aion

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Official Site: Aion
Studio: NCsoft West
Launch Date: September 22, 2009
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Aion Europe prepares for server merges later this month

The merges are coming! The merges are coming! Aion Europe players have under two weeks to prepare for merges designed to “populate Atreia more densely” and consolidate language-specific communities.

On April 25th, Aion EU is going to merge its eight servers down to four, creating one German, one English, one French, and one Polish server. Gameforge did give itself some wiggle room and warned of the possibility of a date change.

Players on affected servers can choose to transfer their characters to a specific shard through May 15th. Aion is planning to hand out relocation gifts to all players, including a greater minion contract and 30 days of hanging with a white tiger.

In addition to the announcement, there’s a more in-depth FAQ that answers specific questions.

Source: Aion EU

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The Game Archaeologist: Lineage

If we judged MMOs by their numbers alone — and I’m not suggesting we do so — then the original Lineage would be the crowing rooster strutting about the hen house. It’s also been one of those games that I’ve always intellectually acknowledged was a huge hit for some reason but never gave much attention. I think it’s because, contrary to many western MMOs, Lineage is primarily an Asian phenomenon. That doesn’t mean it should be shunned, of course, but just that it may be difficult to understand when you’re on the outside of it.

So let’s back up the memory truck to September 1998, when a then-fledgling NCsoft rolled out a Diablo-style isometric MMO and struck virtual gold in South Korea. At the time, gaming rooms were becoming a huge thing in the country. A recession had hit, giving people a lot of time with nothing to do, and the government was rapidly expanding the broadband network. In the face of this perfect storm, titles like StarCraft and Lineage became overnight household fixtures — and remained so for decades to come.

Even if you haven’t played Lineage and you don’t know anyone who does, trust me: Millions and millions of players have. As former Senior Producer Chris Mahnken once said, “Lineage keeps going because it’s just plain fun.”

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NCsoft has hired 1000 employees in the past few years, considers VR and ARG titles

Everybody saw NCsoft’s financials last month, I’m sure – Guild Wars 2 bouncing back thanks to Path of Fire, Lineage M driving revenue, and Blade & Soul outperforming almost everything, pretty good news all around.

What we didn’t cover was the associated conference call and Q&A, which has only recently been fully transcribed in English and has a few nuggets worth highlighting

  • CFO Jae-Soo Yoon told listeners the company is working on 13 new titles, of which the largest are Blade & Soul II, Aion Tempest, and Lineage II Mobile, all mobile titles, and Project TL for PC.
  • To make those happen, the company’s hired “around 1000” new employees over the last two years. One analyst was skeptical about those numbers, suggesting that NCsoft is overspending on labor compared to an unnamed smaller company launching far more games; Yoon counters with some polite shade by suggesting NCsoft is going to for quality over quantity.

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The MOP Up: Enter the Phantom Halls — if you dare! (March 18, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Mu IgnitionLineage 2 RevolutionRevelation OnlineEarthfallLegacy of AtlantisDC UnchainedSoul ArkBattle CarnivalWorld of WarcraftOld School RuneScapeAionWar ThunderArtifactPokemon GoThe Black DeathAstroneerEVE OnlinePhantom HallsMU Online, and Heroes of Newerth, all waiting for you after the break!

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Aion Europe celebrates its sixth birthday

Spread your wings and fly with the angels: Aion is turning six years old, at least in its European incarnation.

From March 1st through the 8th, players level 20 and up can attend a free birthday party in the game. Additionally, there’s a birthday cake hunt happening all over the game and a series of boosts to push you up in your progression.

“We’re looking back on six years of thrilling experiences and shared adventure, defeated opponents and slain bosses, not to mention new content and great updates,” NCsoft said. “The last year brought plenty of changes and new challenges to Atreia and the coming days hold plenty of excitement too — join in the anniversary celebrations!”

Wondering where your party is in North America? Players in that region already celebrated Aion’s 8th anniversary back in September, so you have a ways to wait until the title turns nine.

Source: Aion EU

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Battle Bards Episode 116: There be dragons

Mighty and majestic, scaly in hide and shrewd of mind, smoking with fury unabated… these are the Battle Bards! Also, dragons. Yes, in today’s episode, the Bards tackle the soundtracks to one of the most iconic fantasy creatures of all time. So call over your good luck dragon and get your best Sean Connery voice on as we loot the musical hoard of these beasts.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

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Analysts see ‘potential for earnings growth’ in NCsoft’s trio of upcoming titles

If you walked away confused by NCsoft’s most recent quarterly financial report, Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. might be able to sort it out for you.

The Seoul-based analyst firm suggests that the Lineage series, which appeared strong at first glance, actually turned in weaker than expected revenue, in spite of the fact that Lineage M was the top-grossing game on Android and iOS. “The biggest surprise was marketing spend, which jumped 10% QoQ and 69% YoY, despite the absence of any new major titles,” the firm notes. “We believe this suggests the company spent as much on promoting Lineage M’s massive updates as it typically does on promoting new titles.”

That said, the firm still calls the company a buy: “We see little reason for concern in terms of profit and valuation in 1H18 and see potential for earnings growth and a re-rating in 2H18, driven by new releases.” What new releases would those be? Blade & Soul II (first half of the year) and Aion Tempest and Lineage II M (last half of the year).

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Ninja arrives in Southeast Asia (February 11, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta OnlineWorlds AdriftMonster Hunter WorldHellionRustSkyforgeBlade and SoulPortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIDreadnoughtPUBGHyper UniverseCrossoutBlack DesertDark and LightH1Z1DauntlessRobocraftFortniteWar of RightsCosmos InvictusUltima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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NCsoft Q4 2017: Guild Wars resurges as Blade & Soul and Lineage M drive profits

NCsoft has money to cheer about this past financial quarter, as it posted another year of solid growth. Revenue and operating profit were up 87% and 86% respectively year-over-year, though of course the quarter doesn’t quite compare to the blockbuster that was Q3 last year when Lineage M hit Asia.

Lineage M continued to drive good mobile sales for the company even after its shine wore off, accompanied by Aion, Lineage, and Lineage II, which are down YOY for the quarter and the year. Blade and Soul is outperforming everything but mobile at this point and this quarter held even YOY, at least globally.

And as for Guild Wars 2? Well, no surprise there: The Path of Fire expansion was quite a boon, more than doubling the game’s quarterly revenue YOY and pushing total revenue past 2016’s (though not past 2015’s, when Heart of Thorns launched at a price two-thirds higher). (Recall that SuperData just included GW2 on its top 10 list of premium PC games by revenue [at an annual figure slightly higher than what’s represented here] and that Q2 last year was the game’s worst quarter ever, so this is a comfortable comeback.)

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Aion’s new stigma is actually a good thing

Aion’s new dungeons aren’t the only exciting features coming in Update 5.8: The Divine Fortress. NCsoft has another present hidden behind its back for good little boys and girls: an additional stigma slot for all characters.

The studio said that unlocking it won’t be too hard: “To use this stigma slot, open the stigma window and check in the tooltip to see which of your stigmas still need to be improved upon. As soon as you fill all six stigma slots with correspondingly upgraded stigmas, the seventh slot will open to you and you will become stronger than ever before.”

The community team also posted a video in which it announced that the old “Ask Aion” show was being retired in favor of a new “Dev Tavern” format. The upcoming shows will talk about the patch, the community, and the future.

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One, two, three: Aion’s dungeons come for thee

Mark your calendars for February 7th, as NCsoft has marked the date for Aion’s hefty Update 5.8. There’s a lot coming with this content patch — such as a new stigma slot — but perhaps the most buzz is arising over a trio of instances that are promising hours of fun to both the elite and greenhorn adventurer.

Now it’s true that we’re not talking about all-new experiences; while two of the dungeons have never before been run, the Divine Fortress is a returning PvP battlefield that might be a little different than before.

So what are the fresh faces on the Aion block? The Holy Tower is a six-player dungeon that branches off of the Divine Fortress and can be only run by players level 66 and higher. Alternatively, the Mirash Refuge is a solo, secret instance in the Fortress that involves a necromancer attempting to summon undead horrors. The catch with this last dungeon is that only the faction that currently controls the Divine Fotress has access to the instance, so you might be out of luck until your side gets its act together.

Source: Aion

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The MOP Up: Aion makes a date with the Divine Fortress (January 28, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from League of LegendsPath of ExileWarframeBlack DesertFortniteArmored WarfarePerfect World InternationalAionMonster Hunter WorldPUBGFinal Fantasy XIVOverwatchMechWarrior OnlineTree of Life, and Crossout, all waiting for you after the break!

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Battle Bards Episode 113: Anarchy Online

Alien, quiet, and weird — that’s the Anarchy Online soundtrack for you in a nutshell. For the first episode of 2018, the ever-contentious Battle Bards are back to quibble about, gush over, and nitpick the score to one of the older sci-fi MMOs on the market today.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 113: Anarchy Online (or download it) now:

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