Too often, boss fights in MMOs feel like mindless tank-'n'-spanks, where the only thing standing between you and your spoils are a few mundane button routines. RaiderZ aims to change all that, by turning each encounter into a large-scale onslaught against colossal monsters. You can get a taste of the game's bone-chilling baddies in the trailer below.
To find out more about the game's grandiose premise, we asked RaiderZ product manager Tony Kim about the ins and outs of Perfect World Entertainment's next big thing. Be sure to visit the official RaiderZ website and enter to win in our RaiderZ closed beta key giveaway, then read on to see what kind of intense battles you'll be getting yourself into.
GamesRadar: What were your inspirations when designing the game?
Product Manager Tony Kim: When developer MAIET first started work on RaiderZ, they envisioned an MMORPG similar to the quest mode in third-person online shooter GunZ: The Duel. So while the development team looked at other classic fantasy MMORPGs, like EverQuest or World of Warcraft, it’s really online action titles like GunZ and even console games like Gears of War that really had the greatest impact on RaiderZ, in terms of design.
You can see that influence come to life in RaiderZ’s more action-focused combat system. There’s a lot more timing and quick thinking required when fighting mobs. Whether you’re blocking an incoming attack with your shield or timing your strikes and spell attacks together, we think players won’t just see the difference; they’ll feel the difference when comparing RaiderZ to more traditional titles, where one can just sit back and hit their number keys to grind through the same skill rotations over and over again.
GR: What kind of mechanics set the boss fights in RaiderZ apart from other MMOs?
TK: Boss encounters in RaiderZ are meant to be much more complex and interactive. Imagine a boss that will pick up a party member and slam it into the ground, or perhaps a giant beast that swallows you whole if you’re not careful. On the other hand, that level of interactivity works the other way, too. So a player might break off a limb from a boss, equip it, and use it to do extra damage. Part of the skills available to a player at any given time are determined by the type of weapon equipped, so equipping a boss limb often grants skills that do extra damage to bosses.
The RaiderZ team has a saying, “Hunt together or die alone.” So don’t expect to just humiliate the most dangerous creatures in Rendel by soloing through instances. In order to truly master most boss encounters, players will need to band together in well-coordinate groups, learning each boss’s attack patterns, weaknesses, and strengths if they hope to succeed.
GR: Can you describe your favorite monster encounter, and your preferred methods for taking them down?
TK: I love all of the epic boss encounters in RaiderZ, since each monster has very different and complex attack patterns…but if I had to choose one, I would go with Diago. Players can find this beast in the snowy fields of Mt.Eda.
Diago is no walk in the park. Party members need to constantly stay on their toes, as Diago can hurl huge boulders and leap towards ranged characters with a fierce jumping pounce!
GR: Will there be a grind against less-impressive monsters, or is it all big bosses all the time?
TK: Of course, the large bosses in RaiderZ wouldn’t be impressive if every encounter was a grand and complex battle. Between large encounters, players can follow quest lines and hunt some of Rendel’s less deadly prey in the open world.
That being said, normal mobs also feature what we call the ‘part break system,’ which results in mobs dropping their skin or limbs that players can use as buffs or weapons.
GR: What will players be doing outside of taking down huge enemies?
TK: For starters, there’s RaiderZ’s conquest crafting system. Weapons and armor do not drop as loot in the traditional sense. Instead, as players continue the hunt, they’ll be able to craft more powerful gear from the materials they find.
We like this change because it means you’ll never find yourself stuck with a rare weapon or piece of gear that you can’t use. It also means that players can choose to focus on crafting gear that compliments their character build.
GR: What's the balance between solo and party play?
TK: Players will be able to progress through most of the game on their own. However, epic monsters, the sort of boss encounters we discussed earlier, will pose a formidable challenge to those who choose to solo. It is advised that players form groups in order to defeat these Epic Monsters.
GR: What kinds of classes/weapon styles will be playable? Which is your class of choice?
TK: That’s the real beauty of RaiderZ’s freeform class system; players have a ton of freedom when it comes to customizing the type of character they play. There are four base classes, Defender, Berserker, Cleric, and Sorcerer. However, once a player reaches level 10, they’re able to put skill points in any of the four classes, allowing them to create a variety of hybrid classes.
Want to roll a Defender that wields a one-handed Mace and shield that can tank, but also self-heal? Or a Sorcerer with lots of ranged spells, but also has a sword for some up-close melee skills? You can! And if players want to play the min/max game to build a more pure and traditional character that focuses on the more traditional MMO roles, like a tank, healer, or DPS, you can do that, too.
GR: Thanks for chatting with us!
TK: Thank you! We encourage players to keep an eye on GamesRadar for more closed beta keys and to visit the official site for more details as the August 8 closed beta launch draws near.
Hunters become the hunted
Sounds as if RaiderZ, much like Tera, will offer a new kind of moment-to-moment gameplay for those sick and tired of passively killing monsters in other MMOs. We know one thing for sure: we can't wait to bludgeon a dragon with its own severed wing.
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