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Massively's pre-launch interview with Alganon

Shawn Schuster

After a newly-announced launch delay, we now have just under a month before Quest Online's Alganon releases to the public. Now in its beta stage, Alganon has enjoyed mixed reviews since the NDA was lifted two weeks ago. We thought we'd take this opportunity to ask some of the questions floating around about this new fantasy MMO, and how it sets itself apart from existing fantasy MMOs.

Quest Online's president and co-founder, David Allen, was kind enough to answer our questions, which include everything from those of PvP content to his thoughts on being compared to World of Warcraft. Keep reading below for the complete interview.

Gallery: Alganon | 20 Photos

Massively: The MyAlganon community tools seem to reach deeply into social networking. Is this something you hope will evolve and grow itself, or will there be special promotions to get players to focus on MyAlganon?

David Allen: At its core MyAlganon is here to serve as the Social Center for Alganon, so players within the game can easily communicate and share with each other outside of the game. With the Library, Guild and Character listings, MyAlganon is a powerful repository most players haven't even begun to tap into as of yet.

Most new fantasy MMOs that release today will inevitably be compared to World of Warcraft, either with the gameplay, visuals or general game mechanics. What do you say to those who would make that comparison with Alganon?

I'm not upset we're being compared to the most successful multi-billion dollar MMOG on the market. However, Alganon is not WoW, but has the "magic" many MMOGs have captured. A player just needs to play it to find this out.

"I'm not upset we're being compared to the most successful multi-billion dollar MMOG on the market."

Alganon's Studies system allows offline character advancement for those players who may not have the time to play every day. How does this system balance with those hardcore players who will be there several hours a day?

It rewards players not just for playing, but subscribing as well. A casual gamer who has been playing Alganon for a year (and managing their studies) will have access to things a hardcore gamer who reaches max level in just a month simply cannot. Those who have been playing Alganon longer will simply have a stronger support basis than those who have not. But it doesn't mean new players can't dive right into studies and planning the growth of their character out beyond class, skills and abilities.

This game seems to be heavily focused on lore and playing as part of the grand story. Will roleplaying be encouraged through special events or perhaps a dedicated RP server?

We haven't decided if we're going to have RP servers or not. It depends on what players ask for during the Open Beta process.

How many servers do you plan to implement at launch?

It all depends on our Beta and Launch load. We have all the core hardware we need right now for what's anticipated. If we need more servers, it's not difficult to get them up and running.

I may just be overlooking it, but I didn't see much info on PvP in Alganon. Will there be PvP?

Absolutely, but not until the first major expansion in 2010. We want to do PvP right, and need a bit more time to ensure this is the case.

We think the Families feature is brilliant, as it immediately brings different types of players together from the start, based on Richard Bartle's Test of Gamer Psychology. What advantages are there to being in these families, and are these advantages balanced?

It's more psychological than anything else; grouping like-minded people together, but at the same time, players in a family have access to family Heirlooms. As the game grows, so will the families, and we may see families fighting for the highest "X" or control of "Y".

Can players from different Families join together in the same guild?

Yes. The only restriction for a guild is players must be of the same "side" (either Asharr or Kujix). However note we have a nice recruitment system for the guilds, so if the guild master wants to make the guild a "Soldier Only" guild, they can technically do that.

How do you plan to expand the game from here? Yearly paid expansion packs? Free content updates?

We plan on releasing major expansions every 6 months, and all expansions will be free. We currently have more than two years of expansions planned, with the first mini-expansion being that of The Dawning.

Thanks for your time!

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