Disclaimer: The following Interview is Inven Forum Journalist’s perspective, so I am translating it in First person PoV. I, Idi0ticGenius (Loriri), am only translating this for NA/EU players or anyone who are interested that can read English, and do not hold any responsibilities on anything said from this Interview, whether it turns out to be true or false. I am leaving out some in Korean because I am still working on it. I’m sorry about my translation speed not being any faster; My Korean isn’t exactly proficient enough so I’m actually shifting through several dictionaries to grasp the meaning of certain words, phrase, or even the whole paragraph.

If you can read Korean and wish to read the original, you can click here.     

 

“Wings of NEXON on top of Bluehole’s Development!”

Table of Contents

Interview with NEXON Business Manager Bae Jae-Hyuk

 

Looks like time really does go fast. It’s already 100th day since TERA has met NEXON for a new start in a new environment and mind-set.  

Although even humans would take time to settle, a game wouldn’t have much difficulty. For NEXON and Bluehole, they have been nervous watching whether or not players kept playing, how many new players arrived, and most importantly how many players have returned and are keep playing.  

Well, clearly there are a lot more players online in-game, and seeing waterfall on chat seems like our first goal was achieved. But this is just a speculation of mine as a journalist, so we won’t know how they really feel about it until the interview.    

Therefore, I’ve met NEXON’s Business Manager Bae Jae-Hyuk as a representative of their TERA team, who would have watched the atmosphere since the transfer for the past 100 days, to listen about which path this game would take in future.

NEXON Business Manager Bae Jae-Hyuk

Q. It’s been awhile since TERA had a new start. How are things with Transfer Service?

First of all, other games store accounts that were inactive for more than a year in Database, but aside from that TERA seem to have almost completed transfers.   

Of course, there are a few still in progress, but since majority of players tend to start from scratch, we find that it is better if we provide support for them. Therefore, we have extended transfer service for 2 months to May 18th (Wednesday).

The transfer service that started since January ends this month.

 

Q. Since the changes after service transfer, how were the reaction from players, including overseas?

Surprisingly great. We noticed 3~4 times increase in players, enough to maintain top 10 in Internet Cafe ranking which jumped from previous 30th place.

Although it is an encouraging rate and even though it’s been long time since TERA’s release, but we’re happy to hear that it has taken the spotlight once again as “Well-made game” world wide.

We feel that this result was possible because players have kept playing TERA continuously regardless of the changes, and we sincerely give our thanks to them.

We also think that the Bluehole’s abilities in developing such great game and NEXON’s role as a publisher produced even greater synergy, maintaining well without much difficulty even today after 3 months.  

April’s 4th week Online Game Ranking! We placed 8th place this time

Q. There have been voices concerned about TERA being published in NEXON. Were there any burden initially?

Players were probably concerned about overspending real money the most. So to maintain how the way things were, we minimized such changes to reduce such concerns, and we will always take this into consideration in the future paid contents (shop).  

Also, during the managements, we have inspected elements that would be necessary for optimization, especially those that heavily affect gameplay such as lags.

Of course, we cannot say such changes were made 100%, but we will try our best to work on them, as well as improving communication between GMs and Players.   

 

Q. There are several complaints, changes requests, etc in suggestion board on official site and Inven Forums. Are you aware of these…

This may apply to all games, but Player’s opinions are great references to which path we should take to improve and develop.

Therefore we have created such place on our site where players can freely post and talk about such concerns and complaints, where we review everything without leaving out anything.

In this process, we make a list on things that have possibilities, or those that need changes then post our plans every month applying them accordingly.

▲ Let’s use the Suggestion board or Inven Forums to post opinions about the game!

But, as there are changes that can be applied instantly, a few may require longer time. We feel sorry about not providing faster changes despite having many things to consider as we are lacking developers(? Probably saying they’re lacking manpower to bring more contents faster.)

Additionally we are also looking through every Inven Community Forums for monitoring bug reports on report forum, general forum, class forum, etc to carefully checking through so that we don’t miss any of the player’s opinions.  

 

Q. 이관 후 유료 아이템 부분도 제법 많은 변화가 있다. 그중 월간 아이템북처럼 독특한 상품도 있었는데, 다른 형태의 패키지를 고려 중인 건 없나?

(KTERA paid content that NA/EU don’t have. Will translate later for those interested.)

고민은 하고 있다. 월간 아이템북은 모바일 게임의 출석 체크 같은 개념으로 테라를 매일 꾸준히 플레이하는 유저들이 저렴하게 좋은 아이템을 받을 수 있게 하는 것이 목적이었다.

지금은 다소 부족한 부분이 있는 거 같아 판매를 중단했는데, 조만간 상품성을 개선해 재출시할 예정이다.

▲ 구매 가격 대비 쓸만한 보상들로 구성되어 있던 월간 아이템 북!

 

Q. 갑자기 생각난 건데, 가끔 페이스북 이벤트로 지급하는 한정판 피규어 퀄리티가 매우 좋다. 테라의 IP를 이용한 캐릭터 상품도 괜찮을 거 같은데…

(KTERA Facebook event Limited Edition Figures give away(?) Will translate later for those interested.)

아직 계획이 확정된 건 없지만, 분명하게 말할 수 있는 건 테라의 IP를 활용한 캐릭터 상품을 출시할 거다.

사실 테라에 존재하는 캐릭터나 특이한 요소 등 퀄리티 좋게 나올 수 있는 소스가 너무 많아서 뭐부터 할지 고민 중이라는 게 조금 더 정확한 표현이겠다.

그리고 기존에 출시한 피규어는 한정판이기 때문에 판매를 하긴 어려울 듯하고, 새로운 피규어를 만드는 건 고려해볼 만한 것 같다.

▲ 가지고 싶은 퀄리티의 피규어가 제법 많았다!(공교롭게도 다 엘린…)

Q. 그러고 보니 최근에는 알찬 이벤트가 많은 거 같다. 기획 단계에서 어떤 점을 최우선으로 고려하는지 궁금하다.

(About events and such. Will translate later for those interested.)

이벤트는 게임 내 콘텐츠를 도와주는 개념이지, 메인이라고 하기엔 미묘한 요소다.

최근 실시한 이벤트에서 보상을 정할 때 유저들에게 실질적으로 도움이 되고 만족감을 느낄 수 있도록 신경 쓰고 있는 건 맞지만, 이벤트는 어떤 콘텐츠를 어떻게 즐겼을 때 좋은지 가이드를 제시해 줄 수 있을지를 기획 단계에서 최우선으로 고려한다.

주로 즐기는 콘텐츠에 더욱 활기를 불어넣기 위해 이벤트로 관련 보상을 강화하기도 하며, 신규 콘텐츠나 인지도가 낮은 콘텐츠를 소개하거나 활성화하기 위해 관련 이벤트를 진행하기도 한다.

 

Q. 특히 PC 방 이벤트는 단연 화제였다. 무려 15강 철기장 장비가 보상 이었는데, PC방 유저들에게 유독 혜택을 많이 주는 것은 아닌지?

(KTERA Internet cafe reward that gave away +15 starfall for achieving 100 hour gameplay in PC Bang. Will translate later for those interested.)

일단 과거 PC방 이벤트로 +15강 장비라는 파격적인 보상을 준 배경에 대해 이야기하고 싶다.

시기적으로 그때는 장기 휴면, 신규 유저들이 상당히 많이 유입되는 타이밍이었고, 해당 유저들이 게임에 적응하는 데 있어서 허들이 될 수 있는 부분을 낮추고 싶었다.

따라서 일정 시간 PC방에서 테라를 플레이하면 파밍 단계에서 가장 큰 비중을 차지하는 최상위 장비를 제공하게 되었는데 당시 100시간 접속이라는 조건이 과도해 보일 수 있지만, 게임에 익숙해지는 데 필요한 시간과 장비 활용도 등을 종합적으로 고려해 선정한 부분이다.

다만, 기획 의도와 달리 대리 접속이나 아이템 거래 등 좋지 않은 모습도 많이 보고되어 상당히 아쉬웠다. 아마 앞으로 더이상은 +15강급 무기나 장비가 보상인 이벤트는 없을 거 같다.

그리고 PC방 유저의 혜택이 일반 유저에 비해 조금 더 좋은 이유는 플레이를 위해 부가적인 지출을 감수해야 하기 때문인데, 그에 상응하는 보상을 주는 게 맞다고 본다. 물론 집에서 플레이하는 유저분들 역시 귀한 시간을 투자해서 게임을 즐기고 있는 만큼 동등한 수준에서 조금 더 주는 방향으로 고려할 뿐, 불만이 나올 정도로 특혜를 주는 건 아니니 오해가 없었으면 한다.

▲ 참고로 기자는 10시간을 채우고 포기했다…

Q. What about the disappointment due the lack of weapon skins for new classes despite producing new ones?

We’ve already considered this, but we’re not sure when and how we would approach this problem.

 

It’s more of issue on the quality and production rather than developing them, so when the good news come, we will provide info through notices.

 

Q. There have been players questioning why NA or Japan get new costume earlier on. Are there any reason behind this?

NEXON can’t really take part in providing such paid items released on overseas, nor we have the rights.

There are factors such as the country’s preference, moderation and management, so they may release them earlier, but as long as there won’t be any conflicts, they can be applied to ours as well.

 

Q. There have been several Balance Patches. How do you feel about issues that arose from players… (translating atm)

Class Balance Patch is something both NEXON and BHS are focusing on the most.

We are aware of this being the biggest issue, as well as how players have feeling on loss. As we feel very sorry about this, we will try our best to make balance patches without having any classes feel neglected, and invest our manpower in this.

Meaning, although there may be unsatisfied players, we hope that they would understand this as taking a right step toward better result.

To add, we are thinking that this may be achieved around July. We are working on PvP and PvE separately, keeping each class’s distinct characteristics in mind to balance them out. We are especially planning to support more for Warriors who are suffering in the boundaries of both Tank and DPS.

Tank? Or DPS? High expectations on Warrior changes in future

 

Q. We are curious about udate plans for the upcoming Summer Season.

There are successive updates planned, but we will reveal 2 things among them.

FIrst, there will be renewals on existing classes, so for sure there will be changes in skills. Also, we have not decided when, but a new class is also planned to be added.  

Second, we will be providing a whole new PvP and PvE contents for the end-game players. As for PvP, it will be a large-scale environment where beginners or non-geared players can also participate.

Also, the PvE contents will have high difficulty to stimulate challenging elements.  

 

Q. 이제 서비스 이관 100일, 가정의 달 황금연휴가 얼마 남지 않았는데 준비한 이벤트는 없나? Are there any events prepared for 100th day since Service Transfer, and the golden Family Month** holidays are near? 

We have presents prepared for the 100th day anniversary, and release new contents.

Probably those who are solo will like them even more. Anyways, get ready for it.

(Note: For those who don’t know, “100th Day” thing is extremely common in Korea and Japan. I’m not sure about other country but if you know about Korean/Japanese Culture, they take this quite seriously as it is every where. I know in Korea, the baby’s 100th day celebration since historically, infant mortality rate was high so if they survive 100 days they would celebrate… this thing still goes on and I can talk about a lot of things lol. Another thing where you see this very common is when a couple have been dating for 100 days. I really don’t know much about this one but girls tend to take this very seriously. I’ve heard stories about some couples actually broke up for not celebrating/forgetting such event. /facepalm. So if you haven’t noticed already, that second sentence had double meaning.

As for Golden Family Month, if you know Korean/Japanese Holidays:

May 1st Worker’s/Labor’s Day 

May 5th Children’s Day 

May 8th Parent’s Day…. they don’t have Mother’s / Father’s day separately

May 11th Adoption Day

May 15th Teacher’s Day

May 20th Adolescence Day

May 21st Spouse’s Day

Since these holidays are mostly about family, people wish for happiness and health on this month. Hey, you’re learning Korean/Japanese culture!… or other country’s that follow this…)

 

Q. 마지막으로 향후 테라 서비스, 운영에서 사업팀의 목표가 있다면?

유저들이 테라를 사랑해주는 대는 여러 가지 이유가 있겠지만, 그중에서 차별화된 액션성이 특히 강점이라고 생각한다.

따라서 게임의 본질을 헤치지 않으면서 즐겁게 게임을 플레이할 수 있도록 고민하고, 유저들에게 방법을 안내해 주는 게 가장 큰 목표라고 할 수 있겠다.

항상 이 목표에 최선을 다하여 10년, 15년, 20년 후에도 서비스할 수 있기를 바란다.

▲ 오랜 시간 흘렀지만, 최신 게임 못지않은 테라의 그래픽! 이것도 장수 비결 중 하나

Q. 게임을 즐기는 유저분들에게도 한마디 해 달라.

변함없이, 그리고 꾸준하게 사랑해주셔서 감사하고, 앞으로도 게임 안에서 더 재미있는 경험을 해 주길 바란다.

이런 환경을 제공하기 위해 개발사나 퍼블리싱 하는 입장에서 항상 노력할 거고, 나아가 유저 한 사람으로서 함께 놀이터를 만든다는 생각으로 열심히 하겠다.

 

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