We spoke with Koramgame.com about their newest MMO
"Capture, Train, and Morph any of the unique creatures you encounter while exploring the vast and spectacular world of Spirit Tales. Strive for victory!" So begins the tagline for Koramgames "cutest fantasy game ever!" Hey, cute and cuddly doesn't necessarily mean kiddie content; and we put some questions to David Hu and the Spirit Tales team about what this new Taiwan-based MMO brings to the table.
Can you tell our readers a bit about the development history of Spirit Tales? How long has the game been in production?
Spirit Tales was developed by X-Legend, which is considered to be Taiwan’s leading game developer of MMORPGs. According to them, they had noticed that many Taiwanese players had a clear preference for “cute games,” and from this initial observation, they discovered that this “preference,” so to say, was not limited to their region but could be found worldwide. Because of this they decided to make an enjoyable, “chibi” style game with the cuteness level turned up to the max; resulting in a game called Spirit Tales. As for development, Spirit Tales took roughly two years to complete and will be followed by a constant update cycle to keep the game fresh.
What is the target audience for Spirit Tales and how are you advertising the game to it?
Our target audience is basically any MMORPG fan, including the hardcore, who wants a fun, vibrant, and fast paced game that's also loaded with PvE and PvP content. Combat in Spirit Tales is very quick and requires a lot of fast reflexes, but not to the point where the learning curve is too steep. We have instanced dungeons for the PvE lovers and a multi-tier PvP system that includes everything from 5v5 arenas, tournaments, guild battles, and our most popular PvP element: 1v5 monster vs. player arena where you can take on the role of a dungeon boss and battle 5 other players in an arena setting.
What’s the history in the game, and would you consider the gameplay heavily story-driven?
The basic history is that a vast continent was formed sometime in the past and life eventually blossomed forth and flourished there. Over time, certain tribes of people came to inhabit this land and lived in peace and harmony for countless millennia until one day, spurred on by greed and ambition, the tribes of the North attacked the South, forcing them to take shelter in Autumnal Grove. There, within that final haven, the last hope of their dwindling people lies in the hands of the Glorious Shield, a resistance force made up of valiant and fearless individuals from each of the Southern tribes.
While we may not have every other MMORPG's story memorized, we feel that we hit a nice balance between having an interesting story and exciting gameplay elements. The relationship between these two components is basically what fuels our gameplay as a whole and keeps our players immersed in the game.
So, I’m a new player who just stepped into Spirit Tales. What is the first thing I’ll be doing? What does the game offer new players to really grab their attention?
Well, the first thing you’ll be doing is your very first quest. Laughs. Soon after, you'll get your very own pet to use. That'll give you a glimpse of how robust our pet system is — from training to merging with them. You'll also be unlocking achievements and earning special collectibles along the way. Additional beginner quests will be available for those who want a head start on collecting all the costumes we have available in the game; you'll need it if you want to try to achieve all 40 million different fashion combinations.
Tell us a bit about the classes. Can all classes solo effectively, or do some really need a group to shine?
Players will have six main classes to choose from; the Fighter, Shaman, Warrior, Archer, Assassin, and Sorcerer. As for the ability to solo effectively, all the classes have skill builds and gear that allow for this, but more often than not, group play will yield faster results, more content, and a better overall experience. Our sweetheart system is a perfect example of this because players that choose to play as a pair can earn more passive bonuses like being able to teleport directly to your partner, as well as increased experience gains, and damage reduction! For those interested in the background behind these classes, be sure to check out our forum at http://st.koramgame.com/guide.
Speaking of groups, what does the dungeon content look like? Will there be a good number of dungeons available at launch for level-capped players?
Strategies and tactics are definite aspects to consider when taking on any of the dungeons. Regardless of the level requirement there are very few bosses that can be handled with the typical "Tank and Spank" gameplay style. Even for level-capped players certain dungeons will still prove difficult as they strive for some of the legendary equipment drops that cannot be found anywhere else in the game. Because of our Break Point system, you'll need to balance your DPS and Spirit Form to make sure the bosses' drop tables are fully unlocked. The monsters within these dungeons are very difficult, nothing like their counterparts on the world map. Players can still continue to gear up even after reaching the level cap. All in all, there will be more than 15 dungeons available at launch. We'll continue to expand and add to this as our game grows.
The pet system sounds enormous; could you tell our readers the basics? How do you keep new players from being overwhelmed?
Nearly every in-game monster you come across in the world of Spirit Tales can be captured, trained, and evolved. The interaction between player and pet is two-fold: players can have multiple pets; one pet can be used in a way that boosts your characters stats, while another may be summoned to fight alongside you. Outside of these two interactions, players can train their pets, evolve them (which is actually something different than leveling them up), and refine them into an even stronger version. Also, the pet capturing system is not only limited to world monsters, but also dungeon bosses and rare event monsters.
To keep new players from being overwhelmed, part of the actual quest line has players capturing and working with their pets from a low level. So basically, players learn more as they progress, and what may seem overwhelming in writing is actually very easy and fun to learn.
What other fun activities can players engage in?
We have everything from tough instanced dungeons to PvE arenas where players can take on waves of monsters in a coliseum-like setting, 5v5 PvP arenas, and PvP tournaments where players can earn special prizes. Last but definitely not least, we have the soon-to-be-famous 5v1 PvP arena where a player can transform into a dungeon boss and take on up to 5 players in a brilliant display of Spirit Tales goodness. And for those interested in the social aspects of the game, our Guild Island feature lets members construct a private zone specifically for their guild to access special buffs and content.
After the launch of open beta, what is the focus going to be on in the future?
Our goal is to capture the hearts of the millions! We won't be satisfied until we have more users than in-game fashion combinations (that's 40 million by the way). In order to come remotely close to that, we plan on having a very aggressive and rapid content release schedule to keep the game exciting and fresh. We'll also continue to listen closely to all the feedback we receive from our users, and tailor specific features to fit their needs. With these two focuses alone, we're confident that users will come by the waves. Check out our official Spirit Tales website to learn how you can win over $2,000 in exclusive prizes (http://st.koramgame.com).
Paul "LockeColeMA" Cleveland, Staff Writer