reprint: bite me, Aion

Originally published @ Bite My Review on Sep 15, 2009

First off let’s get the disclaimer out-of-the-way. I’m fairly new to Aion, having only participated in the last two closed beta events. These tests required a legacy invitation from an earlier event or a confirmed pre-order key. Based on my experience I can say that the closed environment was able to produce a superior quality of play and an honest feeling of cooperation among those involved. The players in the CB events genuinely seemed to care about making the game more fun and even *GASP* finding/fixing the odd bug or three. Never a question was uttered without a helpful response. Communications between players were limited to useful information or the occasional humorous quip. As one progressed into the adolescent/elder (read: PvP) game and associated zones discussions of strategy or attack alerts were the norm.As they say, all good things…

ob_chat-6-wpLast Sunday marked the commencement of the Aion “open” beta. The floodgates opened and hordes of pun-entirely-intended World of Warcraft players crashed upon the most fertile plains of Atreia. In mere moments beset by adolescent misanthropy the likes of which would make 4channers blush.

ob_chat-3-wpAdrift among this most perilous and dazzling assortment of Tourettes sufferers I was taken aback by how radically the tides had changed. Yes indeed, the John Gabriel G.I.F.T. in full effect.

I made every effort to weather the storm, but alas the tsunami of what did or did not suck about the game and the 15th identical question followed by why that answer sucked and how much cock the petitioner sucked for being suckity-suck-suck… FUCK!

I logged out in disgust. That was only Sunday, with no more than 90 minutes played.

Cue the moon passing overhead time-lapse and the dawn of a new holiday morn. Bleary-eyed I popped Temple of Doom into the DVD and settled in with new resolve, hoping that the new day had restored reason to the land. Feel free to insert the “definition of insanity” here.

I spent nearly an hour spinning up my new Elyos Scout. I’d like to think it’s because I wanted her to look awesome (note: she does) and not because I was avoiding the eighth plague. Finally, I could delay no longer – with loins fully girded I dropped into the meticulously rendered and beautifully shaderized nub zone.


Sigh. No sooner had my crimson-haired goddess materialized than we became embroiled in a discussion about how Aion ripped off WoW for all of their class archetypes. I’m paraphrasing of course. The level of discourse in these exchanges hardly qualifies as speech let alone a debate or cogent thought of any kind. If you’d like to share in this experience I can tell you how and it won’t even cost you the price of an Aion preorder!

  1. Load up your email client du jour and grab the first WoW phishing or spam mail you see.
  2. Print that email out on a standard 8 ½ x 11 sheet. Your choice on the color, but stick to stock in the 20-24# area.
  3. Carefully roll the sheet on the bias and form a cone. Be sure that you keep the apex very tight. The base should be no more than an inch in diameter. You want that point as narrow and sharp as possible. Trust me.
  4. Secure with your favorite tape as needed. I recommend Scotch® brand Pop-up tape dispensers. “Convenience at your fingertips!”
  5. Jam that shit right in your fucking eye. Don’t stop until you reach brain.

What makes the closed beta population so radically different from the wailing mass of humanity coming in for the open beta? Of course we can compare and contrast the two games! Of course we can see things we’d like NCsoft to outright steal from Blizzard! Is that not true with each and every successive Diku clone SINCE FUCKING DIKU? Why must this be debated ad nauseam? Why are you such intolerable assbags? Why would you continue to “play” the game you profess to hate? Why haven’t I figured out the answer to the exact same question I’ve been asking since Everquest stole from Ultima Online? How many rhetorical questions can I ask in this single paragraph? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?mr_owl_sm

Mr Owl says: “Play the game in front of you – or don’t. Either way stop ruining it for everyone else, assholes.”

This editorial was brought to you in the grand spirit of yelling at that which annoys me, but don’t let that distract you from the message. The cold hard reality is that a foul community is bad. It’s bad for players and it’s bad for business. In the waning days of the open beta things had become so poisonous, so toxic, that GMs had to take time out of their day to periodically remind everyone not to be horrible to one another. If you can’t figure out why that’s universally bad for your gaming experience YOU are part of the problem.

I’d love to provide a solution to go with all this bloviating, but I fear there is no solution to this particular Kobiashi Maru… even with the source code.