Astellia Online North American Closed Beta First Impressions
Astellia is a beautiful upcoming MMORPG scheduled to release in the West this year. It was formally released in 2016 in China and is finally making its way here, something many of us have been looking forward to. We at MMOByte have played through the previous Korean version of the game, but had no clue what was being said at any point in time during the game, so we ourselves were looking forward to this!
The team behind Astellia were kind enough to send us 2 closed beta keys to try out the game first-hand. Being the incredibly generous people we are we went ahead and requested some keys for our viewers. We were fortunate enough to be able to share 100 of those keys with you guys. We actually saw a lot of you winners in game and really enjoyed saying hi to you all. We’ll also be giving away more keys come closed beta 2, so stay tuned to our website and Twitter’s for future events. Although if you’re super anxious to get in, you can purchase their Legendary Edition and garner yourself access to the closed beta!
WHAT IS ASTELLIA?
Astellia is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG that is being published in the West by Barunson E&A. It’s a semi-instanced MMO that has zones locked off from one another by loading screens like Blade & Soul. The official website states this is a classical MMORPG, but I would beg to differ on some fronts. It does have the classical Korean style of most MMOs, AKA a heavy focus on grinding but brings to the table something slightly refreshing, companions called Astels that come along for the ride as you play through the world. This game is doable with a party or solo, depending on your playstyle. You’re never going to fully be alone with your companions that go along with you though, but we’ll get more into that later.
WHAT ABOUT CUSTOMIZATION?
As I mentioned earlier, this game is beautiful, so beautiful in fact that I had to stop and take screenshots for prosperity sake, especially shots of my character. The character creation itself is highly customizable with sliders that allow you to edit nearly every piece of your character. Do note though that the classes available during the closed beta are gender-locked, but don’t let that deter you. The publishers have promised to make at least two of the classes un-genderlocked by launch, more specially the Assassin and Warrior, with the goal of unlocking the remaining classes in the future.
HOW ARE THE CLASSES?
The classes are like most standard MMOs, you have the Warrior, Archer, Assassin, Scholar, and Mage. Stix went Archer, much to his dismay. He really wanted to go Mage but saw it looked like a loli, which he isn’t overly fond of – it wasn’t until later that he learned it was possible to customize the tiny loli to look more adult in nature. I, however, went scholar so I could keep him alive if necessary, and it was indeed necessary until he unlocked his healer Astel. I also never needed a tank since I had an Astel to do just that for me.
ASTELS: WHAT ARE THEY?
So bringing the topic back around to Astels, because I really wanted to go a little deeper on these little helpers, or well, some of them are little. Some of them are adorable, straight up sexy, and some are funny looking. Depending on what class you play you’ll get a different line-up of Astels. The purpose of these creatures is almost like a card based game, when you’re in need of a certain set of skills, you call them forth, and you can call forth multiple ones at a given point in time. Just keep in mind it does deplete your energy that keeps the Astels in the world with you much more quickly when you have multiple of them summoned. The more you have summoned the quicker they will disperse and leave you with your base choice Astel, so choose wisely. The Astels themselves range from Tank, DPS, and Healer, the holy trinity of MMOs. The hope of the developers behind Astellia was that they wanted to give the player the freedom to solo things as their class of choice or party up with other people if they so choose. So in a dying world of party friendly games, they are catering to both the social and reclusive.
WHAT ABOUT THE COMBAT?
Like any MMO, there is combat, because…well…you have to stop someone from achieving their life goals of total world domination to some degree. The mechanics involve mostly tab-targeting of your desired being of thwarting but has a strange little hybrid of action thrown in there with a dodge function that you can control with the double tap in a desired direction. This did come in handy more often than I thought. The combat itself did feel a little clunky, but then again Stix and I only made it to level 16. I truly didn’t mind the style of combat and found myself pleasantly surprised by having an “uh oh idk where you are but I need to heal you button.” So as a healer, I found my skills quite useful. You also level your skills and make a very customized build. You can also build your own combos and sequences via your action bar. As you move through the game you’ll also come across opportunities for PVP, something we didn’t get to as it unlocks at level 30 and I needed to eat lunch, sleep, and then roll around in bed for awhile, thus, I missed out on the opportunity, but I know a few of you made it and would love to hear what you thought! We’ll be reaching level 30 during closed beta 2. So keep watching out for a later video where you see me get owned in PvP.
So what did I think? I thought this game was well thought-out with genuinely decent voice acting which was a nice cherry on top of the game itself. The game does feel a little dated, but it has held up quite nicely against other more recently released titles. I also prefer games that encourage more party friendly modes, and I felt overall the incentive in dungeons for better loot and party required quests was well reflected in the fact people were requesting to party for dungeons. The group finder for dungeons seemed to be down when we played, but we are curious to see how well dungeons pop in the future. I felt like the combat itself needs a little work as it didn’t feel truly smooth, but definitely has the capacity to be brilliant if they could do just that. I did enjoy the Astels within the game, it just made it feel….perhaps just a touch different from most things out there, and I like that. And probably for like the fourth time, the game looked beautiful, the regions themselves were very detailed and had great small hidden areas while you explored. For those of you that got into the closed beta, what did you guys think of the game? What do you think could be improved, and what are your expectations at launch? I personally expect to see you all there!