The dust swirled in one single puff of wind, then settled along with the hush over the streets. The sudden peel of the bell as the clock struck noon shattered the silence. Eyes blazing and raven wings furled, the Daeva stared down her enemy, hands poised over her low-hung holsters. "Com'on, ya lily-livered varmint. Make my day!"
OK, so maybe the O.K. Corral and the Wild West aren't en route to Atreia, but that is certainly the first image that sprang to my mind when NCsoft announced that one of the new classes coming to Aion is going to tote a gun. I mean, guns don't get better than a couple of six-shooters slung at the hips, right?
If you missed last Friday's big announcement from Gamescom, here's the skinny: Aion's 4.0 patch is introducing three brand-spanking-new classes to the game. Obviously that patch is a long ways off (a date hasn't even been announced for Korea yet), but that doesn't stop us from looking forward to one of the most fundamental changes planned for the game since launch nearly three years ago. Unfortunately, NCsoft has given us little to go on right now; all we know is that one class will tote a gun and one will brandish an instrument. With so little information revealed, you have to wonder what these two classes will actually be like. With so many possibilities...
Let the speculation commence!
Build-a-bear is a legitimate company that lets folks design their own teddy bears. Well, if folks can be trusted to design their own cuddly companion, why can't they put together new class concepts for Aion? I know plenty of gamers have some fantastic ideas. And I have a few things I'd definitely like to see. So here's my two kinah on what the new classes should be.
Yippee-i-ay Cow Daeva!
I don't know about y'all, but I really and truly hope that Aion adopts more of an Old West feel for the gun instead of something space age and sci-fi. The weapons of that time period are beautiful works of art. Same with the Civil War. Elegant, simple, clean lines... give me these rifles, pistols, and blunderbusses any day of the week over giant plasma cannons and garish lasers. And I can much more easily see Daevas adopting a roguish cowboy persona than becoming Spaceman Spiff. Not to mention there are plenty of barren deserts just begging for an O.K Corral! We can call the class Gunslinger.
I know I am not really one for alts, but I can totally see myself making a new class if it involves buckling a leather holster to my hips and drawing a couple of old fashioned six-shooters. Toss in a duster blowing in the wind and I am all over character creation!
Daeva Leppard, Rock God
It might be just me, but I didn't really picture the nice gentle flowing strains of a sweet melody when I thought about a Daeva wielding a deadly instrument. Some of you might have images of the Elyos carrying a harp, but not me. No, I envision something more along the lines of guitars smashing on stage. I mean, can't you just feel the excitement of slamming a Stratocaster across the head of your enemy? This class would be the Rocker.
Of course, all good instrument weapons must come with corresponding sounds, and the war between the Elyos, Asmodians, and Balaur just begs for some rock! No soft lullabies here, just screaming guitar strings, maybe with some percussion in the background. Dual-wielding drum sticks, anyone?
Face paint would be a new clothing option for this group. And a new pet could be introduced -- the groupie! It could follow Daevas around squealing and swooning.
Behind door number three
NCsoft has yet to announce anything regarding the mysterious third class other than its existence. That leaves the field pretty wide open for speculation. So what could it be? Here are some of my votes for the third weapon for class:
A whip. I can see it now, Indiana Jones with wings! All armor sets would have to have The Hat. You can't tell me this doesn't scream AWESOME! Of course, there must be a fear penalty when fighting snakes. No, in all seriousness, the whip has been one of my all-time favorite weapons, and I have gotten to use it in only one game! Again, I would totally make an alt if I could wield a whip. And some extendable weapons (especially greatswords) already are whip-like, so we know the devs can make the animation.
Want another weapon that would be a worthy addition? A spoon! Who needs a quick death when you can cut enemy hearts out with a spoon? Come on, you have to get that reference, right? And besides, there is already a deadly spoon in game that can be crafted by master crafters. Can't quite picture the spoon? Then bring on the frying pan! No, I don't have a kitchen fetish, and I am not hungry. Well, OK maybe I am a little hungry, but hear me out: The frying pan has been used as an instrument of destruction for centuries. It's a part of our culture. Other avenues have tapped into the potential of the cast iron -- just look at Tangled.
Actually, now that I think about it, we can combine the previous two; after all, most classes get a choice of two possible weapons, right? We can call this class Swedish Chef. Battle cries will consist of "Un bork bork BORK!"
I suppose another thought would be phasers. Who doesn't like a good phaser? But this choice can in no way prevent the old-fashioned guns! No it must be in the third class, all on its own. I would allow the lasers here, but only in the smaller, handheld versions of Star Trek lore.
There really are so many fascinating possibilities, and until further info is released, all ideas are valid. A change like this could certainly be fun and breathe new life into the game by offering new experiences. But I hope NCsoft keeps all classes open to all players. I really don't want to see NCsoft sacrificing the Truly Free model by putting these new classes in the BlackCloud Marketplace. Aion's free-to-play model really is the best out there (and no, I am not paid to say that; I form and share my opinions free of charge). Changing this would be a very, very bad move in my opinion and cause folks to lose faith in NCsoft like never before. Now adding spiffy weapon skins to the store is another matter, and oh, the possibilities there are endless.
A kinah for your thoughts! What do you want to see in the way of new classes? Share your ideas in the comments below. Besides, you never know when your suggestions might be noticed and actually used as inspiration!
Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down weekly 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.