by Chris Scarbrough, Onrpg writer
Answered by Jonathan Belliss, Product Manager
Perfect World International is releasing first expansion called The Lost Empire! This expansion introduces a number of new features and content, including: new skills and spiritual cultivation levels, new battle pets, new zones, including Unicorn Forest and Valley of the Scarred, new quests and monsters and much more! We held an exclusive interview with Jonathan Belliss about what we can expect from this expansion, and the future developments of the game!
Onrpg: With the new expansion released this December the Chrono Wheel is introduced. Can you explain what it does, and how it effects the Perfect World storyline?
The main storyline in the expansion consists of a series of quests where the player can actually participate in the reconstruction of the Chrono Wheel. This all culminates at a point where the player can actually venture back in time to various locations in Perfect World history. The modern world remains unchanged; however these moments in time will be of great interest to high level players.
Onrpg: What can you tell us about the new zones being released, and the new dungeons available?
The new zones provide a good deal of new content for our users. They are all parts of Perfect Worlds history and give you a better view of the overall narrative present in Perfect World International. These new areas will of course be challenging and provide our players with more to achieve and explore within PWI.
Onrpg: Of the new content being released in the Winter Expansion, which one of the new additions are you most looking forward to hearing user comments about?
MMORPG gamers are usually excited about equipment, and more importantly, bad ass looking equipment. Needless to say there is a plethora of new weapons, ornaments, and armor available in The Lost Empire. I have always been amazed at the particle effects that the design team manages to create in PWI, and with The Lost Empires equipment, they have definitely outdone themselves.
Onrpg: After the expansion, are you planning to hold special in-game events for Perfect World International? What about special items that can be obtained?
We will definitely be ramping up our in-game events for PWI come launch time for The Lost Empire. Well be offering a slew of in-game items that can benefit and aid players in a number of ways. Were all gamers ourselves here at Perfect World Entertainment, so we know how much fun in-game events can be.
Onrpg: Perfect World is one of very few games that allows characters to mount various types of things in the game, some of them even giving the ability to fly! How do you see Perfect World’s mounting system different from other games?
The mounting system in Perfect World is incredibly unique. There are several MMORPGs out there that have flying mounts available, but PWI allows players to not only fly, but also engage in combat while flying. Another unique aspect of PWIs flying system is the fact that you can ride your mounts with other players. This means that even low level players who ordinarily cannot ride mounts can hitch a ride with their friends, and easily travel about the world with their colleagues.
Onrpg: Since Perfect World is originally an Asian game, were there any major changes made to the game during the localization process?
In terms of gameplay, the primary change we made to Perfect World International was creating a PvE and PvP servers. In Asia there is no distinction between the two because all the servers are PvP servers. However Western audiences are generally more oriented towards PvE activities, as a result we decided to directly cater to that taste.
Onrpg: During the localization process, where there any major snags or nagging problems that you had trouble with?
Perfect World International has an insane amount of text. It took months upon months of work in order to fully localize PWI to what it is today. Even today, we are still constantly tweaking the games localization according to user feedback. In terms of major snags or nagging problems, Perfect World Entertainments staff has had a lot of past experience in localizing games, and the combination of past experience and hard work allowed us to avoid a lot of potential pitfalls during the localization process.
Onrpg: Every game has its problems, no matter how much work is put into it. Is there a part of the game that you’re unhappy with? And are there plans to change or fix it if so?
Of course despite Perfect World Internationals success thus far, we have a long laundry list of improvements and tweaks that we would like to see come to fruition. Were lucky to have a very strong development team that is constantly working on PWI and continuing to improve the game every month.
Onrpg: One thing many people notice is, this game has no zones or front loading when entering a new area. How rough was it to make this work?
The Angelica engine, the engine that powers Perfect World International is really a marvel. It has been development for years and years. The team who worked on the development of this engine is incredible and continues to produce incredible work to this day.
Onrpg: In your official announcement you state this is the first expansion. What can we expect to see in the future from Perfect World Entertainment?
In terms of Perfect World Entertainment, weve already released our first game, Perfect World International. Next year youre going to see a lot more from us. We recently just announced our second game, Ether Saga Online, and launched our community portal page at www.perfectworld.com.
We hope that everyone continues to enjoy Perfect World International, and we look forward to providing more and more people with great Free to Play games in 2009.