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Aion: Assault on Balaurea zone trailer -- Gelkmaros

MJ Guthrie

Last week, NCsoft gave us a peek at one of the new zones in Aion's upcoming Assault on Balaurea expansion; today, we tour the Asmodian occupied land -- Gelkmaros. With fissures ripped in the very land itself and areas devastated by ancient battles (including the ancient city of Maravas), the Asmodians will find their stronghold treacherous, but not without surprising new allies.

Stranded in Balaurea since before the Cataclysm, the Reian tribe knew nothing of the war between the Asmodians and the Elyos until recently. These Daevas who stand watch over Subterranea, home of the evil Dragonbound, enter into a tentative alliance with their lost brothers and sisters from Asmodae.

As hostile as the land and creatures may be, the Asmodians must be ever vigilant to defend both the Vorgaltem Citadel and Crimson Temple against the assaults of the Balaur and Elyos forces, lest they lose the ability to travel with in their enemy's stronghold.

Once again, Massively asked Chris Hager, Producer of Aion, NCsoft West, a few questions about this new area.

Fly past the cut and through a video tour of Gelkmaros, then check out Chris' answers.

Massively: Although there were many familiar creatures in the video, we thought we caught glimpse of a couple of new ones. Are there new, never-seen-before models introduced in the new areas?

Chris Hager: I'm glad you noticed! The lore behind the new Assault on Balaurea allowed the development team to introduce a lot of brand new creatures into the world. I've done several sprints through the new maps and there are a lot of new creatures to see (and several that are interested in making you dinner!)

The fast-travel flight streams can be seen stretching out across different areas in the video. Are the streams predetermined paths that you simply ride (like the flight system present in Elysea and Asmodae), with a set entrance and exit, or will you fly under your own power and be able to get on and off at will?

Windstreams are a great new addition to travel that are really going to be fun and functional to players. They are on a set path (you can't change the direction of the windstream) but you can enter and exit all along the path. For example, if you're on a highpoint of a windstream and see something interesting, you can hop out, glide around and see if you want to set down and explore, or if it looks uninteresting (or dangerous) you can hop right back in and continue in the windstream.

If they are predetermined paths like the old flight system, will they replace that system in the new areas, or will paid flight stations be available?

There will be paid flight stations, but they won't be what you're used to. The new paid flight system in Inggison and Gelkmaros are called 'Air Lines.' These use the power of a players' wings (and a little kinah) to get you from point A to B. Unlike windstreams, these are a straight shot from one location to another, so you can't exit out or explore (similar to paid flight in pre-existing zones).

Will flight be restricted to the windstreams, or will there be flight-capable pockets, such as are currently around the main fortresses in each land?

The new zones will have a combination of the new wind streams in addition to flight capable pockets, so players will find familiar free flight areas in both of the new areas.

How many windstreams are present in each area? Can either race utilize these streams?

While I don't have a specific number, there are several wind streams for both Gelkmaros and Inggison. Also, because these zones were built with the idea of PvPvE and that each race can have access to the other's area once certain conditions are met, both races can use one another's windstreams.

Noting the Asmodians in the video, are the new zones restricted by race, with rifts being the only access between them? Or will travel between the zones be unrestricted, with Elyseans and Asmodians mingling freely?

Actually it will be a bit different than any mechanics we currently have in game. Each race will have two fortresses on their map that will initially be controlled by the Balaur. By taking over these fortresses, the races open up a passageway to Silentera Canyon, which is the map that joins Gelkmaros and Inggison. Through this map, each race has access to the others. As long as you control your own race's fortresses, you have an open path to the other race's zone. You always have to be on your guard though, because the opposing race, once in your map, can take over your fortresses (much like the Abyss) which would cut off access for your race to enter their map, but would leave the door open for them to invade.

Are there any instances where Asmodians and Elyseans have to cooperate and work together against the common threat?

With as much as the Asmodians and Elyos get along? No way... There's just too much bad blood between the races to work together for a common goal.

Thank you so much for your time!

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