Aion: Eminem’s “Kim” track, final verse, final line.

Watching Aion bleed out in record time is, to be honest, enjoyable for me.

Part of that just comes from my general dislike that the genre of gaming I enjoy most has, on the AAA level, gone from persistent worlds and virtual communities to candy-covered themeparks full of solo-heroes. I know Aion failing won’t completely change that around, but it can’t hurt either.

Another part of the enjoyment is watching what is an obviously flawed PvP setup (forced two-sided gear-based PvP with an exploitable PvE element that gives PvP rewards) fail in dramatic fashion. How anyone can think a setup like that will just work itself out in 2009 is beyond me. 1998, sure, but we have over 10 years of MMO history to look back on now; did NCSoft learn NOTHING from UO/AC-DT/DAoC/SB?

And finally, on a more personal level, many of the fools that left DarkFall for the pretty pastures of Aion PvP are now rapidly flapping their fairy wings and flying back. While it may be rude to say “I told you so”, it does still feel good to say it. Welcome back to Agon fairies, rebind your tab key.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Aion, Darkfall Online, MMO design, PvP, Rant. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Aion: Eminem’s “Kim” track, final verse, final line.

  1. coppertopper says:

    “forced two-sided gear-based PvP…”

    Given you have not played the game, and have no personal context at all except ‘what my guildies told me’, can you provide any sort of facts to back up that statement at all? There are 3 sides for instance, and as DAOC proved there is no such thing as a balanced 3 PC faction game, can you outline what leads you to believe PvP is purely gear based?

  2. syncaine says:

    You mean aside from the fact that people who know a lot about MMO PvP are jumping ship in droves? Or the write-ups of those with a year+ of experience with the system compared to those who have yet to really see it? Or that if you count mobs as a 3rd faction in PvP you kinda end the conversation right there? Or that while I said PvP is gear based, you somehow read that as me saying it’s purely based on gear?

    Like I’ve been telling you since release Copper, when you hit 50 and experience the end-game yourself, come back and tell me it’s a great system for PvP.

    (And you need to stop bringing up DAoC, the whole point of having three player sides is that even though one side will ALWAYS be more popular/powerful, the other two+ have the option to work together and fight back. The point is not perfect balance, rather its to prevent one side grinding the other into the dirt constantly. If you think mobs are going to accomplish that in Aion, good luck)

  3. coppertopper says:

    “You mean aside from the fact that people who know a lot about MMO PvP are jumping ship in droves? Or the write-ups of those with a year+ of experience with the system compared to those who have yet to really see it?”

    Thats called ‘jumping on the bandwagon’.

    “Or that while I said PvP is gear based, you somehow read that as me saying it’s purely based on gear?”

    lol – I just imagine you spitting after saying that, like its unheard of in a fantasy MMO to live longer when you’re wearing armor vs prancing around naked. At least in Aion, the difference between good gear and uber gear isn’t a big enough issue to keep you from PvPing.

    “If you think mobs are going to accomplish that in Aion, good luck”

    They already do. They ninja keeps, they assjam groups on a fortress fights in progress – almost as annoying as Mids on Albion-Igraine when i played DAOC.

    And as of level 25, I’ve been involved in fortress raids. There are lower level fortresses just for that reason. And it being a young server, its a pretty good approximation of what 50 will be like. Killing mobs and crafting and PvP – welcome to every other MMO endgame on earth.

    50 is a long ways off for me, but as long as NCsoft keeps communicating with and addressing the player issues as they have been so far, its got a bright future.

  4. Wyrm says:

    oh noes!!!
    stop dissing my game, syn, just… stop!
    specially by quoting 1 year + players who justify their opinions with facts!

  5. Ben says:

    ^^ What he said. I was an avid player of Aion but recently quit as well. My heart just isn’t in it to devote so much of my time to a very drab, cold, lonely style of gameplay. Even grinding with guildmates just isn’t fun.

  6. andrea bargs says:

    Looks like someone is bitter about his former DF guild bolting for Aion and is now holding out hope they come back to the one-pvp-build-for-all, silly jump-casting, mind-numbing iron-mine grinding, empty world, and amateur, unpolished MMO that is DF.

  7. Loire says:


    He makes a joke about band-wagoners and the mindless Darkfall hate comes pouring in.

    Welcome andrea, no doubt you read the article because you saw your shiny new MMO in the title. This blog probably isn’t for you. It’s consistent, mostly level headed and makes fun of WoW and its clones with vehemence regularly.

    • Matt says:

      “…and makes fun of WoW and its clones with vehemence regularly.”

      This blog is considerably better when it doesn’t engage in name-calling and other adolescent drivel, but that’s just my insignificant opinion.

      On what I would consider to be a more objective note, Andrea’s comment seems perfectly reasonable in response to Syncaine’s post. He baits readers by pretending to feel just a little bit guilty for saying, “I told you so,” and then brings it home by insulting their masculinity — a perfectly juvenile tactic.

      I question your use of the /sigh emote. Is Andrea’s comment really sigh-provoking when cast under Syncaine’s spotlight? What else would you expect in response?

      • syncaine says:

        Now now, I’m not the one who released a game where everyone is a pretty/emo fairy. Take that up with NCSoft and Aion’s players.

        And adolescent drivel happens here at times, just to get away from the sometimes heavy MMO design debate or other such topics. Some days I just don’t feel like editing out the shots I take at other games or blogs. It’s all in good fun anyway, we will return to ‘serious business’ blogging on Monday, no worries.

      • Matt says:

        Far be it from me to dictate how you engage your readers. After all, I am both self-righteous and critical of others, while neither maintaining a blog nor working in the MMO industry.

        In any case, who is kidding whom? Everyone here takes part in fantasy roleplaying games or flies internet spaceships. If anyone thinks that playing games like Darkfall or EVE makes them less of a pansy, I wish you luck in your delusion.

      • Loire says:

        The /sigh is entirely due because this happens every time Syncaine puts a AAA name in the title.

        Look at his archives. Any posts titles name dropping WoW, Aion or the other shiny du jour is flooded by “OMFG why are you such an asshole?!Even though I’ve never played it Darkfall is a shitty game, because others who also have never played tell me so!”.

        Posts that do not name-drop end up with comments from regular readers along the lines of “good insight Syn”. “Thats a good points Syncaine”.

        Anyone who actually takes the time to read this blog rather then pop by whenever it shows up on their google search for “WoW is teh best! blahgs” realizes that Syncaine writes insightfully on the genre sprinkled with remorseless WoW bashing here and there.

        I’m sorry their masculinity was so insulted by his mere juvenile tactics. Maybe they should grow up?

  8. Damage Inc says:

    Yes the grinding in Aion and so much less enjoyable than the blood wall and afk macroing from Darkfall.

    Sorry but as I’ve stated previously, the PvE and PvP of Darkfall doesn’t compare at all to the old MMORPG’s like UO and AC.

    As compared to Aion, it’s a different game. People aren’t leaving Aion because of the bad PvP, people are leaving Aion because of the “difficult grind” and the amount of bots running around.

    I find it funny that you can sit there and tout the wonders of Darkfall when of all the MMORPG’s I’ve played, it was probably the MOST exploitable and one of the most bug ridden games at launch where most of the community was using some kind of exploit or another to improve themselves.

    The only thing DF has going for it is it’s the only FFA PvP game out there right now. Other than that, I can’t think of anything that DF has going for it over any other MMORPG.

    • syncaine says:

      “Yes the grinding in Aion and so much less enjoyable than the blood wall and afk macroing from Darkfall.”

      Rumor has it UO is getting this strange thing called Trammel soon, know anything about it? Oh and man how annoying is it that everyone in WAR just sits in a warcamp and chain-queues scenarios to level? Or how in WoW you can’t loot the damn quest item off a corpse because the loot server is lagging. Gah!

      • Plink says:

        Oh and man how annoying is it that everyone in WAR just sits in a warcamp and chain-queues scenarios to level?

        Well, it sure depend on your server – On Phoenix Throne one would probably buried and turned into bone dust long before going from T2 to T4 using scenarios ;-)

    • evizaer says:

      Good ad hominem there, Damage. Just because a man who touts honesty occasionally lies doesn’t mean honesty isn’t a virtue we should aspire to. What one does has little to do with the validity of what one says (unless they’re lying about themself).

      This kind of childish tit-for-tat does little except make everyone involved look worse.

  9. andrea bargs says:

    actually, i don’t play and have no plans of playing aion. on the other hand, i did give DF a try for 3 months before I quit, even though i was playing for FREE. it was that bad.

    mostly, i’m on this site to see (and laugh) at how much love syncaine professes for DF (gotta love the hyped up stories). can’t wait to read what he’ll say when DF finally closes shop.

    and just in case you failed to read it: “And finally, on a more PERSONAL level, many of the fools that left DarkFall for the pretty pastures of Aion PvP are now rapidly flapping their fairy wings and flying back. While it may be rude to say “I told you so”, it does still feel good to say it. Welcome back to Agon fairies, rebind your tab key” is not making fun of bandwagoners. its the sweet, sweet juice of bitterness at being left guildless in DF.

  10. Draglem says:

    Your next post should be about successfully trolling your own blog. What kind of bait, time of day, weather, and moon phase all come into play for a success, kinda like FFXI crafting.

  11. Snafzg says:

    Syncaine has perfected the art of blogging for comments. ;)

  12. willee says:

    While i don’t play Darkfall anymore due to time constraints, to call it one of the most “bug-ridden” games at launch is laughable…unless you’ve only played WoW and Darkfall. Which is possible, i guess.

    One of the amazing things about Darkfall for me was how rock solid the client was at launch…especially for an indie company. And the fact you could have mass-PvP wars without the FPS slowing down to .3 with more than 20 people on the screen and not have cartoon WoW/War graphics.

    And if you think Darkfall will be closing up shop anytime soon you’re going to be disappointed. Hell, Vanguard is still going with probably less than 10k subs. At the rate patches/improvements are being made to Darkfall i can definitely see the game growing…

    (i realize people are butt hurt from Syncaines Aion-blasting blog – but i had to respond anyway.)

    • Damage Inc says:

      I will agree that the client was solid but come on now, this game had so many bugs and exploits at the start of EU1 it was laughable.

      Here’s one of my favorite:

      When they started letting more people into EU1, a queue started to happen. As more people were let in, the queue got a bit longer, about up to an hour at prime time. Then it was leaked that you could queue up HOURS before wanting to play and the game would reserve your spot until you actually logged in.

      So people would go to class or work and queue up as long as 10-11 hours before they actually were going to play and the game would hold their spot and make the queue even longer.

      To make matters worse, it was then found out that you could queue up for the game even while you were playing it. So I’d get home from work and see my spot was available and log into Darkfall. Then I’d alt-tab out of game and start up the launcher again and get myself back in queue just in case my client crashed, which happened to lots of people. If my client did crash for some reason, presto, I already had another spot waiting for me.

      This sent queue times through the roof. Queue’s went from 45 minutes to over 5 hours long.

      So tell me once again why calling DFO at the EU launch bug ridden is laughable?

  13. kaozz says:

    I left Aion was because I’m not at all impressed with how NCSoft has handled many issues(or not handled!),and the pure lack of communication. I’m not a huge PvP person anyhow, so it was no real loss to me finding something else to do with my play time.

  14. andrea bargs says:

    out of curiosity, has syncaine ever written about all the hax that are in DF, e.g. wall hax, speed hax, radar hax? its all good times. guess that’s part of the tasos contract, eh, syncaine?

    i also remember somewhere where syncaine posted about his gf saying all he does in df is mine for iron : ) i got a laugh about that bec that’s what i used to say about my bro whenever i saw him playing df beta haha. mine-listen for gankers-run back to city-bank-repeat. now that’s engaging sandbox mmo!

    apologies. there’s some variety in that other times its chopping wood, gathering herbs, fishing, cooking, etc. and there’s always that element of danger that you’ll get ganked while gathering naked! o how i miss the mind numbing grind of df : )

    • syncaine says:

      So wait, you watched your brother play the DF beta, and he only gathered during a time he knew his account would be wiped, and based on that you decided to play DF for three months of release? And only after that three months did it dawn on you that naked gathering was not much fun and so you quit? DarkFall is indeed doomed if it can’t keep high quality (but no shift or caps-key) players like you around. I’ll be sure to get Tasos right on this and hopefully, with some serious work, DF can find a way to bring you back.

      • andrea bargs says:

        lolz, syn, you know full well that focusing just on what i said and twisting the words around transform you into one of the many trollz in the darkfail forums.

        i just wanted to highlight the fail grinding that is DF.

        to set things straight, 2 of my bros played df beta, and all 3 of us played df itself, we were part of the alliance that held control yssam from feb to around may, if i remember correctly (my contacts in zipang, virakar, et al can attest to that if necessary). we were all mirdain, we took part in sieges, siege defense, raids, saw overpowered mercs and other hacked toons rain end game elemental magic on us, etc, in other words, the full shebang. heck i even bought a g15 keyboard at 1st coz i was excited to play with my bros and i wanted to macro the hell out of df lolz.

        so yea, i know what i’m talking about when i talk about df coz i played the shit game that it is for 3 months and decided to cut my losses early. my bros decided to stay on for one more month.

    • Remastered says:

      “focusing just on what i said”

      How does this even make sense? Was Syn supposed to have also focused on what you didn’t say?

      “lolz, coz, bros, et al…”

      Honestly, some appropriate punctuation and dropping the leet-speak would probably enhance the credibility of your arguments.

      • Anonymous says:

        ok make that “only a portion of what i said”…clear enough?

        if punctuation and no “leet speak” is enough to enhance “credibility” for you, ask syncaine about the eurogamer review that was properly punctuated and devoid of any “leet speak”. lolz.

      • andrea bargs says:

        oops. the post above is me too : )

    • Xyloxan says:

      Why did you stay for 3 months with that shit called DF? ;-)

      • Anonymous says:

        coz i played for a month syncaine and fanbois would say, “you only played for a month and you quit??? you’re not hardcore go back to wow you carebear lulz” that’s why.

        and like i said it was free for me to play.

        are you an active df player? did you ever play df? are you on the payroll?

      • andrea bargs says:

        sry forgot to identify myself. and i meant to say “coz if i played for only a month”…

        with at least 3 months game time at least i should have more than enough “credibility” that syncaine can’t use that for his argument ala the eurogamer reviewer who played for a few minutes.

      • Xyloxan says:

        Yea andrea, I’m on the payroll. But only for 3 months so I know shit about the game…

      • Draglem says:

        (Context of the following from someone on the subscription fence.)


        So, the only facet of the game that drew you to it was cost. I get why you would leave when it was no longer free, but you did not really elaborate on how it is a shit game or what is a superior alternative, and why; outside of calling “hax”, which anyone worth their salt in any FPS has had called on them by butthurt kids, quickly identifying you as such to readers.

        Just saying that calling it a shit game seems pretty extreme with out anyone understanding where you are coming from thus is construed as hyperbole, or at least a poorly hidden bias, which really throws out credibility before you can use it as surprise defense.

        Not trying to poke the bear, but maybe you could sharpen your argument? Not asking for a recommendation on DF before you voice it, as you have already done so.

      • andrea bargs says:


        i’ll give you two of the major turn offs for me. i’m a competitive player, and initially i thought this was going to be great, me and my bros going around agon fighting side by side kicking serious ass. i’m not in a game to be a crafter, treasure hunter or anything else. i’m in it for pvp and i thought df was going to be great for that.

        however, what i came to realize as i continued to play the game was to be “competitive” in df, you have to lose your individuality and you have to be “hardcore”.

        What i meant by losing your individuality was, if you’re competitive and you want to be successful in df pvp, you had to be what every serious pvp-er was: a broadsword/polearm-wielding toon, with maxed out archery and multiple schools of magic and had mastered the art of jump-casting (this has been changed somewhat during the latter part of my df playing days). melee is non-existent and circling strafing during the few melee encounters was just so ridiculous.

        now being hardcore in df meant having macros to help you grind for items, gold, or skillups, and all the various hax programs to be “leetzorz” in pvp. i felt that was just wrong.

        as i mentioned, i bought a g15 to macro somewhat without resorting to the supposed “bannable” macro programs and found myself leaving my pc on overnight while my toon was macro-swimming or running. i would wake up in the middle of the night to see if my toon was still swimming, etc.

        so at the end of it all, my final thought was why do i even bother trying to compete with these guys when obviously, the playing field is skewed towards one specific build (think flavor of the year and not flavor of the month). not to mention they also have the latest hacks, and if i had to run macros and my pc on overnight just to be competitive in this game, then fcuk it. i quit. its not fun, and it wasn’t worth it.

      • Draglem says:

        That sounds reasonable. I’d expect one build to be superior from games like Counter-Strike, but to expect that from an MMO is difficult to accept balance issue. Hopefully it is a resolvable issue by AV.

        That is why I stopped playing CS, tired of using the M4.

  15. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I think Sync has MMO envy because Aion will be bigger that Darkfall, so he will take one blog post as fact to make a broad statement about the game.

    I think someone at the DF team should pay you for trying to spread thier gospel, cause you make the game sound a lot better than it probably is.

  16. Dblade says:

    Most of paragus’s issues don’t seem to be gamekilling.

    1. EXP curve hits a wall-late game, and partying needs a boost.

    2. Rift PvP shows a lot of RMT bots, which NCSoft need to take care of.

    3. Game crashes during fortress battles, and needs more reason to defend.

    4. Killing players needs to give more exp.

    These can be fixed. What would have been a lot more damning is if he had made some serious comments about things you cant fix, or core ideas about the game.

    What will determine Aion’s future is how they respond to these, because they could very well snowball into players thinking NCSoft is clueless, which is a real reason to leave. Or they could overreact and chnage the game too drastically.

    Though I understand the tweak at Paragus, since he was one of the more prominent Darkfall boosters.

  17. Song7 says:

    If it wasn’t for the “adolescent drivel” here I’d have no reason to read.

    Btw I canceled my Aion sub last week. We’ve all played this game before and putting wings on it will never make it new or exciting. On a side note, I’ve never read here where anyone physically stopped anyone else from playing games they like, so go play wow_v_1.2.exe wow_v_1.3.exe and wow_v_1.4.exe. Just because a blog appears that is negative about them doesn’t mean the game all of a sudden stops working.

    Even though I wished it did.

  18. Brian Inman says:

    I have to say the grind is the #1 reason people are leaving Aion. Almost everyone in my guild that has quit has said they couldn’t hack the grind.

    The grind is bad, but I am sticking it out. I am almost 48 now, and see light at the end of the tunnel. Of course these last two levels are equivalent of 1-46 in xp needed so wish me luck.

  19. Dblade says:

    The grind doesn’t bug me personally, but I’m a FFXI vet. The fact that people are hitting cap in what, one month? Shows me it’s really not that hard. It took me six months to get my first job in FFXI to cap, including levelling needed subjobs, and 2 years of soloing/casual play to get 3 more to cap and one to near cap.

    FFXI was worse because once you hit cap, you also needed to grind merits. You could do so prety fast, merit party experience was double or more than usual, but to cap all merits on a job was more than getting it to 75.

    FFXI had zero quests that gave exp, and even now the quests they introduced to make soloing and small grouping easier are grindier than levelling.

    If people have problems with the grind, I’m curious if it is such because there is no real alternative or mid-level content in Aion that people can do as an alternative. In FFXI if you got tired of the grind, you could do missions, from 4 expansions, instanced fights for loot only, hunt rare monsters, raise a chocobo, and other things. I haven’t heard much about that type of content in Aion.

    • sid67 says:

      The “grind” in any game is there to slow people down. Even in sandbox MMOs, it’s needed in order to keep a stable economy (i.e. no inflation).

      My issue these days is that the “grind” takes place during the so-called leveling game. The whole idea that players need to pay their dues in some ‘mini-game’ to get to the ‘end-game’ is stupid. I say make the leveling game as quick as possible to introduce players to the world and then let everyone play the SAME game at the end.

      As I said, the grind is gotta be there, but make that part of the end-game experience (it’s already there anyways) and focus your attention on making THAT part a better game.

      • Dblade says:

        The problem though is that endgame is only played because people went through the levelling grind. Endgame sucks, and people really only do it because by then they have a lot invested in their characters. As gameplay, its much less fun than a long levelling grind, because at least in levelling you are guaranteed progress if you make the effort.

        The faster you make the levelling grind, the quicker your players will burn out on the game. Levelling is actually the better of the two grinds, and I never get why people like to rush to doing the same instance over and over hoping the random number generator will bless them with an item.

  20. Pingback: Good Lessons Learned The MMO Heartbreak Way

  21. Sifo says:

    It’s official Aion blows.

  22. Grok says:

    In all the years I’ve played MMOs, I’ve never rooted against a game simply because I don’t like it. Why waste the energy?

  23. Aion suprised me guys just give it a try and forget WoW that is the past Aion is the future.

  24. Anne says:

    good thing i stopped playing early 20s and never had to actually pay for the game (steam refund ftw, always have a backup!)

  25. Goom says:

    I’m by far not a fan of the attack style but I do like reading this site and the successful attacks that cause many responses. This is one of my fab 3 i check nearly everyday. I tried aion but quit after the month. Never Tried DF and don’t plan on it but enjoy reading ur posts about it, peace

  26. n0th says:

    Oh, that review is just exactly what my impression about Aion is (without having played it obviously – no free trial).
    Long dull PvE grind, since the game “starts” at 40+, (and i dont consider being oneshot in Abyss PvP) to experience basically the same endgame fail WAR is. +even more tecnical issues, at least WAR wont crash my client during keep siege…

  27. pitrelli says:

    I blame it on the ‘Darkfall tourists’

  28. Doug says:

    I prefer the loot grind in WoW OVER the loot grind of Aion or Darkfall. For many reasons, that you wouldn’t care to read.

  29. Pingback: What’s with all the negative waves, man? « Another Aion Blog

Comments are closed.