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ArchLord Interviews: Beta Wrap Up Q&A

By  on September 29, 2006

As beta winds down, we catch up with Codemasters

The dev team over at Codemasters took some time to answer some questions about their game as it moves from beta to release.

MMORPG.com:How has the Beta been going so far? What has the player response been?
ArchLord Dev Team:

It’s nice to speak with you guys again. The BETA has been going very well we have seen a huge number of players signing up, in excess of 100,000. Like any BETA we have of course had our ups and downs but on the whole we have been very impressed with the level of input that we are getting from those taking part.

Player response has been very useful and ensured that we have plenty of useful information to pass on to NHN and hopefully this will all build towards making ArchLord a better game for release. The BETA testing period has been a very good period for us and we hope players enjoy the end of BETA event as a nice conclusion to all their hard work.

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MMORPG.com:With Beta coming to a close what are your plans for release?
ArchLord Dev Team:

Everything here at Codemasters Online Games is starting to gear towards the release of ArchLord. The biggest initial step for us is the end of BETA event, this is the chance for all our BETA testers to help us stress test the game and take part in a massive PvP battle! For those of you not aware of what we are doing; We are hosting a large scale PvP battle on Sunday that will see players align themselves to one of four champions. They are then due to meet on the battlefield and take each other on till one champion remains! I personally am really looking forward to the event and hope to see lots of our testers there.

As we build towards the launch we obviously working hard on things like post-launch in game events, competitions and new content as well as other issues. The great thing about MMO’s is their constant evolving nature so we are always looking for ways that we can improve ArchLord and get players more involved in the game. We are looking forward to releasing ArchLord in October and hope to see all our BETA testers in the full retail version of the game.

MMORPG.com:How has the PvP system been working in Beta? It seems like a bit of the old school ways when any player could suddenly turn on you.
ArchLord Dev Team:

There is no denying that ArchLord is very much a hardcore PvP game, back to the old Blues vs Reds of early UO. We have recently introduced a rise in the level cap at which PvP can begin; this has gone from level 6 to level 15. The reason behind this is that we do not want to adjust the PVP nature of ArchLord but rather ensure players have a chance to develop their characters and become comfortable with them before they encounter the PvP elements of ArchLord.

This change can off the back of our BETA testing in which we found that some players were camping out side starter areas and attacking lower level players before they could really get into the game. With the new level cap of 15 players should have moved away from the starter village areas and will be a little more spread out ensuring that low level ganking won’t take place in the same way and more people will be able to enjoy the PvP aspect of ArchLord.

MMORPG.com:Congratulations on your success at Fileplanet, do you expect the number of downloads to continue until the end of Beta? How do you think this will impact release?
ArchLord Dev Team:

Thank you, we are extremely pleased with the popularity of ArchLord on Fileplanet and they have been great in supporting us. We have been seeing a steady increase in downloads through out the BETA, in fact we seem to be averaging almost 2,000 a day which is fantastic for us. I don’t think this will have a direct impact on release, but we may well see people choosing to patch up to the full retail version rather than uninstall and reinstall the game.

MMORPG.com:There have been some issues with the movement system in the game; are there plans to fix things up before release?
ArchLord Dev Team:

ArchLord was originally built around a point and click style movement. However as our experience has taught us the western playerbase much prefers WASD style movements so we have pushed for NHN to introduce this to our version of ArchLord. It is currently in the game but not in the fully complete version that we would like. This is mainly due to missing animations, we have now taken this up with NHN and they are working on new animations for us. So we hope to have the new WASD controls in shortly.

MMORPG.com:Along those lines, what are the bugs that Arch Lord faces before launch?
ArchLord Dev Team:

Our BETA testers have done a fantastic job of finding bugs in the ArchLord BETA and bringing them to our attention. We are working hard with NHN, we have brought all the known bugs to their attention and are now working closely to get them resolved as soon as possible. There are some known bugs including issues with WASD and the Guild System. We very much hope to have these fixed for launch, but like I’ve said before the great thing about MMOs is that they can be updated at any time. So we will be constantly working with NHN to get bugs fixed and into the game as soon as possible.

MMORPG.com:Are there any plans for some patches to come out after release? If so, what will they have in store for players?
ArchLord Dev Team:

Obviously we are keen to get ArchLord launched properly before we start talking about future updates. However this said we are working with NHN to get new content created and published. We will also be focused on getting as many of the bugs fixed as we can so players can expect to see ArchLord constantly evolving and improving as the days go by.

MMORPG.com:How have players reacted to building their character abilities like crafting or combat skills?
ArchLord Dev Team:

I think players have warmed to this a lot and really embraced this element of the game. The biggest area for most people has been the skills that are available and I have seen several discussions on the best builds, etc it’s been pretty exciting to see. Hopefully over time we will see the fan sites take on these discussions and we’ll see various builds floated around depending on what players want to achieve.

Players also appear to be enjoying the crafting skills that are in the game as well as the manuals that drop from various mobs. As people have been busy testing I don’t think we have seen the full scope of the crafting skills available in the game. For example the transformation potions that are available in game require materials that you can only get from some of the higher end monsters and these allow you to turn into some pretty cool monsters. I think as players focus more on their characters rather than assisting with testing they will come to enjoy the crafting elements of the game more than they already do.

MMORPG.com:Can you give our readers some insight into the End of Beta event you have planned?
ArchLord Dev Team:

Well as I’ve mentioned earlier we are really looking forward to the BETA event and I think players can expect a lot of fun. The event serves two purposes: 1) It acts a final stress test for ArchLord and ensures that we still have time to carry out the relevant fixes if anything goes wrong 2) It also provides a nice close to the BETA and will hopefully provide a fun ending for all those that have donated their time to test the BETA.

The event sees our four champions lead their great armies against each other in a pitched battle on Sunday! It’s then down to the Champions and their allies to stay alive in an epic last man standing battle! When the dust settles we will have a champion remaining and then we shall see what happens. It’s going to be a lot of fun I can’t wait. Recruitment will take place a few days before and on the day its self and we hope to see lots of people taking part.

MMORPG.com:What do you look forward to most in ArchLord’s future? Any expansions in the works?
ArchLord Dev Team:

I look forward to watching ArchLord develop and change as a result of the input from various players over time. I think one of the most exciting elements will be watching the first battle for the ArchLord taking place and seeing how that ArchLord chooses to wield their powers.

I would also like to take this moment to briefly touch on the in-game shop that features in ArchLord and the PLAYplus system. As I am sure most of your readers are aware by now Codemasters Online Games have taken the decision to remove PLAYplus from ArchLord.

This was not a decision we made lightly and was based on substantial feedback that we received from BETA testers once the system was introduced into the BETA, as we said from the start. We took this into account and have now amended ArchLord to a standard MMO subscription model. Players will now pay a set fee per month, but they will still receive credits. All players will receive the same number of credits.

The only other way currently that players will receive credits will be through in-game events, promotions and compensation for unplanned downtime. We are looking closely at other ways we can use the credit to reward players but nothing has been decided as yet.

So I look forward to seeing everyone in the world of Chantra!

You can read more here.

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