Swordman is the new martial arts MMO from Perfect World Entertainment that just released in North America on July 29th of this year. It has so far enjoyed positive reviews from fans of the genre, but what's even more amazing is the fact that the game is already getting its first expansion this fall with Gilded Wasteland.
This expansion is said to play heavily into promoting group content through guilds and large dynamic arenas, so we sat down with Associate Product Manager Wayne Song to talk about this aspect of the new content.
MMORPG.com: Gilded Wasteland brings more of a focus on guilds, allowing players more tools and incentives for joining guilds. Can you explain some of these new features?
Wayne Song: Guilds have always been a key element of Swordsman, but with Gilded Wasteland we wanted to bring more grouping experiences that will bring players together in a more dynamic way. In addition to the new endgame instances and dungeon, we’ve also introduced new PvP arena modes, with Team Deathmatch and Capture the Lion.
These new gameplay modes get players working together in dynamic fights that we feel are uncommon in most MMOs.
MMORPG.com: How do guilds influence the gameplay progression in the new regions?
Wayne Song: The new regions are designed for the new level cap up to level 94, and is used to help players reach the new level content in a more interesting way. In the future, we may add new events and more guild features in these regions, making players get even more involved the magnificent regions of those maps.
Since guilds are such a key feature of Swordsman, players will definitely want to group up to take on the new instances and dungeon.
MMORPG.com: Are the three new high-level instances more guild-friendly?
Wayne Song: Certainly! Players in guilds will find it easier to create teams to challenge the new instances at a higher difficulty. Some of the new dungeons are technically soloable, the higher difficulty instances really need to be completed as a group.
MMORPG.com: Guild Quests are unlocked at level 35. How has the feedback been on these? Are they popular with players?
Wayne Song: Guild quests are definitely popular, especially here in China. We’ve designed Swordsman for players to level up quickly at early stage, so they can reach Lv35 easily. At that point, the guild mechanics become very important for leveling up.
MMORPG.com: Are tweaks or improvements to the group match-maker system planned?
Wayne Song: We’re thinking about it! One of our goals is to try to make players have a better experience with the group matchmaker system. We really want players playing as much of the Swordsman content as possible.
MMORPG.com: Solo progression is enjoyed by many MMO gamers. Is Swordsman still solo-friendly, or is the group experience what it's all about?
Wayne Song: Swordsman allows players to go solo in game, and an example of this is how there are different difficulties of instances. Players can complete the normal ones by themselves. For players who group up though, there are also lots of guild quests and guild events which need teammates.
Anyway, the region of Jianghu is a community of martial artists. Take part in that community!
MMORPG.com: What lessons have you learned from previous Perfect World action MMOs, and how did you apply those lessons to Swordsman?
Wayne Song: The dev team of Swordsman did learn lots from our experiences with quests systems, combat systems, stats systems, etc. from previous games. We use these experiences to help design efficiently, and these provide good experiences to help us make new and fun content in Swordsman.