Aika Online Review: PvP Tour with GMs
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Tour guides: GMLingo and GMAugury
Aika Online is a free-to-play MMORPG with a strong emphasis on Player vs. Player (PvP) content. Players can create characters with allegiances to five different nations and compete in small-scale battles for glory and bragging rights, or engage in huge 2000 player wars that could shape the face of an entire nation. In this tour, we’ll be taking a quick peek at some of the PvP modes that Aika Online has to offer, including Relic Wars, Battlegrounds, and the Aitan Arena.
To be honest, when the tour first got started, I was feeling a bit nervous since this was my first time covering an event. I had the feeling that would miss some important bits information or something, but as we got the ball rolling, I felt more and more comfortable about the whole thing. So for starters, I met up with GMAugury to take a look at one of the first PvP event of the day: The Battlegrounds.
The battlegrounds is a straight up team battle where players of each nation can join up with each other and set up battles against other players with several different match options. Players will earn points for defeating enemy players and the first team to reach the target score wins. Setting up matches in the battlegrounds uses a room based system which is simple and easy to use for creating and joining matches.
Battlegrounds waiting room
When I entered the first battlegrounds match, I quickly realized that I had forgotten to pick up some skills for my warrior. Luckily, I was able to make do without them thanks to the party alliance that was formed during the beginning of the match. My team was primarily fixated on rushing the other team down, and it worked to some degree. With my warrior, I attempted to go Rambo on some of the enemies and was able to take down a couple of them before falling to my doom.
My team ended up winning the match with a very strong lead and I managed to snag some honor points on the side. Honor points can be used to earn extra EXP, special equipment and more, so players that constantly use the battlegrounds can earn lots of great benefits for their character.
Next event up: Relic Wars
Relic Wars is the most popular PvP event in Aika Online, where nations go head to head in large-scale wars to control objects called relics. Nations that have control over these relics can receive many different kinds of buffs. The buffs received from these relics can be stacked, so nations will do whatever it takes to control as may relics as possible.
During the first half of the relic war, I was greeted by Lord Marshall Lashen of the Alethius nation who gave me the basics of warfare. Speaking of which: Lord Marshals are the leaders of each nation. They control tax rates, relic upgrades, nation alliances and more. Essentially, their decisions can become major influences for the well being of each nation. Lord Marshall Lashen has been a part of Aika Online since closed beta testing and really knows a thing or two about how relic wars typically go down.
When the relic war began, Lashen instructed everyone to head straight for the temple at the Ruins of Algon. Unfortunately for me, I ended up heading for the temple at Tabaza, instead. GMLingo then ported me over to the ruins of Algon so that I could witness the mayhem. Players with alliances with other nations were gunning for the relics and each other. Even during the mass mayhem of a relic war, Lashen was calm and collected when giving orders (especially considering that he was working in the front lines of the war, too!). Lashen then redirected all units to head for the temple at Tabaza and we were able to capture the relic with ease.
After we captured the relic at Tabaza, Lashen ordered all players to rush back to the Amarkand Temple as the nation of Vanov was attacking a previously captured relic. (or was it the Algon Temple again? I’m not sure.) The confrontation with Nanov was fierce. Swords and shields clashed, magic was cast all over the place, and soldiers were dropping like flies. Trying to pick out enemies in on the battlefield was fairly difficult for me, but I would later figure out that I could have simply used the TAB key to locate and target the closest enemy. Despite the hectic action taking place, I was able to pick off a few players and assisted my allies to re-capturing the relic.
Last event: Aitan Arena
The Aitan Arena is another team vs. team based PvP mode with some special conditions. First off, players of the same nation compete with up to 200 players on teams of two. Unlike the battlegrounds, if your character is defeated in the Aitan Arena, you’re out for the rest of the match. However, the rewards of surviving and defeating other players in the Aitan Arena can be great, as you can earn tons of honor points, medals, and items. These Aitan Arena battles are held twice a day from the PvE channels and anyone over level 11 can participate against others of equal level.
Since the Aitan Arena would be the last event I would participate in, I decided to have another player tag along for this one. I asked GMLingo if I could bring friend who was a fairly active Aika online player (level 37 spellcaster) to join me in the Aitan Arena. GMLingo agreed and warped my friend over to our position in a flash.
Both my friend and I joined the red team for the Aitan Arena. We didn’t really have a plan or strategy going into the battle, so we both just winged it and rushed in as soon as the doors swung open. As the battle commenced, I noticed that both teams were running around in a huge circle formation against each other. I wasn’t too sure of either teams’ planning behind this strategy, but I went with it anyway.
Aika Aitan Arena
After a few minutes of running around in circles, I ended up stepping out of line. I ended up getting attacked and defeated by an enemy rifleman. As I watched the rest of the match with my lifeless warrior on the ground, my spellcaster friend managed to do significantly better and even managed to get a few kills in before getting thunder-shocked to death, Sith lord style.
After all the events I participated and witnessed, my impression of what Aika online was all about was clear: PvP is everything. With the Battlegrounds, Relic War, Altar war, Castle Siege and Aitan Arena, Aika Online tailors to the most hardcore MMO PvP fanatics out there, and with the recently released “Ashes of Betrayal” expansion that features new skills and equipment, new additions to relic wars and a new nation balancing system, Aika Online’s PvP aspect will be greater then ever.