Heroes of Kungfu Interview: Kung Pao Browser Game!
Questions by Vincent Haoson, OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Team Webmmo
Heroes of Kung Fu is a martial arts, browser based game from WebMMO that's been operating for about half a year. We here at OnRPG had the chance to check up on the guys behind this latest martial arts online game. Here's what they have to say about the game.
OnRPG: It's been about 5 months that the game has started operations how's the game holding up?
WebMMO: To sum it up in a word: great. The game has been gathering momentum since the day it opened, and now we're five months in and still going strong. Month five has been our best month yet, and we expect our popularity amongst gamers to keep on growing in the months to come.
OnRPG: How big is the game population? Has it met your expectations? How so?
WebMMO: Our worldwide population is really staggering. The Chinese servers alone host millions of players and we plan on having our recently opened English servers match it.The turnout has been exciting -- definitely beyond what we initially expected. A portion of HoK players are converts from our other Webmmo games, who, upon hearing about the new release, decided to try it out. However, the majority of players are new walk-ins who saw the game banner on related sites and went for it. It was just a matter of time before they were hooked.
OnRPG: It seems that the game has been opening servers in a regular basis, why? (could you elaborate on the answer?)
WebMMO: Multiple servers give players a greater variety of game play. This way they can try out different characters and weapon professions, and switch between them as they learn the strengths and strategies of each one.
New servers are also a big benefit to newer players that are able to grow along with the server. Instead of joining a server with a lot of legacy players hoarding all the top rankings, they start off on a more level playing field and enjoy competing with one for the top spots.
OnRPG: Can you explain how a martial arts game can get itself compressed into a browser based medium and still be exciting for players?
WebMMO: Fun is fun, regardless of technical limitations, and a good game will immerse players in its game world right away. We feel confident about the popular martial arts themes, back stories, characters and action that we have here. We want to combine the competition and style from that period in history with the accessibility of the browser game format.
OnRPG: Can you tell us how the PvP system works in Heroes of Kung-Fu?
WebMMO: There are essentially three forms of PvP interaction. The first is the arena where players fight in a ranking system and are permitted to wear special gear only after reaching certain levels. The second is the guild battles where competing guilds declare war upon each other and must fight to defend their guild hall or defeat the other guild hall's sign. The final method is basically world PvP where players with a hostile status can be engaged at any time by another player.
OnRPG: As the title of the game specify, it seems that the roots of the game is on martial arts so what were the basis of your classes for the game?
WebMMO: When we talk about martial arts, there are literally dozens of different styles to choose from. It would be impossible to include all of them in one game, so we chose six of the most compelling styles available and expanded on them.The Spear - Destruction class is immediately identifiable for those familiar with the character who killed a thousand soldiers in one battle in the epic Three Kingdoms story. And an infamous killer who slays with one fatal blow has got from the Dagger - Assassin class. These are all common occurrences in the Warring States period, so this is a player's chance to see what it's like to be as deadly in combat as any of those hardy men and women.
OnRPG: Is the game more of an action based martial arts browser based game, or more of a strategy martial arts game? How so?
WebMMO: It's a strategy based martial arts game. Most battles are won through better preparation and a deeper understanding of the game mechanics. Since skills and gear play a big role in battles, most fights will be determined by how well the player has managed his or her character's upgrade.
OnRPG: What do you think is the game's edge against the other martial arts client games? Why do you think so?
Webmmo: Our emphasis lies on creating a positive player experience. We often hear chat is much friendlier than a lot of other games out there. That's because we try to create this kind of atmosphere with the support of our CMs. There's also a level of responsiveness and interaction between players and GMs, which can be rare elsewhere, and the players genuinely appreciate this level of attention.
OnRPG: What's currently the most used job class in the game? Why do you think players love that class?
WebMMO: Dagger - Assassin. The idea of a quick and agile character that attacks hard and fast seems to appeal to a lot of players. They don't have the flashy effects of the Sword - Mystery, or the incapacitating blows of the Dagger - Duelist; they are nothing but pure, unadulterated damage. Get hit by an assassin, and you'd be coughing up blood. If you're still alive, that is.
OnRPG: How involved are the players in the game's overall operations? why?
WebMMO: We try to get them as involved as we can. We like to promote veteran players to moderators because they are good at encouraging newer players and engaging senior players with their individual enthusiasm for and knowledge of the game.
Player feedback is also key in our decisions about how to run the game because they are the one's battling with and against each other every day, so they have a fairly well-developed sense about what works and what doesn't. Of course, it's our job to make the final decision, but that's after taking what we're hearing from the players seriously.
OnRPG: How big are you expecting the game to be? Why do you think so?
WebMMO: Really big, no doubt about it.Even though it's not as graphic-extensive as other games, sheer game play alone is more than enough to engage new and old players alike. The system has been designso well that players care more for the numbers that appear in their battle log than for characters and monsters dancing around trading blows.
The average time a dedicated player needs to finish up all possible daily activities without spending extra on hastening timers? Ten hours. But get players involved in all aspects of the game community and player chat and they'll spend twice as long online chatting with the active in-game personalities.
Heroes of Kung Fu pride itself on its community. As stated earlier, it has a unique blend of friendly players and helpful moderators that you rarely find in other browser games. The interaction new players receive from the older ones make for a pleasurable experience and is one of the main factors that keeps them coming back. Game achievements have a greater sense of accomplishment when there are others around to congratulate you on them.
OnRPG: How active are the players in the game? Are you satisfied with their activity?
WebMMO: We're always looking for better ways to increase player participation. Happy players are likely active players, and vice versa. And dedicated players are the lifeblood of a game - they are the ones bringing in new players, supporting newbies, and pushing us to continue developing the game! We like to encourage more and meaningful activity by promoting our events and rewards and developing a positive community for players to be active in.
OnRPG: What other features can players do with the game aside from PvP-ing?
WebMMO: Besides the features already mentioned, players look forward to our instances. Each instance has a different level of difficulty, and requires teaming up with other players to defeat NPCs for a handsome reward. Also, by beating an opponent in the arena, a player has an opportunity to take on a slave who will earn the winning player extra experience...at least until the slave fights back. And players earn different benefits by rising through the ranks in the martial hall and arena tournaments.
OnRPG: Don't you guys run out of events with the game constantly providing players one event after another? (could you elaborate on the answer here? thanks)
WebMMO: While we are holding new events all the time, we are fortunate to have a good team working hard to come up with new and creative ideas. It also doesn't hurt that our players are really good at providing feedback on what they would like to see.
We initiated a regular Trivia Challenge on each of our servers that is really popular with the players right now. And it's a challenge coming up with unpredictable questions every day, but that's also part of what makes our jobs fun - being able to keep up with the players and also keeping them on their toes.
OnRPG: What's in store for the game in the coming months ahead?
WebMMO: Players have a lot to look forward. Aside from the monthly events and activities, the game developers also have a few new things they're planning to add to the game when the time is right. Can't elaborate on those too much right now because a number of them are still in the "should we, shouldn't we" stages. Let's just say players will definitely like what we have in store for them.
Okay, you can stop twisting my arm. New legendary items are being designed for the game. New monsters, new class skills, new special instances, a system to promote veteran players assisting newcomers, an inter-server competition, a more elaborate guild and kingdom system...
OnRPG: Thank you for your time!
WebMMO: It was a pleasure. Thanks to OnRPG and Vincent Haoson for profiling us for their loyal readership. We wish them all the best and welcome any interested gamers to check out Heroes of Kung Fu!