Forgotten Elements Interview: Where'd I leave my Einsteinium?
Questions by Jonathan (Ardua) Doyle OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Marlon Drescher: Founder, Designer, Programmer, Composer, Graphic Artist
I recently had the chance to have a bit of a quick question and answer session with Marlon Drescher about Forgotten Elements, an old school MMORPG which he has almost single handedly created. If you remember still all those great games you played years ago, the dungeon crawls and the 2D worlds that possibly set some of you onto MMOs, this will be an interesting read for you. Have a look at what happens when nostalgia and innovation meet personal drive.
OnRPG: Hey there! Thanks for taking the time to talk to myself and our readers about the free to play hack'n'slay Forgotten Elements. Please introduce yourself or the company?
Hello and thank you for your interest concerning Forgotten Elements! 18 Months ago I decided to create an own innovative and dynamic Online Action RPG and so I started to work on Forgotten Elements and collected many important ideas to combine them in this game. A friend of mine told me that he would appreciate it, if he could write the whole story for Forgotten Elements. He is very talented and it is great to work with him on that project. All other work was done by myself and I am very glad that I have succeeded in achieving my aims so far.
OnRPG: There's no school like old school and I certainly enjoy seeing proper 2d adventuring games. Still for some, it's different. Why did you create Forgotten Elements in this way?
I have seen and tried many MMORPGs and Online RPGs, which were completed in the last years and advertised in a wide variety. Some of them have some nice features and great ideas, but mostly they appear comparatively boring and not really innovative to me. There are really many games, which are built on the same scheme and I am missing the individual character a game should offer. Further it is a personal feeling and I don't like MMORPGs, where you just have to click on a monster and watch it being defeated. There is less challenge and many hours go by where you are just running or searching. I like fast, dynamic RPGs with lots of monsters and a clearly represented battlefield. In addition to that at many games I am still missing a special atmosphere, like e.g. Diablo created over 10 Years ago. So I think its a mixture of a personal feeling of nostalgia and visual presentation that I have chosen to make a 2D Online Action RPG.
OnRPG: What is the setting of the game if I may ask? After all everyone needs a reason to swing the sword or sling the spells.
You can consider Forgotten Elements as a huge playground, where you can have a lot of action. You have the chance to build up your character in a very unique and individual way, while having access to more than 100 skills. You also have the chance to combine the skills of your character with skills from other classes. Beside this there are thousands of different items and estate, you can collect and trade. Discuss different game strategies with other players or try to defeat them and improve your position at the ranking, while having fun at the PVP Arena. With the brand new crafting system, each player is able to create weapons and armors with desired attributes, arming themselves or putting it at the auction house, where they can earn a lot of gold. Forgotten Elements is a fantasy based RPG and many wondrous enemies and quests can be found in this large world. The dramatic story attracts the player, so that he feels like discovering new areas and secret dungeons. All these features create a novel game atmosphere where every player should feel comfortable. Many fancy things are planned for the future, so that the game remains fascinating for the audience. Beside this, Forgotten Elements can be played without downloading anything. The fact that it can be accessed from every computer and be played with Windows, Linux and Macintosh gives it a unique and revolutionary character.
OnRPG: With both a ton of quests and variable dungeons and a classic feel to it... is there much story telling in Forgotten Elements?
The storywriter wrote many pages and came up with tons of dialogues, so that I had to slow him down a little bit. Due to the fact we are talking about a peppy Action RPG, many people do not want to read a lot of words, but want to see many landscapes and settings. So we decided to make all important quests short and sweet ones, while giving the opportunity to talk with NPCs to find out about profound narrative content of this enthralling and exciting story! Hence the player can make his own decision, if he wants to find out the whole story in detail or just run through the game in a fast way. The story of Forgotten Elements is a about a legendary kingdom controlled by elemental forces and their servants. Since the day it lost his king the balance of power between the elements has been disturbed and other forces use this circumstance for their advantage. It´s a traditional story about good and evil fighting each other to determine the fate of the kingdom.
OnRPG: There may be only three classes, but with the wide range of skills and thousands of items, people aren't going to be all clones of one another. What inspired the multi classing or was it in part to aid the solo player?
Since three weeks there is another class you can find in realm around Telumin: The Huntress! So we have four classes now, which differ from each other in a significant way. In my opinion the most important thing in a MMO game should be the individual composite potential of each player. Every player should deploy his character in a self-contained way, without bound to many limitations. So the aim is to have many different and surprising character builds, so that the game and especially the PVP mode doesn't loose its attraction, but gets pigmented in new colours every day. There is even a chance to combine skills from other classes, so that there are much more possibilities to design a character than expected at the first view. At this point I meet an additional challenge in an extensive balancing of the whole skills. But by now we have many interested players, who write down their opinion concerning balancing and skills in the forum and I try to analyze and realize all comprehensible suggestions.
OnRPG: How many people can go adventuring together in the dungeon areas at one time? Do you find many people trying to go it alone?
Unfortunately Forgotten Elements is still lacking in a cooperation mode. That means that people can see each other in town and at the PVP mode, but while fighting against monster they are on their own. I am currently working on a complete MMO and social system, so that there are no limits in fighting with other players and creating groups.
OnRPG: Where there's a community, there are tempers. Fortunately people can work them out in your Arena PvP. Was it hard getting a good PvP balance given how many different skills people can bring to the arena?
See above. (Maybe you make one question out of it)
OnRPG: The game is entirely free to play and browser based. Will there be an item shop when you finish open beta?
Forgotten Elements sets a high value on fairness and balance. So there is neither an item shop nor there are premium features, which could disturb this constitution or even destroy it. On the other hand the development and maintenance of such a complex game requires a lot of time and resources and cant be continued this way without adequate financial benefit. Hence each player has the opportunity to donate a little amount of money, to assure the perpetual development and the further grow of the game. For the future I have planned to reward donations and hand out "Skill-Reset Runes" to the players. With the help of this rune a player is able to reset a skill or remove a learned skill item, so that players without much experience have the chance to unlearn a skill they don't want to use anymore, as well as adventurous people, who want to try different types of character builds and don't want to start a new character. I think it is a fair and equal model, where nobody is forced to pay and nobody can improve the power of his character with financial effort.
OnRPG: Forgotten Elements and elements to come. How is the open beta progressing and when do you think the game will officially launch?
The open beta evolves in a very great way and I am really happy with the community and how they embrace the game! Many players try to help me to get the game bigger and better and some of them have really good ideas. I know that there could be more players in the world around Telumin, but due to the fact that this is overall a one man project and it is still in development it is enough to get sufficient experience and continue with the work that way. At the moment I am working on a complete new zone with new monsters and a lot of new quests and challenges. After integration of this part and removal of some greater bugs, the game will be released and advertised. I think it will be at the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011. We will see. :)
OnRPG: Have sword, will travel. Is there anything you'd like to tell the readers before we head off into the world of Forgotten Elements?
Are you a fan of Hack and Slay games and love to collect as many items with unique attributes as possible? You like to smash monsters, gaining experience and use a combination of skills and attributes, which makes your character singular and nearly indestructible? Then you are in good hands when playing Forgotten Elements, which is 100% for free! Just visit www.forgottenelements.com, create your character and prepare yourself to fight giant bosses, solve exciting quests or challenge other players. Believe me, its worth a try:)