Kingdom Heroes Interview: Ancient Warfare Comes to Life
Questions by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Keith Kawahata, Aeria Games Producer
Kingdom Heroes is an upcoming large scale war MMORPG to be published by Aeria Games. The game is based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. With the detailed and immersing storyline found in the novel, not forgetting the various battles fought, what can players look forward to in this game?
The Closed Beta signup is now available at Kingdom Heroes official website.
OnRPG: Hello, I am Fo Po, journalist at OnRPG. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Aeria: Hi, Fo Po. I'm Keith, a producer at Aeria Games. Great to meet you.
OnRPG: Why the decision to bring Kingdom Heroes into Aeria Games' stable of MMORPGs?
Aeria: We're always on the lookout for outstanding games to add to our portfolio. Userjoy, the developer behind Kingdom Heroes, has a strong track record of creating stable, high quality games, and we're very excited to be partnering with them. Kingdom Heroes offers a number of unique features including guild controlled battleships, tactical soldier formations, and transforming siege weapons, as well as a compelling storyline.
Kingdom Heroes Army
OnRPG: There are several MMORPGs on the market now with large scale wars and also based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Can briefly tell us what sets Kingdom Heroes apart?
Aeria: The Three Kingdoms era is a rich and storied period in the history of Ancient China. Kingdom Heroes is actually based on the earlier sections of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, near the height of the Yellow Turban Rebellion.
What differentiates Kingdom Heroes from the rest of the pack is its unique set of primary game features. Where else can you team up with your guild and attack an opposing kingdom's port with a fully-manned battleship? Where else can a well-placed transforming siege engine tip the scale of an important battle? It's these and other major features in Kingdom Heroes that separate it from other similarly themed MMORPG's on the market.
OnRPG: I have seen one of the most iconic figures, Guan Yu, in the teaser trailer. What roles do famous people from the storyline play? Will they just plainly be NPCs?
Aeria: These legendary figures play an important role in the world of Kingdom Heroes. Players will be able track them down and take them on. If successful, a player can capture the essence of one of these heroes, gaining special abilities and enhancements, even becoming one of them at crucial moments in the game. We're looking at around 12 of these characters at launch, with many more to follow.
OnRPG: What will be the learning curve of the game like? Will there be an in-depth tutorial when players first start out?
Aeria: The tutorial is very well designed; it's both quick and thorough. After character creation, players find themselves in a small village where they have the option of learning about basic game mechanics including combat. Within the first few minutes, players should have a strong grasp of controls and the UI. Once players leave the introductory area, they must fight their way through a dangerous war zone before entering the larger world of Kingdom Heroes.
The Dangerous World in Kingdom Heroes
OnRPG: Let's discuss the game features. There will be 3 kingdoms for players to pledge their loyalty to, Wei, Shu and Wu. Will there be any difference in choosing from either of the 3 kingdoms?
Aeria: It really depends on the server you choose to join. Each kingdom has a starting city that serves as a base of operations for all players within the faction. The remaining cities, villages, strongholds, and ports that make up 99% of the map are dynamically controlled by one faction or another, depending on the affiliation of the guild that controls it. It's entirely possible that the Shu might have the upper hand on one server, while the Wei and the Wu might be more powerful on others. It all depends on which faction comes out on top during Kingdom Wars. We'll be releasing more information on the kingdom system later on.
OnRPG: In ancient China, which the game is based on, there will be an Imperial Court with various ministers and magistrates within. Will there be such a system in Kingdom Heroes for players to become an officer serving the court?
Aeria: There exists a very robust political system inside Kingdom Heroes in which guilds and alliances will control cities, ports and villages growing the power and influence of their kingdom. Players can be appointed to various government positions, construct and upgrade buildings, manage resources and collect taxes.
Yes. Kingdom Heroes offers a robust political system in which guilds can form alliances and work together towards capturing and controlling cities, expanding the influence of their kingdom. Players can be appointed to various government positions, construct and upgrade buildings, manage resources, and earn salaries from merchant taxes.
OnRPG: What are the requirements needed for players to take part in the massive PvP wars? How many players can the sever hold for each war?
Aeria: One of the core features of Kingdom Heroes is the Kingdom War. All players have the option of joining their guild and faction during a war and can collaborate with other guilds to conquer strategic locations, cities, and other territory. The front lines are in constant flux as factions battle with mounts, player controlled NPC troops, siege weapons, and battleships. The recurring Kingdom Wars are open to anyone on each server and can support thousands of players at any given time.
OnRPG: Will Aeria Games have measures to prevent either one of the 3 kingdoms from being overpopulated which will most likely to cause an imbalance during the PvP wars?
Aeria: There are a number of built-in mechanics that maintain a level playing field between the factions. As a kingdom grows more powerful, prestige rewards for defeating one of its members increases. As a result, players, at times, may have some motivation to switch sides and betray their former kingdom for greater rewards. Planned future content includes the ability for very powerful guilds to break away from the three factions and even form their own kingdom.
OnRPG: It is seen on the game's teaser website that players will have the ability to control an army of their own to aid them in their battles. Does this hint that there will be some sort of Real Time Strategy (RTS) element in the game?
Aeria: The player controlled NPC system is one of the most exciting features in Kingdom Heroes. Soldier classes, upgrades, and specializations offer virtually limitless customization of a player's personal army. Formations will also play a key role in PVP and PVE combat with different soldier/formation combinations supporting different play styles. Combinations as simple as ranged classes in the rear and melee units up front, to more complex wedge formations will make strategy a key component to life and death in the game.
OnRPG: What are the few types of mounts which will be available? Will Kingdom Heroes be supporting mounted battles?
Aeria: We aren't quite prepared to release a full mount list at this time; however, there will be a number of different mount types available at launch, including horses, wolves and tigers. Mounts become available to players within the first couple of hours of game play with different types and upgraded mounts becoming critical to success in battle. Mounted combat is also part of Kingdom Heroes with players able to cut down their foes from atop their mighty steeds.
OnRPG: From viewing the trailer, many eager players have been discussing about 2 things, one of which is the siege weapon. What are the requirements needed for players to use this weapon? What role does it play during PvP wars?
Aeria: There are a large number of available siege weapons all serving different functions. Players will be able to man siege weapons on top of city walls to defend from invading kingdoms, lay siege to enemy ports with ship mounted cannons and lay waste to hordes of enemies with large ballistae. There are different requirements for the different types of siege weapons depending on the power and function of the siege weapon.
There are a large number of siege weapons in the game, all serving a variety of functions. Players can defend their strongholds against invading forces by manning these weapons from atop city walls, use mounted cannons to lay siege on rival ports, and lay waste to hordes of enemies with large ballistae and catapults. There are different requirements for each type of siege engine, depending on the power and function of the weapon.
OnRPG: The second most anticipated feature of the PvP wars will be the naval combat. How many ships can each guild own? What are some of the features players can enjoy when onboard the ship? Will players "drown" when their ships are destroyed?
Aeria: Battleships are an exciting and unique feature of Kingdom Heroes. The restrictions on ownership are still in development therefore we will have to hold off on the specific details until they are complete. While on board a battleship players can man mounted siege weapons, fire off ranged attacks, board enemy ships and invade enemy ports. The specifics of each battle will determine the best use of a battleship be it part of a large invading flotilla or a small covert invasion force.
Battleships are definitely an exciting and unique feature in Kingdom Heroes. Guilds can own multiple ships, depending on how they allocate their resources. While on board a vessel, players can steer the ship; man mounted crossbows, cannons, and other weapons; fire off ranged attacks while moving about on deck; board enemy ships, and invade enemy ports. The specifics of each battle will the determine the best use of a battleship, be it part of large, invading flotilla or a small, covert invasion force.
So far, when I've played, I've yet to be sunk, so I'm not quite sure if drowning is part of the equation during ship battles. I'll swallow my pride and allow my battleship to sink next time and get back to you with the results.
OnRPG: I have read that certain players who occupy a city after the PvP wars can claim it as theirs, hence the ability to upgrade and build the city possibly into an impregnable fortress. What more can you tell us with regards to this feature?
Aeria: City ownership and management will be part of the spoils of conquest for powerful guilds and kingdoms. As mentioned previously, taxes, government appointments, and upgrades are just some of the features available to the rulers of a city. Salaries will be available for government appointees and taxes can be levied to improve city defenses and upgrade NPC merchants. Different territory types, like cities, ports, and villages, will offer varying benefits.
OnRPG: After going through some, if not most of the features, will there be an features unique to Aeria Games' version?
Aeria: We are working closely with UserJoy to bring specific content to the Aeria Games version of Kingdom Heroes. I'm not at liberty to name all of these unique features, but some of them include special character customization options and UI changes.
OnRPG: What are some of the activities and events planned leading up to Kingdom Heroes' official release?
Aeria: We have a number of events scheduled to celebrate the launch of Kingdom Heroes with special rewards for closed beta and open beta participants. The Kingdom Heroes community is growing rapidly and we look forward to giving back to our players with rewarding prizes and events.
OnRPG: Thank you for your time! I am sure many players will be looking forward to the game!
Aeria: Thank you, Fo Po. It's been a pleasure.