Jon Belliss, Product Manager of Perfect World International was interviewed by Onrpg’s Senior Editor Brian.
Question: Can you tell us about each of the races and how the choice of race will affect the gameplay for each player?
J.B.: Each race is different in one way or another.The obvious difference between the three races is the classes that are available. The second most obvious effect is your starting location. Each race has its own starting location with separate lines of quests.
Now in terms of effects that are not so obvious to new users, Winged Elves have the ability to fly from level one. This gives them a lot of freedom in terms of travel, and also eases long travel times by allowing you to simply take off and fly in any direction you need to go regardless of terrain. This is just one example of how your race affects gameplay.
Question: What are the most likely roles for each class to fill?
J.B.: Each class of course has primary roles that they were designed for. Key examples of this are the Barbarian, designed to be a meat shield, and the Cleric, which is usually a healer. In Perfect World International, despite these primary archetypes, players can choose their skills and allocate their points however they choose. So technically, you can be a Cleric that specializes in metal magic and damage spells, or you can be a healer, it’s entirely up to the user.
Question: Would you say Perfect World International is a solo oriented game, group oriented game, or is there truly room for both and how so?
J.B.: I believe there is truly room for both in Perfect World International. Some people prefer to solo, and some prefer to group, and Perfect World International really does a great job of catering to both of those behavioral habits. You’ll find that a majority of the quests in game are solo-able, but you will of course run across quests that will be easier to accomplish as a group.
Question: Are the classes in Perfect World International balanced, or are there a few classes that are clearly fan favorites?
J.B.: Perfect World International has been out in China for some time now. Now what does that mean? Millions of players worldwide have played Perfect World and submitted tons and tons of feedback. The development team for Perfect World International is really quite amazing. They work very hard to stay in touch with the user base, and they take their fans very seriously. A lot of tweaking and changing has been performed by the development team in order to ensure that every class in Perfect World International is an enjoyable and effective class.
Question: What tradeskills are there, and how will they impact the game?
J.B.: The trade skill system in Perfect World International is quite unique. One of the primary reasons its unique is that you’re not restricted to one or two trade skills, you specialize in as many trade skills as you like. The second reason why the crafting system in Perfect World International is unique is related to the actual materials used for crafting. There’s an alternate use for all of the ores, herbs, and minerals that you find around the game world. Players can combine these minerals into wines, and use the wines within instances. So what does the actual wine do? At the entrance of every dungeon, there’s an old swordsman, who is looking for some thirst quenching wine. If you bring him the correct type of wine, he will repay you by clearing all of the trash mobs in the dungeon, allowing you and your party to march straight to the boss.
Question: What do higher level players have to do? Do you have any sort of raiding system or massive boss battle to keep them challenged?
J.B.: The instances in Perfect World International are quite challenging, specifically the bosses. Other than instances, there are also random mobs in the world that require a team of people or in some cases a raid, to take down.
Question: How have players responded to the beta so far?
J.B.: The response from the user base has been great so far. A lot of users have been taking note of all the hard work our team has been putting into this title, and of course
we’ve been collecting any and all feedback in order to better improve the game.
Question: Are there any plans to add new races and/or classes in the future?
J.B.: We always hear rumblings from overseas about new races and/or classes, but I honestly can’t provide you with any concrete information at this point in time.
Question: How would you say that the localization process has affected the game as a whole?
J.B.: The localization process has really added a new level of polish for this game. We have multiple teams that work on localization and they have really done a superb job with Perfect World International. I have seen Perfect World International evolve from Engrish to English, and I must say, the end-user experience is definitely much stronger as result.