We recently had a chance to interview Florensia's team at Burda:ic – about the game, how things are going and what players can expect in the future.
What about Florensia was it that made Burda:ic interested enough to license it for the western market?
What really interested us were the unique look and feel of the title, as well as the strong set of features it boasted. We saw many other possible games, but we had the feeling something was missing, be it a lack of graphical power or features. We were shown Florensia a year ago, and were so impressed with its potential that we licensed it immediately.
How do you think Florensia will do within the very highly competitive MMORPG market? What kind of impact will it have?
Florensia unites many interesting aspects of both free-to-play and pay-to-play games. High-quality, anime-inspired graphics are combined with surprisingly dark and mature content, resulting is a title that appeals to beginners and hardcore gamers alike. A unique dual battle system also allows players to individualize their characters by choosing to specialize in either land or sea battling. Furthermore, future features like sealed items, siege warfare, faction wars, pet system, trading, and instanced dungeons are being developed around community feedback. Florensia is free-to-play, but we aim to have the same level of support that most subscription-based MMOs feature. The website will also support the community, acting as an international portal, offering community features such as blogs, personalized avatars, and rankings. With the close connection to alaplaya.eu, registered users are able to benefit from the free features there as well.
Can you tell us more about the four different base classes?
First of all, Florensia has more to offer than just the four base classes. In August, we are planning to release a class change system that will allow users to change to one of two possible extended jobs at level 40, for a total of 12 different classes. Furthermore, the users are completely free to create unique builds specializing in one of the six stat values and the skills they prefer. Skills often depend on specific weapons, so balancing a character takes some very strategic thinking.
Explorer (can later change to Excavator or Sniper): The Explorer is a swift and rapid gunner who wields either a rifle or dual pistols. With consecutive shots, movement and dexterity buffs, and the ability to wear light armor, they are firmly focused on ranged combat. Mercenary (can later change to Gladiator or Guardian Swordsman): A classical warrior type, the Mercenary can specialize on one-handed Swords / Shield or two-handed Swords. He can either provoke and tank the monsters or act as offensive fighter. Noble (can later change to Court Magician or Magic Knight): As magicians, Nobles need to keep their distance or use their abilities to distract the enemy as they prepare their elemental attacks. They wield either a magic stone called a Cariad or a light Rapier to reinforce their powers. Also able to enslave monsters, the Noble is far more than just the classic elemental mage. Saint (can later change to Priest or Shaman): Unlike the classic buff and heal character, the Saint can is quite capable of defending him or herself with attacks of light and darkness. Since the skill tree allows you to choose both offensive and supporting spells, choosing a Saint doesn't necessarily mean you will spend your time passively healing and supporting other party members.
What can you tell us about the Pirate class?
Unfortunately, our users will have to wait a little longer for the first details on the Pirate class to be revealed. What we can say is that the Pirate is rumored to be a swift and deadly melee fighter, theoretically the ideal counterpart to the heavy-hitting Mercenary.
How does PVP work in Florensia?
For now, there are two basic PVP modes available in Florensia: one-on-one combat and the party-versus-party duel system. In both cases, users or parties can challenge each other directly by activating their PVP mode and right-clicking on the enemy. A Duel Stone then marks the PVP area, with the system automatically recognizing wins and losses. We consider these basic modes to be very important as preparation for upcoming siege, faction, and guild war features.
We've received a short sneak peek on the upcoming dungeon called Avery, is there anything else you can tell us about it?
In the underground below Avery Mansion, Lord Avery built a laboratory to study the magical impact of Sprites on humans. Under pressure from the two Unions who control Florensia, Lord Avery extended the experiments too far, losing control of the magic and killing every person within the mansion. Enchanted by the Spirits, their tortured souls still wander the grounds, haunting those who dare to set foot within its walls.
Players wandering the dark and mystic halls of Lord Avery's mansion will encounter monsters both sinister and bestial, including skeletons, werewolves, vampires, mutated forms of lesser monsters, and a giant boss. Players are discouraged from entering the dungeon before level 40, but that may change with the addition of second classes and the upcoming balancing patch. Once that update adds Monster skills to the game, the harder enemies should make Avery Mansion a much more dangerous place.
And any other dungeons you feel deserve to get mentioned that players might find exciting to visit?
Each island has its own special dungeon designed for players of an appropriate level. Cardiff Island’s Fox Den, ruled by boss monster Silver Vixen, should prove quite challenging to starting players. On Magnel Island, the remains of an ancient castle called Tulach Dungeon contain a plethora of horrible monsters. Adventurous sailors may find their way to the Sea of Bones dungeon, a darkly impressive area with skeletons and sea monsters just waiting to be discovered. Braver, mid-level seafarers may find that the island Hideout of the Pirates of the Black Dragon is just the challenge they need.
Having your own ship is something that is getting attention from MMORPG players across the world, tell us more about how this works, what impact does it have?
Players may currently choose between five ship types, each of which is a small or medium-sized craft. Leveling up on the sea will allow players to move up the naval skill tree and specialize in abilities appropriate to the ship type. Each of the five ship classes, Armored, Big Gun, Torpedo, Maintenance, and Assault, may be equipped with at least nine different pieces, from guns to masts. There are also special parts for each type and special sets for various level ranges. At the dock, players may modify and register their ship, buy food and ammo, and hire a crew as they prepare to set sail. Keeping an eye on details like the ocean currents and the wind, they may either travel in peace mode or switch to war mode and man the cannons against attacking monsters. The upcoming balancing update will diversify these ship types even further.
You say that Florensia will have its open beta sometime in July, can you be more specific?
We are planning to launch the open beta of Florensia on three servers toward the end of July.
Do you have any favorite aspect of Florensia?
As a team, we all like the fact that Florensia hasn’t yet shown its full potential. The game is steadily growing, and comparing the peaceful atmosphere with the sinister horrors of Avery Dungeon should give you an idea of what to expect in the future. Details like the carefully planned updates, the upcoming class change system, the dark storyline, and the dual battle system are very exciting to us.
Siege warfare is an interesting feature, what can we expect from it and how does it work?
We can't disclose too many details yet, but unused islands like Cony or Ron will probably be integrated into the siege warfare system. Besides siege warfare, other PVP features focused on the Unions and guilds are also being planned for future updates.
Content patches for free to play MMOs are often released much later than they are in their original language. Since Florensia is originally a Japanese MMO, do you think content patches will be behind times by a lot or do you have measures in place to release content in a swift manner?
Currently, we are completely in sync with the Japanese version. Even if we have to translate all new content into six, soon to be seven, languages, we will always attempt to stay very close to the original Japanese text. In working with Netts, we have found a company who understands the need of a constant content flow.
We asked you to tell us your favorite aspect of the game, but, what kind of feature do you think will make players stay and really enjoy Florensia, what put it apart from the rest?
Hopefully the new features we announced with the open beta will make players curious. Furthermore, Netts is creating a sophisticated gameplay system with trading, production, and war. These features should give players a varied selection of in-game goals. The three main islands and current seafaring options will get new high-level content as well. With all of these upcoming additions, we think there are quite a few surprises left to attract new players.
How many dungeons will exist when Florensia launch in North America and Europe?
Five in total: three on shore, one on a special island occupied by Pirates, and one at sea.
Florensia sports a dual battle system, what can you tell us about it?
The dual battle system gives players the freedom to choose whether they want to level their character on land or at sea, as well as the ability to specialize in both kinds of combat. The sea system is harder to master, but every player will have to give it a try if they want to visit the other islands.
Exploring "the vast ocean" is emphasized when reading up about Florensia, how vast is the ocean so far, what can we expect from checking it out?
The ocean is indeed vast, and large parts of it remain unexplored. It will take a few minutes to travel between the small harbors attached to each island. The Sea of Bones and the Pirates of the Black Dragon Hideout are currently the only combat-related areas, but more will follow.
What can you tell us about the quests and its system?
The quests are an important part of any game, inviting the users to complete tasks and increase their levels. On the one hand, unique and class-specific quests will guide players through the fields and dungeons as they kill monsters, collect items, lead NPCs, and fulfill delivery tasks. On the other hand, there are “Shell Quests,” repeatable jobs that reward with specific items or money. Shells have to be bought in town and each Shell Quest is designed for a specific level range. We especially recommend the "Start of the Adventure" quest for new players. It is a step-by-step guide to the movement and control systems, handed out by the guild master of each profession.
Rumors say there will be a way to build cities, if true, anything you can share with us?
We would like to let this stay a rumor for now. We’ve started thinking in this direction, but nothing that can be revealed in the near future.
Finally, the pet system in Florensia, could you tell us how it works?
There will be different opportunities to hatch and raise a pet. Once players qualify, they may find pets that need to be rescued from strong boss monsters or received as rewards for special tasks. Pets will evolve and become stronger as they join the player in battle.
We'd like to thank the Florensia team at Burda:ic for taking the time to answer our questions. Hopefully the interview was informative for everyone reading!
For more information on Florensia, check out our Florensia portal
Florensia is currently in Open Beta.