Friday, June 20, 2008

K2 Networks talks about SOTNW, nearly one year later

Sword of the New World logo

IGN chats with K2 Network about Sword of the New World: Granado Espada as the game's first anniversary draws near.

Now, here's something to read: K2 Networks' Jon-Enée Merriex talks to IGN about how SOTNW has developed since its launch nearly a year ago, and there are quite a few points to ponder in the interview.

Their version of 2.6,
Nocturnal Sonata, is scheduled for release on 25 June. Merriex is also planning for the three more major patches to be released this year - whoa! K2 Networks patch FAST! They're going to get Version 3.0 before us, and completely leave SEA / ANZ GE in the dust, if they keep this up!

Merriex also discusses the following:

- The same community-requested switch from P2P to F2P that SOTNW underwent

- Holiday patches that included their equivalent of a fire sale -
50% off on all cash shop items! Good lord! We've never had anything like THAT here!

- The introduction of Faction Wars [our Colony Wars, duh]

- "Andre's Ultimately Fabulous Competition". The article describes this as "a new-player-versus-player-versus-crazy-raid bosses tournament". Sounds like Super Fight to me.

- The new UPCs [our RNPCs] and stances

- "We have doubled the experience rate [!] and added hundreds of new quests to
reduce the need to grind [double !!] to maximum level." If that's!

Asked about the differences between North American players' interests and those of South Korean players, Merriex commented that Koreans tend to play together in
PC bangs [Internet cafes and LAN shops to the rest of us], tend not to chat because they play together in groups in the aforementioned PC bangs, and tended to skew older in age - 35-40 years old. In contrast, he says Americans tend to play from home PCs, chat a lot (either in the chat windows or VoIP), and are skewed younger - 15-25 years old.

Future plans include:

- "Royal Rumble": clans [factions] battle each other, AND raid bosses, at the same time! That doesn't sound like anything we've ever had!

- Expansion of Andre's Ultimately Fabulous Competition to lower-level players.

Look at his parting shot, the best line of the interview:

That's the key to maintaining an MMORPG--offering new innovative content for existing players, while making things easy and fun for new players.

How the heck does K2 Networks do it? They seem to have a lot of freedom to tinker with the game and make it accessible to everyone. Granted, it's a PR interview, and they don't talk about any possible problems like RMT and bots, but Merriex sure paints a rosy picture of SOTNW right there.

[Afterthought: does IAHGames have the same leeway to do this stuff? Just a stray question there.]


Richard T. Ramos said...

hmmmm...looks like IAH needs to beef up their service or else more players will shift to SotNW

Nine Moons said...

@ richard

dammit, you're fast to comment.

with their skillful handling of SOTNW, K2 Networks seem to have overcome the old fiasco that they suffered when they attempted to launch MU in the US.

and yes, they are sort of making IAH look bad. IAH will need to step up to the plate big time to make up this perceived difference.

Kincaid said...

If im not mistaken, MPT mentioned something in the forums about issues that might arise conflict, as regards their contract/ license agreement with IMC (legal stuff whatever). It might have something to do with IAH's lack of control over the game. But then again, it might have been a different issue altogether. (they [IAH] almost always answer in vague terms anyway).

But seeing that SOTNW has been gung-ho with Granado Espada over there~ Let's just hope that the same would be the case here in SEA GE.

Nine Moons said...

@ kincaid

okay, a statement from MPT to that effect is hella interesting.

i find it odd, though, that IAH might have potential problems with IMC. something went wrong during negotiation to obtain the license for GE? god i hope not, because that would imply that IAH can't respond properly because its own hands are tied.

and if IAH's hands are tied, how much more the country partners.

the problem with this type of discussion is, yes, the tendency to answer always in vague terms. the quickest way to infuriate someone is to blow smoke at them.

we can always hope about IAH deciding to finally take better care of GE. but with the current situation....i find myself doubtful.

good lord, just look at the forums, even the non-Pinoy posters are beginning to sound as though they'd want to start a revolution of some kind..... there really IS discontent in the community, whether they know of it by now or not.

deEspania said...

hmmm...SotNW gives more benefits for players which we don't experience.

Damn if that would happen here in SGE then most of the player would not get tired playing the game to think most of the players now are complaining already about IAH.

I'm not updated with GE anymore and I can't really comment much but if IAH really don't do something like Richard said then most of the players will leave SGE.

Nice article ^^ [sorry was asleep awhile ago so I didn't manage to read this hehehe]

Nine Moons said...

@ deespania

on the merits of the interview which i linked in this article, K2 Networks and SOTNW certainly seem to have better community service than GE; however, as i note at the end of the post, this is a PR interview. who knows what problems they have?

it's true, though, that the benefits listed here are already substantially greater than those we have now as the GE community. and you're right in saying that if we had these benefits, we'd not be having the problems in the community that we have now.

[just check out the forums. suddenly, a lot of people are making noise about the game service and the powers that be.]

thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed.

ascoth a.k.a. Chinensis said...

Imagine that, having the capability to grant double XPs without having to be so flamboyant saying it is a "promotion" (in fact, it is better that way, now that there are plans of a post-expert Master level that can further discourage the training of RNPCs). Looks like K2 knows their American players pretty well.

And now SotNW overtook seaGE with having the 2.6 patch earlier! Aren't we supposed to be the one on lead? XP

Nine Moons said...

@ ascoth / chinensis

i had to take everything in the interview with a grain of salt - PR is PR after all - but i agree with you about the double exp rate. K2 really do seem to know what they are doing even if they did not discuss the current obstacles to developing SOTNW.

also, see one of my earlier comments / responses above. if the handling of the game by K2 vs IAH points to a problem in the licensing agreements, then we're in a bit of trouble, aren't we?