The Aion team has posted March's Eye on Community segment, and the most noteworthy portion is an interview with Producer Sean Neil and Brand Manager Dominic Wai about the upcoming Aion 2.5 update. They discuss the graphics update, the two new instances and more. They also confirm that Aion 2.5 should be on the test server by the end of April of beginning of May. You can read the entire interview after the jump.
We recently got some details about the Empyrean Calling update straight from NCsoft at the Game Developers Conference and PAX East. Check it our article for even more information on Aion 2.5.
The Interview of the Month
Aion Producer Sean Neil and Aion Brand Manager Dominic Wai put their heads together and answered some questions from the community about the upcoming Aion 2.5 update and future Aion events.
Could you please tell us more about the visual effect upgrade that will come with Aion 2.5? Are we going to get what was shown in the Aion Vision trailer/movie?
Producer Sean Neil: The high quality graphics engine is exactly what we saw in the Vision trailer. I'd dare say the high quality graphic engine is even more impressive than what we saw there. Advanced texturing, deeper and clearer lighting and shadows, blooming, focus effects, sunlight effects, and a huge range of advanced options in your graphics settings will come to life when you take advantage of the advanced settings offered by the engine.
Players tend to complain about Aion being very demanding in terms of PC specs. How are you going to address this in the 2.5 graphics update? Will you release two clients, one with the graphics that we have today and one with the updated one for the enthusiast gamer?
Sean: The best part about the high quality graphics engine is that you aren't required to use it. The current graphics settings for the game will remain. Using the high quality setting is purely optional for those that have the machine to run with the advanced setting on. Once you choose the high quality engine, you are prompted to restart the game client, which then allows you access to the dropdowns and sliders associated with the new graphics settings.
Regarding content, what are the major new features that we can expect with 2.5?
Sean: The 2.5 update adds two new instances: Empyrean Crucible and Esoterrace. The Empyrean Crucible is an endurance gauntlet group instance for levels 51-55. You’ll face several different bosses—some new and some familiar. Esoterrace is a huge outdoor Abyss Point instance that challenges you to cut off the Balaur supply lines. It's massive.
Brand Manager Dominic Wai: The Aion 2.5 update also incorporates some really nice new social features, including an increased maximum Legion level that gives you access to a brand new Legion cloak. The update also adds a new mentoring system that helps new players level up quicker with the help of a friend. PvP players also get all new eternal AP items to strive for.
Players have been very happy about the recent events, especially PvP. Do you have any plans that you would like to share with us? Can we expect more cool events with 2.5?
Sean: We recognise that Aion players fall into lots of different groups: PvP, PvE, casual, hardcore, solo players, and group/Legion players. We have plans to run a variety of different events that appeal to as many players as possible, but it's impossible to run an event that makes every player happy. We have been discussing this recently, and we decided to create some events that are very specific to the preferences of some of our players, including our PvP players. Our goal is to constantly engage you not only with new content, but with ongoing events—community events, in-game events, so-called microevents (like Behind Enemy Lines and Increased XP), and system events. Short answer: Yes! We’re planning lots of cool events this year.
Dom: We’re also looking forward to getting your feedback on how much you enjoy each event so that we can make sure to provide you with the right events on a regular basis. When you fill in the survey at the end of each event, you help us make sure we’re making plans to provide the right gameplay environment for your needs.
Sean: One last thing I'd like to mention: We're shooting to have Aion 2.5 on our player test servers (PTS) at the end of April or beginning of May, so you'll all have a chance very soon to see it for yourselves!