This guide is a compilation of useful little tips I've picked up in my years playing Aion, and include some suggestions from my guild. Some are basic, others are more obscure. Please add any I've missed to the comments at the end!
Getting around – tips for travelling
Travel and locations
The General Goods Merchants in Sanctum and Pandaemonium sells scrolls to all major fortresses apart from the two non PvP areas, Brusthonin and Theobomos, which you can port to using orbs purchased from the GGM in the central outpost. They're pretty cheap, and stocking up on them means you never have to wait for a return cooldown. I like to store them in one of my bag pets to save on bag space. If you play a Sorcerer this isn't necessary, as you can create a portal to your capital city.
Once you hit 25 it's worth binding in the abyss, where you can port to the three main areas.
Want a low level mount? Unless you're rich, think again. You're better off getting Level 30 gold AP boots (you can buy these from Terminon or Primum Landing for 58,700 AP) and popping a running scroll. It's only a tiny bit slower, and those boots will zoom you around places where you can't use a mount. The only time I have ever regretted not having one was when I was chased down by a mounted Elyos while quietly minding my own business in Heiron... Your next easy to get speed boots come in at Level 38 in the Mist Mane/ Kaiden Headquarters quest lines.
If you want to try a mount out anyway, you can do so for free by talking to the mount vendor in Pernon or Oriel. They will lend you a Surfrider to play with for an hour as part of a quest which you can abandon and take again if you want to.
Looking for Black Cloud Island or Tigraki Island? They are now on the map. Zoom in on the Upper Abyss and look in the South East and North West corners. Leibo Island, in the middle of the Lower Abyss, is also visible if you zoom in.
Another island you'll need to find is Leibo Island, which you can reach by flying out into the centre of the abyss from your home landing; it's parallel to them and directly under the centre of the core. Do not fly into the core as you will experience flamey death. You may need flight potions to make the distance, and you may find enemy players waiting for you.
Personally I refrain from ganking people on these islands as they're a bugger to get to and I'm not that mean, but few people think this way and you are likely to experience some PvP there at some point.
Beware of unexpected teleportation
At the end of the Verteron and Altgard quest lines you will be teleported to the abyss gate you need to close. This skips you past all the mobs, allowing you to finish the quest fast. However, you need to be in a group, and if you get there unexpectedly you will have to trog through all the mobs to get back there if you die. This can really hold up your quest line, and you will need to finish this part of the campaign to get access to the Secret Library in Sanctum/ Pandaemonium.
On the Elyos side you will have another unexpected teleport when you get to the Indratu Legion part of the campaign. The second stage of this quest line asks you to speak to Piros, who teleports you into the heart of the Indratu area to talk to a friendly lizard like creature called Lamidros. If you take this quest without thinking and get ported in there you won't be able to complete this stage alone unless you are a bit of a ninja; there are plenty of elites in your way. This means you have to return and bushbash your way back in with a group, which can take absolutely ages.
Back in the old days you could glide into this area. I hear that this has been closed off, and checking that out is on my to do list.
The glide mechanic is one of my favourite features; it's probably one of the reasons that this is still my favourite MMO. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you've gotten the hang of it you can glide almost anywhere – even on completely flat surfaces. To maintain a glide on a flat surface, tilt your wings to catch updrafts that will propel you back into the air – useful for avoiding lava.
Your gliding speed is faster than your running speed, which means that gliding is also useful for kiting mobs. Run them up the slope, then glide down. It's also really useful for running away, so if you're being chased by enemies, make for high ground that you can glide away from. Flitting between mobs is a good way of leading pursuers into areas where they're going to get hit by something – especially if you know the mob layout and they don't.
Pressing whichever key you use for forward while gliding will cause you to go into dive mode and speed up. This can prevent you from bouncing up into the air and hanging there for a few seconds and it can give you a little extra speed.
If you're trying to quest or gather in a non PvP zone and can't get a look in because there are too many other players there you can change channel to a quieter zone. This can be done using the 'Go to channel' option on the main menu.
Dying can be useful
We've all been here: you've gotten somewhere really inaccessible past elites and through enemy territory... and then you realise you forgot that one thing you needed to do. Maybe you didn't buy the component you needed for your quest, maybe there was a NPC you forgot to speak to before you set out – either way, you've come all that way for nothing.
Maybe not! If you can put a kisk down, all is good. Bind to it, then return or scroll out. Once you've done what you needed to do, it's time to kiss this cruel shell world a temporary goodbye. Kill your toon, either by going up to the nearest mob and insulting its mother or by going to a flight area and killing yourself by falling. Be careful though – if you jump from a great height you may go straight back to the obelisk, so just rise and fall until you're almost dead, then one more little fall should leave you lying on the ground and able to resurrect back to your kisk.
This is also a good way of returning from rifting to do your daily quests or tend to your Hearthblooms before heading back over the other side and logging out, and doing this will allow you to stay in enemy territory indefinitely.
Repeated suicide is also popular with people who want to stay at a certain level for PvP, which is what I do with my PvP Cleric. This allows you to stay at your desired level for as long as you like, keeping you at the top of your PvP bracket rather than at the bottom of the next one. This means that you can get more out of each set of PvP gear and can start working on your next set long before you need it. Staying at 50 for rifting is a popular way of grinding AP.
Above level ten, don't sell green and white drops to the broker unless they sell for more than the elemental stones you can extract from them using extraction tools from the GGM. Check your server's Trade Broker for up to date prices; enchantment stones often sell for much more than the gear they are extracted from, and this is a good way of making cash at any level.
When extracting a gold item, socket it with cheap manastones first – any will do. There is a chance that you will get a better enchantment stone.
So many people waste piles of enchantment stones because they don't use stones of the appropriate level. The rule of thumb is:
Green gear: level of item plus 10, add one for every two subsequent enchantments, add two if it's +10 or above
Blue gear: level of item plus 15, add 1-2 for every two subsequent enchantments, add two if it's +10 or above
Gold gear: level of item plus 20, add one for every subsequent enchantment, add two if it's +10 or above
This is not only common knowledge, I've enchanted countless items to +10 or higher and apart from the occasional enchantment stone eating bastard of an item, this works very well. I've successfully +10d and +15d some items with no fails at all using this method and many more with only a couple of fails. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that a higher stone = better chance of success – it it's outside these limits you're more likely to fail.
Manastones can be real bastards. Stack them every chance you get, and don't sell off higher level drops that suit your class or you'll pay through the nose for them later. Hang onto the expensive ones in case you re-roll and need them.
Using gear meant for other classes can actually be better than using the stuff designed for your class. Chanters played in leather have much higher evasion and critical strike, making them a little more like rogues – if you're evading most of the hits it doesn't matter if your physical defence is a little lower. Clerics can also be played in cloth, raising their magic boost almost to the level of mages, and making them hit like a truck. If you want to play a PvP Cleric, get the level 30 gold elite PvP gear (I went for non elite and now regret it) and watch with glee as your enemies attack you and then wonder what the hell just happened to their health. At higher levels you will need a chain set for the extra defence from AOEs and extra heal boost, but for soloing, leather and chain make things a lot faster.
Always stack relics until you are ready to spend AP. Never hand them in as you go – the more AP you have, the more you can lose when you die in PvP. Use the AP Calculator on the main menu to work out when you have enough, then cash them in. This means you will have to spend half an hour doing it, but it's better than wasting it.
Aion doesn't give you many refuges from PvP, and for players who aren't really used to it surprise attacks can be very frustrating. If you are attacked, don't try and finish off the mob you're on - you’ll be dead before it is. I cannot count the number of people I've slaughtered while they tried to finish killing a mob first. If you don't think you can defeat your attacker, unload any stuns or knockbacks you have, slam your shields up, hit an anti shock scroll and a running scroll and peg it towards the nearest group of friendly players or NPCs – just make sure they are NPCs who will actually defend you, as some don't. If you're being griefed, locate yourself on /3 and call for help. Whatever you do, don't just stand there and panic.
Use radar to detect nearby player enemies. Simply create a new chat window, drag it to the top of your screen and set it to pick up only enemy buffs, attacks etc – the ones in white text. This has a greater range than your pet and your minimap, and you can use it to detect a nearby enemy and see if they go into Hide.
Rifting tips for first timers
First of all, kisk! Find a spot well away from any roads and hidden by scenery – waterfalls are good.
Keep moving. Each time you die and respawn, head in a different direction.
Never go rifting without consumables.
Learn where the guards are and don't blindly rush into them while chasing an enemy, it makes you look a bit silly. Dead and silly.
Don't get cut off. For example, if you're an Elyos and you've managed to end up in the south west of Beluslan because you thought that cliff looked good to glide from, good luck getting back up north again – you'll find you're pretty much cut off.
Don't worry about attacking in the middle of mobs – you can usually survive them for the time it takes to kill your opponent.
Use mobs as a shield. If you're being chased by an angry group of people from the other faction, dive head first into the largest group you can find. Not only will your pursuers be reluctant to chase you, killing you at this point would make all the creatures you've just agroed turn around and attack them. An angry train of mobs is a surprisingly good shield, as long as you don't get stuck or stunned.
You can check out potential victim's gear and level using /inspect as long as they have left viewing detail open. If they haven't, judge their level by the mobs they are fighting. If they're attacking something ten levels lower than you, leave well alone – you'll only get the curse and have to return if you kill too many lowbies.
Fancy a five minute break? Wait until you lose a battle. You can then go afk for a few minutes and return to see all your enemies fiercely guarding your corpse and wasting their time. You can then kisk out to a different part of the map safe in the knowledge that the PvPers have probably headed over to the location where you were killed. Just make sure you get back there before your ten minute kisk resurrection slot ends. If you miss it just port back and jump off something large - you'll respawn at your kisk if it is still active.
PvP areas now have safe zones where you cannot attack or be attacked. Most PvE players hate these with a passion as they provide a safe haven rifters, but if you're in the habit of popping over to the other side for a little slaughter they are really useful. Not only can you rest there safely, you can use the post boxes there to pick up supplies. Just be careful leaving safe zones – if you have to get out of there when there are people around, hit a wind scroll, a running scroll and an anti shock scroll, put your shield skills up and glide out of there. Then run like buggery and don't stop until you're sure you're not being chased.
When you are questing, be aware of where these safe zones are and have an enemy alert pet and radar active. If there are rifts up you'll need to be on your guard.
Talking to the enemy
As you may have noticed, you can't directly speak to players from the opposite faction. There are two ways to have a conversation with someone from the other side – you can put a message in your private store and you can use a translator like Nya's Aion translator. If you want to have an understandable battle cry or taunt you can macro these for fast use.
You will accumulate abyss relics from Abyss fortress instances, Relic Hearthblooms, surveys and special events. Ancient Icons and Ancient Seals can only be handed in to NPCs in Terminon and Primum fortresses for a set amount of AP, but Ancient Crowns and Ancient Goblets can be returned to either vendors at Terminon or Primum and in the Abyss. You will receive considerably more AP returning them in the Abyss and it is well worth the risk.
Making and saving money
You can get to level 40 in any craft by repeating the very first work order, which doesn't require any vendor materials (i.e. it's free).
Look out for cheap grindable materials on the broker so that you can craft stacks to get the first 50 points of each level set while afk. Gathering everything is time consuming; you could spend that time levelling.
Once you get past the first 50 levels of each stage (so 50, 150, 250, 350), grind work orders, which will give you better quality designs as quest rewards than the ones from the first 50 levels).
Don't move to the next work order until the old one turns from gold to yellow.
Lesser healing potions and lesser wind serums are really useful at low level, and can be bought very cheaply from the Potion Vendor in Sanctum/ Pandamoneum. If you are levelling alchemy, don't waste lesser elemental stones on it. You can grind up to level 40 alchemy on the lowest level work order, which is free, and sell the stones on the broker.
Don't buy potions until you need to – your first toon will get surveys, and you will drop quite a lot from mobs. Use these wisely and you can save a bundle. However if you are levelling a mage, below level ten it is worth getting some minor mana potions as they're very cheap and you will burn mana quite fast.
In the past I have managed to sell lesser healing potions from the vendor on the broker for about four times the vendor price. A lot of people just do not explore enough.
Once you start dropping focus agent and rally serum, stack them. They only last 15 minutes, but that means you can use them for PvP rather than wasting longer lasting food and drink which can cost a lot.
Don't get ripped off!
The Aion economy is complex to say the least, and every day I see people selling things for less than they're worth. Always check broker prices before you buy or sell – they can fluctuate wildly and people selling in Private Store are often doing so because they want to get more than the broker price rather than undercutting. People often sell for less – either because they don't know any better or because they don't care, and you can buy their goods, stick them on the broker and make some fast cash.
Forts equal medals
When your Legion captures a fortress in the Abyss the Legion General gets a big sack of medals – usually over 100. Some unscrupulous generals like to keep quiet about the exact number received and sell some off on the quiet, rather than distributing them all to people who helped with the fort capture and need them for gear. Watch out for Legion Generals suddenly getting very rich.
Re-sell when people price too low
Another thing I see time and time again is people selling green or white items on the broker for less than the vendor price. At lower levels, sitting by the broker with Aion Armory open, buying these low price items and selling them to the nearest vendor can net you some very easy money.
Converting real money into Aion cash
Now that Aion is free to play and has a cash shop you can buy items to sell in game. The best things to go for are Gold Packs, Plastic Surgery Tickets and Instance Reset Scrolls – check the broker before you buy to see what they sell for.
If you have rich alts on another server, always compare Gold Pack prices there before you buy as prices vary from server to server and you can redeem a Gold Pack on any server – it will apply to your whole account. If you've abandoned a really well off toon on another server you can transfer some of that wealth to your new characters by finding someone who has a free character slot, getting them to roll a new alt on your old server to receive the Gold Pack and getting them to pay you on your new server. This requires a lot of trust, so you'll probably only be able to do this with guildmates or trusted friends. It goes without saying that you should get the money before you make the trade, don't take the risk yourself.
If you don't want to spend real money on a Gold Pack and don't have enough to buy one, you can earn Aion Coins by completing free surveys via the Aion Store. Many of these are timewasters but there are a few good ones – look out for the Netflix trial account offer, which rewards you with 130 Aion coins when you sign up for a one month free trial.
Daily grab bags
Once you get to Oriel/ Pernon you can do a daily quest to receive a Vintage Grab Bag. Most of the time you'll get rubbish, but sometimes you'll receive something valuable. You should receive a quest introducing you to this while following the initial quest line in the residential areas.
Furniture does not last forever, so keep an eye on the timers on things like storage cabinets – when they expire, all the items you were storing will be dumped into your cube.
Useful general knowledge
If you're out of storage space you can actually post things to yourself as long as they are tradeable, meaning that you can use your mailbox as a 100 slot warehouse if you want to.
You can express yourself essentials like arrows, res stones, kisks and extra consumables to save cube space. If you need something in the middle of an instance or while you're rifting you can just summon the Delivery Shugo and pick them up when you're out and about. Don't forget that he has a cooldown though!
If you buy a bag pet, remember that pets with the same size bag share the slots. This means that two Dorian pets with six slot bags do not give you twelve slots, only six.
I'm a PvPer, so for me Heathblooms are all about AP, and Lesser Ancient Icon Hearthblooms are a good way to give yourself an extra boost. It's a good idea to run any alts you want to twink at a later date to Level 20 as soon as possible so that you can get a studio and start accumulating these, and so that you have Guestblooms to water. If you don't have masses of cash, start off with Silver Coin Guestblooms, which only need to be fertilised 30 times. If you have a Gold Pack and can trade, these will make you more than enough to fund three Ancient Icon Hearthblooms per week.
If you're going on holiday in a couple of day's time and your old Hearthbloom has expired, don't waste a new one. Just pick the fertilisers up and stack them, then get an extra one when you get back. You can swap them in and out of your residential inventory to use them.
Before buying a mithril coin chest purely for the money, check the broker. Sometimes silver chests are a better bet because they are much cheaper and faster to use, and, even though you only get half the number of coins, if broker prices for silver and mithril are about the same you get a better return on the silver.
You've probably noticed that your higher level toons accumulate a rested bonus buff called Energy of Repose while offline, and that if you have a studio or house, logging off there increases your rested bonus gain.
Energy doesn't just give you more experience for crafting and mob kills – it also applies when you hand in campaign quest, so it's worth waiting until you have this buff before you hand in as you'll get a lot more xp for your Campaign quests.
If you run out of Energy of Repose and have a Campaign to hand in you can regain up to 15% of it by visiting Pernon or Oriel Plaza and looking out for a circle of musicians in the middle of the square in the Residential Shopping Centre. They cast a buff called Light of Repose on anyone who comes near, which restores Energy of Repose if you sit there for a while. If you want to hand in a campaign but have no rested bonus, park yourself there while you make a cuppa and by the time you get back you'll have enough to hand in (just make sure it doesn't wear off before you get to the hand in point – wait until you have at least 2%).
I get stuck a lot, partly because I have a habit of exploring hard to reach areas and chasing other people. If you get stuck in a position that doesn't allow you to activate Return or use a scroll (for example if you fall into a crevasse and land in jumping position, making Return cancel automatically), you can now use the 'Retreat' skills under the Actions tab of the Skills box (press K). This will unstick you and return you to your bind point. If you are rifting however your kisk binding will end.
I don't use macros for game play. Some do, I never really liked them much. I do use them for shouting things quickly and breaking down stacks of aether or other gatherables. You can create macros by hitting U to bring up the macro screen. To split stacks, use this template:
/Use Greater Aether
...repeat for as much space as you have available in the macro editor.