Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cleric and Chanter, tough choice... And some things to know about Aion.

Recently I decided to reroll from the Spiritmaster class to try a priest class. I ended up picking the Chanter which really was great! However I wanted to try the Cleric class also. So I will be talking about both, how they play, differences and what you might expect from each class. Also I am going to talk about some things that have really caught my attention in Aion and I want to pass along to readers. Lets start off with the Priest classes.

Cleric or Chanter?
First off you need to decide if you want to be a main healer or a dps/support class.

While the chanter can heal, it's more of a back up healer. This class provides great buffs that no group should want to pass up. The Chanter can also do decent dps. Great for soloing, little to no downtime. Can take on many mobs at a time which is nice, throwing some nice heals and hot's to keep going. It's a great class to duo with. The chanter is a melee oriented class.

If you want to be the main healer the Cleric is THE class to pick. If not, you might want to pick something else. I found I had more downtime with the Cleric than the Chanter but really it was not very often I had to rest. The burst dps seemed to actually be pretty decent soloing, far better than I had expected. This class also gets a spell to reduce aggro, the thing is... it's on a two min timer. While this is a caster class, you can still throw in a few hits in between casting. You can take some hits being in mail gear, throwing HoT's while soloing.

Did I really have to make another character to find that out? No, however I wanted to see which one suited me more. For now I really am leaning towards the cleric. I like the play style a bit more. Though I wish I didn't have to spend 10 levels to find out if I like one more than another which really equals to 20, and that is just getting to the ascension, not counting the other levels spent playing them more in depth.

So I've picked what class I want to play... again. I wanted to talk more of these two classes today but there have been some things I wanted to mention today. You can be the judge for yourself if they really matter. However when playing for a game, people expect certain standards. Lets hope NCSoft takes note of things that need to be addressed. Before we get into that subject I want to give some pointers for things that may have some puzzled.

Things to take note of while playing.
First off if you are a new player using the Auction House (or Broker as it is called in Aion), remember to use capital letters when searching for an item. Such as Iron Ore. If you don't, nothing will come up in search. You can do partial searches such as Ore, however remember to keep the first letter capital. This has been annoying but you get use to it.

Ever try to equip an item after battle but can't? You get a message that you cannot soul bind items while in combat! I'm not in combat! You can toggle this with the X key. It will sheath or pull out weapons. Resting can also turn this animation off.

I mentioned this before however I will again. Spam. It is a really big problem. You can save yourself much heartache by spending the first few minutes blocking the gold spammers in chat. Most of the time this will prevent you from seeing much at all through out the rest of the play session. Also you can turn off chat channels or use different tabs for different chat channels. Block is your friend in Aion.

Players can have eight characters per account, not server. Something to keep in mind! Also I've heard Aion will be offering free server transfers next month.

Things that you need to know!
Currently there is no in game support. Yes, you read correctly. Sure, there is a support option in game. It pulls up a petition window. However the submit window is grayed out. Check the picture above. This game was released on Sept 21st, (with a head start for pre-orders before this), and still no customer support in game? I am sure it will be implemented, the question is when. Why isn't it in the live game?

Animations interfere with casting and movement. You may get that heal off you cast but until the animation is finished you cannot move. The spell bar is finished... still it has a delay due to the animation. For hardcore PvP this really might bug some people. It also seems the casting animations randomly turn off auto attack. Not the biggest problem but it is a problem in my book.

Yes I have mentioned this before, but it is one of the biggest problems. Kill Stealing. There needs to be a tag system implemented. This is not polish in a game that wants to be on the cutting edge. You will have random people steal mobs from you.

Travel in Aion is tedious. Seriously take the restriction off wings or implement land mounts. In Aion you will run, and run, and run. A friend mentioned to me yesterday how flight paths in this game were ironic. How true. A game where you have wings and yet you still have to use flight paths if you don't want to run. Speaking of, teleporters and flight paths, these are few and far between while leveling in quest areas. I was running in Everquest a decade ago, yet I am still running in Aion. Even Everquest has mounts for travel now :(

Group for gear? The group loot system is yucky. When an item you can use drops in a group you can roll on it. You cannot need or greed, you can just pass or roll. Problems with this have been; players winning items others need then trying to sell to other group members, players losing items they need, everyone rolls on everything. This system doesn't seem to be group friendly. Sure if you group with friends or a Legion you can work around this. In pugs, this is a nightmare if you needed said item and lost to a greedy player.

Aion is no exception when it comes to bad behavior in games. With the lack of in game support well you can imagine people say or act as they like with out much worry of being reported for their actions. People can be rude and vicious in this game. If you want to play with any sanity you may want to turn off most if not all channels when not using them. Constant garbage from players and bots flow through the channels in Aion.

Closing Thoughts
I enjoy my playtime in Aion immensely currently. However I want to see if NCSoft will work on some of these problems, not everything I mentioned is in need of attention. Some of the things mentioned I see other players talking about quite often in game or on the forums. I do hope NCSoft reacts to players feedback, I could see this game being a ghost town in a year or two if not. I really do not want to see that happen.

I may seem to be talking badly of Aion, I'm just bringing up points of the game that could really be it's downfall if not attended to. Currently Aion is my game of choice and I want to see it prosper.

I wish Aion the best of luck, for now I will enjoy my play and watch and wait to see what happens. -kaozz

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