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Aika (AIKA)
Hanbit Soft | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 12/31/10)  | Pub:Redbana
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:Free
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

Aika Interviews: PvP Interview

By Garrett Fuller on April 16, 2010

MMORPG.com:

Can you talk about the types of PvP in Aika for players

Christina Kelly:

Sure! Aika has a very impressive breadth of PvP options for everyone - from newbies to MMORPG fanatics, and from people who prefer smaller, scrimmage-type battles to those who long to lead massive army invasions. There are three major modes of PvP in Aika which are defined by the different kinds of incentives offered for participation. We like to call them "the fight for pride," "the fight for power," and "the fight for glory."

"The fight for glory" refers to Battlegrounds, a small-scale PvP mode where teams of various sizes (6 vs. 6 to 24 vs. 24) battle it out in timed deathmatches on a special arena separated from the rest of the world. Teams can be any sort of composition: random players from different nations, guildmates, questing parties, etc. The incentive here is individual glory - players are given special rewards based on their contributions to the team effort. Battlegrounds matches are organized via an FPS-style lobby system, so it's very easy for players to jump in and start PvP-ing.

"The fight for power" is our title for Castle Siege, the centerpiece of one of the most exciting features of Aika. Castle Siege is a weekly event where the guilds within a nation fight each other to become (or stay) the ruling regime of that nation. The guildmaster of the guild which wins that week's Castle Siege becomes the Lord Marshal of his or her nation - a position with an enormous amount of in-game power. The Lord Marshal sets taxes, allocates resources for national defense, speaks to everyone in the nation at will (very useful for nation vs. nation raids), is granted incredible status buffs, can sign alliances with other nations, and more. The Lord Marshal's guild and allied guilds also experience certain benefits, and together they comprise an elite police force for their own nation and the core military leadership in the fight against other nations. This supremacy is an uncertain one, however, since the power to rule one's entire nation is contested on a weekly basis. It makes for great political intrigue and very passionate battles.

"The fight for pride" pertains to nation vs. nation warfare - battles on the most massive scale which can reach over a thousand players in one zone. This type of PvP largely centers on Relic War, an ongoing state of conflict where armies battle over precious national relics. These relics are very rare items which grant a permanent buff to the citizens of the nation possessing them. These buffs can add to max HP, increase the experience gain rate, raise specific character stats, or benefit players in other ways. Someone might be questing in the tranquil fields of Verband when he is called to arms by a national alarm, compelling him to stop attacking a wild boar and rush to defend his nation's relics against invaders. Fighting alongside players who have the same national allegiance fosters a very strong pride in one's own nation as well as determination to organize and fight for the whole nation's benefit. It's a huge thrill seeing players rally around their Lord Marshal and work together to capture or protect relics, and the players seem to enjoy it very much, too.

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MMORPG.com:

What trends have you seen in Beta? Are players going for the bigger battles?

Christina Kelly:

Players are definitely embracing the idea of fighting in organized groups which demand their loyalty, whether it's the guild vs. guild throwdowns of Castle Siege or the epic national clashes of Relic War. Players aren't necessarily attracted by the size of a particular battle - it's about the motivation and the idea of fighting for a greater cause. This often means that we see large battles, since the game can handle it and there are many passionate players, but this is more of a case of correlation than causation.


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MMORPG.com:

Are you worried about the lag that players might encounter in the big battles?

Christina Kelly:

Not particularly. The Aika engine was built from scratch by developer JoyImpact to support battles with over a thousand participants, and we largely find that players can experience fighting on this scale without too much reduction in performance. The developer is also continuously working on improving the PvP experience for players, which means that as great as it is now, it'll only get better.

MMORPG.com:

Are there smaller skirmish style PVP areas for players to fight?

Christina Kelly:

Yes. Battlegrounds (mentioned in the response to the first question) is a great way for players to test builds, get their feet wet, and experience PvP without the pressure of the other two modes. Players have access to Battlegrounds once they achieve citizenship in the nation of their choice, which is an option starting at level 10.

MMORPG.com:

How is PvP encouraged in the End Game?

Christina Kelly:

Well, I'd say that Aika's endgame is really defined by the PvP. Right now our level cap is 50 - which, by all indications, is really just the beginning of the game - and players who have reached the cap tend to focus on PvP. This is because these high level players tend to have the most experience in the game and often occupy positions of power (guildmaster, etc.), both of which facilitate military leadership and success in group combat. Part of the beauty of Aika is that its endgame content revolves around the stories and politics and interactions which are enabled by game mechanics but created by the players. The game offers incentives and opportunities to catalyze PvP and then from there it's all up to the human element to turn Aika into a compelling experience.


Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

Do you have any leader boards and ranking systems in place for the game?

Christina Kelly:

The game itself comes with certain ranking systems for game mechanic and balance purposes, but other than that we don't yet have any public metrics for in-game achievements. We are planning on implementing leader board-type features for our community in the future, though.

MMORPG.com:

What do you feel is the most important element in Aika PvP?

Christina Kelly:

Aika's PvP system wouldn't be half as compelling or fun without the comprehensive political system behind it. Instead of being limited to a separate zone or instance which is isolated from the greater world of the game, Aika seamlessly integrates combat into the political functions which allow players to influence their own and others' in-game experiences in a powerful way. PvP is a natural part of Aika, and it's very rewarding for many people to feel that in-game warfare is contributing towards a larger goal - that of working as a group to achieve greater power relative to others (other guilds, other nations, etc.). Everyone wants to be part of a community that is accomplishing big things, and Aika's game design provides ways for players to organize and goals for them to aspire to. This game challenges players to make something of themselves, and PvP is how they do it. It's that kind of motivation which makes Aika's PvP so exciting.

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