This morning I jumped back into the Aion beta, and after an hour or so, logged out. I’ve decided not to do a pre-order at this time. Which is odd because yesterday afternoon I almost did pre-order. I’m glad I slept on it. Here’s why:
First, the level 10 experience has been a *bit* of a disappointment. I have Ascended. I am now an immortal, ageless being with angel-like wings, dwelling in a city in the heavens. Great tasks await me. One of the first? Go kill some over-grown snails.
Huh? Now I said in my last post that I don’t mind “Kill 10 rats” quests, but when that phrase is taken literally, I do mind it. The critters I was sent to kill were about a foot high and looked about as threatening as your average garden snail. And why did I have to kill them? Because they’ve been eating too many scallops.
I can stomach (barely) doing this kind of ultra-trivial, non-heroic quest at level 1, but not after I spent a day getting to level 10 (granted it wouldn’t take a day to do it if I wasn’t a lore-reader). To be fair, there’s a rebel faction of people I have to kill 10 of, and that’s fine. And there are lots of quests available and I haven’t checked them all out. But the one that happened to be at the top of my journal was kill 10 snail-like critters that I forget the name of.
This wasn’t really the reason for me deciding not to pre-order. It was just the factor that snapped me out of my ‘crush’ on the game and helped me to see it more objectively. It’s a pretty, polished game (with great music) but there are other pretty, polished games out there that don’t require me to throw down $50 just to get started playing. And we all know that MMO clients drop in price, often to $0, pretty quickly. I do intend to try Aion, but probably not at launch.
Second factor: Timing. The Champions Online open beta starts in August, with a launch of September 1st, I do believe. Aion is launching on September 22nd. Aion is a fantasy-based MMO in a sea of fantasy-based MMOs, whereas Champions is a Superhero MMO, and the only other (mainstream, at least) one of those we have is City of Heroes. The general buzz I’m getting on CO is that it’s a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to trying the beta of that, and hope to find myself playing at launch. Which means Aion will launch during the free month of Champions Online, which creates quite a conflict, given my limited play time.
Third: Player stores. I mentioned these yesterday, and between then and now they’ve already gotten much, much worse. This is a personal peeve of mine — I just can’t stand the things. I’m going to wait and hope they get removed.
Fourth: The holiday rush of single-player games. I don’t only play MMOs — I love me some console games, too. And there’s a bunch coming out this fall that I’m interested in, starting in early October. So this kind of feeds into timing, too.
Fifth: Levels 1-9. It was fun doing these once, but I did every available quest in order to get to level 10. OK, it’s possible I missed 1 or 2, but the area isn’t big enough for there to be any substantial quest chains hidden. As an altaholic, that means for every alt I want to test out, I have to do the same exact quests again. I can see that becoming a real drag.
So for now at least, I’m not going to pre-order Aion. Hopefully I’ll get into future beta weekends and be able to level up my Gladiator a bit more and see more of the world, and if that happens I might change my mind. We’ll see.