Wings Over Atreia: Speculation continues for Aion 4.0

Wings Over Atreia  Speculation continues for Aion
Last week, I dared venture into the realms of speculation about Aion's future, spurred by the announcement regarding update 4.0. Are my musings simply wishful thinking? Perhaps. But you can't blame me -- NCsoft started it! Until that point, I hadn't really given much thought to the next big thing. After all, we haven't even seen patch 3.5 yet (more on that next week), and I personally haven't finished the latest content. However, update information is like cheesecake bites: One morsel just doesn't cut it. You want more!

So now that the floodgates of Aion 4.0 conjecture have opened, what else might come into the world of Atreia besides the three new classes? In the absence of official word, I have created my own list of features. And topping that list are a few things we have actually seen before; in my opinion, NCsoft should get to cranking out more of the content teased back in 2009 in the famed Visions of the Future trailer.

It's time to start delivering on more of those promises made to Aion players so long ago. That means two-person mounts, more regional season changes, and the chance to boldly go where no Deava has gone before:

Aion Visions of the Future image
Under the sea!

And I don't mean with a singing crab (although that might be amusing). I am talking about whole new zones to explore chock-full of content, quests, and pretty things to go ooh and ahh over. Major expansion-y updates to the game should include new areas, and Assault on Balaurea already took Daevas to the outer crust of the world. So what's left? I propose that 4.0 will take Daevas into the seas.

Perhaps this is the patch/expansion that will introduce underwater realms and combat as shown in that long-ago tease... I mean, trailer. Swimming would become a part of Daevas' lives. We already have bikinis, wetsuits, and snorkels in-game as well as some lovely beaches. Why not add the ability to use them? And as an added bonus, those swordfish swords might actually make a bit of sense!

Taking Daevas under the waves would be one of the best boosts to the game. Talk about the opportunity to add more eye-candy! This would add a whole new environment to fill with vegetation, mobs, and possibly introduce another long-lost race like the Reians. Can't you just see some Balaur-maids swimming about under the waves, luring Daevas to their doom? I am sure I wouldn't be the only Daeva excitedly exploring every nook and cranny of this new realm.

Besides just adding new things to see, the new area would create many new things to do. New fortresses filled with quests, new dungeons to crawl, and even more PvP fortresses to conquer would all be a part of the underwater adventures. And let's not forget filling the aisles of the BlackCloud Market place. Think about it -- some underwater mounts or pets that can accompany Daevas only when submerged, like seahorses, could be offered. It could be quite a boon to the cash shop.

Of course, new mechanics would need to be put in place in order for Daevas to be able to swim through the depths. It really would be great to venture farther into the world, exploring those places that are currently off-limits. On the downside, I can see water-breathing having the same restrictive timer as flight.

Aion Visions of the Future image
Sailing, takes me away

And lest we focus only on being under the seas, what about on them? Giving Daevas a ship to sail off into the sunset opens up even more possibilities for expansion and new areas. Whole new continents and islands could be added in, both large and small. And don't forget sailing a ship is pretty dang cool in itself. There are plenty of boat models already in game, so it's not like extra concept art is needed.

Ships could also introduce the possibility of naval combat -- if not immediately in 4.0, then in one of its successors like 4.1 or 4.5. Nothing wrong with adding some new flare to PvP, right?

Get outta my dreams

Get onto my... griffawn? It doesn't have to be the critters seen in the trailer; it could just as easily be a manta ray or any of a variety of choices, but it's about time that two-person mounts were introduced! This is another feature we know is possible because it has already been done. The sharptooth bike-look-a-like already has a seat built for two. So roll it on out to us already and hop on to take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip with me!

Aion screenshot
Rainy days and Mondays

OK, so there is already rain aplenty in many of the regions in Aion. Update 4.0 would be an awesome time to add changing seasons in all over the world, not just in housing zones. It may seem like a small thing, but having a dynamic weather system in a changing world helps things feel less stale. And it makes for spiffy screenshots!

The future's so bright

That looks like a pretty full plate for update 4.0, and that's not even accounting for any bug fixes! What do you think might be coming our way when that update actually hits? Share your predictions (or just your wishes) in the comments below. And join me next week as we take a look at an upcoming patch that actually has provided us with some info: patch 3.5.

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.