Thursday, October 8, 2009
Review summary: FTW Guides (formerly Ashling's World) has put together an excellent Online Aion Leveling Guide. The "online" part of the title means you actually view it through a webpage, which makes it very lightweight and interactive. I think KFGuides 1-50 Aion Leveling Guide just got some competition for the best Aion leveling guide.
The motto for FTW Guides is "We do the work, you have the fun!" and looking at their new Online Aion Leveling Guides, it's easy to see the massive amount of work they did. Having fun is still up to you. ;)
This guide can most easily be compared to KFGuides' 1-50 Aion Leveling Guides, so I might as well point out the similarities and differences for you as there are a number of both.
In terms of their quality of instruction and the speed at which they'll help you level, they're both pretty darn close. Each guide walks you through Aion quest-by-quest and zone-by-zone very accurately and efficiently. To be honest, you can't go wrong with either of these guides in this department.
Where I think FTW Guides's Online Aion Leveling Guide slightly outperforms is that it is entirely web-based, where as the KFGuides Aion Leveling Guides come in the form of PDFs. KFGuides does offer a few online freebies and other helpful content through their website, but FTW pulls everything together in a single place.
Each quest has a little map button beside it with a number key. Clicking that map button instantly brings up a map with numbers on it. Find the number your looking for and you quickly know where to direct yourself. KFGuides has a similar map as well but it precedes each zone chapter so there's a lot of scrolling back and forth I find. That said, printing out the map would solve this problem.
There's also a very helpful sidebar with every single quest in the chapter listed alphabetically linking straight to AionArmory. The quest database page loads in a nice frame right on top of your page so you can get any extra information you're looking for. That's a big help when you need it.
The FTW Guide looks a bit more polished in my opinion as well. Like I said in my KFGuides review, I'm a big fan of simplicity, which is why I gave it such a good score. Having read through the FTW Guide, they manage to keep things simple and lightweight with a more appealing style (for my tastes anyway). See below for an example.
KFGuides is a bit better if you like to print out your guides and keep track of your progress with a hardcopy because it is designed as a booklet. A lot of the functionality of the FTW Guide is lost when you print it because you don't have access to browser functionality and web links.
To work around this, FTW includes a tiny free program called DeskPins (1.3.0). This software will allow you to make your Online Aion Guide window "always on top" so you don't have to alt-tab out of Aion over and over again.
The final point of comparison I will make is price. KFGuides charges $39.99 per 1-50 faction leveling guide and they currently do not offer bundled pricing for customers buying both guides. FTW Guides charges $29.99 per 1-50 faction guide and they do offer a bundle ($44.99 for both Elyos and Asmodian). Apparently, this is special pricing because they still need to update 30-50 leveling content. The price will go up once the guide is "finished" in October. Any and all updates are free just like KFGuides.
I am really impressed with this guide. So much so, that I'm giving it a 9.5/10 score. KFGuides is an excellent guide, but taking into account the price difference and extra online goodies you get with FTW, the Online Aion Leveling Guide is currently my top recommendation for potential customers. The value is just a little better.
Here's a video that shows off more of the FTW Leveling Guide: