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Interview With Martin Tan

By Garrett Fuller on November 22, 2009 | Interviews | Comments

Interview With Martin Tan

Give us the status of Dragon Oath right now, how is the game moving along?

Martin Tan:

Dragon Oath entered Open Beta on Nov. 5th. We have met all of our internal goals for Closed Beta and this good trend is continuing. We are still seeing a steady rise in new players. Our team is now preparing for three things, (i) A Thanksgiving update that will encompass 2 weeks of holiday events, (ii) the launch of Dragon Oath's Item Mall and (iii) the launch of Dragon Oath's first expansion pack in Early February.


The classes in Dragon Oath are very interesting; tell us a little about the name and idea behind your favorite class.

Martin Tan:

Dragon Oath has nine classes: Pyromancer, Lotus Order, Royalty, Minstrel, Taoist, Voodoo, Assassin, Beggars Alliance and Shaolin.

I love "The Pyromancer" most. Pyromancer Kung Fu is characterized by preemptive attacks; they give up defense for a short while in order to have the most powerful attack among "The Nine Classes". Pyromancers believe the Holy Fire will bless them to be reborn and will choose to die in combat rather than flee from battle. Pyromancers' slogan is "When hungry, eat rice. When tired, close your eyes. When being attacked by murderous enemies, keep fighting."

I just like mixing it up in hand to hand and the ability to summon huge gouts of flames to destroy my enemies!

Lotus is also very popular as it has healing abilities, and I also like the poisons offered by some of the other classes.

Actually, in Dragon Oath, players will always find a class that suits their distinct gameplay styles.

What type of feedback have you gotten from players in Open Beta?

Martin Tan:

The feedback we have got from users so far is that Dragon Oath is of comparable quality as some of the better MMORPGs in the U.S. Our users are especially interested in our huge variety of pets and mounts. Not only can they breed their own pets, but they are also thrilled by the 24/7 continuous live in-game events. These are features they typically will not find in other games. We are delighted with some of the positive feedback received and the momentum we are seeing in the game.

Give us an idea on how your development team works with the feedback they receive.

Martin Tan:

As we moved into Open Beta and receive even more suggestions from players, we will look at the possible ways in which we can utilize players' feedback for future releases because we are always interested in creating games with features that players would like to see. With the game having been in operation in China for over 2 years, the current version of our game already incorporates the ideas of many players. For example, when we first launched the Chinese version of Dragon Oath in China, it didn't have as many pets and mounts as we have in the game today. It was only later, after our users told us what other types of pets and mounts they would like to have in the game that we added these features in. Same for armor sets. We believe players in the US will benefit from all these add-on items that will make their playing experience more fun and fulfilling.

Also, we will be opening up many new features for the Open Beta, such as "Martial Arts Battle", an event in which every class will choose contestants to represent the class to fight and at the end of the battle, all members of the winning class will receive 3x of the normal quest rewards for a period of time after the event. In celebrations of the Open Beta launch, we will be holding special events both in-game and off-line, and will be giving away many great gifts. For more updates, players are welcome to visit our website


The Martial Arts battle is a very cool idea. Tell us about how it works.

Martin Tan:

The Martial Arts Battle is a huge PvP event that pits each class against one another to see which one is truly the strongest. It opens every Thursday from 7:00pm to 8:00pm and every Sunday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. Every class will choose contestants to represent the class in the battle. All members of the winning class will receive 3x the normal quest rewards for a period of time after the event.

It's really fun to represent your class and show your dominance over other gamers from the other eight classes in the game. It's very rare to see class-based PVP in an MMORPG, but it works very well in Dragon Oath and our players like it a lot.

Tell us about some of the other events that occur in game, which is your favorite?

Martin Tan:

Dragon Oath has over 100 automated in-game events running 24/7. We have added yet another exciting new event to Open Beta - the Kung Fu World Soccer Challenge. This is a monthly event, scheduled for the first Sunday of each month. It is my favorite! Players bring a strong team of three or more players to the arena for a soccer match like no other. More like a soccer nightmare, they will have to fight the way past a seemingly endless onslaught of ferocious soccer balls before earning the right to battle their captain to claim the ultimate prize in this game for soccer supremacy. Players that participate in this event will gain MASSIVE amounts of experience points, rare item drops, and the Chance to take down the Soccer queen! Careful, she bites.

What is something you'd like to say to players who might not have heard of Dragon Oath before?

Martin Tan:

Dragon Oath is the English version of TLBB (Tian Long Ba Bu), one of the most popular online games in China. It is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) set in ancient China. The game allows players to engage themselves in ancient Chinese folklore and take part in captivating quests that tell the tales of warriors and diplomats from this time period. It emphasizes teamwork and community and boasts over 300 different martial arts skills, 136 armor sets with up to 116 million combinations of weapons, over 200 pets with up to 80,000 combinations, and 100 automated daily in-game live events 24/7.

Dragon Oath offers many features, but I think what U.S. players will value most about the game is the Community. The combination of martial arts and community building has a strong appeal. Fighting-based games often have high player participation when they are launched due to the excitement level of the content, but users may leave rapidly as their initial enthusiasm fades. Conversely, community-based offerings can experience more gradual growth as they build their relationships with each other. They also tend to have longer life spans since these bonds strengthen over time.

From the very beginning, Dragon Oath was built to be a community-based MMORPG that promotes players to form teams to complete quests rather than simply moving up levels by fighting. Therefore, players who thrive on interactions and cooperation with others will definitely find Dragon Oath appealing.

There is a deep cultural influence in Dragon Oath with classes like the Shaolin, and Taoist. Explain some of the history behind the game.

Martin Tan:

Dragon Oath is adapted from a very popular Chinese martial arts fiction "Tian Long Ba Bu" (Tale of Eight Demigods). The game incorporates many missions and activities that follow the original storyline. The main thematic element of the novel concerns the complex, and often troubled relationships between the great multitude of characters from various kingdoms and sects, and the inherent bond that underlies the struggles of each. Ultimately, the novel examines the cause and effect that forms and breaks these bonds on five uniquely corresponding levels: self, family, society, ethnic group, and country (dominion). These elements allow players to develop their own personalized experiences, and also to foster virtual social relationships, which we have designed to appeal across a diverse range of interests.


When can we expect to see Dragon Oath ready for launch?

Martin Tan:

We will hit "retail" release very soon. Our item mall will be open at the end of November. We will make further announcement on that.

How will players be able to get into the Open Beta if that have not already done so?

Martin Tan:

It only takes a couple of steps, as easy as pie. First, head over to our registration page to register an account. Second, download the client. Dragon Oath isn't a cheap flash game, so you're going to have to download it onto your computer! Head on over to the download page via direct download or Bit Torrent. Then you need to decide on a class. We've laid out a class breakdown on our website that will help you find the right fit for your play style. You may also want to register on our forum to view updates and take part in discussion forums. The Dragon Oath staff really takes players' opinions into consideration when modifying the game. By keeping a sharp eye on our forums, you will find information on upcoming events, so that you can make every preparation necessary to dominate and win some prizes.

Actually, everything you need to know about how to enter the world of Dragon Oath is in our starter's guide.

Come explore the rich culture in Dragon Oath's recreation of the ancient Chinese world. The game is deeply ingrained with facets of Chinese history and mythologies. Enjoy stunning visuals of the ancient cities, and traditional and not so traditional ancient clothing for your avatar. You will also experience beautifully rendered avatar skills, with stunningly vivid effects.

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