Player housing, emphasis on guilds, the same catchphrase in every MMO trailer “Work together to overcome great challenges”. So what makes Peria Chronicles so special? What makes a game that emphasizes the social aspect stand out in today’s MMO market? Why is the hype still alive after 7 years of waiting? Well, I’m on a mission to find those exact answers. It’s been years since I first saw Peria Chronicles. I still remember the day vividly, when I stumbled upon a Steparu video. The events that happened next took the Western world by storm and introduced it to Peria Chronicles. I’m joined here today with Ama from the Peria Chronicles Unofficial Discord. Ama is a mod and a big-time Peria Chronicles enthusiast.
Squishy: So if I’m mistaken, Peria Chronicles was first mentioned in G-Star 2012. That was 7 years ago. We still have no word on development coming any closer to the West. Is Peria Chronicles still being developed? Or is it just a myth?
Ama: Yep! So you’ve got the history right. Peria was first unveiled as “Project NT” back in 2012. A cel-shaded animation style mimicking Japanese anime, with a colorful, bright trailer video that captivated me immediately.
Now, although we can only speculate about a western release, (there has been no official word on if a translation or western servers are planned or not) I can happily confirm that Peria Chronicles is 100% still in development by Thingsoft. 3 Months ago there was a playable closed beta that a number of us were lucky enough to participate in and get our first taste of the game since we started waiting for it 7 years ago. The beta proved the game to be not-yet optimized and a little bit of a resource hog even on fairly robust gaming setups, but in my opinion, the art and combat seem to live up to what I had been anticipating. The beta did not demo much of the player-generated content creation engine that has been advertised and demonstrated in other media that was released including the 2016 G-star exclusive playable demo. What little of it was included was too poorly optimized for me to test personally. I think the beta was more focused on testing the server capabilities, logon services, combat engine and possible tuning to XP and Damage ratios.
Squishy: The MMO landscape of today is significantly different with player expectations even higher than before. Since the failure of Bless-Online, players are hesitant in trusting Eastern MMOs. What are your thoughts on the market today? Does Peria Chronicles have a chance to combat major MMO titles like FFXIV, Ashes of Creation which already boast a complex player-housing system?
Ama: I’m not sure if it’s even trying to compete with something like FFXIV directly, but I think the right sequence of events could lead to it being extremely popular. Thingsoft would be very wise to spend the extra cash to localize the content for western release as long as they don’t have to sacrifice polish in other areas of the game. With the player-generated cities and dungeons idea, I think it has the potential to be more than traditional MMO housing systems found in the market today. The general impression is that they want to allow players to collect and pool resources together to build more than just a private space that you can fill with collectible goodies a’la Phantasy Star Online 2 and Final Fantasy. You would be able to create a town to house your guildies or design a dungeon for other players to challenge. In an ideal world, it could be a JRPG MMO Mario Maker type of system with hub worlds to hang out in and make friends to form groups to tackle content with. I think even if Thingsoft doesn’t localize the game into English, a fan patch could be created (based on the beta client that I have and have seen code for) to accommodate the more hardcore fans who might want to play, but it would greatly hinder the potential player base in the west.
Squishy: So just looking at the trailer for Peria Chronicles, the combat seems like a mix of a JRPG turn-based and Pokemon. Is combat going to be summoning minions? Can you elaborate on your experience with what the combat is?
Ama: So you are kind of right. There are a few main aspects to the combat that were available in the beta, and encompass what we know so far. The main phase of combat revolves around managing “mana” we will call it. It’s very similar to mana in hearthstone where you have little modules of energy to spend. You then have a “hand” of 7 cards that represent Kirana. A Kirana is like a pokemon or a monster that you can summon from a card. Each card can only be active once at a time. Meaning, if I use a card to summon a tree Kirana, even if the cooldown lapses, that Kirana is still tied to that card. So re-activating that card consumed the mana, and summons Tree, but the original Tree if still alive on the field disappears. If you want to summon multiple of a creature, you need to have two of that Kirana in your hand. (There are also special Kirana cards that summon mutliple of a single small Kirana, kind of like a mini horde, but those 5 mini Kirana are still tied to that card, and activating twice doesn’t give you double).
Now, all of the Kirana have unique effects and abilities and even differ completely in how you use them. The standard type of Kirana is a typical summonable monster. These Kirana usually have some sort of attack, shield or special effect and spawn with a certain amount of health. They can be targeted by enemies and killed. When a Kirana dies, if the card is off cooldown and you have enough mana, you can generally re-summon it. Mana returns to your pool when creatures die, and stays consumed while Kirana is active.
The second major type of Kirana is the transformation of Kirana. These are Kirana that transforms the player into whatever form the card matches. For example, Dragr, the knight Kirana that lasts for around 30 seconds and gives the player a big health pool boost for tanking damage and an active ability to use Dragr’s Axe in combat. There was also the wolf Kirana that on activation would perform a quick set of swipe attacks and then rapidly transform the player back to themselves.
In the field of battle, you might be fighting against wild loose Kirana, or other “summoners”. If you are fighting a Kirana summoner, generally you need to eliminate them, and not the Kirana to win, but since there are shield Kirana, or attack Kirana that will be targeting YOU, there is strategy in which enemy Kirana to focus fire in order to give yourself a window to do direct damage to the player in order to defeat them.
The last major part of combat is the Guardian Kirana. At the start of the beta, the game gets you to choose a Guardian who stays with the player always. There was a tank, a mage and a healer guardian each with different unique on-activation abilities and an ultimate ability to use. There were also grey-ed out and teased Guardians they did not give the players access to. The ultimate abilities use a meter build-up based system to allow the players to try and time the use of it for a crucial moment during fights, but the duration was long enough that you probably wouldn’t get to use it more than once in a single bout of combat, at least so far. Kind of like a Limit break or something like that. Very typical in JRPG’s haha.
Squishy: The most fascinating aspect Peria Chronicles highlights is the ability for players to create their own world through terra-forming and even creating quests. Sounds like a dream too good to be true, players who can create an MMO inside an MMO. Is that still the direction Peria Chronicles is heading towards or have they deviated from that?
Ama: So as I alluded to in a previous response already, this was the major idea from the start with Peria. The part that worries me a little bit is that while the beta still had some tera-forming play available, it was so laggy that I wasn’t able to test it. In addition, to my knowledge, there was no quest creation included in the first test. Obviously, we don’t know what has changed since the 2016 demo internally at Thingsoft with respect to what features have been cut from the game, but I think it would be safe to say we should still expect that stuff to be included. My theory is that the first test was focused on other aspects of the game such as combat and that we will still see more player content features in future rounds of testing.
Squishy: Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Nexon. As you know Nexon isn’t doing so hot this year from a PR standpoint and a quarterly earnings standpoint. Do you think that will have an effect on the development of Peria Chronicles, should we expect an interruption in development?
Ama: Well, from what we do know, Thingsoft has many open job postings on their site over the last year and lots of have been taken down and presumably filled. We also learned that they received money from Thingsoft last year so I wouldn’t imagine the project to be on any type of chopping block at this time. As someone who has followed the game for essentially the whole 7 years very closely I can say that Thingsoft being quiet about the game is nothing new. They have no real leaks and seem to go through 1-2 month periods where they post teaser content weekly for a while and then just disappear again. There were definitely times over the last 4-5 years where we have wondered if the game was being canceled, but were proven wrong time and time again. With the first beta test only having been 3 months ago, I wouldn’t even begin to speculate about that at this time.
Squishy: Last but not least, why do you continue to wait for Peria Chronicles, is the hype still alive? What made you so dedicated to it.
Ama: The cult following this game has and the online community has made it a fun experience for me and I love the friends I have met along the way. It’s almost like waiting for Peria news and information and just the game, in general, has been a game all to itself. It’s one I can’t recommend to everyone, but if you feel like it might be fun, come and say hi! We have events whenever there is new Peria news, and friends to keep each other hopeful during the dry spells where we go months at a time without a drop of new information.
Come for the dream of what Peria could be, stay for the solid community that’s my story. Whether you decide to join us in Agony, waiting for the game, or decide to check it out when it finally does become available, I hope to see you online someday!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. For anyone that wants to look into Peria Chronicles, feel free to check the links below.