UPDATE 1/21/2019: At PAX South this past weekend, (6:45 mark), it was confirmed that Astellia will be B2P in the West, shedding the F2P version Korea uses.
ORIGINAL STORY 1/14/2019: 2019 could be a big year for Korean MMORPGs heading West. Lost Ark and Ascent: Infinite Realm are both making their way over, and now you can add Astellia to the list. The game will be formally unveiled at PAX South this weekend, during a panel on Sunday titled “No more Pay to Win with Astellia.” Well, glad they’re getting that question out of the way right off the top!
As for the game itself, it offers everything you’d expect from an MMO: five classes (gender-locked?), dungeons, PvP and PvE arenas, and open-world tri-faction PvPvE. The PvP is labeled as “accessible and griefless” and the dungeons are “done right,” with the game as a whole being described as “a tribute to the original tenants [sic] of the MMORPG Phenomena combined with innovation and promise.” The game’s most notable new feature is the presence of Astels, heavenly beings that grant exceptional power but can only be called into action for a short period of time.
As to who exactly is making the game, that’s a little tricky. The developer is Studio 8, which is a subsidiary of Barunson E&A, which is NAT Games’ major shareholder. NAT, as you might recall, had 48.3% of its stock bought out by Nexon last year. That makes it sound like Nexon isn’t involved — indeed its logo is nowhere to be found on the Astellia website — so take that news however you like.
While there’s no official word as yet as to the payment model, Barunson’s statements regarding having a cash shop that will definitely not be pay-to-win leads us to assume the game will be free-to-play.
Astellia is targeted for a launch sometime this summer. You can learn more about the game via its official website.