Aion: closed beta journey (part 2)

Be sure to read the first part of this saga on Aion: closed beta journey (The Beginning).

  Finally I've finished the starting zone, don't get me wrong it is beautiful and i am sure that for a new player it might be awesome to explore it all and read the lore, but since I've already done it before I did what most players tend to do now-a-days like skipping cinematics, accepting the quests without reading, etc...
  Once you hit level 9 you should already have a couple of titles which you gain from completing specific missions, these titles go beyond bragging rights as they give stats as well. In my opinion this feature is unwelcomed simply because as a player feel compelled to use the title that provides best stats instead of the one i like the most or none at all which is what i usually do in MMOs.

  After recovering part of your memory you will be asked to "remember" your class, this is the point where you will choose your specialization and go for the first time to Sanctum, the main city of the Elyos. Here you will find several quests which will help you navigate in this great city however, this part even though useful for newcomers is extremely boring. You have finally become the class you wanted and then you have a ton of "talk to X" quests that take you in a tour of the city when you are dieing to try out the new skills.

  At this point you will be introduced to the pet system, which is a new addition from last time i played and something i have learned  to hate with a passion. I have noting against people who like to have cute pets following but Aion goes a bit beyond that.

   Pets not only follow you around which for me is annoying enough but they also have a looping animation and sound when you attack something, this depending on the pet can be nerve racking. I could avoid this by simply not having a pet but here is the twist, if you give him some attention(every 10 min) you will gain some coins according to your level which you can trade for some decent gear, not only that some more expensive pets can do stuff like carrying items for you, applying item buff automatically or just giving you random items when fed, so yeah now just like the titles i feel forced to have this annoying pet around.

  Next you go to Verteron city where you will remain at least to lvl 19 which depending how fast you level can be from one to four days, here you will learn to use your wings and will most likely feel disappointed when you see that you can't use it all the time nor can you use it everywhere, the time limit will increase when you buy new wings(which is weird) but you are only allowed to fly in certain areas, most of the time you can only use them to glide as you bonce across small inclinations on the floor which is ridiculous.

  Verteron has three themes(a desert, a forest and a contaminated area) which is good to counter the visual dullness however the change of scenario is too abrupt, you can have this green beautiful forest behind you and a orange desolated area in front of you.

  As you are questing you will see a lot of gathering quests which requires you to keep up the gathering level but this is nothing but a waste of time if you are trying to level-up fast as the time spent to continuously level  the gathering isn't worth the little XP the quests give.

 Beta is not over and we just have to wait until 28th of February which is when Aion becomes officially free-to-play.

Guild Wars 2: Beta signup

  Finally the moment the fans have been waiting for has arrived. Starting today Areanet will be receiving applications for beta testers, however this will only last 48 hours so be sure to do it quickly.

  I hope i will be have the honor of being selected for the upcoming beta, as a MMO and more importantly a GW player i am very excited with this news, however since the NDA will still be applied even if i enter the beta i can not talk about it.

  Its a small price to pay in order to gain early access to the game before launch but in the end, Betas are meant for us to help the developers and not for our enjoyment, however that doesn't mean i wont savor every moment of it.

Aion: closed beta journey (The Beginning)

As i prepare to enter the world of Atreia i find my self asking that one question every one must be faced with, "which class/race shall i play?".
Choosing a race was a no-brainer for me, it had to be the Elyos because even though the Asmodians look more badass i dislike some features they have such as the tail and the claws. When i put on some awesome armor i want it to look great and having claws instead of some cool looking boots ruins it for me.

When the original Aion was launched my first choice was a Ranger because i have a small fascination with bows, but since i have to play again from the start i might as well give it a try with a different perspective/gameplay.

 My initial thought was the Spirit Master, running around with cool pets, summoning lightning balls to hit my target and having some of control over opponents seamed like something i would enjoy. However i spent most of my Aion time playing with my girlfriend which happened to play with a Spirit Master, therefore i have a good understanding of how the gameplay is like. So i thought i should go with something i never actually played with.

Of all available classes most i knew to some degree because i had fought them in the past. The first rule of PvP "know your enemy", if you can foresee what he will do a you can try to prevent it. How ever i somehow didn't had any memory of fighting any Chanter so i got curious about it. The closest i ever got to a chanter was the time i played a Prophet in Lineage 2, back then it was interesting to have the best buffs and be able to dual-wield(wish Chanters could do it too) with awesome attack speed... and so i decided to try the Chanter.

As an Elyos the beginning is played for the first 10 levels in Poeta, it is a beautiful area to play however it becomes rather dull because you will be playing the basic class(priest in my case) of your choice. This zone functions as a tutorial area and for you to get acquainted to the most basic game mechanics.

From previous experience the game has some interesting lore if you are into such thing, however the beginning is a bit of a cliche... you start as a recruit with amnesia and you will go around helping the locals while slowly regaining your lost memories.

Quests in this game are fairly typical consisting of "kill x mobs","get xx items from mob Y" and "talk to W" however there are some gathering quests as well (ex:collect 10 iron) and you also get a little XP each time you gather something, but it does not come close to the XP gained from a mob and the quest rewards are lacking.

Speaking of gathering reminds me of one thing i hate in this new "free-to-play" model. Apparently basic free accounts can NOT trade with players, can NOT gather more than 50 times per day and have NO access to the Auction House, thankfully beta testers and old players automatically gain Veteran status which have no such limits.

Hope you enjoyed the reading, I will do an update soon as beta continues!

Update: check out the continuation on Aion: closed beta journey (part 2)

Guild Wars 2: Hall of Monuments

Today I would like to talk about one of the most anticipated games for the season *queue superman music* Guild Wars 2. It isn't a big surprise for me that a good number of people who wait eagerly for Guild Wars 2, doesn't know about the Hall of Monuments, or even how it works.
Basically, the achievements you accomplish and add to the Hall of Monuments within Guild Wars will let your Guild Wars 2 Characters inherit a variety of rewards ranging from equipment, weapons, pets, decorative and titles. You can see a demo and a list of the rewards in this link here.

Playing Guild Wars....

It's not necessary to play GW to be able to enjoy Guild Wars 2, but those who do will get a different perspective when they play GW2, because everything is related lore-wise...while new players can get to know the GW2 world as it is, veteran players will have a different and more in-depth understanding of what happened to the GW world 250 years into the future. The important factor to  weight in when considering playing GW, is whether the player accepts the gameplay as it is very different, and if he/she has any interest in the lore or the exclusive items to be gained by playing. There is a free trial for testing the gameplay to those who want to check GW out.

Hall of Monuments

The Hall of Monuments is a room located in the Eye of the North expansion, players need to go there to add the achievements they have earned in-game, so that it registers to the HoM calculator linked above,  these achievements give the player points and these points unlock unique items and titles for their Guild Wars 2 account. Both the achievements and unlocked items are account based, so there is no need to worry about individual characters. There are a total of 50 points possible, with the first 30 points rewarding weapons, armor, and vanity items. In addition, unique titles are unlocked at every 5th point (5,10,15...50).

Doable for new players and how many points to get

It has already been confirmed that players can still work towards the rewards even after GW2 has been released, depending on how many points and how much time a player intends to spend in GW, it varies only in how long it will take someone to get there. The first 30 points or less to get the items and pets is the standard set goal for most players, and it is definitely doable without much grinding. In fact, around 10-15 points can be gained by just going through the regular mission campaigns of all expansions. The true challenge starts from 31 to 50, where it will require a good number of grinding, and for the player to go through the Hard Mode challenges of the game for the rest of the achievements. 

Bottom line, I find this to be a great feature, those who never gave up on GW may have had all the 50 points even before the HoM came out, but it breathed new life to a game that had stopped releasing expansions, giving much more meaning to actually accomplishing the achievements and something to keep eager GW2 players busy while we wait!

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