Tags: aika, gpotato, Guild Wars, MMO, mmorpg
I figured I’d definitively write about the similarities between the two and then be done with the topic forever.
Guild Wars has a pretty serious flaw. Not being able to jump, or run, or swim, really limits your range of movement. It’s a great game, and I won’t bother defending it, it doesn’t need me to, but I think it could have been even more successful if you could have been bouncing over those hillsides, or jumping off those cliffs.
Unfortunately, anyone looking to profit from the success of Guild Wars and copy their basic setup, probably has not learned what Anet already has.
The jumping flaw continues in Aika, and although they cover it up pretty well, with a semi-sorta jump, not having a z axis still sucks.
The other major similarity Aika has with Guild Wars is that GW had multiple districts it would randomly set you down in, and all instanced content. The benefit being it’s a lot cheaper and easier to run. What Aika has done, has made those districts into nations for PvP purposes, and made their world much more open.
The armours are kind of similar. There’s a lot of detail put in. They look slick and non-cartoony (except when they look very anime influenced) which is what GW generally went for. They also went for diversity, and you won’t find any of that in Aika, all Warlocks are stuck with the same Warlock armour. Although I suppose diverse armour mostly comes in GW’s end game.
Both games have 6 professions (at launch) and 1 race to choose from. The customization options both aim for a kind of prettiness in both games. No sliders, you choose presets.
In Aika, the Prams, the skill system, quest system, and mod system are taken from some place else or improvised. Skills are upgraded at an NPC with skill points and you’re never lacking skill points. In GW the selection of skills is bought from a wide variety. The combat system would be too hard to ripoff without anyone noticing. However the ease of use seems familiar. I can hit one skill and have it repeat until the mob is dead in Aika, while it’s extremely clicky in Guild Wars.
I still haven’t checked out PvP or the instances, so it makes it hard to comment on. The PvP can supposedly have hundreds on each side fighting one another in Aika, while 12v12 was the largest you would see in GW. In both games you’re rooted to the spot while completing skills, Any time you’re standing in one spot firing off spells and that’s basically it… that’s not good PvP. Although I’m sure there’s plenty of people who love it.
In summary, clearly there’s new mechanics at work here, but the similarities are too big to ignore completely. As for which is the better game, well that’s all a matter of opinion but it’s Guild Wars. Guild Wars is the better game.
Tags: aika, MMO, mmorpg
I can jump in Aika, but it’s no better than an emote. There are no cliffs to jump off, thanks to invisible barriers, and nothing to jump on. You can only jump where you can walk. If you can jump on that rock that’s jutting out of the road, you can walk on top of it too. There’s no real jumping, and no z-axis. I find that disappointing.
Maybe I’m drawing too close a comparison between Aika and Guild Wars, because there are plenty of things that differentiate the two. Like the Pram for instance. It’s some form of mystical being raised to serve you. A fairy pet, at least in my case.
Today I got the quest to collect my Pram and went about getting the materials I need, and for the first time felt real purpose in the game. I wanted one. One of the first things you’ll notice walking around in Aika is all the pets following people around, everyone gets one. The vast majority of these pets appear as little girls holding teddy bears. I don’t know whether it’s adorably cute or frighteningly creepy. It’s possible that the fairy that floats around me evolves into these little girls at some point, I’ll have to investigate that in the future.
To get your Pram, the Fire Pram in my case, you need various random drops that start appearing as soon as you start killing. These are Water, Fire, and Air essences. Hold on to your essences until you get your Pram, it’ll save you a lot of trouble. Turn them in, and you get a choice of 3 different types of Pram. Do you get to know which Pram does what before hand? No. You do get to collect all 3 though, so go farm up those essences.
My fairy gives me a passive attack bonus, a passive defense to fire damage, and a skill that ups my magic attack, but only lasts 20 seconds or so. Not particularly great, but, she also talks to me, and I got to name her. Cringer. The ultimate sidekick. Strangely my fairy is naked, it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Each quest I do with my Pram now has my Pram interacting with the quest giver, and giving dialogue. We’re more of a pair than I had anticipated.
One of the other differences I noticed was the looting system. Unlike virtually every other MMO I’ve ever played, my loot is deposited into my backpack. It’s convenient, but it makes me wonder. Is there any joy in picking up loot? I can’t quite decide if there is. I know there’s a sense of curiosity, and a tiny thrill when you get something good or something you’re looking for. I think I miss it. I think I want my loot to drop. Is picking loot up off a kill worth it? It says in text, exactly what I get when I make a kill in Aika. I wonder if that dilutes any joy in what loot I get. I don’t even have to look in my pack often.
Other than that, I spent my time in Aika questing, looking for a particular boss, and exploring new areas. I’ve got quests to check out the first dungeon, not sure if I want to do that yet. I’m about level 10 and to be honest the difficulty is pretty easy.
I still haven’t decided if Aika is worth my time. MMO Gamer Chick (I like your blog title, but I think you need a catchier authorial nickname :P) asked in the comments on the last post whether she should bother, and I said no. I can’t honestly recommend it. If something in my posts stands out, like the fact that it’s free-to-play, kind of good looking, light-hearted quest dialogue, or maybe the Prams, then I would say to my 3 readers, I’m not holding a gun to your head, check it out for yourself.
I’ve still got things I want to do in this game before I leave it completely. I think I’ll keep playing until at least level 20. I’d also like to check out the instances, see what the PvP is like, group up with some people, maybe even join a guild for a half second, and gosh golly maybe even speak to a real live person at some point. I haven’t done that yet. And you know what, playing around with this Pram isn’t so bad, it’s half a reason to keep at it anyway. After years of not jumping in Guild Wars though, you’d think I wouldn’t feel the need to jump. I need it though. I need it.
Tags: aika, gpotato, MMO, mmorpg
I’m playing around in Aika without having done any research before hand. Therefore all the lore, some of the game mechanics, and plenty of quests just make no sense.
The word ‘barbarian‘ originates from the way the civilized Greeks interpreted the foreign languages of the people surrounding their empire. They were barbarians because whenever they spoke, all Greeks could hear was “bar bar bar bar”. The same way in modern times most English speakers would hear “Blah blah blah” when listening to other languages.
That’s all I’m reading in Aika. Just blah blah blah with no explanation as to what the terms being used are. I don’t have a problem with inventing new words to describe a class, a people, a magical ore, a military rank, a mystic sage, whatever. Just explain to me what it is at some point.
I got a quest and it went something like this. “Oh Hunter, you’re that new blahblah, I’m the blahblah around blahblah, Your training in blahblah must have been strenuous” at which point I started to intentionally skip through the quest text. And I like reading quest text.
I actually kind of enjoy Aika’s dialogue system. It’s more of a conversation. You aren’t given a text menu and scroll down to read through it, you talk back and forth with the quest giver. There’s even a little personality put into these conversations. Granted the dialogues go on a bit long, but that’s true of many video games.
In an MMO it’s kind of worse though, virtually every quest you’re ever going to have in an MMO is the same thing, go kill 10 rats, fedex something, collect something, kill boss x, talk to someone, or some combination of these. I don’t need to read through 2 minutes of text for that kind of boring tedium. I guess that’s hypocritical. On the one hand I want great story, lots of lore, world building writing. On the other, I want short concise quest delivery.
You can talk to a lot of NPC’s too, but it won’t lead to anything. It’s just a conversation you have giving background information about that NPC, that’s fine, but they’re kind of pointless and boring. I am never happy with anything. I just realized that.
It would be helpful to know what some of this nonsense is at some point. I’ve got 4 hours in here and haven’t witnessed an explanation as to what the nations are exactly. Something to do with PvP I think.
This is where having your own licensed game comes in handy. None of that useless “explaining your lore” crap. If you’re a Star Wars fan playing a Star Wars mmorpg, there’s no time wasted trying to figure out what Jedi are. I don’t have to ask in chat, “Hey guys, what’s the force? How do I use it?” No barbar, they’d already be speaking my language.
Tags: aika, MMO, mmorpg
On a whim, and a suggestion from a friend, I downloaded Aika, a game from the people who make (or at least import, translate, and operate) Allods, Rappelz, Flyff, and plenty of other games. It’s a micro-transaction game in beta, and from what little I had seen the artwork reminded me of Guild Wars. I didn’t really know much else about it, and I’ve decided I’m not exactly going to put a lot of work into it. After the cash shop shenanigans gpotato pulled with Allods I’m not about to throw myself into this game. Giving it a try, though, wasn’t out of the question.
I signed up, and was treated to a webpage that said “Download Aika Now!” so I clicked on the link and was told to download the Rappelz Client Downloader. Okay. It was a small download and completed itself while I was still confused as to what was going on. I knew something was wrong but decided to hit the Rappelz Client Downloader start button and low and behold, that version of its downloader is old and busted.
I’m loving this game all ready. Rappelz I mean, not Aika.
Clicking the download link from Aika’s website worked out much better, and it wasn’t too bad a download at all. I installed and proceeded through some confusing choices. Confusing because as I said, I know nothing about this game.
I’m asked to choose a world, which I presume is a server. There’s only one right now, Arcan. After logging in I’m asked to choose a Nation, one of 5. There’s no indication how this choice is important or any sign of what the choice means. After choosing, I’m presented with another choice, Faronir War (PvP) or Faronir Normal (PvE) for instance. Either way you’re now sent to a character creation screen that rivals (at least when I played it) Silkroad Online. In other words, it’s quite limited. It is in Beta, so I’m not judging, yet.
You have 6 choices in class, Warrior, Paladin, Rifleman, Dual Gunner, Warlock and Cleric. At the moment, Warrior, Rifleman and Warlock are all Male classes, while the others are Female. Doesn’t appear to be a way around that. There’s 6 choices in hair style, 4 choices in hair color, and 5 choices in face. Your choices are half typical Asian style archetypes and half western style typical archetypes. It’s beta, lets move on.
After completing your creation, you’re asked where you want to start, City or Fields. The fields appears to deposit you directly into the action, while the City is more for beginners, a tutorial area.
As you’re being sent to the game, a Star Wars style plot scroll rolls up your screen. There is no time to read it, you might get the first half of the paragraph read before it rolls off the screen, but good luck digesting what it’s just said.
In the city you’re given some typical beginners quests, showing you how to move, talking to people, visit a merchant. There’s actually some amount of humour to be found, but the quests are very typical.
Yet here’s where I first encountered disappointment. I think Aika is in it’s 2nd open beta right now, and the RMT scum have already infected it’s rather good looking setting. I’m not sure how RMT people intend to make money in a game where, ideally, you’re going to be buying everything you need directly from gpotato. Secondly, when I went to jump off a cliff, I failed. Not only are there invisible barriers, but using jump is apparently meaningless. I can jump, but I can’t jump on anything.
That’s when it hit me. The artwork reminded me of Guild Wars. The dungeons are instanced, like Guild Wars. I can’t jump on anything, just like Guild Wars. I can click to do just about anything, like Guild Wars, and there are 8 skill slots. Everyone’s wearing the same armour, a lot of people look alike. A lot of time is put into the art, and it looks pretty nice, like Guild Wars.
Maybe it’s just me, maybe you can increase the number of skill slots and customize things further than you can on your first day or a hundred other things that differentiate it, but if Allods is a World of Warcraft rip-off, then Aika is starting to look like a Guild Wars rip-off.
I’ll hold off judgment for now, an hour or two is far too little to base an opinion on.