Who is sick of Pay-2-Win games, then? All of you? Yeah, me too. I’m even more tired of hearing crap like, “Well, it’s just the way the industry has gone.” That’s like saying, “We’re doing something totally amoral and unscrupulous but so is everybody else so it’s fine.” It’s not fine! Giving players a product and calling it completely free to play then shoving a big paywall in the way of any fun is not fine; it’s wrong. This becomes worse when a game isn’t free and even after spending your hard earned cash you still have to fork more out to get anywhere. So, let’s turn things on their head a bit, shall we? Let’s take Pay-2-Win and make it Play-to-Win. What do we get? Well, if all goes smoothly we’ll be getting Astellia, which is due to hit our screens later this year.
Astellia, brain child of the folk over at Studio 8, is a brand new triple-A MMORPG which aired at PAX South last weekend and is looking to buck the trend set by pay-to-win gaming. In this new setting, you’ll find yourself collecting magical fighting companions called Astells. These are coming from a pool of dozens of characters which you can take on open world missions, into PVP arenas, solo, group dungeons and more. Your Astells can also be leveled and used to combo with your own character class’s skills and abilities.
Speaking of classes in Astellia, you will have five to choose from. These include: Warrior, Ranger and Scholar. Each of these classes obviously come with their own skills and facets of these can be upgraded to grant better cooldown times, more damage and other useful attributes.
The game itself will be giving you plenty to see and do. Dungeons scale with difficulty and allow for both single and group play, meaning you won’t need to be with a team if you’re looking for the best gear. You will also find the PVP and PVE content that appears in many MMORPG games. As with the dungeon runs that I’ve just mentioned, there’s both solo and group versions of arena combat for PVP fans and the game’s horde mode for PVE fanatics. Something that you don’t see in every MMORPG, however, is a dynamic, persistent faction system. You will become part of one of three of the game’s factions, and whether it be through PVP or PVE gaming, you’ll win points for your respective side.
In the run-up to Pax South, Westley Connor, Producer on Astellia at Barunson (the game’s published in the West), stated, “We’re beyond excited to show off Astellia at this year’s PAX South. We’re confident that we’re creating an MMORPG for fans of the genre, and one that they’ll be proud to call home later this year.” He went on to say, “We know the fear that so many MMOs wind up as Pay-2-Win in this genre, and we’re committed to making sure Astellia never veers in that direction. Instead, we’re all about Play-to-Win, and we can’t wait to explain how at PAX South.”
If you’re interested in finding out exactly what the term Play-to-Win means and didn’t make it to PAX South, we’ll find out soon enough, but there are definitely some really interesting connotations to this label. Astellia is looking for release later this year but there will be beta periods before the game goes completely live and that means plenty of chances for the curious to get involved. This seems to be one that is definitely worth keeping an eye on.