Online Gamer’s interview – fully translated.
Yesterday, I was very tired and in a rush to get the information about the classes out as soon as possible, so I decided not to translate the entire interview. However, today, I feel more awake, so I felt like translating the whole thing to the best of my ability. Some of it may be a little sloppy, because I’m mostly translating blind and I’m extremely exhausted from the lack of sleep lately.
Before I get into this, I want to forewarn you that I have no idea how to translate Korean names from Japanese to English, so I’m just merely guessing.
You can find the original interview here : http://www.onlinegamer.jp/news/201207100001/
A large-scale update called the “Sengoku Era” is planned to be added to MapleStory in stages, from July 11th until the middle of August. The “Sengoku Era,” much as the name states, is modeled after the Sengoku era of Japanese history and is a “completely Japanese original” update.
We were given the opportunity to ask the Korean development team about the “Sengoku Era,” which can be played nowhere but in Japan, so we will relay that information to you.
There were 5 people we were able to interview.
Oh Hanbyul – MapleStory Headquarters’ General Manager
Kim Junyoppu – MapleStory Headquarter’s Live 2 Room, Live Solution Team Manager
Kim Hyonson – MapleStory Headquarter’s Live 2 Room, Japanese MapleStory Team Manager
Chou Ingyon – MapleStory Headquarters Live 2 Room, Japanese MapleStory Team Part-timer (Interpreter)
Chaku Kyonsu – MapleStory Headquarters Live 2 Room, Japanese MapleStory Team Planning Manager
Why did you implement the “Sengoku Era” content into “MapleStory?”
Online Gamer: Thank you for coming today. First off, please give us a summary of the Japanese-original “Sengoku Era” update.
Kim Hyonson : Well, before, we have implemented Japanese-original content like the “Monster Familiar” system and the “Cross Brigade” system, so we have come to understanding the characteristics of the Japanese users.
Therefore, from understanding how the Japanese users require a different approach than the Korean users, we began plotting for content we could offer to the Japanese.
In America, there was the “Gold Rush” and in England, there was the “Story of King Arthur,” so we have images like that about those countries. From there, our team had to think, “What would the Japanese-original one be like?” and in effect, we decided we would take the military commanders and Samurai from the Sengoku era and put them in the game this time!
Online Gamer : The “Sengoku era” is a very strong represntative of Japan, isn’t it? Did you have any other contenders as the motive, other than the “Sengoku era?” For example, the Japanese-original culture of “Akihabara?”
Kim Hyonson : Surely, places in Japan, like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Akihabara are well known in Korea, so we also had content for those as possible candidates. Of course, for an absolutely new Japanese-original content update, we wanted to pick a strong image from Japanese tradition and we wanted to easily be able to make new classes out of those characteristics, so we chose to give the “Sengoku Era” life this time.
Of course, there is always the possibility of us adding other various culutral components in the future!
Online Gamer : In this update, there are people that resemble people from Japanese history that appear. How did you all, as the management team, come to deepen your understanding of the “Sengoku era?”
Kim Hyonson : In order to create the Japanese-original “Sengoku Era” content from Korea, we had to read a lot of books related to the Sengoku era. On top of that, we drew inspiration from things like dramas, anime and video games.
However, with being aware of the “Sengoku era” motif, it wasn’t about how we could make the Sengoku era reoccur. The point was “how would Japan interpret content from this era,” and “how could we explain the military commanders well enough?”
Of course, we traded opinions with the Japanese management team and we made it an important point that we could find a realistic image with balance that was just right.
Online Gamer :Lately, in Japan, there is a things that represent the “Sengoku era” as being very cool and lovely, but did you run into any gaps with that?
Kim Hyonson : We didn’t feel as if there were any gaps. In Korea, we also have glorification of historical people, so things become distorted.
For that reason, as the people creating the content, we decided we would make the motif of the Japanese “Sengoku era” from the point of view of “this has been represented in an interesting manner!”
Also, beyond treating the “Sengoku era” individually, it became a major issue of how we would arrange the Sengoku elements without, of course, destroying the image of MapleStory, and how we would implement the real life people in a MapleStory manner.
Online Gamer : The Japanese players don’t only view the game systems as important, but also the story. Did you pay mind to such things?
Chaku Kyonsu : This time, we came up with a story for the “Sengoku Era” update that wasn’t entirely based on the actual Sengoku era. In the end, for the Sengoku Era motif, we took opinions and components from a different angle and put them in the story. Therefore, we feel that people familiar with the history of Sengoku will have feelings like, “Hey! I think I’ve heard this somewhere before!”
With that, we payed mind to how we could create interesting characters in the Maple World.
Like that, historical characters will appear, but we didn’t make them as playable classes. Instead, we created the circumstances where the player could empathize with these characters.
In addition, we created a different Sengoku era than what people know in hopes they will enjoy it, such as a “what-if” scenario where Oda Nobunaga is a Demon King and Uesugi Kenshin is a woman.
The Swordman and the Exorcist, establishing a new style of fighting with two new classes!
Online Gamer : With this update, there will be two classes released; a swordman named “Hayato” and an exorcist named “Kanna.” You’re going to give out character slots for this, right?”
Kim Hyonson : Yes. We want all players to enjoy these new classes, so like with classes released up to this point, we plan to give out character slots.
Online Gamer : What kind of class is the swordman “Hayato?”
Chaku Kyonsu : He is in close relation with the warrior classes up to this point. Up until now, the warrior classes have had traits like high HP and damage, as well as very good defense, but even though Hayato is a warrior, he is fast. That his his main point.
Generally speaking, his movement speed will be swift, and it will be a class specialized for defeating enemies with exciting attacks. He excels at dodging his enemy’s attacks as well as the ability of performing counter attacks.
Other than that, he will interweave the “Battoujutsu” style of battle with his weapon, which will be the Katana. In order to perform Battou, he will have things like attack speed boosters, as well as critical rate increases and stun chances in order to have a very strong way of fighting.
Online Game : Hearing your story, it seems ike the swordsman will be a very strong all-rounder, but how is it in terms of game balance?
Kim Hyonson : Surely, one would normally think it is a very strong character when they only hear of his characteristics. However, even though he has attacks with wide ranges to destroy his enemies, his defense and HP fall a little short, so he will have to rely on dodging enemy attacks in order to survive.
Online Gamer : Well, please tell us about the other new class, the exorcist “Kanna.”
Kim Hyonson : Exorcist is a very famous occupation of Japanese history and there are a lot of legends and stories about them. Exorcist is a different view point from swordsmen and Samurai, so we felt like we could create a class based on the Japanese image.
Originally, it was the duty of an exorcist to eliminate demons and vengeful ghosts. However, this time, we used a different interpretation, where the exorcist manipulates demons and uses them to attack. Like existing classes, it is a Magician type.
Usually, Magicians use MP to perform attacks, but Exorcist will use an original parameter called “Spiritual Power” to perform an array of attacks.
In addition, until now, we’ve received complaints with disgruntled voices from a number of users about the Magician classes. The difficulty of party play and being weak at bossing situations were the main reasons. Therefore, the Exorcist, as one concept, was as a “boss battle specialized class,” so we created it around that.
Online Gamer : You said a “boss battle specialized class,” but can you be more specific about that?
Chaku Kyonsu : Until now, Magicians have had a lot of attacks that have been dealing damage to targets over a wide range. Of course, this effectiveness on general enemies was a trait that didn’t really exist with other classes, but in a boss battle situation, that strenght was inefficient, and they were done in by the overconcentration of skills.
However, Exorcist will learn a lot of skills that will do tremendous damage on single targets. On top of that, it will have damage reducing buffs and attack increase buffs that can be applied to comrades, so it is surely a boss-specialized class.
Online Gamer : By the way, why did you choose the “Spiritual Power” parameter over the use of MP?
Kim Kyonson : A big reason was that we focused obsessively on making a Japanese-original world appearance. We wanted to make it clear to the user that the Exorcist was from a world other than the Maple World.
Incidentally, there are a lot of classes that uses MP recovery items, but as Spiritual Power being a trait specific to that class, it has a feature that will recover it naturally when used.
Online GamerWell, aren’t there situations were Exorcist uses MP?
Kim Hyonson : No, there aren’t. Since the idea of MP doesn’t exist in the Exorcist’s world, she will use Spiritual Power to perform a variety of actions.
In the new AOS contents, there will be full highlights of the Japan-original “Reputation system,” and the “Part Time Job” and “Character Card” systems.
Online Gamer : With this update, there will be a new system of the AOS* genre called “The Great Battle of Sengoku.” What will this content be like?
Kim Hyonson : “The Great Battle of Sengoku” is like AOS, and MapleStory up until now has been a game of an entirely different nature. You can cooperate with your friends, but the main point is that you can take friendly AI along with you on missions.
Naturally, this update is of Japanese-original content, so in the “Great Battle of Sengoku” content, there will be a lot of Japanese styled components. Please look out for those.
*AOS is an acronym of the Star Craft custom map, “Aeon of Strife,” and is a popular nickname of games associated with the genre. These role playing and real time strategy games are generally in high popularity in Korea.
Online Gamer : Well, please tell me about the other Japanese-original content.
Kim Hyonson : First, there’s the “Reputation system.” This is content that will be packaged with the “Sengoku Era” update. In this update, you will meet several popular houses from Japan, such as the “Takeda House,” the “Mouri House,” and the “Uesugi House.”
Thus, players will be able to recieve quests from under their family crests and if they complete those, they will be asked to defeat special bosses to gain reputation to increase their ranking.
There will be reward items that will increase your rank, so please go for the challenge!
Online Gamer : Well, how about the Part Time Job system and the Character Card system?
Kim Hyonson : “Part Time Job” is a system at which all kinds of characters above level 30 can complete special actions automatically for rewards.
There are 5 types of Part Time Jobs, which include “Resting,” “Herb Farming,” “Mining,” “General Store,” and “Weapon and Armor Store” and up to 3 characters in a world can choose different part time jobs to do.
However, characters performing part time jobs will not be able to be logged into without stopping that part time job, so please do it systematically (of course, you will receive the items you’ve obtained up to the point you stop your characters from doing their part time job).
Next is the “Character Card” system. First, to introduce yourself to the system, you must level up a character to level 30 and obtain your second job advancement to receive a card of that character. If you set the cards you have obtained to a deck, you will receive special buffs automatically from those character cards in your deck, and you can have up to 3 cards in each deck.
With the character cards, if you level up your character, you can increase the ranking of the cards and if you collect a deck full of high rank cards, you can receive a much nicer buff, so please work on leveling up your characters!
Online Gamer :I see. It is merely content that will broaden the playstyle of the game. I feel that being able to use characters that users aren’t using anymore is a very big advantage. Finally, please give some comments toward all of the users.
Oh Hanbyul : Well then, the closing statements will be given by me.
It has been 8 years since “MapleStory” was officially released in December, 2003 and this year marks the 9th year of service. The Japan-original “Sengoku Era” update is but one way we can express our gratitude toward the players who have stuck with us these many years.
Of course, this is not the end. I think we will come up with ideas for new original content for the Japanese players who have loved MapleStory as much as possible. I feel this is only the beginning.
From now and forever, please love and enjoy “MapleStory.”
Online Gamer : Thank you very much.
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