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Ambitious Expansions Perfect World International: Genesis Interview

1.Hello! My name is Michael Fuchs, and I am a Columnist for SSEGold. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your position with Perfect World Entertainment?

My name is Clifton Chu and I am the Product Manager for Perfect World International. My role is to oversee all aspects of the product's daily operations.

6.Does the expansion include any plans to give more incentives to players to do Territory Wars by offering more rewards?

Four months ago we drastically altered the rewards given to players for winning Territory Wars. This caused server wide apathy towards Territory War participation. We are pleased to announce that with this expansion, we will be bringing back the in-game coin rewards. Because of this change, and also the addition of four new territories, we will be resetting all Territory War maps. This will allow all factions to start on even ground as they fulfill their quest to conquer Perfect World.

11.Do you currently have any plans for any new instances to be included in the expansion?

Except for the guild bases that are instances, we do not have any additional ones planned. In this expansion, we do have a new starting zone for the Earthguard race, as well as four new lands for Territory War.

12.Are there any plans to introduce any new servers in the near future?

The PWI population continues to grow strong; however the exact timing of when a new server will appear will depend on player demand.

13.Recently, one of your players in PWI hit the level 105 level cap without spending any money. What do you believe this says about your game and playerbase? In addition, do you believe that the game was as enjoyable for this person compared to someone who spends money?

I think it really speaks to the high degree to which our game can really be called "free to play". It's a fantastic demonstration of the how the systems in place can work for a non-paying customer to be able to thrive and even surpass his competitors. And going by the player interview (http://pwi.perfectworld.com/news/?p=189841) that we had with him, it's obvious that he really enjoyed the challenge of fulfilling his goal by figuring out ways to take advantage of the ebb and flow of the game, for example, by working with our weekly updates and sales to play the market to his benefit. I think he derived great satisfaction from this feat.

14.What is your favorite feature of this expansion and why?

The new Guild Base system is one of my favorite features. It adds new end game content and something that you will have to work closely with your guild mates with in order to achieve the best structures. Some of the Guild Base features will require a diverse group of character races and classes so it will be fun to see everyone come together. Oh yeah... and the new fashion dances are pretty neat too.

15.What is your least favorite aspect of this expansion?

I know it can be a bit hard to say you don't like something about your product, but I'm sure there's something that bugs you.
One of my least favorite aspects of this expansion is the lack of dungeon instances. It's something that wasn't ready in time for this expansion, however we are working to include them in the near future and it's something that players can look forward to.

16.Do you have any in-game or out-of-game events planned to celebrate the release of the expansion?

We have a Facebook event going on right now and the amount of "likes" we get will determine the type of reward the players will get. We will also be having some creative events leading up to the launch. All of us here involved with PWI will definitely be in-game to see player's reactions and feedback. Players are welcomed to find us and ask us their questions.

17.Players on your forums tend to feel as if they are not being heard, although this happens with many successful popular games. What does your company do to make sure that they are listened to?

Players may feel like they are not being heard, but that is quite the opposite. We are always watching, always listening. Our Community Manager FrankieRaye is constantly bugging me about issues players have on the forums, and I believe we have done a good job in responding. For example, the popular Dragon Points system we currently have is a direct result of player's discontent on their vendor price changes. More recently, we've announced the return of the old Territory War rewards and map reset which was due to another unpopular change with the community.

18.Is there anything else you'd like to tell your players/our readers?

This is a great time to check out Perfect World International: Genesis if you're a new player or a veteran returning to the game. As the expansion name suggests, this is a new beginning and we've added many of the features that players requested. New races, newclasses, guild bases, and the resetting of the territory map, are just the beginning, and there will be many more new surprises come later this year. I hope everyone enjoys this expansion as much as we enjoyed working on it.

7.Are there any current plans to alter the current classes in the game to make them more competitive against the new classes (through nerfs or buffs)?

Players seem to be incredibly concerned with how powerful the assassin is in PvP.
As mentioned earlier, we do strive to maintain balance among the classes. Even after releasing a new class, we are cognizant of the fact that there might be unforeseen issues and we will continue to make gameplay and balance changes with future updates and patches.

8.When bringing the game to your players, from the Chinese version of the game, what steps do you take to ensure that they will enjoy the content and changes that you've made? And, if the players don't like the changes you've made, what do you do/how should they go about voicing this?

We have a dedicated team onsite that works on localizing both the language and gameplay elements of an upcoming expansion. Player feedback is always taken into account as we create new content or make improvements to the game. The best way for players to give us feedback is via the forums. We are always watching.

9.You recently said in an interview that Forsaken World would employ a cash shop that does not give power -- as they have found that North American audiences are not comfortable with paying for power. Why has PWI's cash shop not changed in light of this realization?

Perfect World International's cash shop system is one of the most accessible cash shops in the free-to-play market. PWI gives all players, paying or not, a chance to purchase these items. Whether it is a cash shop player trading their items to a non-cash shop user, or players utilizing the in-game gold trade system, everyone has a chance. Additionally, items that create powerful gear can be obtained through normal gameplay and is not exclusive to the cash shop.

10.Many of your forum users are interested in guild bases. Could you tell us more about that?

Guild bases are a pretty big deal in this upcoming expansion and to earn one, members will have to work towards turning in a certain number of quests. It won't be easy, but it will be well worth it and since they are instances, guild bases will be exclusive to guild members and offer a number of specific guild only content.

2.Thanks! First off, can you tell us a bit about the expansion, as well as when you believe the release date is going to be?

Perfect World International: Genesis is one of our most ambitious expansions to date and players will witness the fulfillment of the ancient Pan Gu prophecy that will change the game as players know it today. There will be a new race called the Earthguard with two new classes for players to check out, as well as a new starting zone. New features include guild bases, one of the most requested features from players and a new crafting system called Runescrafting. We are aiming for a March 2 release date for Perfect World International: Genesis.

3.The expansion introduces two new classes, the Mystic and the Seeker. Can you tell us a bit about those classes and what makes them unique from the classes currently in the game?

The Mystic and Seeker are two new classes from the Earthguard race and have some very unique skill sets. For example, Mystics cast nature-based auras. In addition to being able to heal themselves and allies, they are able to summon elemental guardians to fight by their side.
Seekers are the ideal damage dealers and have skills that allow them to focus their energy on immobilizing one or many enemies at once. They are easily able to solo, but while in a group, Seekers have crowd controlling AoE abilities to ensure that enemies focus attention on them and not on teammates.

4.Do you believe that the new classes will be stronger than the current classes in the game? Why or why not?

We carefully ensure that new races and classes are balanced by placing more emphasis on adding new skills that will complement and add a new dynamic to grouping. We also add features such as the new Runescrafting skill, which will yield more powerful buffs and is open to all classes.

5.Does the expansion include any features that players have been requesting on your forums?

One of the most requested features from players has been guild bases and the ability for players to add guild specific items. We've been working on this feature for quite some time and are pleased to be releasing this feature to players in the upcoming Genesis expansion.