Aion's Prestige Pack Officially Out - A Million Daevas Cry in Unison

Surely this is the way to go.

If you've logged into Aion over the past few days, you've surely heard the cries that the sky is falling. The Prestige Pack has made its way into the game, significantly changing players' experiences leading up to and at endgame.

The Prestige Pack offers bonuses to monthly subscribers much like those seen in RIFT and TERA; however, this pack is nowhere near the "incredible value" NCWest claims it is and is vastly inferior to those offered in other games. I would like to say this is "not okay", but it's gone a bit beyond that at this point.

So what we have here in this pack is a collection of items you receive once a month for one character at a cost of $15 USD. You can get a good look at it here on the official site.

After you check out the above, take a look at what RIFT's Patron subscription nets and what TERA's Elite member tier gives players. The majority of the benefits from these packs affect all characters on a single account, whereas Aion's Prestige Pack only affects one character and provides significantly worse benefits to the player.

Does NCWest think the Aion playerbase is retarded?

I understand a game needs to make money in order to be kept running, but the benefits being offered to Aion players are pitiful in comparison to other games.

I hate saying this because I far prefer Aion over TERA, RIFT, and almost every other free to play MMORPG: But what is the point of playing if you hit endgame and have instance cooldown timers so long you have reason to play 80% of the time, and can actually progress your character 20% of the time?

The new 4.0 instances had their cooldowns increased soon after release to make way for the Prestige Pack. You want to see the exact differences between the cooldowns of standard users and Prestige players? Check out this nifty sheet by Aion celebrity Jambo, which covers the differences not only between what's going on with Aion NA but also GameForge's Gold membership.

Not only is the increase to instance timers down right scummy, but the actual rewards in the Prestige Pack are absolute garbage. You pay $15 a month to receive these abysmal items:

  • Instance Cooldown Pack - The only real draw to this pack, and it's only that way because NCWest gut instance timers.
  • Mark of Wealth - One character gets double kinah drops for a month. Cannot be stored in your account warehouse and given to another character. Oh, and it takes up a spot in your special cube.
  • Prestige Case - Yet another masterfully crafted RNG box from the geniuses at NCWest. You can get medals and coins, the exact ones can be seen on the official site. You only get one of these a month.
  • Value Boost Pack - This is a three-parter including an AP boost, Insignia boost, and Energy of Repose. Each of these items only lasts 24 hours and you only get one of each per sub term.
  • Major Crit Spell Scroll - Boost your spell crit by 40! For a whole hour! Woo hoo.
  • Major Crit Strike Stroll - Boost your crit strike by 120 points! For a whole hour! Hurrah.
  • 3 Greater Running Scrolls - You have got to be kidding me.

It's hilarious that NCWest claims this is an incredible value -- "a savings of $70!!!1!!!" -- when the Black Cloud Marketplace is so overpriced in the first place that absolutely nothing here nor barely anything in the shop itself could be classified as an incredible or even decent value.

If NCWest wants to profit off Aion NA, this isn't the way to go.

The circumstances under which the Prestige Pack was made to be valuable (hiking up instance cooldown timers) is downright underhanded. I feel embarrassed because I referred so many people to Aion, only for the game's endgame to be cut down with a terrible pay to win guillotine.

I hate throwing out that term, "pay to win".

Is it really so difficult to reduce the prices of items on the Black Cloud Marketplace? Does any pet worth its salt need to cost $8 for a single character? Do permanent mounts need to cost $30 to $50 -- again, for one character? Does a pack of terrible items really need to be sold for $15 a month?

Perhaps NCWest needs to look at the cash shop before shoveling out some garbage premium membership option, but it feels like they won't even bother until Aion is on its last leg yet again. It's just starting to feel predatory at this point, but at the end of the day a fool and his money are still easily parted.

Oh, and read this. Things are not looking good.

Published Jul. 22nd 2013

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