What’s Special about the Most Anticipated Expansion of 2010?
Dragon Oath: Age of Destiny Interview
Dragon Oath, the free-to-play martial arts fantasy MMORPG, releases its major expansion of the year, titled Age of Destiny, on Tuesday. The expansion client has already been added to MMOSite’s download page. Players can log on to the Zion server to experience the wonder of the expansion starting 12 p.m. PST, Feb.2.
This new age in Dragon Oath adds a plethora of new content including new mounts, new weapons, new areas, new pets, new quests, and new skills, entirely free-to-play.
We recently talked with Martin Tan, the General Manager of Dragon Oath’s publisher ChangYou.com (US) Inc., about what makes this expansion special and the most anticipated.
Please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I am Martin Tan, General Manager of ChangYou.com (US) Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of ChangYou.com Ltd., China’s leading online game developer and operator.
Dragon Oath’s Great Graphics
You’re calling Age of Destiny the most anticipated expansion of 2010. What makes it so special?
We have over 75 million players worldwide, but that number alone doesn’t do the game or its expansion justice. The fact is our gamers are among the most dedicated in the world, and they love the universe in which they play. We first released this expansion in Asia and it soon became a hit. The number of concurrent players jumped from 300,000 to 500,000. So we started thinking we definitely need to bring this incredibly sucessful expansion we had in Asia to the U.S. market to give U.S. players an even more exciting and joyful gameplay experience. What sets our game apart are the various social systems and ways in which our players interact with each other and build online communities and friendships. The expansion, Age of Destiny, is going to add even more social features to an already expansive list that includes Marriage, Kin/Family, Master and Apprentice, Guilds, and much more. In addition, players are rewarded for cooperative play, and some of these rewards are quite impressive, such as a new Dragon mount named Bladewind, available for dedicated Masters and their Disciples.
Fabulous Dragon Mounts
This expansion was named after a player’s suggestion. Did you get many suggestions and feel great involvement from the community?
We had an overwhelming number of responses from very enthusiastic players. It was just another example of how dedicated our player base is. In the end, we sorted through the hundreds of submissions and chose the name that best fit the idea of the expansion and all of its new content, content that will allow players to continue to fulfill their desired in-game destinies. We always value our community most, and that is the key element that sets our game apart from other MMOs. I understand players here get the impression that online games from Asia are usually about endless and pointless grinding. But Dragon Oath is certainly an exception. We emphasize players’ interaction more than anything else. We do everything we can to make players feel that they are playing with each other, not just with the computer. For example, we have an in-depth social networking platform, in which you can get married, build guilds, and form master/apprentice relationships. In addition, our unique and diverse pet system will also allow you to make friends with other pet owners and become truly connected if your pets create a bond.
Become Connected in Dragon Oath
The new Dragon Mount “Bladewind” seems impressive. Tell us all about the Bladewind. How hard will it be to get and train it?
For people who have watched the movie Avatar and dreamed of owning a flying mount, here is your chance to make that dream come true: in Dragon Oath: Age of Destiny, our dragon mount Bladewind looks the same as the one in Avatar and is even more powerful. And as it is in the movie, only the stoutest and bravest warriors are qualified to tame one!
The dragon mount “Bladewind” is certainly one of the biggest (literally!) additions in the expansion. The Legendary Dragon is an enormous and extraordinary mount with razor sharp claws and a massive wingspan that produces dust storms in its wake while increasing the player’s speed by 70%. Players who obtain this creature will certainly get other players’ attention while flying across the map, and they can even take a companion along for the ride! It will drastically help players to level because of its incredible movement speed and the ability for it to carry two people. Another great thing about the dragon mount is that you don’t need to buy it! It’s available to players through Lucky Bingo and Master/Apprentice relationship points. The mighty Bladewind can be captured in only two ways…pure luck or pure determination. In order to catch this elusive beast, you must seek out these rare items: the Claws of Bladewind, the Wings of Bladewind, and the Teeth of Bladewind. This is no simple task. You will need your friends and unparalleled effort to do so. Or…you could be extraordinarily lucky, and Cissy Lau of Lou Yang may let you claim it from her game, Lucky Bingo.
Tell us about the Artifact Weapons. Will these new weapons be hard for players to get?
The Artifact Weapons in the game really give the players a newfound sense of power. There are 4 different Artifact Weapons available to players: Melting Falchion, Traceless Sword, Blue Silver Circle, and Windstone Fan, each with their own properties and special abilities. In order to obtain Artifacts, you need to gather other key materials and craft them into your desired level of Artifact. When questing in the game, you will come across items called “Flawed Pendants” and “Divine Fragments”. You can combine these 2 items to develop what’s known as a “Flawless Pendant”. With Flawless Pendants, you can create Artifact weapons. Though these weapons are not game-breaking, they make the game a lot more fun for players.
Different Classes and Abilities
The new weapons in the game aren’t too difficult to get. There are a number of different quests that players can take part in to obtain an Artifact Weapon for themselves. We’re not gonna make players strain themselves by running 5 hour instances – we want the prerequisites to be fun and engaging.
Can you give us a description of the new areas, and which one is your favorite?
The new areas in the expansion are flat-out amazing. Just to give you a couple of examples: Yan Tomb is a dark, evil dungeon that is 9 levels deep. Each level is protected by an army of minions and a sub boss. On the bottom level of the Tomb resides old King Yan, the demonic defender of the instance. Armed with his flaming sword, he destroys all who attempt to infiltrate the core of his tomb. If you somehow manage to defeat him, you’ll receive King Yan’s Pearls, which can be traded for very rare and powerful armor pieces. Swallow’s Dock is an event in the game that truly makes player’s feel like they’re part of a movie. Players get to trek through multiple stages of a large scale attack on the Song Dynasty. The presentation of the event is out of this world. The Ice Space zone is a place where players can go to gain experience in a calm environment. If you need to step away from the computer for a bit but still want to earn experience, this is the place for you. You don’t need to log out to gain your experience either; you can stay online and hang out with other players in the zone.
Talk about the new quests in the game. How will they benefit players the most?
The new quests in the game benefit players by giving them a more in-depth look into the Dragon Oath story. These new quests continue plot developments begun in other quests, and characters from other areas of the game make new appearances. All of the quests are incredibly rewarding in terms of weapons and armor sets and are extremely important to the player’s progression. The quests themselves all lead towards tons of weapons or pieces of armor, so nothing is pointless in this expansion. Everything is catered towards helping the players get fully-equipped with new items.
In Depth Environment and Quests
With Age of Destiny, do you feel like you’ve included everything you wanted in an expansion to Dragon Oath? What other plans do you have for Dragon Oath in 2010?
This expansion is huge! Several great new areas, new pets, new quests, new weapons, new events, new mounts, an upgraded social networking platform… I am sure every player will be captivated. Of course, we always strive to boost players’ satisfaction as much as we can. Age of Destiny is our first major expansion this year. We will launch another major expansion in August and will keep doing numerous in-game events for each festival through the year. The first one you can expect after our major expansion is the Valentine’s Day Event. Keep your eyes peeled for these great new features.
When is the expansion expected to go live?
Dragon Oath: Age of Destiny will go live on Feb.2, 2010.