Spirit Tales: Interview with KoramGame
Although its open beta release date has been pushed back to May 10, Spirit Tales is gearing up for an exciting release. Developed by X-Legend and published by KoramGame, Spirit Tales is a cute, anime-style MMORPG with all the fixings. Initially published as Glory Destiny Online, Spirit Tales is offering a re-tailored experience for Western gamers. MMOHut talked with the team at KoramGame to find out more about Spirit Tales’ design and its plans for open beta.
What do you feel sets Spirit Tales apart from other similar games?
First of all, Spirit Tales has a massive pet system – a system where nearly every in-game monster is capable of being captured, trained, and evolved. This pet system is not only limited to world monsters, but also dungeon bosses and rare event monsters. We also offer an unique camera perspective that makes the world feel like a never ending globe as you explore the lush and vibrant Spirit Tales landscapes .
What really sets Spirit Tales apart from other games however is our incredibly unique 5v1 PvP Arena feature where a player can actually transform into a dungeon boss and take on up to 5 challengers at a time. We also have more than 40 million customization and fashion options for players to really define themselves and their style!
Why did you decide to make Spirit Tales, with Glory Destiny Online already available in English?
Well, Spirit Tales is actually being taken in a direction far more tailored to the American and European audience. A lot of the game content will be separate from other versions of the game already released in different regions of the world. At some point, the Spirit Tales and Glory Destiny gameplay experiences will be unique to its own; in a good way that is. Not to mention, a lot of the users in the U.S. that would love Spirit Tales would probably not want to play on the Asian servers.
How was the game re-localized for a different audience?
There is a massive amount of changes both in UI and overall localization. The biggest difference is that the overall story has been completely changed and integrated into the game in a more fluid manner. We have basically given the game a story that drives a player’s movement through the game world, and should subsequently help motivate users not just for leveling up and collecting rewards, but for a story that is worth paying attention to. We’ve also optimized a lot of the quests and monsters to be a more fitting for their level range, which translates into a better gameplay experience.
Were any of the “talents” for the classes changed/rebalanced for Spirit Tales?
Currently, there have been no changes. This is because we had already resolved a lot of the balancing issues with other versions of the game. We feel that Spirit Tales is very well balanced in regards to both PvP and PvE. However, with a game like Spirit Tales and the degree of customization options we have in the game, there are bound to be builds, equipment, or skills that may present themselves to be too strong. We are prepared to analyze and resolve these types of issues very quickly.
Outside of the UI changes, what was the greatest challenge for redesigning Spirit Tales for the West?
Definitely the story. When translating quest and flavor text, a lot of the voice and urgency is lost. We spent a lot of time making sure our translation efforts weren’t just about replacing text, but really about flushing out the story to work for the Western audience. While not the biggest challenge, our favorite was nevertheless expanding the costume selection to be more suited for our upcoming American and European audience. Brainstorming as many costumes as we could come up with was really fun and we hope this will translate directly into happy players!
Are there any plans for special challenges or unique events for Spirit Tales players?
Absolutely! We have a very aggressive event schedule that will feature rewards and content exclusive to Spirit Tales! We also have events planned throughout the summer and beyond that appeal to both the casual and hardcore players alike. While there are currently no plans for completely segregated content releases from other versions, we will be taking Spirit Tales in a more Western direction, which means a lot of content – while similar – will be tweaked and adjusted to meet the demands of our particular audience. This means less grinding, more story, and new content!
Some players in closed beta felt the skill system was a bit awkward. Is there anything that might be done to address these concerns?
We have made some adjustments to localization which have made the tooltips and leveling up much easier to follow and understand. We have also supported our loyal fans that have created great skill calculators which make theory-crafting and ‘min-max’-ing your character much less expensive in terms of in-game gold. These fixes, combined with the fact that all re-skills are completely free at any time before level 30, should have resolved any problems players may have experienced with the skill system during closed beta, and because of this, we feel that it will not be an issue at all come open beta on May 10.
Many items can be hard to obtain, especially those used in crafting. Is raising the drop rate a consideration, or will these drop rates stay intentionally low?
We feel that the value of these crafted items is worth the low drop rate. You have to remember that the quality of these crafted items is a lot better than most dropped items with the exception of dungeon gear. The ability to craft these items are given to all characters at that level range, which means if the drop rate of the crafted items was higher, any benefits you could get from having this item is cancelled out if the item is widely available.
What has changed (or will change) between closed and open beta?
There will be certain new features like a higher level cap, 4 new zones, and 7 new instance dungeons planned for open beta. Apart from this, we will be releasing legendary gear into the mix, as well as new PvP modes. We have the full list of open beta features here: http://st.koramgame.com/2012/0327/article_14.html.
With all of the costumes available, what other thoughts do you have to increase customization even more?
For the launch of open beta, not all of the costumes will be available. We’ll be gradually releasing costumes to ensure rarity and novelty. For example, it doesn’t make much sense if we sell Santa Claus costumes in August. We will also be adding many new costumes only available in Spirit Tales through community events and the Item Mall.
How do you think Guild Islands will change the dynamic of game play in Spirit Tales?
The Guild Islands add a lot of very interesting elements to Spirit Tales. It’s a feature unlike anything you’ve seen before. Most other MMORPGs offer a Guild House at most, we give you an entire ISLAND!
So for one, most of the high level PvE content will require the additional bonuses given from the Guild Island Hot Springs, such as increased resists, damage output, and stat bonuses. Also, crafting and consumables gathered from the soon to be released fishing feature will be another unique addition to the PvP experience.
What sort of content can players look forward to in the future of Spirit Tales?
As it stands right now, we are planning to have a very aggressive and rapid content release schedule. Without giving away too much detail, our first update will be about a week after the launch of open beta. Then we’ll have a much bigger update a month from that. As mentioned before, we plan on taking Spirit Tales in a direction that tailors to the American and European audience, so a lot of the content will be separate from other versions of the game. In essence, we’ll be making Spirit Tales more suitable to a global audience in hopes of capturing the hearts of millions.
If you want to learn more about Spirit Tales, please visit the official website here: http://st.koramgame.com. Make sure you guys follow us on Facebook for the latest news and giveaways: http://facebook.com/spirit.tales. Hope to see everyone on May 10!