Shaiya is a free Korean-made MMORPG. Its story involves a battle between two primary factions: the Alliance of Light, composed of Humans and Elves, and the Union of Fury, composed of the Nordein, a.k.a. Deatheaters, Proud Warrior Race Guys extraordinaire, and the Vail, which are similar in a lot of ways to the Elves but have a touch of the vampire about them.
Unlike some of the other games out there, PVP is set up a little differently in Shaiya. The primary action in Shaiya is PVE, but you can request a battle with another character and then duel it out with them, or you can go to one of Shaiya's PVP zones and throw in for your faction against the other in a ferocious battle, defending your relic against the opposing faction and trying to destroy the relic of the other side.
- Fighter: The first of the three human classes, this is your basic melee class, good for soloing, and primarily focused on Scrapper DPS. Fighters can use sword and shield, two swords, blunt weapon and shield, two-handed swords, two-handed blunt weapons and spears. The Fury equivalent of the Fighter is the Warrior, the first of the three Deatheater classes, which replaces swords with axes, dual swords with dual axes, and two-handed swords with two-handed axes.
- Defender: The second of the three human classes, the Defender is quite simply the tank. They're built to take lots of punishment and keep the aggro off the weaker characters so that they can clean house. They wield sword and shield, blunt weapon and shield, two-handed swords or two-handed blunt weapons. The Fury equivalent of the Defender is the Guardian, the second of the three Deatheater classes, and which replaces swords with axes and two-handed swords with two-handed axes.
- Priest: The last of the human classes, the Priest is the primary healer and buffer of the Light side. In addition to being a party's general lifeline, the Priest can also cut loose with some impressive AOE attacks. They use staves and daggers for general combat, but are best used with long-range magic attacks. The Fury equivalent of the Priest is the Oracle, one of the three primary Vail classes.
- Ranger: The first of the Elven classes, this is the class to turn to when you want to do some Ninja DPS. Rangers specialize in chain-combos, nasty debuffs, stealth, and stunlocking enemies, and is quite the formidable foe in PVP, but unlike the Fighter, he cannot AOE and isn't as durable as the Fighter or Defender and so has to take opponents on one at a time. They use dual claws, reverse swords, and daggers to do their dirty work, though daggers fall behind the others at high level. The Fury equivalent of the Ranger is the Assassin, one of the three Vail classes.
- Archer: The second of the three Elven classes, the Archer specializes in long-range DPS. They share the same penchant for nasty debuffs as a Ranger, and can rack up an impressive amount of damage, particularly when partied, where they can fire away from afar as the others engage in melee with a mob or an opponent. When solo, an Archer is best off engaging in kiting in order to avoid damage and take the enemy down. Archers use bows and crossbows for ranged work and swords for closeup work. The Fury equivalent of the Archer is the Hunter, the last of the three Deatheater classes, which replaces the crossbow with the powerful javelin and swords with dual axes.
- Mage: The last of the Elven classes, the Mage's primary function is nuking the living hell out of every sorry bastard in the room. Mage AOEs can be positively devastating, making him a potentially fast solo leveler, but the Mage's low HP combined with the worst armor means that unless you're going for a tank build, you're best off with a party (preferably with a tank) in front of you who can take the aggro that you're bound to draw with them. Like Priests, Mages use staves and daggers for close-up work, though they're best off blasting enemies from afar. The Fury equivalent of the Mage is the Pagan, the last of the three main Vail classes.
In addition, characters in Shaiya can unlock different modes of difficulty. If you can get to level 40 in Normal Mode, which is recommended as your starting level, Hard Mode opens up. Hard Mode allows you more character points upon level-up and grants you more skills, which makes your character more powerful overall, and you get to equip better items, but leveling is harder in this mode than in Normal Mode. Getting to level 40 in Hard Mode opens up Ultimate mode. Ultimate Mode is the same as Hard Mode in regards to leveling, but you get the most character points, can use all the skills, and can equip the best items. But Ultimate Mode has a downside — if you die and you are not resurrected within three minutes, your character is deleted.
Shaiya can be found on the Aeria Games website here.
Shaiya provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Gay: There's a guard in Gliter who giggles and says "If you have the coin, friend, I'll do whatever you want." if you talk to him.
- Beast Man: Vipers, leopardesses and the like.
- Beware the Nice Ones: From the forums: "The greatest danger to your party is an oracle with a map and a plan."
- Knife Nut: Rangers and assassins.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Once you read the story, the Union seems to be this. This doesn't stop people from calling them evil, though. Judging from the forums, this really pisses them off.
- Death Is Cheap: That is, until you get to Ultimate Mode.
- The Fair Folk: Fairies in this game look very Tinkerbell-ish, but unless you're the right level, they will fuck you up.
- Fantastic Racism: The whole game centers around a Religious/Racial type of conflict, and both sides seem to have issues with their allies, too. To quote one elf; "The humans are a cancer upon the land!" Replace humans with anyone else. Everyone will echo it at some point.
- Grey and Grey Morality: It's pretty hard to tell who the bad guys really are when you actually look at the story. The Alliance just have better propaganda.
- Our Elves Are Better: The elves fit the typical High Elves type.
- Stripperific: The Union of Fury — male and female for Nordein, some male and most female for Vail, tends towards this, as do the higher-level armors for females of the Alliance of Light. One must wonder if the Shaiyan costume designers are aiming to be as distracting as possible. Also the goddesses, and various NPCs.
- Technicolor People: Vails and nordeins. Vails are blue-grey and nordeins are sort of a muted green.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A lot of the hair colors in-game can be considered this.