Free Realms is about to get a bit bigger this holiday season as even more content is being added and improved for the game. According to Sony Online Entertainment's Creative Director for Free Realms, Laralyn McWilliams, the game is about to see a new job, new job structure, new pets, player housing and more added by mid-December.
We caught up with Laralyn to get a few more details on the upcoming improvements before the first stage of these updates goes live this week. Follow along after the jump for the complete interview, and in our gallery below for some exclusive screenshots of the new content.%Gallery-12980%
Massively: What's coming down the pipe in this newest update to Free Realms?
Laralyn McWilliams: We have a ton of new content going into Free Realms by mid-December. We're adding a new Fishing job and minigame, a bunch of all new pets and a simpler way to train them, a Coin Shop that's just as easy to use as the Station Cash Marketplace, your choice of tints on items you purchase, a new action-oriented style for combat featuring all new weapons with special abilities on them, and the winter holiday celebration! As you can tell, the team has been really busy since Free Realms launched!
As far as the new jobs, are they for VIP members only, or free members as well?
There's one new job, Fisherman, and it's going to be handled the way all jobs are being handled. It's a much simpler system.
Players have asked to try out all of the jobs, and we listened. So as of early November, free player characters that are newly created will be able to play any job (Ninja, Chef, Postman, Kart Driver, Demo Derby Driver, Brawler, Miner, Soccer Star, Archer, Wizard, Medic, Blacksmith, Warrior) in Free Realms up to level five for free. When level four is completed, the job becomes Members Only.
We're thanking original free players for their support by making sure the jobs that are currently free on each character that exists when we release the new system remain free for that character, forever. These original player characters will also be able to try previous Members Only jobs up to level 5 as well!
Player housing is huge, as it's one of those top features players have wanted since launch. Can you explain some more details on player housing and how it will work?
In Free Realms, you'll be able to tour available houses (including your friends' houses) and really get a good idea of what you want before you buy your own house. I should really say "before you buy your own houses" because you can own more than one house! When you travel to your house for the first time, you'll find all the pets you own playing in the yard, waiting for you. You'll be able to purchase items for your house interior and exterior, and decorate however you want. You can even buy items like dance floors and jukeboxes that are interactive and have fun effects! Another fun element is the fact that we're making lots of different furnishings and you can put most of them anywhere you want. So if you want a fountain in your living room or a toilet in your garden, feel free!
The Free Realms team already has several new jobs and minigames in the works. I can't say too much about them quite yet... but let's just say the Ninjas might get some worthy adversaries, and players who love to craft will get to make their own dyes for both clothing and furniture. Watch for those features, plus the new items and pets you've come to expect from Free Realms, to go live during the first half of next year.
Thanks so much for your time!
Free Realms to introduce new job, pets, player housing and more
Shawn Schuster|November 3, 2009 5:00 PM