The July 17, 2013 update brought to ArcheAge KR one of the strongest raids, the Red Dragon. Many guilds mobilized all of their forces and challenged this menace, but he remained undefeated.
Gamefocus met with Kwon, developer of XLGames, responsible for monsters combat AI, to discuss about this new world boss. Below you will find the most important pieces of the interview.
NOTE: The translation is not 100% accurate.
Q: First, tell us a little about yourself.
A: After playing games such as Langrisser, Baldur’s Gate, Lineage and Everquest I decided to become an RPG developer. In ArcheAge I am responsible for monsters AI, combat skills and generally everything related to them.
Q: Red Dragon is a really huge raid that roams the open world. What does it take to create such a boss?
A: When you create a little monster you don’t have to think about the terrain. You are focused on it and on how it will move. However, if it’s a huge monster you need to consider how it will react to different terrain types and to player actions. It takes a long time to develop, but the results are more interesting.
Q: Do you plan to add other big raids in the future?
A: We already have the Kraken which enters the same category, but we plan to create and add more in the near future. But we don’t want to focus only on the boss size, but also on the unique experience that this raid fights provide to the players that tries to engage them. With the Red Dragons we gave players a tough opponent that will make them feel like they really accomplished something during this fights. It would be great if we can maintain this fighting spirit regardless of the monster size.
Q: The Red Dragon was part of the original development plan?
A: He wasn’t planned from the beginning of ArcheAge, but his appearance was envisaged soon after the launch. And what’s a fantasy MMORPG without a dragon?
Q: How did you come with the idea of adding it to the game?
A: I wanted to recreate an experience I had in EverQuest. But there were some problems with this winged, flying creature. We wanted to create the options to pull this dragon from the skies with ropes and to be able to attack him from a glider when he was rising up. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to implement this features. The dragon is very large and it can’t catch up with the speed of the glider. Besides that, the battle with an ancient dragon should take place in a big way so players can experience the full extent of the battle. Although EverQuest Dragons were also big, such a battle scale was difficult to achieve. The raid battles in a limited number of players dungeon is different from the open-world battles. There is no set script here and the development attention is focused on the possible bugs that we can encounter, we need to think through every option. The great feedback we received came from the fact that there were no errors and that every player (casual or hardcore) could try and defeat the dragon for a fair chance to loot.
Q: Is there a monster that you really want to add into the game?
A: My dream is to create “an army of phantom knights”. And I would like to add the feeling of the battle with the orc army on the castle walls from Lord of the Rings.
Q: Are you satisfied with the Red Dragon?
A: I think I could have done better. Looking to each monster, it’s difficult to compare, but if we look only at the Red Dragon, I think there is still work to do.