that good. As far as I can understand the Abyss is a large single zone with PVPVE, which could be fun, maybe? I really enjoyed pvping for boss kills in EQ but if everyone gets funneled into the same zone eventually with the Abyss I could see problems occuring.

One of the big factors I think is my concept of how EQ was so great, for pvp aspects. You say, what EQ pvp sucked yada yada. Well a few reasons made it great and never executed quite the same since.
1. Fully connecting world (early EQ)
2. No factions or teams, you choose who to ally with
3. Incentive to group (group or you don’t level, simple)
4. Free for all PVP

Okay, these 4 things make good world pvp. They all work hand in hand, if one doesn’t exist it breaks the magic. Take for example AoC. They did free for all pvp, what they did wrong though was have multi instanced zones and not a fully connecting world. This brings on abuse of free for all pvp in that players get the mentality to kill others without consequence. Because hey I can kill you, switch zones, and never see you again, then laugh, rinse and repeat. Free for all pvp only works with a fully connecting world with incentives to build community aka grouping/guilds. I bring this up because Aion chose an odd route in my eyes from what I can understand. They chose to multi instance zones but at the same time chose to take a page from EQ and have “camp” method grinding. All of this done without pvp from what I understand, I could be wrong here, I think in the beginning there are “safe” areas, then you begin to mix factions and pvp occurs in some of these “camp” grind areas? Either way I think it was a bad choice. If you’re not gonna allow almost all areas to be pvp areas with incentive spots like named mobs that drop loot for you to farm, why not instance these areas instead of doing a half ass, beat around the bush, job of it with multi instanced zones that players can just hop between AoC style. If I’m fighting a mob and someone kills my group and I for the love of baby jesus let the world be connected so I don’t have to jump between clones of zones to get my revenge.

This is why EQ was soooooo good. If you made war, you had to deal with the consequences. None of this kill someone, go hide in an instance, or warp to another cloned zone bs. This led to players actually thinking before randomly ganking, because who knew where your next group to level was coming from, getting a bad rep could cause a ripple effect and cut the means of finding groups off quickly.

In the end I don’t think I’ll give Aion a try. If it was a sandbox with a fully connecting world I would but it’s not, it’s more of the same, which from what I’ve experienced can’t compete with WOW in the long run. Fallen Earth sounds really tempting so that might be what I’ll try instead until WOW’s patch hits. Then again we’re closing in on holiday game season and a host of great games are on the way or just landed *cough* Uncharted 2, modern warfare 2, tekken 6 (big fanboi) *cough*.

Bartlebe - October 16, 2009

@Andrew

Exactly. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Players needs to get their act together and stop blazing through content. They’re only harming themselves.

Enjoy the ride and stop being a power gamer.

Yane - October 16, 2009

My first characters, I have no clue about endgame, so the speed at which I play is directly related to how much fun I’m having doing it. I log on and play for a long time, not because I’m trying to hit X level, but because I’m enjoying myself. In other words, the grind is invisible to me.

My alts, I know what is waiting for me, I’m trying to get to the endgame again, I try to hurry through content on purpose. The game may still be fresh, or the alt I’m playing gives me a fresh perspective. The grind may still be hiding itself.

However, if in a new game, I find myself looking at my xp bar and wondering how long a level is going to take, the grind has become transparent and I have to decide whether, like someone else mentioned, I have it in me to continue.

I have no problem at all with something taking me forever to level *IF* I’m having fun while doing it.

I don’t have a problem with a game being grindy *IF* I’m having fun grinding.

I haven’t played Aion in over a week, because I’m not having as much fun as I expected. And its because, at least to me, it feels grindy already even at the lower levels.

Snezza - October 16, 2009

I think MMO’s should reduce the number of quests by a large amount, in doing so people will do these these fun quests then go out and explore on their own, and find creatures to slay.

Nobody reads the majority of quests these days anyway, maybe something like the Lord of the Rings Book Quests would be nice.

Jordan - October 16, 2009

My #1 “worry” about the genre is that too many of today’s players consider everything pre-end/raid game the “grind”. This is what causes designers to increase leveling to warp speed so that you blow through all of the beginning/mid-level content just to get to the raiding end-game. This philosophy is one of the main things that ruined Vanguard. They had built this huge world with a ton of beginning/mid-level content, focusing more on the journey and less on the end-game. Then towards release they switched their stance and tried to speed up leveling to capture some of the Wow-crowd. They sped it up so much that i found myself outleveling quest chains that i started as soon as i was able…one of the all-time dumbest design decisions i’ve ever seen.

To me, the grind, or the “journey”, is the best part of the game. That is actually ‘playing the game’. I see people complaining that they are only level 25 in Aion after 3 weeks…ohh the grind is unbearable!! Hell, I didn’t hit level 25 in EQ until probably after 3 months…and actually it was probably closer to 6 months. And i loved every minute of it. The longer leveling gave everything “meaning” throughout the “journey” part of the game. You could work hard for and pick up cool items that you knew you’d be using for several months if not longer, or be able to sell for a pretty penny on the market, as opposed to picking up a cool item that you’d use for a couple days or weeks…which to me just removes any desire to work hard for and get those items, and removes any “cool factor” to having those items.

I dunno, i just don’t understand this burning desire to get to level 50 in 2 weeks and start raiding. Makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s because i’m not huge on raiding to begin with. Grouping up with 4 or 5 other people and hitting a dungeon is infinitely more enjoyable. That, to me, is actually “playing the game”. Sure i enjoyed raids too when i got the chance to go on them, but it certainly wasn’t my goal to get to that point asap and make that my entire gameplay.

Oh well, Go Go indie developers who design games for niche players like myself!

Woop - October 16, 2009

This is the first time I’ve actually got annoyed at a blog post on here. I just can’t agree at all. Perhaps it is because I am truly old school. Levelling is indeed an apparent and in your face part of any rpg, but if anyone playing one feels the need to level every time they sit down… well they and I are obviously miles apart (and indeed wouldn’t be satisfied by the kind of design my team and I work on).

I actually think, as others have commented, that if anything removing the accessibility of rapid levelling actually immerses you in the journey far more. There’s no point watching that bar every second because it ain’t gonna ding any time soon, and optimizing the hell out of a half hour session is neither here nor there, because again it won’t be of consequence in the long haul.

I enjoy a session where I can sit back and see what happens. This morning in Aion I spent some time in the abyss doing a quest or two because I enjoyed it! Then I went back to Sainctus Observatory headed off for another quest area I had picked and stumbled across another pair of adventurers. Grouped with them and played for twenty mins together. Two quests done, cheers guys!

Next thing, I’m through a rift battering on some sun suckers just because, well, I could and some others were going.

Now at no point did I stop and think “oh, but that isn’t going to race me towards my next level”.

Sit back, relax, enjoy. You’ll get more from the game 🙂 I think too many people have been indoctrinated in to power levelling without noticing it, partially through the game design of the likes of WoW.

Salbos - October 16, 2009

Slow level progression is a plus if the content is engaging enough to enjoy. Being slow AND feeling grindy is just no fun. I agree with the many here stating that trying to rush to the end is what takes the fun away from the game. If a game makes the player feel they need to get to the end in order to enjoy it, the game has failed in its basic premise of playing the game.

Qpon - October 16, 2009

No offense… but if you’re only lvls 1-25 then your experience is much different. 1-25 is very linear whereas afterwards it begins to open up, but at the same time becoming more “grindish”.

I’m @ 36 ATM and starting to really get into the ‘group grinds’ like daily fortress dungeon runs for AP & loot… and elite-camp roaming for top-end quest rewards & rare spawns. In between these sessions – the short spurts of Abyss mob farming while, literally, constantly spinning around looking over your shoulders to keep from getting ganked. After I get my open-pve fix and want to avoid the peak hours where roaming gank squads flourish, I head back to closed-pve zones to round out some loose-end quests here and there…. and maybe some heavy duty crafting.

While the grind really starts to rear its head around 30+, it’s an awkwardly pleasant grind as long as you don’t stubbornly stick to one method of gaining xp. If you’re hoping to just quest your way to 50 you’re playing the wrong game… but if you like switching up the gameplay then you’ll not only level faster, but have more fun doing it.

Qpon - October 16, 2009

Another thing that I noticed; since the levels take a relatively longer time than most people are used to… it seems to indirectly make your quest rewards and gear that much more important. You aren’t leveling so fast that gear becomes obsolete in a few days, many of the quest rewards and craft items can literally stick with your character for weeks or even months. What this does is actually make you motivated throughout the leveling process to complete the difficult tasks that reward the high-end items… compared to railroaded paced leveling like WoW where going out of your way to get a rare item will just slow you down and be regretted.

Keen
Keen - October 16, 2009

I think a couple of you have misunderstood me completely. I’m actually defending Aion against the complaints and explaining how it only feels worse because of the acts you do in-game being more concentrated than when you do this exact type of grinding (or much worse) in older games or even games today of a similar model.

And the “you’re only lvl 25” comment is kinda silly. Once you identify the pattern and model being used anyone can know exactly how the game plays.

Marcus - October 16, 2009

Hey keen! did you heard about http://www.darkdaysarecoming.com/

I think this game can promess great things! Is some kind of resident evil online 😀

Qpon - October 16, 2009

I know you were defending Aion, I’m just stating that since your experience is limited you’re drawing misguided conclusions on the game as a whole.

and…

“And the “you’re only lvl 25″ comment is kinda silly. ”

Not at all… the game takes a decisive turn @ 25. It’s undeniable.

Keen
Keen - October 16, 2009

A turn of which I am fully aware. Many games have milestones. However, that doesn’t change the way the game was designed, it just affects the way the way in which people progress and to a certain degree the way in which they play.

Believe me, I’m not talking about the 1-25 game in this blog entry at all. This is an all-encompassing theory. It also applies to more than just Aion. I’m talking about all MMO’s (note: I’ve removed the RPG from MMO’s, more on that later today).

Din A3 - October 16, 2009

I wished Aion’s worst problem was the time it takes to level…
Aion’s worst problem is you HAVE TO BE A MILLIONAIRE in order to get to level 50. There’s no other way about it. You have to make loads of cash, either farming mats and selling them on the AH, or playing the AH game doing whatever it is people who get rich on the AH do. Otherwise, you won’t get past level 36. You just won’t. I’m told by level 40, you need 1 million kinah only to buy skills. ’nuff said.

In most of the games i’ve played, there was always the option of becoming a gold tycoon, but you could ignore it and play for fun till you hit whatever cap the game had. Not in Aion you can’t.

I’m level 34 now, and i have exactly 34k kinah to my name.
I was only able to buy 2 out of 6 or 7 new habilities. If i die now, i just can’t pay for a soulheal. I’d rather see a patch lowering death and skill prices than raising xp gain. And before november 1st. Thank you very much.

wufiavelli - October 16, 2009

Maybe the game then is built for gold farmers if the millionaire thing is the case. Gives them a market. if that’s the case NCsoft should receiving a lot of the blame for the gold farmer problem.

I am still wondering to see how this game compares to war and aoc. In those games people seem to believe the lack of content in the middle and end levels are what killed them.

Wondering if its the same for Aion. or if they did something that those other two games didn’t where people will stay.

Valdur - October 16, 2009

@ Din

That’s one of the things that I like with this game.This is part of the process which at a certain point slows the power leveler.They can be a high level but lack some of the skills due to lack of funds.

I will quote a line from a Shugo vendor which hits home each time I hear it “No Kinah?are you sure?Check pockets!!!

@ Woop

I totally agree with you and could not have said it better.I’m enjoying AION and found no need to rush through the levels to hit 50,there’s so much to do.

evizaer - October 16, 2009

@the “it takes a turn for the good after 25” crowd

I’m not going to play a game for 40 hours just to have fun on the 41st hour. Sorry, that’s complete idiocy. If the game doesn’t hook me by level 15, screw it. If the devs don’t respect me enough as a player to give me some substance in the first 15 hours, I don’t want to waste my time. I have much better games to play. My time is valuable–too valuable to throw away 40 hours on mediocrity just to potentially have fun at some point in the future. I play games to have fun, not to waste time in the hopes that I’ll have fun in the future.

Kundalini - October 16, 2009

I have just hit level 26 and since then have lost all inspiration to play Aion. I login…grind in the Abyss for about 15 minutes and just get so bored. I love the character design etc but with no solo quests left to do until I manage higher levels I cannot summon the inspiration to continue. I realize it’s my mindset and not the game that is at fault here (my preference is to level solo, but do complete group quests on occasion). I just need quests in order to retain my interest…not mindless mob killing over and over and over again.

bonekrusher - November 5, 2009

Lvl 29 templar here (and they are the slooooowest to lvl and i did it mostly alone on quests and some grinding). I’m mostly a solo oriented guy like Kundalini and true enough, aion is geared toward group grinding. It goes soooooo much faster with groups. I did Training Ground a couple of days ago. I was 28 almost 29 and after 2 hours (with lots of wipe. im still a new tank so heh), i got to 30. It would have taken me close to 8-9 hours to do so alone!

But even with the slowest class to level, im not bored with aion. The trick is not to mindlessely do the same thing. Sometimes i grind on repeatable quests for half-hour, then i go do some regular quests. While doing this i gather a lot of crap to sell. Then after a while i go back to do some trade skill to forge an armor or buy a new one or just try to enchant some of my gear or paint it another color or whatever else i do in pandemonium. Then i go in the abyss for more stress inducing gank squads! I diversify and this is what you need to do in this game to have fun. Wow was pretty much the same thing. After awhile, the quests all looked the same and were the same crap, so you diversified to have fun (which included fishing which i loved).

Since the leveling is much slower than wow, you replace your gear faaaaaar less often. You don’t need top gear for your level. I got 2 blue gears pieces that i crafted at lvl 23 that i still use and that is better than lvl 30 green gear! I won’t be getting rid of it before 33+. Thats 10 long level with the same gear pieces. So i don’t need to upgrade all my gear all the time. If you do, yeah your going to be bankrupt! I upgrade a piece here, then a piece there, but rarely all at the same time. Cost too much.

Hum selling potions or ore ore anything on the broker is very easy, you don’t need to be an economist. Stick to a few products and you’ll make a lot of money, but yes there are more gold sink than the money you will make so you need to CHOOSE where to spend your money wisely.

All in all, a great game but seems to be too hardcore for peeps with no time that want to play at end game. Wow is better for ya if you are in that situation.

N.B.: Oh and one last thing, there are more quests than you think in aion, but they are not always presented to you on a silver platter. Quite a few of them you need to backtrack to previous quest hubs to find them. Yeah i know, its too hard to do for most people. God know they have to explore a bit to find quests!

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