Interview with Fabien Alexandre, Producer of Archlord 2
We recently got the chance to sit down and chat with Fabien Alexandre, Producer of Archlord 2, sequel to the original Archlord and definitely a game you will want to play. Soon enough it will begin its closed beta phase and we’ll host a key giveaway, so stay tuned, but meanwhile enjoy this very interesting interview.
QUESTION: First of all, thank you for giving us the possibility to interview you about Archlord 2. Would you be so kind to introduce yourself to our readers?
Answer: My name is Fabien Alexandre, and I am the producer of Archlord 2 at WEBZEN Dublin Ltd. As such, I am responsible for the publication of the English, French and German versions of the game.
I have been working in the games industry for many years and while Archlord 2 presents me with a lot of challenges, I am psyched to finally share this game with our players.
QUESTION: How would you describe Archlord 2 to someone who has never heard of it before?
Answer: Archlord 2 is a fantasy MMORPG that is specifically trying to address the free-to-play crowd, focusing on ease of access, easy catchup, and replayability.
This is achieved by using well-established features such as a fast-paced quest system as an introduction into the game’s core features: instanced dungeons and battlegrounds.
QUESTION: What makes Archlord 2 to stand out in its genre? Why should a player choose to play Archlord 2 over any other free-to-play MMORPG?
Answer: Archlord 2 is a subtle blend of traditional MMORPGs and gear grinding games with a strong emphasis on party play that leads into the game’s unique PvP features all the way to massive battlegrounds.
There are very few restrictions in terms of classes/archetypes and grouping, so players are free to experience the game the way they want with whom they want. Party play is strongly encouraged; you can even get a buff for doing things as a group!
QUESTION: Is the game connected in any way with the first Archlord? If yes, how?
Answer: The game is loosely based on the lore of Archlord 1, so players will see a lot of names & places that sound familiar. However it was designed specifically to be a different game, mostly in terms of PvP. For example, in designing the massive battlegrounds that are at the heart of the game, we came to the conclusion that it would be best to rely on instanced content.
QUESTION: What is an Archlord, and how can a player earn such a title?
Answer: The Archlord is the ruler of the world of Chantra, in which the game is set. But only the strongest and fiercest warriors can become the Archlord, so players will have to prove their mettle in the game’s PvP contents, to be able to compete for that title.
QUESTION: Is the combat more traditional or action-style? And is the group gameplay based on the holy trinity of Healer-Tank-DPS?
Answer: The combat system is focused on fast-paced action and mixes traditional MMORPG targeting and an almost MOBA-style set of active skills, some of which have to be aimed freely. To avoid the “skill clutter” of many traditional MMORPGs, Archlord 2 uses a system of Chained Skills that allow players to combo multiple abilities. This feature also challenges players to master timing to overcome their opponents.
The traditional archetypes of Tank, Heal, and DPS exist in the game, but with a twist. Any character can take on any of these roles, depending on the weapon he equips, as the skill set a character has access to is tied to the weapon he uses.
QUESTION: Can you tell us something about the available races and classes?
Answer: In the Beta, we will start out with only 2 races, Humans and Orcs, though additional races will be introduced at a later stage. Humans and Orcs are the “cornerstone races”, so to speak. Around their conflict revolves the war between the factions of the Azuni and the Crunn.
As classes go, Archlord 2 has an effectively classless character system. As already mentioned, players can adopt any role in combat, depending on the type of weapon they use.
There are four different types of weapons in Archlord 2, reflecting the number of character archetypes or combat roles available to players. Equipping a weapon of a specific type will give players access to a set of skills that corresponds with a specific archetype. Using weapons of a certain type will build proficiency with that weapon type and allow players to access additional passive and active skills.
QUESTION: What about the character progression? How will we be able to customize our characters?
Answer: In terms of character progression & customisation, you can expect to see all the usual fundamentals, such as gaining experience, levelling up, distributing attribute points, upgrading and modifying equipment etc.
But in addition, Archlord 2 introduces the concept of Weapon Mastery. Mastery is closely linked to the aforementioned character/skill system and reflects how proficient a character is in using a certain type of weapon. The more proficient a character is in using a certain weapon type, the more skills he can access for this weapon type. This in turn offers more flexibility and variety in terms of playing the archetype/combat role that is tied to that weapon type.
QUESTION: How is the PvE going to be structured? Are we going to see quest chains, instances, raids?
Answer: Archlord 2 has the full range of quest types, ranging from scenario quests to daily and repeatable quests.
But the really meaty core PvE is found in instances/dungeons, which offer multiple difficulty levels for both solo and group play, and a performance-based reward system.
In the Beta, we will not be offering a purely PvE-focused raid instance, but we have plans to introduce one at a later stage.
QUESTION: We know that the PvP will have a certain relevance, can you tell us something more about the PvP elements of the game? Will there be open PvP or only instanced battle zones?
Answer: PvP will indeed be a main focus in Archlord 2 and as was already mentioned it is how you actually get that very title. There are numerous PvP elements, ranging from a more open PvP experience in contested areas to skirmishes based around group play and massive battlegrounds for up to 400 players.
However instanced PvP in skirmishes and battlegrounds is at the heart of the game. The fact that this content is instances enables us to utilise things like PvE elements and to offer a variety of different play modes – Deathmatches, Domination, Assassination, the game has it all.
QUESTION: Can you give us some details about the crafting system?
Answer: The gathering & crafting system in Archlord 2 is a crucial feature for all players, as it allows them to create gems, potions, and equipment.
And of course, there are also numerous ways in which existing items can be modified or upgraded, ranging from Alchemy to Reinforcement and Socketing.
QUESTION: Can we expect to see something like mounts and pets?
Answer: We will only start out with mounts, as pets were not a focus in designing the game and can at times be quite tricky in terms of PvP integration. Mounts however are needed to get you from A to B – even in PvP.
But that is not to say that we are necessarily against introducing pets, should players want to see this feature in the game. In this regard, any and all feedback is welcome and we encourage players to let us know where they want the game to be headed.
QUESTION: When can we expect to see the closed and open beta phases? Do you have already a launch date?
Answer: The CBT will start in the very near future. We are looking at the OBT date to be finalised, but we will announce the upcoming schedule soon. So stay tuned!
QUESTION: Thank you for all your answers. Would you like to add something?
Answer: I would like to encourage players with an interest in hassle-free and fast-paced MMORPG action and specifically PvP to check out the game. We have something for both competitive and casual players and are looking to offer you an accessible and fun experience!
If you’d like to know more, check out our Wiki at the official site.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity for this interview.
If you want to know even more about the game, check out our detailed profile by clicking on the "info" button.