Will we be getting the same patches as the Korean version of Aion, or will they be tweaked to be "localized?"
Tamat: Our goal is to keep updates as close together as possible in timing. Ideally we're shooting to keep these updates within a month apart of each other. Every update will contain similar content, changes, and features. However, there may be times that we pick and choose what we implement depending on what appeals to the Western market (North America and Europe). You can get a sense of how this will pan out by looking at the depth of Western customization and design we implemented in version of Aion currently available at retail in the west.
How has the team felt about Aion's reception since launch?
Tamat: Aion has been met with an overwhelming amount of praise overall. Our players love the game, the review scores have been cumulatively high, and despite the issues that exist in every new MMO, we had a solid launch-a fact that was recognized by both the press and the players.
With that said, we've been listening to the feedback that players have been sharing, and the team has been working relentlessly to address gameplay issues and abate nuisance issues that sap fun by putting in place changes that will be coming to the live servers sometime in the future.
What's your background on MMOs? What games have you played? What's your favorite?
Tamat: I'm a lifelong gamer, but I've been into MMOs since high school. It started with EverQuest, and that led to my first position in the industry at Warcry, which led to IGN, and ultimately my four-year stint at Allakhazam (now known as ZAM). During my time writing about MMOs, I had the opportunity to play nearly every MMO on the planet. It's funny looking back on it now. This all began many years ago as a hobby, but turned into my career.
Some of my all-time favorite MMOs include: EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, Planetside, Lineage II, EverQuest II, Vanguard, World of Warcraft, and now Aion.
Have you been a fan of Aion before taking on this position?
Tamat: Absolutely. EverQuest was and is still to this day my favorite MMO. For whatever reason, the combination of difficulty and overall depth appealed to my inner masochist and gave me a sense of immersion that went beyond previous online experiences. Aion is enjoyable for me because it has a unique set of challenges that transcend the majority of post-World of Warcraft MMOs, while also being easy enough to play casually and feel a sense of achievement.
Aion has the perfect combination of hardcore and casual elements that put the game into its own category altogether. For now, I'm calling that category "Totally Awesome."
Thanks for your time!
Tamat: Thanks for the opportunity to talk about Aion.