Last Chaos Interview: Episode 2 After HalfA Decade
Questions by: Vincent Haoson, OnRPG Journalist
Answered by: Keith Kawahata, Aeria Games Producer
OnRPG: The game has been in operation since 2006, how has the game fared now with already half a decade of being online?
Aeria: Last Chaos has and continues to exceed our expectations. Last Chaos as a game is a living entity which we have and continue to work with the developers to improve and update continually.
OnRPG: Has the game reached the population you were expecting it to reach? Do you guys have a target goal for this year?
Aeria: The Last Chaos community is our oldest, one of the largest and most intense within the Aeria Games family. Over 1.5 million players have logged into Last Chaos and we expect that number to exceed 2 million by the end of this year. We have players still in game who started with us in closed beta in 2006 and new players who logged in for the first time this week.
OnRPG: Speaking of which, a game doesn't survive on population alone, so what's the status of Last Chaos' community? Are players still as excited with the game as it was years ago?
Aeria: The Last Chaos community is stronger than ever. We have over thousands of new players trying Last Chaos for the first time each week and they are greeted by over 40 player volunteers and over a half dozen helpful GM's.
OnRPG: The game seems to be readying for Episode 2, why has it taken this long for Last Chaos to get a major update like this?
Aeria: The developers took their time developing Episode 2 to ensure a proper release to be as bug free and playable at launch as possible. In addition we have had a number of internal changes on the Last Chaos team which slowed down the deployment somewhat.
OnRPG: What were the things that you considered when you developed the new features in Episode 2?
Aeria: The bulk of the Episode 2 content is focused on high level players giving our loyal and long time users additional content to explore and adventure in. Post Episode 2 the developers have been working on mid and low level content looking to revamp and add to existing systems for the bulk of our user base.
OnRPG: Where did you get the idea of including a Night Shadow class in the game? What was the goal of including this class in the character roster of Last Chaos?
Aeria: The Night Shadow class is a reward for players who have made it to level 90 and above giving them the opportunity to try a new class with unique skills and systems compared to the other base classes. The ultimate goal of the Night Shadow was to expand the play styles for the players to encompass a wider variety of strategies and make the larger PvP/PvE content more fun.
Evil night shadow boss
OnRPG: How strong is the Night Shadow class? Will this class affect the game balance? Why or why not?
Aeria: The Night Shadow is a very strong class with area of effect (AOE) and other unique skills. The strength of the Night Shadow is offset by the increase in skill point requirements meaning that in order to fully realize the potential of this very powerful class a player will have to commit more effort. The idea behind this system is that we achieve a balance in the amount of effort required to be powerful regardless of the class a player chooses.
Monsters unleached into the lands
OnRPG: How does the new episode coincide with the game's lore?
Aeria: Episode 2 expands the lore of Last Chaos by opening up a new continent through the Gate of Shadows. As the war between the races intensified the Gate of Shadows was opened releasing the Night Shadow from their northern prison and unleashing monsters and demons on the lands of Iris.
OnRPG: Who makes the graphic novels for Last Chaos? How do the graphic novels tie-in the game and the story?
Aeria: Our graphic novels are produced by a number of our talented Game Masters (GMs). As we got closer to the release of Episode 2 the GM's became engrossed in the lore of Last Chaos and wanted to share the rich story with the community. The "Gate of Shadows" series of graphic novels lead up to the discovery of the Gate of Shadows and the series culminated with the release of Episode 2.
The gate of shadows
OnRPG: Do you think that episode 2 will affect the number of subscribers to the game? Why or why not?
Aeria: After the release of episode 2 we saw a large influx of old players who returned to Last Chaos to experience the new content. Many of these players have found new life in the updated content and continue to play Last Chaos today.
OnRPG: When will you be completing the sections of the Episode 2 guide found on your site? Was it intentional that you left a lot of things unsaid at the moment to build up player interest? Why?
Aeria: The Episode 2 guides are being rolled out as they are built and although we would have liked to have all of the guides released with the content there just wasn't enough time to complete everything. We are also looking to the community to suggest which guides they would like to see first with a number of forum polls and Q & A's requesting player feedback.
OnRPG: Once episode 2 is released how long will it take for you guys to make episode 3 of Last chaos? Or will you be concentrating first with episode 2? Why?
Aeria: Episode 2 was released in November 2009. The developers of Last Chaos are currently hard at work on Episode 3 which we expect to bring live later this year (2010). In addition to the large Episode 3 content we are also working closely with the developers on smaller content releases with a focus on revamping existing content, fixing bugs and improving overall game play for our players.
Last Chaos revamped
OnRPG: Will there be any updates that cater to low level players because it seems that high level players will get the most out of episode 2? Why or why not?
Aeria: Episode 2 was in large part a high level only content update. That said we have rolled out a number of systems for low level players such as an updated tutorial and help menu. Later this year we plan to roll out low level content which will greatly enhance the experience of low level players.
OnRPG: When will you be releasing episode 2? What are the things that are you still fixing before the game updates?
Aeria: Episode 2 was released on November 19th 2009. We had a bit of a rocky release as a number of issues made their way into the live version that were not present on our test servers. We have since fixed the majority of these issues and players are now able to explore the new continent of Ascadia.
OnRPG: Thanks so much for you time!
Aeria: Thank you Vincent it's been my pleasure.