My ELYON Experience: Different to What I Expected.
Hey guys, this is Mrs Stix and today I’m going to give you guys a quick breakdown of Elyon: Ascent Infinite Realm which is an upcoming MMORPG brought over from Korea by Kakao Games. The game was developed by Bluehole Studios – the very same team behind an MMO I spent more time in than I probably should have: TERA.
As some of you may recall, during the early stages of development it went under the title “Ascent Infinite Realm.” and touted things like aerial combat. Both Stix and I were able to take a look at the game back when it donned the A:IR moniker and with the most recent Closed Beta test, had a second opportunity to look at the game after its transition into Elyon – completely altering the combat mechanics and removing key aspects of the game such as aerial mechanics.
Keep in mind, this is only a look at the first Closed Beta test! We have every intention of delving deeper into the things that will and may differ as things proceed.
Kakao were a little vague when it came to discussing the release date, however they did confirm a third quarter timeframe for the second Closed Beta test, with a full release in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Now, upon entering the game you’ll be faced with selecting a faction, either the Vulpin (woot woot) or the Ontari (boo.) We obviously went with the Vulpin faction as it’s blue, and blue is….well….a nice color.
Factions share both races and classes, meaning that you’re not forced into selecting a specific side because you prefer a certain combination. However, the areas you both start in, and control will differ.
The races include Human, Elf, Ein, and Orc. The only race that is gender locked is the little Ein.
Concerning the classes, what we had access to in the first Closed Beta was the Warlord, Elementalist, Mystic, Assassin, and Gunner. Supposedly, there is another class called the Slayer that will be introduced to us in the second Closed Beta that should be available upon release.
Here is where the game gets interesting in my eyes. Each class has a variety of unique skills that you’ll have the option of selecting from, with space on your hotbar being very limited – possessing only nine spaces in total for your abilities. Each of these skills can be upgraded as you continue leveling and obtain skill points, unlocking further variations of skills by obtaining an enhancement item by killing world bosses or questing.
The versatility of the builds you can make is utterly amazing. I went mystic, which is the only class that really matters in groups, as.. Well, we’re the people keeping the group from wiping due to DPS standing in AoEs and tanks forgetting they have to point the boss away from us. Yes, the Mystic is essentially the healer. And let me tell you right now, as a support-type class I needed to make a build for PvE, world PvP, dungeons, and more arena based PvP.
I look forward to seeing all the build guides that pop up from this game – because trust me, you’re going to need them.
Having the option to build your character around the content you’re doing felt exceptionally rewarding, especially given that the game employs a fast-paced action combat system.
Everyone is flipping everywhere and I’m just over here trying to aim my skills at them while trying not to hit walls, floors, and ceilings.. Or Stix, who’s in an entirely different region.
So I attempted to construct a build that was more friendly to my play style – with a much larger focus on crowd control, resulting in people being rooted in place or knocked down more frequently. That way I could take a few additional moments to.. Line up the perfect shot. Granted, this didn’t really end up helping, but that didn’t stop me from trying anyway! Your girl isn’t a quitter!
Your build gets even more unique based upon the rune stones you have equipped to your armor. These will also boost your item level which has a direct affect on your stats. These runestones will affect things from your attack power, to your healing output, to your maximum armor so it’s very important that you work on obtaining the runestones that most benefit the perfect build you’re aiming to create. You’ll need to enhance them alongside your armor and weapons. Yes, enhance. Something that you Black Desert vets no doubt winced at as soon as you heard mention of enhancement.
Once you reach level 35 you’ll have even more options to customize your character, as you’ll unlock something called Mana Awakening which enhances various characteristics.
Just the sheer depth to which you can go about customizing your character in this game boggles my mind. All of these combined will make your character a unique force to be reckoned with in the open world.. Or an absolute pushover that players farm because you didn’t read the guides I mentioned earlier. Don’t be that guy!
The combat within this game, while fun, does have more to it than just spamming abilities to either murder monsters or tank another players’ FPS out in the world. The main focus of Elyon is PvP, and that action combat is going to come into play here, especially the builds you create.
There is open world PvP, which unlocks at level 30, allowing you to not only engage other players out in the world at any given time, but by that same logic be attacked by the enemy faction. Keep in mind there is no escaping this so if PvP isn’t your cup of tea, then it’s best you go get a different cup for yourself.
To farm materials, world bosses, and generally get around to quests you’re going to come head to head with an enemy here and there, even if you aren’t looking for a fight. Yes, people like to come at you when you least expect it. Like when you’re trying to nab that perfect fish. Or scratching that itch that’s been bothering you all day.
If the world itself isn’t providing you enough PvP opportunities there are always more options. Within the Hall of Fame, you can participate in battlefields which offer last man standing and 3v3 game modes. Then you have the Arena where you can work with a team in 2v2 or 3v3, or if you’re like Stix, YOLO in by yourself for 1v1s.
Winning these will provide you materials, XP, and medals. But don’t think it stops there!
If these modes still aren’t enough, or just don’t interest you then it goes even further beyond into Dimensional Portals. As of right now there are 4 dimensional portals with a 5th one being teased for those at lvl 99, which is likely just a placeholder until they’re done testing it.
Within these you will be portaled into an area where you fight against the enemy faction for the right to murder the heckness out of things to receive rewards. Keep in mind the dimensional portals are locked behind levels and also specific times. If you’re not able to make those times you’re going to be locked out from entering until the timer resets. Can you tell the game has a large emphasis on PvP yet? No? Okay, well if that wasn’t enough to convince you, then there are also large scale Realm Wars. Your account can only participate in one of these once every seven days and also have specific times and days that it is even open for.
Additionally, guilds – or Clans as they’re called in Elyon have the right to engage one another in Clan Wars; These are also available during specific times and dates, meaning they’re easy to miss. It’s also worth noting that it’s pretty important to join a clan as soon as you can for the material that you get just from being a part of one and completing various activities.
If you need a break from PvP then dungeons are about the only thing you can do besides crafting in your house that doesn’t present the unfortunate opportunity for someone to sneak on up behind you and stab you in the back. Repeatedly. With a stick. Because people are like that. When all you wanted was to just get that cute screenshot underneath the tree over by that lake. Yes I’m being specific because it may or may not have happened to me once.. so if you see someone with my blood on their hands I expect answers. Or their life as retribution. Either will suffice.
As you level you’ll begin to unlock a variety of different dungeons, some of them are solo, some of them require three players, and some require five players. There is a party finding system, so that’s nice in terms of finding friends. But this is an MMO we’re talking about, so.. Yeah, probably not. Dungeons, more specifically 3 and 5 player dungeons require the holy trinity of at least 1 healer, 1 tank and anywhere from 1 to 3 DPS, depending on which type you queue for.
The dungeons themselves from what we experienced, were fairly entertaining with a range of mechanics and waves of adds, but from the get go, it’s a struggle to get through them and I like that. Normally you go into low level dungeons with one eye on your PC and the other on cute cat videos on Youtube, that latest Bridgerton episode on Netflix or.. Anything that can keep you from falling asleep due to the ease of the majority of leveling dungeons.
From the dungeons you have a chance of obtaining high level gear enhancement stones, and a key for the timed dungeons. The timed dungeons do not appear to unlock until you’re level 40 though, which admittedly.. We did not reach. Not for lack of trying! But as the name suggests, it’d be a timed version of the dungeon you’ve done. There is also something called the Hall of Challenges where you basically fight your way up a tower floor by floor to obtain rewards. So if you like the climb, this is for you.
Something that I really enjoy about this game is the fact that you can own your own house. This is something I’m still struggling to accomplish in real life, so let me have my dream-home in-game, damnit!
Through the story itself you get an ordinary house with some basic items and crafting stations which we’ll address in a second. The house you obtain through the story is free, but is instanced off from the world, so if you want other players to look at and marvel at your creation, you can always opt to buy a luxury home out in the world. These will cost you game currency and will require a fee, but will provide you benefits in growth and size.
I’m also a fan of how you can not only decorate your home, but you can build your own furniture, adding to the depth that this game provides you in terms of content.
Having your own home, and visiting other players’ homes provide unique benefits as well, as an example, if you help them with their production you have the chance of finding rare seeds for sale within their seed shops.
Within your home, you can have an armor crafting station where you can take your gathered materials and create even better armor for yourself, even scaling all the way up to legendary gear. Naturally, you won’t be able to do this without plenty of time invested into the craft – leveling up your masteries. You can also craft yourself potions, buffs, weapons, and furniture. So if you’re a crafter by trade, which I most definitely am not, then I fully expect you to craft me everything I need to be a successful healer. Honestly, the crafting system is pretty expansive in my opinion as you can fish, mine, gather, lumber, and livestock to get these materials needed.
Within your house you can participate in what is known as Luminous Battles. You can pretty much AFK this activity as you sit in your house and let your luminous go into the dungeons and farm you materials, money, and XP. You garner points for your luminous by hunting monsters. They will require energy to complete these battles though and require time to reset to gain more. The luminous is also important for providing you stats, the higher the star level your luminous is the better.
The game also has adorable pets that you can equip that will handily run about and gather your dropped items for you while also providing some helpful skills. You can change your pet’s skills with a ticket and from the two I’ve seen can range from gathering speed to store discount prices.
Your pet appears to be able to have five concurrent skills though and may also be fused with material to create a higher tier pet that will unlock these skills slots. This will probably be very important to people focusing heavily upon the crafting aspect of the game.
I know I’m leaving out a lot of things but my goodness the amount of things you can do in this game is fairly endless. Heck, there are even mini-games you can participate in in the open world. So if you’re looking for something to do, this might be it. Moving forward though, do note that the first Closed Beta test does not have the most current build for the game. I’m not sure when we’ll see the version that South Korea has, but I’m looking forward to it.
We also have no idea what the cash shop will look like for us as Kakao are keeping those cards pretty closely to their chests. I’ll be curious to see how that looks upon release.
For potential players interested in playing Elyon upon release, do note that this game will be buy-to-play, so that is something to consider. Though I can tell you now that I had a heckin lot of fun playing this game.