[Beta signup] Developed using CryEngine, ASTA got much attention when first announced in South Korea, being touted as the “Asian World of Warcraft”. However, the game was thought to be gone forever with the closure of the Korean server announced in July 2015. Is developer Polygon Games still going to develop new content for Webzen? And do note that ASTA enters public beta tomorrow!
Q: Hi there, can you please introduce yourself/ yourselves to our readers?
A: Hi, my name is Dierk, and I’m the Assistant Producer on ASTA – The War of Tears and Winds.
Q: The original South Korea server of Asta closed in August 2015, with no new content apparently since the end of 2013. Will developer Polygon Games still be creating new content for Webzen’s server?
A: Absolutely! The developers at Polygon Games are committed to ASTA and its development, with the Korean version getting its last content update in April 2015. They want to make the game great and we want to help them do it!
Q: What made Webzen decide to publish Asta for the Western gamers?
A: While the South Korean version of the game has now closed its doors, we do see potential for it on the Western (global) market. As we’ve seen with other games in the past, success or failure on one market does not automatically mean that it will be the same in other markets.
We’ve seen smash hits from South Korea being unable to find an audience in the West and we have also seen games where Western versions flourished and outlasted their South Korean counterparts.
Q: Were there concerns Asta’s game design is too focused on Asian cultures, and the Western gamers might not appreciate it?
A: It is true that the Asian Fantasy theme of ASTA may not be to everyone’s taste, but that is pretty much always the case when it comes to art direction, there is no universally liked style. Just think of the age-old debate of realistic graphics vs. stylized / comic graphics in MMOs. In the end, the gameplay is what matters most, and ASTA’s gameplay is definitely superb!
Q: Are there plans to add Western content into the game? Or will there be any in-game changes as part of localization?
A: We absolutely plan to update the localization to make it more accessible to Western players. While this will not necessarily be possible for all aspects of the lore, it must not impede the enjoyability of the game.
The localization of the game is quite a big task as there is a lot of content to cover, so it will be an ongoing effort going into the public IBT and OBT, but we are committed to deliver the best possible experience for our players while staying true to the original vision of the developers.
As for Western or Westernized content, that topic is still a bit off, but we are certainly open to the idea and welcome any feedback our players may have in that regard. However, it is of course important that any additional content fits with the game and its tone.
Q: Do shed some details about the game’s story, and what roles will players be assuming.
A: The scenario itself takes a lot of inspiration from Buddhist mythology, but with a unique fantasy spin. ASTA tells a story of fallen gods, their conflict, and their quest for redemption.
After a historic event known as the first war of the gods, the world of ASTA is divided into light and a darkness, with the followers of the god of life on the one side and the disciples of the god of death on the other, and with the remnants of an army of celestial invaders scattered throughout the lands. And this is where the players come in.
When creating their characters, players will initially have to choose between these 2 factions, and will then have to make a choice between 3 races (per faction) and 5 classes: Warrior, Healer, Archer, Rogue, and Mage. They will then set out on their quest to attain Nirvana and reopen the gate of the gods, ASTA.
Q: What are some of the features do you think will get players hyped for Asta?
A: ASTA has something to offer for everyone, not matter what your preference is (PvE, PvP, solo play, group play, etc.). It offers newer players a good way to get started with MMORPGs and veterans will feel right at home as far as the features and the gameplay go. It’s familiar, yet different.
But when pressed, I guess I would say that the approach to character customization is what most players will really like about ASTA. It brings back customizable attributes and talent trees, and adds systems like attribute enhancement and the divine spirit system to allow for a maximum of specialization capabilities.
Apart from that, I really think a lot of players will enjoy the art direction and the theme of Asian Fantasy. It is something quite unique that most players will not have seen before. ASTA has some stunning and exotic environments and characters to offer.
Q: Asta was mentioned to be heavy on PVP features. Does it mean gamers who prefer PVE will lose out in terms of content and powerful items?
A: In fact, I wouldn’t even give PvP the edge in terms of the amount of content that ASTA offers. While the game does feature a variety of PvP contents, there are also plenty of things to do for PvE enthusiasts, for example world events (e.g. public quests and daily raids), dungeons, and raids. There are plenty of quests and an extensive crafting system as well, so don’t worry about missing out.
Q: Will there be open world PVP? Or is PVP carried out in instanced locations?
A: Higher-level areas are contested areas and will have open world PvP. However, the most exciting PvP features are confined to controlled (i.e. instanced) environments. These would be your arenas, battlegrounds and the guild-vs-guild battles. This is done to allow for ancillary features like siege machines and the like.
Q: Asta was mentioned to be available on Webzen’s global portal. Does it mean anyone with a Webzen account can eventually play the game?
Q: When can players expect Closed Beta and Open Beta to start?
A: ASTA will not have a closed beta in the traditional sense, but a public initial beta test that is scheduled to start November 3rd. Players can sign up / register a new account at http://asta.webzen.com. An active Webzen account is all that is required to play. The start of Open Beta is not yet finalized, but we should have something on that soon 🙂
Q: Please leave a message for our readers out there.
A: Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed these insights into ASTA and I encourage you all to check out the game, it’s super fun 🙂