Astellia Online – Closed Beta 2 Thoughts
Astellia Online is not out yet, and is in fact in its limited-time Closed Beta 2 test. Astellia Online definitely does a great deal with its engine, having character classes, advanced classes, and of course the Astels themselves, which also have classes and help you in battle. We did a livestream of the game yesterday, and I have to say, I’m very curious about this MMO, which hasn’t happened outside of Final Fantasy XIV in a very long time. But I do want to point out something that is probably going to upset some players: It is gender locked. Sorry to say, but if that’s a deal-breaker for you, as the game stands, each class has a set gender. Archer, Mage, and Scholar are the female characters. The male characters are Assassin and Warrior. Each of these classes has a trio of advanced classes, but right now I do not know the specifics of how to unlock them. That’s something I hope to have information on in the near future. But let’s talk about the most important thing: Monetization.
In a previous article, I wrote that pay-to-win means different things to different people, but I can say with one hundred percent certainty that at the moment, Astellia Online has kept true to their cause of removing the Korean p2w content from the game. This could change as the game goes on, but I’d rather be positive and think that it will stay the way it is. Astellia Online does have a cash shop, but it seems to be very reasonable to me right now. The vast majority of it is cosmetics and mounts, none of which have stats attached to them. That’s right, they’re just honest-to-god cosmetics! You can also purchase resurrection scrolls, which are handy to have in case you die in a dungeon or something.
Skins for Weapons, Armor, Astels, and Costumes can be purchased. There’s also the Zender Shop, which is the currency you acquire from PVP/Arena battles. The Zender Shop also has cosmetics, but it does have a few more consumables. There are potions that recharge AP a bit faster (tied to your Astels), Dungeon Tickets, and Resurrection Scrolls. Now, there are Beeswax Tokens, which let you un soul-bind items, but I read on the forums they are not supposed to be there. We’ll see how that goes. Finally, you can purchase an optional subscription for 30/60/90 days. This subscription gives 20% more Player/Astel EXP, a reduction to the Dungeon Ticket recharge time, increased Dungeon Tickets (+4), and a 15% Zender Bonus.
So, let’s talk about these Astels a bit. That’s a big part of the game. Astels are little dolls or magical entities that will help you in battle. You can summon one of them at a time, which has an AP cost (the yellow bar under your HP/Mana). However, if you get into a situation where you need a bit more oomph to your damage, you can summon extra Astels if you have them, but they will start draining your AP at a greater rate. Your singular Astel also does this from what I understand, but it seems to recharge decently with only one Astel. Each of these Astels has their own stats, skills, and uses, and you can acquire them through gameplay. There’s no way to buy them with real money that I see, and that’s a good thing. I imagine they’ll be a part of loot tables in a variety of dungeons. I like the concept though! It’s also a pretty game. Sure, it looks similar to most of the other Korean MMOs, but is that really such a bad thing? It’s visually appealing, and sure, it looks similar, but I like the art style.
So far, Astellia Online is going the right way. It’s not as action-packed as TERA, but you do have a cool dodge roll that definitely comes in handy. It’s more of a traditional MMO instead of an Action MMO such as Blade & Soul, TERA, or BDO. I enjoy this gameplay, I like the art, and the collection of Astels is a cool concept. I like the idea of being able to swap out various adorable and badass creatures to help me do battle, or flood the battlefield with them if I should need to. I do think it still needs some optimization, but that could be due to heavy flooded servers, or the location of the server I’m on. I enjoy what Astellia Online is doing right now, and though I believe we are out of Closed Beta keys, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on launch dates, updates and more for this up and coming MMO. Kudos to them on actually holding true to their word so far on removing p2w aspects from the original MMO. It’s something that works in the Korean market but is definitely not welcome in the Western market. It’s important for an MMO that’s heading West to know what doesn’t fly. I think players are more likely to spend money if it’s not going to have other players getting ahead simply by their wallet. I don’t mind that it is a buy-to-play with a cash shop because there are so many games that do it well. As long as Astellia keeps true to “no pay-to-win” in the shop, I’ll be glad to continue playing the game.
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