Gunz: The Duel Interview: Getting Better With Time
Questions by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answers by Ricardo Mendoza, Project Manager
If you are into online shooting games, you have probably heard of the game GunZ: The Duel, published by renowned MMO portal, Ijji. The game took the English MMO industry by storm when it was first launched back in 2006. With its fast paced shooting action and ability to perform several gravity defying moves, GunZ has certainly earned a place as one of the most exciting MMO titles developed. What has since changed in the last 4 years? Let’s find out.
OnRPG: Hello, I am Fo Po (cinderboy) from OnRPG. Can you please introduce yourself?
Hello Fo Po, my name is Ricardo Mendoza, and I am the Project Manager for GunZ: The Duel.
OnRPG: It has been almost 4years since Ijji started GunZ’s Open Beta in November 2006. In a sentence, describe the ride so far for the title.
It has been an action packed ride with a few bumps in the road, but an open highway ahead of us.
OnRPG: Why did Ijji decide to publish GunZ back then?
Back then there wasn’t really another game like it, and that is true almost 4 years later. I think that is a testament to the original game design and idea. To this day, it is a unique game that is really fun to play.
Gunz Online Gameplay
OnRPG: In these 4years, what were some of the most difficult problems the GunZ team has faced?
I think the most difficult problem is balancing the PvE with PvP. We have some members of the community that only prefer one or the other. Keeping them both happy can be trying sometimes. Coming up with events and content that will make them both happy is one of the toughest challenges we face.
OnRPG: What is the most important change so far do you think that has been made to the game?
We recently added a Duel Tournament mode. Previously, the game was focused on clan battles, and there was no real way to determine who is the best individual player. Now with the new Duel Tournament mode we can settle it in the game as it should be.
Gunz Online Tournament
OnRPG: Is there anything still which makes GunZ unique compared to other new online shooters?
There still isn’t any other game out there like GunZ. The moves and way you can play still hasn’t been reproduced in another shooter game. The combination of moves these players pull off in a matter of seconds can be dizzying to the eye. As far as skill set goes, I think Gunz is one of the top games out there still.
OnRPG: To refresh some details, can you tell us what are some of the different modes players can choose to play in the game?
Well, we separate them into PvP and PvE. For PvP modes you have Deathmatch where it’s every man for himself. Team Deathmatch is where you have to eliminate the other team. Gladiator and Team Gladiator are the same as the Deathmatch modes except that you cannot use any guns; it is sword only. There is also the Clan War mode where clans face each other and are ranked each month.
As for PvE, we added a Quest mode a few years ago, and it was a big success. In this mode, up to four people can join forces and defeat different stages of NPC’s until finally facing the boss. Killing him gives a chance at unique items only available from questing. We also recently expanded on Quest Mode by adding Survival Mode. Here you face wave after wave of NPC’s. We keep track of rankings to see which people have survived the most waves.
OnRPG: What is the learning curve like for players who are new to this game?
GunZ is definitely not for the faint of heart. Learning to K-style (term used for unique combos of moves) takes a little time, but once you master it, it makes going back to standard shooters seem slow and boring.
OnRPG: Being an MMO where lag and ping matter, are there still niggling complaints from players about them?
Yes, there will always be complaints since even within the US not everyone has the top speed connections. We have brought this to Maiet’s attention, and they listened. They are looking at ways to optimize the game and reduce the requirements; so this should reduce the lag complaints.
OnRPG: Online shooters have always been the targets for hackers. Is this still plaguing GunZ?
Hackers are definitely a challenge for most shooters. We still get our share of them, but we are stepping up our efforts against them. The company as a whole is taking a more aggressive stance towards the hackers. We should start to see our efforts pay off soon.
OnRPG: How does GunZ promote team play?
The Clan mode is a mode that requires the most team play. The clans with the best teamwork are the ones that are consistently earning the top spots in the rankings.
OnRPG: Ijji has always been organizing player tournaments for the game, including the recent international World Cup. Why the decision to host frequent tournaments?
The tournaments are very popular. As in any online game, there is always bragging about whom is the best, and the tournaments allow us to settle it. The cash prizes are also an added incentive. With the addition of the Bracket Pick’ems we do for each tournament, it allows those not participating to still be involved and win prizes too.
OnRPG: What are some of the updates planned players can look forward to?
As I mentioned before about Maiet optimizing the game, I think that will be the biggest update as it will make the game run faster and reduce the effects of ping and lag.
OnRPG: GunZ 2 is said to be ready by the end of this year in Korea. Your thoughts?
This one comes up frequently. It is one of the most common questions we get. Maiet is being very protective as far as information goes; so I don’t know much myself. There is definitely quite a bit of anticipation to see what they have changed. All I can do is focus on the game I have right now and work to make it better. When GunZ 2 finally comes up, I hope that ijji will get the rights to it so we can keep the GunZ and GunZ 2 community one and the same.
OnRPG: Are there any events planned in the near future to celebrate the game’s anniversary?
We are still in the process of finalizing it, but we are for sure going to do something.
OnRPG: Any final words for the readers out there, especially to those who stuck with the game all these years and gamers who have yet to try the game?
Yes, obviously, thank you for playing and sticking with us! With the recent addition of GM Dexter to the team, we are planning many fun things and improvements for the future, and we hope that you will stick around with us even longer.
OnRPG: Thanks for your time!