In the red corner we have the defending Champion, tried and true, a fan favorite and even celebrities advertise for it! Woooorrrrrld of Warcraft! In the blue corner we have our challenger, winner of 2006’s E3 MMORPG “Best Graphics”, stated to have great character creation and recently awarded PAX’s “Best MMO” Award! Aiiiiiiooonnnnn!
I stated last week that I have been opening myself up to games that I previously played and re-exploring them. This happened to open me back up to playing WoW. On the other hand I have been broadcasting Aion when ever I play it. One of the questions I get from every person that happens to walk in on my broadcast is “How is Aion Compared to WoW?”.
This it seems is the perfect opportunity for me to compare the two since I have been playing both.
I’ve been playing WoW since beta and honestly when playing during that period there was a lot of controversy about WoW’s graphics. I constantly heard complaint’s about how cartoonish it was. Quickly those shackles were forgotten and the game has taken leaps and bounds making it “The Game to Beat”.
WoW’s selling points are constant content, great Arena and Battlegrounds PVP and the fact that if your in a room of about 20 people there’s at least 2 other people in the room that have likely played the game as well. Some might not consider “Lots of people play it” as a selling point but most people will if all of their friends are playing it likely break down and give the game a go.
As far as how I rate World of Warcraft? Well I was not one of those people who thought the graphics were bad in WoW, in fact I was amazed on how smooth it was running on my old PC to even notice the graphics. I do have to say that I started as a night elf and like the way the graphics really match and flow with the game. I like the combat system in WoW and I like how Blizzard constantly tries to make the classes evenly powered. When the developers listen to its players and make those hard decisions to make changes, it really shows the quality of the people behind the game.
One of the major flaws in most games out today is the immense dialog that they will force you to read before you accept a quest. Seriously how many people do you talk to for the first time that tell you their life story in a day? Most real conversations when someone wants you to do something go like, “So you know Jacob? Yeah, he sent you over here? Great this is what I need.” Not too hard to do but most games rely on the dialog to tell the story of the game. So its a tough decision for any game developer, I honestly think you should have to work for the person a couple times then after you’ve done some quest’s your rewarded with the story as well as your money and experience. One of the really smart things that blizzard did do in this situation is separate out the quest requirements from the dialog, so bully for them.
I’ve been playing Aion since beta 3, when they started letting people who preordered jump into the game. As far as Aion’s graphics, they are what pulled me into the game and have been getting constant praises. Aion’s selling points are the Amazing graphics, Midair Combat, an Open world Faction PvP that affects hunting areas and an immersive storyline that puts your character at the forefront of the story. I find the cinematic scenes both help me better understand what needs to be done in the quest as well as pulls me into actually wanting to read the dialog.
I have not been to the PVP area yet in Aion but am excited to get into it. I can’t sate enough how much I love the graphics in Aion often I’ll just pan around with the mouse to look at the beautiful environments. Speaking of the environments, there are amazing little animations that your character does automatically when ever you are in certain area’s. Standing on the beach? Your character will constantly brush themselves off. The hot Desert? Your character fans them self off. My favorite of them all though is when your character is in the water. Its really fun to watch them play with the water.
Combat is really intuitive and allows you some different combo’s that really makes the game fun. You’ll be doing the same combo’s over and over but in what game do you not use the skills available to you over and over? At least these chain together and the best part is you don’t need to set the chain of skills on your skill bar. When the next available chain skill is ready to be used you just press the skill that activated the chain again as it changes automatically to the next skill in the chain. I found healing to be a lot like WoW’s healing. There’s different types of heals, condition removals as well as heal over time spells.
I was talking about dialog earlier and Aion does not hold back on it. The problem I find is that I tend to skim through the dialog rather than read it. The problem with that though is when it comes to requirements for some quest’s is if you skip through the dialog when you see the little quest requirements tracker you will sometimes be sitting there scratching your head wondering what you are looking for. Specially when they want you to find some sort of plant then then in the next quest tell you they want you to get some berries and your stuck looking for berries on a tree when they are in a barrel’s on a little farm. As I said earlier though most of the main quest’s have a little cinematic movie that tells you what to do making those really easy. My suggestion? Make it clearer in the quest tracker what you need to do. I know most of its my bad because I’m too lazy to read the text but I bet I’m not the only one.
Aion’s flight system. The Dev’s explain it as if your a baby bird and just learning how to fly and as you age you learn how to fly longer and faster. The best part is that they tell you which quest’s to take to get more flight time and bonuses to your skills while flying right on the front page of the website.
My experience with flight is limited but I have died more than a few times by jumping and pressing space bar twice on accident and canceling my glide only to plunge to certain death. Aion limits where you can fly to only certain area’s which makes sense but makes you feel a bit boxed in. On the other hand Aion does not limit you to where you can glide. Gliding is faster than running and really fun, often I find myself going to certain hunting areas just because there’s a quick glide back to town. When you start flying you have a 1 minute time limit but as you level up you can do quest’s for better wings etc. I would like to see in the future a whole system for strengthening your wings to increase flight time as well as speed.
Comparison between WoW and Aion:
Graphically Aion wins when it comes to the visual aspect between the two games.
In terms of music Aion stunned me with its beautiful music as well as the drum beats for when you go into combat.
I find I like to group up with people in Aion more so than with people in WoW. WoW groups are pretty much for instances it seems. One good thing going for both of the games is that you can choose to play the game solo and fight the regular mobs or you can group up and fight Elites. The good part is how both games separate the two making it easy to play solo if you want to.
I’d have to say that I am having a lot more fun playing Aion than I have ever had with playing WoW. There’s just something about how the skills just chain together and flow together that makes the game really fun to play.
Who Win’s? I’d have to say that as far as the games go I prefer Aion but in WoW I know so many people that play it that I’m likely to keep both subscriptions. Its really hard to compare such a tried and true game like WoW to Aion. WoW certainly has a lot more content but it’s been out for quite a while so its hard to compare. Don’t mistake my review for saying that WoW is not fun to play because I’ve have some good times with WoW. I especially like when you get to fight huge mobs.
Take this review as you will but for the time being, I’ll be in both games kicking ass and taking names.
I play as Seriene on the server Korgath.
I play as Paulina on the server Triniel.
[tags]Aion, WoW, World of Warcraft, MMO, MMORPG, Blizzard, NCSoft[/tags]