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Previews: E3 2006 Preview

By Jon Wood on May 10, 2006

We learn more about the Legend of Ares

Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with David Shin and Noah Chan of Mgame USA, the company responsible for the new MMORPG, The Legend of Ares. David is the game’s Senior Manager, while Noah is the company’s Marketing Director.

The Legend of Ares, which readers may remember has recently completed its two phases of closed beta, is gearing up for their open beta phase, which will begin this Thursday, May 11th.

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The premise of this game pits two nations against each other in a realm vs. realm style of gameplay as the realm known as Empire Nation goes up against its counterpart, the Alliance Nation. When asked which of the sides was good and which side was evil, we were told that neither side should be considered to be evil. The warring between the two sides is instead based upon the individual beliefs of each nation rather than the more traditional good vs. evil scenario. The game concentrates on this conflict (so much so that it is named for the Greek God of War), and we are told that the gameplay reflects this by focusing on Guilds and on their Warfare (PvP) system where players gather to fight the opposing side.

Also in terms of gameplay, players should expect the game to change dramatically once a player makes his way to around level 30 (the max level for this game is 160), with different elements being added at this time.

There are four different classes available to a player on either side of the war: Knights, Spearmen, Archers and Sorcerers. Humans are the race of choice in The Legend of Ares.

Both David and Noah made a point to mention how much was learned from players who participated in the closed beta phases of development. The game itself launched in the Korean market in 2002, and is now being brought over to the North American market. Because the markets themselves are quite different in terms of what players expect and enjoy in and MMORPG, the developers are working hard because of “the fact that we are trying to make out North American user satisfied”.

So far, from their beta testers, they have learned a few ways in which to do that. First, the game originally used point and click movement. We are told that the North American beta testers let the developers know very quickly that this would not do well here, and so the game was moved over to the more standard WASD movement set. Another example of tester-based feedback revolves around quests, which are not as much of a focus in Korea as they are here. Because of these changes and more, the next phase, which is their open beta, will be “totally different from the first closed beta”.

Lessons learned from this game’s launch will also be applied to upcoming North American releases. Noah told us that Mgame USA plans to release 3 more popular Korean titles into our market in the next year, from which they expect a lot.

The names have not yet been fully decided for North American release, but the working titles are as follows: Hero Online, Yulgang Online and Ghost Online.

Yulgang Online, we are told, is “One of the top 5 games” in the Chinese market, and won the Korean Game Award, handed out by the President of South Korea.

High expectations for Hero and Ghost Online as well, with Ghost Online, a 2d scrolling MMORPG launched last November, being in the top 25 of Korean games.

For those interested, The Legend of Ares Open Beta will begin on Thursday. You can sign up for the beta on the game’s official website, which will be available on Wednesday afternoon.


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