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Interview with Christian Schütt

Interviews 0

Their Community Manager speaks to MMORPG.com on Evol 2.2 and much more.

Christian Schütt is the Community Manager at Reakktor for Neocron 2. He recently took some time to answer some questions from our own Garrett Fuller about his game, where its going and where it has been.

MMORPG.com: How has Neocron grown from its release? Are you happy with the progression of the game?
Christian Schütt:

Although Neocron never played in the major league of the MMO genre, we are quite satisfied with the past development. Neocron has a very devoted community who appreciate the particular game concept and the dense atmosphere. Many players are still with the game for several years now; some leave it and return after some time as it is still their favorite MMO. Because we love the game and its setting, we are very happy that our loyal community makes it possible for us to keep running and developing the game.

MMORPG.com: Tell us a little bit about the theory behind Neocron Evol 2.2.
Christian Schütt:

Neocron Evol 2.2 is an attempt to rebalance the PvP and PvE aspects of the game. During the past development cycles, changes have been made to improve the balancing. These changes often consisted of compromises to acquire a satisfying result within time. In retrospect, these changes have not been as effective as expected.

MMORPG.com: What can players expect in terms of PvE when it comes to Neocron Evol 2.2?
Christian Schütt:

Besides a complete revision of the weapons system, which also affects the NPCs, the NPC system has experienced a major overhaul regarding skills, damage output, armor etc. Fighting NPCs will definitely be a bigger challenge then it has been in the past.

MMORPG.com: PvP is always extremely important in a game, especially in terms of balance. How will Neocron Evol 2.2 help balance issues you may be having in PvP?
Christian Schütt:

First of all our main goal is to provide equity. This does not mean that we want to see every part of the combat equally strong, but rather that each class has its own strengths and weaknesses to give each class-, respectively group constellations a real chance to succeed, depending on the optimal usage of the given possibilities. From this approach we are anticipating a significant increase of variety to give the player an appeal to try out different group constellations, strategies and tactics. Well-tried styles of playing should be extended, respectively replaceable.

Another important goal is to adjust our original game design concepts. Some classes have experienced an undesirable development in the past, or constellations of groups, classes and items had been possible that were not intended in the view of the game design. In the course of these adjustments we are also paying a lot of attention to maintain the character development flexibility and diversity that Neocron players have always appreciated.

MMORPG.com: When players hear the word "balance" many people fear some type of nerf to their characters, is that part of the plan?
Christian Schütt:

In some way, parts of the classes and items will experience a kind of nerf. This is not avoidable to achieve an equitable balancing. Of course we will make sure to give the player as much transparency as possible to understand why a class or an item has experienced such an adjustment.

MMORPG.com: In July you ran the Masters of the Universe Event. How did that work out for players and developers?
Christian Schütt:

Our players often have asked for explicit PvP events where they can pit themselves with other players. The content team has seized this chance to host the "Masters of the Universe" event, a tournament where players could fight against others within a special ingame arena and with a sudden death rule set. While in the first rounds, players fought versus players, the final round was the biggest challenge. The five remaining players had to step up against a Neocron Gamemaster of their choice and showed them that good gear isn't the only factor that counts in a heated battle. In the end most of the remaining players taught our Gamemasters a lesson in Player vs. Player combat and carried off the victory. Prizes for the winning players were rare items such as a special Wisdom of Ceres body armor.

Overall we are very satisfied with this event and we have received lots of positive feedback from the community too. This is motivating us to host more of these events in the future.

MMORPG.com: Without giving anything major away can you tell us a little about "The Death Circuit" storyline that is coming up soon?
Christian Schütt:

The new storyline called "The Death Circuit" contains four single chapters that will evolve the storyline part by part. Overall I can say that ostensive truths turn out to be insidious lies. The alliances will be shattered to their foundations and the smell of war lies in the air again.

MMORPG.com: How will this storyline impact character development and the community overall?
Christian Schütt:

The players will have the opportunity to experience the storyline at first hand with various ingame events hosted by our Gamemaster team. Additionally the storyline is being covered in our official webzines Neocronicle and Voice of the Resistance where players also have the opportunity to comment news and articles directly within the role-playing context.

MMORPG.com: Speaking of community you seem to have a good way of getting your players involved with the entire game and story process. How has that worked for you as far as building strong ties with your players?
Christian Schütt:

We are very pleased with the feedback we are getting from the community so far. Our intention has always been to involve the player base as much as a professional development process allows this. Our opinion is that it doesn't make much sense to just develop the game as we deem it right. In the end the players are the ones who have to play the game and not us. Of course we cannot suit everybody and compromises have to be made.

MMORPG.com: Your game fills a different niche in the market, with so many MMOs in the fantasy genre, what made you choose the Cyberpunk setting?
Christian Schütt:

Neocron originated from the vision of Martin J. Schwiezer, our former CEO, who is a big science-fiction and cyberpunk fan. Developing such a game within the flood of fantasy MMOs also displayed a large challenge and especially this challenge was the main motivation for the team in the past years.

MMORPG.com: Do you see more patches on the horizon for the game after Neocron Evol 2.2?
Christian Schütt:

We will closely watch the response to Evol 2.2 after the release and will orient our further development plans on it. Of course we are eager to continue the development of Neocron as it is still a unique game with a certain soul you hardly find in any other comparable game.

MMORPG.com: What are your hopes for the future of the game and MMOs in general?
Christian Schütt:

We will continue to maintain and improve Neocron. By improving its quality and expanding its contents, we do not only aim to make it more interesting for new players, but we are also improving our loyal fans' stay in the game by making it more varied and comfortable.

As a MMO developer, Reakktor Media is in a unique position in Germany, and Neocron is also still a unique product for this type of games. Therefore we will continue to work in the fast growing MMO market and develop our products accordingly.