We sat down with Jade Dynasty's American product manager, Andrew Brown, and talked with him about the update. Not only did we find out exactly what's in the expansion, but we also got a glimpse into how the game is made and how much control American audiences have over the features in a Chinese MMO.
So Andrew, tell us about what's setting the scene for this next expansion. What's going on in the world of Jade Dynasty?
Ah, well, ok! In the world of Jade Dynasty, there's five schools of magic that we label as factions. Each of these factions promised humans that they could lead them to immortality -- that they knew the correct path. As time progressed, everyone found out that all of these factions were correct and they all started showing humans how they can ascend to immortality.
Now, the gods have started noticing this, and they don't like it. They don't want humans following in their footsteps and knowing what they know. So they began sending demigods down to the human realm -- the Athan. Their job is to stop the humans from ascending. If that means extinction, then so be it.
So there's more of a realm vs. realm bend to the PvP in Jade Dynasty now?
Exactly. Players can create an Athan character of their own. Humans used to be in a free-for-all, with no real "sides" to combat. Now humans might want to work together as the Athan are out there and will be working to make sure that they don't become more powerful.
This creates a true realm vs. realm aspect in Jade Dynasty. There are certain sections of the world where players can be immediately assaulted by an Athan, regardless of whether it's a PvP or PvE server.
Will the humans still be able to PvP one another?
Oh, of course. There's still backstory supporting some bad blood between the factions. Ideally, they should be working together, but anyone can PvP anyone.
Will the Athan start in a new area of the world?
You know, we've actually kinda launched a second game within Jade Dynasty. The Athan get their own starting area, NPCs, quests, monsters, armor, and items. Their area constructed is about twice the size of other areas in Jade Dynasty. So not only is it a new area, it's a large area.
What is the advantage to playing the Athan? What's different and new about them?
The previous five factions are very martial arts and skill oriented. The Athan differ with the two subclasses within their race. You have the Balo, which are like the barbarians, and the Arden, who are the archers. The Arden is one of the unique ones, as they have the ability to summon pets with skills to aid them in combat.
The Arden are very elegant, in terms of their look, and very skilled. They can also transform into various monsters to gain benefits, as one of their first skills allows them to transform into a fox which allows you to run faster. It's these small, slight advantages that the immortals have that will allow them to progress through the game.
Will pets be compatible with invigorate?
Yes, well, we had our previous pet system that allowed you to obtain pets that would aid you, but new to our system is the ability to capture pets in the world with a new pet capture skill. So absolutely, pets are certainly part of invigorate.
Now, you don't have to use a pet, but it's certainly a good idea. Having a pet out will make your damage output higher and you'll receive less damage and you'll use less potions overall. So, as a tip, you really should be using your pet while invigorating.
Can the invigorate system target pets as well, much as it targets you?
Yes indeed. There's a small bar where you can drag on your pet potions, and it will heal your pets automatically.
All right. Pretty extensive. So then, the achievements. What types of achievements can players look forward to getting?
One of the big things they wanted to do with the achievements system was to touch all types of players. So, there are achievements for defeating the world bosses, there are tons of achievements for crafting, achievements for completing the daily events, plus the PvP events, plus the miscellaneous ones, like one for jumping up and down so many times.