Astellia confirms it’ll be buy-to-play in the west, won’t be a ‘smash-and-grab’

    
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At PAX South this weekend, Astellia reps did indeed sit for a panel on the game as promised – a panel hosted, apparently “at the last minute,” by none other than Linda “Brasse” Carlson and Barunson E&A Producer Wes Conner. You folks are going to like Conner, by the way; he rightly characterizes the last couple of years of MMOs as a “smash-and-grab,” that show up in the west, dump their content, turn their profit, and then basically have nothing left and therefore create zero emotional attachment in players, and so the playerbase dries up and the studio moves on to the next game. (We call those “temports” around here.)

Astellia wants to be part of the change,” he explains before diving into the business model, officially confirming that the game will be buy-to-play in the west and that the pay-to-win microtransactions currently in the Korean store will be ousted and made part of regular gameplay for us – for example, through achievements, daily rewards, and dungeon drops.

Brasse also asks Conner about the difficulties of dealing with both a Korean and a US dev team – she’d know, after all, having worked at Trion for years – and apparently multiple members of the Korean dev team were in the audience to support the game and show their commitment (she made them raise their hands).

Notably, Astellia won’t be gender-locked in the west, although Conner says the conversion might not be finished by at launch, and players will be allowed to adjust those characters for free when any missing conversions do go live.

The game is still set to launch in the west this summer with two closed beta rounds planned before that. The panel is an hour-long and the first chunk is well worth a listen for frustrated MMO players looking for a sea change in the genre.

Source: Twitch. Thanks, Stephen!
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Vertigo Teaparty

My main concern from this panel was the talk of being rewarded for doing dungeons faster. One of my main complaints of current MMOs is the overall mentality players have of blowing through dungeons as quickly as humanly possible with 0 tolerance for delays.. People pull or move forward when the party isn’t ready, try skipping mobs which would take 10 seconds to kill and inevitably get trained on them anyway, get pissy if someone dares to do something sub-optimally, and new players are rushed through the dungeon and may miss quests, mechanics, or loot. Tying a scoring system (and assumedly a reward of some kind) is only going to make this worse.

kjempff
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kjempff

the game will be buy-to-play in the west and that the pay-to-win microtransactions currently in the Korean store will be ousted and made part of regular gameplay for us – for example, through achievements, daily rewards, and dungeon drops.

Finally someone who gets it ?
Well still holding the door ajar with saying that only “pay-to-win” microtransactions will be replaced; not all microtransactions and not what they define as “pay-to-win”.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

When I first read about it coming to ‘West’, I wasn’t interested but after the recent articles about it, I am mildly interested.
The publisher is saying the right things, but I am a bit wary of the schedule – it sounds a bit ambitious and the gender lock being taken out only after launch is not good; the idea that people would change characters’ genders afterwards is rather optimistic.

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PanagiotisLial1

A bit neutral to it at the moment, visually things look good and the right things are said, but we got to wait and see what it is about – especially its gameplay

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Hydlide S

It’s nice that Eastern MMORPGs are still coming out while we wait for all these crowd-funded Western MMORPGs. Something to tide us over, even though many of them are fairly shallow.

butterpanda888
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butterpanda888

Looking forward to this one.

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Connor

You’ll have to excuse me as I’ve heard this WAY TOO MUCH to be convinced by word of mouth alone. Or launch, because we all know how many developers promised no pay to win and then implemented it months/years down the line.

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Castagere Shaikura

LOL did one guy ask for AFK gameplay option?

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Daniel Miller

Yep. A lazy American who felt self entitlement.

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Castagere Shaikura

I just can’t believe anything devs say anymore. Just have to wait and see and not get overhyped about this.

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Cosmic Cleric

Notably, Astellia won’t be gender-locked in the west, although Conner says the conversion might not be finished by at launch, and players will be allowed to adjust those characters for free when any missing conversions do go live.

Never thought of this before, but are there cultural/society reasons why the East would want gender locking?

I never knew why gender locking was even a thing, just figured it was lazy/time-limited devs that made it so.

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steel hunt

Eastern Players just value differently than western players in MMO. Gender locking simply doesn’t bother them just like they are more tolerant to p2w than us. This is the reason why porting games can be a hit or miss because sometime it doesn’t fit to our culutural beliefs and values.

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Cosmic Cleric

So you’re saying is not that they want certain classes for specific genders, more that they just don’t care as much as we do?

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steel hunt

Mostly yes, but also the MMO must match the cultural background. For example, EMei player from age of wushu can not be male simply because EMei is known to accept only female disciples historically. Male EMei chars just doesn’t make sense to Eastern players. Same as shaolin.

Many MMO in the East has a cultural origin to it whether it is from history or an adaptation from film or movies. Genders are restricted by these parameters. Because, we as western players, do not understand the culture and background of these mmos, we can not understand why there is gender locks

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Cosmic Cleric

Many MMO in the East has a cultural origin to it whether it is from history or an adaptation from film or movies. Genders are restricted by these parameters.

Ah, so in essence, there are, indirectly, limitations on what classes can be what genders, based on the history/culture behind the avatar in the MMO.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

East Asian MMOs often don’t have classes as such, but characters – you don’t create a character (just choose appearance and name), you play a particular character, like a male warrior or female priestess. So when the games come to the ‘West’, the characters are turned into (gender-locked) classes.

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Cosmic Cleric

you play a particular character, like a male warrior or female priestess

Appreciate the reply. You used the words ‘warrior’ and ‘priest(ess)’, and those words I would identify as classes.

So my question is, in the East, is it culturally acceptable to have, for example, a male priest, or do all priests have to be priestess’? That’s the crux of what I was asking about.

In the West, its no issue for a male or female to be a priest (for example), but MMOs from the East always seem to have certain “classes” as certain genders.