Dream of Mirror Online Interview: Content Updates!
Questions by Vincent Haoson, OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Erin Prince - Associate Producer, Aeria Games and Entertainment, Dream of Mirror Online
Dream of Mirror Online is one of Aeria game's biggest MMORPGs and one of its longest running games. In a competitive field such as the MMORPG scene, it's a near miracle to stay alive for this long. So we here on OnRPG knocked at their door and asked how the game is doing.
OnRPG: It's been years since the game started operation, so how is Domo currently faring?
Aeria Games released Dream or Mirror Online (DOMO) in 2007 and is our second longest running game after Last Chaos. The fun social aspects and appealing anime themes make it one of the most beloved Aeria games. DOMO has a mix of both veteran and new players from around the globe on two highly active servers, Sapphire and Onyx. We're especially excited about what's happening in DOMO right now because we are right on the verge of releasing new content for all character levels.
OnRPG: What were the biggest changes which had to be made for the sake of the players? Why did you need to change that part of the game?
Flying pets has been the biggest change so far players really wanted. One of the first things you get to do in DOMO is learn how to fly across the world on your weapon. Throughout the game you can obtain other things to fly on such as magic carpets, brooms and surfboards. Another thing you start doing early in the game is summoning a pet to fight alongside you. Players thought it just seemed silly that these two systems, flying and pet, didn't work together. So we worked with our developer and put in the flying pet upgrade system. Now there are dozens of pets that you can upgrade to fly.
The biggest change we've had to make is actually about to be released in August. We're adding events in game that are run by the game and not GMs. Our players have so many diverse schedules that it was nearly impossible to plan our events at times when everyone could get to them. So a new Daily Events system is about to be released where players can win prizes for competing in puzzle games, quiz shows and even darts throughout the day and night. If all goes well we'll expand the number and types of events in this system as Fall approaches. We won't be replacing GM run events with these Daily events, it is merely an addition we are making to accommodate our player's preferred schedules.
OnRPG: Do you see the game as being a successful "social anime themed MMORPG"? Why do you think so?
I also think we've held strong to our anime roots, mostly through our graphics and the general feel of the game. You'll see numerous veiled references to anime culture in our monsters, costumes and emotes. Plus, the discussion of anime culture is a prevalent topic of conversation among our players in game. We have an active and vocal community both in the game and on our forums. This is really a game where you can connect to other people, help out friends, create rivalries and meet tons of new people.
DOMO Characters asking /what?
OnRPG: What social features do players love in the game? Why do they say so?
DOMO players are very fond of their guilds. It keeps them connected and lets them find people with common interests within the game. They share resources, help each other out, and hang out in their guild cottage. There are also some new guild systems that will be implemented this summer which will take the rivalry that exists between guilds to a new level.
OnRPG: Early last year, the game incorporated a same gender marriage system. How has that feature been accepted by the players?
Inevitably, when a new player starts in DOMO they ask "What is this red line and thumping sound I get whenever I go near certain players." What they're hearing is the beating of their heart and what they see is a love line. These lines connect you to other players who you might be "compatible" with based on your Zodiac information. It is the introduction of the DOMO relationship system, which allows you to have friends, mentors and get married. The love lines aren't necessary for you to get married they just start you on the path.
Players build up their relationships by playing together and doing things over a long period of time. Many pairs of players had chosen the same gender character upon creation and were frustrated that they couldn't get the benefits of being married. So despite reluctance from some parties, we convinced the developers that players really wanted to have same sex marriage options. Players are glad to be able to access all of the games content now without having a restriction on character gender.
OnRPG: Has the game population met the expectations you have for the game? Why or why not?
This is a social MMO; we always believe "the more the merrier". Millions of people have played DOMO over the years and many of them have been with us for a long time. As DOMO expanded we've had to open a second server and now are seeing a rising number of international players. There are thousands of people playing around the clock in DOMO from no fewer than 40 countries every month. We're even opening a new map soon for our growing number of high level players.
OnRPG: How active are your players in the game?
DOMO benefits from a great Aeria Games program where volunteers called Game Sages help keep the community active and fresh by running events in game and on forums, helping new players, and organizing events. Our Game Sages know DOMO backwards and forwards so are constantly coming up fun things for players to do both in and out of the game. We pick our Game Sages partly on how well they know all the aspects of DOMO because most players are very active trying out a variety of play styles, from PvP in the Arena, to being an active seller and setting up goods for sell, almost everyone actively crafts in at least one profession and nearly everyone has been in a guild at one time or another.
OnRPG: With the game facing tough competition do you think Domo will be able to keep up with the numerous competitors it has to face? Why do you think so?
While there may be lots of MMOs out there, DOMO really is more of a niche game. There isn't a better game that mixes strong MMORPG mechanics, with a variety of social play styles in a uniquely anime setting. DOMO is a game experience you don't forget easily and keeps people coming back time and time again. Players love that they can level up 14 different classes on the same character. New systems like the Almanac of Gods and Demons, which allows players to capture, trade and summon monsters, provide diversity of gameplay across all levels. Plus the devoted DOMO fan base makes this one of the easiest and most fun games a person can just jump into at any time and feel welcome.
OnRPG: what's currently the most sought after item in the game? What does it do and why do you think players are searching for it?
That's a tricky question to answer, because it varies so much across different player focuses. People who are really into costumes seek out the special costumes named after our GMs. People who like to be able to play solo seek out pets like the Nurse Sara who does special heal abilities. Hardcore fighters like to get the Level 70 Ultimate Weapons, which are super rare. People who focus on PvP work long and hard to get the permanent Light Wings - and there are only a handful of those on each server. Crafters try to get the materials to make High Level Alchemy items. There is just so much to try and achieve or obtain it is hard to say that there is one most sought after item.
OnRPG: What's the game feature that players are enjoying in Domo right now? Why do you say so?
Right now we are seeing people doing more PvE probably because we just put in the Almanac of Gods and Demons. It leads to more people venturing out into the world to trap and kill monsters. It also encourages people to play in parties because it is easier to trap a monster if your friends are keeping all the other monsters off your back. Plus, as a social game people are always looking to party to go out and level up. There are always people on the forums, in the shout box and the in game chat looking for parties.
OnRPG: Are there any major updates coming up for Domo?
Things we know are coming include a New Map, New Daily Events, New Quests for all levels and a new upgrade system for weapons and armor which enhances the one already in use. There's more than that too but all I can say about it is that everything we're putting in gives players more things to do, a cleaner more attractive in game experience, and more incentive to try out all the different aspects of the game.