Should You Play Ascent: Infinite Realm? Everything You Need To Know About The Upcoming Project A:IR MMORPG!
Ascent: Infinite Realm (Project A:IR) Information
So with Bless Online being at an all time low in terms of player population and participation, I felt as though now would be an opportune moment to give my feedback on everyone’s next large gamble: Ascent: Infinite Realm, or A:IR for short.
The game is being developed by Bluehole Studio – which I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with. They are after all the team that behind TERA, Devilian, and PubG.
We all know that PubG was riddled with bugs but you can’t deny its popularity. TERA on the other hand, especially with its recent overhaul and launch onto consoles, is doing better than it has in years.
So we can take a moment to breathe a sigh of fresh air.. we actually have a developer that knows how to craft games – games that aren’t heavy pay to win like Revelation Online – games that didn’t die a month after release like Bless.
However, on the flip side of that announcement.. comes the Western publisher: Kakao Games. Better known as the publisher behind Black Desert Online.
Anyone that plays Black Desert Online should know how poorly handled that game is.
Now, when Neowiz announced that Aeria Games would be publishing Bless in the West, people freaked out. “Aeria Games is known to be a heavily pay to win company that destroys their games.”
Likewise, Kakao is getting a reputation for being a terrible publisher – not comparable to the likes of My.com, Trion or Aeria Games, mind you. No. But just because something isn’t terrible, doesn’t mean it isn’t bad.
Combat is something that a lot of people complained about in Revelation Online, in Bless Online.. and is probably the main redeeming feature of Black Desert Online.
People hated Revelation’s combat, people (not all, granted) still dislike Bless’ combat.. and A:IR, unfortunately.. Well. The combat is tab-target, just like Bless was.
Now before you trash the game for using a tab-target combat system in 2018, or 2019, rather, which is when A:IR is slated to leave development and officially launch, do take into consideration that it is possible to have enjoyable tab-target combat.
Not every game needs to utilize a combat system akin to Black Desert or Blade and Soul. Both WoW and Final Fantasy XIV function above and beyond with tab-target systems. Bless’ was just handled poorly and it showed.
I remember when TERA came out – people were absolutely astonished by how good the action combat in it was, and to this day, I still take pride in saying it is some of the best combat in an MMORPG.
So when the people behind TERA come out and say that tab-target was the way to go for A:IR, I’ll take them at their word.. for now.
We’ve been given instances of what the combat looks like and it looks pretty damn good. Much faster, much more fluid and quite a promising looking system to behold.
Graphically, A:IR looks.. well, it looks fucking fantastic. It’s eerily reminiscent of if Black Desert and ArcheAge had a secret love child that they didn’t want anyone to know about until recently.
And then Black Desert gained custody. Something nobody wanted because Kakao would make a terrible parent. Okay this analogy has, admittedly, gone on a little longer than I would’ve wanted.
A:IR takes place in a large steampunk world in the aftermath of a giant meteor crashing into the planet, causing the world to break into separate floating islands.. kinda like Dauntless.
The world itself is beautifully lush, yet broken and destroyed, which plays on the backstory.
Players are given access to various forms of airship to get around the large world, with each faction vying for supremacy over the other in an attempt to secure more and more of the finite land and territory left for their faction.
The early levels will teach players how to navigate that faction conflict, as it will play a large part in the overall scheme of the game.
PvP takes on various forms in A:IR. Realm vs Realm PvP is at the core of the game, having players board their airships and engage the opposing team in aerial combat.
While on your airship, you are given access to a variety of skills ranging from rocket launchers to flamethrowers.
The overall goal is to destroy as many of the opposing team as possible – so in essence a deathmatch with the winning team decided by total kills.
From what is visible, the combat is a little cluttered and very unorganized, but that is to be expected from players that know nothing of the game.
Players are capable of dismounting their airship and engaging other players directly with their avatar, flying to, and mounting enemy airships. Which looks crazy.
Again, it reminds me of ArcheAge’s naval battle system that had players doing more or less the same thing on ships, attempting to hijack the others ship.
After the aerial section of the Realm vs Realm is over, players are then taken down to participate in ground-PvP, with the goal of destroying the other team’s crystal, while simultaneously protecting their own.
Alternately, from what we’ve seen of the game thus far, there does seem to be some form of open world PvP for players to participate in.
While it has not been confirmed exactly what form it’ll take, it does seem a little daunting, yet simultaneously thrilling.
There are various forms of PvE content to partake of in A:IR. One of the most noteworthy for me, and by far one of the most impressive, was the aerial combat versus large bosses. Functioning more or less as it does in PvP combat, but looking so much fucking cooler.
Leveling is supposed to be rather fast, pushing players to hit endgame content quite expeditiously – A:IR’s director elaborating on that by saying that the level cap should take an average of 30 hours to reach.
From what we’ve seen, the leveling is fairly brisk, but at the same time hitting endgame so abruptly and with such a condensed leveling experience leaves me to wonder.. what, then, will players be left to do with all their spare time after hitting level cap?
Is the game just.. permeating with content at max level that there is no real need to level?
Classes in Bless have two distinct stances that players are able to choose between upon hitting a specific level. Each stance changes how the class attacks overall.
As an example, the Assassin had both the “Assassination” and “Shadow” stance as choices, “Assassination” being a close range high DPS stance, while “Shadow” was instead ranged, utilizing your daggers as projectiles.
Once again, the combat is tab-target so aiming is not required. At least, not in the traditional sense.
Players are required to lock onto a target, but are then able to use attacks from a distance, meaning that both timing and aiming, to an extent, are required. Otherwise you will ultimately be at too large a distance from the enemy.
The classes overall seem to take inspiration from both Bless and Black Desert, with the females looking Asian- with an emphasis on a more fantasy inspired theme, while the males range from being hulking giants to well-build European men.
Character creation is fairly expansive. The bodies are unfortunately not as disproportionate as they are in Black Desert instead, opting to take a much more realistic approach which I find.. actually, quite compelling.
You’re given a wide variety of hairstyles, sliders and overall facial customization – but that’s to be expected – almost being a pre-requisite for a Korean MMORPG in this day and age.
Thankfully, and I know this is a big issue for players.. classes will not, in fact, be gender locked.
I don’t know why this has to be a feature mentioned but it seems as though gender locking is a huge thing over in South Korea.
Like all MMORPGs, A:IR also features quite a comprehensive player housing system. The housing system – specifically, how they are designed and built has yet to be elaborated on.
So it is currently unknown whether you can build on your own, like in ArcheAge, or have NPCs build for you, like in Revelation. Houses, however, like in ArcheAge will be built in the open world.
Whether that means lots to build houses on will be finite remains to be seen.
Ascent: Infinite Realm will be launching as a free to play MMORPG.
It will not be buy to play like Black Desert or Bless, nor will it be pay to play like WoW or Final Fantasy XIV.
I am clarifying here because people always leave me questions in the comment section asking what business model the game plans on utilizing even though I mention it in the video.
So, once again, A:IR will be launching as a free to play MMORPG. This is a little alarming to me though as that means, especially with Kakao as publisher, there is a large potential for pay to win issues to arise.
And a lot of bots. And hackers. And.. problems overall, as the playerbase is no doubt going to be huge, what with the MMORPG market being so open and ready to have our asses rammed by Kakao’s large, South Korean cock.
.. Mainly due to how desparate we are for something, anything, to be good.
As I mentioned earlier, the game will be launching next year.
However, beta testing for A:IR will be happening towards the end of 2018, with registration happening on November 13 to December 10, having the beta test itself take place conclusively on December 13 to December 17.
So if you haven’t already, you better sign up for the beta in hopes you get to participate in it, just as I am!
To finish this video off, do I think Ascent: Infinite Realm is going to be an MMORPG worth investing time into?
- The combat, especially for tab-target, looks fantastic.
- The graphics are absolutely stunning.
- The world, being open and ready to explore, both by air and on foot.. is going to be an experience I won’t soon forget.
- The business model is definitely concerning, but not fundamentally damaging to the game overall.
- The PvP looks to be highly entertaining, but, at least from what we can tell, it is somewhat unorganized.
- The PvE on the other hand looks incredibly fun to participate in.
- The classes not being gender locked is a feat I thought would not be possible by a South Korean developer.
- Each class having two different stances, and therefore ways of playing is going to be something to get used to, but adds depth to each class.
- The player housing is definitely going to be interesting, especially if they’re placed all over the world like the housing in ArcheAge was.
- The aerial combat looks freakin’ insane, and I cannot wait to participate in it.
- Kakao, the publishers, are garbage and could potentially destroy the game for me.
- PvP being too large of a focus could force people that have a distaste for it to steer clear.
- The leveling experience being too short means there isn’t much to do on the way to endgame.
- There is nothing noted about the cash shop currently.
- The game has the potential to become pay to win.
And.. that about sums it up. Ascent: Infinite Realm looks like a fan-fucking-tastic free to play fantasy, steampunk themed open world MMORPG.
On the outside, it is beautiful, looks enjoyable, and is ultimately what Bless very well should have been. But I’ll need to wait to get into the beta before I can say with any certainty.
Regardless, do I believe it’s worth getting excited for? Yes! It has the potential to be a very good quality game. What ArcheAge could’ve been had it not gone heavily pay to win.. which, again, is a possibility for A:IR as well.
Anyway, thank you guys for reading. If you made it through the article.. what do you think? Is A:IR worth playing? Are you looking forward to it? Let me know down in the comments section below and I’ll see you all next time!