At level 25, the Abyss is unlocked. The Abyss is a PvPvE area. Yes, that stands for Player vs Player vs Environment - and yes, it’s just as hectic as it sounds. In the Abyss, you’ll find the biggest bad guys in the game, the Balaur. These god-like characters are a mighty NPC faction, responsible for the death of the gods and the slow siphoning of the world's energy. The Abyss is where the final battle between the Elyos, Asmodai, and Balaur for the control of the world takes place – and it’s epic. Here, legions (or guilds) can join forces to take and hold castles through besiegement and strategy, requiring players to hold back opponents from both their opposing faction and the mighty Balaur NPCs.
Aion did an excellent job reigniting our interest in the game at this point. At times, Aion seemed a lot more grindy than most contemporary MMOs. Mobs are packed into each area like sardines, and the objectives and quests that link zones together follow a more linear path, with less room to explore and solo quest. Gaining levels, even in the 20s, also takes millions of experience points. But just when we were getting ready to die from the boredom of humdrum quests MMOs are infamous for, the Abyss saved the day with new quests, huge instances, powerful mobs, and PvP.
Part of the thrill of the Abyss is that there is no ‘safe’ zone. The Abyss is open to all Asmodai and Elysians. So we could be calmly killing skeletons and find ourselves dead with an Asmodai standing over our corpse, laughing. Battles can erupt between races at anytime and anywhere in the Abyss.
If you hate MMOs and wouldn’t log onto one if someone paid you, Aion is not going to change your mind. You’ll still find lots of grinding, gold farmers, and deaths in instanced dungeons to hate. That being said, if you do like MMOs, Aion is one the prettiest and most polished titles to release this year. Players who prefer solo quests will find themselves pushed into level grinding by the difficult group quests they encounter early on. But if you like PvP and running instances with friends, you’ll never run out of things to do once you reach the Abyss.
Nov 30, 2009