Perfect World recently announced that its humorous Kung Foo! MMO will soon be relaunched as Legend of Martial Arts. We sat down with Director of Marketing Jon Belliss to discuss the revamped game.
Back in February, Perfect World Entertainment’s Kung Foo! was in the second phase of its closed beta when the company decided to postpone the launch and revamp the game. The MMO recently popped back up on the gaming radar, renamed Legend of Martial Arts and with its developers boasting improved graphics and overhauled content. The closed beta is already scheduled to begin on Nov. 24, so we decided to get some more details on the game's relaunch from Director of Marketing Jon Belliss.
ZAM: Feedback from players during the Kung Foo! closed beta was generally positive. Why did the game get sidelined?
Jon Belliss: We had great feedback from players of Kung Foo! but there were a number of changes we wanted to implement in the game before we were comfortable with launching the game into open beta at the time. There are tons of games out there, especially in the free-to-play market, and we feel that it would be a huge disservice to our players to release a game that we don’t feel 100% about.
ZAM: The original game made a big point of humor being a primary focus. Will it still play a major part in Legend of Martial Arts?
Belliss: Rather than focusing the game on slap stick localization, we wanted to shift the focus to better gameplay and content. We’ve implemented a huge chunk of content that will give players a lot more things to do and overall a higher quality game.
ZAM: Information on the revamped game has been sparse thus far, focusing mostly on the changes to the graphics. What graphical improvements did you make?
Belliss: One of the biggest reasons why we held Kung Foo! back from open beta launch was because we wanted to update the graphics and with Legend of Martial Arts, we were able to give the game a graphical overhaul, which you can see in the new race, character classes and starting zones.
ZAM: When it comes to content, what kind of "overhaul" was made? Was most of the content from Kung Foo! kept in the game, or did you try and start anew?
Belliss: Most of the existing content is still in the game. We essentially added a ton of new content to round out the game a bit more. We wanted to put a stronger focus on the dungeon system and events, as well as the content for the new races.
ZAM: What changes has combat undergone?
Belliss: We’ve kept the fundamental mechanics of combat, but have also added features such as the dungeon matchmaking/queue system that will allow players to more easily group in-game and run raids together.
ZAM: Can you tell us more about the game's transformation system? With more than 100 transformations available, it seems that players will spend a lot of time utilizing this system.
Belliss: One of the most unique things about Legend of Martial Arts is the transformation system, which includes transformation items that are open to all players to use as well as the new Reaver’s class, the Berserker, who are able to transform at will into a cat or wolf to greatly enhance their physical abilities.
ZAM: Will pets still play a role in the game?
Belliss: Yes, pets are open to all races and players can use them for a multitude of reasons from cosmetic to having them assist in battle.