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|Aion: The Tower of Eternity|
|Developer(s)||Aion Team Development Dept|
|Publisher(s)|| NA NA NCsoft|
EU Europe NCsoft
KOR South Korea NCsoft
|Distributor(s)|| EU Gameforge|
PlayNC under NCsoft and Shanda (China)
|Version|| : 3.0|
|Release date(s)|| SK November 25, 2008|
NA September 22, 2009
JP July 17, 2009
AUS September 23, 2009
EU/ZAF September 25, 2009
RU December 27, 2009
|Rating(s)|| GRB: 15+</br>ESRB: T|
| System requirements
Recommended (High Quality Engine):
Aion (Korean: 아이온: 영원의 탑, also known as Aion: The Tower of Eternity) in Japan, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released by NCsoft, a major Korean game developer. The game combines PvP and PvE (a concept the developers call PvPvE) in a fantasy game environment. As of May 20, 2009, Aion has 3.5 million subscribers in Asia. AION's first major expansion was released to North America and Europe on September 7, 2010 under the name AION: Assault on Balaurea.
Many of the skills acquired as characters progress may only be performed in a certain order, or chain. Generally the skills located farther along in the chain are more powerful than those at the beginning, or those that have no prerequisite.
The end game of Aion revolves around battles within the Abyss (PvP zone). Within the Abyss are fortresses which can be controlled by individual Legions (Aion equivalent of a guild). Battle for control of these castles involves combat against players of the opposing faction and computer controlled NPCs at the same time, using siege weapons obtained from end game PvE raid content. Legions in control of a castle are entitled to funding from taxes and players within the faction get specials from NPCs and discounts for travel and vendor items. The game currently does not allow factions to fight against those of their own race, except for casual duels or practice in the Arena.
The participation in PvP is rewarded with Abyss Points in the game. The game ranks players as battles are won against fellow players based on their participation in the Abyss. At higher ranks the character's wings will change in appearance to show the character's elevated status. Also certain items can be purchased with these points such as high-end armor and weapons. This is referred to as the Abyss Rank system, and there can only be a limited number of high ranking players per server. The highest ranking players compete for the relatively few rank positions available. Abyss points are gained by killing other players in combat, and points are lost by being killed by another player. Higher points are awarded for a kill of a much higher ranked player than for killing an equal or lower ranked player.
There are four primary classes, and eight specialized classes in the game. Players start the game by choosing one of the four primary classes: Warrior, Mage, Scout, or Priest. After attaining level 10, the player must choose from two specialized classes associated with their chosen class. Warriors may become a Templar or a Gladiator; Mages may become a Sorcerer or Spiritmaster; Scouts choose from Assassin or Ranger; and Priests from Cleric or a Chanter.
Up to six players may form a group, to assist one another in battle, and share the benefits of victory. Certain areas are designed for group play and a group is required to enter some areas in the game. Up to four groups may form an Alliance for situations that call for greater force of numbers. Being a member of an Alliance restricts you the rewards received when a quest designed for single or group play is completed.
The base process involves learning a particular form of crafting, of which there are six in Aion: weaponsmithing, armorsmithing, handicrafting, tailoring, alchemy, and cooking. Players can learn all six crafting professions, but can be an Expert in only two.
Any item that can be crafted is actually composed of several individual components, or materials. The player can either learn which materials are needed for a particular item automatically or via purchase of the design. Generally these materials must be purchased from vendors or from other players, gathered out in the wild (via collection or extraction), crafted already, or morphed. Not everything can be crafted, however.
There are many different aspects to flight in Aion, which plays a vital role in Travel, Combat, Quests, and Crafting. Flying is only permitted in certain areas, known as flight zones. Flight is limited to 60 seconds but can be increased with various armor, titles, and other items in-game. A player may also use potions during flight which add to his or her remaining flight time. However, these potions do not change the maximum amount of flight time.
There are three type of quests in Aion: ordinary quests, campaign quests and Work Orders. Ordinary quests require the player to complete a task to receive a reward. Campaign quests are focused on story, and are crucial for player progression. Work Orders are used to increase skill in a chosen profession. Some quests are repeatable. Some quests especially campaign quests, cannot be shared or abandoned.
Mounts are a new feature that is being released in the patch 3.0. These mounts can be obtained through world boss drops, quests, and crafting. You can only use a mount when you are out of combat and you can remain on your mount as long as you aren't attacked by a player or a mob. The crafting version of the mount can be obtained with level 500 handicrafting. The design is purchasable through the NPC and the mats required for it are eternal gatherables and other miscellaneous materials that can be crafted.
Aion was first announced and previewed at the May 2006 E3 Expo. It was developed at NCsoft's software design studio in South Korea. The Korean closed beta test began in late 2007, followed by an open beta test in November 2008. A localized Chinese version began closed beta testing in December 2008, with open testing beginning on April 8, 2009.
The game was then localized for Western markets, including North America, Europe, and Australia. NCsoft held six weekend long closed beta tests for North American and European players beginning in June, 2009. An open beta began in September 2009. During the course of this open beta, the anti-cheat program GameGuard was removed. GameGuard is used in many Asian-market games to stop botting and cheating, but was abandoned for Western markets due to a range of issues experienced during the open beta. GameGuard is still used in the Asian markets.
After the release of patch 1.5 NCsoft began opening up Public Testing Servers for NA and EU users. Since Korean players had this ability at launch. Players can experience the new patches with slight increase of exp and drop rates before they're sent off to the live servers. NCsoft offers no In-game support for PTS.
Aion: Assault on BalaureaEdit
Released on September 7, 2010, this expansion evolves the game's story and terrain as it expands the game world of Atreia far beyond the traditional territories of Asmodae and Elysea. In this expansion, characters take the fight against the invading Balaur into Balaurea, the Balaur's homeland. Players will receive new challenges, novel and updated instances and zones, an increased level cap from 50 to 55, and fresh weapons, items, skills, and flight mechanics. The expansion also introduces functional pets equipped with in-game benefits that will rapidly become constant character companions.
While Assault on Balaurea is a free expansion for NA and EU players, NCsoft released a retail box version with bonus content such as an in-game pet, which varies depending on the retailer from which the purchase is made.
Aion: The Promised Lands / AscensionEdit
Released on October 19, 2011, The Promised Lands (Ascension in NA) takes Aion further into the area of Balaurea, including lands where opposing factions must work together with the Reians to defeat the Balaur and drive them back into Tiamaranta, where you face Dragon Lord Tiamat in his fortress. With new quests, instances and game mechanics to take you from level 55 to 60, you will encounter a wide array of new PvP and PvE armor sets and weapons with a wider level of customization than before.
The newest game mechanics include ground and flying mounts, player housing and additions to the crafting system, PvPvE sieges and skills.
While The Promised Lands released in Korea on October 19th 2011, and Ascension releases in NA on April 11th. EU players have yet to receive a date.
The official "Aion: The Tower of Eternity" Original Soundtrack was released as a single CD featuring 22 tracks written by composer Yang Bang-Ean (Also known as Kunihiko Ryo in Japan). The soundtrack was released in Japan and Korea on October 21, 2008, and in North America and Europe as part of the Collector's Edition. The soundtrack was also released on iTunes on October 20, 2009.
|AION ~ The Tower Of Eternity ~ tracklist|
|1||"The Tower of Eternity"||4:01|
|2||"The Wings of Knight (Original Version)"||2:54|
|3||"A Fairy of The Peace"||4:30|
|4||"Kingdom of Light"||4:30|
|5||"Song of Moonlight"||3:24|
|6||"Solid State Battle"||3:06|
|8||"Magma & Beast"||3:14|
|10||"Forgotten Sorrow (English Version)"||4:02|
|11||"Step to The Next World"||3:20|
|12||"Darkness in Your Heart"||3:28|
|13||"Voices from The Ruins"||4:35|
|14||"Attack The Unsion"||2:17|
|16||"Dream of The Shepherd"||2:59|
|22||"Forgotten Sorrow (Korean Version)"||3:55|
|Total length:||72 Minutes|
The Second official album called "AION - Annales of Atreia" was released on May 10, 2010 via the iTunes Store for $9.99 USD. Composers Inro Joo and Wonki Kim created the Original Soundtrack with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
|Aion - Annales of Atreia ~ tracklist|
|1||"Prologue - Birth"||1:39|
|2||"Chapter 1 - Dawn"||1:19|
|3||"Chapter 2 - Becoming"||3:36|
|4||"Chapter 3 - Conspiracy"||3:28|
|5||"Chapter 4 - Collapse"||2:12|
|6||"Chapter 5 - Disruption"||1:17|
|7||"Chapter 6 - Deva's Marcia"||2:53|
|8||"Chapter 7 - Blessed Land"||2:57|
|9||"Chapter 8 - Darkened Land"||2:23|
|10||"Chapter 9 - Abyss"||1:56|
|11||"Chapter 10 - Banned Reunion"||1:31|
|12||"Chapter 11 - Chaos"||2:36|
|13||"Chapter 12 - Irreversible 1000 Years: Tchaikovsky Homage"||2:32|
|14||"Chapter 13 - Aion, Chapter 14 - Quietude"||2:41|
|15||"Chapter 15 - Annales of Atreia: Main Theme"||5:44|
|16||"Chapter 16 - Epilogue - Deva's Oratorio"||3:28|
|17||Shugo Medley (Bonus Track)"||5:36|
|Total length:||47.7 Minutes|
- South Korea: Aion was released in South Korea on November 25, 2008, making this the first country to get a final release of the game. Given the success of NCsoft's previous games, Lineage and Lineage II, Aion had been a highly anticipated game in South Korea ever since its announcement.
- China: The game was released in China on April 16, 2009 and operated by Shanda Interactive Entertainment.
- Japan: NCsoft released the game on July 17, 2009 in Japan under NCsoft Japan. As of February 2, 2010, Pixiv collaborated with NCsoft for a special fan art contest.
- Australia: NCsoft is distributing Aion in Australia through QV Software, and was released on September 22, 2009. In Australia, 3 editions were released: Collectors Edition, Limited Edition, and the Standard Edition. The game is also being distributed via Valve Software's digital distribution platform, Steam, within this region.
- Taiwan: NCsoft began an open beta of Aion in Taiwan on June 7, 2009, and was released on July 21, 2009. v1.5 was released on October 21, 2009. v2.0 was released on October 13, 2010. And v2.1 was released on November 24, 2010.
- Europe: NCsoft released the final version of Aion in Europe on September 25, 2009. In Europe, Aion was available in two editions: Standard Edition and Collectors Edition. The latter includes many in-game items, figurines, posters, and the Official Aion Soundtrack CD by composer Yang Bang-Ean (known as Ryo Kunihiko in Japan).
- North America: Aion was released in North America on September 22, 2009. The release was accompanied by a free comic book from Wildstorm, Aiva's Story by writers David Noonan and Ricardo Sanchez, with art by Neil Googe for those who preordered. Also for those who preordered gained a 3 day head start before launch. Aion was in available in two editions: Standard Edition and Collectors Edition. The latter includes many in-game items, figurines, posters, and the Official Aion Soundtrack CD by composer Yang Bang-Ean (known as Ryo Kunihiko in Japan). The Game was made available through Retailers for DVD purchase, and Via download from NCsoft, Steam, Gamestop's website, File Planet and Direct2Drive.
- Russia: Aion open beta running since December 8, 2009. In Russia, Aion is supposed to use a mixed payment model with monthly subscription and additional payments for in-game items and benefits.
Sales and revenueEdit
Aion was the biggest MMO release in recent years according to NCsoft, with 400,000 pre-orders in the US. The game generated 40.6 billion won ($32.7 million) in the fiscal quarter in South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Japan. In China, over 1 million players logged in within the first four days of release.
On its western release, Aion became the best-selling PC game of September 2009. It also managed to remain at No. 1 on both the Steam and Direct2Drive charts for several weeks. By 9 November 2009, the game had sold nearly 1 million copies in the west, with 500,000 units sold in the US and 470,000 units in Europe. The success of Aion resulted in NCsoft's quarterly revenues to rise 112% for a total of $142 million.
Aion has received generally positive responses from professional reviewers. Review aggregator Metacritic lists an average review score of 76%. Positive reviews have cited that Aion provides a "refreshing look" from an artistic perspective and a "great first impression", with a lot of polish and balance. IGN states that Aion "tries to offer something for everyone and succeeds at it, albeit in varying degrees and at different stages".
Negative reviews focus on the game's tendency towards "grinding" and its lack of innovative features. GameSpot's review noted that the first levels of the game were "fast-paced and intuitive", but that grinding "quickly became obtrusive". X-Play reviewed that "after a few hours it'll become apparent that there isn't much radically different here". GameSpot also noted that the servers appeared to be unable to handle the number of players involved in large-scale PVP.
- Best MMORPG, 2009 RPGLand.com RPGs of the Year 2009
- Best New Game, 2009 MMORPG.com 2009 Awards
- Best Online Game, 2009 Gamescom Awards
- Best MMO, 2009 Inside Gaming's Best MMO of PAX
- Best Korean Game of the Year, 2008 Korean Game Awards
Officially released screenshots of the game:
- Official North American Aion Site
- Official European Aion Site
- Official Russian (inc. SNG) Site
- Aion at PlayNC.com
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