Runes of Magic: Exclusive End of Beta Interview

The beta for Runes of Magic is nearly over. With all of the localization issues nearing completion, the Frogster America team is pulling out all the stops to make sure the public knows about...

The beta for href=""
of Magic
is nearly over. With all of the
localization issues nearing completion, the Frogster America team is
pulling out all the stops to make sure the public knows about the
upcoming launch of its game. Sean Kauppinen, Interim President and CEO
of Frogster America, Inc., checked in with Ten Ton Hammer's Garrett
Fuller to give us all the latest information.

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Ten Ton Hammer: The
release date is set for March 19th. How are things going in these final
days before launch?

Sean Kauppinen: The
team has been working on making the launch levels and content
completely stable. We’ve done an incredible amount of work on
the game and want to thank the community and beta testers for their
feedback. We’re also adding additional content to the game
with the man-to-man combat feature that we added last week, a new
high-level raid dungeon this week, and polish all around.  

I’m excited that we have such a great game at launch and the
team is committed to making the game even better with new content and
attention to any issues that are found after launch as well.

Ten Ton Hammer: What
lessons have you learned from beta that will now carry over into the
live game?

Sean: The
biggest lesson is the fact that the community can actually change the
game. I’ve worked on a lot of games and the
community’s feedback has always been important, but this is
the first time that it has influenced the game as quickly and as
drastically. There are other things that we analyze, such as where
people die as we balance the game. I think having a strong tool to
analyze how people are playing, enables us to constantly change it to
keep it both challenging and fun at the same time.

So the main lesson is the balance between challenge and fun and the
second is something we already knew, which is listen to your players.

Ten Ton Hammer: How is
the game different from other MMOs on the market?

Sean: Anyone
who has played MMOs will likely have a certain level of expectations
when it comes to any new MMO. Runes
of Magic
brings together a lot of
mechanics that have worked previously while adding some really unique
features, such as the dual class system.  

I found myself playing far beyond the time limit I set for myself on a
few occasions so far, so whatever that magic is that makes you lose
track of time and really get into the world, Runes of Magic has it.

 Ten Ton Hammer:
Being a free-to-play game, how does style="font-style: italic;">Runes of Magic
after hardcore
players who are more used to a subscription model?

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Sean: I
think Runes of Magic
is setting a new standard in free-to-play that
would reset the expectations of most subscription gamers –
maybe even have them evaluate what they are getting for their
$10-$15/month. Most people now expect more, and the games that will
succeed will meet those expectations.  

I’m sure some of those subscription gamers are looking at
what they get for $180/year. We would definitely welcome them into our
game. If it’s about money, you could play Runes of Magic
without ever purchasing diamonds, since we don’t make you buy
anything. I will say that the experience is definitely more fun if you
have some diamonds for a good mount and some other extras, but
it’s not necessary to have a great time. And, you always have
the option to just not play and not be billed for it, which
isn’t something most subscription games offer without some
sort of fee.

Ten Ton Hammer: Once the
game is launched, what can players expect in the near future as far as
updates go?

Sean: The
team is larger than most US live MMO support teams. We’ve got
Runewaker’s creative director and almost the entire team
still creating content for the live game. Our goal is to add in
incredible amount of content that always makes players wonder why
they’re paying for content in other games.

Ten Ton Hammer: We wish
you the best of luck with launch, is there anything you want to say to
fans and players from the beta?

Sean: We
want to make sure the TTH community realizes what a great and unique
game this is in the free-to-play market and we’re big fans of
TTH. If you ever have suggestions on how we can make the game better,
we’re here and we’re listening.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Runes of Magic Game Page.

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