Fall Community Address: Open Letter from Chris Hager
Greetings, Daevas of Atreia!
I can't believe it's already fall. With the turning of the season, another year has passed in the world of Aion. It's been an exciting year. From the 1.9 update in June, taking us through a fantastic games event season from PAX to gamescom, and then through the launch of our first major free retail expansion, Aion®: Assault on Balaurea™ on September 7, the game has evolved at a rapid pace. But 2010's not over yet! We have some great initiatives coming up that will keep the momentum from 2010 rolling right into 2011.
On November 10, the much-anticipated Aion 2.1 update launched on the NA and EU public test servers, and it went live on all of our servers November 17. This update, along with a host of small changes, focuses on increases in the drop rates for all creatures in the game across all levels of items. In the past, we have discussed increasing the drop rate, but we have stopped talking in this update and started doing. To make the nuts-and-bolts of this change transparent for you, we introduced the mad scientist character Victor Shugo to explain the differences. Victor performed side-by-side drop test comparisons to show you the dramatic drop rate increase. The 2.1 update is by far our most comprehensive drop rate increase, and the increase affects everything from weapons and armor to crafting fluxes. This change takes effect for all creatures in game, not just special mobs or boss mobs. If you've ever longed for an item that you thought was completely untouchable because the chance of it dropping was too low, now is your time to log in and gear up!
Earlier in 2010, we brought our character transfer service online after the server merge. A free version of that service has been a valuable workhorse for us and for you ever since. To give you some perspective, we helped over 170,000 characters find new homes via this service across North America and Europe since the middle of July. We have fulfilled our promise of free transfers for all over the past few months, and we are now preparing to transition character transfer to a paid service, where it will join the ranks of the other valuable account services currently available. The last day for free transfers will be January 5, 2011. Between now and that date, we will be working on fine tuning the race balance for each of our servers which you may notice in the form of limited transfers for Elyos or Asmodians for specific servers. We will have more information on this transition and what it means to you in the near future, so keep an eye on the website for more details. As a last favor, however, we will be giving every player account one paid transfer on us.
Security has and will always be an ongoing fight with MMOs. I'm happy to say we are stepping up our efforts and introducing a new secondary PIN system to Aion that will provide an additional layer of security to our players. This service will go live on December 1, 2010, and we will post a full FAQ in the coming days explaining exactly how it will work.
As many of you have noticed, Atreia has gotten into the holiday swing! NPCs with swimwear and inner tubes were spotted earlier at the end of the summer, and pumpkin-garbed NPCs gave out Harvest Festival quests in the capital cities, as well. We have dramatically increased our effort to provide in-game events with event-specific rewards and quests, and the results are showing. But, we aren't going to sit on our laurels after the three events we've hosted in the past two months. We have several scripted and community-inspired events accompanied by an array of quests and other in-game content. We are also planning on increasing our community and customer service interaction in game, all aimed at strengthening our relationship with you.
In closing, the Aion team has been very busy over the past several months, and the results show favorably in the richness of the ongoing game. We are hard at work on bringing exciting new content to our shores in the new year, but in the meantime, enjoy the increased drop rates of 2.1 and the holiday events coming to Atreia!
Chris "Kinslon" Hager
NCSOFT West Aion Producer