In case you didn't already know, the North American version of Aion (hosted by NCsoft) will be going Free 2 Play from next week! Best of all, this isn't the typical P2P to F2P transition - Aion will be adopting a similar change as Lineage 2. Be ready for Aion 3.0 Truly Free!
So what kind of stuff can you expect? I've been playing the game's free trial for a couple weeks now and I have to say I am very pleased. The graphics are great, the client is stable, good music and fun gameplay. The only thing that could make the game better would be more content and players and that is exactly what we can expect on April 11th.
Some of the things in 3.0 that players are excited about:
* Mounts - one of Aion's biggest draw is the flight system - all players have wings which can appear different depending on the 'skin'. While this speeds up transportation somewhat, many areas do not support flight so you have to resort to a lot of running. However with Aion 3.0's mounts, I hope that travelling becomes faster.
*New skills and level cap - the current level cap of 55 will be increased to 60. Every class will get new skills to go along with the level increase.
*New zones, instances and bosses - of course there will be new instances and content to help you to the new level cap.
*Housing - I've played a few MMOs with a housing system but I never really saw the point. The same goes for Aion but lots of people are excited for this still.
See this link for the translated Korean patch notes:
Now comes the question: What exactly is Truly Free? Well it's pretty much what the name suggests. You will be able to play all of Aion's content for free, just as if you were a subscriber. There are no limitations for character slots, chat channels, or level caps with Truly Free. The cash shop will offer optional stuff that shouldn't affect gameplay very much. So F2P players are no worse off than those who choose to make purchases - you can still level all the way to level 60, do all the quests, craft weapons and trade with the broker etc.
So why play Aion of all the MMOs out there? I know a lot of good MMOs are free now so for what reason should you choose Aion over them. Right now, I'm level 29 in the game and the things that stood out are:
*Flight - not many MMOs have wings and allow you to fly around. It's definitely a key aspect of the game and it affects combat (both pvp and pve) as well.
*PvP - In my first day in the Abyss (a 'PvPvE' zone in Aion) I got 4 player kills. That is more than I expected of myself for someone so low level. While the combat may not be entirely original, it's still enjoyable. You need to know when to use potions and other items, when to use flight etc. Also, PvP isn't just small scale 1v1 or 2v2 combat. The game's 2 factions can party up (with their own race of course) and then set out to kill their enemies for points.
*A beautiful world - the environments look beautiful and the character design is very appealing. Even Asmodae which is described as being dark and harsh is actually is visually stunning place. The armor and weapon sets look very cool too. You can even get different wings as your character levels up.
Here's a link to Aion's landing page:
You can browse a bit to get more info. I hope to see more players in the game. Akakakakak