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Zentia Developer Blog

Thoughts from ChangYou's Zentia Dev. Team about F2P gaming, and living life in the game industry including happenings, experiences, and all other things gamer. To find out more info about Zentia,check out:

Author: ChangYouZ

Culture Corner #2: Immortals

Posted by ChangYouZ Monday September 27 2010 at 11:33AM
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Culture Corner #2: Immortals

Welcome to the Culture Corner

Welcome back to the Culture Corner with Tao Jones. If you’re new to the Culture Corner, this is a little column that is your guide to the world. It’s great to be a hero, but if you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to save, then it’s a little harder to appreciate it. That’s what I’m here for. Each column, I’m going to take a part of Chinese culture in our games and explain it in a little more depth.


One thing you’re going to inevitably notice in Zentia is the world “Immortal” being thrown around. Your character was once an immortal, and is trying to become one again. A good number of Taosts in the world are trying to become immortals. Immortals themselves sometimes hang out in the world and help you out. So what are they?

Well, you might have guessed, but they’re a lot more than just people who live forever. An immortal is someone who has attained enlightenment. It’s actually a lot like the original concept of alchemy. Alchemists wanted to turn base metals into gold, but they also wanted to obtain eternal life and infinite wisdom. Becoming an immortal is more about the spiritual rewards than the physical. However, it’s not just humans who can become immortals, though. Animals can become immortals as well. In fact, you may have already met some, although we’ll cover that some other time.

A group of immortal hopefuls in their natural environment.
Caution: Taking their heads will not also take their power. Well, maybe if it's Tiger Baby.

Becoming an immortal includes a number of benefits. The most obvious one, as you could probably guess from the name, is eternal life. Enlightenment and an ultimate understanding of the universe are nice too, but those are things you have to obtain on the way to becoming an immortal. The primary benefit really is about the journey and less about the destination. However, actually becoming an immortal does have a number of benefits. They gain a wide variety of supernatural powers, such as the abiltiy to fly, cure disease by the power of thought, and making three-minute ramen in three seconds. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.

Of course, actually becoming an immortal is not exactly easy. In Zentia, you have to go through the Heavenly Tests, but all that really measures is how powerful and determined you are. And like you might guess from the alarming number of evil immortals out there, it doesn’t exactly filter for people who care about anyone else.

In actual lore, becoming an immortal requires a lot less spiritual advancement through combat and a lot more rigid training. This can involve endless experimentation to create an elixir of immortality, countless hours spent on breathing and meditation, refraining from eating grain and meat, or other methods. It requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication, and it’s impossible to live a normal life.

Even when someone finally does become an immortal, not all immortals are ascended equal. See, the traditional Chinese cosmology, in spite of all its fantastical elements, is heavily based on the imperial bureaucracy. That means that everyone has their place, and newcomers aren’t instantly treated as equals. You’re the new intern, and everyone is going to want you to get their coffee. Kinda puts the Zentia background in a new light.


And none of that instant stuff, do you hear me?

Those ever-present Earth Immortals you see around are there for a reason. The other immortals won’t let them leave the Earth, hence their name. They’re just one type of a new immortal, having used a method to transform all of their yin chi into yang chi and attained immortal bodies. They don’t need to eat or drink, and they don’t care if the weather is hot or cold. However, they still have bodies, so they’ve got to stay on Earth. So after all that they’ve been through, their climb up the metaphorical immortal corporate ladder isn’t done yet. They’re just getting started. The next step is to shed their bodies, and then once they’re promoted, they’ve got even more work ahead of them, assuming they don’t want to just settle into their position and be content.

Still, it does have its perks. Immortals get to live forever. They get a variety of supernatural powers, as well as being freed from the limits and needs of the body and attaining spiritually enlightenment. People also look up to them as spiritual role models and heroes. It’s a lifetime of effort for countless lifetimes of reward (and also countless lifetimes of effort). Pursing the path to becoming an immortal isn’t for everyone, but with the potential payoff, it’s not hard to understand why people would undertake an immortal journey.

Until next time, take care.

Tao Jones


Discuss the Culture Corner in the Culture Corner General Discussion Thread

The Unveiling of Zentia Open Beta

Posted by ChangYouZ Wednesday September 15 2010 at 8:45PM
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Heya fellow Zentians!
I’m Dave, the Associate Producer for Zentia, and this here is my first dev blog.  I’ll be posting here on a semi-regular basis from now on, and for this first episode, I’m going to talk a bit about what we’re working on during the month of September for your favorite game, Zentia. (it’s your favorite, right? :)
First off, Open Beta is coming, and it’s coming up fast!  It’s a bit of a whirlwind in the office, and I feel like the Tasmanian Devil from those great WB cartoons I used to watch as a kid.  Running here and there, talking to one person to get information to tell another person to confirm that such and such feature is working in the game as expected...
For example, last week we were working on a new patch that would fix the problem with the life skill materials not being tradeable below level 40 and the graphic/functionality problem that was due to different language files.  We were almost ready to go on Friday, but we still hadn’t confirmed that the fix for the material trading was working.  Some information had slipped through the cracks, as it sometimes does, so I had to phone the lead tester to get the confirmation – it was tested, and it’s good to go.  So I gave the OK - the update will be coming out this week!
Also coming this week is our first huge test build that will include all the new Open Beta content!  Our test team will be spending weeks taking those features through the ringer to make sure they’re good to go.  Plus, we have more in-game text to edit, the Token Shop to set up, a Halloween Event to plan, and Guilder to frame for it; we’re swamped.  Oh wait, wrong story... (heh heh, see what I did there?).
One more thing we’re working on, and this is one of my personal pet projects – a machinima using Zentia to tell the story!  Just like Zentia, the story will be a twisted tale of adventure, good vs. evil, and monkeys!  First episode is due out at the end of the month –keep an eye out for it!
Click on the image below to view our new trailer.

Zentia - Producer's Video Episode 1

Posted by ChangYouZ Friday September 10 2010 at 2:46PM
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Zentia Producer's Video Episode One


The Senior Producer of Zentia welcomes you to the game and invites you to take a look at why Zentia is an experience like no other. She describes our companys motto, some of the key features, and what went into designing  the game you'll love.

Culture Corner #001

Posted by ChangYouZ Wednesday September 1 2010 at 11:34AM
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Click here to see the full version of the article.

    Welcome to the Culture Corner

Hello, everyone! Welcome to a new feature on our site, the Culture Corner. This is Tao Jones, speaking to you from the wonderful offices of ChangYou. What is the Culture Corner? Well, it’s a weekly column designed to help explain bits and pieces of our games. You’re all smart enough to figure most of it out by context, but the games can’t exactly go out of their way to explain everything anytime anything culturally Chinese pops up. If you’re playing the game, you want to play the game, not stop and do 15 minutes of reading. This is where you can find out a little more about the ideas and concepts that tend to pop up in games.



Let’s start with Taoism. It plays a huge part in our newest game, Zentia. The player characters are Taoists. The skill trainers are Taoists. Some of the quest givers are Taoists. The guys that pop up out of nowhere to help you are Taoists. Some of the enemies are Taoists. And I’m pretty sure that even a few of the animals are Taoists. The point is, you can’t throw a baozi in the world of Zentia without hitting at least three Taoists. It’d be nice to have a better idea of what it is, wouldn’t it?

Taoism (pronounced “Dowism.” It’s sometimes spelled Daoism too.) is a Chinese system of belief. It’s easy to call it a religion, but the truth of the matter is a little bit trickier than that. Some people consider it to be a philosophy. It’s really up to interpretation. The central point of Taoism is the belief in a central unifying force that runs through everything that exists. If you’ve seen Star Wars, think of it as the Force. If you haven’t seen Star Wars, either stop lying, or make a YouTube video about it.

This concept that runs through everything is called the Tao (or the Dao). It means something like way, or path. However, according to Taoism, the Tao can’t be explained in words. In fact, that is the very first sentence of the Dao De Jing, the most important text in Taoism. Words are all I have, so there you have it, people. Taoism explained. I’ll see you all next time.

Just kidding. I’ve only got so much space on the blog, but I’ve got a lot more space to talk on the forums. Click here for the full version and learn more about Taoism.