There are so many MMORPGS to choose from that deciding which games to play this summer can be difficult and confusing. To help our readers sort through all the clutter and make the choice a bit easier, we decided to share our picks for the very best online games. This week we will begin with a look at Aion 3.0, an established game that is making a fresh start two years into a successful run. There have been big changes to Aion that make it worthy of inclusion as one of the hottest MMORPGS to play this summer.
Aion 3.0 is brought to us by NCsoft, the South Korean company behind Guild Wars, Lineage and City Of Heroes. Despite the initial success of Aion, it became apparent to NCsoft that changes were needed if the game was to continue to grow. As a result, they took the radical step of making Aion 3.0 free to play.
Unlike many games that place limitations on free to play accounts, such as restricting access to end game areas, Aion 3.0 is totally free. Players have access to all the game content and pay nothing for the game software or future expansions. You simply install the game and you are good to go.
NCsoft's sole source of income from Aion 3.0 is the in-game store. Even this makes a radical departure by offering players such things as cosmetic items, decorative costumes, pets and potions but nothing is available that allows a player to use their real world financial resources to dominate the game. The in-game store offers players items that will enhance their enjoyment of the game but not at the expense of others who choose to play exclusively for free.
In order to be fair to players who originally paid for their game software and had monthly subscriptions with time remaining, NCsoft compensated them with NCcoins, the currency used by the in-game store. Many of Aion's players had long running monthly subscriptions and had laid out upwards of $50 for the original software. The decision to grant compensation was well received by the player community.
Version 3.0 still includes everything that made the game unique and exciting. The world class graphics remain intact as does the ability to fly in many of the combat zones. Pvp (Player Vs. Player) is a major focus of Aion and the Abyss is still a hotspot for player vs. player battles of epic proportions. The massive world of Aion has grown even larger and promises players endless opportunities for exploration.
Along with all of the original content that makes Aion fun to play, come many outstanding improvements. High on the list is the addition of player housing. The game now has a residential zone where players may bid on palaces, estates, mansions, and houses in an open auction. Even those players who don't wish to buy a house will receive a free studio apartment when they reach level 21. All player housing units can be decorated and furnished to the players heart's content.
Another major new feature in Aion 3.0 are the long awaited, ride-able mounts. The mounts cover a wide range from fantastic creatures to technological and natural wonders. You can glide on a Surf-rider, float on a traveling cloud or ride a dragon. Mounts can even be taken for a test ride in the main player cities. Getting around the huge world of Aion will be so much easier with in-game mounts.
Gamers will have two entirely new zones to explore in Aion 3.0; Sarpan and Tiamaranta. Unlike many of the other zones in Aion, these new areas will not be restricted to one of the two factions. Both Asmodians and Elyos will be called upon to defend against the invading Balaur while Pvp has been restricted to a few small, disputed portions of the new territories. The focus will be on questing and Pve (Player Vs. Environment) as players will have their hands full with all the fearsome new monsters. Factions will share cities and an uneasy truce will prevail in most of Sarpan and Tiamaranta.
Instances have also been given a major overhaul with the addition of seven new dungeons and improvements to the fourteen existing Aion dungeons. There are few MMORPGS that can offer players 21 well designed, boss filled instances to explore and conquer. If Pve is what excites you about online gaming, you will be delighted with all the challenging dungeons in Aion 3.0.
The developers of Aion were made aware of the one major complaint that players had about the game, which was its tendency to become grind heavy at higher levels. NCsoft has taken steps to fix this issue by increasing the amount of xp players receive for monster kills and quests. Many new ways to gain xp have been added including regularly scheduled double xp weekends and xp boosting items sold by the in-game store. The game is far less of a grind in its new incarnation.
If you are looking for an online game to play this summer, consider Aion 3.0. The game looks glorious and the ability to fly during combat adds an entirely new twist to traditional online gaming. There is enough action in Aion 3.0 to satisfy even the most demanding of players while the addition of player housing, ride-able mounts, two new zones and 7 new dungeons brings a massive amount of fresh content to Aion. There is something for everyone in Aion 3.0 and the fact that it is totally free to play makes it a winning choice as one of our hottest MMORPGS to play this summer.