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ASTA Online

ASTA Online is a 3D fantasy MMORPG based on Asian mythology where players embark on quests to foil the plot of evil forces across Asian-inspired landscapes and dungeons inhabited by dangerous creatures and huge bosses.

Publisher: Move Games
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Fantasy MMORPG
Release Date: April 26, 2017 (Move Games) March 02, 2016 (Webzen),
Shut Down Date: October 4, 2016
PvP: Faction / Duels / Battlegrounds/ Arenas/ GvG
Pros: +Great graphics and detailed environments. +Huge challenging bosses. +Unique story inspired by Asian mythology.
Cons: -Generic and grindy gameplay. -Race-locked classes. -Recycled NPCs and voice-overs. -Broken translations.

Overview

ASTA Online Overview

Embark on a quest to save the mythical land of Samsara from the wrath of an evil god in ASTA Online, a 3D fantasy MMORPG inspired by Asian legends and myths. Choose from one of six races divided into two warring factions and take your pick from five playable classes, each with their own sub-classes. Journey to the far reaches of Samsara in service of your faction and explore a rich and vibrant world teeming with unique creatures from Asian mythology, explore vast dungeons, and battle huge monsters and bosses. Experience hardcore faction-based open-world PvP or battle it out in the controlled environments of battlegrounds and arenas. Asta Online shut down on October 4, 2016, but relaunched on April 26, 2017 through Move Games on Steam.

ASTA Online Key Features:

  • Asian-Inspired MMORPG – travel through a world filled with Asian architecture and mobs inspired by Asian myths and legends.
  • Dynamic Quests – take on quests that automatically appear when you enter certain areas.
  • Two Warring Factions – choose from one of two factions inhabiting separate continents with a vast ocean in between. Expect fast-paced open-world PvP when the two factions finally meet.
  • Huge Bosses – take on huge elite monsters and bosses that can prove to be a challenge even when they telegraph their attacks.
  • Mount & Pet System – acquire unique pets and mounts, from adorable kittens and squirrels to angry-looking dragons and warbirds.
  • Treasure Hunting – join the ranks of treasure hunters and scour the whole of Samsara for hidden treasures containing unique and powerful items.

ASTA Online Featured Video

Classes

ASTA Online Classes

Warrior – a melee class with balanced offensive and defensive skills. They can wield a variety of weapons and can equip heavy armor.

Rogue – a melee class adept at quickly taking out single targets by using stealth, targeting enemy weak points, and by using poisons.

Archer – a ranged class skilled at keeping out of sight and picking off enemies from long range. They can knockback enemies who manage to get too close.

Mage – a powerful ranged class that can use the power of nature to deal massive damage to enemies. Asu mages are adept at fire and lightning spells while Ora mages prefer dark and ice spells.

Healer – a support class that can use the energy around them to heal their allies even at great distances. They can also inflict continuous damage on enemies and use buffs on themselves and their allies.

Factions and Races:

Asu – a faction that believes in the goddess Arita, the Wheel of Life, and Nirvana. The continent of the same name is where Arita woke up when she was expelled from the heavens.

  • Humans – a clever and gentle race with no special abilities but can adapt to anything through hard work and discipline. Humans can play as any of the five classes.
  • Draconians – a warlike race with a distinct dragon-like appearance. They pride themselves on being descendants of the Sapphire Dragon. Draconians can only play as Warriors and can only create male characters.
  • Tigerians – a clever and joyful race in spite of their beast-like appearances. They are adept in the arts of assassination and ambushes. Tigerians only have access to the Rogue and Archer classes.

Ora – a faction born from Umra, the god of death who was separated from Arita’s being when she was cast down from the heavens.

  • Humans – human in appearance but couldn’t be more different from the Asu humans. Their absolute faith in the Onyx Dragon and their strict hierarchy leaves them with no room for love. Ora Humans, like the Asu, have access to all classes.
  • Doka – a race with a natural aptitude for combat and guided by the simple principle of taking what they want and destroying what they don’t. Dokas can only play as Warriors and Rogues and can only create male characters.
  • Yayo – a dignified race that regard themselves as the children of dreams and stars. Yayos have access to the Mage and Healer classes.

Full Review

Asta Online Review

By, Marc Marasigan

ASTA Online is a 3D fantasy MMORPG set in the mythical world of Samsara, a world-based on Asian mythology. Samsara was divided into two continents when its people rose up against the gods and lost. Each of the continents are now inhabited by a number of races divided into two factions who have since been at odds with each other.

The game runs on CryEngine 3 and features great-looking graphics as well as rich, detailed, and vibrant Asian-inspired environments. The visuals are on par with TERA, but not what I would expect from a 2016 MMORPG running on CryEngine 3. Background music is generic at best and the voice-overs, as well as the NPCs, are constantly re-used throughout the game. One small detail that I like is that Asta has cute sound effects for simple things like opening menus or dragging and dropping items from the hotbar which is typically overlooked in most MMOs.

Faction Before Bl… Err Wrong Story

Players start off by choosing between one of two factions, the Asu or the Ora. Players then choose from one of the three available races per faction before choosing their class which is race-dependent. Humans, which are available for both factions, have access to all the classes while the remaining classes have access to only one or two. How this affects the faction balance still remains to be seen. Once players have chosen their faction, race, and class, they can then start customizing their characters. ASTA Online gives players plenty of options for customization, not as in-depth as TERA or Black Desert, but still enough to make a relatively unique-looking character.

Fallen Heroes

After creating their characters players are treated to a quick cut-scene that shows the heroes of Samsara rising up against the gods which eventually leads to the division of their world into two warring factions and continents. As part of this rebellion players are cast down into one of the continents without any memory of the events prior to their fall. Players start off in different continents depending on their chosen faction much like the Horde and Alliance in World of Warcraft. The continents are mirrors of each other but feature different environments: the Asu continent is lush and vibrant while the Ora continent is dark and gloomy. Once players have been transported to their respective starting zones the game proceeds relatively the same for both factions.

Well, This Looks Familiar

ASTA Online plays just like every other MMORPG and feels like World of Warcraft with decidedly better visuals. Not surprising, considering that the game was dubbed as the “Asian World of Warcraft.” Every aspect of the game reminds me of WoW, from the tutorial quests, right down to combat, dungeons, and even how the PvP system is set up.

From the starting zone players go through a series of tutorial quests given by the local townsfolk before setting off into the wide world of Samsara while following the storyline, which requires the completion of even more quests. These quests are mostly kill and collect with the occasional dynamic quest thrown in to mix things up. Dynamic quests are triggered upon entering areas and can be completed solo or with the help of other players in the immediate vicinity. Cooperating with other players is the best way of going about the quest unless you want to kill 50 mobs and an elite monster by yourself. Successfully completing the quest rewards players with experience points and boxes that contain better than average gear.

Asta's controls are similar to World of Warcraft's. Players use the WASD keys to move and the hotbar to cast skills. And like WoW, ASTA also makes use of the Tab-targetting system typically used by older MMORPG’s. This type of combat might have been the norm a few years ago but now seems a bit dull and repetitive, especially when compared to more recent titles in the genre which tend to favor the more action-packed real-time targeting system.

Progression, Skills, and Talents

Progressing through the game is relatively fast-paced. Players can easily reach level 10 in about an hour or so of gameplay as long as they stick to the quests which provide the bulk of experience points in the game. Every level gained rewards players with stat points that they can distribute across four attributes: Attack, Vitality, Impact (which affects critical rate), and Energy (which determines MP casting time). Skills are automatically unlocked and improve by reaching certain levels which means that players end up with virtually every skill in their arsenal when they hit level cap—currently set at level 30. In addition, much like WoW, players get access to 2 talent trees once they hit level 10 which they can use to tweak their characters skills to match their particular playing styles using Talent Points that they earn from level 10 onward.

PvP

ASTA Online’s PvP system bears a lot of resemblance to World of Warcraft’s. Players are given a number of options for PvP: Open-world faction-based PvP, Duels, Solo Arenas, Team Arenas, and Battlegrounds. Players who want to engage in faction-based PvP need only come face to face with a member, members, or a raiding party from the opposite faction. Duels can be initiated in anywhere in Samsara except for cities and a few safe zones. Arenas and Battlegrounds, on the other hand, require players to queue up using the battleground and arena finder. Unfortunately, after more than an hour of waiting in queue I’ve still yet to experience both PvP modes. Either there aren’t enough players or they just aren’t interested in PvP.

Cash Shop

ASTA Online’s cash shop is one of the few free-to-play cash shops that manages to keep free-playing and paying players on relatively equal footing. That being said, players willing to spend money on the game still get a few advantages. Aside from cosmetic items to make their characters stand out players can also purchase pets that automatically pick-up loot, and mounts that are 50% faster than those normally found in the game. Soul Stones, premium currency, can also be used to purchase items used for crafting and upgrading equipment. These Soul Stones can be purchased with real-world money but can also be earned by completing certain quests. It may take a while to save up enough stones though.

The Final Verdict – Good

ASTA Online is a solid game with great visuals, a unique story, and all the features that make a good MMORPG. The game, however, feels a lot like World of Warcraft with the only difference being its Asian theme. Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying to copy one of the best MMORPG’s ever made and a lot of other MMO’s have done the same but WoW’s brand of grindey–spammy gameplay is starting to get old. Going with action-oriented combat, like more modern MMORPG’s, might have been better for the game. As it is, ASTA Online might still appeal to a select group of players but with Blade and Soul and Black Desert Online, not to mention TERA, looming over its shoulders it's going to be a rather small group.

Screenshots

Asta Online Screenshots

Videos

Asta Online Videos

System Requirements

Asta Online System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows Xp / Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHZ / AMD Athlon64 3200+
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT or ATI Radeon X1600 XT
RAM: 2 GB
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or INTEL Core 2 Duo E6750
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 3870 or NVIDIA Geforce 8800 GT
RAM: 4 GB
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB

Music

Asta Online Music & Soundtrack

Coming soon...

Additional Info

Asta Online Additional Information

Developer: Polygon Games
Game Engine: CryEngine 3
Composer: Yang Bang-ean aka Kunihiko Ryo

Korean Open Beta: October, 2013
Korean Closure Date: August 23, 2015
Global Closed Beta: Q4 2015

Publishers:

Korea: NHN Hangame
China: ChangYou
Global: WebZen / Move Games

North American/EU Open Beta: March 2, 2016

Release Date: March 2, 2016

Shut Down Date: October 4, 2016

Relaunch Date (Move Games): April 26, 2017

Development History / Background:

Development on ASTA: The War of Tears and Winds started in 2010 by South Korean studio Polygon Games. It was highly anticipated and touted as the 'WoW of the East' during its lengthy development cycle. Built on CryEngine 3, the game was also heavily promoted by Crytek. After several delays, ASTA entered open beta in its open territory in late 2013 and saw several updates, but failed to find a large audience. Major updates ceased after December 2013, and the Korean version eventually closed on August 23, 2015. Just three days earlier, WebZena announced its plans to publish ASTA Online in the West.

The game went into closed beta in November 3, 2015 and was initially planned for open beta release in January 2016 due to delays with the voice-acting, translation, as well as some technical aspects of the game. ASTA Online finally went into open beta on March 2, 2016, releasing the same day.

The game shut down on October 4, 2016 after failing to gain a large enough playerbase to support its operations.

Asta relaunched on Steam through Move Games on April 26, 2017.