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Interviews: Jake Song Interview

By Garrett Fuller on July 06, 2011

Jake Song Interview

Answers translated from Korean.

ArcheAge has become a highly anticipated MMO, can you give us a short overview of the game?

Jake Song:

ArcheAge is the Real Blockbuster MMORPG, in development by XLGAMES since 2006. There are many aspects of ArcheAge such as the realistic graphics, solid game scenarios, and the massive world. We are trying to make ArcheAge a game where players can make their own content by themselves instead of just consuming the content already made by the game developer.


Tell us about the two races in the game, the elves and ferres. How do they interact? When will we hear about more races?

Jake Song:

We have announced 3 races in ArcheAge so far; Nuian, Ferre, and Elf. There will be a total of two alliances and eight races in ArcheAge but the announcement schedule for the next ones are not decided yet. The two alliances are Nuian and Hariharan. The Nuian alliance (led by the Nuian race, a human race in the Western continent), and Hariharan alliance (led by the Hariharan race, a human race in the Eastern continent) are in a hostile state when the game starts. However, we will design it so that certain races of Nuian alliance can be separated out and become friendly or neutral with Hariharan Alliance, depending on players' behavior. PvP between players from the same alliance will be allowed in certain zones or situations, but will be regarded as a crime and players will be put on trial.

The class system is very open and offers players a lot of options. Can you tell us about how it works?

Jake Song:

There are 10 abilities in ArcheAge and each player can combine 3 out of 10. That makes 120 unique classes. In the current class system, even if you are in the same class, players can choose the skills they want to learn, and I think this would give originality to each character. If certain skills are too strong, then players will only make the classes that can use that skill. To avoid such situations, we are considering making skills that are not too strong, but can give characteristics to the class. For instance, for the Bard class, there can be a skill that can sing. I think skills that match the classes' names go well with ArcheAge's features.

You are moving into a fourth closed beta soon, what have you learned from the beta tests?

Jake Song:

We just finished our 3rd Closed Beta Test in May. I think Closed Beta Tests are to figure out what players would like to play and to check if the game is being developed in the right way. Through ArcheAge's 3rd Closed Beta Test, players gave feedback that the gameplay environment in the early levels is not satisfying. I think this is because we developed the end content of the game first. For out next Closed Beta Test, we will improve the early level game environment, include more characters, animation, and also the siege warfare system.

Has testing the game led to any changes in design? Can you give us an example?

Jake Song:

We received many feedbacks after the 3rd Closed Beta Test. As for the design, we are trying to improve the UI of ArcheAge to a more player-friendly and intuitive style and also introduce new sleek-looking characters too.

The world in the game is quite large, how will players navigate the continents?

Jake Song:

Mounts, such as horse, are given to each character in the very early levels. As for the transportation, users can get on monorails, carriages, airships to travel from zone to zone, or just to watch the scenery of ArcheAge. Similarly users can witness teleportation books would allow you to navigate to any destination on the map. Besides that, in ArcheAge's 3rd Closed Beta Test we added a mini-map along with the time of day information.

How will PvP work in the game? Is it an open system?

Jake Song:

The answer is half yes and half no. In ArheAge, players can attack another player if they wish and can steal crops that the other user raised. Such sandbox features can give fun, but it can create conflict and disputes between players, and might damage the game play. Especially free PvP is favored by some but hated by some others. So in ArcheAge there is the trial and jail system. Players who kill another player will be put under a trial by the other players and be judged whether the activity was reasonable or not.

How do you think the game will translate to Western audiences?

Jake Song:

We started developing ArcheAge considering global service in the first place. We want to let the players feel the true beauty MMORPG by forming a society like real life by networking with other players. The motto of ArcheAge is 'A world made of your own free will'. I think such facts of ArcheAge are what Western game players would also want and enjoy.

Best of luck with the betas, how can players get involved?

Jake Song:

I regret to say this to the gamers outside Korea, but ArcheAge Closed Beta Tests are designed for Koreans only. Schedule for the ArcheAge's 4th closed beta test is not fixed yet. When we announce the schedule for the test, if you are Korean and live in Korea, you can apply as a tester through ArcheAge website and wait for the raffle result.