Shaiya is a free to play
MMORPG developed by Sonov Entertainment and published by Aeria Games
. Similarly to other MMORPGs, Shaiya features quests, levelling, item hunting, and PvP; like many free to play MMORPGs, it features a cash shop where items may be purchased for real money. Unlike many other MMOs, Shaiya contains a difficulty setting, and features, on its hardest setting, permanent character death
Gameplay takes place against the background of a massive war between two factions -- the Alliance of Light and the Union of Fury, which are aligned to two different goddesses, and are warring for control of the land of Teos.
In Shaiya, players choose a race and a class when starting a new character. Races are aligned into factions -- the Humans and Elves form the Alliance of Light, and the Vail and Nordein comprise the Union of Fury. Because these races are at war, it is not possible to create two characters of different factions on the same server. Races are restricted to certain classes, and each race receives stat bonuses unique to it.
- Elf - elves receive a bonus of 4 DEX. Elves may be Archers, Mages, or Rangers.
- Human - Humans receive a bonus of 4 LUC. Humans may be Defenders, Fighters, or Priests.
- Vali - Vali receive a bonus of 2 INT 2 WIS. Vali may be Assassins, Oracles, or Pagans.
- Nordein - Nordien receive a bonus of 2 REC 2 STR. Nordein may be Guardians, Hunters, or Warriors.
Classes are unique to each race; however the classes available to each side largely mirror each other.
- Tank - tank classes automatically receive 1 REC each level
- Defender - Human
- Guardian - Nordein
- Melee DPS - the melee damage dealers automatically receive 1 STR every level
- Fighter - Human
- Warrior - Noredein
- Healer - healers automatically receive 1 WIS every level
- Priest - Human
- Oracle - Vali
- Nuker - the magic-using nuker classes automatically receive 1 INT every level
- Ranged DPS - ranged bow-using classes automatically receive 1 LUC every level
- Archer - Elf
- Hunter - Nordein
- Stealth Melee DPS - the stealthy damage dealers automatically receive 1 DEX every level
- Ranger - Elf
- Assassin - Vali
Shaiya is fairly unique in having a selectable difficulty mode. There are four modes: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Ultimate. Harder difficulty modes unlock new items, skills, and quests, but also have slower EXP gain. The actual rate of experience needed per level varies based on level range.
- Easy - level cap of 30 and has item and skill restrictions. Characters in Easy mode level up with only 2/3 of the experience required in Normal mode. Easy mode characters cannot join a guild. This mode is available from the start
- Normal - has the standard level cap of 60. More items and skills are available. Characters in Normal mode level up at the normal rate. This mode is available from the start
- Hard - has a level cap of 60. New items, special skills, mounts, and quests are available. Leveling in general will take 4 or 5 times longer than in Normal mode. Hard mode characters receive more stat points per level than Easy or Normal mode characters. This mode is unlocked by getting a character to level 40 in Normal mode.
- Ultimate - has a level cap of 60. Ultimate mode characters can use all items, mounts, and skills in the game, including many new ones that are exclusive to Ultimate mode characters. They receive more stat points per level than Hard mode characters, and take the same amount of EXP to level as Hard mode characters. If an ultimate mode character dies and is not resurrected within three minutes (whether by an item or another player), then they experience permanent character death, and the character is lost forever.
The nature of stat gains across the modes means that an Ultimate mode character will be more powerful than a Hard mode character of the same level, and both will be more powerful than a Normal or Easy mode character.
Alongside the PvE zones, there are PvP zones where players of the two factions go to battle each other for control of certain objectives. There are three of these PvP map, which are available to characters of certain level ranges.
- Proelium Frontier - levels 1 to 15.
- Cantabilian - levels 20 to 30
- D-Water Borderland - all levels
Additionally, characters of the same faction may duel if each player consents. Guilds of a certain level may also declare war on each other.