Character customisation: go nuts!

Character customisation

Character customisation

Aion’s character creation tools are simply wondrous. Since stepping into Atreia I’ve been amazed by the variety of avatars players have created. I’ve seen diminutive one foot tall warriors, eight foot tall, muscle-bound hulking sorcerers, pixie-like Chanters, bird-like avatars, sultry Amazonian Priests, dashing Scouts and everything else in between. It’s a riot of colours, hairstyles, body shapes and names. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the look of your toon.

I strongly encourage you to explore all the tools, options and styles available in character customisation. Individuality in MMOs is a rare thing: take the time to create an avatar that is just right for you.

X marks the spot: use the dictionary

Use the dictionary function

Use the dictionary function

The Dictionary is a handy in-built feature and will make intuitive sense to you if used to add-ons like quest helper in Warcraft. When reviewing your quest log you’ll note that some of the words in the text descriptions appear in blue: as expected these are hyperlinks.

Quest objectives can be easily located

Quest objectives can be easily located

Clicking on these will open up a small window providing more detail on the item, monster, location or NPC. You’ll also note there is a “Locate option”. Click on that, and the Map will open with a small purple X indicating where you’ll find the item/MOB in question.

The dictionary acts like a “mini wiki” within the game: it’s great as you don’t have to Alt-Tab out to a third party site to look up locations or descriptions.

Heal thyself: comma and bandages for rapid healing

Bandages: actually do something

Bandages: actually do something

Compared to say WoW, combat is slower in Aion: MOBs hit hard and they’ll take down a fair percentage of your health points (HP) if you not paying attention. Fortunately you can rapidly regain HP through resting and the use of bandages. After a fight hit the comma (,) key to rest your character. They’ll sit for a few moments, allowing HP/mana to rapidly regenerate. Alternatively you can use bandages. The good news is bandages seem to be an effective tool for healing. They’ll regenerate most of your health, have a very fast cool down and can be purchased cheaply from NPCs (50 kinah is typical for a stack of 50).

This is great for my Scout, a melee DPS class. They hit hard, but wear leather and can sometimes take a fair bit of damage – especially if I attempt to fight multiple MOBs. Fortunately down time for regenerating HP is not long, resulting in very little down time.

Buy and sell: jump into the economy early

What ever your selling, I'm buying

What ever your selling, I'm buying

It’s about the economy people!

The economic system of a MMO is critical in bringing people together. Aion does this really well by allowing players to set up their own stores anywhere. Frequently you’ll find players have set up little stalls around quest hubs: take the time to check out what they’re selling. More often than not you’ll pick up a great armour upgrade for very little.

To browse a player’s store simply walk up to them and click: a window will opening listing all the items and their sale prices. Alternatively, set up your own store!

Don’t make the mistake of vendoring all the trash or items you can’t use. Green quality armour and weapons drop frequently from MOBs so put these aside for the moment until you can sell them.

Often you’ll find five or six players selling items: check out each store for the best bargains. I upgraded my armour to mostly “green” quality items in a few minutes by using the player run stores for very little kinah.

Allowing players to set up their own stores turns quest hubs into thriving markets.

Don’t race to level cap: enjoy the trip!
Last, but not least, please don’t race to level cap! Take the time to enjoy the scenery and art-work. Aion is a beautiful game, and if you’re an explorer saviour the incredible vista’s Aion has to offer. I’ve not enjoyed levelling a character this much in a long time. Sure the quests are standard “kill ten rats”, but reading the quests text and exploring has been immensely enjoyable.

If you’re an existing (or ex) WoW player, you’ve been trained to power level all the way to 80. Put that habit to one side and enjoy the levelling process once again.

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