Forsaken World Interview Forthesaken Time!
Questions by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answers by Jonathan Belliss, Director of Marketing, Perfect World Entertainment Inc.
Forsaken World is Perfect World Entertainment’s upcoming epic MMORPG, and I would like to stress that the word “epic” was not added just to make the game sound good. Forsaken World is arguably the company’s biggest MMORPG to date. The Chinese version even had a country-wide tour to promote the game! Without further ado, let’s get into the the second interview interview and find out even more about this gem.
OnRPG: Hello, my name is Chen Fo Po (cinderboy) from OnRPG. Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi. My name is Jonathan Belliss and I’m the Director of Marketing for Perfect World Entertainment. I oversee all of our games, including Forsaken World.
OnRPG: Let us cut straight to the main point first *serious mode*. What is the current status of the game? Is Forsaken World ready for OBT? And exactly when?
We are in the final stages of polishing the game for launch and with the help of all of our closed beta testers, we are quickly approaching launch. I think the game is definitely almost there in terms of quality and polish. We’re going through a few more phases of testing, and then we’ll be good to go. Forsaken World will be launched simultaneously in North American and Europe with French and German versions on March 23.
OnRPG: On behalf of the gamers eagerly waiting for the official OBT launch of the game, I will like to ask this: “What in the world is Perfect World Entertainment thinking, letting us wait for nearly a year!”
Forsaken World has been our longest game in development to date and we really wanted to make sure that we get every detail ofthis game right, which is part of the reason why we’ve been taking our time.. It is also one of the reasons why we had such a long closed beta with multiple phases. We realize a lot of people were unhappy waiting for so long, but we simply didn’t want to release a game pre-maturely and unfinished.
OnRPG: Did the response for Forsaken World match the initial expectations set?
The player response has been tremendous. Not only has this been the longest closed beta, it has also been the biggest closed beta for us to date. The feedback that we’ve gotten from our players has been overwhelmingly positive. All of this support has simply fueled us even more and is driving us to launch the game. To answer your question, initial expectations were set pretty high, and we’re glad that we’re meeting those expectations thus far.
OnRPG: Numbers. Is it possible to share with us some numbers, like how many CBT accounts were given out, characters created, how many max level characters etc?
Unfortunately since we’re a public company, we’re not allowed to disclose any of those numbers without explicit permission.
OnRPG: I have encountered situations where high level players are “camping” outside towns waiting to PK (Player Kill) lower level characters. How is this situation viewed by the Forsaken World team?
We realize that players have been encountering this issue and that it’s been severely hindering gameplay for some. Starting with Closed Beta Phase 4, more channels will be in place that will allow players to avoid common bottlenecks. Also with Phase 4 and beyond, there will be PvE server options for players that don’t wish to play on a PvP oriented server.
OnRPG: Speaking of PvP (Player vs Player), in the previous interview OnRPG had, it was said that the PvP system will be going back to the drawing board. Any updates with regards to this?
We’ve been going back and forth with the development team on the subject of PvP. In terms of recent developments, we’ve just confirmed that we’ll be having a PvP Arena System added to the game. This system will allow players to get into groups and queue for an Arena Match. Players will then battle and fight for points which can be used to attain gear or other rewards. We expect to see more improvements in PvP as the year progresses.
OnRPG: Also, in the previous interview, the player-god system was apparently a god-forbidden topic to chat about. Perhaps some lights can be shed now? *comes up with a cute adoring face*
This is something that is currently still being worked on by China and balancing it has been the most challenging issue. We want it to be more than just a player recognition status symbol, but at the same time, we don’t want players abusing their powers and griefing other players with it. More importantly, the revision of other core game systems has taken up more time than anticipated, leaving less time to work on the God System. For example a majority of players have been asking for an Auction House System. So we’ve been spending a lot of time on that and should have it out by Phase 4 of CB, if not by when the game goes live.
OnRPG: I understand that that there are worries about IP blocking once there are other English servers out in other regions. Care to comment on this?
We are publishing Forsaken World for North America and for most of Europe in both German and French. Perfect World is working with other publishers to ensure that Forsaken World is brought to as many players around the world as possible.
OnRPG: There were quite some technical errors during the CBT phase, with in-game lagging (causing the dreaded “rubber-ban effect”) as well affecting a significant amount of players. Are all the problems duly noted by the team and finding ways to solve them?, We’ve definitely taken note of these issues and have addressed them on the backend. Closed beta testing allows us to put the game through its paces in a live environment and discover these issues before launch. We believe that the channel system will alleviate some of the congestion and frame rate issues that people see in town, but we’re also working on some other improvements that should help with the issues you’ve mentioned.
OnRPG: Another concern for the community will be the cash shop, or Eyrda Boutique. How will the items and prices be structured to prevent imbalance for light or non-spending players?
In Closed Beta Phase 3, we gave out cash currency to our players for testing the cash shop. This allows us to gauge demand and we take in feedback from our players regarding prices. The cash shop is focused on convenience and cosmetic items and we are very sensitive to balancing the game for all players regardless of whether or not they spend.
OnRPG: Are there any areas of the game which the Forsaken World team feel that need changing?
I think that the main things that need changing are being addressed right now, both in form of the new Auction House System and PvP Arenas.
OnRPG: Up till now, what are some of the major differences the North American server has from the original Chinese server?
The only major differences between the two are PvE servers here in North America. At launch, we will have a distinct separation between PvE and PvP servers, where as in China, they are all PvP.
OnRPG: Will all features found in CBT be in the game at launch? Or will there be new features added?
Yes, as of now we don’t have any plans to take out any of the features in closed beta at launch. One of the features that wasn’t in the first closed beta phase, but has been added since then, is the auction house. Many players requested this and we thought it was a good feature to add into the game. We’ll also be opening up more PvE content and unlocking progression.
OnRPG: Can you share with us some of the events planned for the game’s upcoming OBT launch?
We’ve been doing leveling events throughout closed beta that will grant rewards to players upon launch. We are definitely planning some events for open beta launch and a decision on the various events will be made soon.
OnRPG: Having played the Chinese server for some time, there are quite an amount of merchandise for the game. Any plans to bring any of them over as event prizes or for retailing?
Absolutely. We are looking into bringing over as well as creating our own swag for contests and giveaways for Forsaken World. The best way to keep an eye out for swag is to frequently check the official Forsaken World website (http://fw.perfectworld.com/) for updates.
OnRPG: Thank you for your time! I can’t wait for OBT to finally start!