WC: What about factions? What are they and how do they affect the game?
There are three primary factions in Aion; the playable Asmodians and Elyos, as well as the draconic NPC Balaur. While at lower levels the two factions may appear to be similar, at higher levels the differences between the two factions become more apparent. Based on community feedback, there are new features being added during the development process to further differentiate between the two factions.
WC: Give a thumbnail sketch of the strengths and weaknesses of each racial group and class.
Living in the remnants of the upper half of Atreia are the Asmodians. Having pale-skin, talons and manes, this faction has adapted to the lack of sunlight and warmth resulting from the cataclysm that split their home world and separated them from the Elyos.
The lower half of Atreia receives more light and warmth; its denizens, the Elyos, have evolved to reflect this. Tanned and with tastes favoring the brighter or more colorful, they appear to be the friendlier of the two factions. However, there is no difference in the hatred the two races hold for one another.
As for the classes, there are four starting classes each one with two specializations you must choose between around level ten.
Travelers on the path of Arms start as a Warrior before reaching their crossroads and choosing between the Gladiator- Master of Weapons and Armor, or the Templar- a Warrior-minded melding of Arms and Healing. Weapon and movement speed are the trade-offs for being able to absorb high amounts of damage.
The path of the Arcane begins with that of learning the skills of the Mage. Once the character has ascended, the player must choose between walking the path of the Sorcerer or the Spiritmaster. The former develops the power to case high damage and Area of Effect spells, while the Spiritmaster is the summoner of Spirits. While powerful, both specializations fare better with someone else soaking up damage.
The Shadow path of the Scout emphasizes the ability to sneak close, strike from hiding, and fade back into the shadows. Rangers favor the bow and the paired daggers; Assassins can use nearly any weapon to great effect as long as they strike from stealth. Much like the Mage, Scouts are vulnerable when they are not working in their forte.
The final path is that of the Divine. Ministering to the needs of their party, the Priest can cause and cure damage with weapon and spell. Clerics travel further down the road of the Priest with access to further healing and attack spells. While not as powerful in the healing arts, the Chanter can strengthen his party, weaken his foes yet still provide some offensive ability. As healers and enhancers/debilitators, Priests are the jack of offense, defense and survivability, but the master of none.