C9 Interview: The Wait is Almost Over
By Michael Sagoe (Mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
It’s been a long time coming, but the waiting is almost over. C9, a new fast action MMO will be launching for the global market very soon, along with a closed beta test that will be happening next month. While few online games can currently boast of a system even comparable to the impressive action oriented combat system C9 offers, it still has a lot to prove to players that it’s been well worth the wait.
Eager and excited, I asked the guys at Webzen a few questions…
OnRPG: Hello there! Before we begin, would you care to introduce yourself for the readers?
Denis Kim and Chung Gil Yu: Hello, it is an honor to introduce our C9-Global team to the readers of OnRPG. Hope you enjoy our interview. Let me introduce myself and the producer of C9. My name is Dennis Kim, I am the Product Manager in C9-Global service, and Chung Gil Yu is the producer of Cloud9Studio. Our team consists of several different parts which are marketing, localizing, operating and service team, etc. 50 on-site and outside members are supporting the launch of C9-Global.
OnRPG: While there may not be many action-based MMOs on the market, how does C9 differ from its main competition (Vindictus, Rusty Hearts, etc.)?
Denis Kim: As some of the action gamers have already noticed, C9 is similar to other successful Action RPG games such as Vindictus and Dragon Nest. However, we want to point out that C9 is the first 3D Action RPG launched in 2009. At a glance you can say that C9 is a Non-Targeting game similar to Vindictus and Dragon Nest. We want to compare these three games on a deeper level though. First of all, Vindictus has 4 classes and Dragon Nest has 16 classes. On its first VIP test, C9-Global will have 9 different classes with 6 more classes ready to be added shortly after the launch of C9-Global. These classes have mostly been revealed in Korea, but a few of them will be new to both regions. Secondly, a variety of active skills are available in C9. Vindictus has an average of 17 active skills per class. While Dragon Nest has only 7 active skills per class. Active skills were a major focus of our development and we really feel they differentiate us from the competition by keeping combat dynamic. Lack of active skills limits the number of tactics a player can utilize in PvP. With 38 different active skills in C9, players will have plenty to experiment with and never feel bored in PvP or PvE. In addition, C9’s overall excellence shines based on the numerous rewards it has received including best sound, best graphics, best characters, development excellence, and the “Grand Prize” in Korea.
C9 specializes in dynamic action control systems with balanced PVP. Although C9 was developed much earlier than Dragon Nest and Vindictus, action gamers may ask why it is so late launching in America. Our team has been preparing for the C9-Global launch for a long tiime. We consider winning over the Global action gamers as our most critical goal, and rushing the game to launch too soon could endanger that goal. Currently, WEBZEN is picking our pace to launch C9 to Global action gamers.
OnRPG: With closed beta scheduled to begin this February, what content will and will not be available for testers?
Chung Gil Yu: To meet the Global action gamers’ expectations, we are more than careful preparing our content. Of course, not all content released in Korea will be available at launch. However, we want to put in more global based contents into the C9-Global service. Moreover, we give our word that we will soon catch up with all the content in Korea. There will be a Fighter, Hunter and Shaman class to choose from which advance into 9 different classes with the class advancement system. The starting level cap will be 50, and 3 continents of total 9 continents in the C9 storyline will be available for action gamers at launch.
OnRPG: With C9 already available in Asia, one would assume the game is already in stable condition. What kind of feedback will you be expecting from beta testers?
Denis Kim: As you have already mentioned, C9 is in stable condition through years of service in Korea. However, the case of C9-Global is totally different since C9-Global is not limited to a centralized regional area. The environment condition, network latency, languages, and variation in computer systems will be the most critical issue to check during beta testing to ensure all is in working order. Literally our primary concern is providing C9 in a state that action gamers from around the world can enjoy the game while experiencing the best possible environment. Soon more content and updates will be in progress.
OnRPG: What kind of playerbase are you hoping to attract with C9?
Chung Gil Yu: C9 is based on dynamic action. Unrivaled Action RPG, Variety of Skill Combo and Precise Control are the main keywords that express C9. Unlike other MMORPGs, we want to avoid any association with “Grinding”. The gamers that watched the C9 trailer and flinched in excitement at what they witnessed are the gamers we are looking for. Whoever wants to experience real online action should login to C9.
OnRPG: Tell me a bit more about the available classes. Are they gender locked?
Chung Gil Yu: In the VIP TEST, there will be only three characters: Fighter, Hunter, and Shaman. All characters can change their job twice at level 10 and level 20 through class advancements. The first job transfer is for character reinforcement purpose, and the second transfer is to specialize the character with style. The list of class upgrades includes Warrior, Guardian, Blade Master, Assassin, Ranger, Scout, Elementalist, Taoist, and Illusionist to give you a better idea of what to expect. Moreover, we have already finished our development of Witchblade and Bulletshooter. Each class is intricate and difficult to describe in words so we hope our players can discover their secrets and power first hand. Some are already serviced in Korea and some are ready to be serviced. We just want to point out that once our C9-Global gets in stable condition; we already have massive updates to come up with additional Global contents. We have observed several feedbacks through SNS service about gender lock. Unfortunately, the genders are locked and no gender selection system is currently available in C9. However, we are highly considering adding the system in the near future. Our main purpose of opening the VIP TEST is to check and see what our Global audiences’ tastes are. If you want your opinion heard feel free to visit our Facebook Page as we’d love to hear your comments and suggestions on future C9 updates.
OnRPG: What kind of PC system will be needed in order to run C9?
Chung Gil Yu: Like we have already presented our minimum and recommended system requirements are below. Please check your PC specs to ensure you’re prepared for the action.
CPU Minimum: AMD Anthlon XP 2400+, P4 2.4GHz; CPU Recommended: AMD Anthlon64 X2 6000+, Dual Core 2.4GHz
RAM Min: Above 512MB; RAM Rec: 1G
GPU Min: ATI Radeon 9800, GeForce 6600; GPU Rec: ATI Radeon HD1900, GeForce 8000
OS Min: Window XP(32bit/64bit), Vista(32bit/64bit); OS Rec: Windows 7(32bit/64bit)
Direct X Required; Direct X 9.0C Recommended
OnRPG: Would you say the game is balanced between PvE and PvP content, or is there more of a clear focus on either one?
Chung Gil Yu: PvE and PvP are both important to us. We don’t concentrate on either PvE or PvP. However, PvP requires more of a focused effort to keep operational. Once the balance collapses, all PvP systems will be ruined. So, we actually separate some skills in PvE and PvP. As such some skills are noticably more powerful in PvE and toned down in PvP. You can also experience the Intrusion contents to interrupt other players in PvE.
OnRPG: For PvP: What kinds of game modes will be available?
Chung Gil Yu: At first, Team Match and Ranking Match will be available in VIP TEST.
Currently, guild tournaments are in the last stage of development; the contents that no other MORPGs have. C9 is proud to be a front runner in this exciting tournament system. We will continue to develop various contents for PvP in the future. Let us briefly introduce some of the PvP modes you can expect:
-1:1 PVP = Just like regular PvP
-Ranking Destroy War = Fight Party vs. Party
More contents will be available in future updates.
OnRPG: Any worries regarding class balance in PvP?
Chung Gil Yu: There can’t be 100% perfect balance in PvP. However, with our 3 years of service, we have gained a variety of statistics and data. The state of PvP in Korea is in stable condition. We will continue to keep our eyes on PvP to keep things balanced and fair. Now that the game is being released to a global audience, we look forward to hearing a wider range of players’ opinion on PvP balance. We are ready to listen through SNS communities and forums.
OnRPG: On a personal note: C9, along with many other titles in South Korea, have a “stamina system” that limits the number of dungeon runs you can play in one day. Will this stamina system be kept in for C9’s global release?
Denis Kim: It is right that C9 is currently running under a stamina system in Korea which limits the number of dungeon runs per day. Higher level dungeons require more stamina. We are looking to keep a reasonable system in place to support a healthy game, and are still considering whether or not to bring the stamina system to C9 Global. There is still much to discuss before we reach a conclusion.
OnRPG: Since the game will be using the free-to-play business model, could you give us any idea of how the item shop will be structured?
Denis Kim: As you know of Korea/Japan/China is free to play C9. Our main issue in C9 Global is to prevent a pay-to-win system and preserve balanced PvP. We are still considering how our business model will be structured.
OnRPG: Any final comments?
Chung Gil Yu: Currently we’ve completed creating 5 continents, and the sixth continent design is coming along nicely. Soon, we are more than happy to updates these contents in C9 Global. If you were not on the list of VIP Testers don’t be disappointed because there will be more events and chances to participate in VIP Test. We look forwarded to providing more info on just that soon.
OnRPG: Thank you for your time!
Chung Gil Yu: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure meeting you.