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ArchLord Interviews: Dae Hwan Kim, Design Team Head

By  on August 01, 2006

We interview the head of ArchLord's design team

Dae Hwan Kim is the Head of the ArchLord design team and today he drops in to answer a slew of questions from our own Garrett Fuller.

MMORPG.com:How was the world of Chantra conceived? Can you tell us a little more about the rich mythos in the game?
Dae Hwan Kim:

There was once a great magician who in his pursuit of magical truth made 5 Archons with help from others. These five archons granted him great power, however the spirits came to hate the power he had and so banished him to Chantra.

On Chantra the five archons exhibited even greater power than had previously been seen, as he began to manipulate that power the other inhabitants of Chantra came to both fear and worship him; so he became known as ArchLord. The mage soon grew weary of Chantra and decided to use the power of the archons to get him back to his former home. However, despite his greatness, he was unable to properly control the power of the archons and disappeared in an explosion of magical energy that spread the archons far and wide over the world of Chantra.

Thousands of years passed and the archons started to fade from memory of the common man. They were instead known only to an elite few, those who guarded them from those that wished to use their power for evil. Our heroes were often called upon to unite and fight off those that would seek to use the power of the archons for evil. Yet over time, the archons influence took hold of the great heroes and they turned on each other to try and acquire the power of the archons. The most brutal battle in this was the 100 days war, that saw Xian the Human hero pit an army against his former friend Ugrdrasil.

This great war signaled that once again the archons would be known by all. From that point forward the world saw many head out on the journey to acquire the archons and with them the power of the ArchLord.

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MMORPG.com:With Orcs, Moon Elves and Humans for players to choose from, what options within the races can we expect?
Dae Hwan Kim:

Human: The first race to learn to use fire, and as a result were the first race that were able to learn to use iron. As a result they have the highest defense power of all the races.

Orc: The Orcs talents lie with the Earth. They are also blessed, or cursed, with a strong desire to win. This means that they have a higher tendency to attack than all the other races.

Moon Elf: Moon Elfs have a great ability to control water, but due to their background they also have strong abilities in all the other elements. Their main strengths lie in magic and summoning as a result of which their magic skills are set higher than other races.

MMORPG.com:The classes for each race are listed on the ArchLord site, can you tell us a little more about them and how they are balanced?
Dae Hwan Kim:

Knight: The human warrior excels in the use of close combat weapons. Built for defense they are well drilled with high levels of physical stamina and defence. Though they can be converted into good hunters by increasing their general attack speed and element resistance.

Archer: The Archers features an increased avoidance rate,, coupled with increased attack and movement speeds makes them a formidable foe. They are best suited to long distance attacks, ensuring the targets in a weakened state before they arrive.

Mage: Mages have spent many a long hour mastering the powers of the five elements and learning to use them in attack. They have been gifted with high physical stamina though this has come at the cost of their overall attack power.

Berserker: Orc warriors are seen as crazy, and have earned themselves the name of Beserker. These Beserkers have low physical stamina but compensate for this by having very high attack and defence power.

Hunter: Unlike their warrior counter-parts Orc hunters do not deal as much attack damage. However they do have many other beneficial skills, this includes increased avoidance rate, increased natural defence against magic and aggro as well.

Sorcerer: Orc Sorcerer, unlike his human counterpart, is not gifted with great stamina but instead has perfected powerful long distance elemental attacks instead. Over time they have also learnt to master skills that partially absorb attacks to supplement their low physical stamina.

Ranger: The rangers focus lies in their strong attack power, they also make use of traps. Time has also seen the moon elf ranger learn the ability to make it harder for their enemies to see them.

Elementalist: The Moon Elf elementalist is the only class to have truly mastered the elemental world, this has meant that they are the only class to have acquired summoning skills. They are able to call forth a number of creatures to aid their cause.

MMORPG.com:I read that the soundtrack was composed by the London Symphony Orchestra. What was it like working on the soundtrack?
Dae Hwan Kim:

The Orchestra consisted of sixty-six people to show the unique grandeur and the scale of the Archlord and was recorded in the Abbey Road Studio, known worldwide for its quality recording facilities.

Further to this the main ArchLord theme, which was sung in ancient greek by forty-two men and women from the Seoul Choir. It was directed by HyoJook Baek a Doctor of music.

The view that the traditional game soundtracks should also be made in Korea (and not for the commercial purpose) has led to creating the traditional game music. Also, the choir who sung the theme of Archlord in ancient Greek, was directed by HyoJook Baek (Doctor in Music) with the total of forty two male and female singers from the Seoul Choir. These soundtracks met with the public responses from the users and are still very popular.

MMORPG.com:Will there be a solo game play element to the game for players who may not like groups or raids?
Dae Hwan Kim:

Many elements of ArchLord are based around principles of solo play, this includes the crafting skills and many quests. In fact almost 80% of ArchLord is solo play. The rest is made of group play in the form of quests, raid bosses and guild related adventures.

MMORPG.com:What type of PvP will ArchLord offer? Will the races be at war or will player guilds battle it out?
Dae Hwan Kim:

The bulk of the PVP will be built around guild vs. guild battles.

MMORPG.com:Explain what players must do to become the ArchLord. What impact will there be on players overall?
Dae Hwan Kim:

In order to become ArchLord players and their guild will first be required to siege one of the three castles spread through out the world. Once they have gained one of these castles they must their way through to monsters and other players before being able to challenge for the ArchLord crown. This is just a sneak preview of how it will work as the system is still being developed and we want to make it the best system possible.

MMORPG.com:Will ArchLord allow players to create custom UIs or Mods?
Dae Hwan Kim:

We have currently opted for players to not be able to customize their UI.

MMORPG.com:How is your relationship with Codemasters working out?
Dae Hwan Kim:

We are both working very closely together in order to ensure a successful launch of ArchLord in North America & Europe. Despite the huge time difference between Korea and the UK we are putting a huge amount of effort into producing a quality game for the user. We are going to maintain this strong partner relationship as developer and publisher and deliver a truly unique gaming experience to the western audience.

MMORPG.com:Will players have access to magical items and weapons? How will they impact the game and player advancement?
Dae Hwan Kim:

The weapons and amour suits are divided into normal/rare/unique and can be obtained from the world in this order of difficulty. In order to fully make the most of the gaming experience players are going to have to strive to obtain the best weapons and amour as they play through the game.

These weapons and amour can also be buffed with the buff potions, and further refined through prayer and elemental stones.

MMORPG.com:Will ArchLord have a crafting system for players to create their own weapons, armor or potions?
Dae Hwan Kim:

These can be crafted by combining weapons and amour with various elemental/prayer stones. Players will also be able to create potions through cooking and alchemy.

MMORPG.com:Beta sign ups are already under way, when can we expect Beta to begin?
Dae Hwan Kim:

Beta numbers are going very well and we are already oversubscribed hugely! The BETA will commence in August and we urge gamers to sign up asap to avoid disappointment.

MMORPG.com:Where do you see MMORPGs going in the future?
Dae Hwan Kim:

I think the future of MMORPGS lies in advancing the community focus, to allow for a more player created universe only restricted by the players imaginations. This would mean that rather than being created/serviced by the developers future MMORPGS will become a persistent evolution of the players and communities within them. Moving forward we also expect to see further diversification to other platforms and a move away from being solely PC based culminating in MMORPGS being played on portables whenever and wherever a players likes.

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