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Aion is NCSoft's MMO With a Pretty Face

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the going-for-the-shiny-factor dept.

89

Eurogamer has an interesting review of a game that you might not have even heard about amidst all the hype for other games coming out in the near future. NCSoft's Aion is taking a stab at dispelling the myth that MMOs can be either beautiful or gameplay-rich, but not both. "Best of all, most of Aion's splendor is achieved through rich color and fine art, rather than particle effects and polygons, meaning it shouldn't be as expensive to run as it looks. NCsoft appears to have thought of everything. That's just as well - if it's going to bridge the abyss between the Eastern and Western MMO, it will need to. The big question is whether Aion can be all things to all MMO players, and still retain a soul of its own. We'll find out when it's released early next year."

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89 comments

Dispelling the myth? (4, Informative)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481687)

NCSoft's Aion is taking a stab at dispelling the myth that MMOs can be either beautiful or gameplay-rich, but not both.

Who ever thought that? I thought WoW was a very beautiful game (though not everybody liked the cartoony style) and the gameplay was very "rich." Where did this "myth" come from?

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481775)

Yeah, I've never really heard of this "myth"

the abyss between the Eastern and Western MMO

And, I wasn't aware there was an abyss Eastern and Western MMOs. I was under the impression that WoW was incredibly popular in the far east as well as in Europe and the US. Do they play an uglier/prettier version in China?

Re:Dispelling the myth? (2, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481867)

And, I wasn't aware there was an abyss Eastern and Western MMOs. I was under the impression that WoW was incredibly popular in the far east as well as in Europe and the US. Do they play an uglier/prettier version in China?

Na, I'm told the graphics in the Chinese version are...golden. *HIDE*

Re:Dispelling the myth? (3, Funny)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483829)

Na, I'm told the graphics in the Chinese version are...golden. *HIDE*

--
"Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted." -Groucho Marx
Where I hide: http://www.thetobaccopouch.com/ [thetobaccopouch.com]

I found you.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (3, Interesting)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481947)

It's popular in East Asia, but not as popular as Eastern-created MMORPGs, which are similarly not as popular here as Western MMORPGs.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

Lazyrust (1101059) | more than 5 years ago | (#24484059)

Thats cause in Eastern MMORPGs, the competition to farm gold is too high.

I think they mean something different (2, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482251)

I think they mean something more along the lines of "between MMOs designed in the West and those designed in the East", rather than what people play there.

Probably the players are still... players, in all corners of the world. But there seem to be certain assumptions that some major designers make, which are culture related. And are as often wrong in the East as they are in the West.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483807)

I think it's about the other direction, many asian-made MMORPGs just fall flat in the west, possibly because they tend to be too damn grindy.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#24484225)

What KDR said.

An "eastern" MMO is one e.g., Lineage 2 that is based entirely on immense amounts of grinding both to advance your character and get items in order to get ANYWHERE in the game.

Yes, WOW involves grinding later on in the game, but a lot of advancement can be had via questing and instances. Lineage 2, last time i checked, had you frequently sitting in a field killing the same things by the hundred for in game currency or items.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24487219)

Lineage 2, last time i checked, had you frequently sitting in a field killing the same things by the hundred for in game currency or items.

So it's like Final Fantasy XI, then?

Re:Dispelling the myth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24487617)

I doubt any game could be as grindtastic nature of FFXI. It's the only game I've ever played which forces you to grind through the starting areas MULTIPLE TIMES ON THE SAME CHARACTER. There's also the whole "unlocking classes" thing which ensures that most players will find themselves grinding through a class they hate to get to the one they wanted to play from the start - at which point they get to start over at the starting areas YET AGAIN.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 5 years ago | (#24528203)

FFXI's grind is simple compared to most Eastern MMORPGs. While it seems like a grindfest in comparison to Western MMORPGs (because it is), most Eastern MMORPGs are far worse.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481941)

Seems more like someone made up a false dichotomy in order to advertise their new game for free on slashdot.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (2, Informative)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482023)

Have you honestly played many MMORPGs? Eastern and Western? WoW is hardly a bad looking game, but I wouldn't place it in the category of 'most beautiful looking MMORPGs'. In fact, many Eastern MMORPGs (though not all) blow the average Western MMORPG out of the water, visually speaking. It just so happens that those games ... well, suck. Very pretty to look at, not really that fun to play.

I believe that is what TFA (or at least summary) is trying to hint at.

tl;dr -- WoW isn't a bad looking game, but it's not the greatest.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (2, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482207)

WoW is kind of meh in graphics. My fiancee wouldn't play it because she thought it was ugly.

AoC... now that's a pretty game. If you can get it to run at over 10fps, that is.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24485631)

AoC has more technically proficient graphics, yes. But WoW's artists have more artistic talent in their little fingers than AoC's artists have in their entire bodies. Excellent rendering means nothing if your art is mediocre.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24485745)

OK, but AoC has boobies, so of course it wins for visual appeal. There's no basis for argument against boobies!

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

HoppQ (29469) | more than 5 years ago | (#24488513)

AoC is technically nice, as long as you have the hardware to run it. Artistically they could have taken a hint from the recent Diablo 3 article [slashdot.org] where the Blizzard designer blasted the fan mockups of D3 screenshots for lacking variance in colour etc. AoC is a prime example of how a dreary lack-of-colour world can really make you feel uninterested in a short time.

Two thirds of AoC gameworld is shades of grey and brown, one third is lush green. The lush green isn't all bad (since it's rarer), but the rest you get sooo bored of halfway through (or before) that when you pop into WoW you really start to appreciate what a dash of colour in the right place can do. What's worse, the characters wear almost the exact same armour art through the levels, so you have no feeling of progress from that direction either.

Be original (3, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482639)

I agree, the screenshots to this game look slightly better, but only slightly so, and that's the ones they've handpicked. Maybe they spent some more time on the design of things than usual, but I wasn't like "Wow, this is so much better looking than WOW or guild wars." I think what they actually mean is that it looks like final fantasy but plays like wow. It's never good when a new game tries to beat a dominant game at it's own game. All the "halo killers" turned out to suck (Resistance 1, looking right at you.) Zelda killers did too (dark cloud one). Why not make up something totally new? Worried you'll fall flat on your face? Guess what, you're going to do that anyway if you try to make another WOW.

I think a bigger myth that needs to be busted is that in order to make a successful MMO, it needs to be the same type of RPG as WOW. I haven't done an in-depth study, but it seems like developers either spend a lot of time and money on something that is a WOW clone, like this seems to be (a bit premature to call that, I realize) or they half ass it and it, predictably, goes nowhere. Gunz, a free over the shoulder shooting MMORPG seemed really interesting to me, then I find out it's basically broken, no one does anything but exploit gliches. You get what you pay for of course, but even the subscription based MMORPGs seem to either be WOW, WOW clones, or not worth your time.

Re:Be original (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24482689)

even the subscription based MMORPGs seem to either be WOW, WOW clones, or not worth your time.

EVE Online says hi.

Re:Be original (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483491)

I believe that would fall into the third category. Matter of opinion, of course.

Re:Be original (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#24485173)

City of Heroes?
Planetside?
Tabula Rasa?

There's more out there than people think.

Re:Be original (1)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 5 years ago | (#24487867)

I'm not saying that you aren't right, because basically you are, but there's at least three games, that I can think of right now, that does not conform to the cookie cutter formula:

Air Rivals. http://www.airrivals.net/ [airrivals.net]
Pretty fun, skill intensive, flying MMO. The graphics sucks some major balls, but the gameplay is ace.

Tabula Rasa.
Only tried the beta, but my impression was that if you only care about PvE then TR should be on your short-list of MMOs to try.
It has a really nice combat system and the general feeling of the world being "alive" is in a league of it's own (or at least it was back then).

EVE Online.
Personally I found it rather boring, but there's no denying that it has nothing to do with your standard fantasy MMO.

Re:Be original (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24626083)

honestly...to use WoW as a basis for any benchmarking is sad in the least...I've seen MMOs with way better gfx, game play and more the point not over run what seem to be a over abundance on immature gamers.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482699)

WoW looks pretty good (fantastic if you consider the poly counts and limited shaders) and is very entertaining. Beautiful and rich are not words most people would use to describe the game, however.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483431)

I don't like WoW's aesthetics all that much. Character customization is boring when all the armor looks so dull. Guild Wars has really good looking player characters.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24483743)

WoW does well for its polygon count but, in some areas, it loses out to some RPGs PSX (summons from Final Fantasy VII and magic from Breath of Fire 4). Magic is particularly underwhelming, with some high-level effects being slightly less impressive than a lit fart.

Gameplay-wise, WoW is pretty sparse. There is some tactical depth but the missions are very repetitive, the story is almost non-existent, and crafting is a joke. WoW's end game (playing at level 70) is a lot of repetitive grinding, much like the asian MMOs. It's a MUD with better graphics.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 5 years ago | (#24485647)

Gameplay-wise, WoW is pretty sparse. There is some tactical depth but the missions are very repetitive, the story is almost non-existent, and crafting is a joke.

Hmm... I kept playing WoW for roughly 2 years mostly because of the incredible story. The thing is: it isn't presented to you as a narration, you gather it by reading quest texts and connecting the bits and pieces of information in your head.

I know lots of people who don't care to read quest texts, much less try to find the overall meaning of what little they read. These are the only ones who tell me, with a straight face, that the game has none or almost no story.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24485827)

I'n not really interested in some story that I have to discover by reading quest text. Any decent novel will be better. I'm interested in the story that my character participates in, even creates. WoW falls flat there, as do its clones. That's the fundamental difference we'll see in the eventual WoW-killer: you will change the world by your gameplay, not repeat the same quests everyone else does.

The technology to make this happen is established, but the designer mentality isn't there yet.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24487149)

Yeah, the technology to make an evolving, balanced, enjoyable, lush, wonderful MMORPG world is here. That's why its so easy and cheap to churn out grade A games.

Oh wait... its NOT that easy yet. I'd love to live in your fantasy world where everything could be made 'the way it should'. Instead, I'll say this... if you think it's so easy - why don't YOU create such a world and take the billion dollar windfall from Blizzard?

Sure... there are things I hate about WoW... repetative, rep grinds, random drop rates, balance issues, bugs, glitches, etc etc etc... but by *FAR* it's the best game out there. How do I know this? Numbers don't lie.

I may not be the most experienced programmer, but I hate when people talk about how easy it is to do something better. Shut up and do it. Take us to nirvana... and until you do, I'll enjoy what's available - Something that isn't quite perfect, but is still enjoyable as hell.

And... I'm lazy like the next person. I don't go out of my way to 'discover' the background, expansive, epic story line that's hidden below the surface. If I want a story, I'll read any of the thousands of Grade-A titles available at Local Bookstore. But - To cry that it isn't there? That's just stupid. You want a spoonfed story, play Oblivion, NWN2 or some other RPG.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24488069)

That's the fundamental difference we'll see in the eventual WoW-killer: you will change the world by your gameplay, not repeat the same quests everyone else does.

Yeah, the technology to make an evolving, balanced, enjoyable, lush, wonderful MMORPG world is here. That's why its so easy and cheap to churn out grade A games.

Who's post did *you* think you were replying to?

I hate when people talk about how easy it is to do something better. Shut up and do it.

I *am* good enough to do something better, but "doing somehting better" also requires that one be good at running a business, merely being good at programming doesn't cut it. Witness Flagship Studios! So I work in an industry that pays well, instead of the games industry.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to criticize post-WoW games that bring nothing new to the picture. Listen guys, when Blizzard succeeds in a genre, it's over for everyone else. If you want to dethrone WoW, you'll need a game that redefines the genre, because you're not going to make a "better WoW".

So get on with making a shared world in which the players make real persistant changes (existing technology) and which has an engine to generate quests and maps instead of hard-coded quests and maps (existing technology) - just put that in the shared world, not in an instance. It's time the player stopped being the 47983rd person to kill the same dragon and rescue the same princess for the same "unique" quest drop.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

Quikah (14419) | more than 5 years ago | (#24488885)

I don't really understand your reference to flagship, Hellgate was a buggy mess with a really bad business model.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24492141)

Flagship lost all control over the schedule and therefore the quality of the game because Roper et al were crap at running a business, and had no real handle on the money end of things. The Diablo franchise is evidence that the technical skills were there (and the Hellgate engine had a lot going for it), but the business skills weren't. Perhaps the non-programming game design skills were lacking there too? We'll never really know what their vision was: what we saw wasn't that good, but at least it wasn't a WoW ripoff. Even though the game sold quite well, the studio folded.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

GuyWithLag (621929) | more than 5 years ago | (#24487827)

I'd gather you'd love Mass Effect. Pity it's not an MMO.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24487879)

Isn't that the game where the copy protection phones home?

Re:Dispelling the myth? (1)

Samy Merchi (1297447) | more than 5 years ago | (#24487309)

"I know lots of people who don't care to read quest texts"

And I do believe there is some psychological reason behind that.

In single-player games, like the Infinity Engine games, I always read the dialogue.

In MMOs like City of Heroes or D&D Online, I rarely do.

Why is that?

Potential reasons:
1) MMOs do not have dialogue trees. They only have "accept" and "decline" options, spruced up a little with flavor text, but by and large, they do not have the feeling of choice. Conversely, single-player game dialogues have the feeling of choice, that if you pick the right dialogue choices you may get more information and additional xp and additional quests. MMOs need to motivate the reader to read the dialogue by having some *reason* to read them.

2) Singleplayer games you can play at your own pace. In MMOs, you have to rush because your party is waiting for you to get the quest and you don't feel like you have the right to make them wait while you read the dialogue with thought. MMOs need to do something to mitigate the constant feeling of rushing.

3) Frankly, even when I *do* read MMO dialogues and story, they pale in quality compared to a good singleplayer game. MMOs need to write better quality story so people will bother to read them.

4) MMOs rarely have voiceovers or cutscenes. Voiceovers and cutscenes have an INCREDIBLE boost to immersion in singleplayer games. MMOs need to increase the amount of voiceovers and cutscenes.

So rather than just saying, "oh, it's the player's fault, they didn't read the story", it is long-term more productive to ask, "WHY did the player not read the story?" and try to fix those issues so players will read the story in the future.

Or, I suppose, they can just cross their arms, and stubbornly insist that "no, the player has to do it OUR way", and continue for the next ten years hearing bitching about no story and seeing their storywriting efforts go down the drain.

Play to how your audience wants to hear a story. Don't insist that your audience change. Change for them. That is, if you want to maximize your audience.

Re:Dispelling the myth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24496237)

The "myth" was invented by the author of TFA, so he could have something to contrast Aion with. Because Aion is really not remarkable at all, it looks like your run-of-the-mill recently released MMORPG, but of course they can't write that... it's nothing but marketing PsyOps...

Left-Click Doom (4, Interesting)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481723)

One of the main differences I have noticed between 'eastern' and 'western' MMOs is the control scheme. Many eastern ones feel as if they have the taboo that if you're using more than one hand to do EVERYTHING in the game, you're going to hell. However, western ones sometimes get the opposite problem in that every possible action is somehow mapped to a key on the keyboard... Lineage 2, fun as it is, drives me NUTS at times with all the clicking and few (if any) shortcut keys. Other games, like EQ2, you can have up to 3 action bars key mapped (1, Alt-1, Shift-1, I think) for any of them. While useful, if I change the bar layout for any reason, such as a new ability, I gotta rememorize where everything goes.

I want to try Aion, but I do not get much out of a game with a control scheme similar to Lineage 2's. While it does make smoking easier, the constant mouse movement makes playing more than 30 minutes painful. Does anyone know what type of control scheme Aion is looking at? I really loved the videos and want to love this game.

Re:Left-Click Doom (1)

aerton (748473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482083)

Lineage 2, fun as it is, drives me NUTS at times with all the clicking and few (if any) shortcut keys. Other games, like EQ2, you can have up to 3 action bars key mapped (1, Alt-1, Shift-1, I think)

Lineage 2 allows you to use 8 (or 10?) bars this way. Actually, you really need to left-click only for movement and target selection.

This scheme has an advantage that while you use functional keys for actions, you still have digits and alphabet for uninterrupted typing. If I need to cast a spell while having entered half of a phrase, I just do it, without discarding the text or sending an incomplete chat line. If functional keys aren't enough, the game could still use alphabet with ALT or CTRL for actions.

Yet, the best option would be to have an option for everyone to select the input scheme for his liking.

Re:Left-Click Doom (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482135)

While it does make smoking easier, the constant mouse movement makes playing more than 30 minutes painful.

Actually, you hit the nail on something. I was under the impression that in Asia, that gamers in Asia tend to be multi-tasking when playing MMO's (eating, drinking, and smoking) because they are usually gaming in a cafe which offers such products.

But I agree on the Western MMO problems... Makes me want to buy a foot pedal sometimes.

Re:Left-Click Doom (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24487241)

A Path To Western Online Games Success in Asia [gamasutra.com]

The author of this article, Tim Allison, mentions this very thing with regard to control schemes...

"In Asia the gamers want to have their right hand free to answer the mobile phone, smoke or drink while playing."

Re:Left-Click Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24482477)

I hope it's not just another click-n-go MMORPG. I'm also hoping you don't have the ability to jump around like a maniac.

Re:Left-Click Doom (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482885)

Jumping in WoW is my life.
I feel crippled in a game where I can't jump.

Re:Left-Click Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24483931)

You're a goddamned idiot, and if I could, I'd cripple you in real life.

Re:Left-Click Doom (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482915)

The reason for this is that eastern players often play the game to relax as much as anything. Book or food in one hand, or just relaxing and mindlessly one-hand-clicking away at the monsters. For that reason eastern MMOs are often not that hard either.

Re:Left-Click Doom (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#24485463)

Constant mouse movement? When I played the beta it was like one movement per minute, hardly constant (or interesting).

Re:Left-Click Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24491477)

NCSoft hit the control button scheme right on the money when they made Guild Wars, which had a great blend between mouse only and keyboard shortcuts. Since you could click-to-move or WASD. The spells you could click or use the 1-8 keys to activate.

Hopefully some of this quality design will spill over to Aion and Guild Wars 2.

Re:Left-Click Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24496241)

It has both control schemes: mouse and WASD movement.

A bridge is harder than it sounds like (3, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481759)

From what I've seen, a bridge between Eastern and Western MMOs is going to be difficult. Eastern MMOs tend to reward hard work and perseverance, whereas western players tend to dislike excessive grind. Even the business models differ, with a lot of eastern MMOs being "free to play" but having a lot of in-game items that need to be purchased with real money. Western MMOs tend to have monthly fees, but discourage or outright ban using actual money in a way that influences gameplay.

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (2, Informative)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481913)

"Hard work and perseverance" are *not* synonymous with trendmilling/grinding. "Eastern" MMOs (for whatever value that definition even has) tend to focus doing a small range of things over and over again in order to advance in the game.

While this is pretty much the order of the day for the majority of MMOs, "eastern" MMOs (the term makes me wonder each time if its even accurate -- given that there's plenty of MMOs that aren't even in English) take it to excessive lengths.

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482075)

If doing the small range of things over and over again to advance the game isn't "grind", then I'm not sure what that word means. Granted, all MMOs suffer from that to one degree or another, it's inherent in the system because it takes far longer to create new content than it does to play through it, the only way to extend game play is to make the players repeat the content several times. The difference is in the variety of tasks you can ask them to perform, how long they have to work on one task before they can move on to another, and the amount of effort you put into "distractions", like the storyline, exploring, etc...

To be clear, when I say eastern MMOs, I'm talking about ones created in Korea or Japan. When I say western MMOs, I'm talking about ones created in the US or Canada. I'm sure people in Europe or the Middle East have created some too, but I can't think of any off of the top of my head. Examples of eastern MMOs include Lineage and Fly For Fun. Examples of western MMOs include World of Warcraft and City of Heroes.

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

aerton (748473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482145)

I'm sure people in Europe or the Middle East have created some too, but I can't think of any off of the top of my head.

EVE Online or Age of Conan do not ring a bell?

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482329)

Doing a small range of actions over and over again is indeed grind. However, my point is that "hard work" (such as it is in a game) is not synonymous with grinding. It's just that grinding is, as you say, the very easiest way to get people set into a carrot-stick mindset and extend their participation in your revenue stream.

And I second the other guy who pointed out EVE as a very significant European game.

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482213)

You know, I really like memes and neologisms, but they do sometimes cause problems. Shouldn't I be able to immediately recognise "trendmilling" as a typo for "treadmilling"? But, I can't. I checked the Wiki for "trendmilling", but there were no results. It sounds like it could mean something. I'm guessing it is a typo. I'm filled with doubt though. I might sound like a complete idiot for not being familiar with "trendmilling". I can't take this pressure...

I might end up in an asylum from this... rocking back and forth, mumbling, "series of tubes, the cake is a lie, hot grits, series of tubes, intertube, interwebs, teh internets, lulz, there fixed that for you, you must be new here, 1. Create Meme 2. ????? 3. PROFIT!!!, in soviet russia tubes trendmill YOU!..."

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482663)

Heh. Gotta say that I didn't notice the typo that has caused your mental breakdown.

(yes, it is a typo)

(OR IS IT?????)

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24482151)

PLENTY of Western MMOs have excessive grind, they just don't have "Play 48 hours straight without food or sleep then fall over dead in an internet cafe" grind.

Saying that Western MMOs don't have excessive grind is like saying that Herpes isn't an STD because HIV is a lot worse.

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483811)

Eastern MMOs tend to reward hard work and perseverance, whereas western players tend to dislike excessive grind.

These two things are mutually-exclusive... how?

WOW has lots of quests that take "hard work and perseverance" but have nothing to do with grind. For example, the quests to get Epic Flying Form for a level 70 druid are really challenging and rewarding if you solo them, but they aren't grind at all.

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24487051)

But I've heard plenty of Koreans scoff at how WoW just hands you everything on a silver platter. Even the epic mount quest can easily be done in a single session. You're not persevering unless it requires a solid week of farming to unlock something. This does tend to come from the Lineage and Lineage II crowd though, who I fear may have warped perceptions.

Re:A bridge is harder than it sounds like (1)

Loiosh-de-Taltos (247549) | more than 5 years ago | (#24494985)

This is exactly the parent's point. Westerns gamers do not like to waste time with a repetitive gaming experience. This is why all the Korean MMOs have failed when they've come here (RF: Online).

We like challenge without repetition. Eastern games are pure repetition focused usually on selfish resource grabbing (resource loot). Western games are group challenges focused on direct rewarding (item loot).

if I could fly (2, Insightful)

aerton (748473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24481847)

The only thing I dislike is that flight seems to be heavily limited, the ether system sounds to be designed to keep you on the ground. I just hope there still will be enough so you don't hold on it for rare short bursts.

After all, it appears to be the most distinguishable feature of the game. Class selection, combat, crafting and even visuals do not seem to stand out of other MMORPGs that much.

Like another NCSoft published game? (3, Interesting)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482521)

Best of all, most of Aion's splendor is achieved through rich color and fine art, rather than particle effects and polygons, meaning it shouldn't be as expensive to run as it looks.

Seems to me, this is alot like the art direction that Guild Wars [wikipedia.org] took. It relied on artwork for a lot of it's beauty, keeping the poly count fairly low. It certainly allowed it to run on a wide variety of PCs.

Of course, NCSoft was only the publisher of that game; Arenanet was the developing company. I wonder if this announcement might effect development of Guild Wars 2...

Re:Like another NCSoft published game? (1)

CauseWithoutARebel (1312969) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482711)

NCSoft is developing Aion as well as publishing it (second to last paragraph in the article). Which is good, because ArenaNet, over the last year and a half or so, has shown an unrelenting ability to run Guild Wars straight into the ground.

Re:Like another NCSoft published game? (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483139)

Well Aion's been no secret, it was announced at least 2 years ago; I'm sure that GW2 has been developed with that in mind. My fear is that NCSoft has decided that Anet's play-for-free model just doesn't make them enough money and is working to capture Guild Wars's already-dwindling fanbase. That would secure more pay-per-month customers for NCSoft, at the expense of Arenanet. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it sure seems like NCSoft is targeting would-be GW2 players with Aion.

For beauty, try Guild Wars in 1920x1200 (1)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 5 years ago | (#24484973)

The stated approach of "use fine art instead of high poly count" for visual beauty is perfectly true, as you can see in Guild Wars.

I run GW on a modern Core2Duo with 8600GT on a lovely 24" 1920x1200 screen at 80 FPS, and the hi-def beauty is really gorgeous. Yet, the same game runs on my crappy old P4 with 5200 PCI graphics at lower res but still good frame rate, just because the environment and characters are not heavy on polygons but instead are drawn beautifully and quite realistically. ArenaNet know how to do that very well.

Aion seems to be done in that same fashion, although the dumbing down of the skills system compared to GW can't be a good thing. GW requires you to become an expert in applying complex skills and to use tactics, whereas in Aion they seem to have decided that thinking is too hard and so have replaced it with repeated grinding. That doesn't sound like fun, as the "challenge" will not be in gameplay but in keeping your eyelids from closing.

Re:Like another NCSoft published game? (1)

Soulslayer (21435) | more than 5 years ago | (#24486871)

ArenaNet is (and was) a wholly owned subsidiary of NCsoft. It is as much an independent developer as E&G (the guys that did L2) were. The Aion team is no more or less an independent entity than ArenaNet.

Mod Story -1 (Advertising) (1)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482709)

Seriously, people, was there anyting really worth discussing in that article?

Mod Comment Uninformed +1 (Ignorance) (1)

bovilexics (572096) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483193)

Honestly... have you not yet learned that the MO here is to read the headline, maybe even the summary, and then comment / discuss / argue / flame. Commenting on the actual merit or content of an article... for shame.

</sarcasm>

Just say no to Asian MMOs (2, Interesting)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482723)

Aion looks fabulous, so far. Flight looks amazing, and the world seems very polished. However, I've yet to play an Asian MMO that didn't bore me to tears through the use of grind, grind, and more grind. If what they mean by combining the East and West is that it avoids this mind-numbing grind that Asian MMOs seem to adore, I may give it a shot.

Re:Just say no to Asian MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24496391)

It has been confirmed that Aion will not be a grind-fest.


They had been putting a lot of creativity into it. See the parrot quest [youtube.com] , for example. You transform into a parrot to spy a pirate ship, with cutscenes, etc.

It seems that it will be actually a GAME as opossed to a second job.

Beautiful female avatars? (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24482967)

It would be nice if they could make the female avatars look good without resorting to the usual skimpy outfits as they seem to have done. At least the eastern ones usually let you have cutsie avatars as well as overtly sexual ones, or even just normal looking ones.

And yet another Windows-only game...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24483259)

Wake me up when companies realize that not everyone uses BorgOS XP or BorgOS Vista.

Wow! (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#24484125)

You got a cryogenic chamber in your mother's basement?

I hope it also has some kind of a autonomous and renewable power source cause you will be out for a LONG time.

Meh *shrug* (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#24483599)

All MMO's are dead to me except one [1up.com]

Re:Meh *shrug* (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24486065)

Aw man, and here I was hoping the story would be about a Highlander mmog. :(

Breaking the East vs West issue (3, Informative)

garylian (870843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24484681)

This will be the most interesting thing to see if they can overcome.

Eastern/Asian MMOs are, as a general rule, all similar. It's all about how many potions you can carry, what kind of timers they have, and how much range damage you can produce. Melee combat is a major afterthought, as they tend to serve no purpose in groups. And they often are the "free to play, with an item mall!" model. Ugh! The graphics are often very well done, though the female models all start to look the same after a while. Everyone and their brother has a merchant booth set up in the middle of town or in the pathways in/out of town. Dungeons tend to be few, so grouping is not necessary, except to power level through a zone.

Western MMOs tend to focus more on grouping, though solo play is supported. Potions are more of an afterthought, though some games like WoW have healing potions, just with much longer timers to keep it from being a potion-based healing system. Classes are more varied, and there are generally accepted rolls to fulfil. (Healer, tank, DPS, crowd control, etc.)

Personally, I can't stand most Eastern/Asian MMOs. There seems to be so little skill involved in most of them. It's all about carrying a lot of potions, and attacking the mob from range. I've never needed to group in any of the ones I've played, and I find item malls insulting. I'd rather see players earn stuff, and not just buy it. Ebay toons are bad enough, but at least they generally cost a lot more than buying some great weapon/armor piece with cash for a lot less. They all just feel like they are the same game, with slighly different land masses to run over until your bags are full or you run out of potions, then sell, and repeat.

NCSoft is not having the greatest of luck with its Eastern model MMOs, with Lineage II being the only possible exception here in North America. (CoH/V was done seperately, I believe.)

Re:Breaking the East vs West issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24485281)

what about microsofts dungeon seige serries... that is defently based on the number of potions you can carry.

or ffxi where their are defined roles and you never need to touch a potion.

Re:Breaking the East vs West issue (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24488901)

I said a general rule, not a hard and fast rule, so that leaves room for some games like FFXI. There aren't a lot that don't follow the model I described.

And Dungeon Siege was not an MMO, so that doesn't count.

Re:Breaking the East vs West issue (2, Informative)

Draeven (166561) | more than 5 years ago | (#24486991)

As much as I hate to promote Nexon NA, I really think you should give Mabinogi a try.

The combat system in Mabinogi is quite different and unique. It takes some time to get used to the click to move system, but you'll soon find it necesarry so that your other hand is free to use skills with proper timing.

In Mabinogi, a person could make a brand new character, and have trouble completing even the beginner quests. Another person who is skilled at the game could create a brand new character, and be able to take on even higher level dungeons and creatures. Player skill is an extremely important factor in this game. So much so that, to use potions as an example, a skilled player can finish a dungeon without ever needing a single potion. Despite fighting creatures that could kill him in just a few hits were he to do something wrong.

Re:Breaking the East vs West issue (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24489799)

(CoH/V was done seperately, I believe.)

It was initially made by a separate company (Cryptic) with NCSoft as the publisher, but now that company is working on Champions Online while most of the developers who worked on CoH/V work directly for NCSoft, which bought the CoH/V property.

Not many who plays CoH/V has much faith in Champions Online being any good though, the developers who left to work on that were some of the worst that worked on CoH/V, while the best developers stayed with NCSoft to continue working on it and improved the game a lot since the split.

Vanguard is better than this (2, Funny)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#24484707)

Vanguard is better than this - even in it's state now (it's a lot more playable than at launch, but still not what it could be.. lots of art assets in that 17GB not being used - new player models for better looks and better performance on the way).

Was the OP paid to submit this? Because those screenshots don't look as good as vanguard.

Re:Vanguard is better than this (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24490077)

Mod parent +1 funny please :)

Re:Vanguard is better than this (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#24495013)

have you played the game? at launch maybe

did you use your free trial month to play some more?

here are my screenshots from live - all since launch. The good ones start around page 3 when i got a new video card.
http://derekmeek.com/Pictures/phpgraphy/?dir=Game_Screenshots%2FVanguard%2Flive [derekmeek.com]

Re:Vanguard is better than this (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24520333)

i'm sorry but i prefer high fantasy, and I like the screenshots from this game better. But as my previous reaction post suggests, looks aren't everything.

Re:Vanguard is better than this (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#24520525)

try playing it - if you tried it at launch and quit because of bugs, performance issues, etc renew your account and play again - they've made huge performance improvements, released more content, tweaked classes, etc - they continue to do so. New player models are coming out end of this month, early next month that should look and perform better. The second raid zone comes out with them. The Trial Island comes out with them.

I've been playing Vanguard since Beta4 - it's come a long way since launch. People with hardware that couldn't play the game at launch are running with decent performance (read: balanced settings, 25+ fps in most situations).

Just in case you were unaware (1)

skulgnome (1114401) | more than 5 years ago | (#24486225)

Aion, taken as finnish, means "I intend [something]".

Not nearly as funny as Orkut though.

good article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24516285)

good article http://egyptian12.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Eastern RPGs (0)

.Bruce Perens (150539) | more than 5 years ago | (#24519089)

Maybe I'll play them when their avatars stop looking like feminine emo faggots.

PVPVE.. riight.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24520315)

I think it's a big mistake centering their game on pvp like this.

they can call it "pvpve" all they want, but the entire game depends on pvp to control the resources necessary for gear, and with it, raid progression.

Additionally, everyone I met who likes their fantasy games "ornate" tends to avoid pvp like the plague.

I personally cannot stand it in WoW, and i'm looking at pretty much the same class system from wow transplanted into this game.

The screenshots are very encouraging. Listening to the description of the gameplay and progression reminds me of those horrible days trying out a pvp server and leveling in STV on WoW.

Ganked by skull? No thanks, you can keep that. MMO's to me are supposed to be about style and substance, not "headshot" and rankings.

Cartoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24544049)

Think theres too much cartoonish about this game.. thats sad -- MMO News [mmonewz.com]
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