The Jacobs Test: Champions Online and Aion

Amidst first impressions and “reviews” let us not forget the simple, yet elegant point system disclosed by Mark Jacobs in deciding whether to buy Champions Online or Aion Online.  Champions Online dropped the NDA August 17 which was less than three full weeks away from the September 4th release date.  Mark Jacobs obviously thinks that Champions Online is “okay but not great.”  Aion Online, on the other hand, dropped the North American NDA over 14 weeks out from launch.  I believe I heard Mark Jacobs say Aion Online was “nirvana.”  Of course one must take in to consideration that Aion Online was unfairly released in Korea almost a year ago.  In retort, it seems that there really was no NDA throughout Korean Aion testing at all.  So take that, point system.  Got anything higher than nirvana?

oh well, whatever, nevermind

16 thoughts on “The Jacobs Test: Champions Online and Aion”

  1. Lol, Aion is gonna stomp most other mmorpg’s out there. It’s gonna be the first mmorpg that I’ve actually felt inclined to pay for.

  2. Haha, good one :)

    Thinking back to some previous NDA drops, I do think he may have a point (sorry..).

    I am still not particularly interested in playing Aion though.

  3. I think I missed the boat on why people are so enamored with Aion.

    I picked up a pre-order just for the beta key and played a few weekend events. It’s not a bad game at all but nothing about it put it above any other MMO I’ve ever played.

    What did I miss?

  4. Polish. People will buy a polished piece of “mud”, so why not a mmorpg – and not a extremely bad one at that?

  5. Yup, polish and by far, IMHO, the most eye-catching. It’s really another yet-another-DIKU with strong PvP elements. It will likely take the PvP spot over in the WoW-like trifecta (WoW-base, LOTRO-PvE, WAR-PvP). I noticed that on WAR forums, especially when Aion went into NA beta… buzz and ship-jumping were very prevalent.

  6. I’d say technically that you cannot fairly compare a new release with a regional re-release, but the perspective of most players will make that distinction moot.

    I’m also not sure how third-round of Beta (and secondary market Beta) counts as “no NDA throughout Korean Aion testing at all”. That’s some kinda nifty truthiness there Rav.

  7. I don’t doubt Aion will do well at release, for all the reasons mentioned above. I do question how well it will retain people though, given how closely it plays to WoW, but with the PvP somewhere between WAR and DF in terms of consequence (notably far closer to WAR than DF, but not nearly as ‘who cares’ as WAR is currently).

    I mean if you are a WoW player who likes PvP, losing ANYTHING when you die might be a deal breaker, while if you are currently playing DF, are you really going to move to a WoW-clone and give up a solid PvP base for fancy dresses? At least from the DF crowd, there is very little interest in Aion, and just in my WAR circle, not much mention of Aion either.

  8. @Syncaine: I think ultimately Aion’s PvP will pass, not on consequences, balance, or anything else but pure technical merits.

    If the PvP works: The players can get together in reasonable numbers and it’s not struggling against the mechanics of the games, well that alone is a step above most efforts.

    I don’t mean offense by this, but I think your circle gets caught up in the minutia and details. I don’t think the general populace is as discerning.

  9. I’m assuming you know how Aion’s PvP works at the high end? Where you lose points each death, and the higher your points, the more you lose? Points being tied to top-end PvP gear?

    Apply that to a WoW players mentality, and sorry, I don’t see them sticking around when they are being farmed by the 1-2 power-gaming guilds that are going to spring up and dominate. At the same time, aside from those 1-2 guilds, how many DF/EVE clans are going to abandon the PvP of DF/EVE to play an elf in a pretty dress bashing carebears in Aion?

    Even assuming Aion’s end game is miles ahead of WAR’s current (as of today’s patch) solution, I’m still not convinced those 1-2 guilds per server won’t drive a large chunk of the ‘softer’ player base from Aion back to WoW or even WAR.

  10. @Syncaine: I don’t think WAR, EVE or DF even factor into it.

    For WAR: Maybe they can bring some people back, but I think they’re over their hump. There are diminishing returns on “hey come back, it’s improved” attempts, especially when it’s been essentially crying wolf. I doubt at this point WAR can take significant customers away from Aion, especially with the hype Aion is attracting.

    EVE’s PvP and overall gameplay isn’t remotely similar, I’m hesitant to even call it the same market.

    DF clans? Seriously? I dunno if you’re still playing, but the total DF population at its peak isn’t enough of an audience to make much impact on other games.

    No, the only games that will be involved in this PvP contest are WoW and Aion.

    Oddly I think this is the first time I’d give your WoW tourism theory any weight, because it’s the first time IMHO where it might actually apply.

    Even jaded as I am about player obsession over their loot, I think gameplay in this case will trump that.

  11. @Rog: You never actually addressed my point, which is that Aion’s PvP has negative aspects to it (point loss), something that WoW goes way out of it’s way to avoid. If you really think the only market Aion is going to grab is WoW players, they won’t stick around for long once they get farmed for points and end the day with LESS than they began. You are grossly underestimating how ‘weak’ the average WoW player is, or how they react when they don’t get a cookie just for playing.

    As for gameplay over loot, you seem to imply that Aion right now is going to be head-and-shoulders above WoW or WAR in it’s endgame, enough to make epic-obsessed WoW players accept that they won’t get free loot because the game is just that great. What exactly are you basing that assumption off?

    My point about the other games is that they have populations that are NOT all about collecting gear, and so would be more tolerant to losing points in PvP and not always being rewarded with welfare epics.

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