So, it's about time I showed my face around here. People still think I don't exist. I thought I'd do a quick, basic review of the Aion Open Beta.
Overall the game is extremely well-polished. They seem to have done all of the required items (UI, AH, etc) correctly, which is really important. Your game could be awesome, but if the basics are done poorly (I'm looking at you Warhammer launch) it can ruin the experience.
As others have said, the game looks gorgeous. They definitely went all-out on the design of the world and the details. It also runs extremely smooth on my machine, which is not a high-tech gaming machine. I run WoW at pretty high settings, but I still run into some fairly low framerates in certain high-density graphical areas. I have not yet seen low framerates with Aion yet and they defaulted me to pretty high settings.
There have been some latency issues in the OB, but I assume a lot of that stuff will be worked out, as it always is. WoW had those issues when I first started playing and now it's very good in that respect.
My main gripe, and it's a big one, is GameGuard. GameGuard is the software package they have chosen to be their anti-cheat, anti-hack software. I agree that an MMORPG should have some sort of protection from cheaters. I'm all for it. I had to wrestle with GG for hours before I could actually get into Aion. This is very bad PR. NCSoft is extremely lucky that their game is that good, otherwise I wouldn't go through the trouble. It also wouldn't be so bad if GG's errors didn't pop-up in a foreign language which just gets converted to a line of question marks on my computer.
My main error (#114) turned out to be GG butting heads with my Comodo Firewall software. That's good news because Comodo is doing it's job, but it's doing it too well. My other beef with GG is that on the support page for this error, the solution is to “Uninstall Comodo Firewall.” That's a big fail on their part. If your program requires people to remove real security software to work, than you're not doing it right. People wonder why they get viruses and spyware.
Now I know people have been debating about Blizzard's Warden for years and I'm not going to get into the politics of this type of software. I can safely say that in almost four years of playing WoW, I have never once been interrupted or inconvenienced by Warden. If I wasn't more technical, I'd probably have no idea it was there. It took me 4 hours to even get into Aion due to their program of choice.
Ok..ok, sorry about the rant. That's about all I can think of that I don't like about it. Most everything else is great and I'm really enjoying it. There is too much to go over in this one post.Â The game does take some getting used to due to it being different from the other games I play (obviously.) Â This is common and not a problem. Once you figure out the hotkeys (which can be changed) the controls are very fluid and it's very comfortable.
There are obviously a few bugs, but nothing game-changing (no pun intended.) If you're on the fence with this one, I'd give it a try. I assume they'll have some sort of trial version once the game goes live on the 22nd.
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