NCsoft’s Sean Neil has said Aion’s 2.5 update promises to “further refine” the MMO’s experience and to continue focusing on player suggestions.
Speaking with Kotaku, Neil said the game has so far received increased experience and drop rates, while expanding the crafting system. However, not all players were pleased with some of the changes, as update 2.0 changed the rifting system, allowing the game’s two opposing factions to encounter one another.
“Our immediate reaction was to poll the players, find out what they wanted, and we put in place a change to that system at the end of last year,” he said. “And then we actively polled the players after that to ask them what they thought about the changes we were making.”
While these changes will be coming via a small update soon, the big update with new mechanics and content will hit with 2.5 later in the year.
Content will consist of two new instances: Araka, where which players of either faction can cut off the supply lines of the Balaur – a shared enemy; and Bootcamp, where 10 difficult battles will take place in order to gain “fame and fortune”. The guild system, called Legion in Aion, is also being messed around with with an increase in the level cap and more titles for organization purposes. More storage space and allegiance cloaks will be made available as well. Players will be able to tell the mood of their pets as well, along with new class skills and powers. An interactive world map is planned, character creation is opening up more, and more crafting recipes are coming too.
However, what players should be most excited about is the Superior Graphics Engine option and the Group Guide system. The former will give players will a high end system the option of cranking the graphics up as high as their card will allow without smoking
The Group Guide system will allow new and lower level folks to get help from those who are a much higher level, and to give higher levels an incentive to help their level-challenged brethren, daily quests with rewards will be handed out.
“You can play along with your friends even if they’ve been playing the game for six months and you haven’t played at all,” said Neil. “We want to give them items. We want to give them coins. We want to give them a system that makes them want to be those big brothers and big sisters.”
You can look over the list of changes and additions in 2.5 through the game’s Wiki. Neil said the new update is currently running on the public test realm of the Korean version and it is expected to be localized in English and released sometime this year.