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Earthrise: Exclusive interview with Atanas Atanasov

We are proud to post this exclusive interview we had with Atanas Atanasov, Earthrise producer. Enjoy reading.

MMORPGMANIA:
We’re living in “days after release”. Has release been successful in your opinion? Were you expecting more or less from players at launch?

Atanas Atanasov
The release date for every MMO is always highly anticipated by its followers. There is also the assumption and acceptance that there may be a few problems on the release of almost any online game. Earthrise was not an exception. We did expect problems, but the nature was different than what we had in mind. The surprise came from the least expected place – game keys and accounts. There was a technical problem with the game keys which did not allow thousands of players to enter the game on Friday. Thankfully our team was able to resolve the problem over the weekend. Apart from that problem I think that the Earthrise release was a success and had less technical difficulties than other MMO releases in general.

Speaking about players, most of them came from the Earthrise beta and they knew what to expect. There were not many surprises in that direction.

MMORPGMANIA:
Earthrise’s environment, Enterra, is a world which has been destroyed by the apocalypse, and now the cloned remnants of mankind are fighting to rebuild the future. How the story will affect gameplay? And how will the players affect the story?

Atanas Atanasov
Earthrise is a sandbox game and its story relies a lot on the players to be developed in the future. The story of the game is closely related to the gameplay. On the PvE side there are quests, many NPC enemies to fight with, and crafting materials to gather and process. On the PvP side we will add the territory conquest in March, with an unpredictable future. Even we as developers cannot predict which guild will rule the world and how the conflict will evolve.

MMORPGMANIA:
Talking about movement system, Earthrise has an unusual movement system which is different from the “standard”, like inverted mouse for example. Why did you pick this type of controls?

Atanas Atanasov
A movement system in the game is not made to copy other games but to facilitate the gameplay of the specific product. I think that the current movement system is the best for a third person shooter MMO like Earthrise. At the same time we don’t want to limit our players with only one type of key combination and we will follow the standard to implement keybinding options in future builds of Earthrise.

MMORPGMANIA:
MMORPG communities are always talking about what they think is wrong  or right in a MMO and recently we’ve noticed a group of Earthrise  players who don’t like the jump tied to stamina. Are you planning to “fix” it or it will stay just like that in order to prevent the bunny hopping madness?

Atanas Atanasov
We would like the Earthrise players to be involved in the future product updates and we will listen to every single recommendation and idea for improvement. If we feel that it is something that will benefit the game and something that coincides with our vision for the sandbox world of Earthrise it is very likely that we will implement it. The specific issue where jumping should require stamina is something that we would like to implement and will be seen in future builds.

MMORPGMANIA:
During the next updates an exploration system will be implemented that allow players to gather resources from different areas in Enterra. Are there any kind of resources that spawn only at a certain date/time or they will be always available?

Atanas Atanasov
The resources will always be available based on a respawn timer. We would like to let everyone have a chance to find something valuable based on their journeys and not on their playtime.

MMORPGMANIA:
Is grouping needed to face Enterra threats or can you solo as well?

Atanas Atanasov
The world of Enterra is a dangerous place filled with hostile NPCs, player killers and traps. Grouping means safety and protection. At the same time the world is huge and there are always possibilities to escape or hide from your attackers. Solo players can also survive if they are smart and plan their moves well.

MMORPGMANIA:
Earthrise features a unique combat system which allows players to fight against each other with no limitations. Talking about no limitations in combat, can you explain to us how the friendly fire works?
Is there a way to protect your teammates from your damage?

Atanas Atanasov
There is a default setting in the game which does not allow players to shoot their party members, guildmates or people from the same affiliation. This option can be overcome by holding down the Ctrl key (the so called forced attack) which ignores all kinds of relations between the attacker and the target. This force attack can damage everyone. If you want to protect your teammates and not damage them you just need to use the default attacks without holding the Ctrl key.

MMORPGMANIA:
Is equipment obtainable only via crafting or can you drop it from special mobs?

Atanas Atanasov
Equipment is mostly obtainable via crafting. There is a slight possibility that a mob could drop a rifle or piece of armor, but the quality of the item will be low and its best use would be to be given to a crafter who can extract parts for crafting from them.

MMORPGMANIA:
Does pvp offer rewards like experience points, items or prizes for killing enemy faction players?

Atanas Atanasov
There is no option for that at the moment but we do have plans for the future to reward players for PvP and faction standing.

MMORPGMANIA:
One of the most important features of Earthrise is the player-driven economy. Will the wins and losses during the battles for territory conquering influence the economy too, getting a faction richer and/or stronger than the opposite one? If this happens, how do you balance this?

Atanas Atanasov
The territory conquest will be closely related to the Earthrise economy. The best crafting resources in the game will be extracted from zones controlled by guilds, and those guilds will decide what to do with them. In theory, a guild could conquer all the zones that contain a certain resource and would then have a monopoly over that resource.

MMORPGMANIA:
Another very cool feature of the game is the customizable blueprints for item crafting; can you explain more about how it works?

Atanas Atanasov
Blueprints are created by crafters using designs, which are different type of technologies – in other words, they are recipes for crafting. Those blueprints have bonuses in the form of statistics, and later on effects, that can be added to specific items. Blueprints are placed in slots of a technology that they can fit in. Thus, after the item is crafted with that technology, it will be enhanced with the bonuses that the blueprint gives. Some blueprints may add additional components to be required by the crafting technology, making it more expensive. Blueprints have limited uses, but can be taken out of technology and put in another one with little waste of uses.

MMORPGMANIA:
What will the end-game look like? What are the daily adventures that wait for high level players?

Atanas Atanasov
The end game in Earthrise will be the territory conquest, where players will fight for resources and military power on the island. We also have plans to add monster mines gameplay later in 2011, which will feature a possibility to attack any free NPC controlled mines. If the attack is successful, players will receive special rewards.

MMORPGMANIA:
Last question. Which feature of Earthrise you think is the best one and worth giving it a try?

Atanas Atanasov
The best feature for me is the freedom of choice in character development and the huge world waiting to be explored. When we release the territory conquest it will be something that everyone should try.

Related posts:

  1. Earthrise: Long waited patch is coming
  2. Earthrise: Patch and updates
  3. Earthrise: Release and Updates
  4. Forsaken World: Exclusive interview
  5. Preview: Earthrise

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