Saturday, September 12, 2009

Aion vs. WAR vs. WoW

Alright... here we go. *Cracks Knuckles* The big one. The post of all posts. Just for you, Sarc and Raim from MMO Weakly.

The Game Comparison Post

First off, Disclaimers! :D Everything you read in this article is solely based on my personal gaming experiences and opinions. Take what you read with a grain of salt, and then form your own opinion.

Next up, Explanation. So, this is how I've decided to do my article. I've broken the games down into different segments. There will be a winner for each category, along with an explanation of what the other two have going for them. Please note that this post will take me a long time to finish. Don't assume that what you are reading now is the final draft, because it probably isn't.

Story, Winner: Tie Between Aion and WoW

I'm sorry, but I just can't pick one over the other. Both games have fantastic main story lines along with detailed subplots and side stories. I deeply enjoy the lore within WoW and Aion, and in the end it really just comes down to personal preference. Both games give players a deep sense of immersion and reason, whereas in WAR you were just another grunt in the zerg. Oddly enough, both games also feature two factions that hate each other, along with a 3rd faction that wants to wipe out both entirely (in WoW's case there are many, such as: the Scourge at the moment, the Burning Legion, and the Black Dragonflight).

Servers, Winner: Indeterminable

Assuming that Aion's servers launch without too many issues, and those issues are resolved in a timely manner, I give this category to Aion. During the Closed Beta, I never had lag, not once. I never crashed to desktop, rubberbanded, etc. Even on the Chinese Servers, I'm able to play without a hitch. I suppose with time WoW could be the potential victor in this category, it all depends on how Aion's servers do during the first few months. I'll be able to make a more informed decision then... and don't even get me started on WAR. /ick

Combat, Winner: Tie Between Aion and WAR

The reason why there is no sole winner is because both Aion and WAR utilize interactivity in their gameplay. Both games require players to always be alert, mobile, and reactionary. While WoW may force players to be somewhat reactionary in PvP, it pales in comparison to Aion and WAR overall. I enjoy this because it forces players to think on their feet, rather than standing still casting fireball over and over.

Graphics, Winner: Aion

Now, for some odd reason, people think WoW looks better than Aion. Personally, I think said people are insane. However, this category is extremely bias because it, once again, comes down to personal preference. I think the world of Atreia looks absolutely gorgeous, with Warhammer not too far behind. WoW just looks dated and cartoony in comparison. It was good while it had little competition, but now that my eyes have opened to the large world of MMOs... WoW's graphics have lost their luster.

Character Customization, Winner: Aion

More options, more sliders, more details, and the character looks better than in other MMOs. You can also change the look and sex of your character at the "plastic surgeon" in town, free of reality currency. Aion also has the ability to take the stats of one piece of gear and fuse it with the look of another. Dyes have also been implemented. Nothing else really needs to be said.

PvP, Winner: Aion

Aion takes WARs RvR system, and then improves upon it:
  • A 3rd NPC Faction for the sake of balance.
  • Enormous lakes for players to fight in.
  • PvE right alongside PvP without distracting from the PvP.
  • Portable Respawn Locations.
  • Flight Mechanic.
  • Player Ranking System and Rewards.
  • Rift Combat for smaller group Guerrilla Warfare.
  • Arenas in the Main Cities.
  • Let's be honest, WoW isn't known for its PvP, and WAR's is lacking some key components.
Crafting, Winner: Aion

Aion's Crafting has a lot going for it:
  • All items are Bind on Equip.
  • Gathering is universal.
  • Crafted Items are useful while leveling, and not a waste of space.
  • Crafting is expensive, challenging, and detailed.
  • WoW's Crafting isn't bad, but items are only useful once players have maxed out their skill and have reached raiding/endgame.
  • WAR's Crafting is just plain sad. It is much too easy and un-innovative.
  • Etc. (Read my past Closed Beta Reviews for more on Crafting).
Endgame/Raids, Winner: Indeterminable

It wouldn't be fair for me to make a call on this because I haven't experienced Aion's endgame yet. WoW certainly is strong in this category, with WAR in last place.

Conclusions

By now, you may be thinking something along the lines of "Geeze, could Rer be any more fan-boish towards Aion?", and to be honest, I'd say you have a point. At the moment, I still have yet to fully experience Aion. A few months down the road, I may change my mind about some segments. However, please keep in mind that I did try to remain objective throughout this post. I have no bad feelings towards WoW or WAR (okay... maybe a few towards WAR), and I based my winners solely on my personal perceptions and experiences, and hence they are by no means gospel. To sum things up in one sentence: "Aion may not be groundbreaking in the MMO Universe, but it does bring some of the best aspects of other MMOs together in a beautiful harmony." By the way, if you've managed to actually read this far, you deserve a cookie. <3

That's All For Now

If you have a subject that you want covered that I missed, please, leave a comment. I'd be happy to add it to the post. My apologies if I missed something totally obvious (which I probably did considering its 3 in the morning and I'm on my 4th Sunkist of the day).

10 comments:

  1. Why would anyone think WoW graphics look better then Aion or even War... Great VS i agree on most of it... I will have to truely experience endgame in Aion untill i can make comparisons..

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL @ WAR graphics. Good comparison - too bad most people won't get past the title with n-rage.

    ReplyDelete
  3. With the graphics issue I really think it depends on people's rigs and how much their machine they can support. 'cause on both WAR and Aion if you can't have your graphics on the highest setting, or near to it, it doesn't look as smooth or polished as WoW does on it's low settings.

    Also WoW has bright neon-y colors, which to some could be more attractive to the eye than games that aren't as bright.

    In the end it's all mostly just opinion related, probably most of the people who are complaining about the graphics compared to WoW are going to leave the game after a month -or less- anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, the graphics section really just comes down to personal preference, and I understand that.

    Glad you guys liked the review. I tried to be objective with it.

    If anyone else has feedback or thoughts, drop a comment. I'd love to hear from ya.

    ReplyDelete
  5. WAR depends heavily on players for RvR and Scenarios. When one side has a large advantage it can be tough on the other side. I was never a big fan of the PVE in WAR personally for those days when the other side was killing us off at a huge rate. Hopefully Aion will have a balanced player population and from what I have seen a good PVE quest line.

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think that the Balaur really bring in the ability to have much better balanced PvP. Hopefully they implemented them right!

    guess we wont really know till people get to the endgame.

    do you think the changes to WAR's crafting system (simplification of ingredients) were better or worse for that sytem? i think it dumbed it down a little too much, but then again, people dont play WAR to craft so i didnt mind.


    excellent writeup :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Imo, it was way too dumbed down. There was no challenge to it at all. When you completed an item it didn't feel like you accomplished anything significant.. sort of like how I felt throughout my WAR experience. =\

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey man!

    just finished MMOW8, that 30 min deadline makes things tough. we did get to discuss your article but didnt finish it.

    on the crafting, i DO like that cultivating means no more world searching/time wasting to make pots. that was a good innovation.

    on the endgame, we'll have to get there and see. only one way to evaluate it. ;D

    i'll see you in game, possibly on opposing realm lines?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hopefully ^_^. It'd be awesome to fight against some familiar faces, such as Ataraxia and whatnot :D

    ReplyDelete