Angels Online is an anime–inspired 2D MMORPG by IGG. With the release of its new expansion – Into the Land of the Pharaoh, can you give us a brief introduction on the new expansion and how it ties into the current version of Angels Online?
The origin of the new expansion titled Pharaoh’s Lost Treasure came as a spin-off from one of the monster race – the Evil Cats. Evil cats roam the dark, shadowy lands of the Shadow faction, one of the four main factions in the games. The Evil Cats were stricken by an unknown phenomenon, a mind-control like corruption that spreads rapidly among its race, altering their perceptions to their surroundings. Further investigation revealed the more inhabitants of this feline race – in Basil City; deep in the deserts, sheltered from enemy attacks and cut off from the rest of civilization. The mutation forced the felines to take an active approach, gathering an army to battle the bastion of Angelic forces stationed in Eden.
Contrary from the earlier Primordeal Paradise themes that focus on the pre-historical era, the Pharaoh’s Lost Treasure adopts an Egyptian-theme, combined with a touch of gold and royalty. The developers took the opportunity to “upgrade” some of the previous classic bosses, giving them a slightly different appearance and strengthening several aspects of their abilities as both an interest and a challenge to our players.
Concept and design is one of the best features of this game. Can you give us some information about the inspiration behind the new expansion?
While conceptualizing for new ideas on an expansion, we looked into some of the monsters that were present in Eden and we thought to ourselves, “Hey, why not give the felines a try for a change”? We ran some in-depth research on ancient cultures and civilizations, such as Greece and Egypt and brainstormed for ideas, and developed the idea of creating a desert-themed empire to house these new “aggressors”.
As the felines are designed to have higher-than-expected levels of wisdom and intelligence, we considered clothing them in royalty. We used representing symbols of royalty – gold, purple-shades, accessories and jewelry, brought the idea and implemented it, taking the idea one-step further by developing various elements and incorporating them into our anime-style game that our gamers love.
Can you tell more us some more in depth information about any new features the new expansion has to offer for new players and to the current players of AO?
One of the key features that we have implemented is the daily quest and rewards system, in short, “Dailies”. This system combines different player preferences into a quest style that generates easy rewards and experience for our players, providing a more gratifying gaming experience. For instance, we took the fun parts of PK battling, Boss rush, treasure hunting, teamwork and converted these little elements into Dailies. As they are not events organized directly by the GMs, they do not require direct intervention; rather, the system will automatically send out reminders to players on the upcoming events and transport these players to the various maps where the events will be carried out.
Also, we have incorporated an album collection system that tracks a player’s items progression and grants additional power-up to as the album fills up. To all players seeking additional power to deal with the new expansion mobs, it’s a fun solution that takes players away from the monotony of camping and grinding, while expanding their interest in training and providing alternative development styles to suit the players.
Can you tell us about the events and new daily quests related coming in the expansion? What kind of quests and rewards await the players?
Besides the Dailies mentioned above, we have prepared a lineup of events, such as our 7-day Double EXP and skill EXP events, new storyline quests that can be activated at the Main City’s NPC and class-specific quests that reward players with specific set items. Each of these online events builds player-to-player interactions, gives a great deal of experience and ultimately prepares players to deal with the Basil instance Bosses for both greater rewards and better gaming experience.
What kind of mobs and bosses will players fight against in Basil the desert city? With the new instances where players can fight the three new bosses, can we expect unique items that can only be looted by finishing these instances?
Besides a brand new storyline, Basil houses some of the strongest Boss monsters in Angels Online. The three Bosses, as they are generally called, are the actual guardians of the Pharaoh’s Treasure. It takes teamwork and cooperation to down these Bosses, and their item drops are unique and exquisite. For instance, the Sphinx Boss drops class-specific accessories, golden arm and leg equips, while the second Boss, Queen Cleopatra, drops class-differed body armor, while the last Boss, Ottenkhamun, weapons with powerful stats.
Can you Tell us about the new animations for battle, and the new skills coming in this expansion. Do the new animations only apply for new skills or were the old skills also revamped?
Each class receives a set of new skills during the expansion. For instance, the Life Spell priest has the skill: Rhythm of Life. To add to the excitement, we have tweaked the spell casting sequence with stunning animation and tuned the music and sound effects to provide a more realistic, earth-shaking effect.
Of course, there are some old skills that require certain fine-tuning. We have looked into the skills of each individual class and made some skill changes to improve the gameplay, such as increasing the effectiveness of an Assassin mobbing abilities. Other Assassin skills such as Assassination, receives an extra speed boost.
Pets and Mounts are essentials in this game. How does the new transport system tie into the current mounts and you can tell us more about it?
Pets and mounts have been a prominent key feature in Angels Online and to integrate the theme of the new expansion with these pets and mounts have proven to be a real challenge. We dived into cultural studies and research and brainstormed for ideas, pretty much a back and forth motion from conceptualizing and the drawing board, before arriving at our finished product: A new series of Evil Cat and Egyptian-themed mounts and robots that are both culturally rich and cute-looking, served in an anime-style that our players love. And while we were on it, we looked into possible ways of improving our current series of fusion pets and released some new and exclusive additions, only attainable through our pet fusion system. To our players, it probably adds up to hours of fun as they try out different pet fusion combinations to unlock the new additions, and in the process, discover the pet that truly suit them and their needs.
The Wedding (Marriage or Couple) System in Angels Online is one of the very special features this MMORPG. What benefits can players have when they are ‘married’ in-game? Does the new expansion improve this system?
Marriage system has been a favorite of many players; it’s also one of our key defining features in Angels Online. Marriage or Couple system promotes character interactions, allowing players to traverse the distance, interact and build relationships online. Marriage requires both players to complete a specific Marriage quest chain as “proof of affection” and the rewards allow couples to “fly” to their beloved’s side in an instant. A separate channel gives them the privacy and allows them to connect and interact in their own special way. We are strong believers of destiny and we do believe that in the sea of players, there is a true love standing and waiting for you.
Angels Online features a one-of-a-kind Achievement and Title System. Can you give us some brief information about this system and how players can acquire these features in–game? Will there be new achievements and titles offered with this expansion?
Achievements act as a motivation to all our players experiencing the game. It allows a player to gauge his or her standards and to see if he or she is ‘ready’ for the next area. Certain achievements yield titles that help develop a player’s own field of expertise. For instance, a gatherer that achieves a Level 100 in gathering will receive a special title that would boost the gathering speed by an additional 10 per cent. This extra encouragement makes players feel important in their trade of work and encourages them to continue striving for what they feel best in.
The new expansion has an added series of achievements that can be unlocked when players unlock certain maps, defeat the Bosses or hit certain specific levels.
Tell us more about the robot system coming in this expansion and what exactly makes the robot system so unique in Angels Online?
The Robot system is a known key feature of the game that gives players an alternative selection to traditional hacking and slashing. Players can expect newer robots with cooler appearances, such as our unique cat-theme and Pharaoh-style robots appearing the new expansion. The use of Robots in this game is to gather resources from resource points, provide backup and play key supportive roles in totem battles. With their tough defense, they can double up as tanks during team battle. As such, the new expansion improves their capabilities to provide better protection to these “gatherers”, granting higher chances of survival with more resilient, armor-plated robots, whilst not compromising or hindering on their collection and gathering abilities.
Most players would agree that it’s not just about the appearance but rather the functionality of these mechanical behemoths. Of course, there are some who would prefer style to substance, and nothing excites them more than being a proud owner of a gold-plated Robot.
What do you recommend all players try in the expansion?
There are a whole series of new events, items and systems in this expansion for players to explore. I would recommend the Dailies; its unique flavor of PK, leveling and battling allows players to try out different styles and find that one style that suits them the most. Team battles in the Dailies are a must-try. The experience will prepare players for the harder instances and help develop their strategies for future Boss battles.
What is your favorite thing coming in the expansion and why?
I would give the Album collection system a thumbs-up in this new expansion. It practically “recycles” your old equips and converts them into stat points, quite a fresh idea not found in most MMORPGs. An important point about this system is, it prevents the headaches of handling the old equipment, solves storage problems while increasing your battle abilities at the same time – as you level up. At such a deal, this is the best system that players may consider developing in preparation to the later challenging areas of the expansion.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about the expansion?
The Pharaoh’s Lost Treasure is the best expansion in the Angels Online series. It builds upon and develops the old systems without compromising the micro-fun elements of the game. The expansion promises loads of excitement and entertainment at every turn as players seek the elusive Lost Treasure of the Pharaoh. It binds friendship closer and allows players to mix and mingle comfortably in our friendly Angels Online Community. New players will not feel left out as they will be receiving special packs that would aid them in their quests and rush them to levels 100 or higher in an instant.