Scarlet Legacy is also known as Xuan Wu Online in China. Can you tell us a little about the background for this game and why did you decide to bring it global?

Scarlet Legacy has been in development by InterServ’s studio for nearly 3 years, and uses the 4th generation of their internally developed graphics engine. We’ve been eager to work with them for a while now, and the quality of the games they develop is evidenced by accomplishments like their title Iron Phoenix winning The Most Innovative Game of E3 in 2004, so we’re supremely confident of the successful results we’ll see with Scarlet Legacy’s launch globally.

Scarlet Legacy tells a story of a princess that is kidnapped, and it is up to her brave warriors (which        will be the online players, of course) to rescue her. Can you please tell us more about the story and how the game-play works with the story?

The titular character Princess Scarlet is the daughter of the Immortal Yana, a Goddess from the Heavenly Realm and a man named Chao who was destined to become the Emperor of the Song Dynasty. To join Chao in the human realm, Yana violated an agreement between the Gods of the Heavenly Realm not to venture to earth for fear that their presence would tip the delicate balance of Chi that keeps the human realm in existence. When Yana is forcibly returned to the Heavenly Realm by the other Gods, she gives her daughter Scarlet a holy relic called the Celestial Mirror to remember her by.

When players begin their journey in the game, their characters have grown up as childhood friends of the Princess. When she is being taken back to the Royal Palace as a child, an army from the Demon Realm attacks the caravan and tries to capture her and the Mirror as part of their plan for an impending invasion of the human realm. Yana is able to protect Scarlet through the Mirror once, and she then gives the player possession of the Mirror and entrusts them with using it to protect her daughter in the future.

As the game’s narrative advances, the player’s character progression is closely tied into the storyline arc. Messages are received and sent through the Celestial Mirror as their characters level and reach certain cinematic points of progression in the game which match the stage of the character’s ongoing development of skills, abilities, and quest completion. When a character is first created the story begins with the Princess being taken hostage by a splinter faction of the Song Dynasty which is working in conjunction with the forces of the Demon Realm. The player is then tasked with advancing their character’s skill level and power to the point of eventually rescuing her as part of an Event Quest.

Can you tell us about the leveling in Scarlet Legacy. Are there tons of quests, instances, or dungeons? What can players expect to find in the Scarlet Legacy world?

There are literally thousands of quests in the game, with the intention being to avoid forcing players to grind to advance their characters as much as possible. We also took care to ensure that the quests’ requirements and completion mechanics were more than just the tired “kill X number of Y monsters” quests, are actually fun to finish, and provide the player an experience of value and a feeling of accomplishment for having done them. There are party-based instances as well as public dungeon areas beyond the dozens of regular field maps where players will be questing through right from the early levels of the game to provide for people that prefer to focus on the more difficult dungeon-related quests as they level. We’re very proud of our design team for the world they’ve created for Scarlet Legacy, and players are going to feel that they’re in a vibrant, living space as they walk through a city with NPC’s in the process of going about their daily lives.

A lot of people tend to solo-level, while others love to form parties. Can you solo-level till the end, or will there come a time that you have to join a party?

People are able to solo from when they create their character all the way to the level cap if that’s their preference. We prefer never to force a player to do anything they don’t want to, including the methods of how they go about leveling. If they would prefer to do the storyline quests by themselves that’s entirely viable, and  there are also hundreds of repeatable, daily, event and other types of quests they can do by themselves to level along at a clip more or less equivalent to someone leveling with a group. Especially considering that if they’re doing them by themselves they won’t have any of the downtime involved with playing with other people who need to get organized together, wait while some of the party members go to sell items, repair their equipment, etc. at different times rather than the constant rate of play available to someone going it alone.

There are four Hero Classes at the moment, which are Monks, Assassins, Mystics, and Warriors. What are their strengths and weaknesses, and who do you think will be a crowd favorite?

The classes in the game are complementary to one another, and the degree of specialization available within each class is more extensive than you would generally see in the average MMO. Particularly considering that each of the three classes is able to switch between 3 weapon types during combat in an intuitive manner, which allows a player to select widely different ability specializations from different skill trees than someone else of the same class with a different play style, and then link them together into drastically different combos during a fight based on their preference of attack range, status effect, speed, etc.

The Warrior is a heavy duty front-line combatant that uses pole arms, spears, and staffs along with the strongest grade of armor to make up for their deficiencies in ranged combat and magical status effects. Assassins are masters of concealed combat and linking multiple status-effect attacks together through elementally charged one-handed, two-handed, and dual-wielded swords. Though able to cause explosive amounts of damage, Assassins possess less defensive ability and lack the longer ranged attacks of some of the other classes.

Monks have the highest HP amongst all of the classes, however forego heavy armor in favor of rapid close combat techniques and self-healing abilities. Monks are able to use their fist, palm, and finger strikes to pass magical strikes through armor and cause massive amounts of internal damage to their targets. The Mystic is physically the weakest class of the four, however they are the strongest at long ranges and are able to use crowd control and healing abilities to take on large groups successfully. Using powerfully charged flutes, zithers, and harps, Mystics weave music and magic together to cripple and finish off their enemies from a distance while healing and empowering their allies. Of the four, I would say that the Mystic will most likely be the most popular class simply due to the graphical impressiveness of their magical abilities.

I’ve read that Scarlet Legacy is going to introduce a much simpler way of playing with the New Automatic Support System. Can you tell us more about how it works?

Scarlet Legacy’s Automatic Support features reach across a number of game systems with the intention of allowing players to focus on active game play rather than having to keep track of the monotonous “housekeeping” aspects of most MMO’s which don’t add to the game’s fun factor. These include quest target auto-running and auto-teleporting options, allowing you to travel across the game world more quickly while letting you check your inventory, chat with friends, select your skills or manage your pets without having to worry about character pathing.

The heart of the Assist system automates frequently used and repetitive game play actions and through the Skill Assist function allows players to queue up skills, martial arts stance shifts, weapon changes, and other actions and at ranges specified by the player in advance of any combat whatsoever to automatically respond when certain battlefield situations are confronted and the player wishes to respond with a shift in game play style on the fly. Such as when a player is killing mobs for a quest and a different mob’s pathing takes them into agro range of the player and the fight becomes your character against multiple enemies. Skills needed for efficient kills of a single target may not be the best strategy when your character may have a more effective series AoE skills available that they can immediately switch weapons and into a different set of queued skills.

The  Buff Aid function allows players to avoid having to recast their timed duration buff skills or go into their bags to activate functional items such as stat increasing or experience potions over and over as they expire. With the final section of the Assist system, Status Aid, players can preset the use of Health, Mana, and Skill Point recovery items for when their characters hit certain percentages of their status bars so they are able to focus on the environmental situation around them during a fight.

Fighting opponents can be set up to be effortless in this game, can you tell us a little about how the fighting and tactical systems work?

As with any MMO, PvP and PvE combat is deeper than just mashing skill buttons until whatever you’re fighting dies. The range a player is from their opponent and their character’s position in relation to where their opponent is facing can mean the difference between winning and losing, and similarly the specific skills used and their timing in regards to what your enemy is doing during the fight need to be decided and executed by someone actively playing their character. The Auto Assist systems don’t allow for and aren’t intended to be an “instant win” button in a serious fight.

The system mainly provides functions through which a player can do their day to day questing and leveling while also involving themselves in guild and community interaction or modifying their character’s equipment, skills, pets, what have you at the same time. Basically they do away with the monotonous grinding aspects of MMO game play while letting them finish the game tasks they would otherwise have to do while their characters are stationary . If you just walk away from your keyboard while your queued skills are being executed through the Auto Assist system, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll come back to find your character dead because it wandered into a situation where manual control was necessary to extricate itself.

One of the strong points of this game is weapon and armor crafting. Can you tell us more about how it can affect your character’s progress and why it is important?

Scarlet Legacy has 10 different trade skills, with players able to have access to and individually level all of them to the max as they see fit. These include material gathering professions such as Herb Collecting, Hunting, and Mining, as well as item creation and combination professions such as Weapon and Armor crafting, Cooking, First Aid, Alchemy, Accessory crafting, and Gem creation. Some of the most powerful equipment, weapons, potions, etc. in the game can be created directly through the crafting systems. Players are also even able to manufacture their own premium items such as Experience Potions and inventory expansion items that in most other free to play games would only be available through the game’s item mall. Scarlet Legacy’s crafting system also allows the creation of avatar costume accessories, pet items, storage expansions, and more to be accessible through in-game crafting systems for free.

Everybody loves a bit of competition. How complex is the PVP mode in this game?

We set out with the goal of adding as many layers of Player vs. Player combat as we could, to try to satisfy as many peoples’ different tastes as possible. We understand not everyone likes PvP, and those who do prefer many different types of PvP systems. To that end we included one on one duels, instanced battlefields with randomized teams, open world single player and party PvP/PK opportunities, as well as Guild War systems. We basically tried to cover every angle PvP lovers might want. Players can elect to flag themselves for consensual world PvP, both on the field leveling maps as well as in town.

They can also flag themselves for nonconsensual PvP which earns them Notoriety points, marking them as outlaws to the point where NPC’s in town will not allow them to purchase items from them, and even cause the town guards to attack them on sight until they are able to bring down their Notoriety level. Throughout the day timed, instanced PvP arenas are available which randomize the players that register for them into teams for death matches and zone control battles. Guild Wars can also be entered, with Guilds bidding on 6 spots where each can enter 20 of their best players for an 120 person Guild battle royale where they are tasked with destroying the bases of other Guilds and earning points through kills. We intend to add more PvP modes of all types in the future, and we even plan to include siege wars and battles where players can take control of cities and zones eventually.

Like most MMORPGs, players are allowed to build clans or guilds. What are the benefits of being in a guild in Scarlet Legacy?

Scarlet Legacy’s Guild systems allow you to gain access to special Guild skills, which include timed buffs such as increased Experience point gains and drop rates for the entire Guild, character stat buffs, teleportation, summoning, and more. Players in Guilds are able to level their Guilds up based on completing daily Guild Quests to earn Contribution Points, and based on an individual player’s Contribution Points they are able to earn a Guild Salary, which they are paid with in-game currency. Higher level Guilds will also be able to participate in Guild Wars and earn Guild Ranks for access to special shop NPC’s with powerful items, and eventually even earn themselves Guild housing and other permanent benefits.

What is your favorite thing to do in Scarlet Legacy and why?

I’m a big fan of direct competition in games, so besides PvP right now I’m really having fun with our Mini-game systems. We’ve got dozens of different types of mini-games that start up automatically throughout the day, with all players receiving a message prompt that allows them to join a room right before they begin. These games reward you with in-game currency, Experience, items, Guild Contribution Points and other benefits depending on how well you do against the other players, and these games let you compete with and against characters of any level on an even playing field from any location in the game.

For some of the mini-games when they start up a window within the game itself will pop up and begin timed memory-testing card matching games, or a whack-a-mole style clicking game where you need to hit monsters with your hammer while avoiding hitting the Princess, and a ton of other fun little diversions. There are also PvE mini-games that pit your team against successively more difficult monsters, as well as PvP mini-games that randomize teams at your level range and pit you against one another in an arena to capture zones and score points from kills. They serve as a nice little break from the normal MMO leveling, questing, and PvP mechanics; and let you just hop in and hop out whenever you like.

If someone is just checking out Scarlet Legacy for the first time what would you recommend they must try in the game?

I would definitely recommend they take the Eagle tours of the cities they pass through. An NPC in town is available that when prompted will have a giant Eagle pick up your character and fly them around the town by all of the scenic locations. It’s a pretty cinematic visual experience, with some of the best screenshot opportunities when you’re soaring above a vast city with players and NPC’s going about their business. It really lets you get a feel for the scope and impressive size of the game world we’ve been able to create.

Is there anything else you would like for us to know about Scarlet Legacy?

We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with Scarlet Legacy, and we’re confident that every MMO fan will be able to enjoy themselves in the game regardless of how they prefer to play. We’ve got a lot of fully developed content ready to be released as players progress through the game’s current maps towards the level cap, and a ton more in the pipeline for the weeks and months ahead which we’re pretty excited about revealing. Thank you for your time, and we hope to see you all in Scarlet Legacy!