In a Press Release and an email blast to new and old subscribers yesterday (February 21, 2012), NCSoft announced news that many knew to be coming but did not know when. Aion: Ascension is set to drop in North America in the Spring of 2012.
This expansion not only gives North American players access to the Patch 3.0 content already released in some other countries, but also opens up the floodgates for new citizens of Atreia as Aion will adopt the “Truly Free to Play” style made popular with the Lineage 2 conversion to free to play. The “Truly Free to Play” model means no restrictions are placed on any player. Everyone will have access to revamped content, the level cap raise in the 3.0 patch, mounts, dungeons, new quests, PvP, and every other feature. This includes access to the upcoming player housing system and new pets. Unlike some other “Free to Play” models, the “Truly Free to Play” model NCSoft uses allows players to use all chat channels, all auction (broker) features, and places no restrictions on any character creation tools. While details on a cash shop have not been release, NCSoft did state that one would be available.
To hype up the release and change in subscription model, NCSoft will also be holding a “Rallying the Troops” event sometime prior to the Aion: Ascension launch. While the details and date are still under wraps, NCSoft did say that new players that wish to get a jump on leveling prior to 3.0 would have the current “Free to Level 20″ limit raised to level 40, and returning veterans would be able to obtain 14 free days of membership in anticipation of the free to play conversion.
Some of the features anticipated in the Ascension expansion are:
Housing System – Everyone gets a home. Decorate and party in your new home.
Mount System – A new game play system which lets Daevas speed around the world of Atreia in style.
New Instances – Six new instances including a challenging 24-player raid.
New Zones – Two stunning new zones in the Balaur homeland.
New Level Cap – Five new levels bringing the max level to 60.
NCSoft also mentioned in the release that they are implementing new security to ensure the safety of all real money transactions.
While the details and the exact dates may still be a bit hazy, this is certainly good news for veterans of Aion, who have longed for a larger player base, and new players alike.
For information about Aion visit http://www.aiononline.com