Forsaken World Interview – In a league of its own
Questions by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Andrew Brown, Product Manager for Forsaken World
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. Developed by a team of international staff, including talent from China, Japan, South Korea, North America and various other countries, 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 interview and find out more about this gem.
OnRPG: Hello, I am Fo Po (cinderboy) from OnRPG. Would you kindly introduce yourself to the readers?
Hi Cinderboy and OnRPG readers! My name is Andrew Brown and many of you may also know me as the Product Manager for Perfect World Entertainment’s martial arts inspired MMORPG, Jade Dynasty. I’m also the Product Manager for Forsaken World and I am responsible for the North American version of the game and work very closely with the development team.
OnRPG: First, let’s talk about the development process of Forsaken World. Why the decision to shift away from the mostly Asian inspired MMOs and to focus more on Western culture in this title?
We’ve always been committed to providing the highest level of games to our players and we’re just expanding our portfolio by creating games with a focus on Western culture. We still have upcoming Asian-inspired MMOs with Heroes of Three Kingdoms and Swordsman Online and I think that if you have a great story to tell, it resonates with all audiences regardless of cultural background.
OnRPG: The game has been touted as being developed by an international team of developers. How did Perfect World gather this elite group of people? Were any unique methods used to design the game?
In the world, especially in the gaming industry, talent attracts talent. So when we started with such an ambitious project as Forsaken World, we look for the best talent, which in turns brings in more talent. Without going into too many game-specific details since we’re still in closed beta testing in China, we’re looking to add some pretty game changing features into Forsaken World and experiment with things like how to become a Immortal and server versus server content.
OnRPG: What main differences will there be compared to the Chinese counterpart after the localization process for the English market is complete?
Forsaken World is still in closed beta testing in China, so we’re still tweaking game features. At the same time, we’re making sure that the game is fun and will appeal to the Western audience starting from the basic translation to major gameplay changes such as when we added WASD movement in Battle of the Immortals. When Forsaken World hits closed beta in North America, we’ll be keenly listening to what our players like and dislike before we launch into open beta. While the development team is taking a swing at mixing both western and eastern gameplay styles, they will be leaning on our Closed Beta, to fine tune that mix.
OnRPG: Let’s talk about the game features now. The race that has everyone talking is no doubt the Kindred, and its specialty class, Vampire. What inspired the development team to come up with such a race and class, which is rarely seen in MMORPGs?
I think the movie Eclipse had something to do with it! Go Team Edward! But honestly, vampires have been pretty big lately in Western Culture. After taking a more in depth look, the developers saw an opportunity and went with it. I remember the day when they gave us the first concept art of the Vampire class, I think our excitement for it sealed the deal.
OnRPG: Two of the races, the Stonemen and Dwarves, will only have 1 class available each. In the spirit of journalism (and getting exclusive info), is it possible for them to gain new classes as the storyline expands in the future?
What a lonely life it would be to have only Stonemen Protectors and Dwarf Marksmen running around. (they won’t be lonely *hint*)
OnRPG: The astrology (or horoscope) system is one of the most unique features I have seen in a MMORPG. Can you tell us in brief what some of its main functions are and how it will affect gameplay?
Since we’re still in closed beta testing in China, we can’t reveal too many details behind the astrology/horoscope system, but I can tell you that this unique system will give players advantages at certain times of the game. It will also allow us to guide our players. For example, if you have been questing 100% of the time, we could offer you a reward to go participate in a dungeon. This will ensure we get players to experience all the awesomeness in Forsaken World. Without revealing too much, the astrology system will also play a role in server progression.
OnRPG: Character advancement is an important element in every MMORPG. In Forsaken World, will players be able to allocate stat points after each level? How else can players improve their stats?
There are no stat points! Yay! Yay? While this might seem odd, when you level your character the base stats, like health and mana, will increase. Equipment will be huge in terms of customizing the stats of your character. Finding the right equipment is step one, but also utilizing runes that get socketed into your equipment, will be the best way to get the stat boosts that you desire.
OnRPG: How will players primarily gain their equipment? From my experience in past games from Perfect World Entertainment, most of the good stuff normally comes from instances and crafting rather than mob drops in the open world.
There will be various ways that players can gain equipment including through questing, instances and crafting. Questing is pretty straight forward, you quest you get a reward.Instances or dungeons, will also have drops from bosses and trash mobs.Crafting of course will be another way, if that is your cup of tea.Another way is through world drops.There is an exchange system where you can trade in a dropped material at NPCs for awesome gear.These NPCs will be at major cities, much like the city you see shortly after hitting level 10.
OnRPG: How can players enhance their equipment? I read that weapons will gain experience and change appearance, will this be the same for armor?
Yes it will, you equipment will evolve just like your character.You can further refine you equipment with crystals that are dropped in the world and by socketing runes into it.
OnRPG: From a recent post from the official Forsaken World forums, there seems to be various ENORMOUS monsters. Are these open world bosses? How hard are they to take down?
I think you are referring to a post on World Bosses.The developers LOVE world boss fights.Not only because it’s a great way to get gear and have an awesome battle, but because of the PvP elements that it brings too.Some bosses are huge, some are small.Some bosses you can solo, others you will need a party size of 5 to even 30+ people!
OnRPG: Another feature that the players want to hear about is the PvP. One common fear is that it will yet be another “stand still and pew pew pew” style of PvP found in almost every MMORPG on the market. Will this be any different in Forsaken World?
That’s the battle the developers are facing right now in fact.One complaint from the early Closed Beta, was that you cannot attack and move at the same time.The developers have acknowledged this and are going back to the drawing board.I personally cannot wait to see what they come up with.
OnRPG: In every MMORPG, the core tool for gathering like-minded players will isthe guild feature. In Forsaken World, how will the guild feature stand out from those found in other games? I did read about a rather in-depth guild feature with guild castles etc.
Guilds will play an important part in Forsaken World with guild-specific features and quests being unlocked at certain in-game milestones. From special guild housing to even guild buffs, Forsaken World rewards players for working together since a guild that plays together, stays together.
OnRPG: There is this mysterious feature, where 10 players from each server will be able to gain the status of “God” and gain a few miraculous skills and abilities. Information is still lacking, however, on the requirements. Can you shed any light on this?
I cannot talk about this feature at the given moment.But what you have heard isn’t far from the truth.
OnRPG: This is asked on behalf of the community. Will Perfect World Entertainment ever consider adding in a player housing feature to spruce up their games’ social features?
We’re always open to player feedback and it’s something that we’ve talked about internally with our developers.Forsaken World has already taken the first step at this with our guild castle system as you mentioned earlier.The plan is to expand this system.
OnRPG: This is asked on behalf of another avid Forsaken World friend of mine. Will there be any aerial movement and battle available, a supposed trademark of other Perfect World Entertainment’s games?
I’ve asked the developer the same question.The response was (roughly translated), “We will meet in the skies one day.”
OnRPG: The final question. How will you reply a player who complains that Forsaken World looks just like the company’s other games (mainly Perfect World International), but re-skinned?
Ah, the age old question.I’ll be bold.If you judge a book my it’s cover, you suck.All MMOs look the same to me, regardless of art style.What should matter is the feature list, and Forsaken World will have you doing things you have never done in an MMO before.So you are losing out big time if you choose to “judge a book by its cover.”
OnRPG: Thanks a lot for your time! I am REALLY looking forward to the game!
Thanks for your time, see you in the forums!