So, with all the news out from Gamescon 2009, let's contemplate a little bit on some of the highlights. While I haven't made any formal posts lately, I did take the time to re-tweet the panel videos of Korean Lead Designer Yongchan Jee and Producer Brian Knox. If you haven't checked them out yet, you should! Warning: The following transcription is incredibly lazy and not at all word-for-word. I didn’t have enough time on my lunch break to accommodate!
Interview with Yongchan Jee
My sloppy readers digest of the questions:
1. What truly differentiates Aion's game design from the competition?
First, the concept of PvPvE- Aion combines PvP and PvE at the same time. Second, the flight system works not only for PvE questing, but for aerial PvP combat. Last, the method of transportation (gliding).
2. Why did you guys combine PvPvE?
In short, MMO's are massive multi player, and the game development team combined both concepts of PvP and PvE into one to satisfy all players.
My notes: I think they may have meant to stress that they want players to play TOGETHER in the world, as opposed to being in their own separate, safe little instances. A lot of dynamics are lost when you close yourself off to the other players in the game.
3. Is there going to be a playable Balaur race or 3rd playable faction?
In short: no, you can't play a Balaur.
My 2 cents: I kind of want to smack you upside the head. Granted, yes, I understand the curiosity. But the game hasn't even released yet, and people are asking this?? When you were being raised, were you ever told to 'try your food before seasoning it'? It is impolite to the cook who spent time making your food to season it before appreciating the hard work they put into the meal. Maybe they seasoned it already.
4. What advice would you give an aspiring game designer?
Most important is your passion. Try to experience as much as possible; do as much as you can with what you have.
5. Inspiration for the combat system, i.e. pattern engraving?
Sorry to disappoint, but our combat system blends many features and ideas and cultural inspirations.
6. Will there be low level instances before level 25
7. Will there be legion housing?
8. Implementing social networking API's or features?
My thoughts: I wonder if the questioner Timmy meant things like 'wow armory' where you can search your guild or character and admire them all day while you're stuck at work.
9. New abyss zone?
Yes, there is one in development that will be much more compact and concentrated so that the battles aren't so far spread out.
10. Will there be mounts in Aion?
Yes, but they won't necessarily be used for transportation.
My thoughts: Frankly I'm irritated by this question. Yes, I understand the love for mounts. I love them too. I collected entire sets of mounts before. And also - I know I have only played until level 26. That’s just over half of the levels in the game. I can't help but think that the game changes significantly at level 50, and I wonder if we're going to be shitting ourselves over lack of mounts in that stage of the game.
Interview with Brian
1. Will there be any expansions?
Yes, this game is going to go on for a long time. We’re already launching with 3 major updates
my thoughts: really stupid question. Just sayin.
2. when/how is pre-selection going to work?
everyone who pre-ordered can go in, choose your names, races, character classes, customizations, and servers ahead of time so that you can hit the ground running on day 1 of release.
3. Coolest 1.5 features in Brian's opinion?
The Shugo pirate ship and the stigma system enhancement were his favorite features.
4. Were there any aspects in prepping Aion for western market that went unexpectedly well/easy?
The camera rotation using the left mouse button which was implemented. It was a small feature for developer's to change, but had a large player base impact.
5. When will 1.5 patch be available for download?
Working on it right now. Will be 4-5 GB and made available on torrent
6. Is the balancing between the classes okay so you won't find any overpowered class in PvP?
Typically people see things like this: “Whoever you kill is fine. Whoever kills you is overpowered. “ Skill has a lot to do with it, as does the customization you put into your character. I.e. the Stigma, armor, socket enhancements, and your use of the positioning system.
My thoughts: haha, glad you called out the playerbase on a very obviously skewed debate.
7. Plans for interface modification?
My notes: Wish people would be more clear about add on’s.
8. Will there be other languages other than English French and German?
Not at this time, but it's not hard to adapt, so it’s really ‘as demanded’
9. Playing Aion on a Mac?
Play it on Boot camp.
10. Is there any info about alliances between legions?
Not at the moment.
11. Has a French community manager been chosen yet?
12. Talent system available in the game to make your character unique?
In short: You’re stupid. Please read Aion’s powerwiki about Stigma’s.
13. What are the Preorder rings about?
Pre-order rings are inventory bound items with visual effect that give small resistances.
14. Where can players get new color dyes?
In short: You’re stupid. Please learn to explore your capitol cities for dye vendors.
15. How much freedom does NCWest have to make game changes?
A lot - going forward our feedback gets incorporated into all updated patches.
16. When is open beta?
Announcement should be (this) week.
17. Oceanic community manager?
Not at this time, however we'll hire additional English speaking community managers
18. Sorry, this was hard to transcribe. The way the guy worded his question, it seemed like he wanted to switch between PvP and PvE, but couldn't figure out how to get to the abyss.
19. Will there be a 3rd front in a future expansion?
Never say never, but it’s not planned.
20. Housing system?
We have lots of features to implement, but we want to do them right. If we give you a house, we want it to be something fun, not just a box to sit in.
21. Can you expand on the Slayer System?
Brian didn't hear the lady's mic, so he starts explaining rifting.
Side Note - Slayer System:
If you go on a killing rampage in enemy territory (does not apply to the Abyss), you will receive penalties for doing so. This is called the Slayer System. The effects are as follows:
1. Depending on the amount of killings you will receive points. If your penalty points go over a certain limit, you will receive the penalty effects. If you kill lower leveled players than you, you will receive more points.
2. The penalty effects are categorized into two. One is a ?Curse? and you cannot use rifts. The second is a ?Judgment? and under this effect you cannot be resurrected in any Kiosk placed in the enemy territory, as well as use rifts.
3. The name of the Curse/Judgment depends on the race. If you are Elyos, you will receive Curse/Judgment of Asphel. Asmodians will get Curse/Judgment of Ariel.
4. Once you come under Curse or Judgment, your location will be revealed throughout the local map for the entire opposing faction members. Also, even if you are under a hiding skill, your title will be seen, making it even easier to be spotted.
5. You must go back to your own lands or the Abyss and wait for a certain amount of time for the Curse or Judgment to disappear.
6. If you or someone else kills a slayer, 12 nearby players of the dead body will receive buffs.
7. The killer of the slayer will be announced throughout the area chat under the format of ?[Race]?s Hero [Killer of the Slayer] has defeated [Slayer] while he was under [Judgment or Curse] of [Ariel or Asphel].
22. Is there going to be any maintenance or downtime?
Servers will be up for 24/7, patches will not take the servers down.
By the way, I read the feedback from the AionSource community in response to the thread stating 'give us your questions about Aion!' and I nearly turned my monitor off in shame. Or maybe I'm just a little shit who tries to come up with good questions, instead of reposting the same stupid questions over and over. You know, I don't really care that you can't swim in Aion. It's a unique feature of this MMO, I think. Sure, it would be pretty neat to glide off and dismiss your wings right into a pond. But I've done it before in beta. Yeah, I took damage in water. And? Is that going to fundamentally change the game if you're allowed to swim? More importantly, why are people so worried about swimming when you can F L Y ???
I never really read forums religiously, but I guess another sour taste in my mouth on the AionSource forums is some of the attitudes on there. I was browsing a ‘legion emblem’ forum where people were showing off what they found or made for their legions. And half of the posts were a bunch of kids making catty remarks about how this photo can be found on google and trying to OUT people who (obviously) modified images of tribal tattoo’s to fit the needs of their emblem. I was really unimpressed with some of these kids, and what’s more, is they have their legion name in their information (or maybe they’re posing under that legion name). But their actions absolutely affect how I look at their legion. No way am I interested in dealing with people who would take in a conceited little stray who thinks his shit smells like roses.
So that’s it for today! I guess.