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Aion Econ from a WoW Player’s Perspective (Part 3)

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

In Part 2 of our Aion Econ series, we covered gear types and quality as well as consumables. In this next segment, we are going to discuss the Trade Broker, Taxes, and setting up your very own Private Store.

Trade Broker

Trade Broker

This is Aion’s version of the auction house. Although you can vendor items and materials that you pick up as you level, to maximize Kinah income, you want to sell them at the Trade Broker. This is especially important during the launch of a few game. There is will a huge demand for all kinds of items as everyone will be trying to level at the same time. The user interface is almost identical to WoW’s AH. All the features are there like sorting, item categories, ect. You can find Trade Brokers at your factions major city, either Pandaemonium for the Asmodae and Sanctum for the Elyos.

There is a tab called “Register”, this is just a fancy word for post/sell. This is where you drag and drop items you want to sell and set their prices. Once you drop an item in this area, a window will pop up asking you how much you want to sell it for. The default price that comes up will be what the item vendors for. Vendor prices will change and fluctuate depending who controls areas of the Abyss and taxes, which we will cover later. There is also a fee associated with listing an item which is based on the item and asking price. You are also allowed to cancel auctionswhich will cause you to lose your fee. These auctionswill last 8 days without the option of changing the duration. This can be a great feature if you are not the type that sits in front of the AH day and more of the casual, check my auctionsevery 2 days type of player. Imagine listing your auctions and coming back 8 days later to collect your Kinah. This can be good or bad depending how you want to look at it. In addition to the long duration of auctions, you are only allowed to have 10 auctions up at a time, per character. This is a dramatic difference from WoW, where your top gold makers maybe listing hundreds of auctions through semi-automatic add-onslike Auctioneer. Having to not manage and list so many auctions in Aion is a nice change of pace. However when you do want to mass produce and list tons of items, you will have to have alts that do this for you. This will take up character slots and a small bit of time from logging in and out from all your bank/auction alts.

The next tab is called “Settle Account”. Auctions that have expired or sold will appear here. You will be retrieving unsold items here as well as collecting your Kinah on sucessful auctions. Unlike WoW, your auctions will have nothing to do with your mailbox. You will however get a server message saying you need to go check the Trade Broker anytime your auctions sell or end.

Taxes

Taxes

In the Abyss, an massive PvPzone as well as end-game location, there are fortresses that players and Legions (guilds) can capture. Depending on which faction controls them, the taxes are in their favor. So one of the benefits of gaining control of these fortresses is that taxes are lower or non-existent for your faction. Taxes apply to all vendor materials, which as we mentioned before, there are a lot of items you can buy from them. This is important because you want to buy regents and vendor materials for crafting during low tax rate times. Now if you are the opposing faction, you will be paying a 10% tax on all vendor goods. Items being sold to the vendor also nets you less Kinah when you are the faction being taxed. As for WoW, having a high reputation will give you discounts up to 20% on specific vendors. In Aion, you have to work as a team and faction to get these price breaks which is a very interesting concept and really rewards team play.

Private Store

Private Store

Hearing about having your very own store should excite most of our econ/gold focused readers. This feature will be used most likely for those items that couldn’t fit into your Trade Broker due to its’ limit of 10 items or less rule. You can essentially set up your own shop anywhere in the world, but for efficiency, you will want to set one up in high traffic areas at your major city or questing hubs. 50 people with their own shops set up and store message via chat bubbles above their heads is an interesting sight to see at a major city. It probably contributes to a bit of lag while running through all these shops. Your shop will have a small flag and you sitting on a chair next to it. You can set up a store message to display, which other will see it as a chat bubble. You can set your own prices of your items and I think that you can have multiple pages as well. The interface looks just like any other vendor so players who walk buy can just purchasean item by Right-Clicking it. There are a few limitations to the Private Store method however. Players who are looking to buy specific items are most likely going to the Trade Broker instead of going through tons of Private Stores throughout the city. Also, once you set up show you cannon perform any other physical actions till you close the shop down. Your store only remains open as long as you are online, so you are trading your gameplay time for store time. To some of us, we already spend time at the AH trying to sell items already, so this isn’t such a big deal.

In Part 4 of your Aion Econ series, we will cover Stigma Stones, Manastones, and Godstones. These are comparable to glyphs, item and weapon enchants.

Categories: General, Trade Broker

Aion Econ from a WoW Player’s Perspective (Part 2)

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

In Part 1 of our Aion Econ series, we will covered the very basics including Kinah, Inventory, Warehouse, and Mailboxes. In this next segment, we are going to discuss gear types and their quality as well as consumables.

Item Quality

 

There are different item quality types but the different colors don’t neccessarily corospond to the ones in WoW. Here is the break down of Aion item quality:

Item Quality

The highest level of gear you can obtain would be Orange/Unique quality and unlike WoW, you can have a full set of this color. Where as WoW has only a few select Orange/Legendary items in the game. Blue quality items are highly desirable while leveling in Aion and they come at fairly high prices on the Trade Broker (aka Auction House) because they will last you a while. There are Orange items here too, however they cost a lot of Kinah and do not come easy to obtain one. They can be crafted, but Aion’s profession system is very in-depth and extreme compared to WoW’s, where you can fully power-level a profession within a few hours.

Weapons

 

Weapons

There are 9 different weapon types in Aion, which is very similar to WoW. You can also craft every type of weapon in Aion where WoW does not have a profession that lets you craft bows yet. For some of the melee weapons, there are also a different class of them called “Extendable Weapons”. These do what the name says, they extend out to attack your enemy, which means it extends your melee range.

  • Daggers
  • Swords
  • Maces
  • Staves
  • Spellbooks
  • Orbs
  • Greatswords
  • Polearms
  • Bows

Armor Class

 

Armor Class

Again, this is very similar to WoW with a few exceptions like the Priest class being able to wear chain armor. It’s not to big of a deal, you will get used to how things work in Aion even if WoW was your first and only MMO.

  • Cloth
  • Leather
  • Chain
  • Plate
  • Shields

Armor Slots

 

Accessories

The only notable difference here is the addition of 2 earring armor slots and no cloak slot like WoW. You can also wear any type of helm, be it cloth or plate, since it is not treated as a type of armor and considered an accessory. There is also a slot for your Wings, which is how you fly around and travel in this game. Wings have stats on them that add additional flight time of your character, however in certain PvP zones, you are given unlimited flight time.

  • Chest
  • Legs
  • Shoulder
  • Gloves
  • Boots

Accessories

  • Head Gear
  • Belt
  • Earrings x2
  • Rings x2
  • Wings

Equipment Skins and Dyes

 

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These allow you to customize how you armor looks and the color. Although aesthetics may not matter to some, there are a good amount of people that care about what their character looks like. While equipment skinning can’t be done till level 30, you can use dyes at any level. Dyes are items you can buy that change the color of your armor to make them match so you don’t look like a clown with mismatched armor like in WoW. Skinning your armor is the act of physically make a piece look like another piece. Some of the Aion Kinah making guides I have read have a tactic where you skin lower level items like end-game Abyss armor. Once you have located a certain armor set for its’ looks, you can skin the armor that you are selling before putting it on the Trade Broker for increased sales.

Consumables

 

consumables

Things like potions, food, drink, and scrolls act like their equivalents in WoW. The great thing about food in Aion is that you don’t need them to regen your health and mana like WoW, there is just a built in ability called “Rest” that is the equivalent of eating/drinking in WoW. As for scrolls, there are travel scrolls that can be bought and when used, you it will teleport you to the certain areas. In WoW, teleporting is reserved for certain classes/professions.

From the research we have done on consumables, we found out that they are always in demand and used all the time. In WoW, most end-game raiders use consumables like flasks, food, and DPS potions to give them a slight edge but usually does not mean a difference between a wipe and boss kill, at least for normal modes. In Aion, where end-game is very PvP focused, using consumables can be the difference between killing your enemy or dying and losing Abyss Points (Honor equivalent in WoW) and experience. Players carry lots of health/mana potions, flight speed/time consumables, and various potions that dispell certain effects. In WoW terms, imagine doing a battleground with a flask and food buff, using DPS potions to finish off your enemy, using [Free Action Potion], [Swiftness Potion], and [Restorative Potion] when the situation called for it. Although not every single Aion player will be so into consumables, just like WoW, there is more at stake here than just dying and rezzing at a spirit healer.

Along with the basic consumables, there are also:

  • Odella Powder
  • Power Shards
  • Kisks and Resurrection Stones

Although there are bandages in Aion, using your Odella skill helps you regen a small amount of health or mana. This ability requires some cheap reagents called “Odella Powder”. This system is similar to using a bandage in WoW except there is a mana restoring version. Power Shards are like temporary buffs to your melee weapon that you can turn on and off. Each hit with your weapon consumes one shard and you can buy these normally from a vendor. They range from +10 to +35 weapon damage.

A “Kisk” is like a mobile spirit rezzer. You can purchase one and activate your location of choice, players can use their “Bind” ability (similar to your Hearth location in WoW) to save themselves to the Kisk. When they die, they will be rezzed at this specific Kisk. Imagine questing or hunting down an outdoor raid boss and when you die, you will resurrect at this Kisk, which is placed just a few feet from where you died.

Resurrection Stones are simply amazing. When used, they act either like a player’s resurrection spell, while other types can act like the soulstone of WoW. In Aion, you are allowed to resurrect in combat, so using these stones allows any player the ability to rez a dead player who died on a boss fight.

As you can see there are some interesting consumables in Aion and best part is that most of them can be bought from a vendor. Some of the end-game items are crafted using profession and are highly desirable so making money with crafting/professions is a possibility.

In [Part 3] of our Aion Econ series, we will cover the Trade Broker, Taxes, and setting up your very own Private Store!

Aion Econ from a WoW Player’s Perspective (Part 1)

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Aion Online

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

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.

Inventory

Inventory

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.

Warehouse

Warehouse

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.

Mailbox

Mailbox

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.