Elyon Release Date Confirmed! Global Launch, Buy-to-Play Business Model, Console Release, Steam Release?
Finally, after years of waiting for Ascent: Infinite Realm, we have a fully, 100% confirmed release date for the upcoming Elyon MMORPG.
Well, an upcoming release date for the South Korean release of the game, but if you guys weren’t aware, when A:IR was slated for release initially, the game was planned to have a global release shortly after, with North America and Europe both having planned releases within mere months of its South Korean launch.
Today, I plan to not only cover what we have to look forward to in the upcoming MMO, but what changes were made, an expansion on the release date and global info and more.
So you might want to take a few minutes here to sit down and I urge you to watch as much of this as you can in an attempt to hopefully answer any questions you might have pertaining to the game.
WHAT IS ELYON?
Elyon is an upcoming Steampunk fantasy MMORPG. It was originally developed as Ascent: Infinite Realm but upon entering their test phase they found that the playerbase was rather unhappy with the iteration of the game that was present.
Mrs Stix and I played during both the South Korean and Thai test phases and found that while the game looked great graphically, not only were there severe performance issues, as this is built on Unreal Engine 3, but the game was just so.. clunky and empty.
Ascent: Infinite Realm was initially a heavily Steampunk influenced tab-target MMO that had a very large emphasis on flight. Aerial exploration, aerial combat. Elyon however is more of your traditional fantasy-themed MMO that has action combat and takes place predominantly on the ground.
It’s a complete overhaul of almost the entire game, that went from a beautiful niche title to something a little more generic. Which doesn’t make it inherently bad, just.. basic.
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS MODEL?
Ascent: Infinite Realm was initially free-to-play, meaning that there was no recurring subscription fees, no need to purchase the game before you can play it.
The developers however have confirmed that Elyon is going to be a buy-to-play MMO. This means that while there will be no recurring subscription fees, you will need to purchase the game to be able to play it.
As this is a South Korean MMO you can be sure there’s going to be a cash shop – and the cash shop in question will no doubt feature items that South Korean MMOs are known for. I’m not going to claim they’ll be pay-to-win, but.. I wouldn’t put it past them.
Kakao are going to be publishing Elyon outside of South Korea, and Kakao’s other big MMO is Black Desert Online, so you can use BDO as reference for how Elyon’s business model will likely end up.
Like their other MMO, TERA, content updates, DLC, and expansions will likely all be free-to-play.
Additionally, there are Founder’s Packs available for players that have some spare cash to throw away.
HOW IS THE COMBAT?
As noted earlier, Ascent: Infinite Realm was initially a tab-target MMORPG. You had to either click your enemies individually, or cycle through them with your tab-key. Abilities were slow, combat overall was very unintuitive and non-reactive.
Elyon is much different. While the classes are the same, they all play very differently to how they did back when Mrs Stix and I played the game.
The combat now requires no active target, providing players with the ability of freely aiming their skills – requiring a little more forethought, a little more understanding of the enemies.
Skills overall look and feel better. Being more actively engaged, having more to do definitely makes the game feel better. More alive. More interactive. But playing an MMO in 2021 built using Unreal Engine 3 still leaves it feeling clunky especially with the performance issues. Look at TERA for an example of how this will play.
Currently, there are 5 classes available to play: The Mystic, the Assassin, the Sorceress, the Gunslinger and the Warlord. During the test phase for A:IR I played as the Sorceress while Mrs Stix played as the Mystic, and honestly they were about what you’d expect out of the classes.
The dev team haven’t expressed any interest in developing additional classes beyond the 5 base classes to play. They never explicitly stated that they wouldn’t be – more so it’s just a topic they haven’t even touched.
Considering TERA had various additional classes added over the course of its life, you can bet they have plans to introduce new classes sometime in the future. Races, though? Unconfirmed but incredibly unlikely.
BUT CAN I CREATE AN AWESOME CHARACTER?
This is a South Korean MMO.. c’mon man, you know that above and beyond ANYTHING else, South Korean MMOs have fantastic character customization options.
Now I’m uncertain of whether or not the creator tool had additional options added to it over the course of its overhaul, but back when it went under the A:IR title, you could craft truly beautiful characters.
You had a lot of freedom – with each character having their own base models and features to alter so no class looked alike.
There are going to be outfits available in-game, I’m not sure whether they’ll be obtainable via in-game means or whether you’ll be required to purchase them via cash shop but they’re going to need to make their money, so.. they’re likely to be cash-shop exclusives.
SO THE GRAPHICS, THOUGH..
Yup. Elyon is a beautiful MMORPG. Initially, the game was going to take part largely in the sky – we were going to have enormous airships, large archipelago’s to drift between and a truly large world packed with regions to explore, conquer and engage other players in.
Now with the majority of the game being grounded, we’ll still have access to a large world, but we won’t have the same means with which to explore it, nor will we have the same number of aerial locales.
Regardless, Elyon has a large, open-world that you’re going to be able to run around and explore. There’s a lot to see, there’s a lot to do. The game isn’t instanced at all, meaning that you get to explore all of this with other players.
While everything about the game is gorgeous, though, I can’t help but feel as though this still ends up looking and feeling like “just another generic Korean game.” You guys can see it too, right? Black Desert, ArcheAge, Astellia, Elyon.. they all have the same look and feel about them.
And the fact that this is built on Unreal Engine 3 definitely imposes certain.. limitations. Both on what you can see, and what you can do.
WHAT PLATFORMS WILL THE GAME SUPPORT?
Currently, Elyon is expected to be a PC exclusive.
However if we take into consideration their previous MMO TERA, which has since gotten a console release, and the fact that Kakao, the publisher for Black Desert has ported BDO over to console.. while again, Elyon is going to launch as a PC exclusive, it’s safe to assume a console port will likely be in the works at one point.
This is a large-scale action MMO. These types of games work well on consoles so it would definitely be a missed opportunity to delay this too long.
Thankfully we haven’t heard anything about an Elyon mobile game yet. I hope we never do, but knowing these devs it’s only a matter of time.. whether Elyon is successful or not.
I HEARD THERE'S PVP..
There is. Back when the game was being marketed as Ascent: Infinite Realm, PvP was a large part of the game.
Elyon, much like World of Warcraft, Aion, Rift or WildStar features a faction-based PvP system. There are two opposing factions that are at war with one another, having been in conflict for over 100 years.
This is where the majority of the PvP comes into play: You choose one of the two factions and get to participate in large-scale open-world Realm vs Realm skirmishes. I’ve seen videos of these battles and they look absolutely chaotic.. which is what PvP should be.
There are smaller scale PvP modes as well for players that aren’t interested in competitive group content. 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 arena matches.
There’s an interesting free for all battlefield – kind of like a battle royale I guess, and then areas scattered around the world that are dedicated to PvPvE, allowing for open-world PvP in those areas specifically.
WHAT ABOUT PVE?
Thankfully this is a fairly traditional MMORPG.
Elyon features a fully fleshed-out story that takes you on a trip around the world. It has a plethora of dungeons that you can run, several of which I believe Mrs Stix and I actually had the opportunity of participating in a while back.
It also has raids with enormous raid bosses to fight – so you know there’ll be forms of competitive PvE and PvP content – keeping players of all kinds and all interests well occupied.
Again, it’s a pretty damn traditional game. This both works in its favor and against it since it’ll feel familiar to fans of the genre – which means it won’t take much to acclimate to, but at the same time since it does nothing new.. it won’t hold our attention for too long.
SO WHEN DOES IT RELEASE?
Ascent: Infinite Realm was supposed to launch way back on December 13, 2017. Yes, it’s been almost 3 years since the game was supposed to be fully playable. Now, after all this time we have an official confirmed release date: Elyon launches on December 10th, 2020 within South Korea.
Yes, South Korea. I’m well aware that some of you are going to hear that news and instantly be turned off due to having to wait an exorbitant amount of time to be able to even log in and play the game, but as I noted earlier.. A:IR was supposed to launch globally shortly after its South Korean release.
SO IS ELYON COMING OUT GLOBALLY?
Yes, yes it is. Kakao are going to be publishing Elyon within North America and Europe. The very same Kakao that publish Black Desert Online, as noted earlier.
The question then is.. when is Elyon actually coming out globally? Unfortunately that’s something that is going to require we wait a little longer to receive an answer.
We don’t know how South Korea is going to respond to Elyon, and if that reception is negative, you can bet there will be additional delays as they attempt to remedy whatever issues players are having with the game.
While we might speculate we could get the game in 2021, and honestly I would love to be able to play Elyon next year, it would be just that: speculation, with no confirmed facts or even rumors backing it.
HOW DO I PLAY THE SOUTH KOREAN VERSION OF THE GAME?
Honestly, the easiest way to get into the South Korean version of Elyon is through using a VPN. I personally use ExitLag. I know a lot of MMO content creators use ExitLag.
It’s easy, it isn’t cluttered, it has a clean UI and covers almost every MMO I’ve wanted it to cover. I’ve used it to get around IP restrictions in Justice Online, Blue Protocol, and even back when Ascent: Infinite Realm was a thing.
You’ll need a few more things, such as a South Korean Social Security Number from what I recall, but those are easily obtained online.
CAN MY COMPUTER RUN ELYON?
Wait, should this even be a question? Nobody is going to be able to fully run Elyon without FPS issues!
Jokes aside though, the “recommended requirements” for the game are an i5 and a GTX 970, so with this in mind.. I feel like my mother’s laptop could probably run this on recommended settings, honestly.
The system requirements for Elyon are actually kinda low, but I guarantee you even if you meet this and go significantly beyond.. you’ll run into FPS issues. The Elyon team have expressed to the playerbase that they’ve made substantial improvements to the game’s performance, but this is Unreal Engine 3 we’re talking about here..
And that’s pretty much everything I can think of. All of the questions I’ve seen asked, and all of the topics that I think really need covered.
Elyon is a highly anticipated upcoming MMO – we have been looking forward to finally getting our hands on this for years, now. While I don’t think this is going to be the “best MMORPG of 2021,” I have no doubt this is going to definitely be something to try out, if only to experience it.
I don’t think this will take my attention away from Final Fantasy XIV or World of Warcraft, but at the same time I don’t think it needs to. It just needs to give me a reprieve from them for a while.