Exclusive interview with RaiderZ producer, Rüdiger Moersch. We talk TERA, free-to-play development and modern MMOs.
After launching understated free-to-play MMORPGs for years, Gameforge was thrust into the limelight this year thanks to the long-awaited release of TERA. Bluehole Studios subscription-only game brought new attention to the online games provider, and they’re looking to keep the ball rolling with yet another premium game from the East. RaiderZ seems to bring the best of TERA, including its reticule based combat system, and streamlines it into a new social experience geared towards hunting down massive foes. The best of Monster Hunter and TERA streamlined into one game is a very interesting proposition, but during a recent interview with producer Rüdiger Moersch the publisher formerly known as Frogster were keen to point out that RaiderZ is very much its own style of game. Here’s how our chat went down…
GamerZines: Everything we’ve seen of RaiderZ looks really interesting, but when you see it alongside TERA, it becomes clear how similar those two games are. Is that something Gameforge is necessarily worried about?
Rüdiger Moersch: Only at first glance, believe me. I’ve played both, I’m not only the producer of RaiderZ I’m also hooked on it! This game is so immersive and so much fun going in – the first time you run into the ‘Big Ass Monsters’ it will really wow you. They’re grabbing you, smashing you on the floor, picking you up, chewing you in their giant mouth, spitting you out, kicking you all over the area etc. One of the fun parts is that you can see other players fighting monsters, even if they are on the far side of the map.
Rüdiger Moersch: I disagree. We are putting the focus on the monsters because they’re awesome, but there is so much other stuff in RaiderZ which is also amazing. To give you an example we’ve just put in a new transformation system into the game, where basically, you can transform into any animal, NPC, or monster, including their powerset, via special items. For instance if you change into a bunny, your skillset will be hopping and eating carrots, on the other hand if you change into a Sea Troll you gain his abilities as well.
GamerZines: Does that feed into the trophy aspect of the game?
Rüdiger Moersch: Not really, it’s more than that. You buy a special scroll that allows you to change and from there you can decide when and where you want to transform. The good thing about it is that if you transform into a harmless animal enemies will ignore you. You could transform, sneak into an enemy lair, scout them out and link up with your friends to attack that area later. The other thing that’s cool is our unique crafting system. One thing that has always bothered me about MMORPGs is that when you’re questing, you kill a little wolf and what pops out? A big sword. How did the heck did that sword fit into the wolf and why did he eat it? We don’t have that in RaiderZ, if you kill a wolf you’ll get wolf meat, claws and maybe some fur. If you want to build something and you need wolf fur, you go kill a wolf. If you want to build a shield for example and you need some wood, you go kill a wood spirit – that’s a very logical progression. If you want a rare item, you can click on it and you’ll get a list of monsters who will drop it. The game won’t tell you where to go, unless you’re doing it as a part of a quest, but if you’re just looking for certain mobs you’ll have to find them yourself or ask your friends.
GamerZines: A lot of MMORPGs pander to their players. Telling them specifically where things are and holding their hand so they can get to the max level cap easily. It seems as though RaiderZ doesn’t share that approach. You’re allowing people to explore and have a much more organic progression curve, is that a core principle behind the game?
Rüdiger Moersch: That’s part of it. One of the quests that happens in the first part of the game involves you searching for a certain metal and mining it. You’re forced to explore the environment, but that’s good because you’ll know where to go in the future. That’s the easiest way to encourage players to look around any area and they learning about the game more.
GamerZines: That kind of gameplay forces players to be social more as well which I think for any free-to-play game is always a big hurdle, especially in the UK. Is that a view you guys share?
Rüdiger Moersch: Maybe yes, but I think in Germany it’s a bit different. They take the game to their hearts, it doesn’t matter if they pay or not. Sometimes the guys who don’t pay are even more eager and say, “This is my game! You’re changing my game!” In RaiderZ you have to be social, you have to find a guild or make up one if you can’t find one. You can’t fight the Big Ass Monsters yourself, it’s impossible. We’re trying to come up with ways to strengthen the single-player aspects a bit more. For the big monsters, there will always be a big group needed as they just too dangerous! For certain monsters, players will only be able to peak just over their toe nail; with it being less of a monster and more of a skyscaper – you had better run!
GamerZines: That’s really interesting as a lot of modern MMORPGs, like Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Secret World, place more of an emphasis on players enjoying a game on their own. Is RaiderZ batting against that sort of idea?
Rüdiger Moersch: Yes and no. There are a lot of single-player aspects coming over to MMOs, but let’s be honest me and you we might not always have enough time to wait for a group to show up. Setting up an appointment is difficult especially if you’re working, so you need every once in a while the chance to kill one of the big monsters and get special loot for yourself. Obviously it’s going to be much more fun if you’re doing it in a group, so we have to balance those opportunities.
Company of Heroes 2, Batman: Arkham Origins, Grand Theft Auto V, Watch_Dogs, Beyond: Two Souls and Night of the Rabbit previews.Download Now!