The 10 Year Interview
Global MU Online has been running for 10 years now, and in some countries, still have a significant number of active players, with two million in Korea alone. A fantasy RPG that takes place on the legendary continent of MU, the game has grown in 10 years to incorporate not just the usual hack and slash events, raids and quests, it also boasts large castle siege events. According to Producer HyeokIm Jun, Mu Online in Korea can be compared to Ultima Online or EverQuest in the US. It was the country’s first 3-D MMO, with an isometric top down view. It was the trailblazer in 3-D MMOs and added to that, it is very easy and simple to play and a strong community.
There is a strong relationship between players and Webzen, with official forums, player feedback, GM events and frequent interaction. The volunteer GM system also fosters strong communication channels between players and Webzen.
“We are dedicated to our users and our community” said Jun, “We are continuing to interact and talk with players through any possible way such as Facebook and in-game discussion. Players’ demands keep on changing and it is our obligation to capture their needs. We realize that Global MU Online players wanted to have various in-game events so we held a ‘Revengers’ event which is a parody of recently released movie ‘Avengers’. Players loved it!”
MMORPG.com: You have many seasoned players, but what can new players expect? Is there anything that guides new players in the game?
HyeokIm Jun: New players might experience difficulties to enjoy MU online for the first time. Therefore, we are going to provide active support for new players to easily adapt to MU online. For instance, there will be a detailed guide, buff NPC, and level up reward missions for new players. Previously we have never provided this much support, and we strongly believe that this type of support could help and satisfy new players of MU online.
MMORPG.com: So what is the story of MU?
HyeokIm Jun: It is a heroic story unfolding over the continent of MU. Since the start of crisis, many heroes have gathered to defeat the greatest enemy called ‘KUNDUN’. Players start to explore the continent of MU which ‘KUNDUN’ dominated and can select one of 7 races. (Dark Knight, Dark Wizard, Fairy, Duel Master, Summoner, Dark Lord, Rage Fighter)
Each character has their original features with both solo-playing and party-playing available. The continent of MU is waiting for capable heroes to rescue the realms in jeopardy. Who could be the real hero of the continent of MU?
MMORPG.com: It is a free to play game?
HyeokIm Jun: Yes, Global MU Online is a F2P game and it is completely free since all contents are opened up without any restriction. Although we are operating a cash shop where players can freely purchase what they need, cash items are not required to advance in the game. We believe in “Pay for Fun” and not “Play to Win.”
MMORPG.com: With 600 levels, what is character development like?
HyeokIm Jun: There are seven classes consisting of Dark Knight, Dark Wizard, Fairy, Duel Master, Summoner, Rage Fighter, and Dark Lord, each with a unique background. MU Online is designed to provide players freedom in raising their characters. By adjusting character status points which is given when characters level up, they can engage in either party play or solo play depending on their own character build. No matter which class players choose, they can customize their characters through a variety of growth methods i.e. alternative advancement systems besides levels. The diversity of characters prevents players from getting bored of playing MU Online.
The upcoming expansion, MU:eX700 Plus is eagerly anticipated by the players. It raises the level cap from 600 to 700 and introduces a redesigned UI which Webzen terms user friendly and hopes will prove popular with their players. With the expansion also comes new content, new weapons, new equipment (wings!) and a shiny new armor set. According to Webzen, there will be 4 wing items, 12 socket weapons, and 9 socket armor sets as well as ‘Arca War’ system improvements.
MMORPG.com: There was a radical change in the UI in the last update MU:eX700 and many complaints from players. What will this new UI change do?
HyeokIm Jun: In order to satisfy players and to make up for those who had complaints about the changed interface, we are planning to improve certain appearances in the interface. For example, speech bubbles will be much more visible and other functions will be more user-oriented. We hope that players would enjoy MU Online more conveniently through these improvements.
MMORPG.com: What can players look forward to in the future?
HyeokIm Jun: There is another major update, MU:eX800 coming in the 4th quarter of 2012. In addition to the new updates, we have been preparing a localization plan and multilingual services in new regions as well.
MMORPG.com: Is there anything else you’d like to say to MMORPG readers?
HyeokIm Jun: Several years have passed since we initiated the global service of MU Online but numerous fans still love and support Global MU Online. Through this interview, we want to let worldwide MMORPG gamers know what MU Online is and that we will continue to service Global MU Online with our accumulated experience over the past years to make this game enjoyable for all ages and any type of global players.