This is my first of perhaps several blog entries. I’ve never done blogging before, and am picking it up mostly because I tend to be very verbose when I have something to express and end up making tons of tweets over Twitters. I figured a blog could be more efficient in that regard.
This blog is going to be mainly oriented toward Aion, through the perspective of me playing my character, Jenya (whom is pictured above, on Aion’s character select screen).
A bit about me, perhaps? I’m Fred, I’m a young adult still living at his folks, and I’m pursuing a career in the videogame industry - presently, I’m a Quality Assurance Tester at THQ Montreal with something like 40 titles under my belt thus far.
Some gaming favorites of mine include old RPGs such as Star Control II, Valkyrie Profile and Planescape:Torment; visual novels such as Fate/Stay Night; mecha simulators like Mechwarrior 3; action/adventure games like Mass Effect and games from the Mega Man series. I’m presently playing on-and-off the Star Trek Online MMORPG, toying around with Borderlands and, obviously, playing Aion. Games I’m looking forward to include Fate/Extra, the upcoming Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 3 next year and perhaps Neverwinter beyond that.
I’m also a fan of anime, though it’s a pretty casual hobby - I don’t consider myself an otaku, don’t go to conventions and such. I usually peer over anime blogs and listen to a few subbed episodes weekly.
My interest in Aion was initially pretty low. Years back, I was there on the launch of NCSoft’s Lineage 2 and ended up feeling rather burnt by the game’s punishing penchant for advancement via grinding, and its punishing approach to PvP. When I saw Aion announced, it’s aesthetics were so similar to L2’s that I expected the same-old and was pretty much ready to swear off NCSoft.
Years later came the 2.5 update, which included more attractive graphics, a mentoring system, a free trial and an incentive program to play Asmodeans. The timing was good, considering I was pining for a new game to play, and I tried it out.
I created a caster class: I had my fill of healing from my Startrek MMO, so I chose a mage. I tweaked through the impressively expansive appearance customization options and created myself a character. Choosing what I wanted was hard, since I suffer from a degree of colorblindness. I eventually settled on a red-eyed elfin-looking female asmodean with bluish-gray skin and blue-lavender hair (or so I thought). I initially wanted longer hair, but seeing it would often clip with collars, I instead switched to a kind of ponytail that dropped down on her left side.
Sidenote, while on that topic: I’m of the school of thought that I’d rather look at a girl’s behind if I’m going to play a character for an extended period of time. That motivation was no different for making Jenya. Years back when I was a teen, I even - for reasons I considered roleplay-related - passed myself as a girl… though that trend wore off when I noticed that admitting I lied about myself to people I grew close to was more embarrassing than it was worth for the deception.
When I started playing Aion, what initially really stirred my enthusiasm for the game was the first time my freshly new mage struck a combat stance, flipping her spellbook open with smoldering red eyes as a battle tune picked up. Just that impressed me, and made me eager to see more.
I enjoyed the cutscene element (though it could’ve used more polish) and my Ascension visions made something of an impression - especially regarding the outfit picture for my character in the future vision - an outfit that to this day I tried sticking to… at least until I face my archnemesis Hellion (since I’m “fated” to wear it until I’ve faced him, at least! :D ).
When I got to choose a class, I was torn between Sorcerer and Spiritmaster. Since I enjoyed significant success with one of my Lineage 2 character whom was an Elemental Master (a pet class as well), I picked Spiritmaster… though I admit I often second-guess that, as I wonder if Sorcerer wouldn’t have been more satisfying and better compatible with Aion’s flight mechanic.
I eventually ran through the end of my trial, hitting level 20 in Altgard just shy of reaching the ruins of Impetusium. I wanted to see more, so I subscribed. Aion was, in my mind, far superior to Lineage 2: less grindy, less jumping through fiery hoops to achieve anything, and the faction based PvP is done much better.
Today, Jenya is level 50 and sitting there for the time being to enjoy some content only available for level 50s - it’s still pretty close to the current level cap of 55 - which is much better than I ever usually manage in MMOs. Her focus is more summoning than crowd-control, since my PvP skills as a player as still lacking (I still hope to improve).I feel like I’m settling fairly well, my skill having grown beyond my initial ‘newb-ness’, with an assortment of adventuring friends and a Legion (Aion’s guild equivalent) that I feel comfortable with. I’m presently working on finishing a lower level elite PvP set, and chipping away at a very expansive quest series to obtain the Fenris cloth armor set (it’s one of the weaker endgame armors in the game).
So, that’s enough for this halfhazard wall of text. Perhaps more later. :)