Old vs New - Anarchy Online vs Aion

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I am a mmorpg gamer all the way since 1999.I started with Asheron’s Call, then moved to DAOC, Lineage 2, AO, EVE, WOW and many others. While playing so many mmorpgs, i cannot stop to compare Asheron’s Call, Anarchy Online, EVE Online with the rest. Since these games offer a complete character control, good pvp, and innovative features.

So like, i am flying, i got like 30 seconds left untill i drop dead on the ground:P

So like, i am flying, i got like 30 seconds left until i drop dead on the ground:P

Recently i been in Aion with the massive number of players and i only managed  to play it for 2 weeks until lvl 25, then quit. During my time in Aion i was about to quit that game for about three times, and last time i actually did and i don’t regret it. Why you ask? Well Korean developers were never good in developing good mmorpgs and probablythey will never will.

Let’s start with the good things:

- i loved in Aion the crafting system, grindy but good, you could actually craft valuable items, and with the crit system even more good items for you or to sell.
- superb music
- super graphics and locations. There were some locations that made just say WOW!
- combo / chain system and the animations, good stuff; being able to stop a mob casting with a skill or a critical hit, good stuff
- the limited flying system, pretty good.
- some of the campaign quest with the cut-scenes

Bad stuff

- horrible quest design, where some quests simple were made to piss you off, go here X, and y, and then Z
- the lore and the way the game tried to present you the story, it was very artificial and they didn’t managed at least on my side to actually made feel something, that i am actually doing something that matters, that i am part of something big.
- Abyss is just a instanced battleground. I thought that will take the Lineage 2 castle system in, but they actually broke it, and made some more WAR battleground type, which i don’t like it overall.
- PVP is ok, but nothing new in it, besides that you can fight in AIR which is decent, but nothing special for me. After playing EVE Online, Asheron's Call, this PVP in Aion is far from good.
- lack of diversity. Basically all of you game you grind your way to lvl 50, and then you will "PVPEW" in groups in Abyss or Rifts, where the rewards come in a form of WoWish honor system, the more you kill you get points to buy Abyss PVP equipment. It's ok, but only fighting for equipment, i don’t see a point in that. I played Lineage 2, WOW and other games, to do this again and to call it good. So basically as a new player you do a lot of quests, some group campaign quests, lvl your crafting if you want, some pvp in Abyss, some instances, that’s it. I did this in the last 10 years, and it was much better in other games, on every level. It been done before.
- disguised WOW with another theme, system
- nothing real interesting to do  until high lvl besides maybe to participate in sieges from lvl 25, and doing some rifts in groups.
- the developers are not communicating with the players, and they have serious bot problems, tho lately they actually did something. On EU official forums you will see no community manager, since he stays on twitter. I think it the last NC Soft game for me.

Watching from the distance an Alien Invasion Raid. That huge thing is their main ship.

Watching from the distance an Alien Invasion Raid. That huge thing is their main ship.

So after i cancel my subscription, i said ok, what now. I started to research again looking for a new mmorpg, tried about everything, and returned unexpectedly to Anarchy Online. It been a week in the game and it made admit that mmorpg have been going down in quality since 2004. THANK YOU WOW!

Lets start with what i like in Anarchy Online

- old school character development system. You basically control each ability and skill you have and raise it every time you level.
- superb character customization through nanos, implants, and the attributes distribution
- great sci-fi atmosphere, and conflict between 2 sides
- there is so much to do in this game, that will probably take me a year to explore it again. From lvling for items and xp in different locations, instances; doing missions from Mission Terminals; crafting good stuff ; participating in Alien Raids which are incredible even now; Notum Wars PVP; Station Battles PVP; LE Notum Wars with Mechs; twinking your character; fighting Dyna bosses; it like a huge universe there and the atmosphere it incredible, and you have a lot of things to explore.
- great community, the ARK GMs, which are like players GM that help you, talk with ya from time to time. A few days ago one spawned near me and asked if i need for help. i was like omg ( after NC Soft experience, where they don’t give a frack about their customers), a GM asked if I need help.
- several vehicles to choose from, some that are able to fly and even battle mechs.

I don’t like:

- Control system could use some love, but with some options on you can play normally
- new graphics i would like (it is in development by Funcom)
- better tutorial, and documentation. While i can handle the game through several guides from some sites, new WOWish players, will stand no chance, since this is game is complex, it gives you complete control over you character, is not just a template with 30 skills until lvl XX, and that’s it.

- it requires a good guild if you are new player, otherwise you have no chance, there is so much to do and learn, but hard to learn, explore without help.

In conclusion AO which is made in 2001(8 YEARS and one engine update), wins over almost any current mmorpg game at this moment(they are exceptions), since every MMORPG released in the last 4 years, it just mainstream pile of shit, made only to be played by as many players possible, and simple as possible with a huge grind. They have, some of them, very interesting features, but overall more of them they fail for me.

If i would compare Anarchy Online with the most of  today's mmorpgs, i would say Anarchy Online is “Pulp Fiction” or “District 9” and the today games are “G.I. Joe Rise ofThe Cobra” or “Transformers”. All flash no substance, and yes, Hollywood fails.

/end whine

Old vs New - Anarchy Online vs Aion, 9.8 out of 10 based on 15 ratings


  • Lioz

    ** Edited **
    Was thinking to explain how terrible game AO became (was playing since 2004). But nevermind, just go on playing and see. GL

  • Shawn Landis

    I love how many people tout PvP but never understood why UO lost its perch to EQ. Most people don’t *want* pvp, especially in uncontrolled manners. For a game to do good PvP, it must be carefully controlled. (The type of player attracted to pvp in MMO is the largest reason for this.)

    Play Planetside or Qualke III if you want PvP, MMORPGs focus correctly more on PvE environments. That being said, do not forget that many games since EQ are simply clones of EQ. (Eve Online, as you mention, is not.) I hate to say it, but Anarchy Online uses very similar mechanics to all other mmorpgs.

  • admin

    PVP in uncontrolled manners is what makes pvp fun and rewarding, if i want a brainwash pvp i go play counter strike, call of duty or other limited multiplayer game, without playing a subscription. Play EVE or read about it, if u didnt already. Mass pvp (tho somewhat broken now, since ppl are afraid to fight) is what shapes the entire galaxy in that game, and it incredible and small gangs, solo pvp is superb but rare this days due to too many mainstreamers subscribed to the game they dont understand.

    I am not looking for the next mainstream game with dumb pvp, they are too many on the market and few are worth mentioning, i want a good PVP, with balanced looses, rewards, and persistent damage, similar to EVE. Not WOW II, that doesnt mean that the other games’s PVP is bad, I just find it horrible.

    Basically if i won a fight, i want to inflict physical damage to my opponent as in money, items and so on, in a balanced matter, EVE did it well with insurances, but other developers dont have the balls to make a proper PVP system because it wont sell as much as without it, so we go back to money and not gameplay…

    As for the rest of features, man.. they need reinvent the quests system, raids, instances, WAR did a nice job here with public quests, failed with high-end content.

  • Magic

    You are so right. Unfortunately.

    I’ve started my mmorpg playing Anarchy Online and i remember how interesting that game was to me. It was very difficult to master, very complex, but it was a rewarding experience to learn it.

    From that time, i tried many new mmorpg, hoping to find something like “AO improved” but it simply does not exist. All new games are made so simplistic that it hurts.

    Anyway, i’ll enjoy AO once again now, since im returning to it again.

    It’s only sad that community is almost dead there and graphics is really outdated. But with that in mind its still much better choice for me then those new mindless games.

    I only hope that after this great mmorpg hype, there will rise some developers that will aim for players like me and original poster and create game that will have nice graphics, ai, but with AO depth.

  • Gunnyhighway

    Worst part of AO is that some jackass that lives in his parents basement with an ego cause he can’t get laid controls the raids and bots that u need to do for any sort of upgrades.

  • Romeomoon

    I’ve been playing AO off and on for a couple of years. The fact that one of my friends has been playing AO for the past 8 years has really helped us n00bs and Fr00bs enjoy the game all that much more. I have a Playstation 3 to play high end graphics games, not that I care that much for graphics anyway (which is why it’s populated with mini games). I play AO for the challenge (even with people who’ve been playing for years, this game can tie your brain in knots sometimes), and to be honest, it is kind of a weird and wonderful world to explore. Some reviews say there are limited Sci-Fi elements, and that’s true. You won’t be cruising around in anything like the Enterprise (unless they make a Yalm for that), but it is a very atmospheric, odd blend of SF and Lewis Carol (?). The lag is an issue. Just yesterday that 8 year veteran was trying to cross a narrow landbridge in the Shadowlands when he suddenly sprang across into a mob. Like many MMO’s, I highly recommend using outside of game online resources such as AOUniverse and AUNO to research about armor, cybernetic implants, weapons, and unique items used for twinking. And twink you should. If you want your level 60 character to survive, you better get them into level 80 armor, and possibly level 100 implants. If you can tolerate the lag, low end quality graphics, and can wrap your head around the intricacies of twinking, then I suggest playing Anarchy Online.

  • Mootai

    I agree most of what you wrote.
    I mean… mostly about AO and old mmorpgs compared to new one, as i never played Aion.

    Just to add a bit, as i’m a quite old mmorpg player too ^^…
    To my opinion, AO is (I tend to say “was”… as it’s becoming quite old :/) really one of the best mmorpg is terms of creative work that was done for it.
    Landscape, architecture, clothes, ambiance, creatures, music too… ect… Funcom developpers made an incredible work in term of creativity (that’s often the highlight of Funcom products).

    The gameplay have many good points (i loved the alien attacks too for exemple)… but, for exemple SWG was better and more creative to my opinion, in term of gameplay (but suffered a poor creative work :/).
    SWG bringed a wonderful craft, harvest, housing and Market system… as much as guilds and factions PvP, music, hospitals. We could even fish, as in FFXI ! ^^
    And i nearly forgot about the possibility to pilot ships and travel and fight with.

    I think SWG was a top in term a gameplay variety. And that, unfortunately, mmorpgs globally lost a lot since it :(
    As they mostly lost in term of creativity since AO

    Anyway…

    Strangely, i still feel like mmorpgs are at their very beginning…
    So, maybe (i hope) we’ll see them heading in a better way in a few years.

  • jey

    Anarchy Online is just in a class of it’s own. the community is everything you would expect from a 10 year old MMO. the devs and GM’s are actually accessible to the normal player, which is highly unusual, but it makes you feel as if someone actually cares for the game. the pvp is fun, but seriously hardcore right now, because it’s mostly veterans playing and they tend to become elitists over time. there’s so much to do in AO that your head would explode if you tried to cram it all into a summery. we still have very regular updates, and new content, big chances are planned for the future, and I don’t see any reason to think the game won’t last another 10 years!

    AO’s main downfall atm is where their resources are focused, it needs to advertise, it needs people. the free to play portion of the game seems to remain very active as well, but what use is such a deep and addicting game if nobody knows about it? :( I love AO, and I’ll probably stick with it until they shut the doors.

  • OlderThanDirt

    I am an avid gamer who just started playing MMO’s. The bullying which seems to go hand in hand with PvP turns me off completely. I get it that it is “all in fun”, but all the way through elementary and junior high, I had the distinct “pleasure” of being picked on every day on my way home from school bc I had uber thick glasses and was the smart kid in class. For some odd reason being killed repeatedly by player whose level is 40x > than mine doesn’t do it for me. I keep being told that when I am stronger I will understand. As I get stronger I feel absolutely no urge to prey on newer, weaker players. As a former competitive tennis player, I only got pleasure by beating the shorts off of someone who was a better player than I. Call me crazy…

    That aside, I just started with AO. I have to say that I was immediately struck by the kindness of the more experienced players who were all too happy to stop what they were doing to help new players.

    There are so many wonderful things about AO that I don’t know where to begin. I feel as if it would take quite a lot of time before I could call myself an experienced player. There are so many unique and interesting things in AO; it seems to have something for each type of player.

    My only gripe is about interface which is clunky and out dated. There was chatter that a new, improved version is in the works. I also read that a lot of older players are returning to the game after having been away for a time. I hope that it has another ten years of life left. I haven’t felt that way about other MMO’s I have played. Nothing I am saying is profound, I know. But there has to be a reason that it has lasted this long with a consistently loyal fan base.

  • Guest

    Ao needs to update those graphics, then i would play again.