Perfect World: Rising Tide Expansion Interview
Questions by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Jon Belliss, Product Manager for Perfect World International
Perfect World China (????) has been around since 2005, while Perfect World International started its English service since 2008. Even though the game is technically young in the English market, it has gone through a number of content updates and expansions. With the gorgeous graphics, various styles of playing and active community interaction, Perfect World International has since captured a significantly large group of players from the Free To Play realm.
With the latest expansion, Rising Tide, the new Tideborn race, 2 new classes, various new maps and new features will be added to the already rich and massive content of the game. The expansion is due to be implemented on 16th December 2009, and here’s an interview to let players know what they can expect.
OnRPG: Hello, I am Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG’s newest journalist. Please give us a brief introduction of yourself and your role in Perfect World Entertainment.
Hi there, I’m Jon Belliss, and I’m the Product Manager for Perfect World International. I’m essentially a project manager. Anything related to PWI, I will have a hand in it, whether it’s marketing, media interviews, web development for the game’s website or game data management. It’s a very exciting position, as well as challenging.
OnRPG: As a Chinese gamer myself, Rising Tide was implemented in the China only a few weeks ago. I am really impressed, how did you guys wrap up translation in such a short amount of time?
We have a very large team, both in China and here in our North American office putting in a lot of hours towards the localization of this expansion. It’s been a lot of work, but we’re very proud to getting this content update to the North American players in such short order. Huge kudos goes to those respective teams and the work they’ve done, and continue to do on a daily basis.
OnRPG: How did the idea of the underwater environment come about?
Actually, if you look at the map in PWI, there wasn’t much room for a new race other than in the ocean! But really, since all races can already swim and there is underwater combat, why not take it to the next level? Additionally, the development team had conceptualized this race long ago, and had already integrated their storyline into the grander storyline that envelops what we know as Perfect World.
OnRPG: I must say the building designs, especially those in the new city, City of Raging Tides, are really unique and exquisite. Where did the inspirations for these designs come from?
On behalf of myself and the development team, thanks! Both the design for the new cities and the new race were meant to have an aquatic theme to them. For example, if you look at your starting gear for either Tideborn class, you can definitely see some “under the sea” influence.
OnRPG: Let’s talk about the new race, Tideborn. How different is this race compared to the others?
The Tideborn have a couple characteristics that really set them apart. One of those is their mermaid form. At level 9, Tideborn can unlock the skill to transform into a mermaid, which gives you increased swim speed. When you’re starting on islands surrounded by water, that’s definitely something you’re going to want. A player who wants to try out the new race will still be able to customize their toon’s look, just like all the other classes.
New Mounts For the New Race
OnRPG: The new classes are the Assassin and Psychic. How was the process like before confirming these two new classes?
We knew for a while before the two new classes were announced. It was fun watching the players debate the rumors beforehand, and we were so excited about them it almost slipped out a couple times. In terms of the development process, it was extremely intensive initially. We had to look at the existing class make up within Perfect World and the general archetypes that already exist, then look for gaps that we could fill. Another thing that was taken into account was end user play style. For example with the Psychic, we already have a magic healer (Cleric) and magic DPS (Wizard), but not a magic support class.
OnRPG: How do the two new classes work out in both solo and party play?
Both classes will be adept at solo and partying. The class everyone seems to be talking about is the assassin, and I’m sure you can see the benefits of being an assassin when you like to solo. They get in, pack a wallop and then get out. They’ll be a benefit for parties too, upping the DPS output (especially alongside an archer) and they have several attack related buffs that will be make them a huge asset to any party.
On the other hand, the Psychic seems built for party play, and will definitely be a welcome addition to groups with their buffs. For soloing, they are a sophisticated class that derives strength from predicting your opponent’s actions, rather depending on straight damage.
OnRPG: Public Quests will be one of the new features added in Rising Tide. Why the decision to add this feature?
The public questing not only adds another layer of community, but it also lets players directly see how they affect their game world. With Public Quests, anyone can contribute to a quest progress, whether they are in a group together or not. With this quest progress shared, you can actually work against other players and slow down the completion of the quest.
Tideborn Mermaid Form
OnRPG: How does the new “Recasting” Equipment System work out?
Recasting is a method of upgrading equipment from the Tideborn. Players can upgrade existing gear into new gear, but still retain the original attributes, refinement level and sockets. Esssentially, players can take their highest level gear, upgrade it to the Palace of Nirvana level without losing all the work that was invested in the last set.
OnRPG: With Rising Tide, how will Perfect World International set itself as the leading Free To Play MMORPG in such a competitive market?
Well, this is our third expansion in a little over a year, not to mention all the major additions that we implemented outside of expansions. That in itself speaks to our commitment to our players and the quality of our game. And it will be quality that sets Perfect World apart and as a leader in F2P.
OnRPG: Now that Perfect World International has conquered the sky, land and sea, are there any hints as to what players can expect in the near future of the game?
Well, this close to the Rising Tide expansion, we can’t exactly say what’s in the pipeline, but if this is what we’re doing a year out from our launch, you have to know that what’s next is going to be huge! You can be sure that once we have something that we’re ready to show to the public, you’ll be one of the first to hear about it.
OnRPG: I am sure both existing and new players will now have a deeper understanding of the expansion and the game. Thank you for your time!
Deep and sincere thanks go out to all of the players that have contributed to PWI’s huge level of success so far. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, I strongly encourage you to try it out. It’s free after all, the only thing you’ll be losing is a couple minutes of your time. Thanks again OnRPG and congratulations on your new look, the site looks great!