I admit to thinking it would be much darker, more sinister (which it is as you get further into the game) but was happy to find a game that encouraged slower, immersive play that would take you on a great adventure. I just don't think that most players have this kind of patience anymore. In a word, many found it boring.
What would the team like to have changed about the game? "The introduction." Said Vince "In the end we did manage a proper tutorial and introduction to the game, but it was still a quick fix." And while they were generally very satisfied with the core combat and art style, they "tried to innovate on too many fronts at the same time." This must be one of the hardest things for a developer, especially a smaller one, to decide. What areas to concentrate on for launch? Is the game complete enough for release?
"So we suffered the WoW Scan; people came in compared it to the last MMO they played, deduced it was 'different' from that and left."
In closing, I wanted to know if unusual games like Spellborn have a chance in the world of standard MMOs? El "Definitely. I think they even have a better chance than cookie cutter 'established IPs' as much can still be improved and explored. It's important that the 'unusualness' is presented and communicated clearly to the target audience."
Matthew "Yes they certainly do! You need only look at Darkfall and see an example of understanding and reaching an audience. The game got a lot of flack but Darkfall spoke the language of its core audience and served them well." Vince: "Only if you manage to convince the players beforehand that they want it. A lot of players claim they want something else than the standard MMOs, but in the end they want the feeling of familiarity they've grown accustomed to in other more successful projects."
Thanks so much to the team for answering my questions. They sent me quite a bit more, but for the sake of space I had to choose the answers carefully. If you would like to play The Chronicles of Spellborn, the game is completely free-to-play and can be found here. If you haven't tried it yet, I would recommend it. Take your time and read the quest text. It's a grand story and I am glad to shine some light on some members of the original development team that brought it to us.