Wings Over Atreia: Support the war effort and reap the spoils in Aion

Wings Over Atreia
Ah, the best laid plans of Daevas and men...

I am so glad you are the understanding sort! You'll forgive me, right? I know that I'd said that this week's Wings Over Atreia would be covering a guide to all the daily quests in Aion, but that was before NCsoft surprised us with a new event mid-week. And since said event ends on the 20th, I thought waiting until the 18th to fill you in would be downright cruel! Besides, the daily quests aren't going anywhere; we'll catch them next week. You might even thank me later for giving you seven more days of freedom.

So what's this event that has preempted the (spectacular, informative, and well-worth-the-wait!) already-penned article? It's called The Spoils of War, though technically it is actually two events bundled together: Provisioning the Front Lines and Besh Temple Blitz. Daevas of any level can participate in the first, whereas only those level 55 and up can do the latter.

The next question is why participate? Because of the spoils, of course!

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As a fan of events in general for infusing variety into gameplay, I actually appreciate them much more when they have some actual tie-in to Aion's lore as opposed to just being flung in for the sake of an event (e.g., summer heats) or to being a freakish approximation of a real-world holiday, like Halloween. The Spoils of War actually delivers on this front; even though the story is simple, it fits in Atreia. In essence, the truce enforced on the Elyos and Asmodians in Sarpan can't hold (go figure, right?) as troops move into Tiamaranta. Supplies to keep the war effort, not to mention combatants, alive are dwindling. Once Tiamat realizes that Daevas are starving and refocusing their fighting on each other instead of her, she enlists Isbariya the Resolute in Beshmundir Temple to craft a weapon that will bring dead Balaur to life but permanently kill Daevakind.

Sounds like something worth countering, no? Then let's see what we can do!

Supply the troops

The first part of the event, Provisioning the Front Lines, is the more inclusive of the two as every Daeva has the chance to participate. The idea is for Daevas to make provisions for the troops at the front line. Bet you'd never have guessed that! In return for making these provisions and supporting the cause, Daevas will get spiffy rewards. Don't worry; you don't need to know a pot from a pomegranate or be a cook in any way to participate.

How do you make these provisions? It's actually quite simple: Collect tasty grains and special golden aether and combine them with a simple mouse click. So easy, even a level 10 can do it! The "hard" part is actually gathering the ingredients.

The tasty grains can be obtained two ways. The first is actually beyond easy if not a subtle ploy to draw you to the BlackCloud Marketplace. Every day players can purchase three tasty grains for zero NCoin from the marketplace. The only caveat is that you must claim them with a character that is level 20 or higher. So once per day you can get three free, but three really isn't going to net you any good loot.

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To really stock up, you have to log in and, well, just log in. For every 20 minutes that you are logged in game, a grain will magically appear in your cube. I know what you're thinking: Oh great, another lagfest as people hop till their connection drops. Well, you are right. However, it doesn't seem to be quite as bad since unlike in previous events, you don't just collect the item and turn it in for the reward; instead, you have to go hunt for the second item in order to combine them.

The real effort is in obtaining the golden aether. To get started, Daevas are given three in a survey. After that, golden aether must be collected off of mobs during certain time frames. Luckily for Daevas, both the zones and time frames have been expanded. Golden aether can now be found in all zones except for Poeta, Verteron, Ishalgen, and Altgard. Higher concentrations of the special aether can be found in certain instances and the PvP zones (the Abyss, Silentera, and the Eye). If you want more for your time invested, hit up NTC, Fire Temple, Steel Rake, Theobomos Labs, Adma Stronghold, Dark Poeta, or Besh Temple. Baranth Dredgion and Chantra Dredgion also drop them. Golden aether will only drop between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and then again from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. EDT.

Once you have both items in your cube, simply right-click on either and to combine the two into a ration pack. (As a side note, Daevas who want to skip all the effort of collecting ingredients can purchase ration packs straight from the marketplace in packs of five.) Next, you want to convert the ration pack by clicking on it. This will give you one to five potent rations. In addition to the potent rations, you can obtain other goodies; so far I've gotten more event tasty grains, potions, and running scrolls. The potent rations are then turned in at each capital city for event boxes. Jade event boxes cost 30 potent rations, silver ones cost 50, and the gold boxes cost 100 each. You can also use the extra potent rations to buy event firecrackers at one ration each.

Is all this effort worth it? I'd have to say that the rewards for this event are actually more useful than most. Instead of just generating fluff, these event boxes give useful goods like medals, high-level enchantment stones, and valuable manastones. Of course, the more expensive the box, the better the reward, but even the silver box guarantees one enchantment stone or five manastones.

Reward Chart
Going to the Temple

The second half of the event involves running Besh Temple, so Daevas under level 55 are sadly out of luck. In an interesting twist, NCsoft actually gives Daevas a reason to make repeated runs through this instance by adding some lore to explain why the bosses need to be stopped and how they manage to keep resurrecting. Granted, most people probably don't need a reason to go farm for some good lewts, but I find the story a welcome addition.

The story is not the only thing added for the event. Until June 20th when the event ends, a gateway right outside of the Silentera Canyon entrance for each faction will teleport Daevas directly into the Temple, regardless of Balaurea fortress ownership. In addition to this, there are rewards for successfully defeating the main bosses of Besh (Mancunbello, Ahbana, Dorakiki, Flarestorm, Isbariya, and Stormwing) a certain number of times. Daevas who kill any combination of these bosses 70 times will receive 20 fine medal chests, which contain mithril medals or AP relics. Up that number to 100 kills and the reward jumps to 30 chests. Each character can earn only one of these rewards.

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One hundred kills in two weeks at six bosses per run... that comes to a whole lotta runs in a very short amount of time! In fact, you'd need over 16 runs in 14 days. Given the lockout timer, it could be possible, but just barely. So what's a Daeva to do if those reward chests are a must-have? Whip out that wallet, that's what.

I actually have to give NCsoft props for introducing a product as well as a market for it without making it feel forced or cheating anyone. Although they're not necessary, the special blitz packs currently in the marketplace make reaching that goal of 70 or 100 kills that much more likely by offering time scrolls to erase the lockout timer along with either XP amulets or amulets that increase the chance of loot drops. Who knows, with that many runs my dagger has to drop sometime, right? Right?!

Wait, this is my luck we are talking about, so never mind. But at least I can help out with the effort and grab myself a fancy box or three. Not that I really have it out for the enemy, but I can toss some rations together for the hungry Daevas! Maybe I will even sneak them a candy or two; who couldn't use a chocolate smile, even in the heat of battle? The chow line closes on the 20th, so anyone wanting to help out should shake a tail or feather and (AFK) hop to it!

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.