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Zentia Developer Blog

Thoughts from ChangYou's Zentia Dev. Team about F2P gaming, and living life in the game industry including happenings, experiences, and all other things gamer. To find out more info about Zentia,check out: http://z.us.changyou.com/

Author: ChangYouZ

Zentia - Party Like a Rockstar

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday May 26 2011 at 5:25PM
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Hey fellow Zentians,
 
Who here has been to a bachelor or bachelorette party?  You haven’t been to one you say?  Well check it out – they’re filled with great games like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, great food like milk and cookies, and great company like Mister Rogers, Ronald McDonald, and Pee-wee Herman (am I dating myself here??).  I know what you’re thinking – that sounds like a birthday party instead of a bachelor party, but honest, that’s what they’re like!  Well, that’s what my brother’s was like…and I haven’t actually been to any others…and now that I think about it, there was a cake with candles…
 
 
ANYWAY, if you haven’t been to one, you’ll get your chance next week.  Our GM, Krash, and our CM, Katealyst are getting married in game on June 23, and they’re having their bachelor/bachelorette parties on June 2!  Can you say “crazy awesome party time”?
 
 
Of course, just as Zentia is no normal MMORPG, these parties are not going to be normal pre-wedding parties.  I’m not going to spoil all the surprises, but I will say there will be prizes to give out (if you wear the party costumes – see more details on that in the Zentia forums and a small preview of some of the best new content coming in our next huge update, 1.3!
 
Yes, you read that right.  Our next update, 1.3, is coming very soon!  With tons of new and updated content, this update will be even bigger than the 1.2 update!
 
So come on out on June 2nd to party, and then join us on June 23rd to share in Krash and Katealyst’s special day.  And don’t worry, no Zentia donkeys will be harmed, and as far as I know, Mister Rogers will not be attending.
 
Keep on gaming,
 
David Markowitz
Zentia Producer

Zentia Player Scrapbook

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday May 5 2011 at 5:48PM
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The Zentia Facebook Scrapbook
 
Just like photos have the ability to forever capture a single scene, so can screenshots freeze a specific moment in time; viewers are then transported to a different time, a different place, or even an entirely different world. Memories can be shared, past adventures can be relived, and the crusades of days since passed can be made eternal. After all, a picture says a thousand words.
 
This week in the world of Zentia we enlisted the help of our players to upload their most cherished funny, awesome, or just plain weird screenshots to Zentia’s Facebook page. If the community manages to reach 500 submissions by May 13th, all players will be rewarded with a Double Experience Weekend and various in-game prizes.  So far the uploaded screenshots have proved to be just as required: some were funny, some were dazzling, others were epic, and a handful were just plain weird. There still remains a spot in Zentia’s history for the top-rated (at least in my book) images. Here are a few of my favorites!
 
 
 
 
 
 

To find out more about this event and how to participate head to the Zentia Forums.

Keep on gaming,
 
Zentia Community Manager

Spring is Alive in Zentia!

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday April 14 2011 at 6:21PM
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Producer Blog
Spring is Alive in Zentia!
 
What do you get when you cross tree planting with a permanent Zentia costume sale?  If you answered cheap scarecrows, you probably shouldn’t start your own farm…
 
Yeah, ok, enough with the ridiculous jokes.  Zentia is hosting a Spring Arbor Day event this week, and during the event, we’re doing something our users have been requesting for a long time – we’re selling permanent outfits!  And not only are we selling them, we’re selling them for cheap!  And not only are the cheap, but they’re cool!
 
Check out the costumes in the image below – there’s a little something for everyone there.
 
If you have any interest in getting any of these, make sure to act fast – they’ll be gone from the store come midnight on Sunday night (Monday morning).
 
One more thing – the first three people who can name these costumes left to right AND post a screenshot of your character in one of the outfits on our forum sale thread will get a free Panda Talisman Cover!
 
By the way, have you heard the one about the panda, the bunny, and the croc that walked into a bar?  
Yeah, neither have I.
 
Happy Arbor Day!  Happy Earth Day!  Happy Easter!  Happy Passover!
 
David Markowitz
Zentia Associate Producer

Culture Corner #9: The Qingming Festival

Posted by ChangYouZ Monday April 11 2011 at 5:46PM
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Welcome to the Culture Corner

Welcome back to the Culture Corner with Tao Jones. If you’re new to the Culture Corner, this is a little column that is your guide to the world. It’s great to be a hero, but if you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to save, then it’s a little harder to appreciate it. That’s what I’m here for. Each column, I’m going to take a part of Chinese culture in our games and explain it in a little more depth.

The Qingming Festival
Now, here’s a piece of Chinese culture that you’ve probably never even heard of. Qingming Festival? What’s that? Well, it’s a Chinese holiday that occurs around April. In 2011, it begins on April 5th, and lasts for three days. During this time, people journey to their ancestor’s graves from all around and offer their respects.

One curious thing about the Qingming Festival is that it actually always takes place concurrently with a second holiday known as the Cold Food Festival. The general gist of the Cold Food Festival is that no one is allowed to light any fires, so all food has to be eaten cold. This may sound like a weird basis for a holiday, and you’d be right. It does, however, have a reason for existing in the first place.

The Cold Food Festival
As the story goes, a long time ago, a man of noble birth named Chong’er found himself in a great deal of trouble. China had not yet been unified yet, so he found himself on the run a lot as the various warring states made life very dangerous. One time, he ran out of food and couldn’t get more, so he began to starve. His advisor and friend, Jiè Zh?tu?, somehow managed to offer him some soup. Grateful that his life was saved, he ate up the soup and recovered his strength, but he was more than a little curious about where his friend got the meat. He asked, and Jie admitted that he cut the meat out of his own thigh to make the soup. Rather than be creeped out and induce vomiting, Chong’er was instead moved by his friend’s loyalty and sacrifice and promised to pay him back someday.

Eventually, Chong’er succeeded his father and became known as Duke Wen. On the day of his ascendance, however, Jie Zhitui could not be found. He had run off, not wanting to get involved with politics and potentially shady characters. Duke Wen was insistent on rewarding his longtime companion, however, and organized a search effort and discovered that Jie was hiding on a mountain. Unable to persuade him to come out, he set fire to the mountain in order to force Jie out. Instead, Jie burned to death, and Duke Wen, consumed with guilt, declared a holiday in memorial of his friend. On this day, the lighting of fires was to be prohibited.

That’s a depressing story, isn’t it? Well, if it makes you feel better, it’s just a story, just like the reasons behind many other old holidays. People eat hot food if they want to, but it’s just in the spirit of the holiday to eat it cold, and how much cooking these days involves actual fire, anyway?

Intentionally, anyway.

 
With that out of the way, let's get to discussion the actual Qingming Festival in our forums, right over here.

Zentia 2.0 Changes

Posted by ChangYouZ Friday April 1 2011 at 2:08AM
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As you may have heard, we’ve made a big announcement today regarding our upcoming major update for Zentia.  Zentia 2.0 will feature all new graphics designed to streamline gameplay and improve performance!  I’m here to discuss some of these changes.  You can also see actual video footage of the changes along with our team discussing them in a special edition of ZTV!
 
1)PC models: The player character models have been given a unique new look!  I’m pretty certain you won’t find any other F2P MMO with characters like these!  You haven’t seen mind-numbingly cute until you’ve seen these new models.
 
2)Combat: We’ve gone back to combat’s roots and changed the moves to reflect a more martial arts take on combat.  It’s simple, straight forward, and exciting!  You can really feel the contact of your character’s feet and hands against those devilish weasels.  Afterall, what’s an Asian themed MMORPG without martial arts moves?
 
3)Mount system: Like flying ostriches?  How about flying an ostrich while battling a knight riding a vulture while a pterodactyl soars in to chomp on your head sending you to a fiery death in a pool of lava below?  Sound amazing?  It’s all in there!
 
4)PvP system: This is the best change yet!  We have simplified PvP so anyone can join in!  No more complaints about overpowered guilds or cheating.  PvP battles from now on will be even more simple and straightforward than the combat system and yet more epic than we could ever have imagined!  And we can imagine quite a lot…
 
That’s all for now.  Zentia 2.0 will arrive as soon as we’re done blowing your minds with all of these amazing changes.  Check out the video and then come to our forums to discuss!
 
 
David Markowitz
Zentia Associate Producer

Live streaming insanity!

Posted by ChangYouZ Wednesday March 23 2011 at 12:11PM
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Live streaming insanity!

March 22, 2011

 
Anyone who has played with a team in an MMO such as Zentia knows the challenges involved in organizing that team – keeping everyone together, maintaining a common goal, and working strategically as a team to overcome obstacles in order to achieve that goal.  Well, on top of those challenges, try adding: conducting a live stream with real time audio commentary, managing other office/work tasks, being accompanied by a group of diehard fans who want to show you all of their amazing outfits, mounts, pets, and skills and ask every possible question they can think of, and maintaining a good “face” so other users don’t think you’re crazy, mean, confused, or all three.  Then you’ll have an idea of what our weekly Livestream events are like. :p
 
We just recently started running this event on Thursdays (at 3pm PST) in which our entire team plays Zentia while broadcasting our session live through Livestream.com/Zentia.  We all started from the very beginning with new characters (I decided we should all be monkeys because I figured what’s better than a team of monkeys ravaging the lands of Zentia?), choosing a balance of classes so that we could work together (and hopefully succeed) as a team.  Of course, what happens once we’re in game?  We all go separate ways at different speeds completing the various quests.  And then Susan, our Senior Producer gets called away to an important meeting.  And then the live stream starts having intermittent problems cutting out.  And then a herd of Zentia fans starts following our GM and asking him all sorts of questions (and of course it’s not the easiest thing to do to play the game, chat with players, and manage a live broadcast all at once).  Needless to say, it wasn’t the smoothest gaming session…
 
 
However, we’re pushing on and doing it again this Thursday.  You know why?  Because despite all of the hang-ups, it was fun!  And that’s what MMOs are all about – having fun playing with other people.  So come join the fun in Serene City (we finished all of the quests in Mulberry last week, so we’ll be playing in Serene this week) or on Livestream on Thursday March 24 at 3pm PST and see what kind of havoc a group of crazy monkeys can wreak upon Zentia!  (we may be crazy, but we’re certainly not mean, and most of the time we try not to be too confused)
 
Hope to see you on Thursdays,
 
David Markowitz
Zentia Associate Producer

Drink, Be Merry, and Get Lucky

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday March 10 2011 at 1:15PM
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Hey fellow Zentians

Of all of the unofficial holidays (unofficial in the US anyway), St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite.  Afterall, how could a day in which you get to drink beer, eat corned beef, and listen to Celtic jigs be bad?  Of course, my love of Ireland (and Scotland) and desire to be an honorary Irishman (or Scotsman) may bias me a wee bit (my trip to Ireland and Scotland years ago was quite possibly the best three weeks of my life).  It also doesn’t hurt that my best friend and his wife used to host an annual St. Patrick’s Day party and cook some of the best corned beef I’ve ever had.
 
Well this glorious holiday is almost upon us, and it certainly won’t pass the world of Zentia by unnoticed.  For an entire week, March 16-23, players will have fun collecting four-leaf clovers, buying golden pots, and making green beer.  Yes, green beer!  And it will make you happy and give you buffs to boot!  On top of that, our GMs and Community Manager will be running some great in-game events for you to win even more goodies.  We’ll also have updates to the Token Shop and Lucky Wheel.  So drop into Zentia, drink, be merry, and just maybe you’ll get lucky!
 
And for those of you who love trivia, riddle me these:
1)      What color was first associated with Saint Patrick?
2)      What’s the significance of the clover (specifically the 3-leaf one)?
 
David Markowitz
Zentia Associate Producer

Goldilocks and the Three Game Producers

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday March 3 2011 at 7:04PM
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Goldilocks and the Three Game Producers
 
 
Greetings fellow Zentians,
 
Let me tell you a story. 
 
Once upon a time, there were three Producers who lived in a nice cottage in the woods.  There was Papa Producer, Mama Producer, and Baby Producer.
 
One day, they were getting ready to release an update to their fabulous game.  However, they were having trouble figuring out just how much information to tell their game community about this update.  They each wrote down a list of features and updates at their desks and then compared their notes.  After comparing, Papa Producer decided that he had written too much.  Mama Producer stated she had written too little.  And Baby Producer thought that he had written just the right amount but had eaten part of the paper, because afterall, he was a hungry baby.  However, none of the Producers were convinced that any of the lists were the best solution.  So they decided to take a walk in the woods to talk it over.
 
A few minutes after they left, who should happen upon the cottage but a young girl gamer by the name of Goldilocks.  She was hungry for some new gaming content.  She saw the big sign on the cottage front door that said “Games Made Here”, and she just couldn’t resist.  Being a gamer, she barged right in, micro-trained fingers and smart retorts at the ready.  She of course found the three lists of updates and poured over them for an hour, her emotions riding a roller coaster of reactions.
 
Finally, the three Producers returned to their cottage.  Much to their shock and dismay, they found an irate little girl tearing up their papers, furniture, socks, bedsheets… everything she could get her perfectly agile fingers on.  She was like a Tasmanian Devil, foaming at the mouth, spouting off chatcronyms (yes, I made up that word) left and right.
 
Upon seeing the three Producers, Goldilocks stormed up to them and began a tirade of nearly nonsensical gibberish.  Fortunately, they had just the right tool: a GM.  They called over their GM to translate and mediate.  The GM listened and then related what she said to the Producers.  Here is that dialog, as translated by the GM:
 
“Are you nuts?  Do you guys have any idea what you’re doing?  I read those three lists of updates.  In that first list, the longest one, those changes are ridiculous!  They’ll totally unbalance the game!  My friends and I will totally leave if you make all those changes.  And what about the ones we asked for??  And that second list, the short one, what the heck is that?  How are we supposed to know what the update will be like or how it’ll affect our characters??  And that third one, that’s the worst of all!  You THINK you’re doing us a favor by telling us about the most significant updates, but you leave out all of the really important details!  What do you think we are?  Lemmings who will follow you off the cliffs of insanity that is your game update?? Z.O.M.G.!!” (the GM just couldn’t translate that last chatcronym, because really, how do you say that out loud without following it with LOLZ, which just wouldn’t have been appropriate in this situation)
 
After hearing all of the complaints reiterated by the GM, the Producers said “Oh, is that all she’s angry about?  We were just talking about that outside with the marketing team, and we have the perfect solution!”
 
The Producers gave Goldilocks a nice bowl of soup and then a plate of hot chocolate chip cookies.  And all was well.
 
So what’s the moral of this story?  I’m not really sure, but soup and cookies are always good to eat (though maybe not together).
 
David Markowitz
Associate Producer Zentia

Zentia 1.2 Expansion Sweepstakes - Win Ttesports Peripherals

Posted by ChangYouZ Thursday February 24 2011 at 5:53PM
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We’re so excited for our newest expansion to Zentia, that we’re giving away a few of our favorite things! Enter for your chance to win one of three great prizes from Ttesports: The Meka, Shock, or Tte Mousepad.

Facebook Entry Form

Twitter Entry Form

Date: February 14 - 28

Prizes:

Grand Prize: 3 lucky winners will win a TTE Meka Keyboard and a Divine Deer mount.

Second Place: 5 slightly less lucky winners will win a TTE Shock Headset and a Red Phoenix pet.

Third place: 10 still lucky winners will receive a TTE Mousepad  and a Red Phoenix pet.

Don’t want to feel left out? Everyone who enters will automatically receive a Gold Chip! So tell your friends, spread the word, and enter before this contest ends!

 



 

Culture Corner #8: Love and Marriage

Posted by ChangYouZ Monday February 14 2011 at 6:56PM
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Culture Corner #8: Love and Marriage
 
Welcome to the Culture Corner
 
Welcome back to the Culture Corner with Tao Jones. If you’re new to the Culture Corner, this is a little column that is your guide to the world. It’s great to be a hero, but if you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to save, then it’s a little harder to appreciate it. That’s what I’m here for. Each column, I’m going to take a part of Chinese culture in our games and explain it in a little more depth.
 
An Especially Appropriate Update
Today is February 14. There are two things going on that make this article especially appropriate. First up, it’s Valentine’s Day. Secondly, Zentia 1.2 just launched, and with it, the marriage system. With it, your characters can now fall in love, become engaged, and get married. What a perfect time. Why should a hero wait until after they’ve saved the world to get married? The fast-paced lifestyle that today’s wandering hero lives just doesn’t allow for that kind of luxury, and life is just so much more fun with a partner.
 
Once you do get married  in Zentia, you probably won’t be seeing any kind of scene you’re familiar with. This is a silly fictionalized version of ancient China, after all. The basic concept is easy enough to understand. A man and a woman get married, people watch them, this is generally understood to be a good thing, yada, yada, yada. Still, there’s a lot more to it than that, and today, we’ll go through some of the key features that set Chinese weddings apart. Find out what in our full article on the Zentia forums!
 
For one, you know how Western wedding outfits haven’t changed in a few hundred years? Yeah...
 
You know how Western wedding outfits haven’t changed in a few hundred years? Yeah...[/i][/center][B][SIZE="4"]Culture Corner #8: Love and Marriage[/SIZE][/B]
 
[SIZE="3"][B]Welcome to the Culture Corner[/B][/SIZE]
 
Welcome back to the Culture Corner with Tao Jones. If you’re new to the Culture Corner, this is a little column that is your guide to the world. It’s great to be a hero, but if you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to save, then it’s a little harder to appreciate it. That’s what I’m here for. Each column, I’m going to take a part of Chinese culture in our games and explain it in a little more depth.
 
[SIZE="3"][B]An Especially Appropriate Update[/B][/SIZE]
Today is February 14. There are two things going on that make this article especially appropriate. First up, it’s Valentine’s Day. Secondly, Zentia 1.2 just launched, and with it, the marriage system. With it, your characters can now fall in love, become engaged, and get married. What a perfect time. Why should a hero wait until after they’ve saved the world to get married? The fast-paced lifestyle that today’s wandering hero lives just doesn’t allow for that kind of luxury, and life is just so much more fun with a partner.
 
Once you do get married  in Zentia, you probably won’t be seeing any kind of scene you’re familiar with. This is a silly fictionalized version of ancient China, after all. The basic concept is easy enough to understand. A man and a woman get married, people watch them, this is generally understood to be a good thing, yada, yada, yada. Still, there’s a lot more to it than that, and today, we’ll go through some of the key features that set Chinese weddings apart.
 
[i][center][IMG]http://img810.imageshack.us/img810/8561/traditionalchineseweddi.jpg[/IMG]
You know how Western wedding outfits haven’t changed in a few hundred years? Yeah...[/i][/center]

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