Legend of Martial Arts Interview, Closed BETA Tomorrow!
Questions by Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by to Jonathan Belliss, Director of Marketing at Perfect World Entertainment.
Legend of Martial Arts is an up and coming MMORPG that's currently starting its Closed Beta Stage. The game's a revamp of the martial-arts themed MMO, Kung Foo. So before we get to see what th changes are we knocked on their doors and asked around on what's new with Legend of Martial Arts and if how much did they listen to you guys.
OnRPG: Hello and thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk with you guys! We know that your Closed Beta Test is nearing and we were just wondering how are the preparations for Legend of Martial Arts going?
Hi, it's a pleasure to speak with you about Legend of Martial Arts. We've definitely been very busy preparing for the Closed Beta launch, which is just around the corner on Wednesday, November 24, and things have been going well. We look forward to hearing player's feedback once Closed Beta begins and you can keep an eye out for feature spotlights on Legend of Martial Arts that are released each week on the official Perfect World blog.
OnRPG: So to clear things up first, we're correct in thinking that LOMA is in fact a redo of your old title, Kung Foo? Why did you guys decide to change direction with that title?
That is correct. With the renaming to Legend of Martial Arts, we wanted to highlight the game's content, in-depth mechanics and how players could become a martial arts legend themselves.
One of the reasons we decided to hold off on launching Kung Foo! in open beta was to incorporate player feedback. During that process, we improved the overall quality of the game and gave the game a complete makeover by updating the graphics, adding new content and localizing the humor to be more westernized.
OnRPG: Did you guys work on what Kung Foo already established and remade it for LOMA or did you guys build LOMA from scratch?
The fundamental elements and mechanics such as combat and basics of the storyline were kept in Legend of Martial Arts. What we focused on was building additional content and adding a layer of polish around the existing game.
OnRPG: What were the changes you guys made from Kung Foo that stands out with LOMA?
As mentioned earlier, the most obvious change is seen in the graphics of Legend of Martial Arts as well as the new content we've added. Just to name a few changes:
- New demonic, non-human race, the Reavers, with two new classes:
> The Berserker class can transform into a cat or wolf for greatly enhanced physical abilities.
> The Oracle class has the ability to summon gods from the underworld to activate special powers and magic spells.
- Dungeon Matchmaking/Queue System allows players to more easily group in-game and run raids together.
- PvP Dungeons will challenge hardcore players to fight each other for the right to defeat powerful monsters and bosses.
OnRPG: Were these changes made from your own observations or were they mostly from players who gave their feedback during the Kung Foo Closed Beta?
It's a combination of both. The feedback we received challenged us to take a closer look at Kung Foo! For instance, we've updated the graphics to give Legend of Martial Arts a whole new look and feel while still maintaining the game's unique cartoon style. We've also added new content and mechanics giving the game more depth for both casual and hardcore players alike. We spent a lot of time not only listening to player feedback, but also analyzing player behavior in the game in order to determine what features people enjoyed, then building from there.
OnRPG: So what is the standing LOMA storyline? What is the world LOMA set on and how are players part of it?
Legend of Martial Arts is the basic find the princess story, but with a twist. Players will find themselves forming alliances with each other to fight against a common enemy to rescue the princess and there's also a case of mistaken identity. The story as a whole is basically a fresh new comedic twist on the whole "princess is in another castle" narrative.
OnRPG: Aside from the Reavers race you posted in your site can you tell us the other races that are included in LOMA?
Definitely, there are currently two races and besides the Reavers race, players can create a human character, which has a unique class progression where there are a multitude of classes to choose from.
OnRPG: What are the jobs that are available for players? Will they be race exclusive or the job classes open to all races?
Jobs or crafting are open to all races and players can specialize in one or a few or master them all and include your typical crafts that will allow players to trade their wares with each other.
OnRPG: How huge is the world in LOMA? Will players get to explore a lot of places in the game?
Most definitely, the world in Legend of Martial Arts has breathtaking landscapes, cliffs that seem infinite and expansive zones. In addition to treacherous dungeons, we've added new starting zones for the Reavers race. Players will also get to encounter unique creatures from a one-winged demon to small, friendly-looking animals.
OnRPG: Can you mention the list of features LOMA has that will drive the interest of players?
The Transformation System is one of the most unique things in Legend of Martial Arts which includes over 100 different transformation items that will boost character skills and are open to all players. The Legendary Weapon System is another unique feature that will grant the most elite players on a server with ultra rare and unique weapons for the ultimate server bragging rights. As previously mentioned, the PvP dungeons and Dungeon Matchmaking/Queue System, also makes Legend of Martial Arts stand out from the crowd.
OnRPG: What separates LOMA from the other martial arts themed MMOs? Why do you think so?
In addition to the Transformation System, the weapons in Legend of Martial Arts really stand out. You might not think that a frying pan or guitar might do a lot of damage, but imagine getting hit by one!
On that note, looks can be deceiving and while Legend of Martial Arts may look like a light and fluffy game, there's enough content and features that make the game challenging enough for even the most hardcore players.
Legend of Martial Arts is a game that artistically is very dynamic and casual, but in terms of gameplay is extremely in-depth and contains many hardcore elements.
OnRPG: What will be open to players during the game's Closed Beta Test? Are all features available for players during this time?
Most of the content will be available to players during Closed Beta testing, including the new Reavers race, starting areas and dungeons. We will be restricting the level cap to 60 so that we can focus on not only the revamp to the original game, but also the starting experiences for the new race.
OnRPG: How long will the Closed Beta Test last? What are the things you will be looking for during its duration?
We currently plan to roll out Closed Beta for Legend of Martial Arts for approximately a month; however things can always change depending on the progress and feedback we receive during Closed Beta. The main thing we'll be looking for is user response to the changes we've made, and what direction to take with the game moving forward based on that feedback.
OnRPG: What's in store for LOMA after Closed Beta Test and the months ahead?
Players can look forward to a swift Open Beta launch after Closed Beta testing, so that they can start building their permanent characters. We already have a full development plan layed out for 2011 including regular content updates, an expansion, and much more. As with all our games, we are always open to player feedback as a way to expand our games and keep things exciting for our players.