The systems Aion will be running on today at Gstar were optimized for performance. I believe the suggested specs will be slightly higher than Lineage 2. (Note: For reference, the suggested specs for L2 are Pentium 4 2.4GHz or better, 1GB RAM or more and GeForceFX 5700 or better)
The engine that is currently being used for Aion is the CryENGINE that was developed by Crytek as a demo. Shortly after it's creation Crytek and Ubisoft realized it's potential and used it in it's first game Far Cry. Soon enough it made it's way into Aion.
"In Aion, players are divided between those that are "The Chosen" and those that are "The Fallen." The Tower of Eternity exists as a gateway into the Abyss, and acts as a portal between dimensions. When a great evil opens the gateways, it awakens the Dragons imprisoned within the Abyss, who seek revenge on both worlds. It is here that an epic conflict begins, as you take your first steps on a journey to bring salvation to the world."
"In Aion: The Tower of Eternity, players must choose a side between two warring factions: the Chosen or the Fallen. Once their world was whole; a perfect union joined at the center by The Tower of Eternity. When a great catastrophe shattered The Tower of Eternity, it split the world into two halves - and awoke the Dragons, a warring race exiled within the extra-dimensional Abyss. The Dragons now seek revenge on both of these new worlds, sparking an epic conflict. The part you play, the side you choose and the decisions you make will help determine the ultimate fate of Aion."
There are 3 factions in Aion, 2 of which are playable. The two playable factions are The Chosen and The Fallen.
The Chosen live in the lower portion of the World of Aion which is said to be "more alive, vibrant." (Ju-hyun Jang, Producer)
The Fallen live in the upper portion of the World of Aion which is "more somber... darker." (Ju-hyun Jang, Producer)
The third faction which are server-controlled are the dragons. "The (Dragons) are a server-controlled NPC faction, so players cannot choose to play them. However, just because they are controlled by the server doesn't mean they are stupid; they can make choices, and players will never quite know what they are going to do. For example, imagine a castle siege-style scenario, where one of the player factions, the (Fallen), is attacking the (Chosen) faction's castle. In the middle of this siege, the Yong may appear. When they arrive, no-one will know what they are going to do. They may have previously helped the (Fallen), but that doesn't matter; in the siege, they might betray them and help the (Chosen). Or they might help the (Fallen) to siege the (Chosen's) castle. Or... they might try and take the castle for themselves, fighting against both the (Chosen) and the (Fallen). The important thing to realize is that the (Dragons) are not typical NPCs. They are the third faction in the game, and they have free will, which makes them very unpredictable." (Ju-hyun Jang, Producer)
Unfortunately there have been no pictures released of The Fallen faction yet. All the people that are seen in the screenshots and concept art have been from The Chosen or The Dragon factions. However, it has been said that The Fallen are "darker and more opulent."
There's not a lot known about the different classes other than pictures of them and their names:
Atreia, the name of the world of Aion, is not like any other conventional world.
"In the beginning, Aion was a single world, a hollow globe intersected vertically at its core by The Tower of Eternity. After a cataclysmic event that occurs in the game's pre-history, the top and bottom halves of the world are split in two, with the Tower of Eternity reduced to a shattered ruin."Ju-hyun Jang explains:
“The world of Aion resembles a globe, divided horizontally into two halves. The lower half is the world of the Chun (The Chosen), the upper half is the world of the Ma (The Fallen). So basically the world-map of Aion is not on a horizontal plane, like a traditional fantasy world; instead it's vertical. With this in mind, some parts of both worlds can only be accessed from the air - such as floating castles, and islands in the sky. Because of this, all of the player characters can gain wings."
The area lying in-between these two worlds is referred to as the Abyss.
"The Abyss is the great battlefield of Aion, which consists of flying rocks and pieces of land. Located on these flying "islands" are military bases and strongholds. Large battles and sieges take place here between the Chun (The Chosen) and the Ma (The Fallen) and the third NPC controlled faction Yong (The Dragons)."
The Abyss will also host flying dungeons to explore and dominate.Flying
"Glide effortlessly through the skies in Aion™. Flying is not just a means of transportation – flight is an extension of the combat system and can be an integral part of taking on your foes in battle. Clash swords high above the ground and use flight-specific skills to defeat your rivals. Aion™ adds a whole new dimension to combat as you pluck your enemies from the sky, rain down destruction from above, toss your opponent into the air, and more. This isn’t your usual MMORPG combat – you will need to form new strategies to slay your adversary."
~Tell us about the free-flying function in Aion. How is it being designed?
Though I cannot discuss any specifics at this time, I can tell you we are trying to design this feature so that it has a unique feel to it. Free-flying will be one of the most important skills players will learn in Aion. However, you won't have to spend an extensive amount of time in the game to be able to learn this skill.Worthplaying.com, Interview with producer Ju-hyun Jang PvPvE (Player vs Player vs Environment)
"Combat in other online role-playing games consists of PvE (Player vs. Environment): fighting computer-controlled monsters, and PvP (Player vs. Player): human-controlled characters fighting each other.
For the first time in the MMORPG genre, Aion™ brings these two game features together in an evolving and seamless system. PvPvE manages the complex relationships and alliances between realms, races and guilds; it also controls the mighty Dragons, a non-player faction and a common enemy to all players, regardless of faction."
~A frequent criticism of certain MMORPGs is that there can be too much 'grinding' in the game - the repeating of certain tasks for experience. Is that the case for Aion?
During development we've focused on not adding grinding based on numbers to arbitrarily extend the lifecycle of the game. In Aion, you won't have to repeat one quest 100 times or kill 1,000 monsters just to gain experience.Worthplaying.com, Interview with producer Ju-hyun JangGamespot's Hands-On ArticleScreenshots and Concept ArtAtreia (The Aion World)
~Too big to postThe Abyss (A Dungeon)
~Too big to post
~SourceVideosAion G-Star TrailerAion E3 TrailerAION: The Tower of Eternity is still under development by NCsoft, and any information related to the game is subject to change with the release of more information.