(Editor’s Note: MMOZG.net sent this translated copy of the interview. The original Russian version can be found here. Thanks to our friends at MMOZG.net for allowing us to reprint the interview in its entirety!)
MMOZG.net: The January update was focusing on tweaking the economy, as well as added new levels and a rather lengthy process to get them. Does it mean that you have revised your original principles, which allowed getting to the level cap very quickly, in preference to more difficult level progression?
Jake Song: We thought raising character is the most important factor in MMORPG and included a zone named ‘Eanad Library’ in 1.0 update. However we received feedback about the stress from so called ‘grinding’, so we are planning to ease the level up adding more various activities in future updates.
MMOZG.net: Why did you change the way Delphinad stars are obtained? Why are they now obtained by completing daily activities?
Jake Song: Delphinad stars that are widely used to purchase ships, houses, vehicles, and etc perpetually belong to players. This means that Delphinad starts can be a very efficient tool to help players to set their own goal in game play. Players must input their own time and effort to complete daily quests, and this is why we decided Delphinad star to be the compensation of the daily quests since it meets the intent.
MMOZG.net: For some time the users will be occupied by moving towards the cap, yet sooner or later they will finally reach it. What will be your next step? What are you concentrated on in the new expansions development right now?
Jake Song: In order to make a quality and exciting MMO I think PvP content should be invigorative. Through battlefield, siege warfare, players can organize and develop expedition or country by themselves in ArcheAge. And our goal is to build a structure of circulation that these organizations made by players effect production, trade, manufacture. In summer we are planning to update additional marine contents such as ship customization.
MMOZG.net: In our recent interview you shared that before introducing new territories to the Northern Continent it is necessary for you to first improve the player factions mechanics. Can you please describe how you plan to further develop this area.
Jake Song: To advance systems like country, expedition, and siege warfare, strengthening the merit of possessing an estate in the Land of Origin (the northern continent) should be preceded. The Land of Origin is meant to be the core space to enjoy PvP content, and to make this happen we are considering about making trade and resource just for the Land of Origin.
MMOZG.net: Player factions are the top the community pyramid. Yet many players are members of guilds at this point. Do you plan to develop guilds’ capabilities? And if you do, how?
Jake Song: Currently ArcheAge's PvP content is either very large scale or small and lacks the middle scale PvP content. So this is why we are trying to include expedition battle system. To develop this system we will also introduce expedition level system that shows each expedition’s growth level and size.
MMOZG.net: In the credits of Closed Beta Test 5 (CBT 5) client we saw many concept designs of various flying machines, including small air yachts. Do you think that air could become an element which would provide full travelling opportunities in the future?
Jake Song: I know there are lots of expectations on free flight, air combat, but it needs many research and consideration to it. Currently we are working on to reduce the standby time of carriage and airship in ArcheAge.
MMOZG.net: It is obvious that the game intends to make more races available to the players. Are you going to include these in the closest updates, or has this plan been shelved for now?
Jake Song: We are working on it to reveal the new race early next year.
MMOZG.net: You have been developing the project for many years. If you were starting the work on ArcheAge today, which of the key ideas would you implement differently?
Jake Song: I have never thought of changing the key idea of ArcheAge. My concerns are more focused on how to design the future of ArcheAge, and map the economic flow. Also I cannot forget about the recent game trend, mobile and casual games.
MMOZG.net: EVE Online has one trait — most players live in the Empire, the safe gaming zone, similar to the Eastern and Western Continents in Archeage. Wild rim territories (null sec. space) are not only dangerous by default, yet even after players become their full and rightful owners, even they struggle to ensure order in these regions 24/7. Do you plan to provide Player Factions with tools to maintain law and order on their territories in the future? To make these territories safe?
Jake Song: There are many plans ready for the country system; certain functions like declaring the estate as an area of peace, amenity construction, public buildings that can protect citizens. This will strengthen the merit of land lord. These land lords belong to certain country and king. It will take time but we will gradually introduce national level system into the game and quantify each country’s politics and growth level, so this can let expand the country’s facility and command range.
MMOZG.net: What, in your opinion, attracts players to stay in MMOs for years?
Jake Song: Strong character, fine weapon and equipment, commodities such as rare items, community where you share memory, but most of all I think it is the many other players whom you make endless episodes with that makes MMO so fascinating.
MMOZG.net: Are you satisfied with CryEngine? Is it good enough or maybe there are some serious limitations you cannot overcome?
Jake Song: CryEngine was mostly used for FPS games but Crytek was very cooperative and provided us the source code, so development went swiftly. High quality rendering and performance is also satisfying as well.
MMOZG.net: Is it difficult to provide various game versions in different languages? Please, tell us some interesting and fun moments about making different localisations.
Jake Song: ArcheAge is currently being localized into Russian as well as Chinese, Japanese and English. It is very important that this operation is well adapted to the local market. Sometimes we spend days to find the proper word to describe what we want to express. Just like translating literature, translating quest and story of a game needs a lot of research and consideration.
MMOZG.net: How much code (not the resources but actual code) is rewritten in Russian localisation?
Jake Song: Most of the information contained in the Russian client is not significantly different from the original client.
MMOZG.net: Please tell us about the Lineage (the first one) phenomenon. Why does, in your opinion, this project remain so popular in Korea even fifteen years after release?
Jake Song: The players who played Lineage when they were youngsters are still playing Lineage. Playing Lineage brings back the old memories and I think this is an important keyword. I hope ArcheAge becomes such a game, a game that arise good happy memories to people in Russia.
MMOZG.net: Along with your project, Russian gamers are also very interested in another Korean project — Black Desert. What do you think about it?
Jake Song: I haven’t had the chance to play yet, but I think positive about the fact that ArcheAge brought attention to other Korean games.