The merges, in my experience, have been a rousing success even if my server’s Elyos / Asmo PvP balance is fubar (Israphel).
Continue reading ‘First Impressions of the Aion Server Merges’


A response to Anti-Aliased which argues, in short, that MMOs should not wait until one reaches a certain point in order to bestow their greatness, they should be good right from the get go. Something that actually, despite the response, I agree with completely. I think that new games do a poor job of showing the actual game to a new player. For example if your game involves weaving multiple skills together in a group in order to achieve a result, having players start with one skill and no chains until level 20 does not make levels 1-19 any good.

RPGs, by their nature, are about personal investment.

MMORPGs were, as a result, about time investment and group play.

MMOs (I’d argue WoW was the first) are about the game.
Continue reading ‘MMOs Must. Be. Fun. OR ELSE!’


Aion Part Deux

27Jun10

Response to Aion & the level grind. I think not reaching the Abyss and completing a recap of the game was a missed opportunity to see all the game offers.

WoW is so popular because they put the grind at the end of the game, as someone already mentioned.

However as a direct result of that: There is no meaningful gear from
1-(Max Level – 1) in WoW.

There are things you can do in “Asian” games while you’re leveling
that will benefit you at end game. In WoW you’re limited to crafting
and your PvP trinket. Examples abound in FFXI (which has a level
capping system … or it did anyway … to make those items shine,
but with specialized gear uniquely suited for one or two specific
uses, this niche may be useful until end game) but also in Aion
(Titles, Wings, Abyss jewelry, armor sets, speed boots, attack speed gloves,
etc).
Continue reading ‘Aion Part Deux’


MMOs are interesting to me now, having played them for 11 years or so. I think most games would be much better understood if you started at level cap and experienced the level grind in a flashback that you could stop whenever you wanted, but which earned you your skills as you did it (otherwise you could just PvP or do end game with no skills, not great, but at least you saw the game!)

My point being, Aion is a PvPvE game and it’s important (in my opinion) to get a feel for the primary part of the game (the PvP part) if you want to get a feel for the game as a whole. That doesn’t start until 20 (if you want to Rift or fight Rifters), or 25 if you want to see the Abyss. The Abyss is unarguably the coolest part of Aion, so for the sake of the review, at least experience it.
Continue reading ‘Aion – A Beginner’s Guide?’


I just typed this up as a response to a forum post off the top of my head but now I’m wondering: for goal-oriented (non-social) organizations in a game, is this really true? Or are there other issues at work.

I also have gone through many guild merges (they’re called guilds in World of Warcraft and Everquest) and what’s necessary, always, is one of three things:

One shell must be so weak that they merge because otherwise they will disband due to lack of members (this will develop eventually into clique syndrome, but the clique might be inbred enough to survive the merge, esp. if the shell is that small).

One shell must be so strong that leaving them would be suicide (think: 1 shell has all teh bots, the other doesn’t).

Both shells’ leaders need the other (most times one side assumes the other needs them, and then it turns out they didn’t after they get kicked once the banks have been merged. Yes I’ve seen this happen first hand), normally this happens when one shell has all the tanks, the other all the casters.


This is a forum post from Blue Gartr which is one of the premier end-game forums on FFXI in the world.  Recently there was a decision to merge Advanced and Standard together, resulting in a lot of questions about the reasons behind the move.  Specifically the most major difference between the two forums is that Advanced threatens to ban or delete posts that are not “Advanced” while Standard protects posters from those same “Sharks”.

I felt the mods made a bad decision in maintaining the Advanced forum (and its entire philosophy).

Enjoy!

Continue reading ‘The New Standard’


I realized that titling this post the time since I last posted made sense (in that I’ve rarely posted twice in a row in a while) but the new title makes more sense.

I began Chains of Promathia last October (possibly September but I don’t think so). Rajas Ring (though originally it was Tamas Ring) has been a goal of mine for a long, long time.

1-3 : “Static” with original friends playing the game for one Promy. Pickup Promys (many failures) finally led my own Promys after my friends left for good (though Draethor remained). This was definitely still a part of my newbie phase and I played a lot of follow the leader. Ironically I would revisit this later as a leader myself.

2-3 (Minotaur) – Pick Up alliance. Was interesting, I have a screenshot here, that was in June (6/9/07)when I came back after playing WoW last winter. 1/1

Check4

2-5 (Mammets) was with a CoP static that I joined, an offshoot of the Minotaur alliance I believe. We absolutely kersmashed this fight with a Nin, Nin, Blu/nin tank trio. I went Red Mage and screwed up my first ever usage of Convert to die, but we still won (I had RR). I believe Kiaara was here, Dragonking, it featured my meeting Bobandtom and Draethor helped out (he was already ahead of me at this point, he surpassed me during the WoW phase). This was completed in July. 1/1

chapter 3

Chapter 3 (Diabolos) – I did this with my static as well, Kiaara (as Dimitrii), Draethor, Bobandtom … I think that was it. We also 1/1’d this. Debonair was probably there too (as well as at 2-5?). This was completed in August of this year.

COP4

Chapter 4 (Ouryu) Death of the 2nd static. We couldn’t beat Ouryu as we were and this took a long time. I think I actually ended up PuG-ing this mission as BLM. We bursted Aeroga II as per my strategy with a PLD and Samurai skillchain. It worked beautifully as there were 2 BLM. It was still very close but we 1/1’d.

Chapter 4 -> Chapter 5 was a long time. Though I completed Chapter 3 in August and Ouryu soon after, I wouldn’t actually bother to receive the Chapter 5 cut scene until 9/11/2007, almost a month later. You can see in this screenshot Alukards and Trindane, two of my real life friends. I actually ended up running Trindane and another ex-friend (we won’t mention him here) through ALL of the Promys again to catch them up, but we never got to the Minotaur battle before they both quit. 😦

7 (in case you’re wondering, we’re talking about Royal Jelly. It was really easy. We got a ring that day!)

Chapter 5 was the new static, consisting of Sagari, Sephrin, Sklyar, Altimaomega, myself and Ferien. That was a great static. Sagari was the leader and was just amazing. We banged out missions of CoP multiple times a week, rocked Pso’xja, destroyed all the fights of Mission 5-3 (the longest chapter)…it was grand. That static lasted to 6-4 (the first airship) and sadly died before we could complete it. We 1/1’d every fight we fought.

4

Chapter 7 greeted me here a few weeks back after 1/1’ing the Airship (assuming a 1/1 counts as the first time you actually see Omega =P). It was a complete PUG, and a bit of a mess, but we did have 6 (yes, 6) CCBs. We still had a fairly tough time with Omega, but Ultima was a blur of CCB stuns. Chapter 7 itself wasn’t bad, the Tenzen fight was a fairly unspectacular zerg and that was done Saturday of last weekend. We did wipe about 6x in a row on the Carpenter’s Landing fight (yay for bad kiting lol). I met Pierro here again, who I met for the first time in an XP party in Mount Z on Samurai, and then later we did 6-4 together too. 1/1 on Tenzen.

3

And finally Chapter 8. 8-2 was the longest walk ever, Pierro was there, even Draethor showed back up! He went missing from my journey after Ouryu! I was happy he was back as he had taken a few weeks to play FF: Tactics, plus it was good to finally be caught up to him in the Missions. He got the map during 8-2, but I screwed up and didn’t (frowns). We pushed on to 8-3, which was one of the few missions I can’t say we 1/1’d. It was everyone in the Promathia screenshot though some were different jobs. I actually am responsible for this failure (reminiscent of the Convert disaster of 2-5) as I ES+Sleepga’d the pots before they woke up (I saw them change forms and panicked). We still won with ease on the second go around, as I sleepga’d correctly. Also the 8-3 maze wasn’t really that bad, thanks to Appreciation picking up the slack. I was able to lead us once I finally understood the path and what was happening on Erecia’s guide (simply, amazing guide). I was surprised by how easy the 8-3 path was to the pots (after the obligatory wipe through the pot room), after 8-2 and 8-3’s race towers I really expected to get destroyed fighting our way there.

And of course, 8-4, below. So all in all, 13 months. It really accelerated in June for me, but then paused in September for Promys, and then paused again for a few weeks last month before 6-4, but it was well worth it. Easily the greatest accomplishment in my Final Fantasy career to date. The ending cutscene definitely affected me, the music, the full screen cinematic, the Cardinal alone on the hill as the sun set … this was everything I want in a game.

It was amazing.

6

5

final