As luck would have it, once I started this top 10 list, I kept thinking of more things, as you no doubt noticed by the title! I am sure I could keep adding, but the article had to stop at some point, so I ended my list at 12. Take a look at what made the cut and see if anything from your own list made it on mine.
12. Crafting flexibility
Aion is very generous in its crafting professions; most games allow a single character to learn just one or two crafts, but denizens of Atreia can learn all seven. However, the level of mastery is limited: Only two professions can move to expert level, and only one can then reach master level.
So what happens when the profession that a Daeva mastered is no longer the desired one? Before, the answer was create an alt. Now, as long as the player doesn't mind losing the recipes and experience gained from attaining the master (or expert level), a new profession can be selected. All that's needed is a chunk of kinah to pay for the switch and materials and fuel to level up that new profession.
This may be old, but I am still grateful for it: the merchant repurchase tab! I know I am not the only one who has gone on a cube-cleaning spree and ended up unloading something very valuable and important by accident. It may seem like such a small thing, but there are games that do not have this feature, and the only way you can (hopefully) get your items back is through petitioning customer service.
And speaking of customer service...
10. Helpful customer service
I haven't had to use customer service very often, but I have experienced my share of accidental deletions of gear and other assorted goodies. Each time I have had one of these doh! moments, I've sent in a petition, and each time it was answered promptly and I have gotten my deleted item restored. A huge thanks for this!
9. More frequent updates
Who can't appreciate having more things to do and new things to experience in-game? And even more so, who isn't grateful when those things come more frequently? After Aion moved to free-to-play, content started coming at an ever-increasing rate.
What more need I say?
7. The Fast-Track server
The addition of the Fast-Track server brought more people to, and even back to, the game. By giving folks more freedom to play how they wanted, Aion opened itself up to a broader audience. No longer must Daevas be thwarted from their plans, driven away from tasks by rampant PvP; now, anyone under level 50 can hop on over to this new communal server and adventure without being accosted by enemies.
6. Cross-server queues
The new PvP-free server is not the only place that allows Daevas from all servers to come together; the new enhanced queues pull people from all servers to fill groups for instances. And even better, all of the PvP arenas also pull from all servers to fill the matches. This means less time waiting for both PvP and PvE goodness.
5. No more rift limits!
You might find this one a little bit odd, especially coming from the most casual of PvPers, but hear me out. Previously, if you leveled too high, you lost the chance to complete the spy missions in a given zone. This left incomplete missions in the journal, and worse, prevented many Daevas from experiencing parts of the lore of the world and acquiring cool rewards and titles! Now that the upper limit on rifts has been abolished, I can go back and finally finish those quests.
OMG wait! A level 60 rampaging through the lowbie level 20 lands? Why not? Now that folks have the option to completely avoid PvP, there is no need to artificially protect the lower levels. Besides, trust me when I say the higher-levels still come to protect those youngins. Don't believe me? I have it on tape!
4. The Arena of Harmony
I am specifically grateful for the Arena of Harmony introduced in 3.5 because while I love the idea of the Crucible arenas, I hated doing them alone. I am not a solo PvPer; I have much more fun with a group. The Arena of Chaos could be timed to sometimes allow you in with friends, but you could also accidentally kill those friends. The Arena of Harmony, on the other hand, lets you actually group with one compadre and take on two other pairs in some 2v2v2 action.
3. Enhancing the friend management tool
First, there was thinning the block list -- what a blessing! Recently NCsoft started wiping all banned accounts from players' block lists, and the practice will continue at regular intervals. Considering that the block list has a max number (and trust me, it fills very fast with all those kinah sellers named Iskjhrw and Spsptjeje), I'd call this a truly appreciated feature! I just now added two more spammers to my once-chock-full list, and there is plenty more room for any others who harass me with their pathetic pleas to buy their kinah.
Next, the friends list added the ability to request friends even when they aren't online. Previously I had thought this meant anyone could friend you and you no longer had control over who could see when you logged in or out. However, in reality the new feature puts the request in a tab where it sits awaiting your approval or denial.
Granted, it's not perfect; ideally we would be able to fly without any timers, soaring unhindered to our hearts' content. But the fact remains we can fly in Aion, and being able to fly is just plain awesome! To experience the world (especially one as beautiful as Atreia) along the Z axis is one of the greatest features ever developed. Even better, you don't have to wait until some difficult-to-attain, massively high level before you can don your wings and take off into the skies. Flight starts at the low, low level of 10 -- accessible to anyone who plays more than a couple of hours of the game.
1. Truly Free
The top thing to be thankful for in Aion is that fact that you can experience literally everything you are thankful for without having to pay! The Truly Free model is exactly as it claims -- truly free. In a time when the economy is hurting, the fact that folks can still participate in a favorite recreational pastime without having to worry about financing it is a wonderful thing. And folks who cannot pay are not relegated to second-class citizen status, forced to miss out on integral parts of the game that others enjoy. For that, I am especially thankful!
So what are you thankful for in Aion? If you have something else to add to this list, please share in the comments below. And feel free to express what you are grateful for in all areas, not just the game.
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.