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Exclusive: Aion's Chris Hager talks 2.0, part II

Jef Reahard

Massively: We've all perused the lengthy translated patch notes for 2.0 and there's some good stuff in there. Will all of it make it into the American client or are there things unique to different versions of the game? If so, can you give an example of what might be in the Korean 2.0 that isn't in the American 2.0 or vice versa?

Pretty much everything is coming to America. There are a couple of things in regards to fortress siege timers and things that we already changed here in the West and our players are content with. Energy of Repose, the rest experience, we changed that prior to Korea. So out of 1.9 Energy of Repose is the 2.0 Energy of Repose, and Korea just changed their system to reflect ours.

The notes feature a lot of tweaks to the UI, but no mention of additional hotbars or any kind of UI customization (for example, a player might want to put the radar on the left rather than the right, etc). Any plans to add this functionality for 2.0? If not, any particular reason why not?

1.9 brings in two additional hotbars -- floating hotbars, that allow you to customize them and move them all around. When you count up all the hotbars we have, we have 6 hotbars and 10 different rows. We feel the players are really good as hotbars go.

As far as additional UI customization, such as moving around the other UI elements, we're looking into that as we're always looking to make the UI more user-friendly. We wanted to concentrate on content enhancements, so we can get all of that content in there, and work on the UI in an ongoing process. It just wasn't our primary focus for 2.0.

The pet system notes mention an alertive pet that will warn its owner of nearby enemy players. Can you talk about this in a little more detail, for example, what is the range, are there any ways to counter/avoid the pet detection, etc.

We haven't gotten into a lot of depth of testing here at NC West yet. We'll be forthcoming with that information once we get the data and do the extensive testing with 2.0.

It turns from a neat game feature to a griefing tactic, if you're killing the same player every day for two weeks.

With the Multi-type pet, the notes say 'more than one function.' Are there certain combinations for this or are there uber-pets that are alertive/warehouse/productive all-in-one?

There are a bunch of different types of functionality (insert pet types here) and we're always going to have additional pet types, especially down the road we might have multiple pets. But right now, the pets are one use only, and we might do "multi-use" pets down the road.

The patch notes mention that kisks can no longer be installed 'in certain areas.' Can you elaborate on this? Are there certain well-known kisk locations that NCsoft considers to be exploits?

There's one specific area that comes to mind, and that's fortress sieges. There are specific areas that are prone to having kisks placed on them. While it's not exactly an exploit, it's pretty close, and that's one of the areas where the development team was targeting. I think that's one of the areas that won't be allowed in the future, or will be limited. 2.0 also brings a whole bunch of new kisk types out there, like ones that look like water or sand. We're not trying to dissuade users from using kisks, just so they're not used in ways that are unfair to everybody.

Similarly, can you explain the changes that have been made that prevent players from staying for extended periods of time in certain regions of Elysea, Asmodae, and the Abyss? How long and which regions? Is this in response to player complaints about 'griefing' and forced PvP due to rifting?

This is about player griefing using rifts and staying in areas. Players will level up, use Abyss points, get PvP gear, and then park in a zone and terrorize that zone for hours, days, weeks at a time. It's something that's decent in the short term, a couple hours or days, but not something for long term camping of sites. It turns from a neat game feature to a griefing tactic, if you're killing the same player every day for two weeks. We want to keep that system fun, but take away the incentive to grief.
They're looking into tweaking the rift system to then further allow players not to grief. But if players want to come in for a few hours, the fun still isn't taken away.

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