Blog Archive

Friday, July 24, 2009

Aion BC4: My Thoughts Part II


So my last post left off at Gathering, I mentioned the pass/fail system and how many times you can (usually!) harvest a node. Each time you gather, you earn a little more toward your next skill point. Think of it like a miniature experience bar that you never see. Let’s say you have a Gather skill of 50. If you harvest a fruit that requires a Gather skill of 50, it will boost your skill faster than if you stick to digging up the angelica herb or iron ore that you dug up when… well, when you still looked cute playing in the dirt. But perhaps you are wondering how many professions you’re allowed to have? Maybe you want to ask, “Hey Skai, do I need to train in mining? Herbalism? Do I have to buy a pick axe, a skinning knife, and a fishing pole for my inventory?” Rest easy, friends. This is Aion, where you can actually pick up every profession, and be a master only in one. There is no mining, herbing, skinning, fishing, disenchanting, or prospecting. You just ‘gather’, when you’ve maxed out your skill level.


Professions are a little different. You do have to go to the trainer in your capital city and train it to begin. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Alchemy teaches you how to transmute, make potions and remedies, scrolls, magical weapons (books and orbs), manastones, and later when you get to the Abyss, you can create Artifact Activation stones and help in creating siege weapons!
  • Armor smithing allows you to make chain, plate, and shields.
  • Conversion teaches you to take ordinary things, and turn them into an essence, like aether.
  • Cooking teaches you to summon micro-organisms who mind control critters... oh, wait.. wrong one. ;) Nah, cooking is cooking – no explanation needed. Stat food for the win!
  • Handicrafting teaches you how to manufacture weapons of mass destruction! Well, bows and staves. But also jewelry, helms (well, glasses), and also you help create the siege weapons.
  • Sewing (also known as Tailoring) teaches you how to make cloth and leather armors.
  • Weapon smithing teaches you how to create polearms, swords, daggers, maces and hammers, and siege weapon parts!

In beta, I only worked on cooking and alchemy. In Aion there are two ways to invest in your skills. You can either gather all of your materials yourself and make them (invest time), or you can complete work orders for your trainer, who gives you some main supplies, you pick up the remaining supplies and get to work right there (invest kinah). Of course, you can do a combination of both, but I really liked the fact that we have the option to do either way.

One of the things that threw me off a little was the rewards I got from turning in the work orders. I’d get these random components, which I knew were useful… somehow. But I may not have purchased or received a design that used said random component. Take cooking for example, I collected about 50 or so fish to try to skill up my culinary skillz (ha!), but when I learned a recipe that used this fish, I needed okra powder. I picked up okra, but didn’t figure out if I er, powdered it myself or if I found this powder on a vendor. So the fish are currently rotting in my bank (unless the developers decided it stinks so much that they wiped the server).


Let me talk about something else: Extraction. This is not a profession. This is something everybody can do. In some games (like Wow) we call this enchanting. General vendors have little bags called Extraction Tools. Note: this works on grey items, as well as greens. When you upgrade a piece of gear or find a piece of gear you may be able to extract its’ essence (for lack of better terms) and receive a stone for your efforts. You can then use the stone on a piece of armor or a weapon of your choice, and give it a +1 enchantment. Like old school DnD (if you’re anything like me, you still have a notebook stuffed with character sheets somewhere).

This enchantment can stack, but the failure rate is high when you’re untrained in this extraction skill. So you can enchant your weapon 8 times in a row, but be careful. If you fail once, you lose a level of enchantment on the item. Also, when I played beta, extraction didn’t work on every piece of armor I tried to blow up into shiny rocks. I don’t know if it was a bug, or if there was some factor that I was unaware of. By the way, whenever you use your extraction tools, they are consumed. So you have to buy a new set of extraction tools for each esplodie, and they run about 1k kinah a pop (not expensive, and easily recovered).

Bags & Storage

So you don't get backpacks, there's no crafting involved in expanding your inventory/storage space. It's all kinah. You inventory is called a cube, and you can expand it by talking to an NPC with this Artisan skill. During your initial leveling, you can expand your cube for 1,000 kinah. The next time you can upgrade it is within your capital city for 12,000 kinah. Note the jump in price. I don't know how much the next costs, but you can be sure it's significantly more.

Storage is kind of cool in Aion. You have 2 rows to share with other characters on your account, and a good size 'bank' (which I didn't try to expand). By the way, your 'bank' is actually called a Warehouse. Guilds (called Legions) also have a storage sort of out of the way, and you must be promoted to the second rank in your legion to access this stuff.


I created a Legion on the Nezekem server in order to test out the legion mechanics. But I didn't have an opportunity to upgrade the legion, or do anything together with anyone. Admittedly, I didn't look for the option, but I did not have any sort of alert that told me when legion members came online or offline. And a lot of them never logged in again probably because they were trying different characters and such.

There are 3 levels of legion you can have, Level 3 allows you to have 10 members, Level 2 allows you to have 30 members and an emblem, and Level 1 allows you to have 90 members I believe, and a customizable emblem. If you join a good legion, make sure you do your part and fork up some kinah, because you can only upgrade legions by paying!

Combat, User Interface, and Misc.

I really liked the combat - it's pleasing to watch, graphically speaking. I really liked a lot of the assassin abilities, and enjoyed what I saw of chanter and templar. There are a couple of things that I'm a little iffy about. One, and I will try to confirm this, but I think you can only have 4 spell buffs on you at a time. The other was that some abilites toggle the 'battle' music even if you don't draw your weapons out.

Some stuff that I love includes the music in this game. And that's why it's even more aggravating when the combat music cues fire off when all I wanted to do was invoke bloodlust so I could run faster. (that is an assassin ability, btw.)

Okay. That's all I've got in me for now. I'll do a read through tomorrow and correct anything that didn't make sense or was misspelled.

Night, newfeathers!


Hoschi said...

Hey, i've added you to my blog - sry for the delay, though.

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