Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Warcraft 101: I always come back

So I’ve been trying a new MMO, one that just went free to play.  It is a fun game, and Joe’s brother, his wife, and another friend play this MMO almost exclusively.

The MMO in question is Aion, an obscenely beautiful game.  The character creation screen is incredibly robust, you can make your character look nearly exactly as you want, from skin tone to hair color, height to weight.  There are a ton of fun elements in the game, but I always feel the urge to compare to WoW, and WoW almost always wins, and I’d like to tell you why.

The character creation screen--holy crap options!

Reason #1: Health and mana regen rates.  In WoW, the regen rates when you are not in combat are not terribly fast, but you have an appreciable amount occurring, enough that you don’t have to drink a potion after each pull.  In Aion, however, you need to rest after each kill, and it takes literally forever.  If you can’t regen before a respawn, there is a problem.

Reason #2: Non-connected flight points.  In WoW, if you want to go from one end of the map to another, you find the flight master in the town you are in, and click on the town you want to go to.  If there are towns inbetween, you still have a continual flight, you just pass by each town on your way.  In Aion, however, you must use the central hub village in each zone to travel, and you can only do one jump at a time.  IT is super lame, and takes forever.

Reason #3: Confusing mob interface.  In WoW, if a mob is elite or special in some way, it has a gold or silver dragon around it’s picture frame.   Gold indicates elite, silver means rare.  In Aion, there is an easy to miss addition to the end of the mob’s name box.  In addition, each mob has up to six dots in it’s frame, indicating level of difficulty.  This is one of the many systems in Aion that is way more convoluted than it really needs to be.

Now, with all that said, Aion is still a fun game, and I am enjoying the heck out of it.  If you have played MMOs before, and want one that ratchets up the difficulty and complexity level, you would probably enjoy Aion.  However, if you are a beginner to the MO scene, I would definitely stick to WoW, as it is incredibly fun in a way that makes up for it’s simplicity.  There’s a reason WoW is the #1 MMO in the whole world.

Regen: The rate your health and mana pools restore to maximum levels naturally
Pull: The act of grabbing a mob’s attention to kill it
Respawn: When a killed mob is replaced by an identical alive mob.
Elite: A mob that is harder than normal to kill

WoW Glossary

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