Aren’t you surprised by the number of old MMORPGs that are still being played today? One example is Aion, a fantasy MMORPG that launched in North America and Europe way back in 2009, and then it launched on Steam as a free-to-play title on February 29th, 2012. Sure, these kinds of MMORPGs have all sorts of problems, like dated quest systems, unfair cash shops, and so on, but one of their most glaring weaknesses is their graphics engine. Today we have games like Black Desert Online, Revelation Online, Guild Wars 2, and so on, all MMORPGs with relatively great graphics, while a game like Aion has graphics that have clearly not aged very well and also lack optimization.
There aren’t many special mechanics in today’s MMORPGs, so naturally, one of their most appealing features is their beauty. When you look at Black Desert Online, you can’t help but feel captivated by its immense graphical appeal, as you can just stand somewhere and look at the luscious flora and fauna and how detailed it all looks, you don’t even have to play the game. This also means that the monsters and spells all look very pretty, which makes the game more interesting to play as it’s just pretty to look at. This sort of captivation fades over time, that’s for sure, but it entertains your mind enough so you can get to some higher levels where the content itself becomes more challenging and fun.
Aion could use a facelift, that’s for sure and the game’s optimization has many flaws, but you have to keep in mind that transferring your entire game from an old graphics engine to a new one is a lot of work. But, upgrading the game from its current CryEngine to a new one could give the game a massive beauty boost, which, if marketed in the right way, could essentially transform Aion into a MMORPG that more people would notice. It would be a tremendous task, but just imagine a game that already has tons and tons of content, that then gets a brand new graphics engine. Veteran players would come back to the game to play it again and enjoy the graphics this time around and new players would come as they would see this as a chance to try out an older MMORPG but that has solid graphics. We don’t know if the game will ever get a new graphics engine, but if it did, would you give Aion a chance if it got a prettier face?