Elliot in aion, A BLog

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Archive for the ‘Patch Notes’ Category

Bots in Aion Part 2: Into the Abyss

Today, NCsoft announced a patch for Jan 7 when they’ll add the Penalty system to the Bot Report button. As of Jan 7, characters that receive multiple (they didn’t say how many) reports will experience decreased xp/item drop rate.

The Announcement

While many welcomed this new measure against botting, most players are quite unimpressed. Why? This can be answered by asking the L2 players, as Lineage 2 has almost identical system. Did it stop botting? The answer is No.

To me, this just seems like another half-assed announcement  just to keep people from rioting. It seems like they’re just stalling for time until people just give up and accept bots as part of game — like in Lineage 2 and Lineage 1.

In order to come up with a solution, first we have to understand the issue. Before people start throwing out random opinions, let me clarify a few things. I’m going to be using WoW and Lineage 2 for comparisons, so if you’re not comfortable with WoW comparisons, then stop reading now.

Botting issues in a game have always been because of 2 reasons: faulty game management and/or high need of game currency. If a game company doesn’t care, cheaters will always cheat regardless of how easy a game is or how unnecessary it is. If a game has an extreme demand for money, like in Lineage 2, people are going to feel the need to bot and ebay. Although many L2 players complain about those things, I doubt they really want NCsoft to crack down on bots or currency trading, as it’ll make the game practically impossible to play.

Aion currently has a bit of both with slighty more emphasis on the first. NCsoft can definitely do better. There’s really no need for talk about gameguard/code or whatever. The bots Koreans use are hardware-based, meaning they are USB drives that you plug into your computer, and they basically press the keyboard/mouse for you.

Like this one

Like this one

Just 3 GMs per server specialized in bot catching will probably lead to bot-free servers in matter of days. GMs aren’t paid a lot to begin with, and if it’s really about money, I’m pretty sure a lot of people reading this blog are probably more than eager to do it for free. The problem here is that NCsoft doesn’t really know what is good for them in the long run. From a company’s point of view, legit players and botters alike are paying customers. We have to realize that by asking a company to ban bots, we are asking them to give up profit. Botters and gold farmers often hold more than one account, meaning they do pay a lot more than legit players do (comparing 1 botter to 1 legit player). In Aion’s case, botters and farmers actually pay a LOT more than legit players do (1 botter vs 1 legit player), because of the whole 1month300hrs system, meaning u can only play up to 300 hours in a month. If you want to play more, you have to pay the subscription fee again, meaning botters and farmers are not just holding multiple accounts, they are also paying double subscription. Also, someone from my L2 days once said, “Unlike players, bot don’t whine, bitch on forums. They faithfully pay the subs and play the game without complaint.” While NCsoft has to think about legit players leaving, they are also wondering if the number of legit players they gain from a bot-free game is greater than profit gained from botters. At this point, I’m wondering if NCsoft really lacks self-faith to know that their game has far more potential than they think.

While Aion doesn’t have an insane economy like Lineage 2 does, it does place some sense of need in markets. When I say need, I mean the need to go out of your way to earn money. For example, in WoW, there’s very little sense of need among the general population. You do not need to buy stuff in wow so you can play the game. Almost every gear has to be acquired through manual game play. The things you can buy with gold mostly go under the ‘want’ category. Aion PvP is similar to L2 PvP in a sense that you are going to be spamming consumables. In Lineage 2, players call it the CP-spam fights with bsoe escapes. In Aion, it’s HP pot spam fights with flight time potion escapes. The fact that Cleric’s Voice of Destruction can only be removed with a High grade HP pot makes it a crucial item for PvPers. While in the early days it might be debatable as to whether or not avoiding abyss point loss is really worth the pot money, it’ll become more and more clear at endgame when high rank players can lose thousands of points from death. Believe me, those people are definitely going to be spamming pots, and when your opponents start spamming pots, you’ll have to start spamming pots too.

While a lot of your gear will come from questing in the early days, the number of gear rewards decreases at higher levels. It comes down to the lvl 43 Unique weapon quest that takes seven days to complete. It means a lot of AH trading will take place. While it isn’t going to be as out there as Lineage 2, it won’t be like WoW where gear drops just go straight to ‘disenchanting’ (taking apart items for materials for Enchanting skill). Aion also has an enchanting system; a way of improving your gear by adding +s on it. While gear doesn’t evaporate upon failure like in Lineage 2, it does reset back to +0. Once again, when your opponents start coming to the battlefield with +10 gears, many will find themselves doing the same. Aion’s crafting is basically Lineage 2 enchanting system copy/pasted and renamed. The basic idea is this: every crafting has 10% chance to ‘crit’, meaning a chance to get to the next grade. For example, you have to make 100 regular grades in order to end up with 10 green grade items (if we’re strictly talking math). Note that you can end up with less or more. Anyhow, it actually comes down to where making a lvl 45 Unique weapon costs 100million Qinas (again, if we’re strictly going by %s, it could take more or less). That’s not even a fixed number. You could blow 100mil and not even end up with one, crafting is just rolling dice with materials. Crafted gears often come with attack speed increase stat, which was recently proved to be the best endgame setting for melees. Many endgame players will find themselves paying the big bucks for these weapons.

All that boils down to a simple question: how am I going to pay for that? which is generally where a lot of people turn to botting or ebaying rather than putting hours and hours into mindless grinding. Currently, Aion is a game with a gaming style that encourages botting and ebaying.

After looking at what I wrote, it does look rather grim. However, I still dare to have some hope. NCsoft has to have learned something from all those failures in NA/Europe. They do know what they’re doing in Korea, which is why they designed Aion like this. I’m not sure if anyone here knows but any game that opened in Korea that didn’t have L2-like design failed, including City of Heroes and Guild Wars (WoW being an exception). While Koreans complain about ebaying and bots, it seems like most of them enjoy having them(?)

I know that NCsoft knows that NA/Europe and Asian gamers have different styles. They still have few months ahead of them. I hope NCsoft will make the right choices in the future, and that NCWest will have the guts to fight the temptations of illegitimate profit.

Written by elliot

January 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm

12/10/08 Patch Notes

[NPC]

1. Since abyss is a constant danger zone (The 2 minutes in-and-1-shotted-by-sorc-zone as someone from korean forums like to call it), we’ve increased the amount of xp for abyss mobs.

2. Increased drop rate for rare items (greens) for mobs past lvl 30

3. Fixed the bug where asmodians could acquire elyo only patterns in “Baluse” region treasure chests

4. Lowered item drop rate for weak group mobs

5. Names of certain monsters were changed

6. Fixed typos

[Temple of the Flames]

1. It can only be entered once every 30 minutes.

– The countdown till next possible entrance starts upon entering

– Resets upon entrance after 30 minutes

– This timer is shared among players that entered together

2. Unique items can be acquired from boss monsters other than the final boss

3. New Unique items added to drop list

[Item]

1. Increased prices of consumables in abyss shop

– Low grade hp / mana pot : 50 AP -> 100 AP

– Med grade hp / mana pot : 100 AP -> 150 AP

– High grade hp / mana pot : 150 AP -> 200 AP

2. Lowered prices of Items (Wep/armor/accessories) in abyss shop

3. You will no longer be booted from the game from prolonged afk period when you are performing a “create all” for crafting

4. Changed name of an item

5. Changed Asmodian gathering proficiency requirements for following areas

-Chi-ko-ri : 170 -> 190

-Heisia : 190 -> 170

6. Fixed the issue where item icon did not match with the item name

7. Fixed the “same name” divine stones

8. Changed sound effect for soulbind animation (for items)

9. Changed colors for items lvl30~50

[PC]

1. Fixed combo bug using macro

[Skill]

1. Templar’s “Pull” skill now genrates more aggro

2. Ranger’s skills will now start auto-attack (1Jump 3Skills -> 1Jump 1Skill now. Without skill motion that is. Based on reports from ranger players who tried it after patch)

– auto attack will stop if Ranger uses Sleep arrow or trap arrow that releases target upon attack

3. Increased damage of skills “Snipe I / Trap Arrow I / Volley I” that Rangers learn at lvl 10~16 (Aka, Lvl 10~16 Rangers are more powerful!)

4. Ranger’s stigma of “Cutting Escape(?)” is now useable with bow equipped

5. Increased Ranger’s Aerial Volley skill speed (Non-factor patch. Damage too lame to begin with)

6. Increased Chanter’s “Aura of Spellpower” effect of spell power increase and added “chance to hit” effect to that same aura

7. Changed description of Chanter’s “Aura of Brilliance” to “mp regeneration every 6 seconds..”

8. Spiritmaster’s “Something of Revenge” effect now applies for “fire/water/wind/earth aura” skills

[Quest]

1. Added rewards to certain infiltration quests

2. When ‘Elenen and Morehein’ armor reward quests are done in a party, quest item looting method is now changed from ‘Party loot’ to ‘personal’

3. Quest item for ‘Sataloka’s Heart’ quest does not disappear if the player fails the quest

4. The letter quest that arrives at lvl 30 is now “un-abandonable”

5. Fixed monster name and kill count for ‘kill undead’ quest

6. Fixed quests that were either improperly explained or impossible to progress

[UI&Level]

1. Fixed sell button bug

2. The right click info from chat logs does not close anymore when camera is moved

3. Fixed places where players would get stuck

4. Fixed ungather-able ores in ‘Interodeca’ region

5. Added WoW’s item comparison system (Place cursor on item info and it’ll show your equipped item info next to it)

6. Fixed the bug where special letters in macros would disappear upon logging

7. Fixed login screen pop up bug

8. Fixed wrong system message bug when a player tries to friendadd when his friendlist is full

9. Changed /targetassist macro command to /assisttarget’starget

10. Fixed incorrect tips shown on loading screen

11. Fixed “walk through walls” bug

Written by elliot

December 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Patch Notes

12/3/08 Patch Notes

[PC]

1. Fixed unnatural movement for short characters when they use the skill “Dash”

2. Fixed bug that prevented from death emote from showing when player died in middle of attack motion

3. Fixed Motion Cancel macro exploit

[Skill]

1. Lowered aggro amount from heal skills from lvl 1~30 for chanters and clerics

2. Increased bow skill speed for rangers

3. Hellfire’s chance to hit has been lowered

[NPC/Monster]

1. Fixed typos on some quest dialogues

2. Fixed the bug where training scarecrows would be moved when hit by assassin’s skill

[Item]

1. Increased success rate for crafting

2. Fixed typo on a pattern for a helm

3. Increased item stack amount from 100 to 1000 per slot in inventory (herbs, ore, whatever etc)

4. Fixed the bug where stat increase from bravery scroll wouldn’t show on character stat screen

5. You can no longer use another polymorph item when you are polymorphed.

[Quest]

1. Increased experience gain from quests

2. Changed confusing monster names

3. Fixed some broken quests

[UI/Level]

1. Fixed the bug that prevented anyone from looting an item if no one in party rolled for it

2. You can now whisper a character by right clicking on the character’s name on the chat window

3. Fixed some terrains

4. Fixed some graphic bugs

[Known Issue]

1. There’s currently a bug that forces game to shut down when there’s 20 players in an force party and the co-force leader opens management window. This will be fixed in future patch.

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Original Post

Written by elliot

December 3, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Patch Notes