Questions by Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
Answered by Martin Tan (General Manager of ChangYou.com (US) Inc)
Onrpg: First of all, can you introduce ChangYou to our users?
ChangYou.com (US) Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of one of the leading MMORPG developers and publishers in China, Changyou.com Ltd (NASDAQ: CYOU)
Onrpg: What should we expect from the company in the future? Are you going to publish other MMOs in the western market?
Yes. In fact, this particular interview with OnRPG.Com is to celebrate and let all F2P MMORPG players to know that we, ChangYou (US) Inc. is about to publish our first title in the U.S. titled “Dragon Oath.”
Onrpg: What is Dragon Oath? What is the game’s origin and what should players expect from the game?
First of all, I would like to say first that we are going to reveal the game in more detailed fashion as we begin Pre-Closed Beta in the beginning of July!
Dragon Oath is also known as “Tian Long Ba Bu” or simply TLBB. It has around 30 million global players with over 800,000 daily concurrent users in China alone. Dragon Oath is almost finished with its westernization, and its final stage will be a public beta testing called Pre-Closed Beta; inviting very limited players from the public to finalize the westernization process.
What players can expect from Dragon Oath are so many, but I will mention the most important thing that the U.S. players value the most; the Community.
Dragon Oath is built from the beginning to be a Community based MMORPG that highly promotes players to party-up and follow quests rather than simply grind and level up. Unlike other games, Dragon Oath gives reasons for all players to play with others rather than alone. A lot of special features that “Dragon Oath” has will automatically encourage players to build a Friend-Line or so called a Group. Players will play together, make friends and enjoy countless quests that it provides. Therefore, other than those players who love to play alone with no interactions and cooperation with others, I am certain that everyone will enjoy Dragon Oath.
Onrpg: What are the different job classes players can use? Can you give details for the classes?
Dragon Oath features 9 classes, Assassin, Beggars Alliance, Lotus Order, Minstrel, Pyromancer, Royalty, Shaolin, Taoist and Voodoo. I will provide OnRPG.com with a brief introduction for each.
Assassins are the masters of the physical and ice attacks, dealing quick powerful combos, but the most terrifying skill is their ability to move unseen.
The fighting style of Beggars Alliance is based on a series of moves that build and increase the strength of their next attack. The apprentices base their attacks on the physical and the use of poisons miked from venomous snakes and insects.
The Lotus Order apprentices usually study the personal virtues of the Buddha to pair with their Kung Fu. Their studies have given them abilities and skills to not only absorb damage, but also to heal as well.
The Minstrels are often depicted as na-er-do-wells and charlatans who prefer not to meet challenges head on. They rely heavily on traps and devices to confuse their enemies. Their devices normally implore the aid of magic and fire elements.
Pyromancer Kung Fu is characterized by preemptive attacks; they give up defense for a short while in order to have the most powerful attack among the nine classes. Pyromancers believe the Holy fire will bless them to be reborn and will choose to die in combat rather than flee from battle.
Royalty Kung Fu prefers to use the finger instead of the sword and is most famous for the ‘Six Veins Divine Sword’ which attacks the body’s vital points to stun the target or reduce the target’s magical power. Royalty Kung Fu is much harsher in training and over time builds up the apprentice’s resistance to poison, fire, thunder, and ice based attacks. It is said that Royalty Kung Fu is the bane of magic users.
Shaolin Kung Fu has a long history and is trademarked by its legendary iron body skill providing both tremendous offensive and defensive power. Fighting with the same force and power of a thunderstorm, the Shaolin always defend their companions first and then themselves when in a group.
Taoist Kung Fu has the strongest mastery of the elements of magic, leveraging heavily on their mastery of thunder, and fighting enemies from afar. It is believed that the Taoist philosophy, which is ingrained in their training and promotes going with the flow and living simply and in harmony with nature, cultivates leaders of men.
Voodoo Kung Fu is the weakest of the martial arts and relies heavily on the use of poisons to inflict damage, in most cases before the battle has even begun. The Voodoo has developed a strong defense against magic.
Onrpg: Can you reveal anything about the game’s storyline at this early stage?
The story behind Dragon Oath revolves around an elaborate saga of complex, troubled relationships among numerous characters from various kingdoms and sects during China’s Northern Song Dynasty. The warring empires involved in the story are those of Song, Liao, Dali, Western Xia, and Tubo. The struggles the characters experience within their combating factions affect the bonds between themselves and their families, societies, ethnic groups, and countries.
As a result, strife and conflict abound, and each player will find himself quickly pulled in to the fray, striving to evolve and leave his mark. Part of this evolution involves choosing one of the nine martial arts classes. Once chosen, the player’s class will foster development of uniquely powerful skills and abilities that will define the player as a true force with which to be reckoned.
Onrpg: What are the key features the game will have upon release?
The Game has so many features, it’s really ridiculous for a free to play game, but let me highlight some here: The game has a relationship system, which players can marry, form families, become teacher/disciple and more. Also, the pet system is also very nice because of the number of available pets, and the ability to breed new pets. Another nice feature is the fashion system, which the player can change their appereance without affecting the character’s attributes.
The 24/7 nonstop in-game events system is also very interesting, and it offer content for the player whenever they play the game. Lastly, the unique class mount feature provides more variety to the game.
Onrpg: What do you think is the game’s main pull especially in a region where players are already riddled with other note-worthy MMOs out? And not so note-worthy.
The Western Market is no doubt becoming saturated with Asian Imports. We know our game is one of the more successful games in the Asian market for a few reasons, which we hope will translate well to North America. But the most important thing we can offer besides a quality product is the community we foster around it. We plan to go to great lengths to satisfy Western users with levels of customer support unseen in typical free-2-play games , as well as carefully select and train community managers and liaisons to make sure we are not only speaking with and listening to our users – but also adapting our games and service quickly for you.
Onrpg: Being that the game is originally coming from China, one of the game’s biggest challenges could be the mistranslation of Chinese words into English. How confident are you in your translations?
I will have to say that it was not easy but very professionally done. I am very confident that all players will not have any trouble as far as the translation is concerned because we have gone through so many different translation stages to make it a complete one. It is Americans who translated to make it fit the best.
Onrpg: What is the company’s goal for the game?
We are very aware of the current F2P market situation where players are very tired of playing Asia-styled MMORPG that are full of grindings. Through Dragon Oath, our most important goal is to make players play Dragon Oath and let them know of the depth of the game contents. In addition, we simply want to bring them to join Dragon Oath and enjoy the community that it brings to all players and let players know how the game play itself leads to the improvements of their characters rather than grinding.
Dragon Oath is already known as a very different F2P MMORPG in the global market. I wish that the U.S. players know this as well after a try.
Onrpg: What should players expect from Dragon Oath in the succeeding months? What will your schedule be?
Our official teaser landing page will be launched on June 12th. The Pre-Closed Beta, which is a public beta test for a limited numbers of players to participate in the final stage of Dragon Oath westernization will begin in the beginning of July for 5 weeks. Then, the official Closed Beta will begin on around August 10th, and September 10th will be the launching date of Open Beta. We will soon make an official announcement for the recruitment of the testers for Pre-Closed Beta soon through our main website and OnRPG.Com. All players! Get ready!
Onrpg: Thank you for your time!
I truly appreciate the time and effort that OnRPG.Com has spent for the preparation and publication of this interview. Thanks!