Aion is go! Perhaps. At least I think it is. Is it?

First impression: Can’t create an Asmodian on my server of choice. Fair enough, the limit will be lifted anyway, so I’ll wait.

Second impression: Can’t connect to server since it’s full, sorry. Try again in a while.

Third impression: You are number 3200 in the queue, just hang around for almost 5 hours and you’ll get to play.

I have been stuck on that third impression since yesterday. There is no way I’m waiting 5 hours in a queue to play a MMO, I don’t think anyone should have to. Dear NCsoft, you had hard numbers on the amount of people that would try to log in during the head start days and couldn’t fix this well in advance? You guys just managed to hit a brand new MMO-low in a time when we’ve slowly come to expect launch day catastrophes to be a thing of the past.

My plan yesterday was to write a proper first impression blog entry about Aion, complete with a screenshot of my new fancy character. That is obviously not going to happen – I wasn’t able to log in during the off-peak hours earlier today and I am certainly not able to log in now. I have no idea what the server guys are doing, but I’d recommend NCsoft to shove a lot of extra cash their way so they can get everything up to speed well in advance of the official launch in a few days. The game launches in the US tomorrow and if you guys are having the same issues as we Europeans do, you are truly screwed.

Now, I haven’t paid a penny for my copy of Aion, so perhaps I shouldn’t be complaining that much. If I had actually paid good money for the collectors edition and getting into the head start program that way, I would be furious by now. But since I’m supposed to be reviewing the game, I am under a certain deadline stress. My editor in chief knows how MMOs work, that they take time to review, but at the same time you can’t wait forever for these things. If things aren’t sorted soon, how am I supposed to have the time to do a proper and informed review?

Funnily enough, NCsoft seems to understand the problems with reviewers being stressed and pumping out MMO reviews way too quickly (perhaps they don’t want to see one of their games be the center of another Zitrongate), so they added a note to the e-mail which included the review code. They asked us gaming journos to “…keep in mind that the full experience of Aion grows with the game and an accurate view of the Abyss PvPvE zone won’t become apparent without a reasonable amount of active high level characters and player organization on you [sic] server”.

When the e-mail arrived a few days ago I found it cute and quite daring – they could have hoped for a Tortage effect instead – but now I just find it laughable. How will my experience of Aion be able to grow with the game and how do you expect me to be able to reach level 25 and take part in the Abyss fighting if I can’t even get into the game?

When it comes to my future review of Aion, I will of course not give the game a lower score because of these problems – I will take the time to play and experience what the game has to offer before I pass judgement on it. But the problems we are seeing now will be mentioned. I have a bad feeling that quite a few reviewers, especially the ones that don’t care very much about the genre, will be a lot quicker in judging the game.

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  1. Blue Kae says:

    I started a comment, but it turned into a full post. Something about MMO launches really gets under my skin. I think its something to do with the phrase “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” –

  2. [...] from Don’t Fear the Mutant is trying to review Aion, only problem is he can’t get in to play because of server’s being locked for [...]

  3. [...] launched yesterday for pre-orders. Cownose got in. Petter had the five hour queue (and he’s under deadline!) Heartless_ isn’t playing, but loves him some queues, anyway. Lars got to level 3, server [...]

  4. Hi, the whole thing is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s genuinely fine, keep up writing.

  5. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the website is also really good.|

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