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Aion - A Frustrating Experience in an Old Broken World


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Greetings,

First of all, this topic isn't about criticizing the game in a degenerative way, but a topic based on constructive criticism.

Even though nowadays many companies avoid even such constructive criticism, thus neglecting important aspects that should be improved.

 

Introduction

When Aion was created, it clearly based itself on other MMORPGs, also based itself on a trend; subscription. Thus why most of the game's activities are time-consuming and boring, since you had to keep paying in order to progress in the game. Suffice to say such approach is already dated, to the point Classic faced many changes in order to adapt itself to the taste of modern players.

Even though now it's easier to level up, and we gonna experience many changes towards the way campaigns will be completed etc., still the essence keeps the same, or in other words, everything is based on gear progression. Can't expect much of a difference, since the game was designed to work in such fashion, so instead of renewing or being creative, producers just keep repeating the same recipe, not concerned with the taste of their costumers.

So in the end, you just keep doing repetitive and boring tasks, that leads you to points and medals accumulation, that will grant you a better gear. This gear doesn't represent your ability in playing the game, on the contrary, it represents how much a gear might carry an unexperienced player, and how indifferent actually is your ability to play. I could notice that when using a mere 40e Abyss gear +10 against PvE player.

 

Issues

But how to fix it!? How to use what we already have, but in a way that pleases audience? Well, for that you need to understand that games are made by people and for people, thus you need to understand what your audience seeks, and how they respond psychological to your games. In other and simple words; Aion was created to delay people's progress, since as every game, book, movie or even experiences we might pass through life, it has an end.

So you need to delay people's experience in order to generate income, and if you're clever enough, use such income to keep developing new games and content. What we see from NCSoft is a poor management and money investment, since we didn't notice any huge success in the recent years, not based on the time of Lineage or Aion, with the exception of Blade and Soul, which uses highly sexual content to catch the attention of its player base, mainly composed by men (myself included, since as heterosexual, I like boobs).

But no, boobs aren't the concern in Aion, actually Aion lacks boobs, or a character design similar to Blade and Soul. This leads you to another huge issue; world design and improvement. Since 2012, if I'm not mistaken, we didn't notice any huge improvement in matters of graphics in Aion. We see retextures of items, old items being used in a different fashion, and maybe some new animations, but nothing especial, or that worth 5 USD or more.

 

Still, showing off those problems wouldn't fix it, since now and as stated before, we need to use what we have in order to fix the issues we previously did. So how to use an old broken world and catch people's attention? How to increase game popularity? Without graphic's improvement, this is very hard, since people are visual animals. If you want to catch people's attention you will need to create another game, but that's not possible.

Then, what we can do is focus on the player base we already have. There were some huge improvements in Aion 2.0, but those improvements were applied by a staff that created and developed the game. What happens now, accordingly to my experience as a player, is a staff that has no clue about what to do, neither that understood what was done. It's as if the old staff left a note saying; the game works like that. Then, the new staff just keep repeating the same instructions without understanding what's actually happening.

I wonder how such thing is possible, but as someone who already worked in many companies, what I notice is the simple fact most people, businessman, won't use their own services. So the feeling we have, as players, is that staff won't play the game the way we played, or dedicate themselves to play, since it's just a job, nothing more, not a hobby or something made with care and attention.

 

Fixes

So we must focus on the player base we already have, so how to please those spoiled kids? Let's give them crows for the double price of Aura and expect them to waste their money, earning 4 times less Ap they earn in a month, if paying an Aura that is half the price... Don't take this personal, please, but you guys need someone capable coordinating your staff. Actually, all the staff should create a character, build a legion and play this damn game for at least 4h a day.

Understand something simple; more you try to manipulate or control your audience, less in control you gonna be. Don't try to fool people, especially in the digital modern world. Such practices might work in less developed countries, where the population is ignorant and usually controlled by corrupt governments, but not in the majority of western countries, at least shouldn't, unless people have money to throw away.

The positive things that appeared in 2.0 were the easier AP earning, also the daily medal quests. What's even better in Classic 2.0, is the fact that those medal quests are infinite, or in other words, you can farm your medals and your AP, assuring you your gear in the future, even though such gear just represents the contribution based on how long you paid to play. At least people who have the patience, will earn their stuff.

 

But earning the stuff isn't enough, you need to improve it, socket it and so on. This is a huge aspect of the game, which might be positive, or absolutely degenerating. After the loot boxes issues we had a couple of years ago, many companies are obligated to show their success rate, even though numbers are only numbers, and some companies lie to their audience.

When it comes to enchanting and socketing, often you fail an item, angrier someone becomes. When you waste more than 30 millions to socket a piece of gear, and fail all manastones, you not only make people waste their time and effort, but also their patience with the game. Such frustrating approach indicates how stupid the company is, taunting a spoiled audience that want everything fast.

Someone there was clever though and thought; oh, there's no low level drops, let's sell those then! And it was actually a great idea, since you would offer people what they need, would turn the in-game necessity into profit for the company and also frustrate the ones that need to be frustrated; the bot's owners. If you want to completely remove the bot's owners, and the bots, you just need to sell what players need in the store.

 

So lets redesign the game based on what we have... We need to make income, so lets see what people need and sell those items, since we're the owners of those items. We clearly recognize the fact we don't have many people playing, thus we facilitate the access to some low level content. We might sell skins from low level instances, we might sell items such as stigmas etc., that is a good move.

But we don't want our player to get frustrated, so or we increase the success rate of socketing and enchanting, or we sell those old 100% socketing and enchanting things. Not a bad idea to use in the last slot of Abyss Items, or when you're trying to put it +10 or +11. NICE! Let's sell those things to our players! But wait... they're taking too long in order to earn their gear...

Let's double Abyss Points earning though, or at least, increase the earning of those who are frequently losing in PvP activities. The idea is to increase people's rate in earning their gear, so they might have a fair match against seasoned players, because if those players keep being destroyed in every PvP activity, or they will cheat, or they'll simply leave the game, since they're playing in order to have fun, not being bullied by geared players.

Wait, we're actually doing it! We have the Tiger's event, which increases the average AP we earn from Dredgion and Tiaks, oh but wait, geared players just rush to the middle, killing every Tiger and spoiling the run of under geared players... But look, we gave them a small piece of 55e Abyss Gear! We showed them the way to go, what to get! Now just need to facilitate its access more.

 

Facilitating access to gear will allow people to fairly compete, not only that, but will motivate people to create alternative characters in order to explore different classes and ways to play the game. This will also increase character population, allowing people to take on different roles, thus filling the need for Templar and Clerics, for example. Suddenly, people will keep playing on different classes, and gonna call their friends to play this old, but fun game called Aion.

Let's put those nice enchantment items, or facilitators in the pass, while giving affordable access to PvP gear, then people gonna start buying the pass because it's a necessary thing in order to improve their gear, then bots won't have any choice, but to leave the game, since the company is actually selling and making usage of their own product. It is still pay to win, but at least it's paying to reassuring the improvement of your gear.

Alongside those improvements, if you put some nice skins, boobs and improve graphic's quality like what was done with Blade and Soul, you guys gonna revitalize the game. Not only that, but get some pretty girl and boy, and put them as models in order to call people's attention. Get a streamer, or put someone streaming game content that is fun. But wait, don't do it now, do it when the game becomes fun and no frustrating to play.

 

Remember; people are visual animals. People need positive stimuli in order to respond accordingly to expectations. More you frustrate and cripple them, anger they get. And if they get angry, they bite, and if they bite, company gets hurt, and if company gets hurt, we don't have enough income in order to improve and promote the game. So Aion players are like beaten up dogs in the hands of a old and stupid owner that doesn't understand the poor dog just need care and attention in order to protect him and their house.

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