Erebus: Travia Reborn Interview: One Mean God At Your Service
Questions by: Vincent Haoson
Answered by: Ben Berens, Associate Producer for Erebus
Mixing action and RPG isn't anything new in the online gaming scene. There have been games that promised action-based mmorpg fun, which turn out to be hit and miss in terms of delivering the promise. There seems however another contender in the action-mmorpg department, Erebus.
The game has just finished its 1st CBT and we got a chance to talk to the people behind the game just before they launch their 2nd CBT. So here's the scoop!
OnRPG: I read that you guys just finished the 1st CBT of the game, so what were the biggest problems you faced during the CBT?
We were lucky to have a very smooth CBT that concluded with very few major issues. Most of the players asked for gameplay related changes, such as more quests at certain level ranges due to a lack of ways to get exp other than grinding, and a tutorial to help explain how to play the game. So for CBT2 we've gone back and added additional early level quests to the game. We've also altered the way skill progression works, and made a tutorial since the game could be confusing to people who have never played an action-RPG before.
OnRPG: How has the player support of the game been during its CBT? Did it meet your expectations?
Our player support has been great so far. The players have been very active in giving us valuable feedback on the forums and in the surveys. A lot of this feedback has led to direct changes in-game that the players will soon see in CBT2. We are enjoying the rapidly growing community.. They've even already built a fan-run wiki!
OnRPG: Erebus is supposed to be an MMO Action-RPG, what action elements are present in Erebus?
The game is an action game built with an RPG wrapper. In the game, you choose your hero from different classes, earn rewards, learn new skills, and will enjoy lots more classical RPG elements. The thing that makes Erebus an action game, though, is that the combat is in real time. There are a lot of different monsters and enemies to fight in the game, too, so you'll never be far from the action.
The action is present in both PvP and PvE elements, too. In PvP there are going to be a ton of modes players can participate in, and PvE is going to feature not only monsters to kill in the general map, but also instance dungeons and other fun surprises.
OnRPG: What do you think is Erebus' edge against other action MMORPGs out right now? Why do you think so?
I think there are a couple of parts of Erebus that really give it an edge over other action MMORPGs. The first one is the story. We worked with a professional author (Jake Forbes) to make something really original. The next thing is the action has a classic isometric look, but the skills all have nice looking special effects, and they've been optimized well together. This allows the game to work on lower end machines and netbooks while at the same time looking good on faster rigs.
The PvP is really a ton of fun as well, and there are all sorts of ways people can participate from dueling other players while out hunting to conquering villages and battling other guilds. (People can get a taste of that in the next Closed Beta Test.) If PvP isn't your thing, then the instanced dungeons and randomized drops and monster spawns in the world will offer more action than most games out. And of course, the very best part, is that Erebus is completely free to play.
OnRPG: What Erebus' game features do you think will players love? Why do you think so?
I think players will enjoy the story, action, and multiplayer aspects, including guild warfare and village conquering. The various types of PvP and PKing should be a big hit, and also all of the dungeons with global spawn bosses, rare monsters that drop cash shop items, and the loot drops and item customization.
OnRPG: Are the job classes in Erebus race locked? Does it have to do with the game's lore?
Currently, the job classes are race locked. This does have to do with the game's lore, in which essentially different races developed different skills, and these skills are closely guarded secrets. However, that isn't to say that classes may not be able to learn something new in the future...
OnRPG: What was the most used job class by players during the CBT? Why do you think they prefer using that class among the other one's available?
Most players chose to be warriors simply because it was the most familiar to them and they want a huge sword. However, quite a bit of players chose to play as a cleric with their blend of combat and healing abilities. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses, though. Players will have to choose for themselves, or try all the classes!
OnRPG: Is Erebus more of a skill focused game or does it give importance on a character's stat allocation?
Erebus places importance on both skills and stats. The player can actually choose what skills to learn, and can allocate skill points towards different skills. Additionally, stat allocation plays a big part of the customization. Certain weapons and items you may find while playing can only be used if your strength, agility, and other stats meet a certain level. But it's open to the player to change stats on their characters, so they can experiment and get the hero the way they like.
OnRPG: What PvP features are present in Erebus? Does the game also give importance to PVPing?
Erebus will have multiple ways to engage your friends and enemies in PvP. Players will be able to participate in open field PK, individual and party duels, various guild battles, massive faction wars and also casual arena PvP. More features are in development that will integrate PvP into the storyline and give players incentives to group up in their parties, guilds, and factions. There will be multiple PvP only maps, and most of the maps allow PKing at higher levels as well
OnRPG: How huge is the game's bestiary? And Where did you base the monsters you use in the game?
The bestiary is well over 100 general types monsters, not including boss monsters and some other surprises. The list is also always going to be growing as the game moves forward and new content is continually added.
The monsters in the game are based on former girlfriends.
OnRPG: The game seems to use a mix of bright colored animation and sprites in a dark backdrop do you think this is a good mix for the game?
I think the bright animations give a great contrast to the game and give that awe factor to players when they use them. It also really puts the emphasis on the player's character, as they're this bright beacon of hope (for whichever faction they side with) in an otherwise dark world.
OnRPG: How will the game's story affect the way future updates will be added to Erebus?
We are working on weaving in more of the back story to future updates. The story can open up in a number of directions. What will be really fun for us is that users themselves will help determine the end game, so we can continue to craft the story accordingly. Mainly, we want people to enjoy this as much as we do!
OnRPG: What other game features will you be including for the upcoming 2nd CBT?
The most anticipated feature being brought into the 2nd CBT is the Guild System. With it will come options for guild battle including map takeovers and some other new guild incentives. We will also bring in another map for players to explore, and a few instance dungeons/quests built completely for this new version of the game. Players will be able to participate in these quests to learn more about the story of Erebus and also have the opportunity to find some unique, rare items.
OnRPG: What are the things that you will be keeping an eye on in Erebus' 2nd CBT?
For CBT2, we want to look more at the balancing between the classes and the overall experience of the players. We want to make sure that the players returning from CBT1 are having a good time at the higher levels, and that the lower level players are enjoying the changes that were made as well. Of course, we will continue to review the feedback from our players and make appropriate changes based on that.
We're also going to be continuing our evaluation of the level curve, as I want to make this game fully accessible to new players. This involves not only adjusting exp rates, but also adding a new tutorial, new content and new quests to relevant areas to improve the players' leveling experience.
OnRPG: What's in store for Erebus players in the succeeding months?
Lots! We currently have tons of enhancements to the game in development that will both make it much easier for the players to play the game, and add a lot of new content for players to explore. Players can definitely look forward to new maps and instance dungeons/quests as well as a few more features that will enhance the PvP system.
OnRPG: Thank you for your time!
You're quite welcome! Great chatting with you!