Wings Over Atreia: Fools and tools

Wings Over Atreia
In the immortal words of some child glued to a pleather seat in the back of an old station wagon in the dusty desert heat (and echoed by impatient Daevas everywhere): Are we there yet? Are we, huh, huh? Isn't it April 11th yet?!?

Whoa, deja vu there for a moment. But with the launch of Aion's next big expansion just around the corner, very few phrases can capture the feeling in their air quite like that old standby. Many players are anticipating the move to free-to-play along with the introduction of new content (even if information on the upcoming changes has been less than prolific).

To pass the time until the 11th, some Daevas are participating in the latest Aion event, the aptly named Fool's Day. More still are on the lookout for and latching on to every bit of information that comes out about the incoming patch. As for me, I'm a multi-tasker, so I am simultaneously checking out the event and utilizing my hooks to snag every bit of info I come across all while sharing said results with you!

Aion screenshot
Pity the Foos

A while back I mentioned that NCsoft could stand to lay off the events for a little bit. Events were running out of our ears in a non-stop progression from Halloween to Christmas to Valentine's. Now, admittedly Rallying the Troops was a good event (any reactivation is IMO), but thankfully we weren't assaulted with a Groundhog Day event, a March Madness event, or a Daylight Saving Time event (although I honestly could have gone for a Leap Day event, just for the fact it can only happen once every four years!).

That said, I appreciated the break from the lag-fest and the need to collect so many things that clog up valuable cube space that come with many of the events. It was refreshing. So by the time word of the Fool's Day event came out, I was ready to jump back in and be all participate-y.

Aion screenshotReading up on the event, I was actually intrigued and pleased. For once, here's an event that isn't going to involve staying logged on for days on end or make me run around collecting piles of something-or-other! Instead, bosses from various instances will be traipsing about in lands outside of their normal haunts. Daevas can then fight them in their weakened form and obtain special boxes containing potions and weapons that resemble their real counterparts. Participating event bosses have escaped from Haramel, Nochsana Training Camp, Fire Temple, Steel Rake, and Dark Poeta.

WOO! So off to hunt the different bosses I go. I manage to catch a glimpse of one from FT while it spanked some lower-level folks. Hey now, don't judge; you know as well as I do if you pop in to help as a higher level, he may very well yell at you for interfering! Then I trotted off to try to catch the SR bosses in Heiron. I never did find any, but that could be because I kept being distracted by those big red Asmo dots on my screen! Mmm, tasty AP. After giving up on a sighting there, I moved along to Inggison, where I finally hit pay dirt: a full group of bosses all for me! Having never reached A rank in DP, I was meeting the dragon Tahabata for the first time. I rather enjoyed seeing a part of the game I hadn't before, not to mention that I reveled in the satisfaction of soloing it and all related minions. (When the devs say "weakened," they aren't joking!) But sadly, that's about all the satisfaction you can get.

I honestly can't remember any events around this time from previous years, so although I knew that the weapons would have a catch, I certainly expected something a little more worthwhile. I was expecting the weapons to be weaker facsimiles or to be temporary, but I didn't expect the timer to be so short! I expected they'd last maybe a week or something, maybe even a day. But noooo -- these weapons last only an hour! Well, and 10 minutes.

Maybe the whole point is to make Daevas look or feel like fools for expending energy on this event. Aside from the fun of seeing the bosses, maybe getting a bit of XP and a couple of potions, is this event really even worth it? That would be for you to decide. If you want to check it out for yourself, the event runs through April 4th.

Image of C.U.B.ETools of the trade

Of course, one of the big questions on everyone's mind is what in Sam Hill is going into the cash shop!?!?! Nevermind who this Sam Hill is. Although we won't get to know what exactly will stock the shelves of the BlackCloud Marketplace until the preview on the 4th, we do have a few ideas. And now we also know exactly how the new Customizable User Bundling Experience system is going to work.

A short video hosted by Shugo Hobs explains what we can expect with the C.U.B.E.s. There are three sizes: small, medium, and large. As the size increases, the benefits and free goodies increase as well. Filling the cube is a matter of choosing whatever items you want by clicking or dragging them in. Now, although you see significantly more "slots" in the largest one, that does not mean you get to include as many items as there are slots. Instead, each items in the store has a "size" depending on its value; the more valuable, the more slots it will take up. True, some items seem to take up only one square, but others take up 36. Obviously, the pricier items will not fit in the smallest C.U.B.E.s, which have nearly no space.

Additionally, as the cube fills, you unlock bonus items. Thankfully, these bonus items do not take up any of the C.U.B.E. space reserved for purchases but are instead added on after. Of course, we have no idea what said gifts are, so whether or not it is worth it is a mystery. Hopefully, it will be something like adding more of what you have already purchased, proving it is at least a desirable item for you. Another bonus of going for the large C.U.B.E. is that only it will offer "seasonal premium items upon purchase." Now premium seasonal items will be absolutely free, but whether we can choose them or they're just handed out depending on the season is also unknown. Once the purchase is complete, the items will be delivered by the in-game express mail, the Zephyr delivery.

OK, so that's how it works, but we still want to know what will be available for purchase. While I cannot say with certainty or give specific details, this is what I get from the video: Checking out the pictures used to demonstrate the C.U.B.E.'s capacity, we see what appears to be appearance clothing and hats, dyes, pet emotion cards, scrolls, pet eggs, a cube (more in-game cube space, oh please be so!), potions, and the Inquin form. But that is really all I can glean from the provided visuals. Come April 4th, hopefully all of our questions will finally be answered.

Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down weekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to mj@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.