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Overthrowing the Black Claw in Aion

Yesterday was a pretty lucrative day for me in Aion.

I started the morning right on the edge of 17. I had something like 20k experience left until I leveled up and a quest log full of enough quests to clutter the right side of my screen. I don’t know whether I’m getting a lot stronger or the game is getting easier but I’m finding mobs to be a easier to kill than they were before and, thanks to my HP restoring ability, I’m able to kill them much faster too.

I’m getting towards the end of the second big zone in the game, Altgard. About 80% of the way through, you start to pick up quests for a decent size village filled with elite mobs. It’s known for being a great place to farm XP and gear, so there’s almost always groups going on for it. After I cleared out a couple of those quests and dinged 17, I started advertising myself as LFG and had a pick-up group ready within about 10 minutes.

This was my first run through for the day and we were only able to get about half-way through before some of the members had to go. Even still, I got about half a bar’s worth of xp and a yellow +19 accuracy manastone. The mobs are at times closely packed together, so in that first run we wound up wiping twice; none of us had attempted it before. The elite mobs in Aion have a ton of HP. Even with a group of five, it still takes about twice the amount of time to kill them as your standard dungeon trash mob in WoW. I’d never played my assassin (also called a ‘sin’) in a group before and neither had our tanking Templar. I wound up pulling hate off of him twice briefly but it was enough to show me that I won’t last long under their blows. They hit HARD.

Later that night, after my wife was tucked away into bed, I got on again and quickly found another group despite it being about 12:30AM EST. This time, we tackled the whole thing. I was surprised by how large it was. We went through for the next two hours killing the mobs we needed for our quest objectives but there were dozens more on top of that. This group was much better prepared than the last and we only wiped at the very end when an overcautious sorcerer backed into a roaming patrol. The fight was close but in the end not enough.

By the end of the night, I made out like a bandit with xp and money. I wound up leveling all the way through 17 and halfway through 18 once I turned in the quests and made about 20k kinah too. I was unlucky with rolls, so I didn’t come away with any equipment I could use but I put some of my money into upgrades, so it worked out.

I did notice one particularly annoying thing about group combat, however. The spell/combat effects, while awesome and reminiscient of a good fireworks show, make it damn hard to see the actual mob in the confusion of it all. Not all the time but enough so I caught myself twiddling with the camera from time to time to be sure I was behind it for my directional attacks. I like to keep my camera zoomed out during combat to get a good view of the area around me but some places within BC are so cramped, twiddling the camera would sometimes place it right behind a tree or some foliage that I’d have to quickly fix. I guess I’ll have to break the habit of zooming way out and take advantage of the middle-mouse button “look behind you” key instead.

Oh, another good thing came out of the night too: a new phrase! If you’ve played Aion, you know that you’ll be killing a lot of these things called Mumu’s (bipedal cowpigs). One BC quest has you collection rations off one kind in particular that seem to be in the minority. As we scoured the zone for respawns, our healer dropped this little gem: “where my mumu at?” That just cracked me up. If the rest of the game keeps me killing the little guys, I can see myself dropping that over vent.

Anyways, I’ll be spending the next couple of hours trying to hit 19 so I can buy my new skill manuals and come on step closer to that elusive leveling curve. I’ll be out of this weekend job soon, so hopefully by the time SW:TOR comes out, I won’t be missing those two days of grouping goodness.

Until next time!

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