MMOsite Exclusive Interview with ASTA Team-Initial Beta Test Starts
ByDate: Nov 03 2015 Views:
ASTA-The War of Tears and Winds is heading for North America and Europe with public initial beta test starting today, on 3rd November. And we are so lucky to have an interview with Dierk, the Assistant Producer of ASTA. He reveals lots of game information about this test and points out the differences between the Korean version and the English version. Check out the full interview below.
1. Hello, it is honored to have this interview with you! Firstly, would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, my name is Dierk, and I am the Assistant Producer working on ASTA. Nice to meet you all :)
2. When hearing the news about ASTA-The War of Tears and Winds (hereafter called ASTA) is coming to western market, MMOsiters are pretty excited about this fantasy MMORPG. ASTA is fairly a new MMORPG for us, could you please tell us more about it?
More than anything, ASTA is an MMORPG you will love. It will leave you geek-cited, especially if you first experienced MMORPGs in their first or second generation, we guarantee that. It’s got all the good stuff that most of the current generation games lack. You know those features that most players may have forgotten about, such as deep character customization including customizable attributes and traditional talent trees with multiple specializations.
When we talking to people who play ASTA for the first time, we often hear the same comments, such as: “Guys, why was this removed from mainstream games again?” and we notice that there is equal parts confusion (“Why was it removed?”) and excitement (“Awesome to see it back!”) in those. We are super happy to bring it back and it addresses all of you guys out there who don’t only want to remember the good old days, but let them become reality again. And here’s an exclusive piece of information for MMOsite and its readers: ASTA will bring back server-first achievements! Do you guys remember how exciting it was to race for those achievements or at least passionately watch the pros?
Another huge part of ASTA is its beautiful art direction which is largely inspired by Asian myth and legend, in particular Buddhist mythology. While being heavily inspired, it stays a Fantasy MMORPG though: there is no claim to realism or historical accuracy, and our world is inhabited by fictional people and gods.
3. There are a lot of free MMOGs of fantasy genre on the market. How does ASTA set itself apart from the others?
Apart from the aforementioned unique art direction and design, I think the main aspect that sets us apart is the simple fact that we go against some of the trends of mainstreaming & casualization seen in many titles today and that we want to go back to the roots.
Of course not everything was better in the olden days of MMOs, but ASTA manages to do something astounding: While bringing back some of the more traditional elements, it succeeds in bringing a fresh perspective to classic MMOs and it doesn’t fail to also include changes to the MMO genre which most players do not want to be without anymore, for example convenience features such as raid-finders etc.
4. The graphics, the appearances of the characters, theme and etc. in ASTA contain numerous oriental elements, do you think western players would be fond of this style?
Yeah! I think the “Medieval Fantasy” trope has gotten a bit stale by now, and the same goes for the “Dark Realism” (or grim and gritty, however you want to categorize it) approach. The world of ASTA is absolutely gorgeous, with lots of colorful environments, and a distinct exotic feeling, and we think that players will dig that :)
5. Is there anything different between the Korean Version and the English version? Are we going to see any changes to cater to the local gamers in the Initial Beta Test?
Yes and yes. :) For our version 1.0, we have been basically been able to pick and choose from the elements of all Korean versions that have been released. That means that we will have things that were introduced over time in the Korean version of the game right from the start. That includes comfort-of-life adjustments such as UI and feature improvements, but also entirely new elements, such as a mentoring system where experienced players can help lower level players progress.
When it comes to catering to local (read: Western) players, I think the biggest changes can be found in the localization. The developers basically gave us carte blanche here, and while the localization for the game is still a work in progress, our efforts can already be seen in things like region & NPC names, where we try to find terms that are more familiar to our players than the sometimes quite daunting originals.
6. Some of MMOsiters who have played ASTA KR before praises, ‘it is really good especially on the PVP and PVE part’. Do you think the PVP and PVE are the most fascinating features of ASTA? And how do you balance a game that contains PvP and PvE?
ASTA does offer a wealth of PvE and PvP content, and even players that never touch one or the other will get enough content to have a lot of fun with the game. On the PvE side, we have public quests, dungeons, raids, crafting, achievements, and so on, while on the PvP side, there are battlegrounds, 2 kinds of arenas, a regional domination battle, and guild wars.
When it comes to balancing, that is of course always a tricky business, but that also goes for games that exclusively focus on only one element (PvE or PvP). To tell you the truth, I’m glad that I’m not the guy who has to get that sorted :D
7. How will the character advancement system work in ASTA? Will there be a level cap? If yes, what will the level cap be? How much time does a veteran player need to spend in playing all the content in Initial Beta Test?
Character levels are indeed a thing in ASTA, and our level cap will be at 50. Though of course reaching maximum level isn’t everything there is to it, and even after reaching it there will be lots of content waiting for you.
We did not hold back on content for the Initial Beta Test, and I don’t think you could see it all and do it all during just the first Beta alone!
8. There is no limitation in ASTA’s Initial Beta Test, all the North American and European players can join the test. That’s a big challenge. Do you have the confidence to have a good impression for players?
Yes. ASTA offers high-quality content and we are confident that our Beta build will be able to convince players of that. That being said, it is still a Beta test, so some things are expected to be a bit rough around the edges, particularly in regards to the localization which is on-going.
Nonetheless, we do of course hope our players will enjoy their experience with the game, and I’m sure that we will be able to show them enough progress throughout the Beta stage(s) to allow players to get a good idea of where we want to go with the game.
9. Would you mind telling us some of your future plans for ASTA, such as the new contents, the launch date?
During November, our focus is on getting our setup right, making sure the servers are stable and everything does what it’s supposed to do. From there on, we will go into Open Beta. We haven’t released a definitive date just yet, but we don’t plan to keep our players waiting for long!
The Open Beta status for us is mostly tied to the on-going localization work, and we would ideally like to finish that alongside the first major update release, which would then serve as a good live date.
10. Thanks for your time to make this interview with us! Do you have any special words for our readers and as well as all the ASTA players?
Thank you for having me! We hope you will check out ASTA and of course that you will enjoy the game. If you have any feedback, we would be happy to hear it, and who knows, maybe your suggestions will find their way into the game!
Thanks again for your interview chance, look forward to more of our cooperation!