Skyforge – Interview du producteur EU de Skyforge
Fabien "Maeron" Alexandre, Skyforge Producer chez My.com nous a accordé une petite interview pour répondre à quelques unes de nos questions. Vous pourrez trouver l'intégralité, en anglais, de notre interview à la fin de cet article.
Pour les plus pressés ou non-anglophones, voici un petit résumé :
- A la date de l'interview (mi-septembre), il y avait 1.5 million de comptes créés sur Skyforge (EU/NA confondu)
- L'équipe de My.com s'occupe de tout l'aspect opérationnel relatif à l'exploitation de Skyforge dans nos contrées (serveurs, traduction, marketing, support, qualité et community management)
- L'objectif à long terme est d'avoir la version EU/NA totalement synchronisée avec la version RU du jeu.
- Concernant les invasions, l'objectif est d'avoir en quasi-permanence une invasion active (voire deux, comme on a pu le voir sur la version russe), laissant peu de répit aux immortels.
- On peut s'attendre à voir notre premier Avatar d'ici la fin de l'année.
- Un événement IRL Skyforge est envisagé dans un avenir proche. Plus d'infos à venir.
- Pour l'instant, aucune augmentation des possibilités de l'Aelinet n'est prévue. Etant intimement lié au jeu, toute action sur ce portail pourrait avoir un impact sur le jeu.
- Pas de serveur de test public chez nous pour l'instant (comme ça a été le cas en Russie). Bien que les bienfaits de ce type d'initiative soient importants, ils préfèrent pour l'instant concentrer leurs ressources pour rattraper la version russe.
- Attendez-vous à un événement en jeu pour Halloween !!
- Les Guerres de Panthéon pourraient arriver avant la fin de l'année.
- Le mystère autour des 2 derniers emplacements de talent s'épaissit...
- Concernant les anomalies, ils ont pris en compte les retours mitigés des joueurs et sont (en conjonction avec les développeurs d'Allods Team) en train de réfléchir aux manières d'améliorer l'expérience de ces dernières.
- Petit Teasing de ce que l'on peut attendre d'ici la fin de l'année : Guerres de Panthéons, JcJ classé, 2 nouvelles invasions (Gorgonides et Faucheurs très probablement), l'Académie des Panthéons ainsi que les Spécialisation Divines (donc les Avatars).
C'en est terminé de cette petite interview, qui nous a donné pas mal d'informations intéressantes.
L'intégralité de cette interview, en anglais, est disponible juste en dessous.
By Fabien "Maeron" Alexandre, Skyforge producer at My.com:
GameGuide : It has been 2 months since Skyforge OBT early access. How is the game doing ? Any figures about how many people are playing ?
Maeron : Quite frankly, we have been really excited to see so much support from players for Skyforge so early in the project. During the initial weeks of open beta we even had to add additional server hardware. Skyforge has already 1.5 million registrations and counting! That's a very encouraging sign for the future release of Skyforge once we consider the game ready to be at the official release stage. We have made quite a few adjustments and additions to the game and there is a lot coming down the road. The game is continuing to do well and it continues to grow as we add more content and refine our existing mechanics.
GG : Can you tell us how are you and your team at My.com involved in the game we are playing ?
Maeron : My.com Team handles the whole publishing operation of Skyforge in both North America and Europe. It includes Server infrastructures for both web services and game operation, along with all the other operational aspects of Skyforge. We take in charge the localisation and all Marketing/PR initiatives surrounding the publication of Skyforge. Our local production teams ensure the delivery of content expansion on a steady pace, the close monitoring of the game and community health via its Quality Assurance, Support and last but not least our community management staff. We work directly with the community on receiving reports and investigating so we can help obtain changes and fixes. We also work with the development team on designs for upcoming content and events.
GG : It’s the second massive update since the start of OBT. We are getting closer and closer to the RU version. Do you intend in the future for the two versions to be in perfect sync ? If yes, do you have an approximate ETA for that ? If no, what would be your targeted “delay” between them ?
Maeron : As our operation grow in experience and key game features are getting finalized, we aim to reduce significantly the delay between the RU version and its western counterpart. However this will take us several months to achieve it so it's more likely when our game is sufficiently polished to get to its "release" stage.
For now we still have a lot of localisation, cut scenes and voice-overs to complete on a game constantly adding and fine-tuning features. On top of that, we also need to deploy specific developments designed for our regions like local seasonal events, multi-language chat system among other requests made by our community. All these imperatives made the synchronisation of our version with the RU version a long term objective but a tangible objective nonetheless.
GG : Invasions are really a fun addition to the game. Our first one came to an end and I cannot wait for the next. Mechanoids are expected by the players to be the next ones to try our defenses. Can you confirm ? How much time do you intend to leave between invasions ? When can we expect our first avatar ?
Maeron : Mechanoids invasion is indeed scheduled for Aelion's call update. It is bringing several improvements to the invasion system and addressing a share of the community feedback. Invasions now report on the most active contributors who fight against this global foe. Following this update, everyone will be able to participate in aspects of the invasion through regular mechanoid adventures, unlocking extra bonuses and a welcome increase of prestige outside our weekly prestige cap. For its first edition of the mechanoid invasion, facing the Avatar, the champion of the invading force, won't be possible. This encounter heavily depends on the progress of players - they will in fact require more playtime in order to succeed. Expect the Avatar to be one of the hot things coming near the end of year! As for the frequency of invasions, the real goal is to create more and more of them and leave very little respite to players. Players can expect to participate in them nearly non-stop and get more variety as we go.
GG : Are there any real life community events planned ? Are you going to have some kind of launch party ? Will you be here for the Paris Game Week ?
Maeron : We believe it is too early in the project to attend large conventions and reach for more audience. Keeping a low profile for the moment allow us to gather as much feedback as possible and polish our game. Once we are confident we have met most of our expectations, we will consider ourselves ready to slate the game as fully released and no doubt will throw a party to celebrate this long run effort. In the meantime, however, we would like to organize community gatherings to get closer to our existing fans. While our schedule is already pretty dense, we're hoping to launch a Skyforge real life in the near future. Wait for some more info about this event!
GG : About the Aelinet, do you have any plans of upgrading it ? Adding stuff like videos and pictures sharing.
Maeron : Aelinet is our community game portal and a truly ambitious attempt to fully integrate web interactions within the game. Players love to get the chance to inspect each others progress, to communicate and even control some aspects of the game directly from the web and therefore from virtually any screens - be it mobile phone, tablet or computer.
However, it proves to be far more challenging than creating a singled-out website: We always have to make sure it won't degrade the game performances whenever we wish to add more features to it. Watching video and displaying pictures is already possible when browsing the Aelinet from within the game. Simply pasting a YouTube link in the Aelinet will embed the video in your post. However, allowing uploads of content directly on the Aelinet will result in further development time - time we currently cannot raise as a priority in the project.
GG : About in game events, are there going to be some halloween/christmas events ? At what pace can we expect community challenges like the dance one to come into the game ?
Maeron : Halloween will be our first attempt in the coming series of dedicated seasonal events. We have big plans in store for Halloween and for a Winter/Christmas event but the plans/development are still in motion so we will have more details on a later date. We will try our best to make a lasting impression here as more events are scheduled to be released throughout the year! Community challenges like the dance event will continue, in association with larger scripted events. Keep checking our website and don't miss any of them!
GG : Russian Skyforge opened a PTS for a week in order to test new stuff. Is it something you intend to do ?
Maeron : While bearing some interest among a fraction of players, running a public test server in western regions will deprive us of resources we would rather allocate to closing the gap with the RU version. Despite the possibility to run community survey, a PTS implies gathering a lot of statistics, their analysis, plus development and structural changes in order to prove efficient. It is something that we are potentially considering for the future however. We do see a clear benefit to doing something.
GG : When can we expect Pantheon Wars to hit our servers ? Can you tell us a little more about them ?
Maeron : Several Skyforge core features rely on the progression of players to work properly. Over the last few months we have already introduced lots of additional content for players, we need to give them some time to be well prepared for the Pantheon Wars. The system is being readied for us though and we expect to have some news on it before the end of the year.
GG : We still have 2 talent slots to unlock. Any hints on how and when we can expect to be able to get them ?
Maeron : Classes are going through several steps of refinement. The development team is always looking into class development and progression. The opportunity to unlock the last two spots is still being worked on and tweaked. When it is ready we will be able to go into more detail.
GG : Any plans to improve the anomalies experience ?
Maeron : During our current phase, lots of ideas get submitted to the development team. Their stages of development can significantly differ and of course their reception by players triggers more or less revisions. In the case of Anomalies, the feature was mildly received by our players and will benefit from further revisions to meet everyone's expectations. There are changes being discussed and developed but it is still too early in the development cycle to comment as we do not yet know from our internal testing of the new changes if these will stick or if additional changes are needed before released.
GG : Can you give us some hints on stuff we can expect to see before the end of the year ?
Maeron : You can expect a lot more content for Pantheons with Wars - as explained earlier, PvP ranking, two new invasions, a Pantheon Academy to help newcomers get into the big leagues, Divine specializations... And a lot, lot more to come in 2016! In due time, we will provide more exciting development leads for the bright future of Skyforge!