By now you're familiar with Akarios Village and Cliona Lake but it's time to venture further to the Kabarah Strip Mine, the Algaric Spore Road and the Timolia Mine. It's in the latter area that something suddenly hits you when you discover an Abyss Gate, a portal to the aerial PvP areas at the shattered core of the planet which is only accessible players who are level 20 and over (I believe the level cap on the live servers in Korea is around 50).
Given the geographically opposing segments of Atreia (Elysea is on the bottom half while Asmodae exists in the top portion of the planet), PvP outside of the Abyss seems impossible. Indeed the only way to get from Poeta to Sanctum (the Elyos' capital city) or to Eltnen is via a transporter which only Daeva can use (as long as they have the money). This means that while you're in Poeta you are safe and, while I can't confirm this due to the lack of Asmodians and limited areas of accessibility, I get the impression that you can't raid the opposing city or even zone into, say, Eltnen if you happen to be Asmodian. Yes, it seems like it's PvE content all the way leaving you free to choose if PvP is your thing. I hate PvP so the idea that my poor mage will only be slaughtered by mobs is oddly appealing.
It's around these levels that you start to learn about how Aion
's economy works. Kinah (Aion
's form of currency) gets you potions, covers costs for transportation, allows you to pay for new spells or skill upgrades and shiny new weapons. Two broken carapaces from a bug will net you enough to travel from one side of Poeta to the other, a couple more and the odd piece of leather and you can teleport to Sanctum.
Kill a few more and you can bind your soul there too. You can sell almost anything in your cube (your Atreian backpack) and as you get into your teens craft items, farm mats and then return to hubs like Akarios, Sanctum or Verteron to sell your wares. But there are plenty of money sinks too, specifically in the form of Soul Healing (where XP you lose upon death is restored for a fee), the need to rebind at a local Obelisk (yes it costs money every
time) or teleport to another land mass. However the drop rates for trash rates are really quite favourable so making a quick Kinah is not too much hassle, even if you do still need to be careful with your money to avoid getting in stuck in Sanctum post-Ascension.
As you level up, learning how to gather herbs and maybe even ore along the way, you start to explore more of Poeta, eventually stumbling across a wise old hermit named Pernos
who will be a vital ally in later levels as you search for your destiny. The quest itself is relatively simple, you go collect specific items, talk with Damiru and then get to go on a trip down memory lane where it is revealed you were once a Daeva felled in battle to a nasty Balaur general. Nice. Then it's time to choose your sub-class and off to the beautiful floating city of Sanctum you go for the ceremony which will grant you your wings.
Choosing your subclass comes as part of a dialogue sequence, the pros and cons of each class laid out and then you are locked in. This isn't something I'm particularly keen on, even if it means at around level 11 as a Spiritmaster you get your first minion. However these choices, taken at such a low level, might frustrate players as they hit the beta level cap and it isn't particularly clear if there is a trainer who can help you relearn as a different subclass either but I've not yet found one.
Let's talk about flight. I know it's the one game mechanic which put Aion
on a lot of our reader's radar, including mine. Yes, you too can have a giant pair of angels' wings just like Auryn here but it comes with a few downsides. You can only fly for around 60 seconds at a time and only in specific area. Granted this time limit can be extended a little thanks for items made available with the limited CE
of the game or buffs but you still have to be careful where you fly.
For now, you get one pair of wings although there is the option of buying two extra pairs from a seller in Sanctum but it's prohibitively expensive. The CE features a varying design which will also enhance the length of flight. Personally I like the classic look, it's very in keeping with the angelic ethos of the Elyos.
Youre first experience of flying is likely to be in the Verteron Citadel. Flying is off limits in the sacred city of Sanctum, apparently, and I couldn't get it working in Poeta either. Aerial combat is an important part of the gameplay and this does not just mean in PvP. For example, if you're mid battle and low on health, all you need to do is press the page up button to summon your wings and flutter just out of the mob's reach while you deliver the final blows. Avoiding death has never been so creative. A timer clicks down from the moment you rise into the air and you can also glide on air currents by pressing the spacebar, all you need is a largish hill.
However the world design prevents free-flight. When you cross from a flying area into one where it is prohibited you'll fly into an invisible wall. Your only recourse is to turn around or land and rely on your feet. This is a bit of a shame as there are no mounts which means getting from A to B can take a while, even with teleportation and bird transportation. Flying is a well beautiful mechanic, even if I found myself looking up my mage's skirts a lot of the time but the controls are easy to master with R making your character rise, F will lower them gently to the ground and page down causes your wings to vanish.
Having now reached level 10, it's time to leave the safety of Poeta and Sanctum and go out into the world and explore Eltnen. In the meantime, check out our Aion