A couple of weeks ago my husband and I bought TERA. It’s a beautiful game, no doubt, with great combat and … and …
The trouble with new games (and I fully realise that companies have to draw the line somewhere) is that there’s no fluff. I love my fluff. TERA was fun and exciting for the week or so I played it until I realised that all I’m going to be doing is questing. I love questing, but when I’m sick of it, I like to be able to take an in-game break and do other things. Crafting needs serious attention, there are no non-combat pets, no housing, no fishing, no random items lying around to find. It’s these little extras that draw me into the world, make me wake up wanting to advance my character. I’ll come back to TERA because it has a lot of potential, but I’ll come back when it’s matured.
While I was playing TERA though, I was reminded of Aion and decided to take a peek and see what the game is like now. I remember a visually pretty but grindy game. The fact that it’s now free-to-play also helped, it doesn’t even have to count as an addition to my purchased games if that’s the case :D (see, I use ALL forms of justification).
Aion has come a long way. Although it’s not graphically up-to-par with TERA and doesn’t run as smoothly, it has a bundle of fluff. And by a bundle, I mean shit loads.
The MMO with the best housing was always Everquest 2 for me. To my surprise, Aion’s housing is just as good and you get your first little place for free. You can place your furniture wherever you want. You have plants (not sure if there are other things yet) that give you presents every day, plants that are there for friends to nurture, items that you can make for your house with crafting (that you can also use for storage) etc etc etc. I believe that you can display trophies, although I’m only level 24 so far, so I haven’t been able to try that out myself yet. Oh yes, you even have a butler, who offers you a daily quest and will greet your guests with whatever message you want.
I love the non-combat pets in Aion. There are loads of them, they are all interactive to some extent and dig coins out of the ground for you on occasion. Some can carry extra loads for you (like the vehicles in Fallen Earth), some can alert you to the presence of enemies. They are just generally good company :)
Crafting is pretty much the same, although they now have construction to make bits and pieces for your house, and something called Morphing which I haven’t really delved into yet. Crafting makes use of work orders to help you level so that you don’t have to use all your precious gathered items. I’m finding I’m levelling up with work orders and then just making the recipes that I find useful out of my gathered items. I do love the way the crafting stations are all animated.
Aion now has mounts, although I’m not big enough to use them yet (this reminds me of Vanilla Wow and the feeling of achievement I got when I FINALLY reached 40 and had saved up enough money for my mount). The quests are varied, the combat challenging (although not too much, particularly if you’re playing with a friend), and the world pretty. There’s a tonne to do, and still so much to discover. Oh, I nearly forgot flying, flying is awesome, and it will be fun to try it in PvP which I haven’t quite reached yet (I need to get to the Abyss). Loving it all so far :).
I’ve been playing Aion again for a whole week now … let’s see how long I last. If Guild Wars 2 holds off (pre-purchased), and I don’t buy Secret World, and I’m not tempted to roll a Panda I should be right for a couple of months … maybe.