Why One Developer Added Marriage To Their MMORPG
The core of any MMORPG, whether it’s free to play or uses paid subscriptions, is community. While loot can be a lure, if you don’t have a friend to fight with you it becomes a grind. When communities form so do personal bonds and some players like to take it a leap further with an online wedding.
In Maplestory players used to collect items to forge rings, now you can purchase an item to propose with. Ragnarok Online requires a huge chunk of zeny (the game’s currency) before you can tie a virtual knot. Elsword from KOG Games recently added a wedding system. Curious about how online marriages work, we asked KOG Games why they added couple and marriage options to their game.
Elsword didn’t originally have a couple or marriage system. Why was this added into the game?
Unlike most other free-to-play online PC games, Elsword has a very devoted community. And, we’ve noticed that many heartfelt connections are shared among players in-game. Players not only enjoy playing the game itself, but they have fun just interacting with each other as well. For this very reason, we implemented features that enhance in-game experience for friends, guild-mates and eventually, couples; incentivizing in-game camaraderie. Launched with this same principle in mind, the Wedding System allows a whole new way for players to connect with each other in-game. KOG constantly thinks about more ways for players to enjoy the game.
In the past, many requests have been made by players around the globe to add this type of system. Finally, we decided it was a good time to include it in the game, in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Players have to purchase Couple Rings to become a couple and then a wedding package to get married.
What’s interesting is there are benefits to being a couple in-game. Players get bonus items and a couple skill that recovers HP/MP. Why were bonuses given to couples?
The Wedding System is made up of several parts, and each part has its own benefit. The Couple Application, Proposal, Wedding Hall, Wedding Attire, and of course the Wedding Skills are all parts of the Wedding System experience. We also provide bonus items to use and other perks throughout the Wedding System process. Additionally, special events such as Anniversaries and even a “Pet Nickname” for your significant other are bonuses that encourage players to stay in “long-term” relationships. This unique, in-game experience provides players the opportunity to create a virtual romantic relationship.
And there are even further benefits to being married. Why did the Elsword team decide to add another level to companionship? It looks like there’s a lot of boosts players will miss out on if they’re not married. Do any of these buffs carry over in PvP?
When you take your Elsword relationship to the next step, get married, and stay together as a couple, the skills of both players upgrade over time. Since character skills are very important in Elsword, it is beneficial to use the Wedding System to your advantage. We hope that players, who haven’t yet used the Wedding System, don’t miss out on the chance to utilize this feature. Unfortunately, Couple Skills and Wedding Skills don’t carry over into PvP.
In South Korea, it’s quite common for couples to game together. I remember visiting some PC bangs (net cafes) that had a small loveseat in front of two PCs seemingly designed for couples. Can you tell us more about how the couple system has been utilized in North America?
It is true that when compared to most other countries, real-life couples commonly play games together in Korea. Keeping that same idea in mind, we hope to utilize the Elsword Couple/Wedding System in North America so that real-life couples can play together. As well, we want to give those players who aren’t in a relationship the opportunity to meet another player online and become a couple in-game. In this case, the game plays a role in bringing those people together. Playing games together provides many players the opportunity to meet new friends and other people with similar interests. I hope there are many users in North America that become real-life couples and make great friends while playing Elsword.
Do you have any stats on how many people accept love confessions? What’s the rejection rate?
We’ve gathered some figures about how many Couple or Wedding proposals are accepted vs. rejected, but we’ve learned that they’re not an accurate indication overall. So, we’ll keep it off the record for now.
Any update on how is Fighter’s Club is doing?
The development for Fighter’s Club is going well. In fact, a new character Carmen was added recently. Closed Beta was successful in Taiwan and there was some great player feedback. We hope to bring and share the same fun and excitement with the North American audience soon.