Monthly Archives: January 2010

Aika Online – Granado Aion Espada Online Wut.

I hate Massively sometimes (Allods did not impress my friends nor myself), but sometimes I love them. They introduced me to Aika Online, which is Aion + Granado Espada meshed together to create a dated loli-fest on first blush. Granted, I haven’t played it yet, but I’ve spent the last hour or so looking up images and laughing hysterically.

It really looks like Granado Espada. The same hair textures, gun models and some very familiar animations leave me to conclude that Aika is not only using GE’s engine, but they salvaged it and created something monstrously hilarious from the wreckage. There must be a reason this Japanese blogger is playing both at the moment. On a serious note, browse that blog to get an easy side-by-side view of both games and confirm your diagnosis of double-vision. It’s humorous at least.

Petulant Pioneering is back to exploring the new world, literally. Unlike Allods, which I went into with some brighter outlooks, I am going into Aika expecting the worst game ever with nothing but nostalgia to hold it up. Of course, I’m not sure whether or not the game currently has a Non-disclosure Agreement, which would prohibit ranting, or in PP’s case, borderline libel. I’ll have to go look for it at some point, mostly because ignorance is no excuse for disobeying the law.

Regardless, the experience will be fun and possibly exciting. Who knows, maybe Aika won’t be as crappy as it looks, but I won’t hold my breath.

P.S. Go get Mass Effect 2 if you played the first installation. It is definitely worth your money. 24 hours on normal without rushing, but I do recommend veteran to outline the characteristics of your opposition in a genuine manner. They’ll feel more like a menace rather than what normal-fodder, overall conveying the intention of the designers with greater clarity. For instance, normal doesn’t really let you grasp Vorcha regeneration because they die too quickly to everything in your arsenal. Krogan aren’t really terrifying monsters in combat. The list of negative attributes to normal difficulty goes on. Make your first run through epic and fitting for your return to the universe, instead of (unintentionally) watering it down by making it easy.

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Posted by on January 30, 2010 in Aika, Aion, Granado Espada


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The fine line: Allods 1-17 vs Aion 40-50.

I never, ever thought I would meet my match in the grind. I certainly wouldn’t have said, “I will get my ass kicked in the first couple levels.” Somebody warned me about the 1-17 push, but I disregarded it. Ugh.

There are elements of sluggishness that game developers would avoid. Aion suffered from sluggishness because you killed mobs but they didn’t afford that much XP, but depending on your class, you’d blaze through hundreds per hour. Allods is the same thing, except you kill at a sluggish rate. Hopefully they’ll fix this, because the problem with introducing a sense of cement shoes so early involves people, like myself, jumping to conclusions without any sort of logical backing from the developer. There are no tricks I should be learning while wielding a maximum of four skills, none of them having a particularly deep interaction with one another.

I’ll probably get through this grind, but it will be nigh impossible for me to get my current list of friends to play this game with me because of this  unusually slow progression. Definitely a design anomaly I never expected to see.

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Posted by on January 21, 2010 in Aion


Law School v. Aion.

As you can imagine, law school is not the easiest thing in the world. As a result, I needed to drop Aion for peace of mind. While money isn’t the object, the sensation of spending unused money does bother the living crap out of me. Knowing that I could be grinding coins simply made it difficult to brief cases.

While Aion is a great game, making six figures in the future is even greater, duh.

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Posted by on January 13, 2010 in Aion



Massively’s only uncontested 2009 category.

What did Aion win this year according to Massively, including staff and readers? Biggest Dissapointment of 2009.

That’s cool. Aion had a good marketing department. Too good in this case. Granted, they lied through their teeth, but that’s a sin that you get used to when you encounter developer interviews. Overall, however, Aion still feels supreme in the “General” MMO region. It’s not something new, but it is the basic formula refined enough to hold substance and attention.

As someone who plays and, frankly, enjoys Aion, I didn’t find the announcement disconcerting. The fact is, MMO players in general hate grind. They really do. If you want a MMO to be unpopular, introduce a battle of wits that challenges your devotion to success. Granted, the approach is not fully entertaining until you finish, but nevertheless, that’s what Aion did and the western market had a predictable hissy fit. It was pretty clear to me when Aion launched that it would not have enough quest content and/or exploration value to satiate the hordes of self-designated game designers who either want a MMO to be a leisurely prance through the XP bar. Understand that the MMO genre is inherently flawed due to a compromise between content quality and content length. If you do not have a long grind, even if it is amazing, your end-game is criticized for being insufficient. If you have a long grind, well, people just give up on the game and post their expert opinion on the forums. I suppose with that in mind, Aion’s developers made an error in judgement, but it’s a tolerable error.

People also don’t enjoy a lack of innovation in MMOs. That’s fine, but having playing a ton of gimmick-launch games, I can’t say Aion is bad for playing it safe, albeit too safe for a warm welcome in the western world. While yes, I love innovation, I do not love it at the cost of the basic foundations of a MMO like relevant PvP rewards and whatnot. I also feel Runes of Magic is a MMO that carries the WoW torch for its own benefit. Some people do base their decisions on “Anything but WoW”, and given that RoM’s mages were completely and utterly broken when I was playing, I found the lack of attention towards balance to be mortifying. Aion, being akin to Lineage 2, had the allure of being one of those games where simply existing there would be a badge of superficial-badassery without having a dissatisfying rift in class balance.

What does this mean? Well, the silly business about all of this is that NCsoft can fix it and probably will whether I like it or not. I don’t mind an influx of fresh blood, and as MMOs do get older, it stands to reason that you want to get new members up to relevant content instead of pulling a Granado Espadan content curve. (Read: Straight up, then plateau at 110.) If Aion’s only flaws are being too hard and generic, then the game isn’t permanently screwed.

Still, if you want to try to bring friends into Aion, good luck. Aion’s reputation is, without a doubt, bad.

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Posted by on January 1, 2010 in Aion


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