While I’m on the video kick, check out the following video (not by me!)
This is for Perfect World International, a Chinese title that I am… not very interested in. But it’s pretty popular even here in the west. And I’ve got to admire the level of work that they’re evidently putting in to their expansion. Taking the numbers presented in the video at face value, it seems like they’re adding a lot of assets, and not just for this one expansion, either.
- 12 new music tracks
- 700 new models
- 1000 new audio pieces (which I take as “sound effects”.)
- 100 new motion-captured animations
Done with a staff of 40 developers. Now, I’m commenting here with an imperfect knowledge of the game and what all goes into an expansion for it, but just off the cuff, compare it to most (i. e. non-WoW) western expansions. Will, say, Destiny of Velious add as many aesthetic assets to EQ2 as this will to Perfect World? Will Rise of Isengard, to LotRO? If the development teams are of comparable size (as I suspect they are,) shouldn’t it?
One might (rightly) say that all this is art and music and other fluff, and there’s no mention of content. Which would be a good point, but it’s also worthwhile to add to game infrastructure, which can then be drawn upon when developing future content.
I have about a dozen well-worn reasons for not liking Asian MMOs, some of them even rational. I am considered, in some quarters, to be anti-Asian game. But one thing is underlined by the video, that the idea that all free-to-play games are under-developed clunkers is absolute nonsense. Combined with the example of LotRO in the west, we can see that whether a game was originally designed to be free-to-play or not is independent of whether or not it’s well-designed.