Eye on Community - March
In this month's in Eye on Community, we bring you an interview with Aion Producer Sean Neil and Aion Brand Manager Dominic Wai, we delve again into trends in Trade Broker pricing in our segment on the Atreian Stock Market, and we take a closer look at what crafters focus on in the Master Craft segment. We also give you a player's perspective of the PvP Daevadome live event expressed through screenshots.
March saw the Fortune Fayre visit Atreia and was also host to our A Call for Spies and Soldiers! and Behind Enemy Lines events. Recently we also ran the Welcome BackReactivation Celebration, in which we allowed inactive players to take another look at Aion in its current state to see all the great updates and improvements that have been made since its Western release.
We're also looking forward to April, as everyone knows that April 1 will hold some surprises.
Have fun, and see you in game!
Topic of the Month
Live Events Recap
As the saying goes: "Either at the beginning, or at the end, March shows us its venom."
In this case, the venom was a fierce determination to win the Daevadome Champion title! Here's a summary of what happened.
What better place to prove your mettle than in Daevadome? According to the bitter fights we witnessed, there isn't one!
In order to allow the valorous Daevas wanting to take part in Daevadome to train, we announced the event a few days before its start. No one had to sign up or nor wait in line to apply. You only had to have the courage and audacity to show up at the arena on the appointed place and time to face hundreds of combatants, each of which came to win the title of Daevadome Champion.
Our host Praxximo ensured that five rounds (including the finale) of 10 minutes were enough to identify the Daevadome champion after a cheerful commotion punctuated by the slamming of wings and attacks of all kinds. The fight wasn't easy, and Aion himself knows that the battle would have lasted all night long if it could have. The blood, sweat, and spite that rained down among the combatants delighted the crowd that attended the show. After 50 minutes of fighting, the audiences of Sanctum and Pandaemonium witnessed the crowning of the Daevadome champions, who left with heads held high and new lucky wings as prizes!
The Interview of the Month
Aion Producer Sean Neil and Aion Brand Manager Dominic Wai put their heads together and answered some questions from the community about the upcoming Aion 2.5 update and future Aion events.
Could you please tell us more about the visual effect upgrade that will come with Aion 2.5? Are we going to get what was shown in the Aion Vision trailer/movie?
Producer Sean Neil: The high quality graphics engine is exactly what we saw in the Vision trailer. I'd dare say the high quality graphic engine is even more impressive than what we saw there. Advanced texturing, deeper and clearer lighting and shadows, blooming, focus effects, sunlight effects, and a huge range of advanced options in your graphics settings will come to life when you take advantage of the advanced settings offered by the engine.
Players tend to complain about Aion being very demanding in terms of PC specs. How are you going to address this in the 2.5 graphics update? Will you release two clients, one with the graphics that we have today and one with the updated one for the enthusiast gamer?
Sean: The best part about the high quality graphics engine is that you aren't required to use it. The current graphics settings for the game will remain. Using the high quality setting is purely optional for those that have the machine to run with the advanced setting on. Once you choose the high quality engine, you are prompted to restart the game client, which then allows you access to the dropdowns and sliders associated with the new graphics settings.
Regarding content, what are the major new features that we can expect with 2.5?
Sean: The 2.5 update adds two new instances: Empyrean Crucible and Esoterrace. The Empyrean Crucible is an endurance gauntlet group instance for levels 51-55. You'll face several different bossessome new and some familiar. Esoterrace is a huge outdoor Abyss Point instance that challenges you to cut off the Balaur supply lines. It's massive.
Brand Manager Dominic Wai: The Aion 2.5 update also incorporates some really nice new social features, including an increased maximum Legion level that gives you access to a brand new Legion cloak. The update also adds a new mentoring system that helps new players level up quicker with the help of a friend. PvP players also get all new eternal AP items to strive for.
Players have been very happy about the recent events, especially PvP. Do you have any plans that you would like to share with us? Can we expect more cool events with 2.5?
Sean: We recognize that Aion players fall into lots of different groups: PvP, PvE, casual, hardcore, solo players, and group/Legion players. We have plans to run a variety of different events that appeal to as many players as possible, but it's impossible to run an event that makes every player happy. We have been discussing this recently, and we decided to create some events that are very specific to the preferences of some of our players, including our PvP players. Our goal is to constantly engage you not only with new content, but with ongoing eventscommunity events, in-game events, so-called microevents (like Behind Enemy Lines and Increased XP), and system events. Short answer: Yes! We're planning lots of cool events this year.
Dom: We're also looking forward to getting your feedback on how much you enjoy each event so that we can make sure to provide you with the right events on a regular basis. When you fill in the survey at the end of each event, you help us make sure we're making plans to provide the right gameplay environment for your needs.
Sean: One last thing I'd like to mention: We're shooting to have Aion 2.5 on our player test servers (PTS) at the end of April or beginning of May, so you'll all have a chance very soon to see it for yourselves!
Patch 2.5 Graphic Update
You can see the differences that are on the way with the graphic update included with patch 2.5, click the images below for a close-up.
Player of the Month
First Name: Ville
Main Aion Character: Vipuna
Favorite Item: Seed of Transformation
Favorite Skill: Break Power
Favorite Place in Aion: Gelkmaros
How did you get started in video gaming, and what led you to Aion?
For the most part, I have played first-person shooters. I like grinding and getting better items to upgrade my character, so I started playing MMOs. My first MMO was Perfect World. It is a pretty nice game and offers good PvP, but the designers made a bad patch, and I stopped playing it. After that, I started playing Aion with a few friends.
What do you like best about Aion?
When Aion released, it was perfect for me, with its balance of PvE and PvP. The endgame PvP is also good, but lately it seems that every patch reduces the PvP content ratio.
I hope NCSOFT reduces the number (or strength) of the guard mobs in Balaurea so that we can have some decent PvP without getting killed by the guard mobs or other NPCs.
That's why PvE zones are so good for PvP. There are lot fewer mobs than anywhere else, and most of those mobs were passive, so they don't aggro if you run past them.
Can you tell us more about the Legion you're in?
I joined Aetheris when I transferred from Spatalos to Perento. Aetheris is a small Legion with people who know each other pretty well. Lately many people have quit, so our Legion is even smaller. We still do stuff with each other, though.
Have you enjoyed the recent Daevadome and A Call for Spies and Soldiers PvP events?
Daevadome was a step in the right direction and definitely better than other events because it was about PvP. I think it should be organized differently in the future to make it more fun.
I appreciated the 50% less Abyss Point (AP) loss [feature of A Call for Spies and Soldiers]. At the moment, I am governor, and I lose 14k AP when I die, but I can only make back 10k AP due to the short-time AP gain cap. I am also sure there is no limit to losing AP, so I can die five times in row and lose 70k AP total, and then I can only make back 10k of that lost AP before I have to leave the keyboard for 30 minutes to be able to get another 10k AP.
Why did you choose to be a Templar? What do you like about that class? Would you ever consider rolling a different class purely for PvP?
It's always hard to choose what character you are going to play. I don't want to try out all of the classes because I feel like it's a waste of time.
I saw the pulling skill of a Templar in some videos, and it inspired me. I imagined how I could use that for everything. This Aion-Asmodian Templar PvP video finally confirmed my choice to play a Templar.
I am very happy with my Templar. I knew it would be hard work to gear up with it, but as I upgraded my gear, it got easier, and I could do more challenging stuff.
Templars are also pretty powerful in PvP, even though most people think they are not. After getting some PvP-oriented gear, it's not hard if you know what you are doing.
I have been thinking about making a Gladiator, Sorcerer, or Ranger for PvP, but those notions usually end when I start to think how long it takes to get to maximum character level and win all that gear.
So with patch 2.5 coming very soon, have you checked the patch notes? Are you excited about this incoming patch?
I don't usually scrutinize patch notes. I scan them to get the gist and then see what other people are talking about that is mentioned in the notes. I'm not overly excited about the PvE instances in the 2.5 update. They're okay, but I would like to see PvP arenas in the future, not just PvE arenas.
I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the new Eternal Grade PvP and playing the new daily quests in Silentera Canyon. Hopefully, these will encourage players to participate in PvP.
Oh, actually, the user interface (UI) and graphic upgrades will also be very nice additions to the game.
You're arguably one of the most feared PvPers on your server. Do you like the fact that players organize groups to take you down?
I PvP a lot, and I think I have more experience in PvP than most people have. Yes, at some point, my friends started sending me screenshots of Asmodians organizing alliances to hunt me down. I made funny pictures from them.
It's quite amusing that people think I am so hard to take down. Well-geared Templars are scary, I guess, because they deal good damage and have good defense capabilities, but every class has its strong points.
I duel with other Elyos, and they can win against me one on one. Asmodians should be able to take me down one on one also, but usually they don't even try.
Crafting is the art of creating something from less expensive raw materials. One day every crafter trying to achieve his or her peak, the top of the profession, begins creating his or her masterpiece.
A lot of crafters out there try to create a masterpiece. Some of them create weapons or armour of extraordinary beauty, but they never reach the pinnacle of their profession with that final masterpiece. How can you reach that final step? Here are some hints.
Get the Right Recipe. It all starts with the right recipe. To create a masterpiece, you'll need to create a great item step by step out of a normal item. All the recipes you need are drops that can be found in Balaurea except the final recipe. The final recipe, the Master Carved recipe, must be purchased from a Shugo that roams through Balaurea from time to time.
Craft Subcomponents in Advance. You can do a lot of stuff prior to getting the recipes to avoid some bottlenecks that may lead to breaks in your crafting process. Heliotrope crystals are one of these bottlenecks. You will need 6 to 14 of these crystals (depending on the recipe), and you can only craft one every 24 hours. It's a good idea to start crafting these crystals as soon as possible to make sure you have them handy as soon as you get your recipes.
Buy Time-Dependent Materials Smartly. In addition, you'll need carved master fragments in four different colours. You can buy them in the four Balaurean fortresses, so keep an eye on the fortresses, and make sure you visit them as soon as your faction owns them. You can only buy four carved master fragments at a time, and then you have to wait for a couple of hours to purchase more. You will need 13 carved master fragments for a complete set of armour, or 17 of them if you decide to craft the helmet, as well. Starting buying them early, that way they'll be handy when you begin your masterpiece.
Collect Regular Raw Materials and Stash Them for the Future. The final items you need to collect are the normal stuff for crafting (especially, Drenium). Collect these or morph them out of the Aether. Keep in mind that you will need a lot of these materials, so start collecting them as soon as possible.
To create a masterpiece you need more than just luck. It requires preparation and timing, as well. Once you all the materials you need crafted, purchased, or collected, you are ready to start crafting your masterpiece. Who knows, perhaps you'll soon create your own final masterpiece. Good luck!
Ta Ta For Now my lovelies,
Another glance at Supplements
Supplements were originally introduced in Aion 1.9 in the form of Lesser Supplements, purchasable from vendors in Sanctum and Pandaemonium. Two higher-level forms of Supplements have since been introduced, one purchasable from your own fortresses in Balaurea and the other from the fortresses in your enemy's home territory in Balaurea.
If you are like me, you gave the Lesser Supplements a quick look in 1.9 and then moved on. In those days, I really couldn't afford the cost. With the increase in drop rates introduced in 2.1, the cost of Supplements does not have the same impact it did then. You might find the use of Supplements worthwhile if you can afford them. I visited the vendors again to examine the Supplements and their use with Enchantment Stones.
One caveat about Supplements: This assessment is not, nor is it intended to be, a large-scale test of Supplements. It is a brief, one-off visit on the impact of using Supplements when enchanting an item. Because of the small scale, randomness still impacts the results quite a bit. However, I wanted to see if I could discern a tangible difference in enchanting items with or without Supplements, and if the cost of these Supplements was worth the effort. I tried to use the lowest-level Enchantment Stones I could in order to reveal a tangible difference with the Supplements.
For my first foray into Supplements, I chose used a L30 Gold Archon Leather Jerkin. I ran a sample test using Fabled Lesser Supplements and then again using Fabled Supplements from my home territory Balaurean fortresses. I used stacks of 100 L40 Enchantment Stones, stones only 10 levels above the item I wanted to enchant. Normally, I wouldn't have tried these stones, but I wanted to highlight any tangible difference in the results using the Supplements I did.
Sample 1A: Lesser Fabled Supplements and L40 Enchantment Stones
Considering the level of the stone, the bonus from that level of Supplement was not tangible and would not hold up to the cost of the Supplements.
Sample 1B: Fabled Supplements and L40 Enchantment Stones
Considering the level of the stone, the bonus from that level of Supplement had a tangible effect.
Given the interesting results from using Fabled Supplements, I decided to try higher-level stones and use much higher-level gear. Since I found a tangible difference in one of my samples, perhaps the cost of using these Supplements for the highest-level gear would be something I would risk. Again, I used the lowest-level stones I would want to try and still hope to see a tangible result. I tested using both no Supplements and using the Supplements available at my home territory Balaurean fortresses.
Sample 2A: No Supplements and L75 Enchantment Stones
Considering the level of the stone, I got what I expected.
Sample 2B: Fabled Supplements and L75 Enchantment Stones
Considering the level of the stone, I got a result with some promise. I might see better results using a slightly higher-level stone, and I felt that the level of Supplements moderately improved my success. However, the cost for that level of stone may still be prohibitive.
Sample 3A: No Supplements and L80 Enchantment Stones
I made no real progress trying to enchant Stormwing's Jerkin using such a low-level stone (level 80).
Sample 3B: Eternal Supplements and L80 Enchantment Stones
Eternal grade Supplements made a tangible difference in enchanting Stormwing's Jerkin. I gotten better results using a slightly higher-level stone (at least L85) and the use of Supplements did improve my success. The improved enchanting success was evident, but one must balance the cost of these Supplements and the level of stone you use.
Overall, I was glad I took a second look at Supplements. Though these tests were not necessarily indicative of a larger sample size, they did provide a useful glimpse into Supplements. Given my own experience, using Supplements can be a useful option, particularly when using the higher-grade Supplements from Balaurea. However, the cost of these Supplements must be carefully weighed, along with the level of stone you are using for enchantment. While using these supplements won't guarantee 100% success, the higher-grade Supplements offer you an additional option for enchanting high-level gear.
Atreian Stock Market
Welcome to our third segment about Atreia's stock market. Let's see what the world of the Trade Broker brings us this month, shall we?
The hottest enchantment stone on the market since last month became the L70 stone, even with its steep price. That means that it's time to cash in on the decreasing prices of lower level enchantment stones. Manastones heated up this month, beating even enchantment stones in sales. Crafting resources also trended up. Crafters were obviously spending time improving their trades!
Fewer Stigma Shards sold this month, but the price of Stigma Shards rose over the course of the month. This trend is unlike Expert Special Greater Weapon Fluxes, which not only went up in price, but also increased in sales volume.
Medal sales were stable this month. We wouldn't recommend getting into trading medals quite yet if you want a high yield for your Kinah. However, if you're looking for long-term gain, then feel free to start cornering that market.
Luichinchinerk reminds you that Daevas who play the Atreian stock market take a risk. It may seem that we're in a bull market, but a Daeva could still end up with NYERK. Akakakakakak!
From Daevas to Daevas
"Me, mean? Only yesterday, I was making you run all around Mitrakand, taking care of your cardiovascular health and having you do some sports. I created a custom-made fitness trail, helping reducing the NHS deficit and no legion of honor? It's really heart-breaking!" - Aphro (Suthran)
"What is the difference between Ragnarok and the police? There is none. Both are lurking at the roadside, both are always there when you don't want them to be there both have a huge aggro range and both will punish you if you weren't observant." - Aresterruz (Kromede)
"+1000 NCSOFT. Glad to see our game company cares about Japan. It feels good to play an NCSOFT game. A very generous step <3" - Mucklpu (Telemachus)
"Wow, thank you! I've looked for guides like this before, but this one blows them all out of the water in organization and completion. (in response to Rillas's Aion Fashion Show)" - Storm (Israphel)
"I love the fact that Legions can use their own designs for a cape. That is absolutely amazing. I've never seen it before in any game!" - Starbright (Zikel)
Artwork of Note
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but whether it's a painting or a screenshot retouched in Photoshop, members of our Aion community use their extensive talents to make beautiful things. This month, we're bringing you a selection of art from our EU forums.
Lucifer of Kromede:
Saphir of Balder:
Sorian of Telemachus created this beautiful Wallpaper:
Brae from Spatalos:
Knowledge is Power
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The Eye on Community article series is a way for us to highlight current, interesting, wacky, passionate, intriguing, dramatic, or just plain awesome things going on in the community. Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Aion Community Team