Questions by Jeffrey Kerkdijk (Hyarume), Onrpg writer
Answered by Wang Wei, Product Manager
Onrpg had the chance to interview Wang Wei chief game designer for TQ digital. Zero online is a sci-fi action MMORPG, with tons of features never seen in MMORPGs before! How is Zero online doing? Did I just hear something about a new expansion coming up?
Onrpg: Could you give us a small introduction about yourself and what you do for Zero online?
My name is Wang Wei, and I’m the chief game designer for TQ Digital. I’m responsible for overseeing the designs of all projects within the studio – to monitor those projects through development and ensure that they adhere to the vision and direction, while meeting the highest standard within the required timescale.
Onrpg: How is Zero Online doing at the moment?
Zero Online is currently doing very well. The players are really enjoying the game. Many game operators have offered to run this game, which is positive. For the moment, we have released several language versions, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. More languages will be released in the near future.
Onrpg: What was the whole idea behind creating Zero Online?
Fantasy games currently dominate the MMORPG market, and more and more gamers are tiring of the fantasy genre and showing their interest in sci-fi. But the Sci-fi MMORPGs is one of the most under-developed genres, so players have few choices in sci-fi games to play. A lot of our designers and programmers are also big sci-fi fans, so we gave them a chance to bring their great ideas and abilities into full play. The success of Zero Online proves that sci-fi MMOs DO have huge potential in the market right now.
Onrpg: What makes Zero Online “stand out” in the current MMORPG market?
Well, being free to play is a big stand out. All our servers have no IP restrictions, so people around the world can play together. This sci-fi themed game stands out because of its unique features, such as multiple units, transformation, core programs, spacecraft missions, satellite research, etc. We also hold all kinds of events and contests to give away fantastic prizes to our players.
Onrpg: I noticed that when playing the game, once you reach a certain point there isn’t much to do. Are there any future content updates that will change this?
We have regular content updates every month. Players can expect new events or features almost every week. We will be adding 4 more events and some new features in April. The new expansion has been released in Chinese version, and it will be brought to the English version in May. A lot of new features and content is already under development, including new missions, features, skills, items… We are dedicated to giving our players a fresh and exciting experience in Zero Online.
Onrpg: Will there be new features released in the future?
Of course! We have the new expansion to be released this May. By then, players can merge their main unit and ARMs into one super unit, many destructive new skills to give players the thrilling experience of utterly destroying their enemies, the Satellite Research Academy can offer the hard-working pilots an opportunity to research the combats and programs, and new regions for the pilots to explore.
Many other missions and new features are already under development, and will be released soon.
Onrpg: Could you give us a short description of how the PvP works in the game?
PKing is one of the biggest features in Zero Online. The new players are protected from being PKed, but once they grow up and become powerful enough, they can try their hand at PKing. Of course, in all the cities, PKing is prohibited. Players can also choose not to PK, and just explore the universe. To stop those ruthless PKers from killing the innocents, there are severe punishment rules for the PK abusers. If a player has killed too many people, he can be put into the PK jail, or if they’re killed, they might drop some of the items they’re currently wearing. There are also weekly and monthly PK tournaments for players to prove their prowess and gain recognition among the community. Players can also choose to duel with a rival, and not have to worry about losing any of their hard-earned items.
Onrpg: How is the community involved with the game?
The strong community is one of the best features of Zero Online. Players can be guided and mentored by the high level veterans, well known traders can become trade partners to trade their items more freely, friends can share exp, married couples can cut damage taken in half, and eligible adventurers can team up to complete spacecraft missions. Players are encouraged to organize a Fleet and Squad to band together and face their challenges head on. The fleet and squad members can take part in the fleet and squad battles to win prizes. The weekly and monthly PK tournaments are also a good place for players to get to know each other.
One of the things I like in the game, is that each male pilots can receive a rose each day to give to a charming lady. We also constantly hold a lot of online and offline events to encourage players to communicate with each other.
Onrpg: What is your favorite feature from Zero Online?
Zero Online is popular for its exclusive features. The favorite features are the transformation, spaceship missions, R&D center, multi-weapon system, ARMs, core system, unit overhaul, and of course, the community.
1) Transform. Players can learn different transformation skills to transform their units into all kinds of powerful forms.
2) Spaceship missions. Players can team up to complete the varied missions, which require not only strength, but also teamwork and skill.
3) R&D Center. Here players can research and develop their programs and battle skills.
4) Multi-Weapon. Players are allowed to equip multiple weapons, which can offer the pilots the choices of just which way they want to destroy their foe.
5) ARMs. The pilots can command not only their primary unit, but also the ARMs. The main unit and ARMs can also be switched freely, to be used in just the right situation.
6) Core system. Players’ power is not only decided by their level and equipment, but also by the core programs they have installed. Different kinds of programs are integrated in a core, which can greatly affect the results of any battle if used correctly.
Onrpg: What motivates players when they are playing Zero Online?
In Zero Online, we provide opportunities for all of our players to experience success, by setting goals in both the short and long term. Players can receive recognition and honor in a variety of areas. Their efforts will bring them not only the Ultra quality equipment and powerful skills, but also the leadership, fortune, and glory.
When players become powerful enough, they can mentor and guide the lower level players, command the spaceship members to help complete all kinds of missions, donate their money to gain a title of nobility, conquer their rivals in the PK tournaments, lead their fleets and squads in the wars to dominate the territories, and to have their names shown in the Hall of Fame.
The pride and respect that arise from these successes can help players to develop self confidence, and the desire to try even harder.
Onrpg: Are there any new system features in development?
Currently we have quite a few new system features we’re developing, including the new expansion which is planned to be released this May. This expansion contains new units, transformation skills, missions, maps, and research that can be done. We are also developing the sky missions, the PK tournament for transformed units, quiz contests, and some additions to the currently existing features.
Onrpg: What customization options are available?
In Zero Online, players have many choices for customizing their characters. For example, they can paint their units with their favorite colors, choose unique avatars, stamp their equipment with laser signatures, select their desired ARMs, decide to become a merchant or not, socket their equipment and cores with different gems, compose the cores with different programs, transform the units into a cooler form, and so on.
Onrpg: How do you deal with bots/gold sellers?
In order to protect the game and its players from the destructive influences of cheating, any illegal third-party programs and gold selling can result in a permanent ban of the involved accounts from Zero Online, as well as the other TQ games.
Onrpg: Zero online is set in a sci-fi themed world. How do you maintain that atmosphere?
Zero Online is a lush world full of high-tech equipment, programs, spaceships, and mutant aliens. In this futuristic world, the infantry and artillery pilots can command the ships to complete missions on far away planets, research and develop core programs in the Satellite Academy, control multiple weapons and units, transform and merge their units, and run fleets and squads of other pilots to achieve whatever goals they choose.
Onrpg: How does Zero online reward its players when they play the game?
Players can receive rich rewards from Zero Online. They are rewarded with free units and equipment once they meet certain requirements, and they can win fantastic prizes from the spacecraft missions, PK tournament, and Fleet and Squad Wars. The experienced players can also gain bonus exp from mentoring and guiding the lower level players. Also, Military Badge holders and VIP members can claim other benefits, like free cores every day.
In addition, we often hold all kinds of events to give away exclusive items for free, such as double exp, free Zero Points, Meteors, Military Badges, and many other prizes.