Wednesday, November 11

New Obsession: AION Online

I've been fawning over this particular game since more a year ago. Yes, I've been secretly cheating on WoW (World of Warcraft) even while actively raiding with my guildmates. Kept on going back to the site and read the updates, counting the days 'til it's release. It was supposed to be late last year, but was postponed until the release date became official: 22nd September 2009. I went, "September, September...COME!" When the game was finally released, I found out to my dismay that it was not sold in Malaysia. Not even via (this item is currently not available for your country). Sucks bad, right? So, anyway, I kept on complaining and Reza kept on asking if I really wanted the game. Last Tuesday he came over my home after work bringing a steel-cover copy of AION! He asked his friend in Dallas to courier it for him. So, what's all this rave about? Remember how I said I'm obsessed with winged creatures? AION avatars (characters) have fully-functional wings, and there are even aerial battles! Granted, I can only fly at certain areas, and only for a minute at a time, but still. Wings! The character creation process is, on its own, amazing and a half. Imagine Sims 3, but with richer graphic and fantasy-base. Unline WoW, there is no choice of race, only Elyos (from pale to tanned skin, with white wings) or Asmodians (range of purple to green skin, with black wings and claws for fingers, talons for feet), but how tall or short, how thin, muscular or fat, how flat-chested or voluptuous, how elven-like, gnome-like, or dwarf-like, is totally up to a player's taste and creativity. And the game itself is almost FMV-quality. Only hitch: my RM1k graphic card couldn't stand the weight of the game and kept on crashing the computer. It was top of the line 3 years ago, but is sadly laughable now. Went to Low Yat Plaza. This is what happened: Me: What's the best graphic card you have? Guy: What's your budget? Me: Show me your best. Guy: (nudges his way to the display shelves and brings back a large black box) NVIDIA GTX 285, 2GB memory, 1 kbit. Me: (almost drooling) How much? Guy: RM1700. Me: (hand gripping the wad of money in left pocket) Alamak. That's out of my budget. Guy: (snickers) That's why I asked your budget ma.... Me: Cheaper got? Guy: GTX 275, 896MB memory, 448 bit. RM779. Me: Why the big price difference? Guy: Quality ma.... Me: Something better? Guy: Wait ah. (nudges back to the shelves and brings back another big black box). Only stock left. GTX 285, 2GB memory, 512 bit. RM1350. Me: (alternate looking at him and the box. Thinks back on AION and other new games I couldn't play because my graphic processor sucked) OK. Bungkus. So he packed it in a plain yellow plastic bag that I can stuff groceries or trash in. No fancy paper bag or anything. I get decent paper bags at Kinokuniya with purchases over RM100. This one? No such luck. SoI bought me an RM1.35K graphic processor, and some memory card upgrade. There went my money. Anything for AION, right? I went back home (without having lunch first. My stomach protested all the way home, but I wasn't drooling for food) and assembled the cards I bought. Had to clean the CPU though; it was filled with dust, cat fur, and some random murukus. Turned on the PC. Waited. Waited. Started AION. OH. MY. GOD! The game's beyond beautiful with maximum graphics. And to top that, my FPS (frames per second) rate is maintained above 28 in the busiest city, and over 45 elsewhere. Human eyes view 29 FPS as smooth-flowing moving images (standard TV quality). So I wasted -- ahem, spent -- more time creating new characters. Because I can. And be cause they're so damn beautiful. I'm not ashamed to admit I play female characters online, because. And because the male characters look weird and I refuse to dedicate so many hours and effort leveling an avatar I can't stand seeing. But with AION, I can create gorgeous guys and gals. Played half a day to reach level 9. That's when I got to do an ascension quest, where at the end of the chain-quest, I get my pair of wings. OH. MY. GOD! The game is reminiscent of WoW, so the transition is easy. And the game doesn't disappoint. Stunning graphics, easy learning curve, familiar and good gameplay. I stopped becoming active blogging after I started writing short stories for WDC. Now I don't review and write so much due to AION. Still. AION rules! So here are some (posed) snapshots of my character, Collan (a cleric/healer. I come home from the hospital to play doctor in-game. Go figure).