I first played the original Taiwan version a couple of months back, and just when I thought I am “retired” from active gaming, I managed to stay in the game till I hit level cap. The game I am talking about is of course Aura Kingdom (or Fantasy Frontier).
There have been many eager gamers waiting for an announcement for the English server, and Aeria Games will be launching the game pretty soon. In this interview, we will find out what prompted the publisher to sign the game, what features can players expect and more. Read on!
Q: Hello there, this is Robert. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello everyone, and thank you Robert for taking your time to do this interview. My name is Trung and I am the Producer and Product Manager for Aura Kingdom.
Q: The original Taiwan version for Aura Kingdom actually just launched a few months before Aeria Games announced the publishing rights. When did your team and developer X-Legend actually made contact?
We have had a long working relationship with X-Legend for years now, having hosted several games of theirs. They actually approached us while Aura Kingdom was in still in development, and after checking it out, we were happy to bring it to our fans as soon as possible.
Q: Can you briefly introduce to us about the lore of Aura Kingdom? What roles do players assume in this game?
Players will be playing as an “Envoy of Gaia”, which is a person granted great power by the mysterious Cube of Gaia. The Cube of Gaia doesn’t determine whether someone uses their power for good or evil; it simply grants them this power. Players given this power are able to communicate with powerful Eidolons, and will join forces with them to fight against evildoers, such as the mysterious Shadow Knight.
Q: 1 of the main features of Aura Kingdom is its anime-style of design. Is this game only aiming for teenagers who are anime fans?
While Aura Kingdom is influenced by Anime, there is plenty within the game itself that we feel will be enticing to many types of players, regardless of whether or not they’re Anime fans. All are welcome in Aura Kingdom, from the casual to the hardcore, from the PvE player to the PvP player. Even those who can’t tell their Naruto from their InuYasha should still have plenty to enjoy!
Q: Let us touch on characters. I understand that players will have to choose from a range of weapons from the beginning. How many will there be for Closed Beta and launch?
At Closed Beta and launch, there will be eight classes to choose from, each with a different weapon in which they specialize. However, we have much more content planned soon, including new classes.
Q: There aren’t actual class names over at the server I played in Taiwan. Why did your team see a need to provide class names, rather than sticking to just weapon names?
When hosting a game, we will frequently need to localize it to suit both the language and culture that we are targeting. We felt that many MMO gamers are used to playing specialized, unique classes, and that adding class names would allow players to identify more with their characters than if they were only differentiated by the weapons they wield.
Q: How does weapon upgrading in Aura Kingdom work? I am really tired of my shiny new ones “breaking” without the aid of cash items in other games.
In Aura Kingdom, there are several ways to upgrade your gear. Players can upgrade their gear with scrolls gained in-game. Additionally, if attempting to upgrade your gear fails, it will increase your chances of success until you are guaranteed a successful upgrade. If you find yourself unlucky, it won’t last for long!
Q: Will players have a chance to wield a secondary weapon? If so, how does this system work?
Once characters reach level 40, they will gain access to a variety of secondary weapons. Each weapon comes with special skills associated with the class that would normally use that weapon, giving all classes a lot more flexibility on what role they play.
Q: Other than weapons, Aura Kingdom seems to have a strong concentration on fancy costumes which determines how a character looks. How many parts are there where players can equip these items?
There are currently five slots for costume items: Head, Face, Body, Back, and Weapon. There are a plethora of costume items to choose from that allow players to customize their appearance. Please note that these slots are not to be confused with gear slots, which is where a player will put their actual armor and weapons.
Q: These costume parts seems to come with stats. Any worries that these costume stats will be “game-breaking”?
While there are stats on costume items, these are so minuscule compared to the stats from real gear that they could hardly be considered game-breaking. The vast majority of a player’s power will come from their actual armor and weapons, and not their costume.
Q: How can players obtain these costume parts? And how many are there currently?
There are several different methods to obtain costumes, such as from quests, drops from creatures, and the Item Mall or Loyalty Shop. While we can’t give an exact number, there are currently hundreds of costume items already created by our developers, with many more planned in the future.
Q: I see that there will be achievement titles which players can obtain upon meeting the requirements. Are these titles visible to others? And are there any “secret” titles for players to find out?
These titles are definitely viewable by other players! Part of the fun in gaining them is in showing them off. 🙂 While there aren’t any “secret” titles per se, a lot of them involve doing out-of-the-way tasks that players will have to puzzle out for themselves.
Q: Eidolon is of course another main feature for Aura Kingdom. I am sure many players have asked how this is different from the normal pet systems.
We view Eidolons more as companions than as simple pets. They will constantly keep you company throughout your gameplay, growing with you and sharing in your victories and defeats. They will often comment on your progress, hold conversations with you, and even tease you if you die to an easy creature. You also have a special ability that lets you join your power with the Eidolon to do special attacks together.
Q: How do Eidolons progress other than leveling up? Do they evolve and learn new skills?
Besides just leveling up, Eidolons can be evolved to stronger versions. While they don’t learn new skills, there are special items you can use to make an Eidolon’s core stats much more powerful.
Q: I have seen some pictures where players are riding Eidolons. Does it mean that some Eidolons can double up as a cool looking mount?
While not all Eidolons can be ridden, some will allow you to briefly ride them as a mount, as well as gain access to powerful skills only useable while riding them. Furthermore, this can also be done while in a dungeon, where mounts normally cannot be used.
Q: Will players need to spend a lot of time and resources on Eidolons? For example, feeding them, playing games with them to keep them happy etc.
Eidolons are designed to be a large part of the Aura Kingdom experience. While it’s your choice as to how much time you spend with them, talking to them more often will result in them giving you gifts that can help level them faster, boost their stats, or otherwise improve them.
Q: How many Eidolons are there in Aura Kingdom? And what are some methods to obtain new ones other than the starters?
At launch, there will be 17 Eidolons, including the one exclusive to the Founder’s Pack. There are many methods by which they can be acquired, such as quests, drops from creatures, and more. We also definitely have plans to add more over time.
Q: Let us now touch on PvE (Player vs Environment). Obviously, players can expect huge open maps along with instanced dungeons. So how does Aura Kingdom differ from other titles in this aspect?
The dungeon and open-world gameplay is similar to many classic MMOs, and should be familiar to anyone comfortable with the genre. We chose to focus our efforts on creating standout aspects of gameplay such as the Eidolon system. However, there are some very cool aspects planned for the PvE side of the game, such as a tower full of monsters that gets tougher the further you go.
Q: As a gamer, I am usually concerned about the difference between loot drops in the open world and instanced dungeons. How is the drop system like in Aura Kingdom?
The drop system is actually designed to help avoid fighting over pieces of gear and other items. First off, all drops from creatures are deposited directly into your bags (or dropped as a player-bound chest if your bags are full). Additionally, when fighting creatures in a group, every person has a chance to gain loot off a creature, rather than requiring several people to fight over one piece of loot.
Q: Is the PvP system ready for the Closed Beta phase? What sort of modes and rewards can players expect from taking part in PvP?
The PvP system as it stands is ready for Closed Beta; however, we have a lot more PvP content planned coming soon! For now, there are several arenas and one-on-one dueling for players to try out. Players can also earn currency that will allow them to purchase powerful PvP gear.
Q: Is there open world player kill (PK) in Aura Kingdom?
While we don’t currently have plans for an open world PK system, there are several other types of PvP we have planned for the future.
Q: Are there any other features which you will like to highlight to our players?
One of our favorite systems is gliding. Players gain access to the glide ability at an early level, which lets them quickly soar around maps and explore the beautiful world of Aura Kingdom. There are also several other neat features, such as a Bounty system where you can turn in rare and powerful monsters you’ve killed for extra rewards.
Q: What other features are being prepared, but will not be ready for Closed Beta?
There are actually several features we have planned that will be coming out either with Open Beta or soon after. Some examples are the couple system, player housing, and Survival mode, for those who like to live dangerously.
Q: Just being curious, will there be any customization or feature unique to this English version?
The most obvious part is the game being translated and localized to cater to Western language and culture. We have also implemented other changes, such as increased difficulty to appeal to players who enjoy more of a challenge. We even have some features that may not have been added to the original version of the game yet, such as swimming.
Q: Thank you for your time answering these questions!
Thank you Robert!Related: Anime, Aura Kingdom, Interview