Bad quest dungeon is bad (Aion’s Sky Temple)

My Chanter is about 5% away from dinging 30 and I spent three hours this evening in a really frustrating group.  There’s a campaign quest dealing with Three Keys to gain access to the Fire Temple Instance and in order to complete it you must take a full group into the Sky Temple (I think I have these names straight…) and obtain keys blah blah… it’s basically attuning yourself to go to Fire Temple.   Anyway, the Sky Temple place is really annoying.  The mobs have a lot of hp and they’re set up in such a way that getting adds is incredibly easy — too easy — and if you’re not really careful you’ll wipe.

Several times while going through these different wings to get the keys you have to drop down to other platforms.  The drop would probably kill you so it requires you to  glide.  The ideal way of getting down is to fall until you’re just about to hit, glide to break the fall and break the glide to land essentially where you drop.  It’s really not that hard… or so I thought.  Half the group either died on the way down or aggro’d stuff leading to half the group being dead at the bottom and the other half up top.  At one part we were forced to wait 45 minutes while two people ran back because they glided off the platform and were forced to release.  Problem is, we couldn’t leave the instance because you can’t get back up once you jump down and they couldn’t get back in because there’s a big nasty elite guarding the entrance.  They had to wait for another group to come along and clear it.

I ended up spending somewhere between 3-4 hours doing this quest and losing 450,000 exp (probably 75-100k Kinah).  I’m happy that I am now attuned for Fire Temple (a place where I can have a chance at getting loot and a decent quick group experience) but the loss of exp + fanny fatigue + grumpiness = log off.   While waiting the group started talking and we can’t figure out why this place was designed to be nothing but a PITA.  It’s not even fun.  It’s designed so poorly that what could be a challenge isn’t a challenge — it’s a PITA.  It crossed the threshold between acceptable challenge and entered the realm of horrible design.  The exp was abysmal (less exp per kill than I get solo at about 1/5th the speed)   Completely the polar opposite of Naschana Training Camp which is a fantastic instance.

If you’re planning to go to Sky Temple to do your Three Keys quest bring a good group and several hours.  It’s annoying and stupid hard.

Would it kill someone to provide a consistently fun and well designed experience these days?  C’mon.

Logging off let me watch my Angels finally win a game though.  We’re not out yet!

  • I’m honestly a bit confused about what Aion wants to be. Given the Abyss and rifts, you’d think Aion was a PvP game. Given the insane PvE grind and such an emphasis on it throughout the game, even in the Abyss, you’d think it was a PvE game. Then you look at the lack of dungeons pre-25 and maybe it isn’t such a PvE game. But since you can’t enter the Abyss until level 25, it seems like they want at least that part to be a PvE game.

    Like I said, I’m thoroughly confused…

  • Well, they advertise it as “PvPvE”. I don’t mind not entering the Abyss until 25. It brings back that feeling in DAOC where you CAN go to the Frontiers (Abyss) at any level, but you truly want to be near max level to really compete. That works for me.

    It’s the weird grind and exp curve that bugs me in Aion right now. Grouping is clearly not rewarding enough at certain level intervals (Some would argue at all levels) and the exp grind is a tad tedious for this style of game (the Theme-park on-rails model that focuses exclusively on leveling without virtual world RPG elements).

    I can see what Aion wants to be and they’re very close to it. Fixing the grouping and adjusting the leveling curve slightly — with more mid-low level dungeon content — and this would be perfect. Oh, and get rid of this stupid Sky Temple quest. TYVM.

  • Sky Temple is one of the most hated places by me ,Wind room is just a nightmare ,i went there about 6-7 times ,one little mistake can cost you wipe. About the loot from FT…i wouldnt count on that too much ,there is 6 mini bosses and one “main” ,those 6 are random same as random loot can be ,main boss has very low drop rate as well ,after 10+ runs i have looted 3 items. Above all FT is one boring dungeon.

  • But at least DAOC had BGs to add some variety and PvP was actually a viable means of progression! Not immediately, mind you, but why Aion didn’t take advantage of this hindsight is beyond me. 😛

  • I hate both the Sky Temple and Fire Temple. I stopped running FT earlier then most due to my frustration at the design. Everything is tank and spank including Kromede who drops very solid gear. Such a dissapointment.

    However, these instances do show a contrast between where Aion PvE development was and where it is now. Both ST and FT are 1.0 instances. Training Camp is a 1.2 (maybe 1.5?) and you can clearly see the difference (even though Training Camp is still very basic). At 40 you take the next step with Steel Rake (40-45 instance). All accounts are that this place is the next step up with very interactive boss design (read: not tank and spank)and a enjoyable atmosphere (who doesn’t enjoy killing hamster pirates on a pirate ship!?). The one complaint I see is the amount of trash. Some claim it takes 4 hours to clear a level of the ship. Of course some don’t mind this do to the necessary exp needed to level (more enjoyable in groups) and the extra chance at class spell book drops. I am excited to see this place myself and should this weekend.

  • Fire Temple isn’t hard to do, but the loot is horrible because most of the time you get nothing, a blue crafting material drop, or white gear. Its an absolutely worthless dungeon most of the time, and IMHO its only good for grinding through to your mid 30’s.

  • @Snafzg: I do not recall PvP being a means of progression at all from launch to TOA (Aka the golden age of DAOC). BG’s were amazing though. Note: DAOC BG’s are not like WoW BG’s; they’re persistent mini-frontiers/abyss.

    @Phandy: That’s great to know Phandy. In fact, that gives me a renewed sense of excitement in the dungeon PvE content. I’m not a fan of most 1.0 stuff from Aion. If TC
    is 1.2 and I like it then I can only imagine how the 1.5’s will be like.

    Grinding in the dungeons I’m fine with since, like you mention, it’s needed to level. Please do let me know how you like it.

    @Hades: I’ll definitely grind it out even if it sucks. I need groups to survive in a grindy-game.

  • Aion is a game designed as a huge time sink. And in the most annoying possible way too.
    The ratio boring/repetitive to entertaining is about 100 to 1.

    When it’s fun, it’s a hell of a fun game tho. So it’s a real shame it isn’t fun more often.
    Maybe next patch?

  • Gah, I’m at the point where I need to farm the FT key. 🙂

    I’m having issues this game sadly:
    – Chat is all spammers and trolls.
    – The abyss is all about being ganked and steamrolled.
    – There aren’t quite enough quests for my taste.
    – While TC is kinda fun, it is very plain indeed.
    – Bots attacking the quest mob you’re on.

    The silver lining is that there are a some players I really enjoyed grouping with. And flight is pretty fun (and yes you really should know how to break a fall with glide).

    BTW, lesson for healers. We were in TC up on the rampart wailing on some trash when the sorcerer fell off. I see his health go down and cast a heal on him and watch as my cleric leaps off to get in range.

  • Keen!
    Could you maybe make a post on how you like playing youre class? The chanter, upsides and downsides.

    Would love youre input on the class.

  • Honestly I had no real trouble with the attunement quest. The biggest problem with any group is that they have to be knowledgeable. Unfortunately with the trouble you had with your internets, you have missed out on doing some things with the higher up’s in the legion. The only issue we had in air temple was the fire room, a few people had problems with gliding. 2 or 3 people just ported out to help them get back into the instance. Also with enough FT runs you will have your entire lvl 35 gear ready and waiting for you by 35. I personally would suggest to all, once 30, to do as many FT runs as possible so that u spend no cash on your lvl 35 gear. Flame Gear seems, by far, better than any other green drop i’ve seen around that lvl. And if you do it continuously as a group everyone would be outfitted by 35. And the xp gain isnt half bad.

  • I love that this game is frustrating and grindy. It makes me happy.. but pisses me off too.

    The more I play, the less WOWlike it feels. This is a good thing.

    The amount of rifts however is not… the most difficult inaccessible ones are the only ones that seems to be open. I wish it was a more random time sensitive thing than 50 clicky clickies.

  • @ #4 Snafzg: Quote, “…why Aion didn’t take advantage of this hindsight is beyond me.”

    There’s a simple answer actually: Designers are either A) arrogant, or B) ignorant. In other words, they either think their design ideas are the best shiznit EVAR, or they just don’t have a single effing clue in the world. =P

  • …To expound slightly, it seems like many game designers either patently ignore the designs used in other games, or just don’t play other games, so they don’t even know what they’re missing…

  • Wow, that’s a little crazy, considering the Elyos method for accessing Fire Temple is simply getting a random key drop off of some 33-34 mobs.

  • I do feel the pain of the Sky Temple too. I’m a cleric, currently 32, and I was 29 when I did the temple. Took me 3 groups at least 4 hours total and probably about at least 10 deaths to get the three keys.
    I got the first one ok, no elite just simple you need a group to pass the door guardians though. Then is the wind room … with insane aggro range and patrols everywhere. My first group disbanded there after a double wipe on the same pull.
    Second group made it to the fire room because the tank was good and knew the way around the patrols in the sky room. Then you have the fall from first floor to second floor in the fire room. One died, one aggroed a group of mobs that linked to us when gliding, we wiped, I auto-rezed .It could have been ok if one player not got stuck into the “walls” of the platform when gliding down. Sadly it was the sorcerer and no sleep ensured our doom soon.
    Third group I had to do it all again, because two higher level (38&39) players where helping one of their friend to get the 3 Keys. At least higher level tank & chanter helped a lot, and they knew the tricks of the place too. So we did all the rooms in a little more than one hour.

    I’m not going back there unless a really good friend is asking for help. This place is just one of the worse example of design I’ve seen in aion.
    I do hope newer instances will be more fun, because all in all FT is only worth for the loot, basic dungeon, basic bosses, just a bigger cave that you have to group for.

  • The more I read about the keys and how hard this is to do, I am thinking of leaving Aion and moving on to another game. Not just Aion but Npc and all the games.You see I came to Aion from a game that is really good, but I got bored with it. Nothing is more frustrating than a constant failure.Nothing is more painful than making a group fail.
    These two things alone make me question returning to Aion.Some may love the game but as a new player, I do not like long grinding quests and then failure on top of it all.
    I am Glad you wrote your experiences here and I could see how hard and complicated this is, Question for me now is weather to stop play and return to my old game or try to just play and skip this Three key quest.Game designers do not know that these quests drive players away at times.I am one.