Saturday Sitdown


Aion part 3
part 1, part 2

I interrupt this normally sane blog with a freakout. You can find my real post after the break.

GAH!

I am not sure how many more missing quest objects and quest people I can take in a single game. The insane mechanic that only one person can interact with a quest object at a time and making everyone else wait for said object to re-spawn, needs to be tossed out design docs everywhere.

I looked around for an object for almost thirty minutes last night, dazed and confused because each time went where it was supposed to be someone else apparently had clicked it and made it vanish. Terrible design. Gah!

***Back to the normally scheduled update.***

Quinora, the Asmodian cleric is now level 14 and continues her adventuring with a dash of crafting thrown in. I think tomorrow I will take some time and record my thoughts on what I have seen of the player crafting, but for now I want to talk about…

More of the same?

The other day I made this remark on twitter:

Thus far , other than “its new”, I don’t see a whole lot in Aion that makes me want to leave the games I am playing.

And IRGRL replied with:

Dont you find that in most games these days though

After reading that I found my self mumbling about the fact that in so many places Aion was not just more of the same, but more of the same from the past. Though with bits of new sprinkled in.

As I played I found @dlangar and I repeatedly commenting how X or Y feature/function seemed like a blast from the past.

First take for example the quest journal:

The journal incorporates one of Aion’s best newish features, the links in quest info and a locate button to display a location on the map. This is a great way to add quest help to the game for those that need/want it. I applaud the designer for it and hope other design teams steal it.

But then I look at things like the quest separation into three tabs “campaign”, “standard”, and “work order”, and shake my head.  Sure this is a step forward from a single list, but its several steps back from Lotro’s journal with filtering. Also I do not see a way to read the original full text, as some other games allow.

Aion not only missed an opportunity to make a step forward, but they did not even keep up with other recent games.

Another example, which my rant above refers to, the repeated use of world quest objects that disappear for a time when activated.

Aion again not only does not take steps forward, by improving a the system or construction of quests, but in fact takes steps back from current game.

Lotro sometimes employs a system where the object is always available clickable for any that have the quest for the object, until they click on it. Then the object becomes non-clickable for them, but still exists and able to be manipulated by others.

For as often in the first 15 levels I have had quests use such objects, Aion should have at least been “more of the same”.

For number three I give you quest objects in your bags.

Managing limited bag space almost an MMO minigame, but in the last several years we have seen a push to make that task a bit easier by moving some quest objects out of the main inventory.

Aion is not one of those games. Nope instead the quest objects (at least some of them) require some of my very limited bag space.

The good news is, at least at these early levels, they seem to do a good job of managing the “vendor loot”.  In that doing a series of quests in the same area will lead to a handful of related stackable vendor loot.

Bonus example; Selling items.

Aion took what I think is a step forward with their implementation of the “shopping cart” for NPC vendors. You add items to the cart to buy or sell but the transaction only takes place after you click the buy or sell button.

Though Aion then took a step back by not having a “buyback” option.

Twice now I accidentally sold a new item, the icons looked the same as the old one and I did not double check before clicking sell. Both times, it was clearly my fault, but other games have trained me that in the event of an accidental sell, I can just buy my items back.

Not in Aion.

So my original comment about it not being different enough was not really accurate. Its not more of the same, it’s in many ways a step back in MMO design. Granted its a nice step to look at and one that is mostly polished, but it I don’t think its a step that I am going to subscribe to.

I will though continue to participate in the beta, maybe I will see something in additional play times that will reveal Aion’s awesomeness.

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