Plunkbat dev’s next game is steampunk airship MMORPG Ascent: Infinite Realm

Bluehole Studio are now best known for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, but the mega-hit murderfest is actually the black sheep of their family. Bluehole are mostly into MMORPGs, having started with Tera and Devilian, and this will resume with their next game. Today Bluehole announced Ascent: Infinite Realm, a magical steampunk MMORPG with jetpacks, mechs, airships, wizards, dragons, and Avatar-y magical floating rocks. Amongst all this, also expect realm vs. realm aerial warfare, and a peaceful life building your own estate. Have a look in this trailer:

I like that it’s a bullet point list of features in video format. Let’s see:

0:10 – Swanky-ass airships, big and small. Some have flapping wings!
0:19 – Wingsuits for players.
0:35 – Stompy steampunk mechs charge through a city.
0:42 – MMORPG characters on foot hack, stab, and zap a dragon.
0:47 – A great many manned guns blast bugs.
0:51 – Players leap and jetpack around dungeons.
0:56 – Stabbing a big ol’ fantasy crocodile.
1:02 – Manning guns to blast big monsters.
1:14 – Teensy personal airships blast a big monster coming out a portal.
1:21 – Fellas building an estate, starting with a nice big house.
1:41 – Fishing!
1:44 – Crafting!
2:07 – A… Mario Kart race running and rolling around inside a barrel?
2:35 – Planting plants.
3:07 – Cruising around on your personal aircraft, attacking airships, dragons, and stuff.
3:28 – Five players crewing an airship together.

And then the rest is more of all that. It’s an MMORPG with lots of flying, yeah? It looks quite fancy. I rarely enjoy the structure MMORPGs tend to follow but I do like the look of these big fancy things, even if the video is mighty jerky (hey, the game’s not finished yet).

The western release of A:IR (oh, I see) is being published by Kakao Games, the folks who brought Black Desert Online over here. They don’t say when it’ll launch but they expect to begin closed beta testing in 2018.

Hit the game’s site for more information. Sadly, it does not explain the barrel races.

Truly magical.


  1. Syt says:

    Generic Name: More Generic Name

    • bigpilgrim says:

      Gotta disagree here. ‘Ascent’ can be about as iconic as ‘Descent’, and ‘Infinite Realm’ is as well-connected to the content as the first part of the name is. It’s also very aurally pleasing, and can be shortened to ‘A:IR’, which is fucking sick.

  2. Anti-Skub says:

    The chances of this not being a bland, grind fest with a world that feels about as alive as the surface of the moon are slim to none.

    It’s pretty, sure, but look past the graphics and you’ll see the bones of notoriously boring Korean RPGs. If the gameplay isn’t entirely focused around endlessly mashing the same challengeless enemy a million times with a giant sword, so that you can make the two gold pieces you need to unlock the hat slot only to find out that the only hat available through gameplay is a generic tin helmet, and all other hats are £35 “micro” transactions…I will eat said hat.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Yeah, saw this, thought “that looks like it could be pretty cool”, then saw the letters MMORPG. I’d say it’s guaranteed to be the same tired old grindy crap we’ve seen a thousand times before, just with a different coat of paint slapped over it.

    • durrbluh says:

      Having played TERA, and verified it to be a three-course meal of stale saltine crackers, I can pretty confidently say that this looks like TERA with homesteads and what appears to be unsatisfying air combat.

      Never fails to amaze me that after so many generic MMOs built around microtransactions/grinding launch and close, that there’s still enough revenue in failing to create a decent game that they will continue doing it until entropy grips the universe in its cold, dead fingers.

      • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

        Here’s a rather horrifying tidbit of news. Recent research indicate that the universe is moving away from entropy, not towards it so…f2pmmorpg forever into oblivion.

        • Ckrauser says:

          I’m genuinely curious which research you’re referring to

  3. Jerodar says:

    Looks like they’re using the same engine as Black Desert.
    That can look amazing as long as your character stands still… but once you start moving you notice all the popup and janky frame rates.
    They did add some pretty volumetric clouds it seems :P

    • Siimon says:

      Even the trailer shows the terrible framerates in multiple places…

  4. Freud says:

    It has fishing. Count me in.

    Just kidding. It’s a MMORPG, count me out.

  5. Sui42 says:

    I want to do all of the things represented in that trailer. But, as many have already said, it’s an MMO grindfest

    I really, REALLY wish someone made MMO-style games that were designed to take like 2-4 hours to play (like, the length of a complex boardgame). So it’d play a little like an RTS game, but with 20 people on each team. And you start out with a loincloth and a pointy stick, but 2 hours in, you’re piloting a giant battleship and your friends are dropping their crazy battlemechs into the enemy castle.

    But, it’ll never happen so long as the same game can be made into a 300+ hour grindfest with fees and microtransactions

    • Someoldguy says:

      I like where you are going with this but there’s a flaw. You won’t buy anything from the cash shop if you’ve finished the game in 4 hours and the game world will be empty because most of the other players finished 1 hour before you started or won’t be starting until you’ve quit. Rather makes the massively multiplayer part redundant. Of course it does have the bonus of them being able to switch off those expensive servers after 3 months because almost everyone will have moved on.

      • Daymare says:

        No, his idea makes tons of sense, because that’s pretty much how all MOBAs are designed, only for 20-60 minutes. You start out as a weak hero-in-the-making and in the end have turned into an almost immortal tank//one-shotting hypercarry//etc.

        Most MOBAs already have levelling, tons of powerful gear to acquire, relatively big multiplayer and usually some limited PvE via jungling and laning.

        If you put all those ideas onto a grander scale instead of a small map for only 5v5, put in many more objectives and paths to expand your character, it’d feel very MMO-like.

        You can win a MOBA in 15min if you’re fast, but DotA 2 players don’t play one game with Slark and then feel like they’re played through the game. Their structure, depth and goals gives MOBAs almost infinite replayability. You could put that into a 2-4h game if you wanted. Gotta make it fun though.

        I’d actually play the heck out of such a game.

        • Vandelay says:

          Same, sounds pretty great to me.

          I’m baffled by how any MMO actually makes money, as they all seem incredibly dull to me. Most are like an average RPG slowed to a crawl and with even worse stories and quest variety.

        • Drakosfire says:

          Regardless of the time scale, the idea of taking the fun of base building, rpg monster fights, resource gathering etc and shrinking the time commitment down to different times is a fantastic one. It’s what I dream Blizzard will eventually do. Just merge the universes into one game space.

          Have access to all the different types of games you want to play, each a part of a meta world that I am not creative enough to imagine how it all interacts.

          To that end this game really appeals and I hope to play the beta to check it out.

  6. Thule says:

    It seems very Korean.

  7. mungo says:

    I like the way it looks. Haven’t played MMOs for 7 years, so I’m curious to try this when it’s out.

  8. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Looks pretty. Ground combat seems like Every MMO Ever again (there was definitely a hotbar in there) but the airborne/mech stuff might be fun – just being able to aim with a mouse is a step I wish more MMOs would take. Also, I have a thing for airships. So, cautiously interested, will have to see how horribly grindy it ends up.

  9. Zombiwan Kenobi says:

    It looks like more Final fantasy eastern steampunk than actual victorian steampunk to me. I don’t think the medieval era fits well to the genre especially if it borrows every single cliché/gameplay from any current MMOrpg.

    I don’t think that fishing would be a really interesting activity in a real steampunk world for instance.

  10. skyturnedred says:

    I feel like this will be another game that just tries to include too much stuff in it. If I want to play an airship combat, I can play Cloud Pirates, Guns of Icarus etc. If I want mechs, I got Mechwarrior Online. If I want Mario Kart, I got Mario Kart.

    If I want to craft, I’ll… scratch that, I’ll never want to craft anything ever again.

  11. hungrycookpot says:

    Can’t say I love the sort of anime-inspired, black-deserty styling so much, but mechanically it seems interesting enough. Def a wait and see for me, but I really dislike the hit-sponge mentality of most MMOs and veer away from them because of that. Eastern styled games seem to tend towards this harder than others, so I don’t expect this will be much my cup of tea.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Kiwilolo says:

    I’m not much of an MMO person anyway, but this would be a lot more appealing if they considered adding in some colours that aren’t heavily shaded over with gray…

  13. racccoon says:

    nup!..nup! nup! nup!…nup!..not going to work, its flop before its made as it been done & its bludgeoned.

  14. LagTheKiller says:

    Mommy mommy look Allods online. Made by rice eaters. In derpunk graphic. And mmogrindplaying game. Cya later.

    PS How can u build entire “eurpeanish” realms where is no single non caucasian character. How can u puah steampunk and clockwork mechanisms from grim and beautiful realm to cutness japanese esque crap? Was it fcking talking panda? Again? And why this fuckhueg airship had sails? And jets? And propellers…. If asians gonna ever ecknowledge physics in their game they probably do it only if it would be portrayed as 12 yo flat anatomically incorrect lolly with head and face smaller than knees.