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Battle of the Immortals Delay Explained

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We reported on the delay of Perfect World’s latest MMORPG Battle of the Immortals, but now we’ve got a good idea of what caused it. It seems that Perfect World Entertainment has gained valuable knowledge of the American gaming culture over the years and has just recently shared it with the design studio back in Shanghai. According to John Belliss, a product manager for PWE, “Chinese players like this game to be very easy… they just want to hang out with their friends and use it as a virtual chatroom.” Maybe that explains why games like Jade Dynasty are filled with non aggressive monsters that hit like wimps and barely do any damage. It’s actually an Asian preference!

The Shangai developers have gone back to the drawing boards to beef up the damage monsters deal and to improve the AI. A more challenging experience is what we in the West crave, not mindless grinding while waiting for our friends to log in. Other major re-designs include adjusting the cash shop to fit Western expectations. Items that give clear gameplay advantages such as powerful equipment are being removed in favor of more cosmetic and shortcut related choices such as cool clothes and experience potion.

Another important change concerns the game’s signature Soul Gear. Originally, the only way to acquire these pieces of equipment that chang as players level up was through 40+ man raids. The American version will keep this method but also add other methods. As a ‘Western’ gamer, this is the one change I sort of regret. Too many of us power through games by ourselves and never bother to join a guild or become active in the community. This inevitebly leads to a loss of interest in a MMORPG. At least forcing us to cooperative to acquire the coolest equipment means we’ll get some dynamic player interaction.

Tip of the hat to Massively for breaking this story.

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