MMOsite: What are the major features that you think will set Zu Online apart from other MMORPGs? Which feature is the one you are most proud of? Why do you believe Zu Online will be appealing to a U.S. audience?
Ice Han: Zu Online#DY#s main feature is the cultivation of an inner spirit as defined by honor, skill and fortitude. In addition, the oriental-style graphics, grand battles between deities and devils, fascinating pets, the mansion development system that requires strategy, as well as its graceful music will impress players deeply too. Zu Online developers combined traditional Chinese ink painting and the currently popular cartoon shading in creating the graphics, which forms a fresh unique style different from the realistic style popularly used in European and American games and the cartoon style popularly used in South Korean and Japanese games. Culture has no national boundaries. With the oriental style and brand-new game features, I believe Zu Online will certainly offer American players a very different gaming experience and a very distinct choice for gaming.
MMOsite: The graphics in Zu Online feature Chinese ink and wash painting, which is distinctive and unique. What sort of graphics engine are you using to make Zu Online? And how do the U.S. players like the graphic style?
Ice Han: At the very beginning, the developers had decided to develop a game with Chinese characteristics. When it comes to Oriental style, US players have a certain understanding that comes from the very distinct paintings, architecture and style. The developers wanted to incorporate that into the design to make it very clear that this was not your normal Western-style RPG. Chinese ink and wash painting was an obvious choice for its characteristically Oriental feel. The Zu Online developers used the Jupiter engine developed by Monolith CO., LTD and an in house model shading technology, as well as manually drawn backgrounds in making the graphics. All of these different and unique approaches combine to immerse players in an Oriental world full of mystery, and intrigue. These graphics are vivid and elegant, but we understand that they may not appeal to all players, so an option to turn off the cartoon shading was added. We feel that given the very unique look and the clear difference from other RPGs available will give us an edge in the ultra-competitive US market.
MMOsite: Talk something about the kungfu elements in Zu Online. Aside from Kungfu, what are the other combat skills players can learn?
Ice Han: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and other recent fantasy movies have resurrected the fantasy genre all over the world. In China, such themes are called fantastic or immortal. Games of this kind offer players the ability to do fantastic things such as fly in the sky, or live in the sea. For example, Zu Online has added many new elements to the game, such as shapeshifting and summoning minions. Players may need to spend some time in testing and practicing these skills to fully understand them. Additionally, players may not understand the concept of challenging calamity and cultivating an inner spirit because they don#DY#t know much about the philosophy of Chinese culture. This is one reason that Zu has such a unique appeal to gamers. It offers them a chance to learn about the philosophy and traditions of another culture in an environment that is much more interesting than your typical classroom.
MMOsite: How will the talent system function in Zu Online? How can players earn and use talent points?
Ice Han: The initial talent design of Zu Online abandoned the traditional D&D distribution system and created four talent trees, including Super power, Refinement power, Theurgy power and Incantation power. But as game development went on, the developer#DY#s talent system wouldn#DY#t display the inner cultivation of spirit in the game. They then modified the talent system and created three different talent trees for each clan. Players gain the first talent point at level 30 and then gain 1 after each 3 levels. Players can spend talent points to concentrate on attack or defense, or improve both. If a player wants to unlearn talent points and redistribute them, simply use a Great Talent Bolus.