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PWE Explains Battle of the Immortals Delay

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We posted a story earlier highlighting some of the reasons behind the recent delay of Perfect World Entertainment’s latest MMORPG, Battle of the Immortals. Other major MMO news sources also covered the story and PWE has responded by releasing a more detailed explanation in their blog. Many technical updates are in the works including Windows 7 support, 64-bit support, and support for higher resolutions. As we stated earlier, many changes are also being made to better accommodate the Western playstyle. Low level quest flow, monster AI, player and monster health, and the cash shop are all under revision.

Another reason for the delay is the make sure Battle of the Immortals launches in North America under version 1.55. This will include the latest expansion for the game, already released in China. For more details, read the full blog entry posted below.

Full Release:

Hello PWE Community/Battle of the Immortals fans!

A couple weeks back we decided to delay the Battle of the Immortals Closed Beta, with BOI’s Product Manager, Jonathan “Xarfox” Belliss, making the delay announcement on the PWE Blog. Jonathan shared with us a list of changes/reasons why we needed to do the delay, and today I was hoping I could shed some more light on those changes and give some more detail.

To start us off, here is the list of changes that will be made to Battle of the Immortals before Closed Beta, the list Jonathan posted back in the Delay Announcement:

* Support for Windows 7

* Support for 64-bit systems

* Support for higher monitor resolutions

* Fully integrated in-game video tutorial system

* Revised cash shop structure and items

* Revised quest flow for low level players

* Revised monster AI

* Readjusted damage and HP for both players and monsters

* Revised dungeon loot tables

One of the main reasons that we decided to delay the game was that we wanted to update Battle of the Immortals to Version1.55, a version that includes the most recent expansion for BOI in China. This expansion introduced robust new features and gave us the flexibility to do things that we felt would be needed to be in order to strengthen the launch of BOI in North America. Some of these flexibilities and features are relatively small in nature (that adds up to big changes), while other features make a huge impact on the game and your enjoyment.

With the new expansion all gamers will be able to play the game in Windows 7, on 64-Bit systems, and on high resolution monitors. Before the update this just wasn’t possible, and even on 32-Bit machines the experience wasn’t the best that it could be. Believe me, the difference between the low-res game and high-res game is big, and we’re very happy that players will be able to experience BOI in its full glory at launch.

One of the more interesting changes to the game was our changes to the in-game Cash Shop structure, which will make a big impact on the game. The cash shop changes mostly revolve around our Gem-Socketing system, a system where gems are attached to armor and weapons to enhance their abilities. The gem system features different levels of gems, with each higher level gem making a greater impact on the item, and the difference in level benefits is vast. For example, a level 4 Gem (out of 8 possible levels) will add 2,500 hit points to your character, and a level 100 character has a base of 10,000 HP, and up to 16 gems can be socketed to your gear.

In the Chinese version of BOI, gems levels four and higher are bought through the cash shop, which basically turns the game into a scenario where the guy who can spend the most money wins. This is obviously a problem for North American gamers, and it was something that we specifically set out to change. In the version of BOI launching in North America, level 4 and higher gems will be available as rare drops in dungeons and from bosses, and gems can be combined through a chance system to create higher-level gems. Gems will also be available through the cash shop (for those that want to get the gems immediately), but the players that are willing to spend the time to get high level gems will be able to get those gems.

Beyond the cash shop, we’re also making changes to our NPCs and how easy those NPCs are to fight. In China, the NPCs hit for very little damage and don’t aggro, which basically means you can walk through a huge group of mobs without a care in the world. Our team and initial testing feedback made us want to reshape the game to feel much more like an Action-RPG, so we decided to scale up the hitting power of the NPCs and turn on the aggro. This makes the game more challenging but also more fun, and fun is what we’re shooting for with BOI!

While it was unfortunate that the BOI Delay had to happen, the outcome will be a better game that is better suited for how Western gamers play games. We’ve got a lot more to share with you in the coming weeks/months leading up to the Battle of the Immortals Closed Beta, so stay tuned to the PWE Blog and our Battle of the Immortals Twitter and Facebook accounts for more info!

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