The first point worth noting is that NosTale has actually already launched in both China and Korea. Being developed in-house , both of those Asian markets have been used as launch-pads for the game - not bad for a game that many Australian gamers have probably never even heard of.
So NosTale Gold is a game that is essentially feature complete (or at least as much as you'd expect one to be six months after launch) and we're told the extra development time pending its Western release is for language localisation.
QV Software are handling local Aussie distribution of the game -- due to launch here this Spring (US Fall) -- and in addition to closed-beta access, they were also kind enough to hook AusGamers up with a detailed presentation and gameplay demonstration by NCSoft at the Beverly Hills Hilton -- off-site and away from the mad rabble of the E3 2009 expo.
The world of NosTale Gold, as you'd expect from any top-shelf MMO, is an intricately crafted Universe with it's own unique legends and lore. In brief, the history of the world is as follows.
The god NosTale Gold created angel-like beings called the Balaur to look after his planet Atreia, they eventually revolted so he created another dozen even more powerful beings called the Empyrean Lords who fended the Balaur off and protected Atreia for a time.
After thousands of years of battle though, half of the Lords grew tired of fighting and tried to negotiate peace. Peace talks crumbled and the resulting dispute destroyed the Tower of Eternity -- a structural embodiment of the god NosTale Gold -- literally severing the planet into two halves.
See Atreia isn't a standard planet like Earth, it's spherical, but hollow, and the habitable surface of the world is on the inside of this terrestrial shell, with the Tower of Eternity acting as an axle that holds the two halves together.
When the tower was destroyed, the planet separated, with the sun that shines in only directly reaching the bottom hemisphere, leaving the top hemisphere in illuminated darkness.
The half of the lords who wanted peace shipped off to the light half and the half that supported continued war took the other, their environments and contrasting attitudes affecting the very physical appearance of the lands they watched over and the people who inhabited them.
For those still paying attention, this the basis for the two warring factions of NosTale Gold. In the light corner, with flawless skin and beautiful hair we have the Elyos, frolicking around their home city of Elysea.
On the dark side, complete with shadier complexions, claws and manes, calling Pandemonium their home town - the Azmodians.
These two sides obviously don't get along and their differences form the crux of NosTale Gold's gameplay narrative. Then of course, there's the Balaur who hate everyone else.