Sho Online Interview: The Battle Of Yin And Zhou!
Questions by Mohammed Afzal (MageMoa)
Answered by Young Kwon Chung,Marketing Manager at Lizard Interactive
Sho Online, a MMORPG by Lizard Interactive, is a purely Chinese-oriented game. Everything, from its storyline to combat and PvP, is based on the Chinese tale 'Fengshen Yangyi'.
Sho Online is pretty much end-game based. The PvP battles in the many different maps prove this; there is a constant war being waged between the two factions, Yin and Zhou. Players of one faction will have a hard time when entering the maps of the other faction and vice versa. To take part in this timeless battle is the dream of many new players, but sadly it takes quite a while to get there.
During the Closed Beta, players were given the opportunity to fight against each other as all existing characters were boosted to the max level. Being a part of this battle made me realize how realistic the game is and it has kept my interest since then. We here at OnRPG, were given the opportunity to talk to the marketing manager of Lizard Interactive and present our questions..
OnRPG: Hi, my name is MageMoa and I work at OnRPG.com, could you introduce yourself, please?
Hello, my name is Young Kwon Chung and I am the Marketing Manager at Lizard Interactive.
OnRPG: Sho Online has been a popular game since its Closed Beta. How would you describe the reasons behind the rise of popularity of Sho Online?
Sho Online has all the fun features of an MMORPG and there are many things for users to do. However, the main reason for Sho Online's popularity has been the users. The users really enjoy interacting with each other and fighting each other in wars and duels. The wars are always hotly contested with bitter rivalries. The users were also very active in recruiting for their guilds, opening fan sites, uploading videos to various sites and spreading the word. The users have also helped us to fix bugs and prioritize the new features to be introduced to Sho Online.
OnRPG: Many gamers see Sho Online as just another oriental MMO, based on an ancient foreign novel. Could you prove them wrong?
Just log on, travel through the huge maps and meet with the other players. You will notice right away that Sho Online is a very detailed and high quality game with a very strong community. In addition, there is a delicate balance maintained between the various character classes, weapons, armor, accessories, skills and experience points. Aside from the English, which is still being edited, Sho Online is a perfect game for gamers who take gaming seriously. Although, Sho Online is completely free-to-play, there are EXP Boost, heal potions, weapon and armor enhancers available for purchase. Sales of these items are significant
OnRPG: The game is mainly PvP based. What was the reason for this and does it work well in your opinion?
Lizard felt that players needed more things to do in addition to quests, trading, guilds, duels, pets and manufacturing. So, PvP and PvE modes were included in the game. There is a war that occurs every 8 hours in which all players can participate. Many players choose to participate since war is the quickest way to level up, especially at the higher levels. The wars have been very popular and many players log on just before the war to duel with each other in order to get ready for the war and improve their skills. Players spend a lot of time increasing their abilities and getting better weapons and armor. Wars are a perfect place to reap the fruits of their efforts.
There have been some problems with balance during the wars. Sometimes, one side has significantly more high level players. We have tried to resolve this by maintaining population balance during character creation and feel certain that in the long run that balance problems will go away.
War between the Zhou and Yin
OnRPG: The constant battle between Yin and Zhou is very noticeable in-game. What happens if one of the two clans manages it to conquer all the maps? Has this ever happened, and if so, how did it come to an end?
At the moment, there are only four maps that are war zones. Neither side can go past these maps, the last stages of NPCs are invincible. We may change this or add other types of wars to Sho Online in the future.
OnRPG: I've noticed that there are dynasties (Yin and Zhou) as well as factions. What are these factions precisely and how do they have an influence on the game-play?
Factions are broad affiliations between humans and monsters based on history and interactions. Factions mostly influence AI of monster in their decision to attack a player or other monster.
OnRPG: There are different ways of ranking in Sho Online. What is the difference between the 'Rank' system and the 'Promotion' system? Does your fame have any influence on these ranking systems?
In Sho Online, the 'Promotion' system is completely different from the 'Rank' system. The 'Promotion' system is a series of quests that players get at levels 10, 20, 30 and so on. These quests must be completed in order to increase the character's various abilities, such as attack power, defense and speed among others.
The 'Rank' system is based on Fame Points and rankings. In order to be a General, the player must have over 500,000 Fame Points and be ranked number one in their profession. There are six professions, so there can be only six generals on each side. Colonels must have over 300,000 Fame Points and be ranked within the top five in their profession. Majors must have over 200,000 Fame Points and be ranked within the top ten. There are very rare and exclusive weapons and armor that can only be worn by players above a certain rank.
OnRPG: When taking a look at your site, I have noticed that the "House" system seems very complicating. Could you describe it for us and show us some visuals, please?
Guilds are called Houses in Sho Online. The House system is like most Guild systems in other games. However, in the near future, we hope to upgrade our system to include House exclusive items and skills.
OnRPG: The manufacturing feature allows you to create practically everything. Is there something you can't create with the manufacturing system? If that's the case, why not?
Thank you for the compliment. Almost all items in Sho Online can be manufactured after collecting the recipe need for manufacture and the ingredients. The only exceptions would be the Cash Items, or items that can only be obtained through purchase using real money.
OnRPG: There seems to be a huge amount of cash shop items. Doesn't the game get too cash shop dependent if you keep adding items such as experience coupons and treasure chests? Why or why not?
Actually, the number of items seems quite a lot and some items have too many variations being sold. Examples are EXP Boosts of various time lengths and masks and Heal Potions of varying potency. We may redo these and eliminate some items. With regards to addition of items to the cash shop, we continuously plan to add good looking costumes with nice stats and other items that the users would enjoy. Sho Online is free-to-play and can be enjoyed by everyone. However, as everyone knows, the money to operate and update the game comes from the sales of items in the Cash Shop. So, we are completely dependent on our Cash Shop sales and very grateful to our faithful and generous users. We plan to drop the less popular items and replace them with cooler ones soon. We feel that the items on sale at the cash shop should only give limited advantage to the players that use it. This is in order to try to keep the game enjoyable for all.
OnRPG: There seems to be a lack of customization in Sho Online. How can players customize their characters without depending on cash shop items?
That is true. We have many items to customize the characters that are sold in the Cash Shop for five cents. We have made a note of this and will discuss this with the Sho Online team.
OnRPG: Could you give us a little insight into the upcoming updates, please?
This is a very good question. We are planning to update the graphics, character appearances, some movement, quest system, teleport system and edit the English. We are still working on the timetable, but hopefully this will be done all at once in the first half of 2010.
OnRPG: Are you planning on creating a more challenging PvE system? Why or why not?
We always plan on creating a more challenging PvE systems. We added a two hidden dungeons which are PvE in 2009. One can be entered with the proper entrance flag and the other dungeon is open to the side that wins the 13th War every week. However, our priority in 2010 will be on making the quests more rewarding and improving other aspects of the game, such as graphics, chat functions and teleport systems. After that is done, we expect to add more PvE systems and additional war modes.
Slaughterhouse (PvE hidden dungeon)
OnRPG: At the Closed Beta phase of the game there used to be a great event where all players were maxed level and they could fight against each other in a great war. Are you planning to do any other event like that?
That was a great event. Lizard Interactive holds such events for all its games. We open a test server that is speeded up (boosted EXP) for a limited time and let the users fight it out. We will most likely do it again, but it is difficult to say exactly when.
OnRPG: Is there anything else you would like to mention in addition to Sho Online?
Sho Online is an ever evolving MMORPG game. The game will always be updated with content designed to please our loyal users. We hope you enjoy the new updates.
OnRPG: Thank you for your time!