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Exclusive Mabinogi: Pioneers of Iria Expansion Interview

Posted Mon, Mar 09, 2009 by Cody Bye

Since last March, Ten Ton Hammer has been closely following the progress of one of our favorite F2P games, Mabinogi. Published by Nexon America, the cute-looking Mabinogi has an incredible amount of depth once you get past the "cuddly" exterior, and we're happy to report that even more features and options have been unlocked with the recently released expansion, "Pioneers of Iria." Recently, Ten Ton Hammer caught up with Nexon's Matthew McCullough, Assistant Game Producer, to talk about the newly released content and what players can expect from the updated game.

Elves and Giants were introduced in Pioneers of Iria.

Ten Ton Hammer: The content in Iria seems to add a lot of breadth to Mabinogi; players get new races, dungeons, monsters, and a huge continent divided into three distinct geographical regions. Is it safe to say the goal was to give players of all levels more to do rather than focusing only on raid content or starter areas?

Matthew McCullough: Absolutely. After reading our forums and GMs overhearing conversations in game along the lines of, “Guess I’ll go and do a Baol clear,” or “Another Rabbie run…” we’re happy to offer players new ways to enjoy themselves in-game. Among things we’re excited to see players experience is the new dynamic dungeon system as well as all the exploration quests. There’s just more to do now, and that’s kind of refreshing. We’re also proud of the beginner Elf and Giant quests which help familiarize new players on how to play the game. The later parts of the Elf and Giant ‘tutorials’ feature more difficult beasts for veteran players.  

Ten Ton Hammer: Given how large the new continent is (thrice the size of the old one), is there any concern that the players will become too spread out? Will grouping and social interactions suffer because of so much land mass?

Matthew: Much like how ancient civilizations mostly formed near water sources, we’re confident that players will naturally come together near common places. We expect Qilla Base camp, Filia, Vales, and then of course, Tir Chonaill to be common gathering points. Of course, with how the new Mana Tunnels work (players can set up shops nearby, in addition to travelling) we expect certain central Tunnels to develop into social areas as well.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will we see any new methods of travel to cover these vast expanses in the new land? Perhaps some new mounts or flying vehicles?

Matthew: We’ve released ostriches and sled dogs as part of the Pioneers of Iria expansion. White Ostriches can carry two passengers, and while Black Ostriches only carry one, riders can occasionally engage their special sprint ability. Sled dogs can deploy their sleds in the snows of Physis, and they’re an awesome way to travel around the Giant homeland. We aren’t opposed to introducing new mounts ahead of the release schedule in other services, but for the time being, we’re satisfied with the mount options available to players.

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