Codemaster’s free to play MMORPG Archlord, has been trucking along for the last several years. MPOGD had the chance recently to get some questions answered by the Archlord Community Team. The team is made up byMr. Ktat, Satine, and Ulric.
MPOGD: I’ve downloaded Archlord, and it’s beautiful. I have to say, it beats the pants off of the other free offerings. What made you decide to do without the monthly fee?
ACT: Glad to hear you like it. The MMO Market has been always been looking at different ways to let players get access to their products. Removing the monthly fee opens the game up to more people.
This model is extremely popular in the Eastern markets such as Korea, and has slowly been gaining acceptance in the Western market via small scale MMO releases from indie publishers. Codemasters Online believe this is an important part of the MMO space and moving forward with mainstream F2P games such as ArchLord we are demonstrating that players are comfortable using a model like this.
MPOGD: Are you considering a Guild Wars model, where you allow players to purchase expansions to the game?
ACT: Whilst Archlord and Guild Wars are both F2P games, the actual model is slightly different. Guild Wars' revenue comes from its expansion packs whereas Archlord works via a microtranasction model, which is where players are able to purchase optional consumable enhancements for their characters.
As such, at this time we are confident in continuing to deliver future
expansions (such as the next expansion "Episode 3" which has just moved into
development for our version), free to our playerbase.
MPOGD: I really like the mini-map markers that alert me to new quest givers. Was this inspired by your own experiences with missing out on quests in other games?
ACT: One thing that can be daunting in MMOs with large explorable
worlds is knowing which NPCs have something worth talking to them about. We feel
our mini-map marker system enables players to get the most out of their game, it
makes that part of the game more accessible. As players explore the world they
should definitely capitalize on what's available to them as part of that
exploration and discovery. It also saves a lot of going backwards and forwards
as players realise they've missed something!
MPOGD: What would you say makes Archlord stand out from the rest?
ACT: One of the main features is the ability to rule the world of Chantra. Never before in an MMO has one player, (with the full support of a strong guild or alliance of course) been able to become supreme ruler of the entire world and gain access to not only the Archlord Armour, but the most awesome Dragon mount ever seen.
Archlord is also a truly Open PVP game, once you have leveled past 30 (which gives you time to learn and practice) you then become open to the PVP system where the only safe places are the cities of Chantra.
MPOGD: Many MMOs guide you through the first few quests. I noticed an absence of a tutorial in Archlord, are you planning on adding one?
ACT: ArchLord was built without a tutorial due to the fact that most players in the East have no interest for tutorials. Luckily most MMOs work to a standard format these days and the controls are very intuitive. What we have also noticed is that due to the big emphasis on guilds at higher levels, guild members are very helpful to new players who in the future may be come new guild recruits.
MPOGD: The download and key process is currently a little painful, as it’s a large game, and the download sites primarily require membership. I know, I know, it’s free, work for it a bit, but are there any plans to streamline this process? It might be a barrier to acquiring new subscribers.
ACT: We continually test our processes with the help of internal staff and external test groups and use the feedback from these to improve the customer journey throughout the process. So, in answer to the question, I would say yes we are always looking at ways to streamline all possible processes and you will see our systems and processes evolve over time, improving the customer experience
ACT: Korean gamers (and some Western gamers) enjoy the ability to play the game where all movement is controlled by the mouse, enabling them to use all the skill hot keys etc. with ease.
We knew this had to change before we released and this was the top request on our features list. It was a challenge but we're pleased with what NHN was able to provide and of course as with all the features of the game, we will continue to see if we can improve it
MPOGD: Are you planning any in-game events to celebrate the news?
ACT: Our GM team provides events every week to add that extra bit of variety, however we are always keen to plan extra events to coincide with big news, so stay tuned to the website www.archlordgame.com for further information on those.
MPOGD: Okay, let’s have some fun. So I always play female characters, do I really have to wear bloomers and stockings, how is this “armor” protecting me?
ACT: Well first be grateful we aren’t adopting current Chinese gaming policy and asking you to have a webcam chat with us to prove you qualify to play a female character!
As for your bloomers and stockings, they are obviously made out of some magic chantra world material, that even though it could be mistaken for flimsy, eye candy clothing, is actually fully-fledged battle armour... Plus I’m sure it will be of benefit in PVP - death by distraction! :) )
Thanks to the great Archlord Community team for answering the tough questions and providing us with a bit of humor on the side. You can find out more about Archlord at http://www.archlord.com