Mabinogi Interview: Now Featuring Dragons!
By Joshua Piercy (elazulblack), OnRPG Journalist
Mabinogi is an MMORPG published by Nexon. The game takes place in a fantasy celtic setting, where players can craft, farm, raise pets, explore dungeons, compose their own music, and just have fun.
We here at OnRPG were lucky enough to speak to with the assistant producer of Mabinogi about the “Dragon” updates, which were released in October and December 2009. These new updates added many features to the game, including a new landmass for players to explore in the Mabinogi world. Read on as we ask for more details about these new features.
OnRPG: Hello! We appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions about Mabinogi’s recent update. First, would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Matthew McCullough. I’m the assistant producer for the Mabinogi team.
OnRPG: Zardine, the land opened with this recent update, introduces a massive amount of content to Mabinogi. How long has the Mabinogi team been working on bringing this update to the English version?
We decided to split the content of the “Dragon” update into two major releases, one which came out in October of 2009 and then the remaining Dragon content was released in December of 2009. The scope of the time we spent working on the updates was actually quite long, around five months total of preparation, localization, and testing.
The World of Mabinogi
OnRPG: The Dragon Update features, as the name implies, several races of dragons. How do these races interact with and effect one another?
The dragon factions are separated by obvious color differences, red, blue, and gold. Although the red and blue factions are constantly at war, the powerful golden dragon, Adniel, stays out of the conflict, in hibernation. The red and blue factions are fighting to control Adniel’s immense power.
OnRPG: There is one dragon which does not fall into the “blue” or “red” stereotypes: Adniel, the Gold Dragon. What is Adniel’s purpose in the game?
Because Adniel is such a powerful creature, the red and blue dragons are constantly at odds with each other to establish control over Adniel. The only catch is that no dragon can control Adniel, but a Human, Elf or Giant can. This is where the story starts to take off when players get involved.
OnRPG: Hot air balloons are a large part of this update. What are players able to do with said hot air balloons?
Part leisurely travel method, part mini game, the hot air balloons are first used to progress through the Dragon story. Players may continue to purchase hot air balloon kits from vendors to participate in a mini game for a chance at some cool items. When it comes to mastering the mini game, it takes coordination of skills and smart operation of the balloon.
Gather Material for Crafting
OnRPG: What kinds of new equipment or items have become available with the recent update? Is there new “dragon” themed equipment available to players?
New items show up in just about every one of our updates for Mabinogi. Specific armors are battle-hardened “vintage” items, which come from hard mode dungeons. Other new items included are Giant shields, the Colin armor set, the Turban Shell armor set, the famous Lava Cat Robe, and lots more!
OnRPG: Is the content found in this new update accessible to low leveled or new players?
The content in the Dragon update is available for players level 5 and up. Players must first start the Secrets of Irinid story, but this is can be skipped by speaking to Kousai in the town of Cor. However, because of the intensity of the encounters in Dragon, we strongly recommend new players get a feel for the game before embarking on dragon-hunting!
OnRPG: Skills are very important to Mabinogi, whether they be crafting or combat skills. What new skills have been made available in this update?
The second part of the Dragon update, which occurred in December, contained several new, cool skills for many races. Taunt, a giant-only skill, causes enemy monsters to attack the user. Another Giant-only skill is Wind Guard, a sort of Defend and Counter Attack hybrid skill that causes the Giant to retaliate against attacks made on him or her. Elves received an awesome new skill called Final Shot. Similar to Final Hit, Final Shot allows the Elf to teleport a distance and then fire their bow at an enemy. Available to all races is the Mana Shield ability. Mana Shield is a defensive ability that substitutes Mana in lieu of Health when a player is hit by a monster.
OnRPG: A new system for finding and restoring fossils can be found in Zardine. What are the perks for finding fossils?
Players who excel at restoring the fossils in this mini game will be privy to several new cool items, including the coveted Lava Cat Robe!
OnRPG: There is a hot spring in the Zardine region which has several “spa treatments” available. What sort of spa treatments are they, and what are their effects on characters?
The hot springs in Zardine function similarly to food. If a player spends enough time in a particular pool, they can increase or decrease their body size.
Various Pools in Mabinogi
OnRPG: Mabinogi has a cash shop system which allows players to purchase in-game items with real money. What new items or pets have been made available with this patch?
We’ve recently implemented broom pets with the Dragon update. Broom pets are fantastic travel companions: they function as flying mounts and normal ground mounts. Whereas a flying mount such as an eagle or pelican cannot move very quickly on the ground, a broom will move much quicker. On the other hand, horses and ostriches cannot fly, but the broom pets can.
Additionally, character cards are often released with limited-time only clothing. This is a way for players to really differentiate themselves when interacting with others in-game.
OnRPG: Do you have any particularly special items that you plan on releasing for the cash shop in the near future, or is that a secret?
We like to hold future releases in the cash shop close to the chest, but here’s a hint: the next pet we’re releasing has wings.
OnRPG: Weapons can now be adorned with gemstones to increase their power. In what ways are these stones able to enhance weapons’ power?
Gem modifications work in a similar way to how weapon modifications currently work. It’s just another thing you can do to your prized weapon to make it even more powerful. You can increase minimum/maximum damage, critical rate, and other weapon statistics.
Pick up your weapons and fight!
OnRPG: Now adventurers can enter the “hard mode” of various dungeons. What kind of rewards are available for completing said dungeons?
As mentioned before, “Vintage” items are rewarded for hard mode dungeons. These items are battle-hardened and show that an adventurer has gone through the wringer in order to obtain such items.
OnRPG: Two-Handed weapons are being improved in the update. What kind of improvements are being made? Why did you decide to update Two-Handed weapons, specifically?
The main thing that was changed with two-handed weapons was how they interacted with certain skills and introduced more two-handed enchants. The reasoning behind this was the constant use of dual wielding one-handed swords over using a two-hander. We wanted there to be a variety in weapon usage.
OnRPG: As of now, are there plans on releasing any unique content for the North American version of Mabinogi, such as the content which can only be found in the Japanese version?
In January, Mabinogi will see its first storyline, Advent of the Goddess, revisited. It has been revamped in order to make it friendlier to players new and old alike. We are working with the development team in order to receive more content that the North American player base gets to see first.
OnRPG: When can we expect to see future updates, such as Alchemist?
Lalala, I can’t hear you, lalala. Soon.
OnRPG: Do you have anything else that you would like to tell the readers?
Thank you for your continued support of Mabinogi and we hope that you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoy supporting it. We know you’re going to love everything that’s coming this year, so keep your eyes peeled.
OnRPG: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions!
It’s been my pleasure!