Dungeon Fighter Online: Official Launch Interview
Questions by Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Luis Reyes, Associate Producer for Dungeon Fighter Online
On June 9th 2010, Dungeon Fighter Online will be going “official”. Well, that is to say, it will be going into official service. For those who haven’t heard of Dungeon Fighter Online before, it’s a massive multiplayer online hack n’ slash/beat ’em up in the resemblance of classic arcade titles such as Final Fight, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and D&D: Shadow over Mystara. With this upcoming launch, you can expect a load of new features that will excite both DFO veterans and newcomers alike.
As a DFO fan myself, I was more than eager to take this interview, so I spoke with a representative over at Nexon US to get scoop on the official launch!
OnRPG: Hello! First off, I’d just like to say congratulations on your official launch for DFO! How do you and your team at Nexon feel about all this?
It’s a big moment for our team. Dungeon Fighter Online is one of the most popular games in the world and now we’re officially bringing all of its fighting action excitement to North American gamers. There is something in DFO for every type of gamer: Anyone who has ever played an arcade fighting game is going to flip out about how cool the combat is, pummeling through dungeons until you get to the boss monster-super classic; RPG fans are going to love choosing a class, leveling up, creating a skill build, equipping the right type of weapons and armor to compliment their unique brand of monster bashing; and PvP players are going to love how many different ways there are to beat up on their friends and strangers alike.
Machinist Gaelbog Fight
OnRPG: Alright, well let’s jump right into the good stuff: What can players expect from the official launch of DFO?
The biggest piece of news is our launch of the Female Gunner, the sixth available character class. She has a lot of the same killer skills as her Male counterpart, but with a few new surprises, not the least of which being that she’s faster. We also have three new sub-class Awakenings open to high-level players; the Slayer’s Soul Reaper, the Fighter’s Hellcat and the Gunner’s Machinist. And for the hardcore player that absolutely needs monsters as hard as freaking possible, the Hell Mode will, hands down, kick ass. But if you can get through it, there are some amazing rewards, like Epic Items, the most powerful weapons and armor introduced into the game so far, twelve times more powerful than the typical Dungeon Fighting gear. Now, because we know that Dungeon Fighter is a lot more fun when playing with your friends, with our official launch we are expanding the old beta size of the guilds by doubling the guild level cap to 10 and cranking up the membership limit from 50 to 300. Of course, we will be throwing a whole slate of events for the launch.
OnRPG: So now dungeons include “Hell Mode”. How much harder will it be compared to a King’s Road dungeon run? (I can only imagine, since King’s Road is already pretty darn hard!)
Pretty darn hard times ten. There are several stages to even getting into the Hell Mode in the first place. You have to go through a quest series to obtain a Quelling Stone, then you have to find the Seal Gate in the regular dungeon (the harder the mode, the more likely you will find it), then you have to break the seal and let the evil minions out. And they just keep coming at you, with attacks you have never even dreamed of in your worst nightmares. You can only use three Life Tokens as well, so you better haul cases and cases of health potions in with you.
OnRPG: So what makes the female gunners different from male gunners?
Do I honestly have to explain the difference between boys and girls here? It’s the size of their guns. I’ll let you decide whose is bigger. A lot of their skills are the same, the common ones: Gatling Gun, Flamethrower, etc. But there are some specific skill differences. She has the Marilyn Rose instead of the Male Gunner’s Jack Spike, Topspin Kick instead of the Windmill, and the ever popular Spriggan instead of the Punisher. She’s also faster, but sometimes does less damage because of it. Though she too comes from Empyrean, she has an entirely different back story. When you create a Female Gunner you’ll be able to read her intro comic. She starts locked in a prison cell, and you won’t believe what she does to escape.
OnRPG: Will there be any new areas or dungeons for our DFO players to visit during the official launch?
For the official launch, no. We got the Female Gunner, Hell Mode, new Awakenings, Guild expansion, optimized connection updates, a whole host of events. This is a big update. But we are following this up throughout the summer with some pretty heavy duty additions that will make long time DFO fans very happy, and blow the minds of brand new fans.
OnRPG: What about PvP? Will there be any new modes or arenas for DFO players to battle in?
Already we have One-on-One Play, Team Play for up to four vs. four, Elimination in which your team lines up against another and you step in when the teammate in front of you falls, and then an all out Brawl mode where up to eight plays can just tear into each other until one is left standing. So as far as modes are concerned, I think we got the basics covered. There might be new modes in the future, but for now, we feel players are really digging the arena. As for new PvP maps, these are very likely on the horizon, but we want to get a lot more content out first.
OnRPG: During the testing period, a public test server was opened. Will the test server remain active after the official launch or will it be removed?
The idea for the Public Test Server was to open it periodically to a select group of players when we have a lot of really cool new content to test. The more eyes the better. But we also want player feedback so that we can shape new content for the better. We listen to our fans all the time, reading the forums, offering things like the PTS, throwing out polls. We want to make the best game for our players that we possibly can.
OnRPG: I noticed that your team at Nexon decided to host a skill reset event. What convinced you guys to give them out for free?
First, we wanted to offer players who have committed time and energy to their characters something truly valuable. We’re giving away skill resets, which normally sell for NX 25,000 (and if you spend some time with the game, you really will get a sense about how valuable these things are), to all characters who, on June 9th are at level 30. By level 30 you really start getting a feeling for minor changes you’d like to see in your skill build that will mean the difference between knocking a boss monster down in one run and having to drop Life Tokens to take him out. We’re hoping that players are going to support the game in the future by buying skill resets. Now, we aren’t leaving Female Gunners out of this. We have a separate event for them. We want to encourage players to start a Female Gunner on June 9th and level her up fast, because on June 30th, we will be giving all Female Gunners who have reached level 30 a free skill reset.
OnRPG: Now I’m going to ask something that I’m pretty sure is on the minds of every diehard Dungeon Fighter Online fan (or Dungeon & Fighter fan or Arad Senki fan): When are priests going to get their time to shine? The player run shops are nice, but wouldn’t it be nicer if players could auction their items, instead? PvP makes for decent endgame content, but wouldn’t it be better if players could go to war with each other or battle monsters in some crazy old towers instead? Come on, spill it!
Dude, everything you have spoken will come to pass. It’s as if you have augured the path of DFO. I can’t give you a lot of details now, but diehard DFO fans will have plenty to celebrate as we move into the fall. The auction house, the priest redesign, tower battles, and much, much more.
OnRPG: Well if you can’t say for this interview, could you at least drop us a hint as to when we might be getting those features? *wink wink* *nudge nudge*
Agh, how much of a hint can I possibly give. Just rest assured that Dungeon Fighter Online aims to be every bit as robust and exciting as the Asian incarnations of the game.
OnRPG: Now here’s something else about DFO’s current state that I’d like to ask: Bots. Gold Farmers. They’ve been running rampant all over the world of Arad for quite some time. Is your team at Nexon taking any precautious to getting rid of them once and for all?
We are taking severe action against hackers and gold farmers. We take the issue very seriously. We have set up new security systems, some of which you might notice when we launch on June 9th. We have been actively going after users who exploit the game, both technologically and litigiously. We have been so aggressive about this that we have driven up the price of gold being sold on third party sites. Automatic bans, game blockers, legal action, diligent responses to reported situations by our internal investigations team-all have proven very effective. But there is one thing our players can do to really help us make DFO a safe and friendly environment for all-don’t purchase gold from gold farming sites.
OnRPG: What about lag and latency issues? Have these issues been resolved before launch?
Much of the lag issue we are facing is due directly to difference in the internet infrastructure between the US and Korea. And, yes, we have made tremendous progress toward closing the gap. We are also adding to the service several ways for players to optimize their game as well. Dungeon Fighter Online runs on a peer-to-peer network, meaning that the stronger your connection with fellow players, the less network issues you will experience. We’ve designated half of our servers for the Western side of the US and Canada, and the other half for the Eastern side. To encourage players to use the server that corresponds to their region, we are offering a 5% EXP bump. This empowers our players with the ability to find their most lag-free game.
OnRPG: Another question that I’d like to ask on behalf of all the hardcore DFO, D&F and Arad Senki fans: Does your team at Nexon have any intentions of having DFO catch up to its foreign counterparts?
Of course. For all the reasons we mentioned above, we can’t do this all at once. Dungeon Fighter is a unique and highly complex game. By building it in stages, we ensure the quality of the game for everyone. We’d also like to emphasize that DFO is its own service. We are drawing from the catalogue of features and content that already exists, but we are creating a new experience, in the order we are releasing content, the speed at which we are doing it, and even in how we are developing original content for the game, such as a new NPC that was recently voted on by our fans. Above all, we are offering a service of the highest quality and have shaped our development and release schedule to ensure that.
OnRPG: Here’s a personal question I’d like to ask: The timed selectable avatars. It’s finally nice to be able to look you want, but is there any chance of there being permanent selectable avatars?
Just wait for the launch.
OnRPG: So is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just that we thank all of the players who have so far made DFO such a great success, and we welcome everyone to download the game and player for free today by visiting http://dungeonfighter.nexon.net!
OnRPG: Well thank you for your time! It has been a pleasure doing this interview with you and I can’t wait for the official launch! In fact, I’m going to jump back into DFO and start working on my Blade Master, again!