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Nine Classes, One Destiny...

Tian Long Ba Bu — or TLBB — is one of the most successful MMOs in China.

Author: TLBB_EU

Contributors: sanzaburo,Moto8,

SteelSeries Partnership with ChangYou.com

Posted by Moto8 Thursday June 24 2010 at 10:52AM
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Professional gaming gear experts SteelSeries and leading martial arts based MMO, TLBB, have teamed up to give players a competitive edge to their online playing experience.
 
SteelSeries, who began operations back in 2001, have become global leaders in gaming products with a view to providing meaningful benefits to players of all skill-sets, and whose livelihoods depend on the performance of reliable technological products.
 
Alongside TLBB, which has now been released globally by top Chinese publishers ChangYou.com, both parties remain positively united by the idea of bringing genuinely strength-based products to their respective audiences and continuously aim to listen to the collective feedback from gaming communities.
 
The collaboration between these two industry leaders has lead TLBB to create a uniquely structured and targeted MMO player survey for 2010 that will furnish gamers with the power to have their say and change the face of future games published by ChangYou.com.
 
 
European Marketing Director Christian-Peter Heimbach said:
 
“We’re really pleased to be working alongside such a well respected company who provide the means for players to enhance their gaming experience by effectively empowering their PC’s with top products and accessories. When we got down to fundamentals, both parties adopted a similar approach with community based information and so listening to our own community and rewarding them, is something that we felt would only improve services on every level now and in the future. We hope to have a fruitful collaboration with SteelSeries and in order to do this our priority remains, like them, to listen to the players via this survey”
 
 
On the flipside of the partnership coin, SteelSeries.com has provided ChangYou with some top quality prizes and accessories for players who complete the survey, including the SteelSeries Xai Gaming Mouse and the beautifully designed, lightweight and comfortable Siberia v2 Gaming Headset which remains a preferred piece of equipment for the worlds' best competitive PC gamers.
 
 
“By answering some very simple, straight forward questions that the team at TLBB has released, participants will get a chance to win some of SteelSeries’ most popular gaming gear” said Mark Jolliffe, Vice President, Branded Gaming Peripherals.
 

For more quality products from SteelSeries, please visit http://www.steelseries.com/

Pack Wisely or DIE

Posted by Moto8 Monday June 21 2010 at 5:03AM
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While a number of MMOs encourage team efforts in various quests & instances available throughout online games, one of the most significant parts of a player’s journey still remains the quality of goodies occupying their inventory.
 
Who does a player turn to when all hell breaks loose? Do they run like cowards? Die with honour? Or survive with pride using up every means necessary in their items bag to rip through the deadly enemy?
 
 
At the best of times, these “special sacks” can become a better tool than any loyal pet or guild member could ever be. That’s not to say this system may one day be re-invented to some oversized but loyal German Shepherd dog big enough to mount and still be strong enough to carry potions, gifts, costumes and the rest of your assets (including a spare guild member in its pocket) all at the same time.
 
However, players inside the ancient Chinese world of TLBB - the most powerful martial arts experience of your MMO life – are no strangers to the potency of an inventory and, by making crucial “survival” decisions based on the items they carry, players have already discovered a world of original gifts and goodies that have helped them immensely along the way.
 
Many have died at the feet of some of the most commanding bosses and others, such as level 85 Lotus Order character ‘Vincie’ in the current Open Beta ‘Dragon’ server, have gone onto to achieve great things with the help of their decidedly useful and unique items stashed away.
 
For a full interviewwith one of the top players ‘Vincie’, please visit:
 
Who needs to just win a fight, when you can win a fight AND look good at the same time?
 
The Lotus Order is just 1 of 9 great classes available to choose from in TLBB and with each class, comes an exciting array of weapons, potions, mounts, costumes and many more must-have items. This ever popular fighting style delivers a strikingly colourful overall for both male and female characters and as they progress throughout the game, players are rewarded with more visually stunning ‘fashion’ that accurately portrays ancient Chinese history. Other great looking costumes held in the inventory include that of the Pyromancer and Shaolin, all separate to each other of course, so making sure the wardrobe is kept up to date is key in maintaining a personal touch. 
 
 
For more about the classes of TLBB, please visit the official website:
 
As far as truth goes, MMOs have always maintained an air of ‘player discretion’ and with this comes the customization of characters. From costumes to weapons and haircuts to mounts, each individual is unique in his/her own right and possesses the means to harness greatness inside their inventory by having access to one of the widest collections of items available in this MMO.
 
Greatness comes in many forms, including the addition of a trusty mount. Once a character chooses their class at level 10, a class mount becomes available to them at level 40 and then a faster, better looking mount at level 60. Depending on the class that players have chosen, they will receive the mount corresponding to their particular style that will remain loyal throughout the game and accompany players in some of the most fearsome quests.
 
 
And there’s no need for unnecessary mouse navigation either. TLBB’s easy to use interface, tested by millions on a daily basis, also clearly states the best option for a player when choosing the right item from the inventory. By hovering over an item and comparing items to those of the characters current equipment, players are made aware of their current statistics (as well as the new ones) should they wish to change between the two.  
 
Will you choose wisely?
 

Animating pets

Posted by TLBB_EU Wednesday June 16 2010 at 12:07PM
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Please introduce yourself:
Hello everyone, I’m one of the illustrators of TLBB, my name is Qi Wang and I’m delighted to be talking to you about TLBB.
 
 
Pets in TLBB are seen as a way to not only have a loyal sidekick, but also to help the character destroy an enemy. When designing these pets, did you have a brief on how they should look to the player? If so, how many concepts did you go through before you were happy with the results?
Before designing a pet, we will sit down and have a meeting where everyone gives input and contributes their ideas. Once we’ve chosen some of the best ideas, we then present what we feel is the perfect image of a pet going from the brief. Throughout the design process, there are a number of points we need to take into consideration such as whether or not the design is popular, which style looks best, how the pet will look like after levelling up and so on. It’s difficult to say exactly how many concepts we go through  before we’re happy because we go through so many stages of inspiration and different stages of scrutiny, that it can go round in circles at times.
 
 
One of TLBB’s main aspects is the pet system used in the game. As a designer, did you want to create fiercer looking pets? Or were you already aware of the levelling up system that the pets would have in this martial arts MMO?
In actual fact, there is a huge variety of pets in TLBB and we don’t only treat them as followers, but as weapons who can cause serious damage as well as fight for players throughout the game. Each pet has its own attributes that contribute to experience of the game whether it’s for looks or for assistance to the player.
 
 
What was your biggest challenge when creating these pets? Which one are you most proud of and why?
The trickiest part of the design process is conceptual. As there are more and more pets in the game, it becomes more challenging to find breakthroughs in design and originality. So far, the categories we have are cute, funny, cool and ferocious. As time goes on, there could be more categories to fill and as one of my main tasks is to design novel pets, it will give me more scope for different pet designs. More recently, we designed cool looking zombie pets, but my personal favourite would have to be the Beast which is seen as a Chinese legend that possesses might, strength and good looks.
 
 
Are there anymore plans in place to create new and exciting pets in TLBB? What sort of inspiration will you turn to as an illustrator?
We are indeed doing a lot of experimental work, and we believe the pets will bring everyone a brand new experience.  There’s a lot happening right now and I can tell you that in the future, there will be a number of unique features about the pet system. Let’s just say camouflaged predators are tough to see and a ring leader usually has a following.
 
Many Asian cartoons, characters, films and illustrations have a very different feel to the western markets. How do you feel your designs will be interpreted by Europe and what is your main goal as designer when creating such characters/creatures?
In my opinion, whether it’s Asian cartoons or Western cartoons, everyone agrees on visually beautiful designs. Although some opinions will be different to others, our goal remains to design good looking pets for players.
 
 
 
The pets in TLBB all have their own identity and can be improved throughout the game, very similarly to the actual characters themselves. When designing these pets and knowing that TLBB has a genuine martial arts feel to it, do you feel the need to compete with other Chinese styled MMOs?
Competition is everywhere and although there are similarities in other Chinese styled MMOs, making our game stand out is the main objective when we design pets. You will see that all our pets have something different, but there’s nothing wrong with healthy competition as this will only make us progress and make TLBB better.
For more about the pet system, please visit: pet gifs and pets introduction sections on the official website.
 
 
Do you have your own pet in TLBB? If so, what is your preference? Is it effective for you?
Yes, my pet is a bunny but don’t be fooled by how cute it is because it can cause some serious damage. There are some rare pets in the upcoming expansions of TLBB that I’d love to get my hands on, let’s just say that Bruce Lee’s spirit comes alive TLBB’s at some point. Sorry I can’t say anymore!
 
 
 
Finally, if you were to name the following pets as your own, what would you call them?
 
  1. Mantis                  >         Flying General
  2. Dinosaur              >           Prehistoric Overlord
  3. Boar                      >           Plump Saemon
  4. Crocodile            >           South China Sea dragon
  5. Monkey               >          Heavenly Monkey
 
 
Thanks for your time ~!