This weekend starts the publicly announced closed beta events for Aion. I seemed to have completely missed my chance everywhere to get a key, but I am sure there will be more. The next couple of months are likely going to be filled with Aion hype. Its only marketing/release competition is Champions Online, which seems to be the only other “AAA” MMO set for 2009 release. Plus with the World of Warcraft “boredom” setting in for many and the summer slowdown, I think Aion is in good position for a strong release.
The release is going to be interesting because the game has already been released in some Asian countries, and there Aion is enjoying immense popularity. The Yanks and Euros will get the game, I believe, nearly a year after Korea’s open beta. All that polish that MMOs usually require that first few months will already be built in to the core gameplay. This means that Aion might possibly be one of the smoothest “AAA” MMO launches yet.
I am excited about the game, but not to an MMO degree. For Warhammer Online, I was excited to an MMO degree. This meant I was willing to forsake all other games, especially other time consuming MMOs, to play Warhammer Online exclusively. I would suck the marrow from all that Mythic would offer. I really don’t feel that way about the current or 2009 MMOs right now. I am currently playing Guild Wars (mostly casual PvP), Lord of the Rings Online (two Loth rep quests/day, then log), and World of Warcraft (I’ll blog about that later). This is on top of Mount & Blade (lttp), Assasin’s Creed (yay, Steam sales), and Peggle (I can’t quit yooo). I think that some upcoming expansions and games will get me back in to the hyper-focused MMO degree of gameplay, but thus far Aion is not quite that far in on my radar.
However, I will still likely play Aion. I have heard that it can be played very casually (WoW with wings), and if nothing else flying around with very pretty graphics might be worth a couple Jacksons. I also really like the idea of PvPvE, where enemies to all invade battlegrounds. I have always thought RvR would be more fun with the addition of NPC enemies, and Aion seems to have taken this idea and run with it. Hopefully, one of those exquisite beta keys lands in my lap (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, NCSoft ^ ^).
and war broke out in heaven