Questions by Eline Stiekema, Onrpg writer
Answered by Joyce Zhou, Project Assistant of Angels Online
Angels Online has been expanding once again! Players can now enjoy a new PVP system, called Angel Arena, upgrade to level 130 and customize a house for their character. Also, a lot of new instances have been added to make the game even more exciting. In this interview, project assistent of AO Joyce Zhou gives us her opinion on all this new stuff and gives away what to expect from the game in the (near) future.
Onrpg: We’ve been informed that jungle paperdoll, robot and mounts have been added, just like desert robot and mounts. What kind of new possibilities does this bring?
Angels Online: In the future, we will be focused on releasing jungle and desert scenes for our players. Meanwhile, we will be adding a series of robots, mounts and paper dolls with this same style.
Players have experienced underground and underwater scenes in Eden and the latest expansion, Lost Atlantis. But the new paper dolls, robots and mounts will be all new to players, because these new items not only have new shapes and styles but also advanced abilities.
Onrpg: Why did you decide to upgrade the highest player level to 130?
Angels Online: The last expansion, “The Lost Atlantis”, has been out for more than half a year now and many players have worked hard to reach this higher level. Along with the abundant new content we will release, we will also increase the upper level limit to 130 so that they can experience our new game systems, such as the new PVP system called Angel Arena.
Onrpg: How exactly does the new PVP-system work?
Angels Online: Angel Arena is totally different from the Totem Battle that most of our players know and love. Players can join this PVP system alone and fight to win the highest single honor in game. They can go to one of the four main cities, the Angel Lyceum or Palm Base and find the NPC called Battlefield Angel who will teleport them to the Sign-up Office. There, they sign up at the War Angel Servant and then choose to join or view the battle.
1. Primary Arena’s: All players begin their battle for the top PK prize in one of the 4 Primary Arenas. 10 survivors each from the Jungle Arena, Desert Arena, Deep Sea Arena and Underground Arena are then eligible to move on to the Junior Arena’s.
2. Junior Arena’s: After moving up to either the Dark Den Arena or the Beach Arena, the 10 survivors from each of these two will move on to the Senior Arena.
3. Senior Arena: The last surviving player from the Huge Wood Arena will be the winner of this event and earn the title “Battle Angel”. After the event ends, the system will present the last 10 Angels (including the event winner) with abundant event rewards.
Onrpg: How do the two new maps integrate into the Angels Online storyline?
Angels Online: Once, thousands of years ago, a vast forest blossomed south of Eden. When the war between Angels and Demons came to the land, fierce battles and brutal conflict left the forest ruined and ravaged. After a time, the souls of the fallen angels nurtured the rebirth of a lush and verdant jungle that became the birthplace of the Beast faction. However, this was not the gentle forest that had flourished before the war. This one had grown from the souls of the fallen and within it a dark swamp festered.
As time passed, this swamp grew, encouraging growth of a different kind. Evil monsters soon began finding their way in, followed by the terrifying Half-Beast Hamlet. The Beast faction found itself being forced ever northward by the slow progression of the swamp and its inhabitants. Disregarding the objections of scared Angels, the courageous Beast Leader, Sharker, declared war on these monsters and vowed to retake the Holy Land that they had peacefully occupied for generations. He organized the South Pioneer Army and ventured back into the swamp. Sensing opportunity, the Evil Lyceum Leader Belia allied herself with the Half-Beast Hamlet and cursed the advancing Army. Upon discovering her treachery, Michael, Leader of the Angel Lyceum, ordered all available Angels to help the Army and protect this holy land from evil.
Onrpg: Of all the new instances and monsters that were added, which one is your favorite?
Angels Online: I love the Giant Wooden Stairs very much. Where most games have players fighting and journeying through mostly level or hilly terrain, these redwood-sized stumps add an amazing fully 3D feeling to what would usually be a simple forest scene. Its details like this that make AO really stand out among all the RPGs out there.
As for new BOSS, the Lion Knights are probably the best. After all, battling in the sky is pretty cool!
Onrpg: Why did you decide to add the house system?
Angels Online: In the first several game versions, players had to level up by either killing a lot of monsters or challenging instances. However, this can get boring and repetitive and we found that players were leaving in search of other games that offered more than this. Seeing an opportunity to inject an aspect that didn’t involve simple point and click battles, but actually got players involved creatively was something that we felt was important. Players have always been able to customize their character’s wardrobe, equipment, and weapons, we felt letting them customize their character’s “house” was the logical next step.
Onrpg: Were there any particular player requests that have influenced these new developments?
Angels Online: Well, if we tried to take credit for coming up with the house system without any player input, we’d be doing our players a disservice. Our community of players can be very vocal in expressing what they see as problems with the design or the direction that the design is going in. Our players can be very passionate and we like to encourage this, because it builds a strong community. So, before we began developing the “House” system, we’d heard from our players extensively about what they liked, disliked, and wanted to see in the future. To stay competitive in this business, you have to give your players what they want, and we do our best to make sure we do that.
Onrpg: Of which newly added development are you the most proud?
Angels Online: The new PVP system, Angel Arena, is probably the best new feature, and we expect it to be the most popular. PK is what many players live for, and with no guild members or strategies to worry about, as in the Totem Battle and Holy Battlefield, the fierce, intense 1 v 1 competition will be something that we expect players to flock to.
Onrpg: Are there elements of the game that were unsuccessful and have disappeared, or will disappear in the future?
Angels Online: At present, we haven’t found anything significant that needs to be removed from the current version. Our players seem to be very happy with our game, while at the same time keeping an eye on the horizon for the next big developments we have in store!
Onrpg: If you had unlimited time and money, what would you add to or change about Angels Online?
Angels Online: We continue to gather feedback from many sources on how to develop and improve our game, but we believe that money and time are not the most important factors in a games development. Sure, more time would help, and more money would be great, but they don’t necessarily add up to a better product. At the end of the day, we do the best with the resources we have and work hard toward giving our players what they want and deserve.
Onrpg: What’s the biggest improvement that has been made to Angels Online since the first release?
Angels Online: The biggest improvements in the game are usually to the PVP system. When the game was initially released there was only the Outpost Battlefield. Later, we released the wildly successful Totem Battle to give players the excitement and feeling of large scale guild wars. In order to attract more new players, we then released “Holy Battlefield”. Again, we were surprised by our player’s enthusiasm, even if we should have been expecting it. Very soon we will be releasing the next big expansion, with another new PVP system called Angel Arena. Even though we are again cautiously optimistic, we think that players will surprise us again with their passion for PK!
Onrpg: Are there any events in the near future that players can look forward to?
Angels Online: The “Special Egg, Special Train” event has been very popular recently. Also, beginning at the end of March and into the first week of April, we will be holding a series of April Fools’ Day events.
Onrpg: What kind of new developments can players expect of Angels Online in the future?
Angels Online: Players can expect us to consistently bring them the best in MMO gaming!
Onrpg: Thank you very much!