What is it ?
Estiah is a new and free browser MMORPG. This means that is has the features of a MMO, but that it's played exclusively through a classic web browser, with no install required.
The result is that in terms of graphic and animation, it is not in the same league than your average MMO, but it makes up with other advantages :
-> Nothing to download or install: You can start playing right away
-> It's not limited to playing at home: As long as you see the net on a computer, you can log in and play a bit (as long as your boss doesnt catch you). Heck, you could even play from your Wii or an Ipod touch...
Also note that it was not made by a profit-seekin company... I said the game is free but it's not all : there are no battens, no options that must be bought, or any of the sort. It's a game made by fans, and for fans. And the quality is high. What could you ask more ~~Gameplay
Estiah is designed for quick play sessions. This means that the typical play pattern is ~10 min of game time daily. As you can see, this quite different from what you expect from MMO's... but that's a point of such a game. This is something you play at work, at school, between fort captures in DaoC or when your WoW server is down. It's a pleasant time-filler for when you have a few loose minutes. However be warned, it's a bit addictive...
When playing, you have a set amount of action points that allow you to do any kind of actions: train, fight, explore dungeons, go gather materials, craft items, and so on. This pool of action point is refilled regularly during the day, and stack for up to one week. Apart from that, you are allowed to take on a job and travel to a neighbor city once a day.
The basic game features are explained in detail in this page
(The world map - new cities are unlocked as you level up)
The battle system in Estiah is unique in many ways. One could compare it to a trading card game.
In this universe, every weapon, spell or piece of armor has the form of a charm : it's physical form is locked inside a tiny item (a gem, brooch, pin...), and people fight by releasing different weapons one after the other. For more info about the background story of Estiah, you can check the chronicles of Estiah
Before fighting, you have to prepare a "gear" : a set of charms that you want to use. Then, the fight is a turn based resolution of the charm of each member of the battle. During each of your turn, one charm from your gear will be randomly used and will affect the battlefield.
The effect of the charms are extremely varied, which means the random factor of the order the charms are played is totally inhibited by the way you built your deck. You have to create a synergy between the charms you use, and more importantly adapt them to the situation.
At the end of a fight, you will gain skills that depend on the way you played, the kind of weapons you used, and more importantly the strategy that you used. These skills award you start, and unlock even more devastating charms.
There are four types of battles :
- Arena fights : You fight against NPC in a city to train and raise your battle skills.
- PvP Fights : This is quite straightforward : you battle against other player controlled characters to teach them who's the boss around. There is a pvp ranking, as well as many unique and powerful charms awarded for winning in PVP.
- Dungeons : This time again you play against NPC, but at an entire different levels. Monsters in dungeons are usually hard, and require well-thought strategies to beat. The most important point is that you often find yourself fighting multiple opponents at the same time, and in some occasions you may have a group of NPC fighting on your side. This is one feature that you won't find in other browser mmos, even though it is the essense of mmo's...
By doing dungeons, you fully understand how deep the battle system can be, and use the experience to come up with new ideas for your PvP gears. You also get loot, a lot of it (but isn't that obvious ?).
- Groups : Groups are dungeons that you play with other PC. It's like in every mmorpg : you have to team up with other people, set-up a strategy together and go pwn some fat mobs.Leveling
In this game you don't raise your character start by leveling up, it's more like the other way around : You gain stats through various means, and once you reach a set number of it, your level increase. Stats can be gained through jobs, fights, and elixirs/foods at higher levels. Leveling up cause your HP to increase, but most of all it unlocks new dungeons and weapons/spells.Economy
The economy in Estiah is quite advanced. There is a total of 13 different cities with their good specialties and unique market rates. The pricing of every item is subject to this rate, and they evolve in function of the player activity.
Also, there is a complex craft system where you can create your own charms by combining items from dungeons or bought in some cities.Classes
There is a total of 24 classes in Estiah.
Unlike most games, you don't choose a class when you start playing and stick to it after that. Instead, each player start the adventure with a similar character and evolve to a class.
There are three different tiers:
At level 20, you can chose one class among 4 possible.
At level 30, you can evolve into one of the 8 tier 2 classes
At level 40 you determine your final class from the 12 available.
(Class icons for Summoner, Pyromaniac, Warlord and Assassin)
There are no surprises : you will not chose a class at random at the start and then realize that you don't like it. You will play the way you like and your most fitting class will show up by itself. You can still have a peek at the class list
to have an idea of what's available, and at the class tree
to view the different path you can take.
Of course, the game is in constant evolution. It just came out live today after a 4 months long beta, but there will still be many more additions to it. Mini games like the animal races that are currently held in one of the cities are part of the enjoyable details that make the whole game fun.
There are big things coming, and you have a chance to be part of it.