Grand Chase Interview: Crazy GM Team on Season 3
Questions by Rick Charbs (Jammart), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by: them crazy GM guys (and girls) at Ntreev USA
The “crazy” GM team at Ntreev USA has graciously agreed to answer some questions regarding Grand Chase (and most importantly, it’s most recent update: season 3)! This update offers a wide range of additions to the game, and Ntreev seems to have released it with utmost care and attention. The very GMs of the game said that:
“Season 3 not only paints a pretty picture with new art, animation and overall feel. All of the item drops, effects, rewards, Exp. gain, direction, and PvP competitiveness have all been enhanced with Season 3 in mind. I say the best way to see it is to play it yourself.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself! Read on to find out more about the Grand Chase Season 3 update in more detail.
OnRPG: As the Grand Chase community is mostly composed of veteran or experienced players, do you think this update will incite new players to try Grand Chase?
We’ve had a consistent mix of veteran and new players alike. Since we’ve had our major Season 3 update, more new players have been signing up. Many of our veteran players have come back, and the average stage of players in general has increased. We’ve applied a major aesthetic overhaul and progress indicators to not only help new players, but also to guide veteran players on features they might not have been aware of.
OnRPG: One of the largest additions to Grand Chase with the coming of this expansion is the addition of two new game areas. Could you give us a brief overview of them both? What will these two lands add to the gameplay value of Grand Chase?
Adding 2 new continents in Season 3 is simply explained as “natural progression”. We wanted to capitalize on and expand upon our highly anticipated dungeon lineup. If you take a look at the Grand Chase World Map, it is evident that our dev team KOG has redesigned and expanded the size of the World Map in preparation for future game content. This was not only done for Season 3, but in anticipation of creating an entire world for Grand Chase.
So our two new dungeons Goblin Work Site & Hammer’s Reach showcase the new art direction and production technology incorporated into Season 3. For example, take Hammer’s Reach: The textures, modeling, rendering and overall “steampunk” feel sets the stage with a fresh new attitude. Keeping that in mind, the set of the Goblin Work Site expands the epic story of our heroes, and pits them against a twisted boss encounter, burning desert sands, goblins (who doesn’t need goblins) and powerful magic; you’ll need to bring a friend or three for a much needed assist.
Season 3 not only paints a pretty picture with new art, animation and overall feel. All of the item drops, effects, rewards, Exp. gain, direction, and PvP competitiveness have all been enhanced with Season 3 in mind. I say the best way to see it is to play it yourself. Grand Chase is free to join and free to play!
OnRPG: Is there any particular reason you have decided to add one game area for low-level characters and one for high-level characters? What about the middle-guy?
We haven’t forgotten about the middle-guy! We originally had 4~5 new dungeons ready for Season 3 but it was a matter of how much stuff do you cram into one major content expansion, and not lose players in the mix; too much can be a bad thing. The “other” new dungeons will open soon.
OnRPG: Another anticipated change in the world of Grand Chase is the user interface. What changes will be the most noticeable to current Grand Chase players?
I would say multiple resolution support. It has been extremely nice to play Grand Chase with more detail. It’s hard not to notice the mode detailing on their characters and items. I personally prefer to play full screen to glorify this particular aspect of the UI update. That aside, we’ve received some great feedback about the revamped World Map and the new dungeon related UI modifications that have been implemented.
OnRPG: What brought you to decide to change the user interface?
With the game’s engine technology getting better and better, the 3D aspect of the game kept on improving, but our interface has stayed the same. Season 3 gave us a chance to go back in and retool, add and tweak our existing UIs. Grand Chase’s UI needed the facelift; users requested some new features (and a little direction) for support. The UI scales with different resolution settings and we are now able to support multiple aspect ratios as well.
OnRPG: We have also been brought attention to the new item customization features that will be implemented in the game with the Season 3 update. What are they, and how will they function?
A large number of items will now be customizable. Players will have the basic properties that they’re familiar with, but they’re able to select 1~3 “Sockets” to fill with a number of different killer attributes. So, not only does this allow a player to tune that item to their liking and play style, but even though a player may be wearing an item that the “other guy” may have, the customized additions will put an unexpected twist on the outcome. In short… ok, you hit for 15 additional points of damage, I’ll take the gamble with my Critical Strike percentage for max damage. It puts the game in the player’s hands.
OnRPG: Does this new item customization upgrade bring the possibility of customizing one’s character even more in the near future? Do you consider character customization essential in this game?
Yes! Even as we’re writing this bit, we are about to launch Act 2 of the Season 3 update. We’ll be introducing the Monster Card system. This new system will allow further customization to your character and gear. By collecting and adding the card to your character, you get another chance at giving your gear a whole new twist.
Our players are very attached to their favorite characters and their items. In the competitive worlds of dungeon crawling and PvP mayhem, we believe it is absolutely essential that our players have the tools necessary to make Grand Chase their own, and to customize their characters with their own design.
Plains of the Red Wyrm
OnRPG: Season 3 also brings the update of item proficiencies that Grand Chase has never seen before. What do these equipment bonuses entail?
Various stat boosts and all sorts of buffs! J There are too many to list here individually, but you do get to enjoy special bonuses such as reduced level requirements, EXP bonuses, in-game currency buffs, critical attack bonuses and these are in addition to stat boosts.
OnRPG: Missions will also be receiving an overhaul. You claim that they will be more engaging story-wise and have clearer objectives. How is that so? Could you give us a ”before and after” example?
As far as story goes, we are not going back and changing anything drastic. We’ve simply made it flow better and let the player follow the progression on a smooth curve. In Season 2, many players were lost as a number of missions may not have been experienced “in order” nor was there a lot of info as to what content should be done in any specific order. It was up to the player to “follow the path”.
In Season 3, we’ve labeled each mission to their assigned level range and reorganized the distribution so players can take on the challenges at their appropriate level. So even if one strays off the beaten path, you’ll still be in the right ballpark.
OnRPG: I see you have also added a new scaling reward system! Does this imply that players will receive more rewards from completing missions? What are the conditions of these XP rewards?
We wanted the players to not only push themselves to achieve (because you get better loot and Exp), but instill that return on investment. Long story short, don’t sit on your laurels and let your friends do the dirty all the work. I don’t want to spoil the fun and tell you exactly how the system works, but let’s just say we reward the heroes. Play hard!
OnRPG: You are dividing this update into two large acts. What brought you to the decision of separating Season 3 in two parts, and how do you think it benefits Grand Chase?
With an update this big, you always run into the trouble of either yourself or your players biting off more than we can chew. We carefully looked at the scope of Season 3, brought everybody to the table, held countless meetings and decided that we should split it into 2 parts. The biggest reason for doing this was that there was just too much content. In an MMO world, you can’t change too much at once. Change is good, but change can easily and inevitably be met with apprehension. When you go to a buffet, you can’t eat all the food you want at once. You look through what’s on the table and decide what you want on your first run and go grab a second plate with what looked too good to pass up on the first round. We had too much food to eat and it would have been messy if we tried to tackle it all at once. In the end, I think we gave ample time for our veteran players to adjust and soak in all the OMG’s and new changes abound, all the while keeping Grand Chase fresh and exciting for our new players.
Marsh of the Blue Dragon
OnRPG: Are you planning on releasing new characters soon? How about new character class upgrades?
We always push for new characters and class upgrades (Jobs). We have been extremely fortunate to work with the passionate developers at KOG. Seriously, they never let up. You can certainly look forward to more characters and jobs in the future. We should be introducing more jobs during the summer season and who knows, maybe a new character sooner than later?
OnRPG: Will you be hosting any special events at the release of Act 1 of Season 3?
We’ve hosted a live broadcast with our staff here at Ntreev USA. We were showing off the new features of Season 3 and we had a great turn out. We are working with many cool partners (including OnRPG.com!) to showcase and share our new exciting Season 3 updates. We have in-game prize give-a-ways as well as other in game events. There is even a special shadow image of a character that’ll bring a new “caliber” of fun to the game. We are always planning more events so come check out our website at http://grandchase.ntreev.net for all of the latest information.
OnRPG: As the release date for Act 1 was set for April 27th, users have had quite some time to test the waters of Season 3. What has been the feedback of your loyal players so far?
We’ve had a lot of interesting feedback. I am going to be brutally honest; we’ve seen great, good and not so good feedback from our loyal player base. As stated earlier, some players weren’t pleased about big change, or change in any capacity. However, feedback in general has been good. We have been enjoying a lot of growth in Grand Chase, and this applies to both game tech and player-base. Season 3 was a much-needed addition to Grand Chase.
OnRPG: Are you anxious for the release of Act 2? Do you think it will revolutionize Grand Chase as a whole? If so, why?
I would say it is the continuation of offering great content for players to enjoy. It’s like the next episode that you’d cancel a date to see… ok well maybe, but for some it might be revolutionary, for others it might seem evolutionary, but all we can hope for is that our players enjoy what we’ve done, and that it keeps them coming back for more.
OnRPG: Thank you for your time!
Thank you for taking time to read this interview. Thank you to OnRPG.com for giving us a chance to share some information about our new Season 3 update!