I have decided, perhaps foolishly, to start playing an MMO – Aion. If one were to ask the reason for me deciding this, I could not give a single answer. I can quantify my reasoning, but not give a single definitive motive.
To backtrack, I don’t usually play MMO’s: I haven’t played one extensively since Ultima Online back when 28.8 modems were considered cutting edge. I have dabbled only once since, joining the first iteration of Guild Wars, an NCSoft cost-to-buy but free-to-play system that was bought for playing with my significant other of the time; suffice to say neither of us took to it and that experiment ended with a little fanfare. I did hear of Aion when it was released in Korea at the tail end of 2008, although at the time it blended in with the general background noise of the Korean gaming scene of which MMO’s play a large part.
“I capitulated and purchased the Collector’s Edition that had been beckoning to me, siren-like, on Steam”
I think one of the aspects which swayed me into at least trying Aion was the aesthetics. Despite my ordinary avoidance of superficiality, I am by nature drawn to pretty things, a severe character flaw I’m sure. So it had crested the first hurdle in getting my attention. The second draw was the pleasant buzz surrounding it, anime and game blogs alike weren’t exactly haemorrhaging praise but there was a decent undercurrent to the otherwise acerbic MMO discussion. Partnered with the looks came the lore, typical high-fantasy fare with a generous sprinkling of ethereal names that only just manages to be convincing of when it was conceived: moments before it was decided to be an MMO. And then there was the marketing:
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