PvPvE is an acronym for Player vs. Player vs. Environment. In other MMORPGs separate acronyms are used for PvE (player vs. environment) and PvP (player vs. player). Aion differs from other games in that battle vs. other players is just as important as battle against computer controlled opponents to advance a character in the game. Other games often have special zones or modes where one or the other is allowed.
Each character's journey from level 1 to 50 is primarily (not completely) based on completing PvE content to gain experience points and increase level. There are several World Bosses as well as instanced dungeons that players can complete as part of a party or raid.
Abyss rank is essentially a points system, whereby characters improve rank as they gain Abyss Points from killing players of the opposing faction. Gaining rank allows the character access to special skills and the ability to purchase powerful equipment that is not available from any other way. Killing players of the same or higher Abyss Rank yields a good amount of Abyss points, while killing much lower ranked players yields very little.
PvPvE combines aspects of PvP and PvE together, and is primarily found in endgame (ie. level 50) content. There are several ways this is manifested in the game.
The Abyss has a number of Fortresses floating throughout. Each one is capable of being captured and held by a Legion. The legion that controls a fortress gets access to special vendors inside, and also gains the ability to tax the area surrounding it, generating wealth. Finally, the legion has exclusive access to the lucrative hunting and gathering grounds surrounding the fortress. Because of these advantages, there is incentive for legions of the opposing faction to attack and attempt to wrest control.
Initially however, each fortress is held by the Balaur. Legions must take the fortress by force from these NPC controlled forces, who do not want to give it up easily. It is quite possible that multiple legions from both factions will be battling against both each other and the Balaur at the same time for control of the fortress.
Once control of the fortress has been won, there is a fixed time period of a few hours during which no attacks can be made on it. After this time expires however, the controlling legion must defend it against new attackers. The controlling faction's capital city, Sanctum for the Elyos, and Pandaemonium for the Asmodians sends reinforcements to help defend the fortress. These NPC's battle alongside the defenders to maintain control of the fortress. Attacking legions must overcome both the NPC's and any defending players to gain control. The strength and quantity of NPC defenders sent by the capital city varies depending on the number of fortresses currently under that faction's control in the Abyss. If the faction is doing poorly, then there will be a strong defense sent to make it more difficult for attackers to maintain control. If the faction is doing well, a minimal amount of defenders will be sent and it will be primarily up to the players themselves to defend their fortress. The NPCs will defend the fortress even without the controlling legion's players present. As an added twist, the Balaur sometimes show up at any time to either help the attackers or defenders during a fortress siege.
The fortress gates are the first line of defense against attackers. The gate must be attacked directly and it has a large number of HP, making it difficult to destroy. Additionally, the gate can be repaired using a Gate Guardian Stone by the defenders. There is also a Gate Restoration Stone which must be used continuously by at least one member of the defending faction. If the gate restoration stone is interrupted, the fortress gates are destroyed instantly.
The fortress gates are also very vulnerable to Siege Weapons if the attacking legion possesses them. Destroying siege weapons is a top priority for the defenders.
There is a forcefield around the fortress called an Aetheric field which protects it against entry through the air. Enemies who try to fly through it are severely damaged or killed. The field can be brought down however by infiltrating the fortress via the ground and destroying a heavily guarded generator inside.
Guardian Deity GeneralEdit
When the fortress is besieged, a Guardian Deity General appears in the underground heart of the fortress. This is a high level elite NPC of tremendous power - essentially a boss. This guardian must be defeated by the attackers to claim control of the fortress.
Artifacts can be found scattered throughout the Abyss, and appear randomly. Different artifacts possess different abilities. To use an artifact, an Activation stone is required. Once acquired however, they are very powerful. Artifact effects include the ability to deal massive offensive damage, or potentially defensive use, such as an AOE heal. Artifacts are guarded by powerful Balaur protectors, who must be defeated to gain access to its powers.
A Kisk is a portable obelisk, that lets players set up a resurrection bind point anywhere on the battlefield. This is of immense importance, particularly for the attacking faction as they advance, to reduce the amount of time for reinforcements to reach the front lines. Kisks come in different sizes, the difference being the number of Daeva than can bind to it. Also, the Kisk has a fixed amount of usage time that depletes as it is used on the battlefield. If a Kisk can be destroyed by the defender, there are devastating consequences to the attacker. All Daeva who were bound to the Kisk will resurrect at the Obelisk they were originally bound to, meaning that they will leave the battlefield.
Balaur Battleship DredgionEdit
The Balaur Battleship Dredgion is a huge flying battleship crewed by the Balaur. It can randomly appear and turn the tide of a battle, as it has immense firepower and aerial bombardment capabilities and drops hordes of Drakan to engage the ground forces. It is not known whether this ship can be destroyed.
There is a high level raid encounter that will occurs within the Dredgion. See Dredgion.