AION Beta 5 Closed – Reivew and Screenshots

After trying all the classes, and taking 3 of the classes past lv ten, I’ve explored the complete set of UI options and explored most of the UI events that take place. Here is my summary conclusion of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good: Great story, graphics will blow your mind, and flow of quests and missions will have you coming back for more.
The bad: Beta is closed, you can’t play anymore, and the beta had some serious connection issues the first night.
The ugly: The battle system and “lag” between skill click and onscreen execution may be enough to keep me on wow after I finish playing through the plot of AION. That’s too bad, I was hoping to move to AION completely from WoW.

1. SKILL LAYOUT LOCK – The first and most annoying thing was that I could not find a way to lock my skills on the UI bar. Absolutely no bugs here that I found though while using skills.
2. BATTLE SYSTEM – The blinking of skills while a skill is executing is extremely poor way to develop a battle system. I enjoyed the overall experience but AION fails to compete with World of Warcraft’s battle system in regard to smooth transitions in using skills. I have to hit the skills 4-5 times to make sure my character was going to execute it, and execute it fast. Especially with the idea of chains, I’m quite upset about this downfall.
3. GRAPHICS AND LAYOUT – The layout worked fine, with small amount of customization. The chat window was “average” but often times people could not figure out naturally how to talk to one another. At this point channels were almost useless. There are some serious issues with npc and character onscreen loads in heavy population areas. Often times I would have to re-enter areas 4-5 times before the NPC’s would load to turn in quests or talk to vendors. This seems to be more related to PC Graphics then Internet bandwidth as I found that changing the resolution (even increasing it) would reload the characters on the screen, so I began doing that instead of re-entering the areas. Hope this is fixed by the final release.
4. QUESTING and PLOT – This was by far the best part of the game. The quests were easy to find, strung togethre nicely by bringing you to new areas, identify level you should be to attempt, and map interaction was AWESOME! Plot and mini cinemas were also great. Way to blow FFXI and WoW out of the water. I can see this area is still being developed, and locating npc’s that wander should probably be updated or removed.
5. FLYING – The concept is great, and its a lot of fun to wander around that way. I think there should be some more quests that help you learn all the key ideas behind soaring, flying, and fighting while flyings. Flying around water and around areas where flying is restricted seems REALLY buggy on the graphics side. Hopefully this can be handled in some way. Also you can’t take off from water, doesn’t really seem reasonable unless you are actually swimming in it?
6. BROKERS (the auction houses) – Interface is fine, had no problems using the Brokers to buy and sell my good. The LACK of organization of items is going to be HORRIBLE in the final if there are not more filters. Lumping all the items together when thousands are posted will be a nightmare. Hope this is changed before final of good luck finding what you need.
7. PRIVATE STORES – while a great idea, its a bandwidth hog for offtime of players. Instead of encouraging players to log off and leave the server, it encourages players to setup shop, and leave there computers. If this is kept, I would HIGHLY suggest the ability for players to setup shop and log offline, then syncronize with the server when you log back in.
8. WAREHOUSES – No complaints. Very basic way to store more items and transfer items between accounts (once they reach lv 10)
9. PARTY PLAY – Party play was decent overall however finding a party was horrible. Similar to the OBSCENE party seeking from FFXI, you simply have to look around the area you are in for other people seeking a party. Please please please take a hint from Blizzard and create a way to build rooms of people looking for groups.

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