Aion's new Aethertech class is a giant robot thing, essentially

Katie Williams at

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.

Aion 4.0: Dark Betrayal E3 trailers reveal new classes, skills and talkative villains

Phil Savage at

Oh, come on villains! Surely by now you've learned to not go on extended rants of exposition, in which you meticulously detail the minutia of you plans for heroes to act upon. Not according to the E3 trailer for Aion 4.0, the free to play MMO's upcoming expansion. In it, primo-baddie Beritra growls his way through plot details, delivers an oddly rousing speech about those attempting to stop him, outright reveals his "big secret", then finishes on a pantomime laugh. Classic villaining.

Cartography leads to victory with Aion's new map features

Josh Augustine at

Let that be our rallying cry, oh Wallys of Atreia: "Cartography will lead us to victory!" Or at least to disgruntled groupmates yelling at me as I meticulously redraw every line representing our plan of attack in Aion's new battle map, which was introduced in yesterday's big patch that took the game free to play.

Aion free-to-play launches in North America, brings huge updates

Josh Augustine at

In last month's issue of PC Gamer US, we revealed Aion's plans to go free-to-play with our hands-on impressions of the massive update. NCsoft has quickly turned around the launch of Aion 3.0, which has just landed on live servers for everyone to experience today.

Among the big updates are giving every piece of content in the game away for free, new open-world player housing, and a whole expansion's worth of new spells, zones and dungeons. Read our article that originally ran in the March issue of PC Gamer US, check the official features guide, and download the game client for free here to jump in.

Aion announces free-to-play plans for North America, all content will be free

Gavin Townsley at

If I could demand one thing for free, it would be a five pound tub of licorice. If I could demand two things, it would be full access to a mystic realm of winged beings and a five pound tub of licorice. Aion: Ascension, the major update coming to Aion this spring, fulfills most of my desires with their newly announced F2P business model. Everything previously released and in patch 3.0 will be absolutely free for everyone. Yes, everything for free—well not my licorice, but those tubs of delicious red chewies aren't really NCsoft's to give away in the first place.

EU Giveaway: win Access to the Aion free-to-play beta

Tom Senior at

Aion is a CryEngine powered MMO in which you play as a winged, angelic warrior tasked with defending the gorgeous realm of Atreia against invading forces. Constant updates since launch have added new zones, flighty PvP, cute pets, afros and more. The once-ponderous levelling speed has been boosted time and time again to give players the chance to see more of Aion's beautiful zones. It's going free to play in Europe in the coming months and we're giving you a chance to spread your wings early.

We've got 500 keys to give away for the Aion free to play beta. If you get into the beta, you'll automatically be granted 'Veteran' status when Aion free to play goes live. This will give you a few extra features over starter players, like the ability to open up your own shop.

All you need to do to enter is put your name and email address into the Aion beta key competition page, which you can discover through this link right here.

I want in on the Aion beta. Give me wings, PC Gamer!

And that's all there is to it. If you win a key, you can redeem it on the Aion Free to Play site. They'll be sent out once we all 500 have been snapped up, so tell your friends if you want in quicker. The Aion client is available to pre-load here. Good luck!

Halting the grind: Leveling in Aion just got easier

Chris Perry at

Aion is often the poster child for grind-heavy MMOs. At launch, this was very true, but NCsoft has made a lot of changes over the years in an attempt to alleviate some of that monotony, although some modifications have been more effective than others. Recent changes drew me back to see if I could climb out of the leveling ravine.

Aion to go free to play in Europe in February

Tom Senior at

Ultra-pretty flighty MMO Aion is set to drop the monthly subscription fees and go free to play in February next year. The free to play version will be rolled out in the UK, France and Germany first before spreading across the whole of Europe. "In the last few months the lands in Atreia have become more and more deserted," NCSoft write on the new Aion free to play site, "we want to reinvigorate the world of Aion and attract new adventurers to the towns." There's no mention of a free to play version for the US yet.

Aion's been updated many, many times since its release. New dungeons, new endgame quests, new missions and pets that will collect your loot for you are a few additions. The seriousness of the stoic angel warriors that made up Aion's character base on launch have thawed considerably over the years with the addition of new outfits, afros and a ton of new gear.

Aion - Arena of Chaos Guide

Chris Perry at

With wings unfurled, here comes another Aion game guide, brought to you in collaboration with the fine folks over at NCsoft. This time, we're off to the Arena of Chaos, where players will battle other Daeva in 5v5 arena battles, continuing the enjoyable Crucible Arenas.

PCG PSA: Aion 2.7 patch officially live

Nathan Grayson at

Via the wonderful winged magic of email, NCSoft's just dropped us a line to let everybody know that Aion 2.7 is now up and running. The PVP-focused update lets you show off your murderous moves in both the small-scale Arena of Discipline and the biggie-sized Arena of Chaos.

Or, if soundly trouncing your fellow man isn't your cup of tea, there's always the reworked Padmarashka's Cave Alliance instance. I tried pronouncing it, and now the doctor says I have to keep this tiny cast on my tongue for the next eight weeks.

For full details on the patch, go here. We also have a couple nice guides for you here and here, with another - centered around the Arena of Chaos - just around the corner.

Aion Patch 2.7 Arena Combat Guide

Chris Perry at

Aion players are anxiously awaiting the launch of patch 2.7 on October 19th, with its 48-man raid and and addition of the Arenas of Discipline to the Crucible Coliseum. These 1v1 arena battles are sure to be a draw for players looking to show off their leet skills, and with NCsoft's help, we've got some guides to help you out.

Aion's 48 man raid - Padmarashka's Cave Guide

Chris Perry at

With Aion patch 2.7 going live on October 19th, we've teamed up with NCsoft to give you some helpful hints to guide your way through Padmarashka's Cave. This new instance will test your fortitude as you battle Sematariux and Padmarashka with 47 of your closest friends. Yep, that's right, a 48-man raid! Will you be able to take down the monstrosities that lurk in Padmarashka's Cave? Read on to find out the best ways to approach this mammoth instance.

Giveaway: Strut your stuff with Aion's Wonder Girls and Disco costumes!

Lucas Sullivan at

There's no shame in it: sometimes you've just gotta get a little fabulous. And why shouldn't that apply to your favorite MMOs? Aion recently debuted its premium item sets modeled after, of all people, the South Korean pop girl group the Wonder Girls. It's not enough to have wings and fly around killing stuff—you have to look good doing it. Read on to find out how to enter and see the costumes (and exceptional dance animations!) in action.

Aion 2.5 update is now live

Matt Purslow at

The 2.5 update for Aion - Empyrean Calling - is now available. The game was already easily one of the most graphically impressive MMOs on the market, being built on the CryEngine that powered the original Far Cry. There's also an expanded character customisation tool and several other touches and alternations to further improve the game. You can see them all in motion in the video above.

Players can access the new content on the games test server now.

[via Rock, Paper, Shotgun]

Aion update reduces grind, increases drop rate and adds new items

Tom Senior at

The MMO of winged immortals, Aion, received a big free expansion last year adding a new zone. Since then the 2.1 update has worked on making general changes to the drop rates and crafting systems, with the aim of reducing the amount of grinding in the game. Read on for an overview of the latest update.

Aion players "killing everything they see" post-patch

Chris Perry at

Continuing towards their goal to eliminate (or at least reduce) the grind in Aion, NCSoft has been implementing changes to the game over the past few months aimed at increasing the XP and loot gains from quests and other activities that involve more than mindlessly grinding an area for hours. The lastest upgrades launched with patch 2.1 in the middle of November. I called up Associate Producer Sean Neil to find out how the latest patch has worked out so far, and if he thinks Aion is finally where it needs to be.

Have Aion's recent patches fixed its problems? [Giveaway]

Chris Perry at

Like many players, I got burned-out from Aion’s grind not too long after launch. But NCsoft promised more fun and less grind with the latest expansion pack, Assault on Balaurea, so I strapped on my wings and flapped my way back into the fray to find out whether or not the game kept that promise.

Contest: Win an Aion plushie! Details at the bottom of the post.

The best events in MMOs this Halloween

Tom Senior at

Halloween is fast approaching, the spirits are getting restless and trick or treaters are preparing to walk the earth in search of sweets. It doesn't matter how good their costumes are, they're not going to be able to compete with some of the Halloween events happening in the gaming world. Guild Wars, Aion, City of Heroes and Global Agenda are all running special Halloween events. Read on for an overview of the horrors that lie in store.

Aion 2.0: Silentera Canyon survival guide

Robert Hathorne at

Here it is, the final installment to our guide through Assault on Balaurea, Aion's upcoming free expansion. Within this tome, we'll reveal the ins-and-outs of Silentera Canyon with selfless devotion to your survival; many Shugo died to bring us this information. Behold--the future.

Aion 2.0: Elyos Leveling Guide (53-55)

Robert Hathorne at

At long last, we guide the Elyos to level 55 in Aion's September 7 free expansion, Assault on Balaurea. You've likely slain many beasts to get this far, but you've faced nothing so fearsome as what awaits in the Abyssal Splinter. If you're clueless right now, maybe try the level 51-52 baby Elyos leveling guide first.