Ever since Chris Coke mentioned an interview with Trion Worlds’ Scott Hartsman on Twitter, I’ve been itching to hear the podcast and see if there’s any worthwhile information to be had there.
Sure enough, the podcast went live on MMORPG.com very recently, so I listened to the show (link at the end of the article). The ArcheAge section begins at approximately 23 minutes in.
Most of the discussion seems to point towards reinforcing earlier reports or otherwise confirming some guesses I had on my end. That said, I’m going to assume you’ve listened to the podcast, and I’ll dive into the ArcheAge segment with the information from it.
First, Trion’s ArcheAge has been transliterated – where Korean words have been turned into English – and translated – where the transliteration is coherent and sensible. Localization, or the polishing of the coherent translations to make them worthwhile gaming experiences, is ongoing as the localization team works on the lore and their telling of it.
Related to this, ArcheAge has “hundreds and hundreds of pages of background lore” that needs to be referenced appropriately. Hartsman adds, “They look at the content in the game and then they look at the content in the background material and then they make choices as to which places would be the best way to illuminate some of the background material to a Western audience.”
In a phrase regarding the localization, Hartsman also said that the game is “playable in a translated but not yet localized form.” Later on, Hartsman says he’s been playing it “every weekend for the past month or so” and says its “already enjoyable” from his gamer sensibilities.
On a discussion of the mechanics or systems of the game, Hartsman noted that XLGames was open to allowing tweaking of some variables for Western audiences. Specifically, this relates to certain gameplay elements inherent to ArcheAge like the labor points, including the size of the labor point pool and the regeneration rate of labor points for the Western version.
Regarding their relationship with XLGames, Hartsman seems to reinforce an earlier idea I felt about their partnership: that Trion Worlds was taking some hits for XLGames and balancing XL’s burdens with its own.
Hartsman notes that XLGames has a fixed number of people working on a number of iterations of the game, and “while we always want to be our own customer’s advocate with XL, at the same time, we don’t want to push XL too hard such that we end up with something that, when we ask them to deliver something they’re just not capable of because they’re working on too much at once.”
Hartsman reiterated the difference in roles between Trion Worlds and XLGames, where XL Games is in charge of making the content and Trion is in charge of localizing the game and its updates, as well as making sure the new content works with what they’ve localized.
Finally, and I’m glad to hear this in a very jolly tone of voice from the podcast, is Hartsman’s reaction when asked about when the PR wheels will turn and the information drops for the game will start happening with some frequency. His base response was, “not very long at all,” with a caveat of the information being driven by mutually agreed upon development and localization dates between XLGames and Trion Worlds’ combined schedules.
Return of the BookBeasts
A bookbeast or library golem was a fun point of reference in a previous ArcheAge column. Today, however, let’s end with another glimpse of the most intriguing Library Dungeon. If you’ll notice the video, it looks like a monolithic book and comes with monsters made from tomes.
Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate, ArcheAge, and Everquest Next columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.
Links to more great MMORPG.com coverage:
Game/On Podcast #32 with Scott Hartsman
ArcheAge Column: Waiting for more Answers
Trion Worlds takes the hits for XLGames