Maestia - At First Glance
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Journalist
Maestia is a 3D fantasy MMO set on a large island boasting a mystical story with hundreds of quests. The objective is to collect all seven maestones to become the most powerful player. Maestia is free to play and has a cash shop where premium items can be bought with orbs (the purchased currency).
At the time I was playing Maestia there were only EU servers; however, a US server should be entering open beta in the coming weeks.
Maestia has two factions: Superion Guardians and the Temple Knights, as well as four player classes: mage, warrior, cleric and ranger. The four classes are typical of other fantasy games. The mage is the ranged caster class that is quite vulnerable in melee, the warrior is the tanking class, priest is a healing support class and the ranger is either ranged or melee DPS utilizing bows or daggers respectively.
The characters in Maestia are all very pretty but with minimal choices in character creation. There are for each category, such as face and hair, only a few options to pick from. The character creation shows the characters in high level armour as seems to be the current trend amongst MMOs.
Maestia is a lovely game with an art style similar to Aion or Perfect World. The zones range from opulent cities to lush forests to dark and foreboding zones. Like Aion and Perfect World, Maestia does have some cutesy anime type elements as well.
Recommended system requirements:
Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz
Geforce 6600 (ATI Radeon 9800) (Pixel Shader 2.0+)
The first notable and welcome feature is that movement is WASD, which is a nice change over the usual click to move in the free to play games I’ve experienced. Holding down both mouse buttons works as well though arrow keys do not. The new player will also notice an easy to understand map with auto run possible by clicking on the quest destination. If that isn’t your preferred method of moving there is a big overlay of an arrow above your character’s head. The UI does run the risk of being cluttered with a scrolling ticker, the PvP menu, quest tracker, and the prayer icon to name a few as well as the standard fare. Most elements of the UI are movable at least.
The biggest drawback is how most quests are acquired. A large portion of quests are given through praying which the player can do anywhere via the interface (Z or the icon). That in and of itself is convenient as the player doesn’t have to run to and fro picking up quests and turning them in. The problem is that when the player prays to receive or hand in a quest the game goes to a cut scene with a lot of dialogue the player needs to scroll through, if they are interested in the story, with only one response option. There is a skip button however for those that aren’t interested in the storyline. Because of this and the way the different options are presented the quest cut scene interface feels quite clunky. The translations to English are also a bit odd though localization is usually a major focus of ported titles so it probably will improve some.
Combat is much like one would expect of an MMO. If you are a clicker of hot bars versus a key presser then combat may be a bit awkward at first as it is right click instead of the standard left click. Combat animations and spells are fluid with nice particle effects. Levelling, at least in the lower levels, seems to be quite quick. Aside from the first couple of levels, combat is mainly auto attack with a couple spells on longish cooldowns. The pet system is intriguing and after level ten when the first pet is acquired via a quest, combat is a much easier. Getting the first pet is a definite boon as they act essentially as buffs, are non-combat and open to all classes. After the first pets are rewarded, future pets will need to be purchased through the store.
Another very interesting feature of Maestia is the mercenary system. The mercenary system uses player characters that have enrolled to act as a combat companion that other player characters hire. The Mercenaries last for two hours or until death. They act in the same way as an NPC would except the mercenaries have the skills, gears and stats the owner of the hired mercenary chose for them. The mercenary must be of the same faction and within ten levels of the player hiring the mercenary.
Maestones are one form of customization, seeing how there is very little in the way of appearance customization, and are essentially skills that can be switched in and out depending on need. There are 1,580 maestones in the game so the combinations are numerous. Maestones can be gotten from drops, quests, or purchased and offer passive and active skills. Maestones can be upgraded using the Maestone Enhancement system. Maestones are tradable between players.
The talent tree becomes available at level 25, which may seem a bit late for getting talents but given there are 100 levels in Maestia it isn’t a problem. The player does have to actively add points to their stats which are agility, wisdom, intelligence, strength and vitality, adding further to the customization of the character. Further ways to improve skills, weapons and gear is done via the Infinite Enchantment system.
The player gets their first mount at level ten by doing a very simple quest. The mount represents a 50% speed increase. At level 70 another quest is available for an even faster mount. Mounts can be purchased with gold or through the item shop.
Most zones in Maestia do not allow PvP but there are special zones that are meant specifically for this reason. These zones are called Irima. In addition to these areas, there are battlegrounds for RVR and GvG. These battles award experience, divinity points (a currency type) and rare items designed for PvP.
If you are looking for a very pretty game with attractive characters in an anime-like style then you could do a lot worse than this gorgeous game. It doesn’t offer anything new or exciting to the free to play model but it is easy to learn with a lot of nice features.