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Runes of Magic Interviews: Update Interview

By Garrett Fuller on March 01, 2010

MMORPG.com's Garrett Fuller recently interviewed the Director of Product Management Frogster Online Gaming GmbH, the publishers behind Runes of Magic, about the game and where it stands today.

MMORPG.com:

What changes does Patch 2.1.6 bring to the game?

Daniel Ullrich:

Hello to all MMORPG.com members and visitors. As with all of the previous content updates the last patch of course also had a sub-title. 'Fall of the Demon Lord' was deployed across the Runes of Magic servers on 04th February 2010. The name naturally announces the main event. With 2.1.6. we are giving the player the opportunity to challenge and overcome the top boss, the Demon Lord, for the very first time. He is waiting for all players in the Demon Stronghold. It goes without saying that this dark character, who has also made some guest appearances in Chapter I and Chapter II, is not your routine opponent. He has been designed in such a way that you have to fight him in stages. It's not just a case of going at him with well a targeted axe and sword, you also have to summon up some tactical elements too. The Demon Lord will be using the very same tactical approach as well in the course of the combat. But for the time being I'm going to leave it down to your own imagination as to what you have to do.

Together with the Demon Stronghold we've also finally helped the Elves get to level 45 and 50 with their Elite Skills. We had planned to introduce this earlier, but unfortunately this had to be delayed somewhat because of some other changes. We have also included a new Public Encounter along with these main changes, which is a further part of the Epic Quest called 'The Great Barrier', as well as a balancing update for the Knight and some other small tuning work.

It's also worth mentioning that from 2.1.6 you have the chance to create crafting items with special stats. This is the first step in giving crafters more influence in Taborea. Furthermore with this change we also wanted to give the player alternative ways of getting hold of some good equipment.

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MMORPG.com:

Talk about the addition of Bloodbath Valley, how can players join the new area?

Daniel Ullrich:

Bloodbath Valley can be found in the northern reaches of the last zone expansion, the Aotulia Volcano. The Demon Stronghold instance is located in the same zone. There is only one way to take part in this Public Encounter: Just join in! The Public Encounter effectively runs constantly. It's sufficient just to move into the area and then you'll find yourself there. And here is where you have to conquer, among others, the Naga and other bosses who will come at you in several waves. You're not on your own of course, you'll also have the support of Elven troops and others.

MMORPG.com:

Runes of Magic continues to grow in 2010, what are your plans for future patches?

Daniel Ullrich:

Needless to say, we've once again set ourselves some additional lofty targets for 2010. We want to expand Runes of Magic still further with one or two chapters. In these Runewaker and Frogster will also be introducing greater enhancements for PvP players. The start of this will be a surprise for March. Over and above this we also want to change and improve a few things in and around Taborea. As you well know, there have sometimes been modifications in Runes of Magic to meet the requirements of western players. We now want to bring everything together into a complete form. And of course, as usual, we'll be wanting to publish regular new updates such as zones, game modes, mini-games, events and so on, outside the chapter frameworks.

MMORPG.com:

Can you name three areas you'd like to see improve in the game?

Daniel Ullrich:

As the publisher you're never really ever 100% satisfied. We have received a whole pile of suggestions from our community. And on for every suggestion from our community, there's also one from our team. A separate team works on all of the improvement suggestions so that the content expansions don't get short changed. Making changes to the existing content is, in the main, harder to carry out than creating new content itself. For example, to change a quest in some part the whole history of the world and each of the subsequent quests then have to be made to fit too. For my part I'd like to re-work a part of Ystra and Dust Devil Canyon.

Right from the launch of Runes of Magic, Runewaker has steadily upped the quality of the zones and the landscapes with every new chapter. You can also expect this to continue with Chapter III and of course it's our aim to demonstrate this quality to new players right from starting the game.

Along with the optimisations already mentioned, there will also however, be more work carried out on balancing. This is one whole lot of work, since our dual class system allows so many combinations.

MMORPG.com:

What steps are you taking to improve those areas?

Daniel Ullrich:

As already said, we are in fact working on various improvements to the regions. Runewaker already carried out a graphics update with Chapter II and also made some smaller upgrades to the old zones in addition to the new zone designs. But this is just the beginning when it comes to optimising the game. A further step in the stated improvements relates to alternative paths in the high level areas. So already in 2.1.6 there have been changes made to the crafting system and there are already additional mid- and low-level zones at the planning stage.


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MMORPG.com:

Give players some insight into the new Epic Quest Chain in Fall of the Demon Lord.

Daniel Ullrich:

In the new Epic Quest everything revolves around the Great Barrier. This barrier was built by humans and Elves to protect the world from the threat of the Naga. While travelling through the zones 'Savage Lands' and 'Aotulia Volcano' with the help of the mysterious Elves the player has to fight some of Taborea's most powerful opponents, culminating finally in a big surprise for the Elves and the player alike.

MMORPG.com:

How do you see Runes of Magic expanding its place in the MMO market?

Daniel Ullrich:

Right from the start our focus has been on our community. We wanted to offer players a quality game and one which at the same time wasn't a second class runner in comparison to the current subscription games. We've already succeeded with this in many areas. But in some other areas we've still got plenty to do. In the future we will be working on raising the quality of our patches and content, shortening the waiting times between deploying these patches and by doing this simply allowing the player to have a more intense and uninterrupted gaming experience.

While as usual we will also be introducing new instances, zones, boss opponents Public Encounters, mini-games, etc., we are also currently increasingly busy with coming up with new ideas and designs which will make Runes of Magic even more unique in the future. In this regard we'll be serving up a few surprises for PvP players. To date this player group has missed out a little, but that's something we intend to change.

At the same time our sister company in Korea has already successfully launched Runes of Magic and in Germany we are busy making preparations for the launch of a Polish version. So Frogster and Runewaker are now able to offer completely translated, local servers in a variety of countries. We are of course also planning to offer Runes of Magic in further languages.

MMORPG.com:

How has player feedback been on the additions?

Daniel Ullrich:

It's always exciting to see what the community has to say after a new patch sees the light of day. However, since we have been in contact with our community from relatively early on in the process of development, receiving feedback from our public has absolutely always been a priority for us. We have right from early days rapidly received unfiltered opinions about game design, graphics and lots of other things. Of course it's always a challenge to separate the valuable and usable player feedback from the material we can't use. For this reason and to give players even better support, we are currently further expanding our community team. In addition we also receive lots of feedback from our alpha testers and mentors who give us their opinions and who test the game features right down to the last detail in focus tests. Therefore it's not all that surprising that the community is happy to step up against the Demon Lord and can now look forward to driving the Evil One from out of Taborea.

MMORPG.com:

Is there something you'd like to tell players who may be wondering about trying our Runes of Magic?

Daniel Ullrich:

I think the game and its great community of over 2.5 Million users speaks for itself. And well, my main argument always is: let the game convince you, you can download and play as long and much as you want without spending a single penny. You only have to download the client and register an account. So have a look, it s really worth it.

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