Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Wings Over Atreia: Heat wave

MJ Guthrie

Just when summer gave way to autumn in the northern hemisphere, spring slipped away from Atreia and has been replaced by a sizzling summer. Commemorating the release of Aion's most recent expansion this month, NCsoft has launched a live player event called Scorching Heat, which heralds the onset of summer on the lands of Atreia and offers Daeva a plethora of goodies throughout the month-long event simply for being logged into the game.

From Wednesday, September 15th until Wednesday, October 13th, Daevas can acquire summer-themed rewards such as bathing suits, diving gear, candy that transforms them into a giant Inquin, sunglasses, and beach hats, as well as items that are useful within the game such as platinum, gold, and silver coins. Even more significantly, unlike past events in which rewards were one-per-account or soulbound, this event awards items that can be openly traded. Whether you are a fluff-lover or not, this fact alone is money in (or out of) the bank; fortunes are being made or lost on swimwear in the open market, as those who don't care so much about the fluff charge obscene amounts of kinah to sell it to those who do.

However, just as some features to this new event have Deavas smiling into their ice-cold mela juice, others have them cursing. For instance, excessive server lag can be attributed directly to this event, as players remain logged in whether they are playing the game or not.

So overall, are Daevas enjoying the scorching heat? Or just getting burned? Swim past the cut and check out the ins and outs of Aion's latest live event.

The premise of this event is simple -- collect scorching heat then exchange it for your reward. And participating in the event could not be easier: You just log into game and are granted one scorching heat for every 20 minutes you stay in game. There is no level restriction, and you don't have to hunt, you don't have to craft, you don't have to do anything at all except be logged into game to collect scorching heat -- it just accumulates in your cube. Once you collect 20 scorched heat, you can barter with Zena in Sanctum or Elma In Pandaemonium for a cold box. Save up 50, and you can acquire a frozen box instead. Next, open the box with a simple click and see what reward awaits you. Every box contains a reward, though not every reward is appreciated by Daevas.

Itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, brommel polka-dot bikini

NCsoft really improved the event rewards this time around, and Daevas are scrambling to acquire them. Some rewards are obviously more sought-out than others (sexy swimsuit anyone?), and some are seemingly less worthwhile (power shards, really?). Don't be finger-pointing that it's just the gals wanting the fashion statement; I know more male players who want to want to bedeck their female toons in the bikinis than female players who do!

Of course, the chances of getting the good stuff are low. Here is where most begin to curse luck, the random number generator, or the gaming gods of their choice. Personally, I have enough of the blue Balaur scales to qualify setting up a vacation home in Dark Poeta. However, even items that are not useful to a particular Daeva have resale value, especially the coins and dyes. No matter how you look at it, you are getting free goods for doing absolutely nothing! Tell me where I can get a job like that and you sure won't hear me complaining! Conversely, you can also buy items on the cheap as the market floods with easily-gotten goods.

Not sure whether to spend your scorching heat on a cold box or a frozen box to get the items you want? Here is a complete list of the possibilities for each:

Cold box
  • One cute swim hat (cute really is a matter of opinion, as it resembles a giant pink fish)
  • One diving helmet/sexy bandanna (headgear is gender-specific -- diving helmet for males, bandana for females)
  • One beach hat
  • Six summer-loving Inquin form candy (more than just a transformation; you get a pretty impressive buff, too!)
  • One hundred, 400, or 1000 fine power shards
  • Twenty, 30, 50, or 70 platinum coins
  • Fifty or 100 gold or silver coins
  • Twenty blue Balaur scales (a necessary component to entering the Dark Poeta instance at level 50)
  • Five, 10, 15, 20, or 30 scorching heats (a possible free second chance!)
Frozen box
  • All headgear available from the cold box
  • One pair of goggles
  • One cute swimsuit (just like the headgear, swimwear is gender specific, meaning you can't see any gals in wetsuits -- boo!)
  • One beautiful swimsuit
  • One sexy swimsuit (very hot commodity!)
  • Fifteen summer-loving Inquin form candy
  • Five hundred or 1000 premium power shards
  • Fifty, 100, 200, or 300 platinum coins
  • Seventy or 150 gold or silver coins
  • Fifty, 100, or 150 Blue Balaur scales
  • One platinum medal
  • One dye: true white or true black
  • Twenty, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70 scorching heats
"Live" event misnomer

From day one, the idea that this event was labeled as "live" was almost laughable to most players. The most annoying facet of this event is ironically the one that is most appreciated. While Daevas are quite happy that everyone can participate without any effort, the lag created by so many players participating is wreaking havoc on the server. Adding pets into the mix when Assault on Balaurea launched already added some lag, but now imagine hundreds of AFK Daevas staying online in order to collect the scorching heat. Truly, this would more accurately be called an AFK event.

For those who doubt there is a viable population still in Aion, simply walk near the training dummies in any city and marvel. Players are finding creative ways to circumvent the auto-disconnect for being AFK too long, from weighting down their spacebar and hopping like Mexican jumping beans souped up on caffeine to auto-attacking training dummies in cities. Legion groups have been seen whacking away at these, as if they were intensely training for the war. Personal stores have also cropped up like dandelions all over each city, reminiscent of launch when people stayed online to avoid the multiple-hour queues to get back in. While some of the wares offered are legit, other stores are just obvious attempts to stay online -- some even announcing AFK in their shop message! I have to admit, I am amused reading the occasional witty and creative messages, but the sea of personal shops makes moving through Sanctum pretty difficult. Thank the developers for shift+F12!

Just one more

Despite the frustrations -- the annoyance of excessive lag when trying to hunt or siege, not knowing who in tarnation is actually online in your friends or legion lists to actually get a group going, receiving power shards for the umpteenth time when you are hoping for a swimsuit -- Daevas are continuing to bask in the heat, soaking up as many scorching heats as they can. Even those who complain about the lag can be found taking advantage of the ease of the event. It is a mass-epidemic addition. Now, I am left to wonder: How many computers are going to fry due to this heat wave? For the love of your graphics card, please take some break -- any break -- before tragedy befalls. I understand the lure of free goodies and a chance to strike it rich; after all, I am a California girl, and I know all about gold-fever.

Speaking of which, I need just a couple more scorching heat myself. Come on, beautiful swimsuit! Crossing my fingers...

Gallery: Aion: Beating the Heat | 17 Photos

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr