WarCry: In a PvP centric game, there are usually a lot of issues with griefing and ganking of lower level characters. How does RF Online attempt to prevent this?
Kyle 'Laeth' Rowley: We don't. RF Online is a PvP game; we're not in the business of trying to sugar-coat the game's core mechanics and preventing players from doing what the game was designed to do. If a high level player wishes to gank a low level player, they can - but to be honest, it's not really something we see very often. More often than not, high level players want to fight against other high level players. You don't gain anything from griefing low levels, so it's not a common occurrence and there are even some guilds that will purposefully hunt down anyone who even attempts to ruin the experience for new players.
WarCry: What can players look forward to in the future for RF Online? Expansions, updates?
Kyle 'Laeth' Rowley: RF Online has a very, very bright future. It's one of Codemasters Online's most exciting products and its only now that we're really seeing the game reach its true potential. So, what do we have in-store for our ever expanding player-base?
First of all we have some rather small changes coming in a new update that should be hitting our internal QA servers at the start of 2008. Further to this, we then have the highly anticipated "Planet Wars" (not final name) update. This update will take RF Online off Novus (the game's world) and into space! This is something everyone here at Codemasters Online is REALLY excited about.
WarCry: You have just made RF Online free to play, while adding a new expansion to the game for free. Are there any plans for paid expansions in the future?
Kyle 'Laeth' Rowley: No, at the moment Codemasters Online have no plans to release paid-for expansions. While paid-for expansions fit very well into some game's business models, we don't feel the need to charge for content in RF Online. When we say that the game is free and that anyone can play it without paying a penny, we mean it.
WarCry: Can you tell us about the new expansion, and what players can look forward to seeing in it?
Chris 'Ulric' Dye: The upcoming expansions promise some huge changes to RF Online; a whole new graphics engine and user interface, new zones / weapons / armours and classes, a whole new gameplay mechanic in the 'Planet Wars' update and much more! Players thought that the Episode 2 update was big, well I'll tell you now - we've got a lot more where that came from.
WarCry: With the game now free-to-play, how do you plan to recoup your cost for running the game?
Kyle 'Laeth' Rowley: All the money we make for RF Online is generated by the game's in-game cash shop. Players have the option of purchasing in-game credits to purchase specific items in the cash shop that can assist them in playing the game.
I've highlighted the word "option" above, because this is a very important fact - players don't need to purchase credits in order to play the game competitively. A very large proportion of the RF Online player base don't use the in-game cash shop and just play the game as it is. Actually, some of these players are the most influential and powerful players within the game.
To sum up, RF Online is a quality game that absolutely everyone can play for free. The simple mechanics mean that it's open to absolutely everyone and with a unique Sci-Fantasy take on the MMO genre; it's a fresh of breath air in market saturated by fantasy games.