Aion Econ from a WoW Player’s Perspective (Part 1)
Since I started following Aion, an up-coming North American MMO, I had wanted to write about it since it has some interesting differences from World of Warcraft. What ended up inspiring me to start writing about Aion was an article over at WorldofMatticus.com titled: Aion Beta Review From a WoW Player’s Perspective. Have no idea what Aion is? Check out these two HD videos from the producers:
Although the upcoming NA release is on September 22nd, the NC Soft MMO has been active for a while now over seas and has even been through a few patches. There has also been six closed beta events on select weekends lately, which just by pre-ordering the game, you are given a beta key. The open beta is coming up real soon and those that are interested in trying the game out can do so. For those that may not have followed up on this game, right before launch there will be a Pre-Select day, where you can choose your character names and servers before anyone else. There is also a Headstart program where you get to start leveling and playing them game 2 days before its’ official release. Both these features are available to those that pre-order the game and yes we have have our pre-order and participated in the last closed beta. We hope to possibly launch a sister site related to making money (Kinah) in Aion; any inputs on that? Here are some of the important dates to remember for those that are interested in this new MMO.
Upcoming Aion Dates:
Aion Open Beta: September 6th – 13th
Aion Pre-Select: September 18th
Aion Headstart: September 20th
Aion Official North American Release: September 22nd
Aion Official European Release: September 25th
While this MMO is not released yet, I cannot comment on how the economy is like in Aion. If anyone who is currently playing the released version of this game, feel free to add any input you have. However, we can talk a bit about how different items and econ related elements work in this game. Some are very different and you might even say a bit more hardcore than WoW. Some of these elements remind me about how pre-BC or Vanilla WoW was, before all the nerfs and casual focused developments. I am definitely interested in trying Aion and the econ elements that it has. From its’ hardcore crafting dynamic to the ability to set up your very own store to sell items, it’s a welcomed change from WoW. So without further interruption, let’s dive into some of the basic elements of Aion!
Kinah is what Aion’s currency is called. Which may get confusing when players start abbriviating 1000 Kinah as 1k. For the sake of this post, we will use kn for the currency (1000kn). Kinah also scales a lot higher than WoW gold. 2000 Kinah is pocket change, since just from doing a few start area quests, you hit a few thousand Kinah easily. You pick up around 30-50 kinah per mob in the early leveling area. End-game items costs millions of Kinah. Adjusting to this larger scale of currency may take some time for WoW players.
There are no bags in Aion, which is nice, but there are still inventory spaces to hold all your loot, called a “Cube”. You start off with a default of 27 slots + 1 extra for quest rewards in your cube. That +1 slot is a nice element that allows you to receive a quest reward when your inventory is full. By using Shift + Right Click, like WoW, you can split your items. You can buy extra slots, called “Expanding your Cube”, from a NPC. The cost goes higher and higher the more times you do this, which adds an extra row or 9 slots to your inventory. This comes out to 108 slots of inventory space or in WoW terms, bag space, after all the upgrades. The first upgrade costs 2000 Kinah and can be done a total of 9 times. The inventory interface also has two extra buttons that, while simple, offer a nice touch. There is a trash can icon that you can drag and drop items you want to delete without having to drag it out into the open user interface. The 2nd button organizes your inventory for you! Gear will be arranged next to each other, same with potions being next to potions, ect. A simple yet useful feature of the Aion Inventory interface. As usual, this area will also show you how much currency you have.
A warehouse is the equivalent to your bank, but luckily, you have access to them outside of major cities. After clearing the first questing zone, you are sent to the next area, where you will encounter a warehouse. You can have up to 64 slots total. In the interface, below your personal storage spaces, there is a separate warehouse area, called “Account Warehouse”. These slots are available across all your characters, like if your multiple bank alts shared a guild bank in WoW. This feature allows you to bypass a mailbox for sending items to and from your alts. Since it acts like a bank, you can keep items in here permanently too. This is a great place for materials and consumables you want to share between your characters. A great feature if you like using bank alts to sell and trade items. The 3rd type of Warehouse is a “Legion Warehouse”. Guilds in Aion are called Legions and they can have their own bank storage, just like a WoW guild bank.
The Aion mailbox is exactly the same as a WoW mailbox with the exception of one feature. You have the option to send mail as “Regular” or “Express”. Regular, is just like mailing things in WoW. You have to be at a mailbox to open it and take the items/gold attached to it. Express, is when you send mail where the recipient can open it almost anywhere in the game. When you open up express mail, say while you are questing, a little mailman shows up and you can read and pull out the contents of that piece of mail. This is a very convenient feature that can save you some time from trying to get to a mailbox considering there are no mounts in this game. You can fly with your wings, but that is a whole different topic. Now this feature does come with a cost. For the regular mail method, while sending Kinah, the charge is about 1% of the amount sent. So sending 100,000kn will cost you 1000kn. For express mailing, sending Kinah will cost 5%. So sending 100,000kn will cost 5000kn. Now things get interesting when you start sending items, which can only be done one at a time, unlike WoW’s 12 items per message. The rates for regular mail are 5-10% and express mail costs 50% or more of what the item is worth. Also note that sending just a regular text only messages will have a base cost of 8kn for regular and 491kn for express. The mail system I would consider more hardcore and realistic that WoW’s, however keep in mind you do get an account warehouse to transfer items between toons. Below is a breakdown for the mailing fees:
- Regular text-only: 8kn
- Express text-only: 491kn
- Regular currency: 1%
- Express currency: 5%
- Regular item: 5-10%
- Express item: 50%+
In [Part 2] of our Aion Econ series, we will cover gear types/quality as well as consumables, which are taken more seriously than in WoW.