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Laura Genender Posted:
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From AGC – David Kim of Gravity Interactive Talks

While at the Austin Gaming Conference I got to meet with David Kim of Gravity Interactive’s ROSE Online, a new Korean MMO that is currently in open beta. This kid-friendly MMO takes place in a huge world, or rather, universe — players can travel between seven different planets, three of which are already in the game, to fight monsters, do quests, and make friends.

The ROSE universe is inhabited by two gods: Arua, a friendly goddess, and Hebarn, the god of malice. Arua created the seven planets, but Hebarn was jealous of her ability to create. He stole the seventh planet, naming it after himself, and has since been a constant threat to the rest of the planets and their creator. Because of this Arua created the Visitors, the playable race of ROSE, and has charged them with the task of protecting the universe.

The game is great for kids and is great for parents to play with kids just getting into the MMO scene. And while many of the game’s features are garden variety for today’s MMOs, ROSE has some interesting and unique features — and adorable graphics.

For instance, ROSE has very unique vehicles. Players can buy go-carts (and trick them out with decals, new tires, etc). Two characters fit in the go-carts, so players can give rides to their friends. Players can also use castle gear, a mech warrior suit for castle sieges. And as for interplanetary travel, Gravity Interactive is planning to allow players to own flying ships, but for now players have to ride NPC versions.

When creating your character you choose from four starter classes. Appearance is semi-customizable with hair, face and birthstone choices (birthstones are used as your cursor throughout the game). After completing a tutorial on Visitor’s Island, you head into the real world to start leveling. As you progress, you branch out into more specialized classes. Skills are bought from NPCs, and while leveling (there are 250 levels total) players earn Skill Points which are used to upgrade skills. Upgrading skills not only improves their effect but changes the skill graphic and animation.

Though child friendly, ROSE intends to have limited PvP. You can’t kill anyone anywhere, but you can initiate duals. Battles can be one on one or guild on guild, and if you die in a dual you do not lose any experience. Dying during PvE incurs a 3% penalty, but at no point in the game can you drop items.

There are tons of quests but most of them are garden variety MMO material. Players are mostly sent to kill monsters and collect quest items, though a few of the storylines can be entertaining (i.e. you might be sent to kill a monster who is stealing children from town to turn into bad children). Some of the quests further explain ROSE’s storyline.

Other quests have to do with the dynamic economy. If an NPC merchant is low on potions, they might give you a quest to go collect materials for them to craft more potions. On the other hand, if a merchant has a surplus of potions the price will be lowered and the quest will not be available.

One of the key differences between MMOs in Asia and MMOs in the US is how new content is introduced. The United States often uses expansion packs, while Asia is more prone to smaller but free downloadable updates. ROSE content will be released in the later style of small downloadable updates.

Thank you to David for meeting us at AGC.

If you have any comments, please leave them in this thread or on their hype meter.


Laura Genender