Astellia, as launch nears…

Astellia will be launching soon. There’s a timer counting down on their pre-order page.  They just announced that you can play for $10 a month rather than buying it if you want.

I liked my time in Astellia’s closed betas. It is a really pretty game. The official website says that it is a “classical MMORPG” that hearkens back to the good old days of the genre. I think they might be looking to cash in on the nostalgia that seems pervasive among MMO players. Or perhaps they mean that it is an old school Asian-style game. I’d buy that, I think.

(Seriously, though, how cute was my CBT2 character?! TOO cute!)

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I had some performance issues with it, fixed by turning down my graphics, and we all know how people feel about that sort of thing. But let’s say that other people have beefier rigs and it runs fine for them. That still leaves the larger problem that there’s nothing especially remarkable about it. And this is where it might run into trouble.

I wasn’t going to say it, but I have been thinking it for quite a while now, so I might as well put it out there: I fear that Astellia is going to go the way of Bless. And that would be a damn shame, because it is a solid offering in the Asian subgenre, and they really do seem to be trying to adapt it to Western sensibilities. I am just not sure that people are going to lay down $40+ for a pre-order on this game* when they could buy Black Desert, an established buy-to-play game with a healthy population, for $10, or $5 on sale, or for free when they run those “start a trial, achieve something, get the game” events. If Astellia doesn’t come hard out of the gates, I don’t think it will be able to overcome The Meh Factor.

I want Astellia to exceed all expectations. It is a cool game with some neat, if not truly unique, features, and it is so very pretty. I am just afraid it is too expensive and coming out at the wrong time (a month after WoW Classic) to get the audience they need to not bellyflop onto the pavement.

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