Have giant, metal, vaguely humanoid things always been a part of fantasy, or is that something that MMORPGs have introduced to the genre? It seems a lot of fantasy MMOs eventually branch into steampunk-inspired tech, and Aion 's next on the list: NCSoft has just revealed that the next class addition is the "Aethertech"—giant robot things. Some of which are cloud-colored.
The Aethertech received their grand unveiling on the Aion blog (where you'll find more glamorous photographs, too). You won't actually play as the robots themselves—think of them more as big, hefty mech vehicles designed for maximum compensation of whatever of your weaker traits may be. The whimsical, aether-pulsing mounts allow their users, the "Technists," to perform both short- and long-distance attacks in the form of Gatling guns, whips, fists, rocket launchers, and other unfriendly weapons.
The Aethertech are the centerpiece of patch 4.5, which hits the Korean test servers on July 29; they'll make their way to American servers "after the normal localization process."