IncGamers recently got together with Frogster to talk about the fantasy MMO Runes of Magic and its upcoming Chapter III update. We had a few things to ask about the game, here’s what they had to say:Hey, please introduce yourself for our readers.Hi IncGamers readers! I’m Jörg Koonen, the English (EU) Community Manager for Runes of Magic at Frogster Online Gaming!

It’s a pleasure for me to introduce the coming Chapter III – The Elder Kingdoms and give you a bit of background information on the new content and features. Of course I do not want to give away too many spoilers, so please understand that here and there I may be a bit vague. We’ll give you the full scope on things in the coming weeks until we finally release Chapter III in May 2010.

Well then, let’s get started!

So there’s a new continent in chapter III – The Elder Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Dalanis; How big is it and what’s the main story in the area?

Dalanis once was a small kingdom, existing in peaceful coexistence with its neighbors on the continent. When the great King Kalume rose to power he united all the lands and was the founding father of a flourishing Kingdom known by the name of “Dalanis”. When the last king Motwas died, his son Callaway was forced to succeed him at the age of 14. However when the king died, the rulers of the several provinces saw their chance to become supreme leader of the “Zavill Lands” as the continent is called now.

The new continent will be bigger than any existing zone we have so far. We are looking at a size of multiple zones.

What sort of enemies will players find themselves going up against here?

We have a number of factions on the new continent that will try and hamper the player’s progress of exploring the world and restoring the kingdom’s old glory.

Amongst other things, the players will encounter canine, feline and rhino-people. Some of those will be friendly, some will attack the player on sight, making a visit to the new continent a challenging voyage through the ancient and recent history of the new areas.

We will introduce the “Dungeons of Dalanis”, a huge new instance, a new PvP battleground, tons of new quests and much more to keep our players excited.

Apparently there’s a new zone concept, where you’ve moved away from the closed themed territory layout. What awaits players in terms of landscape in The Elder Kingdoms?

As you might know, the existing areas in Runes of Magic are rather confined areas with only one or two entrances. The new continent will be one big zone with different areas. The themes of the certain areas varies from the mountainous north where according to legend an ancient race once erected a huge underground empire to the southern plains, with their frugal and mild climate. There lies the kingdom of Dalanis. In the west the players will find the Janost forest.

So there’s a wide variety of environments for our players to explore.

Alongside all the new content, a number of gameplay features have been tweaked and added. One of them is the new skill system, can you explain how that works?

When we started designing the Elite Skills, we wanted to give our players a wider choice of options to skill their characters. With now almost 50 different combinations, we decided that it was time for a more tactical system. Thus, Runewaker started working on a skill extension that will offer more versatility and customization options.

It will not replace the existing system but add greatly to it. And while we’re still working on the final touches, we can’t divulge more. But we will have more details in the coming weeks.

{PAGE TITLE=Runes Of Magic: Chapter III Interview – Page 2}We see Guilds will get to play around with siege weapons, how do guilds get these devices and how much of a difference will they make in battle?

Siege weapons are part of the equipment a guild will have to buy for Siege Wars. The siege engines –  like catapults, ballista and rams – are the heart of in a guild’s attempt to storm and take the other guild’s castle. Without these a siege war wouldn’t be a proper siege war, would it? Some of those are even usable as transport.

Once a Siege War has started, certain resource crystals appear in the battle zone. The guilds then need to harvest these resources to improve their own offensive and defensive powers, for example by building new siege weapons.

We have launched the beta phase of the Siege Wars with patch 2.1.7 so we can expect a few more tweaks and changes – like new siege engines – before the system goes live officially with the launch of Chapter III.

What sort of new buildings will guilds be able to add to their castles and how will they benefit players?

As you may know, every guild has access to several build-options. They can choose to erect a forge, stables, a farm or an academy. Each of these grants all guild members either a special buff or special guild resources.

One special variety are the “Training Grounds” where players can participate in a kind of mini-game to train and improve their characters’ proficiency in battle. We’d like to acquire more data from the current Siege Wars beta before going into more detail here, as the effects of those guild buildings can have an impact on the siege wars.

Tell us more about the three mini games that were added.

Sorry but we don’t have any information available for the public yet.

There’s going to be a marriage system added to the game, is this something that was in high demand, and what sort of features does it include?

The marriage system we’re adding with Chapter III has been requested by our community for ages now. It was one of the features that on and off has been in development since the early days of the game – the first iterations of the wedding chapel have been part of the client from day one. Now that Runes of Magic celebrated its first anniversary all the groundwork has been laid and we’re ready to allow our players to marry.

Once a player has decided that his (or her) character is ready to take responsibility for a marriage, the player can propose to his beloved one and the two love birds can tie the knot. In exchange they will get a special token of the partner’s love. This item will grant both players a small bonus and can have additional effects.

You’re adding instance difficulty levels – does this mean instances can be made easier than they are now or harder for those wanting a challenge, or both?

In the interest of our more casual players we have reviewed the way we control the difficulty of our instances. We would like all our players to have access to all available game features and decided to add an option to adjust the difficulty of all instances. Of course the loot from those bosses will be adjusted according to the chosen difficulty.

At the moment we are in the process of fine-tuning the system. By now we have an option to lower the difficulty but I can imagine that, once everything is tested and running smoothly, we can look into increasing the difficulty as well – we already did something similar with the “Ice Dwarven Kingdom” when we added a second “High-Level” version.

How much of this will be available to players in the April update?

Like with Chapter II – The Elven Prophecy we will launch Chapter III – The Elder Kingdoms in several stages with the main bulk of content being released in May. We have, as I mentioned before, already started rolling out the first beta version of the Siege Wars.

For the next content update we are looking into releasing additional options for the Siege Wars and we may see the first version of the “instance difficulty system”. Before rolling out the full set of changes we want to see how our players like the system and maybe gather some more feedback.

We hope that new and old players alike will enjoy all the new features when we open the next chapter of Runes of Magic.

Alright, so much for now.

That’s all I can tell you at the moment but if you want to keep an eye on the coming announcements about chapter III, we would like to invite you to visit the Runes of Magic website for additional information and regular updates on the game.

Thank you very much!

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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