Elliot in aion, A BLog

I am so in Aion.

Aerial Combat Lacking in Depth. Time for change?

There is no such thing as real Aerial Combat in Aion

Deep inside every man’s heart, exists a desire to fly, to roam free in the blue sky. From this dream came the beings like Angels, from this dream came the invention of the airplanes.

Attempts to appeal to this dream have been made countless times by numerous games and movies. Aion is no exception.

When I first read about Aion’s flight system, I thought of free flight in a fantasy world. I expected this to offer something more than what existing games’ flight systems offered. In reality, Aion’s flight turned out to be ordinary flight like others; nothing less, nothing more.

Flight in World of Aion

Remember the Daeva mission clip? where you fast forward into the future and see yourself engaged in a spectacular aerial combat. I actually thought Aion pvp was gonna be like that.

With this kind of expectation, I arrived at my first flight-enabled area, just to be disappointed when all I could do was just bump into invisible walls everywhere.

I put my wings away, only taking them out to reach ores far above. Even during these infrequent uses, I experienced fall deaths from running out of flight time. The 1 minute flight time limit really cost me lot of exp and money.

Pushing aside a question that kept popping into my head, I entered the Abyss for the first time; the free flight zone. With excitement I spread my wings open, only to find out the 1 minute flight time limit still applied.

What the hell am I supposed to do with 1 minute? You can’t even cook a cup ramen in 1 minute. There’s even a song titled 1 minute 1 second. Why did they decide to give us only 1 minute of flight time?

Like the origin of babies back when I was young, this question just wouldn’t leave my mind, so I searched for an answer, and I found it from an interview with Aion PD.

Q. About Aion’s Aerial Flight..

– Aion’s aerial combat isn’t infinite. Flight is just another ability that is granted to the player. It will be used as a strategic tool used in various circumstances. The flight and the aerial combat will be two separate things. We’ll create a infinite flight PvP zone if needed later on.

Interview 5/8/08

The key point here is that it can be used strategically in various situations and that flight and aerial combat will be separate.

Strategic use of Flight? Aerial Combat? There’s no such thing

Any flight in Aion that’s not for getting to far away gathering or travel is usually done in following situations;

1. Other side begins the attack by flying up or vice versa

2. Someone decides to run away from a fight by flying

Even if you move the variables around, there’s nothing “strategic” about flight. There wasn’t any to begin with. They call it the aerial combat, but this flight system does not keep up with the new field that gets created

The moment a player takes his feet off the ground, the field around him changes completely. There’s no longer “front” or “back”. While new sides open up for the player to get attacked from, the system supports the player as if he’s still on the ground. There’s not even an alarm system that you so commonly see in 3D games. (a warning system that shows where you are getting attacked from) If you can’t find where the enemy is attacking you from, you really can’t do much except just dying.

At least melees have to get close to you in order to attack, but what if the attacker is ranged? Especially in a game where every shot counts, most players end up dying while rotating their camera in vein.

At least give us some kind of lock-0n system that will allow us to target the attacker, or even a warning system that tells you where you are getting attacked from. There’s no thrill in a pvp where you just get ganked and die without being able to do anything.

What this game lacks the most is lack of abilities for melee classes to do anything in mid air. While ranged classes only have to get in range to start attacking, melees have to chase an enemy that moves in all directions.

Use auto follow and chase them harder?

Sadly, unless Aion PvP system gets an extreme makeover, that is just not possible.

Why? The current system requires the skill motion to complete before the actual damage gets applied. Basically, your skill motion has to start in order for you to do any damage. However, when your opponent keeps moving in a 360 environment, melees skills won’t even activate. Your character will just stand there twitching. Ultimately, if your opponent doesn’t stop moving in flight, it is near impossible to use any of the melee skills.

This forces melee characters to rely on regular attacks and whatever ranged skills they have. Since ranged skills require them to stop in place, the gap between them and their target widens. ALso, it’ll be quite amazing if anyone died from these skills.

On top of that, most of whatever “getting up close” skills that melees have can’t be used in mid air. Most of the time, you just stand there watching your opponent fly away, wondering what you are doing.

All these things come together to make one disgustingly boring aerial combat. [COLOR=”Red”]When a game should be about skill and strategy, it all comes down to who can remain in flight longest.[/COLOR]


The only unique thing that Aion has right now is the flight system.

However, Aion failed to make it something more than what other games already have. One of the game’s biggest content is dying. I sincerely hope that NCsoft can really turn flight into somethinig that they had promised.

Wishing Aion dev team good luck, I hereby end my short flight.


Original Post

Written by elliot

December 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm

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