Aion 2 Announced, Lost Ark Open Beta, Blade & Soul 2, Astellia Online
And we’re back! This week, there’s some very exciting news that I’m sure will be a tantalizing little treat for you.
So pull that finger out your nose – or, leave it in there, actually ’cause I don’t want that shit wiped or thrown around, and let’s jump into another Weekly Byte of MMORPG News!
NCSoft has opted to release information on 2 new upcoming MMORPGs prior to G-Star 2018 this year – and as you guessed from the title, one of them is the highly anticipated prequel to the popular PvPvE MMORPG Aion.
Aion 2 takes place 900 years prior to the events of the PC game Aion: The Tower of Eternity. Aion 2 supposedly has a large emphasis on PvP, providing “dimensional cracks” that allow players from various servers to all participate in cross-server large-scale PvP.
NCSoft went on to discuss how additional features that not only the company, but also players wanted are capable of being added into the game, claiming that their vision for the game is “no longer a dream”.
One of the largest differences between Aion 2 and Aion: The Tower of Eternity is that there are no longer opposing Elyos vs Asmodian faction based PvP. Players are instead free to choose to invade others regardless of race.
Additionally, and this may be a negative for players, is that they are removing classes, or, rather “class segmentation”, allowing players to wield a variety of weapons without restricting them to a specific “class” and alter their playstyle accordingly.
NCSoft went on to state that “Aion 2 will showcase a new battle system that did not exist in the old Aion.”
Finally, and quite possibly one of the best quality of life changes made in all of Aion is the removal of gliding constraints found throughout Aion.
While NCSoft didn’t really go into detail, their aim is to make gliding an active part of combat, creating a “three dimensional battle system”.
NCSoft did not mention what engine Aion 2 is going to be developed on, but everyone’s guess is that it will run on Unreal Engine 4.
Oh, right, did I mention Aion 2 will be on Mobile devices only? Yeah, it looks as though NCSoft have abandoned the PC market and are moving towards the mobile market with both MMORPG announcements landing on mobile devices.
Lost Ark has been many an MMORPG fans most anticipated MMO for years. The game is absolutely stunning – has 12 unique playable classes and is probably the best looking MMOARPG on the horizon.
So you can imagine our surprise to learn that the Korean open beta begun its testing period earlier this week on November 7th – and reportedly saw login queues as high as 17,000.
Players saw no wipe from the closed beta, and players that got into the beta test were free from any forms of NDA.
Beta testers had various, rather mixed feelings on the game thus far with some players complaining it wasn’t anything special – comparing it to games like Diablo III, and others claiming the game was beautiful and immense fun.
According to the developer behind the game, Smilegate is planning English localization with the next patch – so players that are currently looking to get in should be able to have a more sound understanding of the game in the near future.
Do note that Lost Ark is free to play and will remain free to play.
For players located outside of South Korea, such as the United States (like myself) or Europe to opt into the open beta, you will need a Korean account, registered with a Korean phone number + a Korean social security number.
If you have a friend that lives in South Korea you can ask them to register for you, or you can even find them online for approximately $30.
Gamigo, the publisher that recently acquired Trion Worlds’ assets including ArcheAge, Rift, Trove, Defiance: 2050, and Atlas Reactor have finally revealed their plans for the future of their games.
The new community manager responsible for the games in question delivered a blanket statement saying “We saw many questions asking about the future of these games,”
“Those questions are largely about new content, fixes to existing bugs, and the changes to the Trion staff members. For sure we kept the necessary resources to ensure that there is movement within and around the games.
Generally speaking, we can tell you that the patch schedule is likely to shift somewhat, but we will make sure that all of you can enjoy new content on a regular basis.
Also, the developers will continue providing you with updates through Producer letters, so all of you will have a little look behind the scenes as well.”
What this means is that content for the games will likely come out at a significantly reduced pace, but content will nevertheless come out.
While that is reassuring – knowing that the games will continue to live on and continue to have additional content served up for players it’s unknown at what interval content will actually go live.
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again – if you’re a fan of ArcheAge then you should consider the ArcheRage private server.
Not only is it worked on by a larger team, it’s more populated and is on a version that is superior to current ArcheAge servers.
For players interested in Echtra Games’ new upcoming action-RPG Torchlight Frontiers, you’ll be happy to learn that the game’s first closed alpha test will be commencing this Friday, November 16th.
The alpha phase will be serving primarily as a technical test for the game meaning that as a beta tester players should focus on looking for and reporting bugs while providing feedback on issues they’re having or things they think need improvement.
Do note though that this is the very first alpha test for the game so expect a lot of bugs, a lot of stress and a very rough start – but also understand that a lot of what we see is subject to change between the alpha test and official launch.
An NDA will also be in place to prevent players from recording or sharing what they experience. Finally, Echtra announced that they will be sending out invites for the alpha to registered members next week.
So, if you want to get into the alpha, make sure you’re signed up!
Blade & Soul
Now this one.. this one is a little more complex of a topic to discuss. As of right now, there are three new Blade & Soul games in development. Blade & Soul 2, Blade & Soul M, and Blade & Soul S.
Blade & Soul 2 is actually an MMO we’ve known about since last year – the announcement promised new characters, new zones, ecosystem-driven AI, improved action combat and the removal of factions.
Blade & Soul M is an overhauled mobile port of the PC game with new features, enhanced combat, and a story-branching system.
Then there’s Blade & Soul S – which is a prequel to the PC game but instead of incorporating the graphics of its predecessors, it is instead opting for a chibi graphical style and a dynamic open world.
So.. 3 Blade & Soul games are all under development. It’s unfortunate about the mobile titles and that NCSoft are likely to make the games complete pay to win messes like the original Blade & Soul but at least they have a future outlined for the franchise.
As everyone knows, Lineage 2 has been around for quite a while and has achieved a lot of success over its time.
NCSoft, in an attempt to take advantage of the surplus of activity in the mobile market partnered with Netmarble to publish Lineage 2: Revolution, a mobile port of the Lineage franchise. This launched to absolute critical acclaim and popularity and continues to be a profitable source of income.
Then, NCSoft decided to go ahead and release Lineage 2: Classic – a classic version of their game bringing players back to vanilla Lineage 2.
Now, NCSoft have announced that yet another Lineage game is under development, “Lineage 2M“, a “reinterpretation” of Lineage 2 – the original PC title.
Lineage 2M is claiming to offer a “seamless open world”, RvR battles, raid bosses, and the original 31 classes with the addition of new classes in the future.
Lineage: Eternal, or Project TL, whichever you want to refer to it as was not shown off nor was any additional information offered on it, unfortunately.
So.. yeah, still no word of any PC Lineage-related news.
Nexon’s new MMO, known previously as “Project DH” will be making an appearance at G-Star.
G-Star is a large South Korean game show convention that takes place every year, bringing both Korean and overseas game developers together to showcase their latest titles.
Dragon Hound – the game’s official title was first introduced two years ago back at G-Star 2016.
The game is being built on Unreal Engine 4 and is being developed by the team behind the popular Vindictus action MMO, DevCat. The main selling point of Dragon Hound is the fact that they incorporate mounted combat – something not traditionally found in MMOs.
Players will be able to hunt down large monsters and giant dragons while steering various mountable monsters.
Unfortunately little is known about the game at this point but more will be shown off at G-Star 2018, that takes place on November 15th.
We’ll have more info about it ready for posting on our website – which you should have bookmarked by the way, as soon as the info becomes publicly available, and will include it in next weeks news video.
Also appearing at G-Star 2018 is Astellia Online – an MMORPG that seems to blend together both MMO and TCG elements slated for a South Korean release in December.
Astellia Online utilizes a unique card system that allows player to collect and combine various cards to call forth powerful companions into battle.
These companions are actually crucial to the game as they are responsible for the overall style of combat that the player employs, offering varying buffs, debuffs, crowd control skills, tanking abilities and heals.
Astellia is actually a completely open world MMO, but gameplay itself consists primarily of running smaller scale 4-man dungeons, medium scale 20-man raids, and various types of instanced PvP.
Finally, Astellia offers 5 unique classes, Rogue, Mage, Warrior, Scholar and Archer, with each of those classes possessing the ability to advance into four additional advanced classes.
No ETA on a Western release has been given, yet.
To finish this off, Nexon have announced that they will be showcasing various mobile MMOs off in addition to Astellia and Dragon Hound, including Mabinogi Mobile which aims to bring the Celtic-mythos inspired MMO to mobile platforms, Trahah, a “high-end mobile MMO” that utilizes a flexible weapon-based class system.
MGame announced that they would have their own upcoming mobile MMO Shin Yulgang Mobile – a port of the PC MMORPG Scions of Fate, Alt1’s Twelve Sky MMO is being ported from PC to mobile and being titled Twelve Sky M, and.. jesus. There’s just so many mobile MMOs hitting the market in the immediate future.
And that pretty much wraps up this week in MMO news. I’m sure there’s something I missed somewhere but this is all the news that I personally witnessed and experienced – and yes, there was a lot of mobile news.