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Interviews: Developer Q&A

By  on June 01, 2006

Developer Q&A

We uncover more details about the recently launched Silkroad Online

The developers of Silkroad Online recently released their title to the commercial market. Today, Garrett Fuller digs up some details on the game as we run this interview he did with their developers.

MMORPG.com:How will the historical aspects of SilkRoad translate for players to enjoy today?
Silkroad Team:

The foundation for Silkroad Online is that of a reproduction of the Silk Road and the world during the 7th Century. The regions’ history, culture, stories are the background that fills the fantasy game.

The cities you see inside the game are the results of a huge amount of documentation and consultation with historical investigation in order to create a world as close to the 7th century era as possible. The names of the places and other names in the world are taken from names present in history as often and closely as possible.

If you log into the game you will see places like Jangan, Donwhang Stone Cave entrances, Constantinople which actually existed as real places. The similarity in even the appearance of the virtual of the historical is enough to make the player have the impression of actually having stepped back in history.

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MMORPG.com:Crossing both historical and mythical boundaries in SilkRoad gives players an exciting mythos to explore. How well do the two work together?
Silkroad Team:

Many of the graphics of Silkroad Online have the essence of their forms to reproduce the reality of those times in order to give a historical feel. However, the monsters that appear in the field and the quests given by the NPCs have their background in the region’s stories and myths and are adapted to fit the game, Silkroad Online.

So on top of the 7th century and reality based background we have the monsters that appear in mythology for the players to hunt and varieties of quests from the stories to carry out; all naturally combining history and mythology in a fusion that Silkroad Online is.

MMORPG.com:Can you give us more insight to the types of classes and races that are in SilkRoad? They seem to run the spectrum from ancient Roman to ancient Chinese and include all the lands in between.
Silkroad Team:

The Chinese utilize ‘Ki’ as the foundation to the three major weapon techniques, three major combat masteries, and one healing art. The players that select the Chinese can select, in the absence of classes, any skill they want and thus create a unique character that is shaped purely by one’s own diverse choices of skills to develop. The Chinese warriors employ ‘Ki’ to maximize humanity’s potential and use this to battle.

The Europeans emphasize “Mana” as the force within humanity and strength which is demonstrated in the distinct classes which have specialties that only they can develop, are another race. European characters can be divided into 6 distinct classes: the warrior, rogue, wizard, warlock, bard, and cleric. This is the race where if these classes complement each other in a party well they can exhibit great manifestations of power.

The Arabians (Islamic characters) will have the ability to summon genies. The summoned genies will be able to battle and, through intensive training perform other feats of spirit magic. Islamic characters will be able to use the sword, blade, claw and the chakoram as their weapons. The genies will be able to train in the 4 attributes of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.

MMORPG.com:The game has a strong stance against players using bots. Please elaborate on this and why it is so important.
Silkroad Team:

One cannot enjoy or get a good feel for the game by only leveling up and getting nice equipment. There are many other elements that can be enjoyed. Recklessly leveling, through cheats like bots and other similar methods solely aimed at convenience will cause one to not only miss the enjoyment of actually playing but more importantly, will disrupt the game balance to the point which it threatens everyone else’s enjoyment of the game. They are also easy access points for viruses, key loggers, and other programs that may violate the security of your computer. These are the essential reasons why.

MMORPG.com:What type of weapons and combat can players expect? Are the weapons, clothing, and armor historical in their look and feel?
Silkroad Team:

The Chinese race is armed with the blade, sword, spear, glaive, and the bow. These 5 weapons are used by 3 weapon techniques, and a healing ‘Ki’ based mastery. These can all be respectively selected and in the selections of skills; each character will have an infinite variety of essential differences.

The weapons and armor are each divided into 12 different types and from the lowest 1st degree to the 6th degree weapons; these weapons are all taken from historical accounts of weapons and defenses in order to be a grounded in reality as close as possible. The 7th degree to 12th degree equipment are based on elements that do not violate the cultural feel yet have hints of fantasy and use imagery that has a powerful feel but at the same time does not stray too far from the historical.

In the case of the Chinese, 12 spirits of the land, animals, and their images are used on the equipment and for each have uniqueness to them. In the case of the Europeans, the Imperial imagery of 12 constellations differentiates the equipment.

MMORPG.com:With character types based on the merchant, guardian, or burglars, how will players form guilds or PvP groups?
Silkroad Team:

The Trader, Thief and Hunter are each set up to complement or confront each other and so while a player is involved in a job activity, they can PK or be PK-ed without penalties. The merchant trader is aiming to make profit from transporting special cargo from one place to another, the thief is responsible for taking advantage of traders by robbery and making a profit in that way, while finally the hunter is employed by the trader as protection against thieves. This kind of formalized confrontational relationship cultivates an appropriate, relevant purpose driven PvP relationships.

MMORPG.com:You have talked about character abilities in the past. How will players use the abilities from the Greek gods or Islam lamp elves to advance their play?
Silkroad Team:

The European concept has been changed since then and the power of the Greek gods will not be available to the Europeans to use. Details have not been finalized on the use of Islamic lamp elves.

MMORPG.com:The graphics and art work are very intricate. Can you tell us more about them and also your influences in creating the look and feel for the game beyond just the historical element?
Silkroad Team:

The graphics of Silkroad Online’s backgrounds were made by us as places that would approximate or correspond to actual cultural and historical references. Upon this framework as a foundation, we took historically themed fantasy imagery and generated new graphics that fit Silkroad Online.

The Silkroad Online world can be largely divided into two parts. One part is represented by the main trading hubs, Jangan, Donwhang, Hotan, Tehran, Baghdad, and Constantinople as the historically based locations. The historical locations run from east to west. The second part is Taklamakhan, Hotan, Fire Mountain, Gong Luien Mountain, Himalayas, Chunchook country are fantasy themed locations. These run from north to south. These two themes converge when east to west and north to south cross and the coexistence of the historical and fantasy in the world of Silkroad Online is completed.

In the same way that the Silkroad Online world is divided into two themes, the graphical themes of these parts are divided as well, particularly in the use of color. In the realistic and historical locations that run from east to west, the elements of fantasy were reduced and historical documentation was used as the basis for recreating the Silk Road as closely as possible to its past. From the northern to southern regions, mythology and stories, rather than historical documentation, is being used to construct a new world with elements that fit more of a fantasy themed age.

MMORPG.com:The caravan concept is important to SilkRoad. Will players advance their characters as they travel with the caravan?
Silkroad Team:

The Job oriented Triangular Conflict System that is contained within the trade caravan activity is used to advance your job levels. If the player raises their job level, unique items with special abilities will be able to be equipped. Not only with the items garnered through this make a player more effective in the Triangular Conflict System, it will also give the player certain advantages in normal PvP as well.

Trader

  • be able to transport more special items
  • be able to equip a special trader item that grants the trader greater defense to assist them in their job
  • be able to get a faster caravan transport.
Hunter
  • be able to get a faster transport
  • be able to wear an exclusive hunter item which will give advantages in PVP combat with thieves.
Thief
  • be able to equip an exclusive item that will enable thieves greater ability to utilize their skills to hide and ambush

MMORPG.com:What type of end game does SilkRoad offer players who have achieved the highest status in game?
Silkroad Team:

Those who have achieved the highest job levels in the Triangular Conflict System will be able to equip the highest degree Job Suit and be able to garner the most profit from their job activities.

In the guild system, those guilds masters that have arrived at the highest guild level and its alliance masters can equip items with advantages over other guild masters with lower guild levels and in turn grant the guild/union greater powers and abilities.

Those who have achieved the highest ranks in the forthcoming Faction War System will get higher administrative positions and be able to buy items that are not normally sold at the stores. Other advantages over normal players are also being planned.

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