MMO Week in Review: Aion Classic is a harsh reminder about monetization and modern nostalgia servers

by | Jan 21, 2021

Even on the last day of 2017, I couldn’t resist playing one more game. Aion Classic grabbed my attention as soon as it was announced in early December, and I wasn’t disappointed. Aion was a title that I enjoyed in its heyday, but learned to leave behind as I became more interested in other games. Now, as a part of the MMORPG landscape, I thought it was time to come back to the title that helped form my MMO gaming experience.

On November 17, 2017, Aion Classic (AC), a classic MMORPG, shut down its servers. Players around the world were surprised and upset, and many of them even started a petition to save the game. The petition gained a lot of attention, and the players who started it even created a meme. However, on December 12, it was announced that Aion was being revived as an entirely new game, and the AC servers were closed permanently.

Aion’s launch on the original Xbox 360 was a far cry from the day-one launch of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game on the PC in 2011, which was heralded as the first-ever free-to-play MMORPG. Now, with the game’s release on the new and soon-to-be-released Xbox One, we are seeing a far cry from the original launch, when the game was released free-to-play for a month before its launch on the PC in 2012. Aion’s original launch on the Xbox 360 was dogged by a myriad of problems, which included rampant server crashes and a number of “glitches,” including a bug that made players

Aion Classic raised all eyebrows when it directly incorporated a subscription this week with a likely pay to win economic feature. It’s unclear what NCsoft will do to rectify the situation, but it’s worth reminding game companies that people who want a return to the old days on classic servers aren’t just looking for a return to the old mechanics, they’re looking to make money. They may be willing to pay a premium and even a subscription, but an economy that is ruined from day one will produce neither goodwill, longevity, nor profit.

Meanwhile, we talked about our impressions of Elder Scrolls Online Blackwood, laughed about World of Warcraft research, lamented Dungeons and Dragons Dark Alliance, applauded Anarchy Online on its 20th anniversary, and found out LOTRO about the launch of the new progression servers next week.

Today, as every Sunday (since 2010!), read Massively Overpowered’s weekly review for the best MMO news and opinions of the week! .

NEWS ITEMS OF THE WEEK

Blizzard asks World of Warcraft players about their intentions for Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker – The tide lifts all ships, Axiom says, which is appropriate given the healthy competition between the major MMORPGs. And while it is very clear that ….
First impressions: Dive into the portals of Oblivion with companions in Elder Scrolls Online’s Blackwood – [AL:ESO]Like clockwork, The Elder Scrolls Online has opened the doors to its annual chapter. This time, in Blackwood, we travel to southern Cyrodiil, where the remains of the…
Not so massive: First Impressions of Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance – I must admit that I did not have high expectations for the new cooperative game Dungeons & Dragons : Dark Alliance. The graphics looked a little dated, and the trailers suggested that…..
Six months later, Sony finally brings Cyberpunk 2077 back to the PlayStation Store – When Cyberpunk 2077 crashed at launch last Christmas, one of the most surprising side effects was Sony’s decision to not only refund purchases, but also remove the game from the PlayStation Store…..
The WoW Factor: Would you like to participate in the study? – That’s it. Yes, I know World of Warcraft is the 29th. June will finally release its first major patch for Shadowlands. You can talk about it. It must be…
Aion Classic promotes first global race as players raise new concerns about paying to win – Aion is having a rare moment in the spotlight thanks to the launch yesterday of a legacy mode called Aion Classic. The opening day went as expected: Crowds, Faults, Excitement ….
NCsoft admits turbulence in Aion Classic, but ignores candy exploitation – The Aion forums are buzzing with news about the omission of Daeva and the candy problem in Aion Classic, as we reported yesterday. NCsoft hasn’t immediately responded to the outcry, but at least one…
A casual classic: What retail WoW can learn from Burning Crusade Classic’s class progression (again) – With Burning Crusade Classic only a few weeks away, players are finding that, despite many outdated design elements, this expansion is still a lot of fun….
New World’s latest alpha update reduces PvP penalties and adjusts experience requirements – Amazon’s New World apparently has a few more patches in store for alpha players. Today’s update, which takes place behind closed doors, includes several small and large changes, including new…
The action MMORPG Xianxia Swords of Legends Online will be launched on September 9. July – We have finally discovered the release date of Swords of Legends Online : 9. July. I say this like it’s a game we’ve been beating for a long time, but in reality …..
Amazon Games responds to complaints that Lost Ark’s character changes are censorship – Lost Ark hasn’t even been released in the West yet and already the first silly controversies are popping up. When Amazon Games announced that it was going to make the game…
Aion Classic is officially on sale in the West – are you playing it yet? Or at least in a row? – Look, if you’re reading this at work, you’re already behind on Aion Classic, as sad as it is to admit. This is because after a short delay, the new version of the old…
The game Archaeologist: Anarchy Online, from launch to today – 27. July 2001. Funcom launched Anarchy Online that day, in North America and a few months later in Europe. Don’t miss…
Anarchy Online celebrates 20th anniversary with new developer retrospective and video – Last week we told you about Funcom’s first fan events for Anarchy Online to celebrate its 20th anniversary. So far, the studio is rather…
The soapbox: Insulting members of the MMO community over design decisions is not only toxic, it’s unnecessary. Representatives of the online video game community were recently banned from Twitter by fans. SM’s game development colleague shares her anger over her colleague friend’s harassment…..
I think too much: What class is missing from your favorite MMO? – I’ve been obsessed with Albion Online for a few weeks now – it’s very similar to Ultima Online for me. Ultima Online, but better! And yet it’s still missing…
Two new progression servers for Lord of the Rings Online will launch on the 30th. June – Less than two weeks ago Standing Stone Games launched two new progression servers for Lord of the Rings Online, and already this afternoon we have the…
Starborne developer announces new sci-fi MMORPG called Starborne Frontiers – MMO players know Starborne: Sovereign Space is a space MMORTS, but if you want something closer to an MMORPG, I have good news for you, because Icelandic indie developer Solid Clouds has just released a…
World of Warcraft lead artist Eric Braddock leaves Blizzard – The brain drain continues at Blizzard Entertainment. World of Warcraft lead artist Eric Braddock announced this month that he is leaving the studio for an undisclosed opportunity,…
Perfect Ten: 10 Reasons You’ll Never Want to Live in an MMORPG – Escapism and daydreaming are, in my opinion, a beautiful thing and part of what drives our creativity and enthusiasm. I mean, most of us probably indulge in some form of escapism, just …..
You can now make your own privateer in Black Desert (and play next week) – In this week’s podcast, we talked about how few pirate classes exist in MMORPGs, even though there are pirate NPCs in almost all of them. So a 21-gun salute at …..
Star Citizen’s $100,000 whale explains why she supports the game – and what she’s worried about – For those of you familiar with Star Citizen news and surprised that the business model has won this site’s worst business model award four years in a row -…
Blockchain sandbox game Trove is finally available on Nintendo Switch – [AL:Trove]There is no delay in Trove’s summer releases: Just a week after the release of the Bard update on PC, Gamigo’s hit MMORPG is also coming to Nintendo Switch. The game is very popular…
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ first major patch, Chains of Domination, is available for pre-load – The first content patch for World of Warcraft won’t be available for a long, long time: Shadowlands. It’s because he…
Massive movement: Niantic partially reverses COVID bonuses in Pokemon Go – Almost a month ago, I argued that the COVID changes in Pokemon GO should not be cancelled. I was under no illusion that Niantic would listen when…
Second Life celebrates its 18th anniversary this week and has 70 million lifetime accounts. I’m going to say the M word in this post, and I’m sorry, but Metaversum Metaversum Metaversum Metaversum. That’s because Second Life is in the news again this week.
Choose my adventure: Shocked by the crafting and housing potential of Star Wars Galaxies – This week has been a bit of a roller coaster for me. Emotion. Discoveries. And, slowly but surely, a deeper understanding and enjoyment of Star Wars Galaxies. At its finest…
The Lucymia Saga in Blackout: We don’t have a set schedule – For over a year we’ve been worried about the status of Saga of Lucimia’s development, whether it will continue. Back to…
Acti-Blizz investors overwhelmingly approved the policy of disclosing salaries after the election – another victory for the company’s management. As we wrote earlier, Activision-Blizzard investors, reportedly represented by CtW Investment Group, have attempted to overturn the voting policy…
EA tests transparent locks in FIFA game – Remember two years ago when the ESA announced a new, non-binding policy for the US video game industry that was theoretically intended to encourage game companies to buck the then-existing trend of…
The Wisdom of Nim: What to do in Final Fantasy XIV while you wait for Endwalkers – As I write this sentence, Final Fantasy XIV is still 151 days away from release: Endwalker opens early access. It’s not that much! It’s also very, very…
A World of Warcraft fan animator has released a video summarizing the actual gameplay experience – Are you ready to have your heart squeezed by beautiful animations, World of Warcraft fans? That seems to be the general reaction to the recently released video of…
Obituaries: Famous Secret World Legends Community Leader HolloPoint – I regret to inform you that devastating news has arrived at the Secret World Legends community today: A prominent member of the community, Mark HollowPoint Innes, has apparently died. The news came via his…

THIS WEEK’S EBB AND FLOW

Check out our weekly MMO Weekly Roundup for the latest news in the MMO genre and the best content from Massively OP! Would you like a wider choice of materials? Try Betawatch on Friday for more MMO testing, Make My MMO on Saturday for more MMO crowdfunding, and The MOP Up on Sunday, with a recap of all the news we’re not covering anywhere else.

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