Shaiya is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG where players choose between two factions. They can either join the Alliance of Light, battling the forces of evil, or the Union of Fury, where players give in to their inner darkness. Each faction has three races and six classes to choose from, though each race is restricted to two classes each.
|Publisher: Aeria Games
Release Date: December 24, 2007
PvP: Duels & Faction Battles
Pros: +Unique "Ultimate Mode". +Decent variety of classes. +Blessing of the Goddess system.
Cons: -Dated visuals and interface. -Generic gameplay with little innovation. -Some pay-to-win elements.
In Shaiya, players take on the role of powerful warriors in a conflict over the land of Shaiya. Players join the Union of Fury or the Alliance of Light, battling monsters and each other for control of Shaiya and the blessing of the goddess Etain, who created the world. Shaiya was one of Aeria Games' first free-to-play MMORPGs. The gameplay draws inspiration from other popular fantasy MMORPGs like Lineage 2 and World of Warcraft. Those interested in a slightly different version of Shaiya may want to check out "Shaiya Phoenix" which is the same exact game as Shaiya, except with some minor tweaks / rebalancing.
Shaiya Key Features:
- Varied Gameplay – four races and twelve playable classes. Each race has three class options available. Classes are specific to race in Shaiya.
- Hardcore Mode Available – permadeath in "Ultimate" mode, but rewards are greater.
- Blessing of the Goddess System – defeating members of the opposing faction grants your faction Goddess points which provides a faction-wide buff.
- PvP Options – skirmishes available in neutral areas and large scale battles with relic capturing in PvP battlegrounds.
- Cash Shop – buy mounts, experience boosters, powerful potions that restore HP and MP, items to boost crafting rates, and costumes.
Shaiya Featured Video
- Guardian/Defender – these classes functions as the tank, able to take the brunt of the damage with their high vitality while dishing some out in return. Nordein are the Guardians for the Union of Fury, while Humans are the Defenders for the Alliance of Light.
- Hunter/Archer – using bows, crossbows, and javelins, this class specializes in killing from a distance. They also have some of the highest accuracy, meaning they will never miss a shot. Nordein are the Hunters for the Union of Fury, while Elves are the Archers for the Alliance of Light.
- Warrior/Fighter – able to use the widest variety of weapons in the game, Warriors and Fighters are fierce melee combatants. These classes excel at the frontline, unleashing devastating physical attacks on their foes. Nordein are the Warriors for the Union of Fury, while Humans are the Fighters for the Alliance of Light.
- Assassin/Ranger – using stealth and disguise, short blades or claw weapons, and their high evasion, Assassins and Rangers are adept at hit and run tactics and ambushes. They are also able to frighten beasts or hide themselves as harmless creatures, furthering their stealth. Vail are the Assassins for the Union of Fury, while Elves are the Rangers for the Alliance of Light.
- Oracle/Priest – these classes function as the healers of Shaiya and are the only classes capable of resurrecting other players. This means they are essential party members to anyone playing on Ultimate Mode. Vail are the Oracles for the Union of Fury, while Humans are the Priests for the Alliance of Light.
- Pagan/Mage – with both single-target and area-of-effect abilities, Pagans and Mages are devastating magical powerhouses. Their abilities harness the natural elements of fire, water, earth, and wind, completely destroying their enemies. Vail are the Pagans for the Union of Fury, while Elves are the Mages for the Alliance of Light.
Classes are restricted by Race in Shaiya. Each faction has access to two races (total four races) and each race can play from one of three classes for a total of twelve classes.
Alliance of Light Races:
Union of Fury Races
By Dimitri Jordan
Shaiya is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG developed and published by Aeria Games that was released in on December 24th, 2007. Following in the steps of genre giants like World of Warcraft and Lineage II, Shaiya has many of the trademarks now considered as classic features: Two warring factions, a handful of races, guilds, and auction houses. Shaiya's most interesting feature is easily its “Ultimate Mode” system. In Ultimate Mode, players gain experience slower than regular characters, but gain more skill and stat points per level, making them considerably stronger at max level compared to regular characters. When an Ultimate Mode character is killed, they have three minutes to be revived. This can be done through cash shop items or by being resurrected by the faction’s healer class (Priests or Oracles). If these players are not resurrected within the three minute time limit, their character is effectively dead, and permanently deleted. Sounds a lot like "Hard Core" mode in Diablo 2, except instead of finding better loot, Ultimate Mode players gain additional stats, and have access to special skills and items.
While Shaiya does not bring much in the way of innovation to entice players, Ultimate Mode is easily the biggest draw, especially from those seeking more of a challenge from their MMORPGs.
When first starting the game, players are prompted to choose their faction, class, and name. Aside from this, players have no options for character customization. After creating their character, players must choose whether to play on Basic Mode or Ultimate Mode. This is a crucial decision, because whether they’re level 1 or level 80, a death in Ultimate Mode can result in a character being deleted.
After creating a character, players can jump into Shaiya, performing quests and grinding mobs to level up. Players start with a gift box that gives them class-appropriate armor, and a collection of different weapons to try out. Players can move using the WASD keys as well as by left-clicking the ground and can use abilities by pressing the number keys.
The First Few Levels
The leveling in Shaiya is slow. The first 10 or so levels are fairly brisk but becomes very slow and tedious after that. Questing quickly becomes the only real avenue for gaining experience, and it still feels slow.
Every level, players will get both skill and stat points. Those playing on Basic Mode will get 7 stat points and 4 skill points per level, while those playing on Ultimate Mode will get 9 stat points and 5 skill points. As players level, more skills become available in their skill menu, which they must invest points into. With the level cap in Shaiya at 80, there's a lot of grinding to do.
Stat points can be invested into any of the game's 6 stats: Strength, Recovery, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, and Luck. This allows players some degree of freedom with their class build. It’s also important to invest in a range of stats. While a fighter class may hit harder will a ton of Strength, their hits may miss more often than not without investing in Dexterity. Likewise, spellcasters that don’t invest in Wisdom may find themselves running out of MP quickly.
The core gameplay in Shaiya is lackluster. Players spend most of their time traveling between quest-givers or farming mobs for quest items, loot, and experience. The long grinding to gain levels later on makes this latter aspect overly tedious. Further, while Shaiya attempts to include dodging as a combat tactic, most magical abilities will track the player, and those playing with melee classes will have to move within range of their opponent to hit them. It ultimately feels clunky and unnecessary. It looks like the designers wanted to add some action gameplay to Shaiya, but it falls flat and doesn't come close to offering the fun combat of games like Tera and Raiderz. The generic fantasy gameplay actually reminds of games like Maestia, also from Aeria, and Hero Online, from Netgame.
In PvP, players will have a bit more excitement fighting other players. However, due to the age of Shaiya and low playerbase, these PvP matches are a rare occurrence. Even the battlegrounds are often empty, and the lack of other players makes Shaiya feel empty and barren. This greatly detracts from Shaiya, which would seem like a better, fuller game with more players around.
Again, the most interesting aspect about Shaiya is the Ultimate Mode. It’s perfect for those who are looking for a harder, more challenging game, or simply those who want something new from an MMORPG. Without this mode, there would be little to interest players in Shaiya over other MMOs.
There are three main types of PvP in Shaiya: Individual PvP, Faction PvP, and Battlegrounds. In Individual PvP, players fight with another member of their faction. When in contested territories, where players of the opposing faction may be, players can also PvP between factions. Players are able to freely attack other faction members. The penalty for dying in PvP is a loss of experience, and a possible loss of equipped items or inventory items. Those playing in Ultimate Mode also still have a chance of being deleted if not resurrected within three minutes.
Battlegrounds are large, group PvP areas that players can begin fighting in once they reach level 10. They are split into different level ranges: Proelium Frontier is for levels 1-15, Cantabilian is for levels 20-30, and D-Water Borderlands is for level 31-60. Each battleground has a different scenario for players to accomplish. For example, in Proelium Frontier players must fight to control an altar in the center, while in Cantabilian players fight to control all the relics in the area and kill all of the other players.
In addition to regular Battlegrounds, Server Battlegrounds are the same modes where players can battle other players from different servers, allowing even more opponents for PvP options.
The cash shop in Shaiya is nothing new. There are mounts, experience boosters, powerful potions that restore HP and MP, items to boost crafting rates, and costumes available to buy. The only downside to the cash shop is the inclusion of two quest items. These quests relay the player to the Shaiya website where they can receive free Aeria Points, the cash shop currency for Aeria Games. The inclusion of these two quests seems intrusive, and Shaiya would not lose anything by removing these quests. Players can also purchase Resurrection Runes that resurrect them upon death, which is extremely useful, if not downright necessary, for "Ultimate Mode" players. This creates a bit of a pay-to-win environment as well. Ultimate characters are significantly more powerful than normal ones and if players are willing to spend money in the cash shop, the risk of permanent death is non-existent.
Final Verdict - Good
If players are looking for the cutting edge of Fantasy MMORPGs where everything feels fresh and new, they are better off looking elsewhere. But for those looking for a toned down, familiar, and simple MMO experience, Shaiya is a safe bet. There are all the staples like guilds, crafting, and PvP without any of the miscellaneous features that many games try to shove in to pad the lacking content. Overall, Shaiya is just a solid MMORPG that still remains relevant after all these years.
Shaiya System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP / 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Core 2 Duo
Video Card: GeForce 8600 GT or better
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Operating System: Windows XP / 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Core i5 or better
Video Card: GeForce GTS 250 or better
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Shaiya Music & Soundtrack
Shaiya Additional Information
Developer: ChoiRock Games (Previously known as Sonov Entertainment. Name changed in 2010)
Closed Beta Date: November 26, 2007
Open Beta Date: December 18, 2007
Release Date: December 24, 2007
Shaiya was released in China, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, and France.
Development History / Background:
Shaiya was developed by South Korean game developer Sonov Entertainment, which became ChoiRock Games in 2010. Shaiya won the "Best MMORPG of 2007" award from GameBorder magazine as well as "Best Graphics" in the same year. Despite its age, Shaiya was one of Aeria Games' first free to play MMORPGs. The game has enjoyed a lot of success since its initial release and continues to be a profitable game for both Aeria and ChoiRock games.