MMORPG: Can you give us a status of Perfect World International? How has the game been in recent months?
Tony Liu: PWI’s been going strong. In the past four months we released the Descent expansion as well as a major content update (Imperial Fury). These two additions to the game really focused on giving our veterans even more awesome end-game content. It was a nice way to round things out following last year’s Genesis expansion, which focused more on content for newer players with the introduction of a new race and starting zone.
MMORPG: What are some of the most popular aspects for players? Is there something you wish you could do more of?
Tony Liu: From a PvE standpoint, the most popular aspect among players is our “Bounty Hunter” quest line. This daily quest finds players grouping up to take down bosses whose difficulties correspond to the players’ levels. The rewards for completing these challenges are hefty amounts of EXP and, for higher level players, powerful items as well.
In terms of PvP though, most players gravitate towards PWI’s unique Territory Wars system, wherein the most powerful factions (guilds) on the server fight each other in weekly 80 vs 80 battles. These battles determine faction dominance on the world map, as owning territories earns them a substantial weekly income.
As for something we wish we could do more of, it would be great if we could have more non-faction related PvP systems. Right now, we have a daily PvP event called the Theater of Blood, as well as open-world PvP, and both of these are quite popular. Still, PvP-ers always hunger for more places to prove their mettle, so I think a little more variety in how they can satisfy their thirst for blood would be great.
MMORPG: Can you tell us about one of the biggest lessons you have learned?
Tony Liu: It always pays off to listen to the community. PWI players have been specifically asking for more end-game content, so that’s what we delivered with the Imperial Fury update.
That’s also why our community team is always keeping an eye on our forum, keeping track of everything from suggestions and requests to bug reports, and working closely with players to run exciting in-game events.
Another thing we learned is that our players responded well to the new boss encounters in Imperial Fury that go beyond that traditional tank ‘n’ spank experience (more details on that below).
MMORPG: Tell us about the Imperial Fury update. How are players reacting to the new content?
Tony Liu: The Imperial Fury update really brings in a lot of tough new content for the end-gamers of PWI. We’ve added in a fun new daily dungeon called Advanced Endless Universe, which takes advantage of a lot of new mechanics that we’ve been developing since the Genesis expansion. Moving past the typical tank ‘n’ spank boss encounters, squad coordination and teamwork will be an absolute necessity for players hoping to defeat any one of the four Dark Emperors.
The other major part of the Imperial Fury update was the revamping of two of our most enjoyable existing dungeons. We’ve made them significantly harder and upped the rewards in-kind to provide an incredible new challenge for our most hardcore PvE players.
So far, the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Our players are very happy to see the innovation that’s apparent throughout the Advanced Endless Universe dungeon, and they’re especially excited about the opportunity to upgrade the best gear sets in the game via the newly revamped Warsong City and Lunar Glade dungeons.
MMORPG: What made you add the Hard Mode Bosses into the dungeon?
Tony Liu: Lunar Glade and Warsong City are two of the most beloved high level dungeons in the game, but the rewards from clearing themdid not match up well to their difficulty.
That’s one reason the team here is so excited about the Imperial Fury update, as it gave players a meaningful incentive to run these two classic dungeons.By adding much tougher bosses and making this the only place where one can obtain the most powerful gear-upgrading materials, Lunar Glade and Warsong City are great end-game combo of fun, challenge, and rewards, which we think is how it should be!
MMORPG: Can you tell us the history of the four emperors players will face when they enter the dungeon?
Tony Liu: The four emperors found in the Advanced Endless Universe dungeon were all once sovereign entities themselves, amassing gigantic armies while vying for more power in their own right. Powerful though they were, the Dark Lord Jian’rin managed to outwit and overcome each of them, ultimately forcing them to swear their allegiance to him. The emperors are known as Aoehe, Chigo, Locen, and Aurogon.
Aohe, the Dark Emperor
As one might expect from his chosen title, Aohe was a creature of darkness and shadow. He schemed and plotted, maneuvering his enemies to expose weaknesses. He never committed his forces except when he was certain of victory. He spent wraiths and resources like water ensuring that no matter what happened, he would survive to fight another day.
Jian’rin managed to fool the brilliant tactician, creating layers upon layers of feints and deceit such that Aohe finally misstepped, sending the bulk of his forces into a trap, and leaving himself exposed. The wraith god spared Aohe, respecting the dark lord for his scheming and plotting. Aohe finally accepted that Jian’rin was a true god among wraiths, and vowed to serve, in exchange for even greater power. Rumors say that under Jian’rin’s tutelage, Aohe has finally mastered death itself, and even if struck down will only rise again.
Chigo, the Serpent Emperor
Chigo was not the smartest, strongest, or bravest of the emperors, but he was uniquely attuned with the world. While others relied on scout reports and incantations to provide information of enemy movements or outpost locations, Chigo could lay one of his mighty heads to the ground and hear and feel the world and all its parts. From the rumbling of an army’s footsteps, to the smallest twinge of a teleportation spell, Chigo was never unaware of what happened around him.
Furthermore, Chigo had the unique gift of being able to travel underground. He carved paths for his troops, allowing them to flank his enemies from completely unexpected directions. He easily destroyed the foundations of enemy fortifications.
Few other wraiths could stand against his fearsome skills and tactics, and it was only Jian’rin who finally defeated him. Jian’rin spent untold energy and committed countless forces all to trick Chigo’s powerful senses and to foil Chigo’s mastery of the underground.
When at last the dust settled, Chigo bowed his heads low to the wraith god and took his place by Jian’rin’s side.
Locen, the Emperor of Flame
This massive, near indestructible beast lead his faction with a philosophy of complete defense. Every step taken forward was a step never given back. His armies and strongholds were outfitted in the finest armor and spells, mimicking his own indestructible shell. With his roaring flames and powerful army, the other wraiths expected him to wash over the world as a burning flood. But every move he took was cautious, perfectly calculated to be impenetrable. No weaknesses, no hasty missteps. He would conquer the entire world of wraiths, but in his own time, at his own pace.
Jian’rin saw that no amount of planning or scheming would create holes in Locen’s defenses, so he simply proved that even a perfect defense is no match against the might of a god. Jian’rin’s army plowed through all of Locen’s fortifications, and he himself faced the great flaming hulk down, unleashing torrents of energy and destruction to bring Locen within inches of his own death.
Locen bent knee and pledged to defend and serve Jian’rin with all his might.
Aurogon, the Dragon Emperor
Aurogon was the last of the wraith emperors to submit to Jian’rin. Of all the leaders that Jian’rin faced, Aurogon was something special. His schemes and plots rivaled those of Aohe. His mastery of the sky and attunement with the world left Chigo in the dust. And his armies matched his armored scales in their ability to defend against even the strongest attacks.
Aurogon was poised to begin his own campaign of destruction and consolidation of the other factions when Jian’rin came to the fore. At first he was content to allow this upstart wraith “god” do his work for him, expending unbelievable amounts of energy and resources to destroy his enemies. But as each faction’s leaders and armies joined Jian’rin, Aurogon began to see that he had finally miscalculated, perhaps fatally.
Aurogon suspected that if he were defeated, Jian’rin would not offer him a place by his side along with the other leaders. No, Aurogon was too great a threat. On the other hand, he also suspected that he alone might stand a chance of defeating Jian’rin. But to what end? He looked upon the desolate wastes of the wraith world, and he began to understand that for all his strength and brilliance, he was nothing compared to Jian’rin. For although he might conquer this realm, he knew he did not have the power to conquer the Perfect World. He realized that he had to take a third option.
Aurogon went to Jian’rin and pledged his loyalty to the god, offering all his armies and territories freely, in exchange for a place at Jian’rin’s right hand to lead the wraiths against the Perfect World. Jian’rin peered into Aurogon’s dark and twisted soul and saw truth. Since then, Aurogon has been Jian’rin’s most fervent and capable supporter.
MMORPG: What else can players expect from Perfect World International for the rest of 2012?
Tony Liu: As always, we’ve got more new content in the pipeline! Territory Wars Season 2 is drawing to a close in August, which is great news for the up and coming factions who’ve been waiting for a chance to stake their claim on the World Map. Plus, the PWI four-year anniversary is coming up in September, so our loyal players can expect plenty of fanfare, festivities, and prizes when that day rolls around.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us. We encourage both new and current players to check out the official PWI website. Become a fan of PWI on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and of course, visit MMORPG.com for the latest regarding PWI and all Perfect World Entertainment titles.