HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

I want to play Aion

Aion: the large courtyard in Pandaemonium

Aion: the large courtyard in Pandaemonium

A couple of people have mentioned the soon to be released fantasy MMORPG, Aion, and have gotten me interested. Aion has a fantasy setting and it looks very very pretty. So far so good!

The PVP is described as open warfare but the emphasis isn’t on one-vs-one combat. How this is going to differ to world PVP on WoW PVP realms I’m not quite sure.

PvPvE is an acronym that stands for Player versus Player versus Environment. The term PvPvE encapsulates the flow of the constant and dynamic war that rages in the Abyss between both player factions and the Balaur, a nonplayable race of brutal creatures.

Perhaps it will feel more like Princess Delrissa in Magister’s Terrace – a PVE simulated 5v5 arena event – where the NPCs act more like individuals engaged in free-thinking PVP than monsters with predictable melee attacks, threat tables and timed abilities.

I’ve checked out some videos and the official website and I’ve made the decision: I want to play this game. But then everything unraveled.

Aion is not Mac compatible

It never occured to me that Aion would not run on my Mac – everything else runs on my Mac! Isn’t that the whole point of the Universal system? Anyway, apparently they’re using some 3D graphic engine that’s Windows proprietary. There’s some discussion about how it shouldn’t be too difficult for the developer to produce a Mac client for the game, but yes, it would cost money. The developer has stated they have absolutely no plans to produce a Mac client for the game.

There is a workaround. I can buy and install Windows and use an application on my Mac that will allow me to reboot and load up Windows, then launch Aion. None of this will be supported by the game developer, so you have to just cross your fingers that nothing goes wrong. I swore years ago that I would never be forced to use Windows again. I can’t see me breaking this vow for 1 game.

Aion has no Oceanic-based servers

QVS has stated it will be distributing the NA (North-American) version of Aion to its [Australian] customers.

Well World of Warcraft doesn’t have Oceanic-based servers either, I hear you say. And it’s probably my biggest complaint with the game. There’s a fantastic review of the game at Australian Gamer Preview that I would encourage all Aion-maybe-players to read says it perfectly:

It makes sense to create a specific server for Australia, and host it in their Korean data centre, a major network hub a minor hop from Australia where they would already have servers. I call on QVSoftware and NCSoft to do exactly that. Releasing a product here includes supporting it properly, and that includes the infrastructure to enable players to have an adequate experience.

I didn’t know anything about latency when I started playing WoW – I just followed the prompts. Now it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth is. Giving in and purchasing a new game with the same problem makes me feel that I’m conceeding – agreeing that I don’t deserve an equal playing experience because I live on this side of the globe and playing with 400ms+ is OK.

Again this issue (as it is with WoW) comes down to maintenance/outlay cost. Although there has never been any official word from Blizzard as to why plans to host an Australian based server were cancelled, generally it is thought to be a combination of hosting costs and – dare I say it – monetary incentive. I mean, we already pay the same fee and play on U.S. servers, largely without complaint.

Must Read Review

I loved this review from a Aion Beta Australian player, Matt, who is also a World of Wacraft player:

Australian Gamer Preview :: Aion
http://www.australiangamer.com/preview/2384_aion.html

Is it worth the pain?

I wasn’t the least bit interested when Age of Conan or WARhammer was released. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about Fury until it was cancelled. Aion is the first MMO to really catch my interest since I began playing World of Warcraft. I guess I’m not part of their target market for their September release since I don’t live in North America and use a PC.

I won’t be gaining decent ping times. No longer will I be able to flick between my game and Firefox smooth as silk (I love you Mac OS). Logging in to play Aion will force me to completely restart my machine and face Windows – ugh. Is the actual game experience going to make up for all of that?

Unlikely.

16 Responses to “I want to play Aion”

  1. gnomeangelNo Gravatar says

    Great review! You’ve certainly peaked my interest, unfortunately I’m in the same boat. I run a Mac house, and I love my Mac too much to two time on it with a windows based game…. I think…

    It’s a shame they’re snubbing the Mac and Australian market. Hopefully they’ll learn that just because we’re Australian doesn’t mean we don’t have buying power.

    I checked out the main site & the concept looks great. I was really excited to see the inclusion of wings. (I don’t know why, but winged creatures in WoW would really rock my world!) Unfortunately there’s no images of these in the screenshots… are they only conceptual and not working? I don’t know – I’ll have to do some more research ;)

    Thanks for taking the time to write this up – really enjoyed it! :)

  2. gnomeangelNo Gravatar says

    Whoops – just checked out http://www.aionsource.com/photoplog/index.php?c=1

    Wings must be a level thing… which would make sense if flying is similar to the skill in WoW

  3. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    From what I’ve seen I think flying is more like a Druid shapeshifting – it’s more organic – perhaps it is even growing your own wings.

    I think I did read somewhere that there are no-fly zones, and these can crop up in unexpected places, but the high level zones are intended for flighted combat.

  4. There are several virtual machines for the Mac that allow you to integrate a Windows desktop directly into OSX: VMware Fusion is probably the best of the lot.

    That said, just because there’s a way to make running Windows less painful on your Mac doesn’t mean you should do it. The lack of a Mac client means I won’t even look at Aion.
    .-= Cynwise of Stormwind’s last blog … The Cataclysm Bucket List =-.

  5. The game is great, but the flying part make me a bit headache. For sure it’s good that something like this come at the market.
    .-= Aion Community’s last blog … Big Website modifications =-.

  6. Jeff LNo Gravatar says

    I’ve been looking for something to replace WoW.. it’s too bad, i would’ve picked this up if they had Mac support.

  7. GilzsterNo Gravatar says

    Just came upon this blog post while surfing…. felt i had to comment…

    Seriously guys… just the fact that someone can be “loyal” to an operating system completely blows my mind.

    Macs can now run BOTH operating systems, so why on earth wouldn’t you.
    Windows based systems are obviously the norm, which may suck, but that is the way it is. I know that if i had the option to run the MAC OS on my PC i would. It’s called “options”.

    That being said, i think you are a complete moron if that is the only thing that is stopping you from trying out a game that you think you may enjoy.

    I’m a LOOOONG time wow player by the way, and i totally plan on giving Aion i try. The wole “there are no Aussie” server excuses just don’t hold up, since you’re playing and enjoying WoW.

    So really, the only legit reason is that it doesn’t run on MAC. But in my opinion (Which all of this is of course), if you have access to a copy of Windows and STILL won’t give it a go… it’s probably because you really don’t want to, and are still into wow too much to take the plunge.

    Enough lame excuses…

    Aion looks Fantastic. NCSoft has a bad record, so i’m not holding my breath that it will be the next huge MMO. But you never know until you try!

  8. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    LOL. Spoken like a PC user.

    I beg to differ. If you could truly run MAC OS on your pc, you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t pay xxx hundred dollars to restart your machine to run – what – 1 game.

    I HATE that there are no locally (anything on this side of the globe would be preferable) based servers for WoW. Would I quit WoW over it? Nope. Would I start another game with the same fault? Nope.

  9. GilzsterNo Gravatar says

    Actually i would install MAC OS if given the chance, just like i run linux on my pc along with my windows install. (I’m in IT and running a linux dist makes some remote work for me easier). I love having multiple options when it comes to OS’s and Apps to go with them.

    And to quote myself:
    “if you have access to a copy of Windows and STILL won’t give it a go…”

    I would NEVER pay for an OS for personal use…ever…
    So i agree with you on this one, if you can’t get your hands on a copy of Windows without paying for it, don’t bother.

    I also hate that there are no locally hosted WoW servers, but you ARE still playing it.
    And so you say you would never start a new game if they had the same flaw… ok..

    So what happens when they release WoW2 ?? (For example of course, will never happen), will this argument still hold? Just say It is a new game hosted on American servers… will you give it a go? I reckon you would.

    This is because you love wow, and have a mild case of “Fanboi” syndrome.
    You may not admit it, but every hardcore wow player has it. And that is becasue WoW is awesome! ;)

  10. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Sure I love WoW. I wouldn’t be blogging about it if I didn’t like it. I’ve been playing for over 3 years now. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to enjoying another MMO. I can enjoy WoW but I do believe that it’s possible for another game to be as good, if not significantly better.

    I didn’t write this article to dissuade players from trying Aion. I wanted to play it. I told several people I would play it. Based on the concept, the promotional gameplay videos, I was sold.

    So just because, once I thought about the reality of playing a game using Windows + Bootcamp, not supported if something messed up my system, and suffering from the same latency problems as WoW, I changed my mind.

    I can be a fan of WoW and still keep an open mind to other games.

  11. JDNo Gravatar says

    For the record you can run Mac OS on a windows pc it’s called a hacintosh and I run it on two of my laptops specifically for educational purposes of teaching people how to use MACs. I personally have nothing for or against Mac, and being that I am a gamer I will always choose pc’s over Mac’s as my choice machine. However I’m not going to get into the debate over which is better and why as both sides are 100% debatable to a T for both to win and regardless of what someone may want to claim it does come down to nothing more than a matter of opinion.

    As far as you Ozzies latency issues look into http://gamepath.net/ this will clear up 99% of your latency problems in any game. Yes it will cost you 30 Days usage: $6.00 USD. However your mac users =). If price was really the issue….nah nevermind wont go there =P (just poking some fun at you guys)

    Summary:
    Latency easily fixable via Gamepath
    Windows on a mac Bootcamp is free, Fusion costs cash but no boot required download a pirated copy of windows your G2G
    Mac on Windows research Hacintosh, not gonna tell you how to do it =P

    Aion is playable for you if you really want to play it.

  12. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    Gamepath looks to use a similar model as Lowerping, Smoothping, WoWtunnels etc and requires you to purchase and use the Mac App called WoW2Go in addition to their monthly fee. I’ve trialled several of these services and couldn’t stand WoW2Go (when it would connect at all it would freeze and suddenly force quit within minutes).

    Several of my guild members use these services on their PCs and they are not without their own issues. It’s not uncommon for 5 people to suddenly disconnect when their WoWtunnels server flips out.

    How is running Windows on a Mac free? Yes, Bootcamp is free. You still need to purchase a legitimate copy of Windows. I can’t imagine Microsoft ever giving away free copies of Windows.

    Absolutely you can play Aion on a Mac. Anything is possible, right? However these requirements are taking it too far for an end user like me.

    I would never expect a Windows user to purchase and run Mac OS to play a game or use 1 application. I don’t think that’s fair on the user.

  13. InsaneAINo Gravatar says

    Come on Mac people.. Just give in… Give in to Emperor Gates. :)

    Honestly, most video games that are computer based, are also Windows based. This is the primary reason why I’m still running Windows on my machine (I would rather use Linux).

    You can always do what I’ve done! Build yourself a gaming computer and put Windows on it, and only use it for playing video games, and keep your Mac for everything else…

  14. 追蹤器No Gravatar says

    About time! Someone with some information on this. You’d think considering how popular Comic Book Adaptations are nowadays, some information would actually be pretty easy to find. Apparently not. Anyway, thanks for this! I appreciate it!

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