Aion is an MMORPG developed by NCsoft, set to release in September 2009 in NA/EU. What makes Aion different from other Eastern MMORPGs is its use of free flight as a part of combat and the use of the concept PvPvE. The game features three races - the Elyos, the Asmodians and the NPC race Balaur. More information can be found on the Official Aion Website here.
The ability to take flight is a big part of Aion. You gain the ability to fly at level 10, after completing a quest. The total air time is currently restricted to one minute, which is enough for short aerial fights and can give you an advantage over your opponent.
The events of Aion takes place on a planet called Atreia. The planets inhabitants do not live on the surface, but on the inside. Atreia is divided in two halves. The Asmodians lives on the upper half and the Elyos on the lower. The lower part of Atreia is blessed with more sunlight than the upper part. Because of this, the Elyos world is a brighter place, filled with life, while the Asmodians world is darker.
The area between the two halves is called the Abyss. This is where the PvPvE takes place.
The world of Aion consists of three factions; The Asmodians, The Elyos and The Balaur. However, The Balaur is not a playable race.
Brave and Hardy folk, they occupy the upper half of Atreia,known as Asmodae separated from the Elyos by the Epic Cataclysm. The world is dark, cold and full of despair. However, the Asmodians are not one to give up, as they have prospered in this sombre land. As a result of the darkness, their bodies began to change, their skin grew pale and they developed an otherworldy glow about them. Asmodians are extremely loyal, and are more than willing to sacrifice their own life to protect that of a comrade. The Asmodians follow the leadership of the five Empyrean lords sent to protect the Tower of Darkness. Together, they have established the mighty city of Pandaemonium.
Occupying the upper half of Atreia, known as Elysea; they found themselves bathed in sunlight for over 750 years after the Epic Cataclysm. As a result, The Elyos have transformed into a bright and radiant people. This splendor has led them to become arrogant, seeing themsleves as blessed by Aion while they look down on the Asmodians as cursed creatures of the darkness. The Elyos are kind and comforting as a people, however there is no such benevolence for their enemies.The Elyos serve the five Seraphim lords who had helped them construct their vibrant and powerful city of Sanctum.
The mere mention of The Balaur invoke terror and fear for the destruction and carnage at their hands. As a strong and highly intelligent race, orginally created to rule the populations of the planet, they soon became obsessed with power and servitude. Their obsession led to threaten The Tower of Eternity and violated the restrictions placed upon them by the Aion. As a result, The Aion were forced to create the Empyrean Lords to safeguard the planet and its inhabitants from extermination. But the Balaur fought back, and after a bloody war against the Epyrean lords and the destruction of the Tower of Eternity, The Balaur were banished and sealed inside the Abyss.
In Aion, there are four basic classes when you first create your character. As you progress, you can choose one of two more specialized classes.
One of the four primary classes in the game, the Warrior focuses on pure melee skills. The warrior primarily uses skills involving melee DPS and tank abilities, with Health and Power being the strongest and most important stat. At level 10, the Warrior can choose a specialized class: the Gladiator or the Templar.
- Gladiator - One of the specialized classes of the Warrior, the Gladiator is skilled in using a variety of weapons and being proficient at using skills tailored to the characteristics of the equipped weapon. They are the primary melee DPS class of the game, emphasizing on melee AoEs and DPS skills.
- Templar - The Templar acts as a guardian, able to be a frontline fighter while using chants and incantations to heal and protect the party. Their skills focus on damage mitigation and the protection of the party. The Templar acts as a primary tank in the party.
The Scout focuses on the aspects of speed, agility, and awareness to defeat its enemies. They can only equip light armour allowing them to move quickly but sacrificing the ability to take a beating like a Warrior. The Scout relies on using its stealth and high critical hit skills at close melee range, counting on high DPS to overcome its foes. At level 10, the Scout can choose a specialized class: the Assassin or the Ranger.
- Assassin - An expert at silent movement and quick terminations, the Assassin uses stealth and surprise attacks to achieve its goals. Many of its skills recieve bonuses when used from behind, making it a must for the class. The primary theme of the Assassin is the use of signets, a charge placed on a target using a number of skills. Other skills then activate the signets unleashing massive damage.
- Ranger - Expert archers, the Ranger relies on the ability to stay at range while out of the reach of melee-based classes. The class primarily uses a bow and can polymorph into a Lycan Knight increasing strength and speed considerably. The Ranger using a variety of bow-based skills and traps to damage its enemies while remaining in the shadows using Invisibility.
The Priest is the backbone of any successful group. Their unique ability to heal their teammate's wounds should not be underestimated. However, Priests have weak offensive abilities when compared to other classes, the combination of both makes the Priest very versatile.
- Cleric - A cleric is best suited to the roll of healing. Clerics can do little overall dps, and are mainly useful for keeping their party alive in a group setting. Clerics also come with a few buffs that allow them to better keep their party alive. Clerics are able to use chain armor, and therefore are able to take a bit of damage. They can also wield a shield which adds even more damage absorbtion. A cleric can use maces and staves.
- Chanter - The chanter is a hybrid class that can fill a couple different rolls. A chanter can sufficiently output as much dps as a dps class, or optionally a chanter may off-heal in union with a cleric for increased results. Clerics also utilize something called mantras, which are auras that buff their party in different ways. Chanters have the ability to wear chain armor and can wield staves and maces.
The Mage is almost entirely a ranged DPS class. Using a combination of direct damage, damage over time, and crowd control spells, the primary skill is to defeat your foe before they can close the distance. As expected, at melee range, a Mage has very little survivability short of relying on a root or snare to trap their foe while they move out of melee range again. At level 10, the Mage can choose a specialized class: the Sorcerer or the Spiritmaster.
- Sorcerer - On their own, a Sorcerer's goal is to continue the path of the Mage: kill before their foe gets near them. Once a Daeva though, there is a greater variety of spells with which to ensure this, from direct damage to crowd control to resistance debuffs. And in a group, a Sorcerer plays a dual role as both a damage caster as well as a crowd controller to ensure the group maintains focus on specific targets at a time.
Currently in South Korea and China, players purchase time blocks in a "pay as you play" system. The system is built up by time blocks, each worth 2.05 hours and approximately $5.50 (US). However, you can purchase these blocks in bulk and save. This has only been announced in South Korea and China, as in the EU and NA it will be a monthly subscription of $15 (US) per month.
The music for Aion was composed by Yang Bang Ean. Track listing:
- The Tower of Eternity
- The Wings of Knight (Original Version)
- A Fairy of The Peace
- Kingdom of Light
- Song of Moonlight
- Solid State Battle
- Death Waltz
- Magma & Beast
- Blue Forest
- Forgotten Sorrow (English Version)
- Step to The Next World
- Darkness in Your Heart
- Voices from The Ruins
- Attack The Unsion
- Dream of The Shepherd
- Red Land
- Dark's Innocence
- Raging Strings
- Flying Dragon
- Heaven's Gate
- Forgotten Sorrow (Korean Version)
- OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2
- Processor: 2.8GHz CPU or equivalent
- Memory: 1GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA® 5900 Ultra with 128MB RAM / ATI Radeon™ x700 with 128MB RAM or higher
- DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c (6/2008 update)
- Hard Drive: 15 GB hard disk space
- Sound: Yes
- Internet Connection: Broadband
- OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2/ Vista
- Processor: Dual Core CPU 2.0GHz or equivalent
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA® 6800 with 256MB RAM / ATI Radeon™ x800 with 256MB or higher
- DirectX®: DirectX ® 9.0c (6/2008 update)
- Hard Drive: 15 GB hard disk space
- Sound: Yes
- Internet Connection: Broadband