Never fear, we have rent-a-gear! For times just such as these -- and any other battle needs -- your friendly neighborhood Shugos come through again, with an extra special offer for you, just for you! Ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack.
So might go an advertisement for one of the new features brought to Aion in the 1.9 patch -- the chance to deck yourself out in high-level, albeit temporary, gear. While jewelry is not offered, you can get weapons of every kind, shields, and full sets of armor -- definitely a plus for anyone seeking instant gearing-up satisfaction, but is it a good deal? How practical is this gear, and do players really take advantage of it?
Suit up and march past the cut to explore some pros and cons, and see whether this new feature makes the grade with players.
Temporary gear is acquired two ways: daily quest rewards and Mist Merchants. While you can receive temporary gear from the daily quest reward system, it is both rarer and has a range of expiration times (either three, seven, or 14 days). Armor bought directly from the Mist Merchants has a set time frame you can count on; it loses its magic at 14 days -- but instead of turning into a rags when the clock strikes 12, it will simply leave you standing in battle in your skivvies.
A visit to Mappinerk or Takurunerk in Eltnen fortress will show you what is offered to players levels 25+ and 35+. You know Shugos would never pass up a chance for profit, so there are Mist Merchant counterparts in Morheim, Heiron, Beluslan, and both capitol cities as well. Each offers the same wares for the same prices, although those in Heiron and Beluslan cater to the 35+ and 45+ crowds.
Of course, if you want to try this gear out, you need to have a bit of kinah burning a hole in your pocket. The good news is that all types of armor -- from cloth to plate -- have the same price tag, so all you noisy, metal-encased fighters don't have to feel price-gouged compared to the clothies. Level 25+ gear goes for 860 thousand kinah, while level 35+ is 1.2 million. If you want to go for the 45+ set, be prepared to fork over 1.5 million to the Shugo. Weapons follow the pay scale of 470 K, 613 K, and 757 K, with shields adding an extra 300-500 K. With a price tag like that, is it worth it?
The feature was, of course, added to game to be of benefit to the players. But is it? The most obvious benefit is that you can be decked out in all blue heroic-level gear, weapons, armor, and shield, with only a few clicks of your mouse. Definitely convenient, and certainly instantly gratifying. Your other options for obtaining gear are to farm until you get the drops yourself or buy from the broker -- assuming you can find it on the broker or in a personal store. Each of those can be extremely time-consuming and expensive, not to mention that success is not guaranteed.
For those who are leveling quickly (and yes, it is possible!), this gives the player a chance to be in some good gear for a good price, compared to decking himself out via the broker. The idea is, if you are only going to be in a set of armor for a short time, why spend millions of kinah -- you will be replacing it in short order, after all.
Let's take a look at the cost break-down. On the server we investigated, a quick search of the broker found that only two pieces of heroic cloth armor even existed for the level 25 crowd, let alone a full set. For these two pieces? 550 K. Now, if you want to take a look at gear for plate-wearers, you are restricted to only one option. Leather fared better, but chain had nothing available. Checking on level 45 gear? Again, slim pickings, and a single piece can be 2 million -- quite a chunk more than the price for an entire set of mist armor.
So you can either cough up some moolah and get the thrill of immediate gratification, or you can save up, grind out kinah, watch the broker like a hawk hoping what you need is offered, and then -- right as all the pieces come together -- BOOM! You out-level it. Or do what some do: farm a mob incessantly hoping for that one drop. Of course, you then have to fight against the kinah farmers who camp bosses for their drops.
Another benefit? You get a full set at one time, one level -- not piecemeal, having to reach just one more level to put on that pair of shiny new boots, or just two more to don that new hat. You get to be blue, head to toe, from the get-go -- assuming you have the coin to get it all.
Obviously, after your rental period is up, you lose the gear. This is a drawback in more ways than just suddenly being naked on the battlefield. One, you now have to now replace the gear, which means forking out some more kinah, unless you want to continue flashing your fellow players. Also, unlike regular gear, you don't get to recoup any losses. You can't sell it back, you can't break it down for enchantment stones. Basically, the kinah you paid is long gone and funding a baby Shugo's education.
Interestingly, the armor's temporary nature is not the biggest gripe you hear about this gear; rather, players dislike that they cannot socket any manastones or godstones in it. Another annoyance to some players is that the mist gear, with its many unique renderings, cannot be used as a skin (although, if you ask me, having my drawn dagger look invisible when time expired would be pretty dang cool!).
According to the pulse of the players, there seems to be a mix of people who think the armor is a total rip-off and waste of kinah, and some who found it usable. Those who thought temporary armor was useful agreed that the only real use was for alts who would out-level their gear too quickly to make it matter.
How many of you have tried the mist gear? Did the benefit outweigh the cost? Chime in and share your opinions!