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Interview: We chat with Petroglyph's community manager about Rise of Immortals

The so-called MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game genre has been exploding on the PC game scene in the past year and later this spring yet another free-to-play game that based on this genre will launch. It's called Rise of Immortals from developer Petroglyph. Using the fantasy world that Petroglyph introduce in its downloadable strategy game Guardians of Graxia, the game aims to take the MOBA game trend in some new directions. It's currently taking sign-ups for its beta test.

Big Download got Petroglyph's community manager Mathew Anderson to tell us more about the game, how it relates to Guardians of Graxia and other features of the game.

First, can you give us an idea of how sales of Guardians of Graxia have done so far for Petroglyph?

Guardians of Graxia had a fantastic release, which is fortunate for any use of the lore and backstory in games like Rise of Immortals. From the moment we unveiled it on GamersGate to its debut a few weeks later on other services like Steam and Impulse, press coverage was all-around positive.

How did the idea come about to expand the Graxia universe for Rise of Immortals?

Rise of Immortals has this really cool tone about it that connected well with both fantasy and sci-fi universes... we had our own fantasy IP, Guardians of Graxia... so we thought, why not? We played around with the lore a bit, reviewed which characters would make good Immortal fits, and discovered it worked out better than expected.

We have seen a lot of these action-RTS games lately. What is it about this genre that makes it so popular right now for PC gaming?

Well, we're RTS fans for sure, but to be clear, Rise of Immortals is not an RTS, it is first and foremost a core MOBA game. It comes with the action packed strategy that you get from a MOBA, and then layers on persistence, a social hub, and even PvE opportunities.

What makes it so enticing right now is the fact that it's easy to get in, very competitive which can be good for those looking for a way to bring the action immediately to them, and well... what other game allows characters that shoot fire magic, look like something from hell, and can be a mean dancer, all in one game?!

What can you tell us about the game's back story?

Rise of Immortals is set in the world of Graxia, 300 years after the events of Guardians of Graxia. There have been a lot of changes to the world since then, as you can image. Crystals are essentially the power of the land with everything relying on them to sustain life. They are dying. Fast forward 300 years and you get the last few Immortals struggling for power in a series of competitions to the last stand.

Why did Petroglph decide to have the game's Heroes increase their levels and abilities with a persistent skill based tree system?

We think it is a natural extension it the MOBA mechanic. It allows players who invest time in a particular Immortal to get a tangible benefit in-game with that particular Immortal (through the discipline tree builds) . I t also allows for more accurate player matchmaking as your player rank is also specific to the Immortal you are playing.
What can you tell us at this point about the game various Heroes?

With MOBA games you have a ton of variety in choosing which kind of characters you can offer the player. With this game being Petroglyph's own IP, we can take this to the extreme. We have s words larger than their Immortal's own body, we have beautiful women in chain armor, super-sized scorpions that can rip another Immortal to shreds, and mind bending Immortals such as Psychozen who can trick the minds of enemy Immortals by telepathically projecting multiple doppelgangers of himself.

What sort of gameplay modes can we expect in Rise of Immortals?

Massive PvP battles, just for starters. Being a core MOBA game, we are focused on ensuring that anyone into MOBAs has our ear on what they want in terms of gameplay. Even so, we're sprinkling in a bit of PvE to encourage others to join in on the fun.

What will the game's maps be like?

Several maps will be available at launch, ranging from the PvP style scenarios familiar to MOBA players (1v1 up to 5v5) to more unique PvE scenarios (1vE to 5vE).

The game is supposed to be free-to-play but will use microtransactions. How will this work in Rise of Immortals?

The core game is free to play, with a set of Immortals available for free to the player at launch. Post-launch, we'll be introducing new Immortals, along with skins and various other items such as persistent potions and elixirs, and these will be offered through microtransactions.

What other gameplay features can we expect to see in the game?

The game offers persistence on the Immortals through our unique discipline tree system, persistent and tactical Immortal and ability leveling system, a unique item upgrade system, a social hub for matchmaking and social interaction, immortal skins for customization, a unique blend of fantasy and tech Immortals and abilities, plus PvP and PvE scenarios.

What's the plan for adding new content to the game after its official launch?

We have aggressive plans to release new Immortals, skins and other content on a regular basis after release to keep things interesting. We already have several new Immortals (beyond the 12 available at launch) planned, and in fact some of them are already playable here in our internal builds.

There is some other unique stuff coming up as well. We're also working on cool new game features, such as tactical pets, tactical structure mechanics and various new scenario types which we believe will bring a breath of fresh air to the genre.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Rise of Immortals?

Rise of Immortals is by, about, and for core MOBA fans. Nothing less, and a little bit more. That "more" should come from the fans though, and will. Shout out your ideas in our discussion forums and social networking sites and we'll be sure to consider what you have to say!

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