I’ve heard this thought echoed across the internet for months now and it’s getting a little old. Aion Online is not a “WoW Clone.” By repeating that little bleet, all you’re doing is proclaiming your ignorance of what the game is even about.
What is it that makes a game a clone of WoW anyways? That is has quests? Classes? A UI? You’d might think that if you believe claims like these. Well, let’s get this straight, any MMO worth it’s merit has these things. Stop proclaiming any game that doesn’t re-imagine the UI is a clone of WoW. LotRO and WAR both got the same rap and, you know what, neither of them are clones of the golden god of 800-lb gorillas.
You know what I’ll cop to? The game is reminiscent of WoW in the questing/PvE progression model. The added truth behind that? That makes up less than half the game if you play it to max level, unless you explicitly choose to make it your main game.
At level 25 you get to the core of the Aion Online experience and that’s the Abyss. And, guess what, the Abyss is not Lake Wintergrasp.
If you’re going to grasp at straws the game has more in common with DAoC than WoW, but most of the people throwing these criticisms wouldn’t know that. These are the people that probably started and will finish their MMO careers with World of Warcraft. To those people, let me point this out, WoW is an Everquest clone dumbed way down. Every new fantasy game that comes out is a “WoW Clone.” Well, WoW didn’t reinvent the wheel anymore than other games out there.
You know the sad truth of the argument? At it’s core, Aion does have a big similarity to WoW. You know what it is? That it’s taken the ideas of other successful games and made them their own. It’s taken that melting plot philosophy to heart and added to it. The questing model is similar to WoW. The story delivery echoes of LotRO. The leveling grind echoes of Final Fantasy XI. The PvPvE takes the best parts of DAoC and WAR.
Tell me how combining all of these things together and polishing it to a gleam is a bad thing. Games forever have borrowed from one another. And, you know what? At this point, it’d be pretty hard to be totally unique anyways. Try to write a book or a song that hasn’t already been imagined some way before. You won’t be able to do it.
All of this WoW Clone crap just reeks of bitterness. WoW is a PvE game with a PvP option. Aion Online is a PvPvE game. They’re all tied. If you’re yelling about Aion being WoW in a new setting, you haven’t played it long enough or are reading the wrong sources. Leveling =/= clone.
PS: If you’re looking for what’s similar and what’s not, check out these articles: