"They were warned...not to mistake grace for weakness."
Aion is a Korean MMORPG from NC Soft, the publisher of Lineage II, City of Heroes and Guild Wars, published in English in late 2009.The game is based on the conflict between two factions of humans which live on opposite halves of a shattered world; the noble but arrogant Elyos and the brave but bitter Asmodians. As well as an ongoing war with each other, the two factions must contend with evil Balaur, a race created to protect and watch over the world, but now...not so much. This makes up the game's unique PvPvE system, as the designers call it. Other than this, it's also notable for the fact that all characters possess the ability to fly, amongst other things.The game has no subscription fee in the US and several other regions and is worth a shot for free MMORPG players exasperated by some of the features in the standard business model (for example, most enchanting has absolutely no risk of item destruction on failure). It has also received a vast update with its 4.0 overhaul.
This game provides examples of:
After the End: Although so far afterward that almost no one remembers it.
A God Am I: You, in the main storyline. Or so it seems. Daevas are considered demigods in the game's mythology, with Empyrean Lords considered to be full gods (with a small G). The overgod, Aion, is absent and the two major pantheons (the Elyos and Asmodians) are at war.
Alien Sky: Besides the fact the Tower of Eternity is visible from anywhere in the world, the sky has a shattered moon, three total moons, and the other half of the world floating ominously overhead.
Except you can never see the other half of the world, even in the Abyss.
Alt-itis: Acknowledged and encouraged with the level 30 Daevanion armor sets. Each piece is received through a simple quest at the set's level... and each character can only get one piece.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: You start your character's life by doing this. (Well, to get out of the newbie area.) The game also features several other types of ascended beings, such as ascended lizardmen (Balaur) and even ascended trees (Elim).
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The stronger Balaur, based on the gigantic discarded weapons littering the abyss. Also the Guardian Deities who guard fortresses.
Bag of Holding: Cubes(Inventories), this is an MMORPG after all. However, cubes are directly stated as being Hammerspace related.
Baleful Polymorph: A common punishment among both Elyos and Asmodians, especially for insubordination.
Low level Balaurs (including level 46-50 Dredgion) look like lizards or serpents.
In level 51-55 Chantra Dredgion, the Balaur bosses have a more humanlike appearance while the Elite Mooks still look like monsters.
Everything in Sarpan, Tiamartia, and level 56-60 Tenath Dredgion have a even more humanoid appearance. Even including the 1 or 2 star regular trash mooks. The females look like supermodels.
Armor in Aion follows the Bishonen Line theme. Armor starts off relatively plain and gets more and more elaborate and extravagant until you get the level 50 Daevenion armor at which point it becomes simple again.
Breast Plate: Hell yes, but at least more modest than most, considering some of the female armor model have skirts and metal/leather stockings instead of pants. While Magic Skirt is present to some extent, it doesn't prevent you from *those*, since you can adjust the camera angle in such a way in the first place, EVEN TO YOUR OWN CHARACTER! By the way, the chain armor series is probably the most modest looking of the lot, so don't roll a priest if you want those kind of armor.
Bottomless Pit: The entire sky counts as one, as your characters die (and sent back to save point) after 4 consecutive seconds of freefall anywhere.
Armor and weapons can be given the appearance of others from the same equipment class. If you love the look of that level 1 sword you can remodel all your subsequent swords to look identical without sacrificing stats at all, for a flat token fee. No failure rate, too.
Cool Airship / Cool Starship: It's hard to classify exactly what they are, but the Dredgion Battleships the Balaur use in the Abyss are undoubtedly cool. Scary as hell, too, as they can blast Daevas right out of the sky and carry thousands of troops to be deployed throughout the Abyss as the Balaur see fit. They also serve as instanced dungeons, with the ultimate goal to kill the captain.
Council of Angels: The Empyrean Lords, even though they started out as ordinary humans, and have never lived in any kind of heaven or any other higher plane of existence.
Cute Monster Girl: Asmodians are capable of being just as bishonen/bishoujo as the Elyos.
Cutscene Boss: The Tiamat Stronghold campaign quests "Kanistel's Command" (Elyos) and "Marchutan's Will" (Asmodian) takes the player to "fight" against dragon lord Tiamat. This fight takes place in a cutscene (rendered in-game) with the player character enjoying massive Cutscene Power to the Max alongside NPCs Kanistel or Marchutan. The real fight against Tiamat take place in a 12-person instance.
In the cutscenes for Inggision or Gelkmaros entrance quests, the player grabs and throws one of the balaurs far away.
In the above Cutscene Boss battles, the player throws magical attacks that stuns Tiamat (12 man instance final boss) effectively and putting up magical shield that blocks against Tiamat's attacks, and then Marchutan single handedly finishes up him.
Dark Is Not Evil: The Asmodians. While they live in a barbaric society and an even more harsh and unforgiving world, the game implies they are only doing what they must to survive. Despite their appearance, many quests show them to be very human.
Similarly Shedim Lady Lumiel. Before the cataclysm, she was said to be curious, innocent, and mischievous. Not much is known about her at present, however.
Daevas that die too far away from (or not bound to) an Obelisk get stuck as ghosts forever. Icaronix does this to silence his only pursuer, allowing him to keep his disguise and bringing the demise of a whole special Elyos taskforce, including you.
Easy Amnesia: The driving point of the Elyos side of the plot and possibly part of the Asmodian one, too...
Elites Are More Glamorous: Daevas are higher in the pecking order than humans, but between Daevas and the Empyrean Lords are those Daevas who serve in the elite miltary units: Guardians (among the Elyos) and Archons (among the Asmodians).
Elite Mooks: Elite monster's have a HP frame larger than normal monsters. They are found in all group instances and a few other open-world areas, usually at end-of-campaign areas.
Elite Mooks are typically have a 2-star ranking, are designed to be fought by a party, and even 1-star Elite Mooks are much stronger than 5-star non-elite Big Bad s.
Solo instance Big Bad s usually carry the same monster rating as Elite Mooks. For example, the final boss of solo instance Steel Rake Cabin is a 2-star elite. The Mooks in the Steel Rake group instance are 2-star elites.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Storyline wise, only the greatest of humans/elves/dwarves/mutants/whatever can ascend into a Daeva. In game, every player character ascends into Daevas at a very low level of 9 (level cap is 65).
The upper half of Ateria, Asmodae is a world of darkness and shadow according to the lore. In reality, you will bring sunscreens and sunglasses on your real-life visit to Asmodae during daytime. In night-time, both Asmodae and Elysea are roughly as dark as each other.
Gameplay Grading: Some instance dungeons, such as Dark Poeta, Danuar Mysticarium, Eternal Bastion, and few others are graded on the performance of the participant(s). The possible letter grades are S, A, B, C, D, and F. There are score and time cutoffs to achieve each particular grade, and higher grades provide better rewards. No rewards are given if the participants receive an F grade.
Giant Flyer: Unexplained giant flying whales/fish/dragon/whatthefuckevers seem to serve more as scenery than anything else in the game. There's at least 4 flying around the Verteron zone alone.
If you ever see a chat message about a "betafish" its usually in relation to these things.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Asmodians aren't evil per-se, but their eyes glow red when they're killing.
God Is Dead: The shattered tower stumps are the remains of what used to be god, though there are hints in-game that Aion (God) is watching from the sidelines.
Good Thing You Can Heal: Ascended? Congratulations, you get to spend your life dying pointlessly for things like finding peoples cats, because hey, you can recover from it, right?
Good Wings, Evil Wings: Averted with the Elyos and Asmodians - they have angel wings and black angel wings respectively and are about the same in terms of good and evil. Played straight with the Balaur, who have the bat "Devil" type of wings. Note, however, that the Asmodians did have bat-like devil wings in pre-release demonstration versions of the game which can still be found on a few Asmodian enemies.
Looks like the Elyos will have glowing neon blue bat/dragon wings in next releases, as seen in the Vision Trailer.
Green-Eyed Monster: According to the Aion website's official wiki, the Empyrean Lord Israphel's jealousy of Siel, plus a desire for greater power, led to his eventual corruption. It seems to be implied that this is what led him to call for peace with the Balaur, which in turn led to the destruction of the Tower of Eternity.
Hard Work Hardly Works: You'd think the Elyos, living lives of comparative ease and comfort to those of the Asmodians, would be naturally more fragile, right? Wrong.
Heroic Sacrifice: Siel and Israphel sacrificing themselves in order to keep the planet from falling apart.
Highly-Visible Ninja: One of the two available motion change manuals allow you change any or all of your idle / running /jumping / resting animation into this. It's purely cosmetic and has no impact on gameplay in any way.
Hollow World: It used to be, but the Cataclysm blew up most of the equator making it look more like an apple core.
Human Resources: The Lepharists become guilty of this later on, at least in Asmodae.
Idiot Ball: Yeah, sure Zikel, please attack the Balaur diplomats your friends summoned for peace talks. Cue Tower exploding in the resulting conflict and the After the End situation at present.
I Know Karate: Wield a quarterstaff and you use it like a Wuxia protagonist. And look awesome doing it.
I'm a Humanitarian: The moral consequences of this are completely ignored. The sapient (but evil) Balaur are considered a delicacy, and all the top-level, most useful cooking recipes specialize in cooking Balaur meat.
Improbable Weapon User: Spellbooks. Their standard attack is the user tearing out pages from the book to fling at the enemy. Admittedly, they're magically charged and the Violation of Common Sense is averted as the pages simply regenerate with all the writing intact, but they still fit this trope.
Immortality Begins at Twenty: Averted, you're stuck at whatever age you ascend at for eternity. One of the first Daeva Elyos meet is a child who's several hundred years old, and an Asmodian Daeva talks about the seeming sadism of being ascended when he was on his death bed and now has to watch his family grow old and die when he can't even take up his blade.
Kyu and Dan Ranks: Aion's Abyss rank system has 9 kyu ranks and 9 dan ranks. 9th-1st kyu are soldiers, 1st-5th dan are officers, 6th-9th dan are respectively called generals, great generals, commanders, and the governor.
Your Abyss rank is based on how many Abyss points (AP) you have for kyu ranks, and Glory Points/Honor Points (GP) for dan ranks.
Dan ranks (officers and above) are only available to the top 1,000 characters on the GP leaderboard, per faction on each server. Higher dan ranks have even tighter leaderboard position requirements - The required leaderboard position for each respective dan ranks are 1000, 700, 500, 300, 100, 30, 10, 3, and 1. Yes, only one governor per faction per server!
Certain Abyss equipments require a certain abyss rank to equip. Level 60 and 65 Abyss PvP equipment with stage 2 augmented require 1st kyu, and a different level 65 Abyss PvP set with component pieces having rank requirements ranging from 1st to 4th dans.
Light Is Not Good: The Elyos zealously believe that the lack of strife they experience in their world is proof that they are blessed by God, and see the Asmodians as soulless inhuman monsters to be killed without remorse. Including civilians and children.
Similarly, the Seraphim Lord Kaisinel is a vicious Blood Knight and doesn't care much about anyone's life.
Limit Break: Most skills requiring Divine Power to use.
The Magic Goes Away: Well, it hasn't yet, but it's going to pretty soon if someone doesn't do something about it.
No Shirt, Long Jacket: The male version of "Marra's Party Dress" costume, that can be applied to any class of armor.
Not So Different: The lore descriptions of each faction's attitudes apply only to the worst or most hardened of them. Many of the NPCs that a player will meet (especially outside the starting area) could well have come from the other side. One Asmodian Daeva even laments that his people no longer know what they fight for. In fact, both sides believe themselves to be blessed by Aion though they do venerate different aspects of the deity.
Older than They Look: Daeva stop aging when they ascend, so ancient daeva can have the bodies of small children.
Our Angels Are Different: Daevas are exceptional Elyos and Asmodians, capable of manipulating aether to a degree previously only seen by the Empyrean Lords. In return for dedicating their existence to their people, they become immortal.
Though the Balaur were intended to fill the more traditional "Angel" role before they rebelled, as stewards and messengers of Aion and protectors of humanity, and usually have a mix between angel names and folklore monster names. And they are dragons with spaceships. Which leads us to...
Our Dragons Are Different: The Balaur were originally created as the rulers of Atreia, but quickly got drunk on their power and turned evil.
Pointy Ears: In character creation, you can move the ear shape slider toward the right to give yourself pointy ears. Some NPCs on both factions (particularly Lephanist Revolutionaries) have pointy ears.
Yustiel: The Heart of the group. Gentle and caring, she's most interested in peace and reconciliation. (Superego)
Azphel: A decisive perfectionist who holds himself and his subordinates to high standards. Hates Ariel for being too weak-willed to continue the fight against the Balaur and believes that Ariel has failed in her duties. Leader of the Shedim Lords (Ego)
Zikel: Azphel's right hand. Once a friendly rival of Nezekan, they have fallen out of favor with one another. Zikel is violent, arrogant, and lacks self-control. Somewhat of a Reckless Sidekick, as he was partially responsible for the events that ignited the abyss war. (Id)
Marchutan: Quiet, respectful, and completely stoic. Also The Big Guy. Prefers rational planning rather than Zikel's impulsiveness. (Superego)
Triniel: Composed and calculating, she prefers to strike precisely and accurately. Has a cold indifferent personality. (Superego)
Lumiel: Not much is known about her since she joined the Shedim Lords, but according to accounts from before the cataclysm, she is curious, innocent, and mischievous. Pursues magic studies with the same curiosity that a Playful Hacker applies to computer security. (Id)
Fregion: The first Balaur to ascend and become immortal, and also the first to propose that the Balaur should be rulers over everything else. In spite of his initial enthusiasm, he now worries that the Balaur's endless desire for power may lead to ruin. (Ego)
Ereshkigal: A Blue Oni. He is especially attuned to cold and ice magic, but has learned to control all the elements, even to the point where he is rumored to be able to cause jungles to sprout up in deserts. He is dispassionate and prefers rational thinking, which is very unusual for the Balaur. While he has a reputation for cruelty, he maintains strict adherence to his own code of honor. He was the first Balaur to take up the Empyrean Lords' peace proposition, and a primary debater before the assassination attempt on Fregion and the subsequent cataclysm. (Superego)
Beritra: The Quiet One. He would prefer that others not know he even exists, and prefers to hide in the shadows. (Superego)
Tiamat: He would prefer that everyone know he exists, and is motivated primarily for fame, fortune, and to prove himself. (Id)
Note that the Seraphim Lords and Shedim Lords each have one member whose personality traits best fit those of the other group as a way to show that Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Not Evil.
Rage Against the Heavens: The Balaur turned against Aion (God) when he refused to grant them more power over the world, ordering them to serve humans. They succeeded. Notably, there has yet to be a major Elyos or Asmodian faction that is misotheistic about Aion although each side certainly feels that way towards the other's pantheon.
Except that they were banished from Atreya into a different dimension, and the humans are now heavily empowered and ABLE to fight back. Plus, see the above entry for "God Is Dead."
Rainbow Pimp Gear: Completely averted...unless you're into that thing. Players can change the appearance of their gear to that of any other piece of gear in their inventory. You can also dye your gear whichever color you want. That means you could conceivably make yourself look like a level 1 character, or you could keep the looks of that super-cool armor set you ditched a long time ago without having to worry about losing any stats.
Rare Candy: The items "Secret Remedy of Growth" (North America) / "Growth Serum" (Europe), sold in their respective cash shops at very high prices. These items fill up 20% of a character's experience bar and limited to characters level 54 or below.
Really 700 Years Old: Daeva remain at the age they ascend at until they die. This goes even if they are children.
Also a possibility for the shugo Vindachinerk, even though shugos can't become daeva. The game mentions that he was the one who created the first cubes, and that he learned how to make them from Empyrean Lord Israphel, the Lord of Space. The catch is that Israphel has been dead for several thousand years, so either Vindachinerk has somehow extended his lifetime by a ridiculous amount, or he used some kind of time travel.
Samus Is a Girl: Shaga, a gladiator who fought in the Impetusium wooed many women who gazed into his eyes, and became the greatest champion who ever participated in the colosseum... until it was eventually discovered that he was a she.
Scenery Porn: Even at launch the game was considered one of the prettiest MMORPGs on the market, but from the looks of what's shown in the Aion Vision trailer this looks like it's going to be ramped up to eleven.
Shoulders of Doom: While most shoulderplates are much more modest than those in World of Warcraft, several do exist in this game, the most iconic being the Graceful Shoulderplates model, which is nearly as wide as the character is tall, minus the flames spewing out.
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Kromede was considered so beautiful that people thought Aion itself sculpted her face. She was constantly showered with marriage proposals, politely turning them all down. She later became a Shadow Judge, but was eventually investigated for corruption. Her downfall was caused by the people hurt by her not returning their love giving the court evidence against her. However, the Kromede's Trial dungeon seemed to show that most of the latter part was inaccurate at best.
Space Jews: Shugos have a secretive culture based around trading and capitalism. One Shugo mentions that he has recently lost his fortune and is now "a young shugo with an old shugo's fur". An in-game book says "A Shugo will never cheat another Shugo, but taking advantage of other races seems to be encouraged." It also says "...Some go so far as to say that Shugos are responsible for all evil in the world. Some particularly vicious rumors claim that Shugos drink the blood of human infants..."
Averted in the original zones introduced with the 1.x patches, where normally the music is peaceful and relaxing while the player is not battling, changes to faster battle tunes when the player enters combat mode.
Played straight in the zones introduced in 2.0 and later, as the newer zones do not have battle BGMs included. Even with battle BGM setting enabled, these peaceful music continue to play while the player is fighting enemies in these areas.
This holds particularly true for Katalam and Danaria, which are full-time PK zones. Area near capturable bases can be subject to intense battles. Examples of 4.0 zones BGMs: this or that.
Stone Wall: The Templar are the primary tanking class. Gladiators and the Priest branches aren't quite as durable, but they can work as substitute tanks.
Teleporters and Transporters: Devas use a Portal Network to get around quickly. Apparently, humans that try to use it telefrag themselves. In addition, there's the Sorcerer "Blind Leap" skill which teleports them backwards, and the Illusion Gate skill which opens a portal to their faction's capital city.
Sprint Meter: in the form of a Flight Meter. Initially each character can only sustain 1 minute of free (hovering) flight. A character who depleted all available flight time while midair will fall to the ground, taking Falling Damage. Mounts can also use the flight meter as a Sprint Meter.
Free flight are only possible in small cylinder-shaped flight zones. Gravity Barrier and Invisible Wall surrounds the boundries of the flight zones, but you can glide past the Invisible Wall s. Exception: The entire Reshanta (Abyss) is a flight zone.
Not Quite Flight: Gliding can be done everywhere, even in areas where flight is prohibited (i.e. the majority of the game). Guiding will result in continuous loss of altitude, but you may catch some Vent Physics which allow you to stay in the air for a bit longer. You can even glide to some places that you are not supposed to be there (such as the ground level of Sanctum, which is a giant Bottomless Pit). Each second of gliding in flight zones consume flight time at half rate, but gliding in no-fly zones will consume flight meter at twice the rate of normal flight.
Monster are always on the ground, and trying to attack a monster from midair will result in the monster regaining all health. True Airborne Mook (as in they live in the sky, instead of a winged mob sticking to the ground all the time) are very rare in Aion.
Stationary Wings are averted, however. Except when gliding instead of flying, a Daeva's wings flap normally.