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Perfect World Beijing | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 03/09/11)  | Pub:Perfect World Entertainment
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
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Jon Belliss Interview

By William Murphy on October 28, 2010 | Interviews | Comments

Jon Belliss Interview
MMORPG.com:

Forsaken World is looking to be PWE's own "Next Big Thing". You've already got a stable of games under your belt, but Forsaken World seems to be upping the ante by aiming to be the kind of experience people would normally pay a monthly subscription for. For those readers who might not know much about the game, could you give us a brief overview of the title and its core gameplay?

Jon Belliss:

Sure. In comparison to other Perfect World games, Forsaken World depicts a darker story about a world that is doomed by the gods that have created it. Now it is up to players to decide the fate of this dark and "forsaken" world. Players will get a deeper free-to-play experience and will also gain a deeper sense of ownership of their gameplay through Forsaken World's unique features. According to the unique server progression, players will see their world change and discover new content based on their activity. Players can look forward to more complex class mechanics, deeper and more meaningful PvE experiences, as well as extremely hardcore PvP content.

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MMORPG.com:

One of the more ambitious features of the game is the ability for ten players per server to take on the role of gods. Could you elaborate a little on this feature? How do players become gods, and what does that mean for the rest of the players?

Jon Belliss:

The God System is definitely one of the most interesting features in Forsaken World. Each week, ten players will be able to become gods based upon their highest achievements. As a god, players will inherit special skills related to their god title that can be shared with others within their server. A player can become the God of Transportation if he or she explored the world more than anyone else that week and gain the ability to teleport. This is easily one of the most ambitious features of Forsaken World, and the development team is spending a ton of time to ensuring that the system is entertaining, functional, and balanced.

MMORPG.com:

It seems like such a system rewarding only a very few could up creating a contentious player-base. How is the team planning to ensure that the "God" system doesn't become a source of hostility between fellow players?

Jon Belliss:

We closely monitor this system to ensure that it is not abused by setting term and frequency limits on gods. Given the scope of this system, it may be a feature that doesn't make it at the launch of Closed Beta. We don't want to release this system until it is completely ready. Additionally, it would be a safe assumption that with any coveted seat, prize, or position, hostility between players is inevitable; however we have safeguards in place to try to prevent negative play experiences, hostility or bullying.

MMORPG.com:

The notion of Flying Fortresses which the game's guilds can fight over sounds like a pretty interesting way to map out Guild versus Guild combat. Could you could into a little more depth about the kinds of risks and rewards tied to this system?

Jon Belliss:

In the Guild Command Centers, guild members will be able to participate in full on guild versus guild warfare. Additionally, players will be able to complete quests, donate money, and gather materials to build up their housing district, and access extra features. They can gain access to extra features that allow them to trade, build a market, and participate in quests that provide reward items for their occupation. As guilds level up they'll be able to upgrade their Guild Command Centers, adding stables to gain access to guild mounts, or adding quest hubs to gain additional content for your guild.

MMORPG.com:

There are quite a few crafting occupations for players to choose from in Forsaken World. But I'll admit to seeing a few and scratching my head as to just how they work. Could you explain the Socialite and Adventurer occupations a bit more? How do they all fit into the economy?

Jon Belliss:

Without unveiling too much about individual occupations, we can tell you that each will have a unique role in the economy as well as in gameplay. The way the system works is that you gain job points as you level up, and then you can spend these job points in order to learn certain occupations. Different occupations will become available as players level up.

MMORPG.com:

The combat system for Forsaken World sounds like it's trying a few new things different from the norm. Can you explain the soul fragments idea, and how that factors into the action?

Jon Belliss:

Known as Soul Force in Forsaken World, players can consume the souls of their fallen enemies. After a certain point, the harnessed energy, which is extremely powerful, can be used to cast or use epic skills and abilities. The skill inherited from the Soul Force will vary from level to level. Additionally, each class has their own mechanic that helps differentiate their gameplay and combat. For example, the Bard class features a note assigned to each skill that they have. As they cast different skills and abilities, they will create chords and strings of notes. Different combinations will trigger buffs, debuffs, and other abilities. Fresh and new class mechanics such as these make Forsaken World's combat unique.

MMORPG.com:

Lastly, here comes the question I'm sure you've been just dying to answer. There's a vocal sect of MMO gamers who always stay far from the F2P titles. Consider this your chance to win over those gamers. What would you tell them to assure them that your game's not going to be all about the cash-shop and "paying to win"?

Jon Belliss:

The common theme behind our cash shops is paying for convenience. Other free-to-play games have failed because they offer items within their cash shop that directly increase power, but Perfect World's cash shop puts an emphasis on convenience and fashion items. There are several PWE games right now where our top players have never spent a dime. Regardless of whether or not you spend real world cash, we have alternative methods for players to attain all of our cash shop items. It's this type of balancing that allows players with time to compete even if they don't spend. The cash shop is not supposed to define your gameplay experience; it is simply there to compliment it.

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.
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