Generally speaking companies only care about profit, and I get that, Gameforge does what they do best, make money. Aion isn't their IP. If having p2w events which allow people with money to gain an insane advantage over free players instantly means they'll make profit, they will do that.
Unfortunately they missed basic MMO 101. And it's too late to recover, they have this model, they stick to it. They don't realize that they control what has value in this game.
Let me ask this, what if instead of "events" where you pay for power, you had those items as a reward for actually playing the game? Be it end game PvP or PvE instances, be it grind mobs, or even in some RNG fair systems. And what if cash shop only had skins?
What if events had only emotes, motions, skins, items that Gameforge devalued like Dragon weapon series?
People would still buy Aion Coins to get them. As they do now to get Legendary Transformations, Enchanting Stones, Skill Books and so on. Because when you offer something that's exclusive, it doesn't matter if it helps improve your character, people will want it. Skins in Aion were a big thing that was never capitalized on, they could have done so very easily.
Let me ask this, if for a game like Wow, 15$/month is enough for that company to work and function, while also keeping the game pure, with zero micro-transactions, with no pay power, no advantages. Then why isn't 10$ that a gold pack costs(It's a bit less I know, still) is not enough for Aion?
Not only was it not enough, they made this veteran system and added in it pay power items, so what did people do? They paid for years of "game time". But guess what? If they had added skins, motions as final rewards and maybe consumables/basic necessities for each "step"(like it used to be back in the day) people would still have bought gold packs to get those.
See my point? I know of course to make these changes is a hard thing and that most of these bad changes are because of Korea.
But I can't help think that if Aion had gone in a different route they'd be in a different place today.
Just watching people today use their Shugo Tokens I couldn't help but feel bad for them. I think even people who pay aren't getting respected by Gameforge, not just people who want a fair game(which let's be real, most of those left the game) and not just people who can't afford to pay because they don't live in Germany or Norway to pay 250-300 euro for a 5% chance of getting a Legendary Contract.
If you enjoy the game, good on you, I'm not here to hate, just here to share my dissatisfaction.
The only salvation might be with a new monetization system with maybe "Classic" servers. I can't see any other solution. I like Aion, but every time I think of going back I think of all the negatives and I'm sorry, there's too many of them to even touch this game. Not after playing actually fair games where skill mattered, where dedication mattered, your time mattered, your effort being rewarded.
Oh well, rant off. Enjoy this wall of text.