Interview with Development Director, Kim Se-Yong

Interview with Development Director, Kim Se-Yong

A Chinese  website (17173.com) recently interviewed Tree of Savior development director and vice president Kim Se-Yong about Tree of Savior, game play, instances, bosses and card system. This article will answer a lot of questions that has been asked before prior to G-Star 2014. This is one of the best interview in my opinion about Tree of Savior.

Tree of Savior Giltine & Laima

The first time we saw Tree of Savior, its fresh style and user interface brought us to this fairy tale world. This unique style, coupled with “The Father of Ragnarok Online”, Kim Hakkyu’s effort has made Tree of Savior the sequel to Ragnarok Online in the eyes of many players.

In G-Star 2014, game development director Kim Se-Yong told reporters from 17173.com that although the same production team develops Tree of Savior, Tree of Savior’s view of the world is different than Ragnarok Online’s. Tree of Savior is an entirely new game. So the question is, what kind of game is Tree of Savior? This interview will give you a detailed answer.

Tree of Savior latest promotional video

Overall Development Progress at 70% and keyboard Controlled

17173:
Tree of Savior is seen as a sequel to Ragnarok Online in the eyes of many gamers. What is your view on these two games, is there link between these two games? When can we play the game?

Kim Seyong:
We developed Ragnarok Online 12 years ago. Now, although Tree of Savior is developed under the same production team, the game is completely different from Ragnarok Online. (Ragnarok Online is based on a comic book, so it has more of an Eastern element. Whereas Tree of Savior is developed based on Lithuanian mythology, it has more European elements.

Before we develop Ragnarok Online we did publish a single player game (He’s referring to Arcturus). Tree of Savior is more similar to that game, such as using keyboard controls, jump commands, going up the roofs and some other actions.

We are still uncertain when the Chinese can play the game. We are currently discussing South Korea’s CBT with Nexon. As of now, the overall game development has reached 70%.

Development Director Kim Se Yong
Development Director Kim Se Yong

17173:
Tree of Savior is completely keyboard controlled. Mouse is not used. Will this design bring confusion to players? Especially to those veteran gamers from Ragnarok Online, will they feel that they are not used to the design?

Kim Seyong:
Indeed, this game is played completely keyboard controlled, mouse is only used for user interface interaction, and even directional view is not possible (view rotation locked perhaps). This is because we believe that this game is not suitable for mouse play. Of course, players can choose to use gamepads as an option.

However, you should not worry about getting used to playing with keyboard. During our technical performance test (Focus Group Test maybe), we have specifically asked for Ragnarok Online players. They have played for probably 10 minutes and concluded that it is not a problem playing Tree of Savior without a mouse.

Tree of Savior Job Classes
Tree of Savior Job Classes

17173:
Tree of Savior has 80 job classes, how are the job classes designed? Do you categorize them as different job classes even if they have one skill difference?

Kim Seyong:
In the beginning, the player can go with four basic job classes. During the first class advancement, each basic job classes can branch out into 19 job classes. This makes 80 job classes, a lot for players to choose from, even some classes can hardly be found in other games. In the future, we are planning to add in more class advancements (second stage, third stage).

All the skills in each job classes are different. For example, Chronomancer from the Wizard class, an Chronomancer can fast forward time, go back to the past and time stop. No other job classes has such skills. Job names are distinguished by skills; there are many job classes that have Eastern culture and elements.

Goddess of the Evening Star, Vakarine
Goddess of the Evening Star, Vakarine

17173:
Speaking about Eastern elements, there are players in Ragnarok Online that deemed this as a success factor for the game, the monsters and buildings based on eastern culture can give the Asians a better impression. However, Tree of Savior is more biased towards western culture, what is the reason for this design?

Kim Seyong:
Ragnarok Online is based on a comic book. In the comic book, there are many Eastern elements. Tree of Savior is developed based on Lithuanian mythology (Thor was one of the Gods and his symbol is the Oak Tree), so it is more biased towards European elements. While Ragnarok Online has large world maps, Tree of Savior will focus more on details.

Open World Field Boss Raid Instances Supports 200 Players

17173:
So far, the monsters in Tree of Savior looks to be more “exotic”, but it does not leave a deep impression for us. Is this because of the game’s view?

Kim Seyong:
Yes, we wanted to make Tree of Savior more of a fantasy game. We used tree, stone, metal etc. to create the monsters. You can see wood element monsters, when they move they look like ants. This gives a more natural feeling.

Actually, all the Tree of Savior’s background and monsters have the “plant” element in it. Whether it is dungeon instances or villages, there are many trees. Even some dungeon instances are in the tree itself. This is also why this game is called Tree of Savior. Maybe because not everyone is exposed to the game yet, I believe when everyone plays the game, no matter the scene or the monsters will give a lasting impression to the players.

Boss instances
Boss instances

17173:
You talked about instances earlier. In Ragnarok Online, PVE and boss fights are all in the fields. Will Tree of Savior be any different?

Kim Seyong:
The instances in Tree of Savior are also in the fields. We are open world. The instances are unlike traditional MMORPG where it is a closed and separated. Players can go fight the boss alone or party up to five members to fight boss together.

Because of the open world design, one boss raids can support up to 200 players at once. Each party can only have maximum of five members. Even though you cannot party with the rest of 195 players, but there will be some kind of interaction between players.

Tree of Savior Artwall

17173:
With so many people gathered together, will there be cases of kill stealing bosses or large scale PVP in the fields? How the game is designed in terms of PVP? Are you going to design something like “War of Emperium” in Ragnarok Online?

Kim Seyong:
PVP is not allowed in the fields and instances. However, we will have arenas for 1v1 and 3v3. In the future we are looking to implement 5v5 in the arena. As of now, we have not implemented any kind of guild siege like other games, but we will consider this option.

Card System Allows Players to Summon, Ride and Control Bosses

17173:
Looks like Tree of Savior will be leaning towards PVE content. So far, how many bosses are there? What can players gain from fighting bosses?

Kim Seyong:
So far we have about 200 bosses. Each has its distinct characteristics. For example, some bosses will constantly summon minions, some will escape when hit and everyone has to chase him in order to defeat him.

As far as drops are concerned, there will be equipment, ingredients and cards. Different classes can use cards differently. For example, Sorcerer can summon boss using its card; Wugushi whom is specialized in poison can utilize cards to change the content of the poison; and of course, cards can be directly used as skill as well.

17173:
Are you only able to use the card once? And are the cards only dropped by boss monsters?

Kim Seyong:
There are a lot of uses for cards, I had just covered the tip of the iceberg earlier. If the player uses the card as a skill, then the card will disappear after it is used once. However for some other class such as Sorcerer, this card is permanent. Sorcerer can summon the boss, ride on the boss, treat it as pet and can be used in battle. The use of cards is dependent on job classes.

Yes, only boss can drop cards.

Sorcerer with summoned boss monster
Sorcerer summons boss using boss card to kill monsters

17173:
So are cards the center of the gameplay in Tree of Savior?

Kim Seyong:
No, card usage is only one part of the gameplay. Our most core gameplay is still the 80 job classes that will bring a completely different experience to Tree of Savior.

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