Beta Perspective: Astellia Transports Me To 2009

Astellia is an MMO in 2019 that makes me feel like I’m back in 2009. It’s another game in the long line of titles that come westward and while I don’t have much faith in the game being a runaway success, I decided to jump into the beta to see just how dated it felt. Boy does it feel dated. Before I go into this I’d like to state that neither MMO Fallout as an entity no myself have any inherent problem with sexy characters in games and you can safely read on without the fear of having this random internet commenter make assumptions about your personality based on the games you play.

Now let’s continue.

Astellia Online seemed dead set on making me angry within the first twenty seconds of playing the beta because like much of its ilk, the game handholds you through the tutorial like you are a moron. I generally don’t have an issue with tutorials in games, but the point where I lose my patience is when the game starts treating you like a moron and locks the UI and refuses to let you do anything until you complete some menial task like adding a potion to your hotbar. I also thought I had skipped the tutorial, but then the game still overloads me with ridiculous nonsense that shouldn’t be new to anyone who has ever played a video game.

Unfortunately Astellia takes this even further in its tutorial by just throwing in enemy NPCs that you can’t attack for absolutely no reason. You almost think that the game is broken because there is no indication or response to your keypresses, and the game does let you target these mobs, but your character just doesn’t follow through on your commands. These sound like minor complaints, but it’s a starter to the game’s more asinine ideas like filling the world with invisible walls that are often out in the middle of the level, don’t block anything, and are just shoddy level design. Nothing says wasting my time like making me walk the long way around an area because the game won’t let me jump down an ankle-high embankment.

Eventually at the end of the tutorial you meet Sella, who is an angelic character of good.

Also her jugs are enormous.

It’s at this point I made this possibly bad decision of boosting my character to level 50, which the devs have enabled so people can check out the end-game dungeons during the beta. It also gave me the opportunity to check out the game’s Astels; companions that you level up, each one being a temporary summon that grants various buffs based on the character. There are defensive Astels, offensive Astels, healing Astels, all kinds! And they come in various flavors of cute anime girl, cute anime boy, cute animals, and the strange.

There’s even Scorpio who is his own deal.

Eventually I got bored of being level 50 and thus being horribly overleveled compared to the story content. So I ditched my mage character and decided to go with my old favorite: The ranger. The ranger is my go-to class in MMOs because they reflect my real life personality. Striking from afar because I’m a no-skill scrub who can’t take a punch.

Also her jugs are enormous.

In case you’re wondering, your character staring deadpan into the camera when you flip it around to view yourself from the front is just as unsettling as it looks in the screenshot. At this point, I’d like to state a few things that I have actually found enjoyable in Astellia. I like the story so far. There is a lot of generic “the world is being invaded by demons” storytelling, but there is also an interesting plot about the valiant white knights of the world and how they’re basically moronic, corrupt, and incompetent, led by an enormous jagoff named Meruf who utterly hates you and your Astels for no good reason, and rewards you after you’ve just saved his people by telling you to go fudge yourself.

You come back at one point to find a dude berating Meruf to his face about how much the knights suck and how they’re incapable of protecting civilization under his worthless leadership, and you follow him to save him from a demon named Voltra, who is also dressed like a BDSM queen.

Also her package is enormous.

Another little feature I came to enjoy is the simple fact that Astellia lets you have a spell queued up. It’s a simple function, but astoundingly rare in the MMO sphere. Thankfully the game doesn’t run like unoptimized trash, unlike Bless Online. I’m not going to make any comments about the validity of the cash shop since God only knows how much that could change before launch.

It looks like a big part of Astellia’s income is going to be from subscriptions which offer experience boosts, and selling skins which change the look of your Astel as well as equipment overrides. Astellia isn’t a horrible game by any means, but it’s been done so many times that I can’t see many people flocking to it with great excitement. It’s more of a filler MMO, something to play until the game you’re really looking forward to comes out.

 

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