Spellborn: U.S. Publisher Discussed in Exclusive Interview

Questions by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
Questions by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
Answers by Pierre-Yves Deslandes, Public Relations Manager for Spellborn

A few months ago, the developers behind the upcoming dark fantasy MMOG titled The Chronicles of Spellborn opted to push the release of their title back to the later half of 2008, setting it squarely for autumn 2008. When the delay was announced, the Spellborn fans were disappointed and wondered what could have caused the six month hiatus. To answer these – and other – questions, Ten Ton Hammer’s Cody “Micajah” Bye had a chat with Pierre-Yves Deslandes, the public relations manager for Spellborn. Thankfully, Deslandes has answered all of our questions and given us the responses we needed!

The Chronicles of Spellborn team is close to finding a U.S. publisher.

Ten Ton Hammer: The Spellborn development team recently announced another delay to the game, which pushes the release of Spellborn back to autumn 2008. Why was the extra six months needed for the development schedule? What sort of in-game features can you improve in six months?

Pierre-Yves Deslandes: Correct, the release of The Chronicles of Spellborn has been pushed back to autumn 2008. In order to make sure we introduce The Chronicles of Spellborn properly and with the best service possible to our US players, it has been estimated that 6 more months were needed for further polishing and balancing to guarantee that we live up to these expectations. By making sure our real-time manual targeting combat system works smooth as we intend it and by further stress-testing our server capacity, we will ensure that the performances of Spellborn meet the anticipation of our fans all around the world.

Ten Ton Hammer: How are you planning on exposing the game to the U.S. player base? Do you intend to develop and use some sort of overseas marketing plan?

Deslandes: The good thing is that TCoS already has a reasonable player base in the U.S., since US is one of the strongest and most active communities we have among our members without having an US publisher so far. But of course we will widen our activities significantly once we have signed with an US publisher in order to build up a big TCoS community in the US. That´s why we want to work with an US partner, who is really focused on MMOs, knows how to work with the community and who is able to put an effective marketing campaign into action.

Ten Ton Hammer: Now that a letter of intent has been signed with a U.S. publisher, are you planning on running a widespread beta test in North America? When might we hear news about that?

Deslandes: We already have US players who are currently in our Closed Beta Pool, but, yes, we also plan to have a widespread beta test in North America as well. We want to synchronize beta and release schedules in the US and Europe as far as possible in order maximize the impact and not to disappoint either the US or the European communities. We will release further details regarding closed and open beta phases soon.

Ten Ton Hammer: From the development side of things, what has the team been focusing on recently? What area of the game has been receiving the most attention?

Deslandes: Our Art team is working on many things right now, but lately the focus has been on extra visuals like UI icons, as well as on some new buildings, for instance the High Houses. We really want these Houses to play an important role in Spellborn, so we decided to improve their looks in-game. The result so far is truly amazing. Each House breathes life and “epicness”. Moreover, we are putting some small additional touches on the Mount of Heroes Shard which make it so much better. Just a simple rescaling of trees and it’s like this place has been improved by a thousand times.

Regarding Gamedesign department, the focus is on balancing and improving our combat system with the help of our closed Beta testers as well as in-house testing. We performed a fairly large improvement of the starting area and its quests, thanks to the feedback coming from the Beta.

Spellborn has a very unique clothing and combat system.

Ten Ton Hammer: For a U.S. player that’s unfamiliar with Spellborn, what’s the most important thing they should know about the game? Why should they be looking forward to this particular title?

Deslandes: The uniqueness of Spellborn resides in several main features, the first one being the manual targeting combat system, where players have to aim at their opponent to damage it thanks to a reticule à la FPS. There are absolutely no random dice rolls in Spellborn. You won’t see any randomly generated critical hits. In addition all attacks can be dodged, evaded, by moving around the target. The combat is 100% real-time, so if a player stands in front of an enemy and hacks at it, it’s almost certain death. Moreover, The Chronicles of Spellborn introduces a unique six-tiered and 5 slotted rotating skill deck. Like in a trading card game, players can configure this combat bar before every encounter. After every attack the deck turns and offers a new row of five skills to be chosen from. You can imagine that this skill deck is a very powerful strategic feature, because every player can configure it the way he or she wants – may it be offensive, defensive, for solo game, group fights, you name it…

Besides, Spellborn features a system we labelled “Dress to Impress”. Since gear doesn’t have any statistics, players are not bound to wear the same armour just because without it, they would die like flies. From level 1 to 50 (level cap) players can wear whatever they want; it’s not going to make them less powerful. There are no class and race restrictions, so even a Rune Mage can wear plate looking-like armour, it’s not a problem.

Our classes (9 in total) are completely unique and all have some healing abilities which gives more survival abilities to the players. Their skills are totally different from anything you saw before.

To sum up, Spellborn is a new game with a brand new Lore taking place in a fantasy setting. We implemented lots of innovative gameplay features (manual targeting, rotating skill deck, dress to impress…) so that players are totally free to play the game the way they want to without any limitations. We hope it will bring some fresh air to the MMO genre, and players like it as much as we do.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our The Chronicles of Spellborn Game Page.

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