Questions by Vincent Haoson, Onrpg Writer
Answered by Pan Deng, Chief Designer, TQ Digital
With the year reaching its end, Conquer Online of TQ Digital will serve its final year-end treat for their community, with an inclusion of a new job class: the ninja. To get the scoop with whats going on in Conquer Online, and more of the new ninja job class, Onrpg got a chance to talk to Pan Deng, the Chief Designer of TQ Digital.
Onrpg: With the game already in its 5th year, how is Conquer faring now?
TQ: Conquer is still going strong, with a stable and loyal Player base plus newcomers, too. Opening European servers helped a lot. Now we have almost 80 servers with 300,000 active users online daily.
Onrpg: Whats the difference between Conquer Online before 2.0 and now?
TQ: Basically, the difference between Conquer 1.0 and 2.0 is one of complexity and variation. Before, there wasnt as much variety of weapons, character classes, quests, events, or towns to visit. Now there is much more for a player to do, and thus, it caters to a wider audience.
Onrpg: Can you give us a brief background behind Conquer Online? Of its story and how it is now progressing.
TQ: Conquer doesnt have an in-depth back-story, as such. The most important game history is made by the players through guild wars, PvP tournaments and each characters rise to power. The many patches and updates have affected these conflicts, causing revolutions and counter-revolutions to occur, while weeding out the exploiters and game abusers. The New Dynasty expansion is the first time in which storyline, not rule changes, will have an effect on the game experience we have a new character class, the ninja.
Onrpg: What makes CO different from other MMOs of the same genre?
TQ: The one unique thing about Conquer, and all TQ Digital games, is battle power. Its an overall rating of how powerful your character is. This can determine whether you win or lose, fight or flee.
Second, we have a huge worldwide community. Players from different parts of the planet can connect to any sever, unlike other large commercialized games which read and restrict IP addresses according to location.
Onrpg: How do you keep the game community happy and vibrant?
TQ: We have regular special events for all the major festivals, both western and traditional Chinese. Through these special events, our players can experience vivid Chinese culture and traditions.
We also hold offline and online competitions, allowing players to use their skills at art, writing, forum scouring, or general knowledge to win in-game items that typically need to be purchased. This lets the non-paying Player base follow close at the tails of the paying players.
Onrpg: How do you keep track of the games progress if you have almost 80 servers online? Do you also include players support to keep track of it all?
TQ: We have around 30 people ready to chat live with players in several different languages. Moreover, we just released customer service center, where players can manage their account issues and report server problems. To protect players from account hacking, we also provide the itemlock function which enables players to bind precious items and wealth to their characters.
As for keeping track of the games progress, we have to constantly release patches and updates to oil the games inner gears. We also do server maintenance once or twice a week on each server. Yeah, its a big job.
Onrpg: Can you give us a brief explanation of the new ninja class that will be included in CO?
TQ: Conceptually, our ninja is an expert of stealth, inspired by popular Japanese culture such as manga and anime, but not historical accuracy. Relying on agility and reflexes, ninjas frown upon the use of heavy armors. The Ninja is the second of Conquers dual-wielding classes, with high attack, low defense stats.
Stylistically, the ninja has been transformed and blended with the colorful Chinese palette of Conquer, to make a stronger impression on our audience.
Onrpg: What reasons did you have for including the ninja class?
TQ: From a game balance point of view, our goal was to add a new physical damage dealer to games class roster one that could go toe-to-toe with the already dominant Trojan class in PvP. Also, the new class needed to be unique, in both skills and strategies. Again, ninjas seemed to fit the build, and were the logical choice.
Onrpg: What kind of skills would players expect from ninjas? Can you give an example of the skill?
TQ: Well, ninjas are going to have lots of assassination-type attacks. Strikes that do massive damage in a split second, or disable enemies, or prevent them from healing themselves. The ninja is going to be a high damage-per-second shocker, but wont be able to hold up in a fight when outnumbered. They will have extremely poor stamina and health.
As for skills, they will have a number of already documented skills, which fall into two categories: XP Skills, which build up and then are released; Stamina skills, which can be used at any time so long as there is enough stamina.
XP skills include a Shuriken Vortex and Fatal Strike, while stamina skills include a Toxic Cloud attack, Poisoned Star, Flyers Bane and Counter-kill. But there are more skills yet to come.
Onrpg: Whats in store for CO in the future?
TQ: The future will see continued support for our players and more attention to details such as new quests new maps & mosters, and more challenging Trans-server PvP and PK tournaments. With a Player base this strong, we are dedicated to listening and helping realize the dreams of our players.