Wings Over Atreia: Exclusive peek into Aion 4.0's new zones

Wings Over Atreia Exclusive  Peek into Aion 40's new zones
I have a pretty standard M.O. when it comes to my MMOs: Regardless of how various tutorials want to direct me, I wander off and explore the new world I find myself in. I love to poke around, look into corners, and see all there is to see. The same goes for any time a patch or expansion opens up new places to meander through. That's really just how I roll/run/fly/shamble/hop. So it should come as no surprise that I am excitedly awaiting the new lands of Katalam and Danaria when Aion: Dark Betrayal launches on the 26th.

I know that I am not alone in my anticipation, so for all those who are also looking forward to taking off into Aion's new realms, I've got something special for you. No, I can't let you into the game early (but if they ever open the door early for me, I'll prop it for you!), but I do have the next best thing to a first-hand experience: a visual tour.

I've gotten a hold of -- legitimately, I swear -- a video and a number of screenshots showing off all three (yes, I said three) new zones, and I want to share them with you. On top of that, I also have some highlights of the story behind these new areas that Daevas will soon be soaring into. Join me to take a tour and learn the lore of Katalam, Danaria, and Idian Depths.%Gallery-191538%

Like every zone in Atreia, the new 4.0 zones are distinct and have their own stories. In these new lands, Daevas are exposed to the ancient Danuar race, a people wiped out when Tiamat's forces invaded. Although long since extinguished, the culture (and weaponry) of that ancient race are still present in ruins and relics scattered about the regions.

Of course as is wont to happen, war and destruction did not end when the Danuar did; filled with beauty as well as danger, Katalam, Danaria, and Idian Depths make up the latest battleground between the forces of the Elyos, the Asmodians, and the newest threat from the betrayer himself, Beritra.

Have a look at the landscapes and histories of each one as described by the loremasters of NCsoft.

Katalam in Aion
Katalam

Katalam was originally occupied by an ancient race known as the Danuar. After the Cataclysm, Tiamat invaded Katalam in an attempt to gain even greater power by acquiring a deadly Danuar Hyperion weapon. While she succeeded in occupying Katalam, she failed to harness the weapon's power. Failure to properly fuel the weapon contaminated the surrounding areas, mutating the creatures in Katalam with Ide, the weapon's power source. Desperate to reclaim their lands, the Danuar attempted to repel the Tiamat legion. However, they made a fatal mistake by detonating one of their weapons, which resulted in the ancient people's demise.

With Tiamat dead, Katalam is on the brink of crisis as the Beritra legion moves in to take over her rule. Each force mired in its own intense battles, the Elyos, Asmodians, Tiamat remnants, and Beritra legion all seek to control the bases and fortresses of Katalam to gain the ultimate tactical advantage.

Danaria in Aion
Danaria

Danaria was the homeland of the ancient Danuar, but much of their history is unknown. Even though the original residents are gone, their legacy is left behind in the form of ancient ruins and relics from a time long past. Littered with ancient Danarian bases and fortresses, the land holds a prime opportunity for the Elyos and Asmodian war efforts. Each force is in constant warfare against each other, vying to become the Lords of the land. The Beritra forces have also established a foothold within the area, allowing them to lock horns with the Elyos and Asmodian forces in a vie for supremacy.

Never ones to miss a lucrative opportunity, Goldrine Limited, a conglomerate of the Shugo commerce union, exploit their neutral position to engage in many developmental projects in the area. Likewise, the Dragonbound and the Steel Rose pirate crew also have mysterious interests in the land.

Idian Depths in Aion
Idian Depths

The Idian Depths are considered a great place to extract Ide energy thanks to bountiful Idium mines within. In effect, this was a hideout designed by the Danuar in preparation for a worst-case scenario where the forces of Tiamat take over Katalam. Even then, some of the Danuar who evacuated here fell to their demise, and the place was left unattended. Tiamat managed to reach Idian Depths by achieving victory over the Danuar and discovered the ancient weapons there, prompting her to research how to use and replicate them. Her aspirations fell short when she was slain in Tiamaranta. After Tiamat's death, the remnants of her armies who scattered across Katalam came down to Idian Depths to avoid the attacks from the Daevas and Beritra's forces. From here, they divided into two opposing factions: those who dreamt of a glorious comeback and those who made a pledge of loyalty to Beritra.

Meanwhile, the Elyos Guardian Detachment and the Asmodian Archon Battlegroup have also ventured into Idian Depths in their ongoing fight to gain the upper hand.

Remenants of the Danuar in Aion
Ready for the adventure!

After this peek ahead at what to expect, I can say that I am truly ready for the adventure to continue! Oh, well I might have a slight issue with level still... but I hope that will be remedied soon. Besides, I won't let a little thing like that stop me from fully enjoying 4.0 when it finally gets here. You can join me as well: Keep an eye out for The Stream Team this week and next as I will be doing some last-minute leveling and then showcasing the new classes over the next few weeks on Massively TV.

Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down biweekly 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.