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.