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Aion - Raising the Bar?Follow

#1 Jun 24 2009 at 10:12 PM Rating: Good
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In a recent press conference about FFXIV, SE said:

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Our plan, from the beginning, was to make the best Final Fantasy game available...rather than going from 'we want to make the best MMO,' we want to make the best Final Fantasy game and THROUGH that, use the MMO genre.


I don't know about anyone else, but when I play FFXIV I will most likely be comparing it to other mmorpgs, not FFVI, FFVII, etc. So I've been wondering how FFXIV will measure up to some of the mmorpgs coming out in the near future. I'm especially interested in Aion: Tower of Eternity, which is currently in closed beta.

While some of the early reviews are mixed (as usual), it looks Aion offers significant improvements over FFXI (and potentially FFXIV) in three specific aspects:

  • Customization
  • As you can see from this video, the character customization for Aion is practically unlimited: after choosing one of 22 default faces, you can adjust everything from chin angle and eyebrow arches to mouth size, freckles, tattoos, etc. Unlike FFXI, in Aion you don't have to worry about running into your twin every 15 minutes.

    The crafting system in Aion also allows players to use dyes and other modifications to create one-of-a-kind armor and weapons.

    Suggestion for SE - I'm not saying 30 sliderbars are mandatory, but 24 faces and 5 hairstyles alone are not going to be enough to keep FFXIV competitive. If the developers are set on keeping all five races from FFXI, they could at least impliment age customization (as suggested by the background image on the official site): for each race, players could choose "prodigy" (~15 years old), "prime" (~25 years old), or "elder" (~55 years old) ages for their characters.

    Also, it seems like players have been requesting customizable armor for too long for SE to leave it out this time around.

  • Environmentals
  • As expected, the graphics in Aion are a dramatic improvement over previous generation mmorpgs. But where Aion really distinguishes itself is with the introduction of flight (and arial combat in PvP). This ability allows you to interact with the environment in a way that is not possible in FFXI, a mostly flat world which relies too heavily on texture mapping (due in part to console hardware limitations). The only time most players "interact" with the environment in FFXI is when they smack into a tree while autorunning to Jeuno.

    Suggestion for SE - I always laughed when I saw a Goblin Ambusher standing way out in the open in Valkurm Dunes instead of...you know...ambushing things. In FFXIV, SE could have mobs hide behind trees or boulders, or lie in wait for unsuspecting players in tall grass.

    Your character might also slow down slightly when running uphill or through thick grass/swampland, and speed up slightly when running downhill. Or, SE could impliment slight accuracy and damage penalties when fighting uphill, and grant slight accuracy and damage bonuses when you have the higher ground on your foes. All of this would make it feel like you are actually interacting with the environment and traveling through a world instead of just running around on top of it.

    There has also been some speculation about the reintroduction of the Geomancer job. A Geo might be able to conjur sandstorms to blind enemies while fighting in the desert, use elemental magic on specific days of the week, or access water-based spells while fighting near lakes or rivers.

    Basically, the environment should influence your experience in a given zone, but for the most part (unless you are crafting or leveling Smn) in FFXI it doesn't.

  • Job Diversity
  • On the surface, the job system in Aion is fairly limited at the moment: there are only four classes with two "trees" each. But each job seems more developed than its counterpart in FFXI. In a recent interview with NCSoft, a producer described Ranger, her favorite class:

    Blazier wrote:
    I am totally digging the Ranger class. For me, the strategy of playing the Ranger is what I like the most. Carefully planning how to take down enemies that are higher level than my character and that will push me to my limits as a player is almost an art form. Picking the line of sight that I should pull an enemy from, then selecting and laying the Ranger specific traps is part of the challenge. Once everything is set, my character pulls out her bow and hits an enemy from range, triggering the traps as the enemy get closer. When my opponent is at melee range, the dual daggers come out. The planning that goes into taking down something stronger than your character is totally worth it when you win.


    Also, at level 20 the native limitations of each job can be overcome somewhat through the use of up to 5 "Stigma Stones" which allow characters to use job abilities and spells belonging to other classes (think of a main with access to five abilities/spells from different subjobs). According to NCSoft, this system means that a character's "play style is not limited to only what that class can do."

    Suggestion for SE - I have heard a few posters recommend a "Blue Mage-like" point system, where you are granted a number of points (depending on the level of your main) that you can "spend" on traits/abilities/spells you acquired while leveling other jobs. Example: a Thf main could spend his ability points on Boost and Subtle Blow from Mnk, and Store TP from Sam (of course, higher level spells/abilities will require more points).

    I realize there are a lot of suggestion/speculation threads floating around right now, but I would be curious to hear which ideas you would like to see SE "borrow" from the next generation of mmorpgs.

    Edited, Jun 24th 2009 11:55pm by akirussan
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    #2 Jun 24 2009 at 10:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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    I'm really looking forward to trying Aion, and these sound like some great suggestions. Good post.

    I'm extremely vocal on the character customization bit, and I hope Square manages to even trump Aion still; I do think that MMORPGs in general need to learn to switch hair and faces around, though. Instead of having a bunch of sliders for the face, (something you honestly rarely see from most viewing distances) there should be more of a mix and match system. Something that lets you customize but isn't as technically involved as sliders. They should save the highly flexible customization for hair and armor, seeing as these are the defining features that most players will recognize at a glance no matter the distance.

    I'm all for greater details in environment, and I think this is pretty likely, given how big they were on atmosphere in FFXI. Even though it lacked details, it was still a world with a lot of soul.

    Really looking forward to how they handle jobs, though, honestly. They make it sound like the system is going to change quite a bit, so it's hard to gauge.
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    #3 Jun 24 2009 at 10:38 PM Rating: Good
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    I would expect that the game footage shown in some of the videos was from a version of Aion that hadn't been optimized, because what I saw in a lot of the sequences was very choppy. If they've pushed the envelope in terms of graphics so far up the scale that even commercial hardware can't render it on top quality at-speed, I think they could be in trouble. If, on the other hand, the final product allows a current high-end system to run a mostly smooth framerate with graphics settings at that quality, Aion will set a new (and extraordinary) standard for MMORPG graphics.

    As for gameplay, closed beta is too early to tell. The videos showed some really neat sequences that were fun to watch, but it's a matter of how they're implemented in-game that will define the success from that end of things.

    Aion is definitely one of the more promising looking titles I've seen coming down the pipe for some time. Unfortunately, as a developer NCSoft has had some pretty limited success in the North American market with their previous offerings. It looks like they have a fantastic platform upon which to build a new standard of success for themselves, but only time will tell.
    #4 Jun 24 2009 at 10:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Aion does look stunning, but I have to admit I hate extremely complicated character creation where you have bars for everything from eyebrow angle to ear pointiness. This is mostly because I have a hard time making up my mind. I took forever to make my RB2 char. But that being said, I too find FFXI's limited character traits a snoozefest. I'm hoping for something in the middle that can set me apart, but not take me an hour to do.
    #5 Jun 24 2009 at 11:04 PM Rating: Decent
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    I've had a chance to play the game and, while, it is fairly good, it is also rather lackluster. There's nothing really special about it other than air combat and I personally think the landscape is a bit too bright and shiny. The story isn't very engaging either...I still don't know what the story is actually (the current story, I've read the back-story), even though I read the quests. If you need a game to tide you over Aion will do you well but if you are tired of "fairly good" and need an excellent MMO I suggest waiting for FFXIV, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Trek Online, or perhaps even Global Agenda. All of which seem to be shaping up to be very good games (though I have my doubts about Global Agenda). SWTOR will even have voice acting for every single bit of script in the game. STO has a great character customization, you can be any bipedal race in the star trek universe or any combination of races or even create your own race. Global Agenda seems fun as well(which is saying a lot since I'm not a fan of shooters, first or third person).

    Edited, Jun 25th 2009 12:07am by Yogtheterrible
    #6 Jun 24 2009 at 11:23 PM Rating: Default
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    I really think the PS3 may limit the PC this generation just like the PS2 limited the PC last generation. I see what Blizzard meant. I don't think we won't see a truly revolutionary MMO until next gen from SE where the consoles won't limit the PC versions.... well at least I hope.
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    #7 Jun 24 2009 at 11:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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    I've been playign in CB.

    Aion doesn't raise the bar. It's Lineage 2 meets WoW exp questing.

    mob grinding for months may not be there. But what yet remains to be seen is how the economy works. If it's like L2 expect to pay tens of millions for gold for your standard items. Since NC west has a little control over the localization maybe we'll see less money dependency.

    But if you are seroius about playing AION be prepaired to farm for months, or be in a number 1 elite guild.
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    #8 Jun 24 2009 at 11:25 PM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    I would expect that the game footage shown in some of the videos was from a version of Aion that hadn't been optimized, because what I saw in a lot of the sequences was very choppy. If they've pushed the envelope in terms of graphics so far up the scale that even commercial hardware can't render it on top quality at-speed, I think they could be in trouble. If, on the other hand, the final product allows a current high-end system to run a mostly smooth framerate with graphics settings at that quality, Aion will set a new (and extraordinary) standard for MMORPG graphics.

    As for gameplay, closed beta is too early to tell. The videos showed some really neat sequences that were fun to watch, but it's a matter of how they're implemented in-game that will define the success from that end of things.

    Aion is definitely one of the more promising looking titles I've seen coming down the pipe for some time. Unfortunately, as a developer NCSoft has had some pretty limited success in the North American market with their previous offerings. It looks like they have a fantastic platform upon which to build a new standard of success for themselves, but only time will tell.


    The game has been out in the eastern market for almost a year now.

    Edited, Jun 25th 2009 3:37am by jakarai
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    #9 Jun 24 2009 at 11:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Pikko wrote:
    Aion does look stunning, but I have to admit I hate extremely complicated character creation where you have bars for everything from eyebrow angle to ear pointiness. This is mostly because I have a hard time making up my mind. I took forever to make my RB2 char. But that being said, I too find FFXI's limited character traits a snoozefest. I'm hoping for something in the middle that can set me apart, but not take me an hour to do.


    =/ yeah one time i made a mistake in one game and gave my self a unibrow.
    #10 Jun 24 2009 at 11:35 PM Rating: Good
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    jakarai wrote:
    The game has been out in the western market for almost a year now.


    Well...eastern market really.

    And not so much a year but 7-8 months.
    #11 Jun 24 2009 at 11:35 PM Rating: Default
    Aion is not THAT good.

    To be honest, the bar won't be raised a noticeable amount until we start getting Action MMOs. Devs will be forced to make games not about itemization at that point. Right now MMOs get a freebie when compared to honestly good games because "they are just different" or "they are like crack!"

    A game like Aion isn't a 5/10 when compared to offline games(or non-MMO online games.)


    EDIT: Also how can this forum be over 9 pages long when there is absolutely nothing to talk about? Skimming through this over 90% of these threads have nothing to do with FFXIV, but some made up game called FFXIV. The last 10% is stuff that will go nowhere at the point: "FFXIV LS!"

    Edited, Jun 25th 2009 3:39am by ChiefMasterExpert
    #12 Jun 24 2009 at 11:44 PM Rating: Good
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    To me it's been about aion for a wile and ive been playing the EU beta and it is a very nice game indeed, But from the moment FFXIV news was released ive just been less attuned to Aion still Vist aionsource.com ( best Fan Site)
    but now Aion will be my time filler till next year or when FFXIV is released.
    #13 Jun 25 2009 at 12:12 AM Rating: Good
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    Champions online is also a game to keep an eye on. Huge customization, can choose where your powers fire from hands, chest, eyes, etc, and many travel powers to choose from not just flying. Waiting to see what FF14 brings to the table but if they disappoint me then champions online will be my game.
    #14 Jun 25 2009 at 12:16 AM Rating: Good
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    To be honest, the bar won't be raised a noticeable amount until we start getting Action MMOs.


    You bringing that up reminds of the Blade and Soul trailer. Can't wait to see how that game turns out. Haven't heard any new info on it though since it was first announced last year.
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    #15 Jun 25 2009 at 12:18 AM Rating: Good
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    Yeah, great suggestions Akirussan and I've also been monitoring this game as well for well over a year (btw here's the korean version of the official website. Yeah, it's all in Korean but it's got more visuals regarding the game).

    One thing for sure I'd like SE to "borrow" from Aion's book is the character customizations cuz, as you rightly pointed out, it's almost infinite. Secondly, I hope we can climb because I've seen an Aion video that showed players climbing a mountain-side. I gotta admit, it looked wickedly kul.

    Third, I'd seriously like a much MUCH larger "Mog House" or Residential whatever; not just a single room that constantly has me cramped for space. Rumor holds that Aion intends to introduce player houses and I found that very intresting.

    Lastly, I'm really really really anticipating that the battle dynamics will be faster and more engaging. We can already expect that the graphics will be stunning and all the "skillchains + weaponskills" will be dazzling... but gimme an engaging battle dynamic as well.

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    #16 Jun 25 2009 at 12:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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    While it'd be nice if FFXIV raised the bar in every possible field, I doubt it. Character customization will most likely be better, but honestly I don't think SE can manage to get it up to the level Aion does it. I don't think they're even trying right now.

    It would be nice if they tried to raise the bar in some other aspects of MMO's rather than things like this.. I mean every game tries to be as customizable as possible and make a living world, but right now things like combat system and leveling method should be #1 priority over something like this, imo.
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    #17 Jun 25 2009 at 1:54 AM Rating: Good
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    You bringing that up reminds of the Blade and Soul trailer. Can't wait to see how that game turns out. Haven't heard any new info on it though since it was first announced last year.


    I know, I'm wondering what is up with this game too. I'm guessing once Aion releases we'll get more info on this. I'm really interested in what NCsofts team bloodlust has for us now.

    Quote:
    Also, it seems like players have been requesting customizable armor for too long for SE to leave it out this time around.


    I believe that there was some sort of technicality that prevents this in FFXI. (or it might of been WoW, I can't quite remember). But there is the mod community (although that's not really custom). Anyways, I'd like to see it too in FFXIV.

    Quote:
    mob grinding for months may not be there. But what yet remains to be seen is how the economy works. If it's like L2 expect to pay tens of millions for gold for your standard items. Since NC west has a little control over the localization maybe we'll see less money dependency.


    Does Aion have an auction house? I believe this might of been one of the big problems in Lineage II.
    #18 Jun 25 2009 at 2:05 AM Rating: Decent
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    Litie wrote:

    Does Aion have an auction house? I believe this might of been one of the big problems in Lineage II.


    yes Aion has AH.
    #19 Jun 25 2009 at 2:51 AM Rating: Good
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    I never really cared much about the environment interaction and detail when I was playing FFXI I am much more of a visual person than a mechanics type personality and I dont see how anyone can speculate that FFXIV is on the chopping block because of all the minor adjustments Aion has over FFXI a 7 yr old game! If they are just now trying to trump FFXI "well here's a gold star for you!" Maybe in 8 more yrs they can show us how FFXIV was suppose to be made lol... from the little bits and pieces weve had of FFXIV its safe to say its going to be miles ahead of Aion. Anyways I got my money on SE, they have proven time and again they are the game company to beat, when they drop a game, they revolutionize.

    Edited, Jun 25th 2009 6:56am by ffxivhaste
    #20 Jun 25 2009 at 7:01 AM Rating: Good
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    It looks great, definately be something I'm gonna think about getting to curb my addiction to FFXIV til its out. Still looking forward to it more.

    It would be nice if FFXIV included some of the things that Aion does though, such as dyes. The character customisation looks great too.
    #21 Jun 25 2009 at 7:24 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    As you can see from this video, the character customization for Aion is practically unlimited: after choosing one of 22 default faces, you can adjust everything from chin angle and eyebrow arches to mouth size, freckles, tattoos, etc. Unlike FFXI, in Aion you don't have to worry about running into your twin every 15 minutes.


    FFXI was designed 10 years ago.
    Quote:

    As expected, the graphics in Aion are a dramatic improvement over previous generation mmorpgs. But where Aion really distinguishes itself is with the introduction of flight (and arial combat in PvP). This ability allows you to interact with the environment in a way that is not possible in FFXI, a mostly flat world which relies too heavily on texture mapping (due in part to console hardware limitations). The only time most players "interact" with the environment in FFXI is when they smack into a tree while autorunning to Jeuno.


    PS3 is a big leap from PS2 and they already said that when the game releases it will be pushing PCs for power. They specifically said that it would take 3-4 years for a normal PC to run it with no problems.

    Job situation is hard to comment on. SE said jobs will be returning and growth is based off weapons. Beyond that everything is speculation.

    #22 Jun 25 2009 at 7:32 AM Rating: Good
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    I was interested in Aion... was like 3 years ago when they first opened the website and were saying 'omg look at this game it's awesome and it's coming out!'. Yeah 3 years later it's still in beta and we just got a release date, so I'm not so excited about it. Interested yes, excited no... SE killed it for me by announcing FFXIV. But at least SE did it right and didn't announce the game 3 years in advance and make everyone wait. -_-

    As for customization... as I said in other threads dealing with this, SE needs to step it up. This 9 faces with 9 hairstyles (or however many it was) and 2 hair colors just isn't cutting it. They can at least say 'OK here's 20 faces, pick one, here's 20 hairstyles, pick one' and give us a color pallet to pick our skin, eyes and hair color. If people want green skin, blue hair and pink eyes, then let them have it, because we are the ones paying to play and I hate seeing my twin running around every 5 seconds. It's like... 'Oh so that's what I would look like as a RDM, WHM, DRK, THF, BLU.. etc. Awesome...'. No... not awesome.

    But then again, if they are already announcing the game and saying it's coming next year.. (and we all pretty much know the beta is going to start within 6 months most likely, winter at the latest) chances are the game is pretty far along. Which means everything we are suggesting, such as AI, Mobs, Characters, NPCs (be they text convos or VAs), they have probably already completed in the game. SE is probably just cleaning it up, adding last minute things and getting ready for the beta. Let's just hope SE made good decisions, and at least listened to us from FF11. More Races, More Customization.

    Edit: Also with Aion I heard (If anyone whos actually played that knows can say for sure) that when you craft you can only craft at your guild? I would hate to have to go somewhere specific to craft, I like crafting where and when I want. I'm just really big on the 'farm the stuff you need and craft as you farm' kinda thing.

    Edited, Jun 25th 2009 11:36am by YfandesofBismarck
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    #23 Jun 25 2009 at 7:33 AM Rating: Decent
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    Aion is going to flop in the U.S. It's a port of a Korean game and it's entirely about grinding. It may make good initial sales from marketing hype, but it'll quickly lose subscriptions. If it has more than 200k players after the first six months of U.S. release I'll be surprised. That's assuming they're able to stick with a pay to play model and not crash and burn like RF Online.

    Aion is just not a good game.

    Edited, Jun 25th 2009 10:50am by Allegory
    #24 Jun 25 2009 at 8:18 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    As for customization... as I said in other threads dealing with this, SE needs to step it up. This 9 faces with 9 hairstyles (or however many it was) and 2 hair colors just isn't cutting it.


    Again...that's how XI was which was designed at least 10 years ago, I think a lot has changed since then. Why do you think they're going to keep customization the same?
    #25 Jun 25 2009 at 8:18 AM Rating: Good
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    I hope SE doesn't take note of most Korean MMOs because they are almost all the same feel to them. Aion isn't doing anything special to separate it from the pack in the end.
    #26 Jun 25 2009 at 9:40 AM Rating: Decent
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    I've played Aion, and will at least until FFXIV comes out. It's a bit overrated though.

    Quote:
    Customization
    As you can see from this video, the character customization for Aion is practically unlimited: after choosing one of 22 default faces, you can adjust everything from chin angle and eyebrow arches to mouth size, freckles, tattoos, etc. Unlike FFXI, in Aion you don't have to worry about running into your twin every 15 minutes.


    I love how unique my character is, but the system did come with a few faults because they didn't limit it. Insanely ugly characters, anime heads, bobble heads, preteens, etc are all present in Aion. There weren't too many of them, but more than enough to notice.

    Quote:
    Environmentals
    As expected, the graphics in Aion are a dramatic improvement over previous generation mmorpgs. But where Aion really distinguishes itself is with the introduction of flight (and arial combat in PvP). This ability allows you to interact with the environment in a way that is not possible in FFXI, a mostly flat world which relies too heavily on texture mapping (due in part to console hardware limitations). The only time most players "interact" with the environment in FFXI is when they smack into a tree while autorunning to Jeuno.


    I wouldn't really call it a dramatic improvement, they were just smart enough to allow higher levels of AA & some bloom effects. Flying was great, but you can't really PvP in the air... I do like watching the NPC's pick fights with each other though.

    Quote:
    Job Diversity
    On the surface, the job system in Aion is fairly limited at the moment: there are only four classes with two "trees" each. But each job seems more developed than its counterpart in FFXI. In a recent interview with NCSoft, a producer described Ranger, her favorite class:

    Also, at level 20 the native limitations of each job can be overcome somewhat through the use of up to 5 "Stigma Stones" which allow characters to use job abilities and spells belonging to other classes (think of a main with access to five abilities/spells from different subjobs). According to NCSoft, this system means that a character's "play style is not limited to only what that class can do."


    The jobs are limited, and will continue to be. It's not actually a brand new game, China & Korea have more updated versions. They're more defined from each other though because there are so few. But that doesn't mean they don't need some work done, I mean try killing a ranger as a Gladiator in PvP. They'll kite you around until you die.

    The stigma stones aren't exactly what they're cracked up to be, it's lead to things like dual wielding Gladiators, which tosses aside their main job abilities & weapons in favor of more damage.(TP burn without the TP)
    #27 Jun 25 2009 at 9:41 AM Rating: Good
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    When I first heard about Aion I thought it was going to be great.

    I started reading about it, looking at screen shots, and videos...only to notice that it was extremely similar to the game I was playing at the time: Perfect World.

    This game was great until you get to around level 60, where you really run out of quests and things to do. Leveling up from maybe late 40s to 60 is almost exclusively running level 19s and level 29s through easy dungeons to get experience from completing their quests for them...and at level 60 is zhenning all day every day.

    There were quests and they were okay to do, but the story was not interesting at all and everyone just rushed through the quests to get to the top.

    It was fun for the first month or so and then just started to suck.
    Perfect World came before Aion and Aion seems to share just about everything with the game. The only difference I noticed is that PW is F2P and Aion is P2P.
    Aion isn't really innovative in terms of MMORPGs in my opinion.

    I'm hoping that FFXIV sets itself apart from contemporary MMORPGs.
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    #28 Jun 25 2009 at 2:02 PM Rating: Decent
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    Ack I couldn't get motivated to get past 25 in perfect world. As for Aion.. it realy does look like a powered up clone of PW, less races though.

    All around not interested, though I will say it isn't as inovative as the developers seem to think, I didn't see one thing listed that other games haven't done better.
    You want Mobs that act realisticly? Darkfall may still have some issues but the mobs are smarter than alot of the players :P.

    Customisation? They do have a nice list of hairdos, even if most of them are bad but they are far from the first to offer a nice set of sliders.

    Flight has been a staple in Asian MMOs for along time. Actual enviromental interaction goes to Darkfall too, being able to actualy use a tree to block incoming arrows and sneaking through tall grass is more interactive than flying to avoid the terain.

    As for job deversity.. systems like that tend to end with accepted versions and anyone who doesn't follow this template or that template getts cast aside by the "end Game" people as too much of a noob to know how to play thier class.

    Not to sound entirly negitive, it does look very nice, very well done for a shiny version of your basic Asian F2P MMO.
    I however just find it very hard to get exicted about any F2P game since everyone I've tried suffers from the same basic issues, no matter how nice looking the animation and enviroment they have all felt very bland in setting, leveling quickly becomes a chore and hard to justify, and finaly the player base gives me a head ache due to the average maturity level..
    #29 Jun 25 2009 at 2:51 PM Rating: Decent
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    Well I'm just recently participated in their last CB and I liked it so far. I'll probably play this game until FFXIV is released.
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    #30 Jun 25 2009 at 3:45 PM Rating: Good
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    I can't believe people are actually buying into Aion.

    All it is, is a remade Lineage 2 clone. Go play Lineage 2 with the graphics on the highest levels, it looks as good if not better than Aion. I have several friends who played Lineage 2 with me who got into the closed Beta, and are saying it's not even as good as Lineage 2 was. It also looks like they will still be supporting open PvP, which was Lineage 2's downfall, even as beautiful and stunning as it was.

    Try to remember, graphics don't make a MMO what it is, that is the ONLY thing I will give to WoW and it's cartoony looking graphics, FFXI and WoW both prove this point. Graphics will only hold some one's interest for so long, what keeps people coming back is the gameplay, the end game systems, etc.

    As far as character customization goes, you can have TOO much of it. You should certainly have many options, but in my opinion they should be more or less premade, to a degree. Otherwise people end up getting a little "too creative" and things end up looking silly, or people get bored with it.

    From what I'm hearing, Aion is just Lineage 2, with a few tweaks, some new systems, a longer story, and that's just about it. So I'm not worried in the least about it. Lineage 2 was indeed a great game, for awhile, but it got boring after a bit for many reasons, including the open PvP, and the control method.

    One way or another, I wouldn't put any credence in NCsoft making a very successful, top tier mmo.
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    #31 Jun 25 2009 at 4:43 PM Rating: Decent
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    I think NCsoft could make a strong game, as soon as they stop looking at what they have done for design ideas and start looking to what they haven't done for inspiration. The big probolem with that is it could lead them to projects that don't make money, and so long as the games that they are making continue to bring enough people in to make money they have no reason to make anything truely new....

    I think that's a general comentary on the whole industry, can't make omlette without breaking eggs, no one wants it to be thier eggs that get broken though.
    #32 Jun 25 2009 at 4:52 PM Rating: Good
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    zurinadrg wrote:
    I think NCsoft could make a strong game, as soon as they stop looking at what they have done for design ideas and start looking to what they haven't done for inspiration.

    So basically NCsoft could start making could games if they stopped making games like NCsoft? Brilliant!
    #33 Jun 25 2009 at 5:05 PM Rating: Decent
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    Pretty much hehe, that's why it's the small no name companies that are closest to inovating the MMO industry, all the "big name" companies are to focused on the money flow to try anything they aren't certain will work.

    The friendly folks behind EVE online seem to be the notable acception, since gaining recognition they are still willing to try new things, mostly at least, with the World of Darkness IP.

    But you can't realy blame the MMO companies, takeing a chance is risky buisness, sure money is what investers and board members want to hear.
    #34 Jun 26 2009 at 12:47 AM Rating: Good
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    I know looooads of you will disagree but...
    The graphics don't really look that spectacular, don't get me wrong, the immersion and enviroments are better then your average MMO, but the foundations of it all look like this is just about on par with FFXI to me. Of course there'll be the small differences like terrain being a bit higher res and grass on the floor etc.
    But the overall detail put into things isn't making my desires go wild when I see screenshots and videos
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    #35 Jun 26 2009 at 12:51 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    I know looooads of you will disagree but...
    The graphics don't really look that spectacular, don't get me wrong, the immersion and enviroments are better then your average MMO, but the foundations of it all look like this is just about on par with FFXI to me. Of course there'll be the small differences like terrain being a bit higher res and grass on the floor etc.
    But the overall detail put into things isn't making my desires go wild when I see screenshots and videos


    I actually thought that Aion was the first game to have noticeably 'better' graphics than FFXI has (with right settings), however I wasn't really impressed or anything still.
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    #36 Jun 26 2009 at 1:16 AM Rating: Good
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    I played Aion for a few months, and what can I say? It was fun, nice to look at, had a great character creation, enjoyable music, interesting/cute monsters. I liked that you could be farming/leveling/whatever and a rift would open up and enemy players could come through and slaughter you. I'm not sure how people can refer to it as Lineage, because its not nearly as grid-based as those games. Most of the time you are getting quest based exp - with some exceptions (like getting stuck between levels in the sense of having to grind out a single level to make it to new quest level caps) now and again.

    It had a lot of good aspects to it - it was far superior to FF11 in certain aspects, but... the game was missing something. I have no idea how to articulate what it was missing, but know that it was from the fact it was such a new game.

    I'm not sure you can completely say "it raised the bar" seeing as its still a very new game, but it certainly had some lessons to teach FF14. But in saying that, if the game (FF14) has been in development for 5 years, chances are they haven't emulated anything that has come out recently.

    If anything, I hope FF14 DOES pick up some things from Aion and WAR, but like aforementioned if the game has been in production for 5 years, chances are it hasn't learned anything from anyone else.
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    #37 Jun 26 2009 at 4:01 AM Rating: Decent
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    I'm pretty confident that XIV will have significant improvements over XI in all the areas the OP describes.

    Personally I'm eying Blade & Soul as an alt to FFXIV. Though I'm reticent to pick up a non-console MMO for the moment, it looks like a pretty **** cool game. Aion looks pretty good as well though. Maybe I'll look into it.
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    #38 Jun 26 2009 at 4:24 AM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    But in saying that, if the game (FF14) has been in development for 5 years, chances are they haven't emulated anything that has come out recently.


    Actually, not all hope is lost on this front. I was playing FFXI and beta testing WoW at the same time, and during one phase of the beta we made a biiiiiig push to implement the Auction House system from FFXI. It was one of the coolest features of the still-fresh and booming economy in FFXI, and everyone wanted to see something like it in WoW beta. The auction house was one of the last, and most impromptu additions to WoW, and it ended up being a huge mechanic (and working well for what it was).

    Point is, FFXIV not only CAN adapt on the fly, but HAS TO if it wants to stay afloat.
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    #39 Jun 26 2009 at 5:55 AM Rating: Default
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    Kharmageddon wrote:
    Quote:
    But in saying that, if the game (FF14) has been in development for 5 years, chances are they haven't emulated anything that has come out recently.


    Actually, not all hope is lost on this front. I was playing FFXI and beta testing WoW at the same time, and during one phase of the beta we made a biiiiiig push to implement the Auction House system from FFXI. It was one of the coolest features of the still-fresh and booming economy in FFXI, and everyone wanted to see something like it in WoW beta. The auction house was one of the last, and most impromptu additions to WoW, and it ended up being a huge mechanic (and working well for what it was).

    Point is, FFXIV not only CAN adapt on the fly, but HAS TO if it wants to stay afloat.


    I hope you're right, but I have my doubts from the non conformist nature of Japan. My expectations are entirely too high, so its hard for me to be sensible about it, to be honest you (and myself).

    From WAR, I hope they take the PvP aspects (RvR in the game) and more importantly than that (since most people dont like PvP, seemingly here) the public quest system - its absolutely brilliant and very easy to get into. The Siege wars were done really well, meant something and were tons of fun (nothing like pouring boiling oil over an attacking force).

    From Aion, I like the creation system, several of the job classes but mostly I enjoyed Spirit Master. Your summon grew in size and power as you leveled, taking different shapes as they progressed in size.

    The scenery is really lovely, **** it would be nice to see the giant animals you saw roaming in the game (giant air whale) along with all the little touches they put everywhere. For instance, when you saw this large glow in the distance, and you drew closer to it, it turned out to be a lone bug just doing... bug things.

    It was also fun how rifts would open up in random places and out of them enemy players could show up and just start attacking people in the area. It wasn't something that happened a lot, but when it did - even if it was a pain in the *** - it was still very exciting.

    Ultimately, it would take having the ability to actually play a beastman - which seems utterly impossible with the premise at hand.

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    #40 Jun 26 2009 at 7:21 AM Rating: Good
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    mpmaley wrote:
    Quote:
    As for customization... as I said in other threads dealing with this, SE needs to step it up. This 9 faces with 9 hairstyles (or however many it was) and 2 hair colors just isn't cutting it.


    Again...that's how XI was which was designed at least 10 years ago, I think a lot has changed since then. Why do you think they're going to keep customization the same?


    I didn't say it was going to stay the same, I was replying to the OP's mentioning of Aion's customization. I was saying compared to the customization of other MMO's (such as Aion) that are coming out to keep the customization of FFXI wouldn't work. Thats why I gave an example of how they could easily upgrade the customization process and give us more options for FFXIV. If they leave it the same as FFXI, people won't be happy and I'm pretty sure they realize that. I am sorry if I did not make my point clear in my first post.
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    #41 Jun 26 2009 at 8:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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    I think you're getting STEALING ideas, and being influenced by ideas mixed up here.
    No MMO has recently launched anything innovative, Aion is fancy because it looks pretty.

    What you're saying is basically, it's been in development for 5 years, but because Aion has come out they should stop immediatly to steal all of its ideas because they are surefire and thats what people want.


    I'm sorry but I don't think SE is stupid enough to flat out copy other MMOs, and they've made it pretty obvious that they don't wanna copy WoW either. Being influenced by speeding things up is a whole different thing though.
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    #42 Jun 26 2009 at 10:46 AM Rating: Good
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    I'm more excited about the new Star Wars MMO personally. I'm not really a huge Star Wars fan (not since Lucas went all JarJar) but I'm personally pretty sick of mmo's that focus on swords and sorcery and dragons and knights and so forth. One of the most exciting things I heard about FFXIV so far was that they plan on developing it in a slightly more futuristic setting.
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    #43 Jun 29 2009 at 1:06 AM Rating: Default
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    akirussan wrote:
    blah blah blah Aion blah blah Aion blah blah blah


    Can someone explain what's supposed to be so great about Aion? Because from the footage I've seen and from what I've read it looks like just another crappy Korean MMO to me.

    ChiefMasterExpert wrote:
    To be honest, the bar won't be raised a noticeable amount until we start getting Action MMOs.


    Oh god no that's the last thing I want. Every fight a round of Soul Calibur?

    No thank you.

    Edited, Jun 29th 2009 6:11am by Lobivopis
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    I thought of it first:

    http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
    #44 Jun 29 2009 at 8:00 AM Rating: Decent
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    Ive been playing Aion on chinese servers for some time now (by making interface english) the game was awesome at first but imo that quickly changes as everything in the game is the same.. very repetitive quests (all the same but with different names) no real intresting story... missions are the same as quests but only they have very lame cutscenes and slightly better rewards plus they reveal the ''epic'' storyline... i got my templar to lvl 30 and havent played in weeks now cause imo the content is lacking very much... (first dungeon is at lvl 30 and its a very lame one as well)
    Also atm Aion is very very unbalanced to the part where certain jobs are so OP that is best to avoid trying to fight them at all cause youll just get your *** whooped big time.. also its stuffed with loads and loads of botters and theyre all Gladiators (most OP job in game, together with sorceror) and i could go on for some time naming cons of Aion..
    EDIT:almost forgot 1 of the biggest Cons.. air combat... if your melee your pretty much screwed when it comes to air combat it is owned by rangers and sorcerors and you cant do sh*t.

    Unless they improve theyre game alot by the time western version comes out i wont be playing Aion.
    So definatly FFXIV for me :D

    Edited, Jun 29th 2009 12:04pm by BaasP

    Edited, Jun 29th 2009 12:04pm by BaasP
    #45 Jun 29 2009 at 9:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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    I have to admit, there was one feature in Aion I found to be incredibly innovative and sincerely hope SE takes a good look at.

    The ability to transfer the stats of any item to the model of any item within the same category for a modest sum. For example, you've recently stumbled upon a major upgrade to your leg slot, but it's subligar. In FFXI you had to parade around in your kinky fetish gear and **** well like it. In Aion's system, you could visit an NPC and transfer the stats of your ugly upgrade to a respectable pair of pants.

    It's incredibly effective armor customization with a fairly simple implementation. You could feasibly wear anything in the game you wanted for as long as you wanted without sacrificing your efficiency one iota.

    Ultimately, I'd just be happy with some degree of customization. I am sick to death of looking like a patchwork fashion nightmare in MMOs.


    Edited, Jun 29th 2009 1:16pm by Zemzelette
    #46 Jul 01 2009 at 12:19 PM Rating: Good
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    Lotro has donething similair. On your character inventory page you have 3 areas to equip items. the first one are active items whos bonuses you get. then you have 2 "costume slots" these are like your normal equip page only the items equiped here dont give you any bonuses they are purely cosmetic. You can then activate any one of the three sets to be visible. So you can roll in the armor your actually using if you want. But if you found something you liked the look of better but that doesnt have the stats you can equip it onto a costume slot then activate that costume slot to be visible. You'll still get the stats you have on the "active" armor but be seen wearing the costume slot items.

    Lotro also allows you to dye pieces
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    #47 Jul 04 2009 at 9:40 PM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    Oh god no that's the last thing I want. Every fight a round of Soul Calibur?

    No thank you.


    Haven't played Soul Calibur lately, but I'm all about a good action MMO. In particular a good strategy action MMO. Think of the strategic action elements of a game like SSBB, but expanded into an MMO.
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    #48 Jul 05 2009 at 5:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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    Zemzelette wrote:

    The ability to transfer the stats of any item to the model of any item within the same category for a modest sum. For example, you've recently stumbled upon a major upgrade to your leg slot, but it's subligar. In FFXI you had to parade around in your kinky fetish gear and **** well like it. In Aion's system, you could visit an NPC and transfer the stats of your ugly upgrade to a respectable pair of pants.


    This is the kind of thing I'm hoping for in FFXIV. Along with dyes...much more flexible dyes than what's in Aion from what I've seen so far, though.

    Actually have been doing the Aion beta a bit, and it's fun. It raises the bar (?) in terms of polish in some areas, the visuals are nice, as is the soundtrack. Characters have a lot of situational ambient animations. Most of the basic gameplay is just copy-pasted average MMO fair, though.

    Character creation is, above all, fantastic, and I would debate that it's the best in any game I've ever played, City of Heroes included. Obviously it's not as flexible as that game, but it trumps it on the sheer fact that all of the options in Aion look really good. To be honest I don't think I've ever played an MMO before where I didn't actually only like 2 or 3 of my available choices; whereas in Aion I could practically hit randomize and still come out with something really good looking. The majority of the hair and face options are actually desirable, and there are loads of them. And it is very flexible, to boot.

    Basically, Aion's character creation succeeds because you can make the character you want to make easily, and they'll look great too. So I'm really hoping FFXIV can hit somewhere in this target area, or do even better. The idea of using Aion's fantastic system with a character race I really like the attitude/lore of (lolTaru) seems more than appealing.

    Edited, Jul 5th 2009 8:41am by PrinnyFlute
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    #49 Jul 05 2009 at 10:10 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    Haven't played Soul Calibur lately, but I'm all about a good action MMO. In particular a good strategy action MMO. Think of the strategic action elements of a game like SSBB, but expanded into an MMO.


    I also would really like an action MMO.
    I've been following Mabinogi: Heroes for a while, which I am really interested in playing when/if it comes to the USA.

    I tried to get into the Korean closed beta, but you need a KSSN.


    As for Aion's character race system, it isn't the first MMORPG to implement something like that by far. Aion is so similar to some MMORPGs out there already that by no means does it raise the bar. I can't think of anything in Aion (that I've read or watched) that hasn't been done before. The graphics are nice, but nothing groundbreaking. Same with the rest of it.

    The only difference I can find between it and Perfect World is that one is F2P and one is P2P. When I first saw it I thought it must have been created by the same company, even though it wasn't.

    Aion was released 3 years after Perfect World, so I don't think it's anything amazing in the MMORPG industry.

    I would like to see FFXIV do something completely different. The game UI, the world, character creation, character growth/development/leveling up, storyline, job/class system, gear customization.

    I hope FFXIV is original and innovative...and some day there will be a post on another forum saying "FFXIV - Raising the bar?"

    Edited, Jul 5th 2009 2:10pm by Finaa
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    #50 Jul 05 2009 at 8:19 PM Rating: Good
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    Finaa wrote:
    As for Aion's character race system, it isn't the first MMORPG to implement something like that by far. Aion is so similar to some MMORPGs out there already that by no means does it raise the bar. I can't think of anything in Aion (that I've read or watched) that hasn't been done before.


    It's hardly the first game to have this kind of character creation, but it excels in that it does all of these been-done-before things better than most anyone else has. The sliders actually make a difference in your character but aren't tough to finagle, like a lot of games, and all of the elements you can choose from are actually high quality and well designed. Have you played another MMO with a character creation system quite like that? If so I'd like to know about it.

    It'd be nice if they did lots of original stuff for FFXIV, and I hope they really do for a lot of central gameplay systems, but it's more important that they do good. I don't think most people care about how you make your character, just how easy it is to make something look good, and that you can make something unique that you enjoy. If their character creation system is unique but I still meet my clone every five minutes, well. That's a bit of a failure.

    But hey, as long as the net result is the same as Aion (being able to make the character I want, having lots of options to do so, having them be unique and good looking to boot) or better, I'm fine with whatever means they use to do so.
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    #51 Jul 05 2009 at 9:19 PM Rating: Default
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    Aion does look great, but the battle system looks too much like FFXI's.
    Also, is it from a great company that's made at least 100 games?
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