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MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (est.rel N/A)  | Pub:Aeria Games
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
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Grand Fantasia Interviews: Update Interview

By Garrett Fuller on November 25, 2009

MMORPG.com:

Tell us about Grand Fantasia, what type of MMO is it?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

Grand Fantasia is a free to play fantasy MMORPG that combines the best elements of traditional western MMO's and augments them with a variety of engaging features new to the genre. Of all these game characteristics, what seems to have garnered the most attention is our innovative pet management system.

Our pets (called "sprites") aren't just mindless creatures that follow you around--they have different moods, energy and relationship scores; they can be outfitted with talents, clothing, and items; they'll talk to you and provide feedback as your progress through the world; and most importantly, they have the ability to collect resources and craft valuable items for you. I've heard some liken it to the Tamagotchi or the Sims, which isn't too far off a comparison.

We may build further upon this feature in the future, but there's also other systems and mechanics I'm excited about introducing with this game--one of which is an epic player statue system. We're just scratching the surface here.

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MMORPG.com:

You are right around Closed Beta on the game; tell us about the testing you have planned.

Jehanzeb Hasan:

We're taking advantage of this period to iron out any remaining kinks in gameplay, from the new player experience to the high level content. Of course, we're also keeping an eye out for other issues like localization, UI bugs, and grammatical errors. Qualitative feedback and suggestions from the community are also very important to us.

The initial response has been very positive. We've been inundated with members new to the Aeria Games community and expect more to keep rolling in over the coming weeks.

MMORPG.com:

What can players do to sign up for the beta test?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

Interested players can visit the official site and sign up for beta, or they can participate in a Grand Fantasia Closed Beta Key Giveaway event, one of which is taking place here, at MMORPG.com.

MMORPG.com:

Do you have a schedule for Open Beta any time in the near future?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

We aren't ready to reveal too much information about Open Beta at this time; however, we can say that players will be able to retain their Open Beta characters when the game officially launches. Players are encouraged to visit the official site to keep up to date.


Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

Talk about the free to play model and how it applies to Grand Fantasia.

Jehanzeb Hasan:

I know there's a segment of the MMO fan base that has a certain aversion to free-to-play games, and some out there who are simply unwilling to give them a try. Often, this stems from an assumption that free-to-play games limit content--that you have to pay to unlock the really worthwhile and valuable stuff. Of course, this feeling isn't always unfounded, but in the case of Grand Fantasia--and really, many of Aeria Games' other titles--this simply isn't the case.

Grand Fantasia is a strong, robust, complete standalone title. There's a wealth of content available to players that are game enough to give it a chance--branching class trees, pets, guilds, instanced dungeons, PvP, team based battlefields, mounts, a player-based economy--it's all there and it's all free. For those players who are willing to pay, what we'll offer in terms of microtransactions are items of convenience and vanity. Nothing will that dramatically affect mechanics or unbalance the game.

MMORPG.com:

What types of classes and races are in the game?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

Each character begins the game as a novice human "Sprite Messenger" on Siwa Island. Players get the opportunity to choose one of four starting classes at level five: Fighter, Hunter, Acolyte, or Spellcaster. The level requirement allows players to experiment with combat and experience a little of the game world before settling into a class tree.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us about the Branching Classes feature in the game. What can players expect?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

The starting four classes eventually branch out into a total eight final classes: Berserker, Paladin, Assassin, Ranger, Cleric, Sage, Wizard, and Necromancer. Player can choose which paths to take at levels 15 and 30. There are numerous class-specific and guild-based skills, items, and sprite-gear, available to specialize and differentiate your character from others that choose similar class progression paths.

MMORPG.com:

What about player sprites? What will these be and how can players use them?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

I've already talked a bit about the game's pet management system, but I suppose there's a little more I can mention. In addition to character customization, the game allows for sprite customization. From the onset, players can modify their sprite's appearance and choose their skill set. Sprites can acquire experience, evolve, take different shapes, learn new talents, and even pick up loot after you. Eventually, players can also "return" their sprites to nature and receive special bonuses depending on how they treated their pets.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us about the Battlefield for PvP, how will players be able to take part?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

After players reach a certain level, they have the option of participating in 15 vs. 15 team-based battlefields. During one of these events, teams must compete to capture and hold key control points on a map. Players who perform well receive unique PvP currency that can be used to purchase special in-game items.


Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

What are some of your early thoughts on Grand Fantasia, since it is just about to hit Closed Beta?

Jehanzeb Hasan:

We're very excited about what the future holds for Grand Fantasia. We have an amazing support staff already planning live events, a steady stream of content on the horizon, and a dedicated development team committed to ensuring the title is a success. Everyone, from our localization and GM staff, to our design and production team, has put in a lot of effort and hard work into prepping the game for Closed Beta, and that moment is finally here.

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