by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
by Howard He, CEO of G4Box
The arrival of free-to-play massively multiplayer games came as both a
blessing and a curse to many MMO gamers. Unlike their pay-to-play
brethren, the newly released free-to-play games often featured poorly
translated in-game text, poorly localized gameplay, and generally
outdated features. However, those free-to-play games that did feature
excellent localization have done exceptionally well in North American
and the European countries. Recently, Ten Ton Hammer’s Cody
“Micajah” Bye sat down with Howard He, the CEO of
G4Box, to talk about the upcoming release of their latest imported
game, Metin 2
Ten Ton Hammer: For
starters, could you give us a brief description of Metin 2? Why should
players be interested in this game when there are so many other free to
play games on the market right now?
Metin 2 takes place
in a world similar to ancient China.
Howard He: Metin 2 is an
action MMORPG that takes place in a world that is similar to ancient
China but also mixes in a little bit of traditional fantasy as
well. Our story starts out with a single unified Utopian
empire where concepts such as war and illness had long been forgotten.
This utopia could not last forever though, eventually small meteors
(called Metin) rained down from the sky signaling the end of a
dynasty. The Metin stones held a strange power to corrupt its
surroundings causing many strange monsters to appear. The
people also discovered that if the stones were harvested properly, they
could possibly enhance a person’s physical and mental
prowess. Eventually, arguments over how to use the Metin
stones, their origins as well as the spreading corruption caused the
Empire to split into three distinct kingdoms. At this
juncture in time, each kingdom is struggling for their survival: the
occupants are constantly fighting off the corruption of the Metin
stones as well as waging battles with the other 2 kingdoms.
The main objective of each kingdom is to unify the three kingdoms under
their rule as well as to study and fight off the Metin stones.
Ten Ton Hammer: Imported
games are notorious for not giving players many options when
they’re creating their character? What kind of options does Metin 2 give
players in regards to their class, race, and appearance?
Our game has some very unique features (on top of standard MMORPG
features) that are simply not available in many other games.
We believe that players should have more influence over the game that
they play in. For example, every month, there is a large
scale war that takes place involving the players in the three
nations. The winning kingdom will then earn their entire
kingdom a bonus such as higher drop rates on items for a
week. Also, we have recently implemented an election system
where people may vote for a king every month to 2 months.
Even the winner of contests such as a screenshot contest on our forums,
will earn the winner’s kingdom a reward (as well as a special
prize for the individual).
He: When you create
a character, you have 4 classes to choose from. Each class
has both a male and female avatar. In addition, each avatar
has 2 costumes that they can choose from. Once in the game,
there are a wide variety of armors and costumes, as well as hair styles
and hair dyes for our players to choose from.
Ten Ton Hammer: You
currently have four classes available to players initially entering the
game. Can you describe these classes for our readers? Will players
learn any alternate classes as they advance and become more powerful?
He: There are four
main classes available when entering the game. After reaching
level 5, each of the classes has 2 sub classes. Each of the 2
subtypes has 5-6 different skills that they can master. As a
player’s character advances, additional skills become
available to learn, such as horse riding skills and leadership skills.
Assassins are the master of daggers and bows. Only the rarest minds and
bodies can survive the brutal training. Their great skills can change
the tide of a battle. They are a lightly armored melee class. They have
the highest agility between all the classes but their defense is low.
Suras are infused with demonic power that is channeled though their
arms. The source of their power is unknown and unpredictable. They
rarely trust people and make few friends. They are often driven by an
insatiable desire for more power.
Warriors have a sharp sword and a thick shield. They are proud and
charismatic, gathering allies and followers around them. No one dares
to spite them. They use cold steel and a blazing spirit to bring
tranquility to the world. However, magic is their weakness.
Mages wield the elements of nature to destroy or neutralize their
enemies. They are said to be the descendants of the gods and blessed
with unearthly beauty. They are mysterious, knowledgeable and
well-spoken. Their presence in a battle can make an army tremble in
fear. Their weaknesses are poor melee capability and low hit points.
Ten Ton Hammer: Many
imported MMORPGs fall into the trap of “being too much of a
grind” or having poorly translated dialogue. How are you
avoiding this in Metin 2?
PvP is an integral
part of Metin 2.
He: Well, we
wouldn’t say it is just imported MMORPGs that are
“too much of a grind”, a lot of MMORPGs are like
that in nature. In Metin
2, we offer a variety of diversions that will to help
alleviate this feeling. If a player gets tired of leveling
up, there are many events such as the national war, the OX event (our
weekly quiz event) and fishing contests that they may participate
in. On any given day, there will be one or more special
events running. We are also always adding in new events, so
that things will not seem so “routine”.
Ten Ton Hammer: How long
has Metin 2
been available in Asia? Will the Metin
2 client in the U.S. be up to date with the overseas
He: While Metin 2
has already been running in Asia for several years, the Metin 2 US client
will be updated (as the US server becomes more mature) to the current
version of Metin 2
Ten Ton Hammer: Does PvP
combat play a large part of Metin 2? How is PvP organized? Do players
receive any sort of rewards?
He: Yes, PvP is an
integral part of the game, though it is not necessary for players to
participate in it to advance their characters.
There are 3 main areas where PvP occurs:
Ten Ton Hammer: On your
website there is a “King Election” button. Will
players be able to serve as Kings or Queens? What does this mean?
PvP can occur almost anywhere in the world, with the exception of a
couple of safe zones within some of the major
cities. If players manage to kill other players
that are ‘criminals’, then they will have a chance
to loot some of the other players items.
Also, PvP can occur when one guild sends a guild war invitation to
another. If both guilds accept, then both guilds will be
teleported to an arena where they will fight each other. The
winning team will earn points to spend on ‘guild
Another facet of PvP in Metin
2 is the National wars. These wars put the
players of all three nations against each other. Anyone that
speaks to the proper NPC and are above a certain level may
participate. The national war may have objectives like
‘destroy a beacon’ or ‘kill the opposing
army’. Rewards for these events include rare items,
as well as a kingdom bonus.
He: Once every month
or two, our player base has the opportunity to elect a player to become
the King or Queen for their nation. A Monarch has the power
to change the tides of a battle single handedly. The player
that is elected as king or queen receives special armor that identifies
their status as well as special powers that can affect their entire
nation. These powers are not without a cost though, the
powers use funds from the national treasury which is built through the
sale of items (taxes).
Ten Ton Hammer: What sort
of high-end content is there for players? Will they participate in
He: One of our end
game features is a tower with 9 floors. Each floor has a
different objective to gain access to the next. For example,
the objective of one of the floors is to clear the floor of mobs,
another is to find a certain object, another is to take down a certain
target. When players reach the 6th floor they will reach a
special blacksmith that will help to upgrade a player’s
items. When players reach the 9th floor, there is a boss that
requires the work of 10-15 strong players to work together to
defeat. This boss will drop some of the strongest items in
Ten Ton Hammer: Finally,
what kinds of items are available for players to buy in the item mall?
Can players buy better weapons than what they can find in-game? Do you
sell gold and/or experience directly to players?
He: We have a wide
variety of items available that range from cosmetic, to temporary
buffs, to items for married (in-game) players. Some of the
cosmetic items include changing your gender, or changing your hairstyle
and a mask that allows you to do emotes. The majority of the
items come in the form of buffs that will usually help a player to
temporarily gain extra experience, or gain a bonus on their chance of
catching rare fish.
We do not sell weapons, gold or experience directly to
players. While there are items that enhance the drop rates,
gold rates and exp rate of a player, the players will still have to go
out and earn their experience like everyone else (though admittedly
with less effort).
Also, many of the events that we run will reward a player with Item
Mall items, so that players that don’t have access to our
Item Mall will also have an opportunity to receive its benefits.