Early Look at Aion
Product: Aion: The Tower of Eternity
Company: NC Soft
Date: 07/15/2007
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Behind closed doors, NC Soft showed off what they hope to be one of their next big MMORPGs, Aion: The Tower of Eternity.

The world of Aion is broken in half, literally. Inhabitants live in the inside shell of the world and are divided into three factions. The people who live on the lower half, the half that gets all of the sun, live in a lush green environment, while the dwellers of the top half have had to deal with darkness and their world is filled with bioluminescent plants and animals.

Players of Aion get to choose which side of the planet they wish to live on, but there is a third race made up completely of A.I. driven NPCs who live on the broken column that used to connect the two halves. This column is known as The Tower of Eternity. Since this third race cannot be controlled by players and is just as much a threat to your character as the opposing playable faction, NC Soft has dubbed Aion the first truly PvPvE game.

Brian Knox, Quality Assurance Lead on Aion: The Tower of Eternity, explained that this third race (whose name has yet to be finalized) will react to the world based on which of the other two factions has control. He didn't go into details, but it seemed like this extra faction would help to put some checks and balances into the game and cause quite a stir the times that you have to scale the Tower in order to complete quests.

Knox also explained how much of a global effort this game was. While it is being developed in Korea, there is a lot of effort in both countries to make the game appealing to both American and Korean audiences. "We don't want to just make this another Korean game we bring over to America, or vice versa," said Knox.

Aion is still in early developmental stages, but everything from its regular use of flight in both travel and combat to its PvPvE system makes it a game to look out for.

J.R. Nip aka Chris Meyer

GameVortex PSIllustrated