Monthly Archives: July 2010

Heroes of Three Kingdoms Interview: Staying true to a Classic

Heroes of Three Kingdoms Interview: Staying true to a Classic
Questions by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Aaron Potter, Product Manager

 

Heroes of Three Kingdoms

 

Heroes of Three Kingdoms is one of Perfect World Entertainment’s upcoming MMORPGs. The game is based on the historical Warring States Period, stamped into the annuals of history in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. How will this title differentiate itself from the massive number of Asian-themed MMOs out in the market?

 

OnRPG: Hello, I am Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG journalist. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hello, my name is Aaron (A.J.) Potter-Product Manager for Heroes of Three Kingdoms.  As a fan of the Three Kingdoms period, when I was given the responsibility to spearhead the effort to bring Heroes of Three Kingdoms to the North American audience, I was thrilled.  I look forward to showing you what all Heroes of Three Kingdoms has to offer.

 

OnRPG: What is the main difference between Heroes of Three Kingdoms and the other games in Perfect World Entertainment’s stable?
First and foremost, Heroes of Three Kingdoms is the first MMORPG in our portfolio that is based on history.  Players will have the opportunity to choose between one of the Three Kingdoms during that period-the Wu, Shu or Wei.  Unlike other MMOs, your “class” is determined based on what weapon type you choose-and you can even go on to master two!  This is also my favorite feature, as it means that I’m no longer locked into a particular role, and I can switch depending on who I’m grouping with.

 

Interacting with players and guilds becomes a very important part of the game, as Heroes of Three Kingdoms has an extensive Territory War system, which will pit kingdoms against each other.  Players will be able to turn the tide of war in favor of their side, earn different titles and even become a general of their kingdom!

 

OnRPG: Heroes of  Three Kingdoms is loosely based on the classical novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. There are many great warriors, leaders and rulers who brought the whole storyline to life. What roles do they play in the game?
Fans of the classical novel, and the Three Kingdoms era, will be able to see their favorite warriors, leaders and rulers throughout the game.  Through the Campaign mode, there are a variety of different tasks available for players to experience-from fighting alongside Zhao Yun to rescue Liu Bei’s son, to infiltrating an enemy’s camp undetected to steal documents.

 

Steal Documents

 

OnRPG: When will players get to choose which of the 3 kingdoms they can pledge their loyalty to? What differences will there be choosing between the 3 kingdoms?
Beyond the ability to acquire unique equipment, joining a kingdom will also grant players entrance into their respective fortresses, where players may acquire a number of quests.  And of course, most importantly, your faction determines the side that you will fight for in the Kingdom War system.

 

OnRPG: One of the main features of the game is the weapons system where players get to choose one of the 18 weapons available to specialize in. Will players get to change their specialization or even master a second weapon as they progress?
Absolutely-players are able to choose from any of the other weapon types at any time.  Besides eliminating the need to create ‘Alt’ characters, this allows the user to create their own hybrid classes, and to form their own play-style, able to adapt to any situation.  Players can ultimately master every weapon, as well as acquire the ability to wield two weapon types.

 

H3K Weapon Types
Weapon Types

 

OnRPG: Developing the skills for 18 weapons must be no easy feat. How many skills are available for each weapon type? Will players be able to master every skill?
In order to allow ease of access-as well as to not appear daunting-there are often no more than 20 actively used skills available to any particular weapon.  Considering the number of weapons available, and the potential skill combinations-it was our goal to allow players to focus on their current objectives, and not on what button to press.  There are, however, many passive skills which augment actively used skills, as well as to provide passive benefits to the character.

 

OnRPG: Will all 18 weapons be available at launch?
There is no set number, though it will likely depend on the status of translation and localization at that point.  The great thing about Heroes of Three Kingdoms though, is that once these weapon types are ready and made available, players will not be forced to restart in order to utilize them, and they may continue with their existing characters.

 

OnRPG: How is the combat system in Heroes of Three Kingdom like? Will it be any different from the normal Point and Click system found in most MMOs?
In terms of the combat system itself, the style and animations are very fluid and natural, as we used motion capture technology to record the movements from a martial arts expert.  As for basic gameplay and movement, players will be able to point-and-click or use WASD-style movement keys.

 

OnRPG: Will there be a system in place to make sure one kingdom is not overpopulated, hence causing an unfair numerical advantage during kingdom wars?
Though there are a number of variables that determine how Kingdom Wars progress, to summarize-each kingdom is only as powerful as the combined ability of all players for that faction.  As players within each faction will have to manage regions that they conquer, neglecting to do so will make it easier for rival factions to take them over.  Further, as the regions grant resources needed in order to fuel the war effort, the more regions that are acquired, the more these resources are stretched, and the more vulnerable they become.

 

OnRPG: Speaking about kingdom wars, what requirements are needed for players to participate? Are the kingdom wars a 24-hour feature or only available during specific times?
In order to allow users on both sides ample time to prepare, there are designated times in which the attacking force may launch their assault when attempting to conquer a region.   However, players may also initiate raids into enemy territory prior to the siege, where they can attempt to weaken their forces and sabotage defenses.

 

OnRPG: Surely a trademark of Perfect World Entertainment games now, is the massive amount of gorgeous mounts found. Being in the Warring States Period, what kind of mounts can players expect?
We definitely have quite a few mounts, but unlike some of our fantasy-based MMOs, the mounts found in Heroes of Three Kingdoms are mostly based in reality.  Players will be able to have a variety of horses, elephants, and even tigers.  One interesting thing is that mounts in Heroes of Three Kingdoms replace the pet system found commonly in other MMOs, as players are able to upgrade their mounts, changing both their attributes and appearance.

 

Attributes Appearance Heroes of Three Kingdoms
Changing mount appearances

 

OnRPG: Can you tell us more about the siege system found in Heroes of Three Kingdoms? Will there be many different kinds of siege machines available for different uses?
Without going too much in depth, the siege system is one of the highlights in Heroes of Three Kingdoms, and players will be able to experience a multitude of siege weaponry available during the Three Kingdoms era.  Players who learn how to best utilize the siege weaponry will have a distinct edge that will allow them to lead their kingdom to victory.

 

Heroes of Three Kingdoms Siege

 

OnRPG: The Battle of Red Cliff is one of the most epic battles fought during the Warring States Period. Naval strategy was used widely during this period to gain victory. Will we be seeing any naval action in the game?
I’m glad you ask, because as you mentioned, naval warfare was a key part of the Battle of Red Cliff.  While the open beta will not have naval warfare, this is something that we are currently looking into, and is definitely something we are hoping to achieve in Heroes of Three Kingdoms.

 

Naval Action Heroes of Three Kingdoms

 

OnRPG: Players will also get to conquer cities found in their own kingdom. Is this part of the PvP features found in the game, like a territorial guild war?
Yes, the territory-or Kingdom War-system revolves around the conquering cities, constructing fortifications, managing their resources, and defending them against enemy attacks.

 

OnRPG: There will be a Ranking System found in Heroes of Three Kingdoms. Does this mean players can actually serve the imperial courts of their respective kingdoms? What new features will open up to such players?
Yes, players who gain higher reputation and respect through natural game progression will get special privileges-such as titles or items.

 

OnRPG: We have been talking mostly about kingdom wars and PvP. Will the PvE system found in Heroes of Three Kingdoms as exciting as PvP?
The highlight of PvE definitely revolves around the Campaign system, where players may participate in historical events, each with a variety of objectives and different play-style.  With roughly 75 to choose from, these Campaigns serve to both retell the story of the Three Kingdoms, as well as to introduce a new and unique gameplay feature.

 

Gameplay Feature
Campaign System

 

OnRPG: What are some of the events planned as the game gets ready for an official launch?
Along with the typical closed beta events, we’re actually giving away $1,500 worth of prizes to our players who participate in the closed beta.  All they have to do is redeem a closed beta key for Heroes of Three Kingdoms between now and July 27, 2010. There are some great prizes ranging from the latest Kindle DX reader to copies of John Woo’s ‘Red Cliff’ movie.  The only bad thing is that I can’t participate!

 

OnRPG: Thank you for your time! 

Aika Online Review: PvP Tour with GMs

Aika Online Review: PvP Tour with GMs
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Tour guides: GMLingo and GMAugury

 

Aika Online is a free-to-play MMORPG with a strong emphasis on Player vs. Player (PvP) content. Players can create characters with allegiances to five different nations and compete in small-scale battles for glory and bragging rights, or engage in huge 2000 player wars that could shape the face of an entire nation. In this tour, we’ll be taking a quick peek at some of the PvP modes that Aika Online has to offer, including Relic Wars, Battlegrounds, and the Aitan Arena.

 

To be honest, when the tour first got started, I was feeling a bit nervous since this was my first time covering an event. I had the feeling that would miss some important bits information or something, but as we got the ball rolling, I felt more and more comfortable about the whole thing. So for starters, I met up with GMAugury to take a look at one of the first PvP event of the day: The Battlegrounds.

 

Battlegrounds

The battlegrounds is a straight up team battle where players of each nation can join up with each other and set up battles against other players with several different match options. Players will earn points for defeating enemy players and the first team to reach the target score wins. Setting up matches in the battlegrounds uses a room based system which is simple and easy to use for creating and joining matches.

 

Aika Waiting Room
Battlegrounds waiting room

 

When I entered the first battlegrounds match, I quickly realized that I had forgotten to pick up some skills for my warrior. Luckily, I was able to make do without them thanks to the party alliance that was formed during the beginning of the match. My team was primarily fixated on rushing the other team down, and it worked to some degree. With my warrior, I attempted to go Rambo on some of the enemies and was able to take down a couple of them before falling to my doom.

 

Aika PVP
Aika PVP

 

My team ended up winning the match with a very strong lead and I managed to snag some honor points on the side. Honor points can be used to earn extra EXP, special equipment and more, so players that constantly use the battlegrounds can earn lots of great benefits for their character.

 

Next event up: Relic Wars

 

Relic Wars

Relic Wars is the most popular PvP event in Aika Online, where nations go head to head in large-scale wars to control objects called relics. Nations that have control over these relics can receive many different kinds of buffs. The buffs received from these relics can be stacked, so nations will do whatever it takes to control as may relics as possible.

 

During the first half of the relic war, I was greeted by Lord Marshall Lashen of the Alethius nation who gave me the basics of warfare. Speaking of which: Lord Marshals are the leaders of each nation. They control tax rates, relic upgrades, nation alliances and more. Essentially, their decisions can become major influences for the well being of each nation. Lord Marshall Lashen has been a part of Aika Online since closed beta testing and really knows a thing or two about how relic wars typically go down.

 

When the relic war began, Lashen instructed everyone to head straight for the temple at the Ruins of Algon. Unfortunately for me, I ended up heading for the temple at Tabaza, instead. GMLingo then ported me over to the ruins of Algon so that I could witness the mayhem. Players with alliances with other nations were gunning for the relics and each other. Even during the mass mayhem of a relic war, Lashen was calm and collected when giving orders (especially considering that he was working in the front lines of the war, too!). Lashen then redirected all units to head for the temple at Tabaza and we were able to capture the relic with ease.

 

Aika Battle
Relic Warfare

 

After we captured the relic at Tabaza, Lashen ordered all players to rush back to the Amarkand Temple as the nation of Vanov was attacking a previously captured relic. (or was it the Algon Temple again? I’m not sure.) The confrontation with Nanov was fierce. Swords and shields clashed, magic was cast all over the place, and soldiers were dropping like flies. Trying to pick out enemies in on the battlefield was fairly difficult for me, but I would later figure out that I could have simply used the TAB key to locate and target the closest enemy. Despite the hectic action taking place, I was able to pick off a few players and assisted my allies to re-capturing the relic.

 

Last event: Aitan Arena

 

Aitan Arena

The Aitan Arena is another team vs. team based PvP mode with some special conditions. First off, players of the same nation compete with up to 200 players on teams of two. Unlike the battlegrounds, if your character is defeated in the Aitan Arena, you’re out for the rest of the match. However, the rewards of surviving and defeating other players in the Aitan Arena can be great, as you can earn tons of honor points, medals, and items. These Aitan Arena battles are held twice a day from the PvE channels and anyone over level 11 can participate against others of equal level.

 

Since the Aitan Arena would be the last event I would participate in, I decided to have another player tag along for this one. I asked GMLingo if I could bring friend who was a fairly active Aika online player (level 37 spellcaster) to join me in the Aitan Arena. GMLingo agreed and warped my friend over to our position in a flash.

 

Both my friend and I joined the red team for the Aitan Arena. We didn’t really have a plan or strategy going into the battle, so we both just winged it and rushed in as soon as the doors swung open. As the battle commenced, I noticed that both teams were running around in a huge circle formation against each other. I wasn’t too sure of either teams’ planning behind this strategy, but I went with it anyway.

 

Aika Aitan Arena
Aika Aitan Arena

 

After a few minutes of running around in circles, I ended up stepping out of line. I ended up getting attacked and defeated by an enemy rifleman. As I watched the rest of the match with my lifeless warrior on the ground, my spellcaster friend managed to do significantly better and even managed to get a few kills in before getting thunder-shocked to death, Sith lord style.

 

Tour wrap-up

After all the events I participated and witnessed, my impression of what Aika online was all about was clear: PvP is everything. With the Battlegrounds, Relic War, Altar war, Castle Siege and Aitan Arena, Aika Online tailors to the most hardcore MMO PvP fanatics out there, and with the recently released “Ashes of Betrayal” expansion that features new skills and equipment, new additions to relic wars and a new nation balancing system, Aika Online’s PvP aspect will be greater then ever.

EQ2 Jumps On The F2P Bandwagon

EQ2 Jumps On The F2P Bandwagon

OnRPG and its loyal readers knew it already but it seems more and more large companies are picking up on this fact as well now: Free 2 Play is where it is at!

Sony Online Entertainment informed us that a new free adventure service is coming to players worldwide with the release of EverQuest II Extended, offering all of its content absolutely free.

Everquest 2: Free Adventures

Extended joins the highly successful EverQuest II live subscription service, and together, provide EQII players with a choice of either a subscription-based or free-to-play business model — two distinct experiences operating in parallel, a first in the MMO industry!

“As the digital entertainment market evolves, SOE is focused on continued innovation in content delivery that best fit the needs of the growing consumer base,” said Sony Online Entertainment President, John Smedley. “Our goal with Extended is to offer players an alternative to our current subscription program that gives them the option to choose a program that best fits their play style.”

Extended provides access to premium subscription-quality content through free and optional paid membership levels.  Powered by an all-new web-based download application, new and veteran players alike can experience the excitement and depth of EQII’s content without a daunting installation or a massive download.  Players can register within minutes, download the client to join other people in an epic journey, and launch into adventure in a fantastical online 3D world.  Extended is the ultimate MMORPG experience. Excitement with every breath and adventure around every turn is now available for free!

“The very nature of an MMO is change, and the decision to create Extended was fueled by evolution of the industry landscape,” said EverQuest II Producer, David Georgeson. “By offering two services side by side we have given the power to our players to determine the program that best fits their game play style.”

Extended players will finally experience the vast depth of content only available in EverQuest II without a subscription, credit card or software purchase. Extended will include free access to all EverQuest II game zones through The Shadow OdysseyTM. Players will be able to purchase power-up potions, armor, classes, races, weapons, mounts and more through the marketplace.

Everquest 2 Extended Membership Matrix

It seems like Sony is trying a fresh new look at the F2P market. We do wonder if F2P players will accept that they will not have any customer support in EQ2 while most of the F2P competition does offer this fairly basic service!

MicroVolts

MicroVolts is a free-to-play online multiplayer third person shooter with cartoon style graphics. It includes deep customization options, tight controls, excellent gameplay mechanics, social features, and impressive visuals.
Players have full access to 7 different types of weapons during a match. All weapon types are available to any player, not being tied down to a specific class. Being able to quickly switch weapons to suit the current situation in a match is a key aspect of gameplay.

Story:

 
For ages, a secret battle has been waged, going unnoticed right in our own backyard.

No one knows for sure when or where the first toy declared war.

Rumor has it that their uprising began with four original limited edition figures, code named MicroVolts.

Naomi, Knox, Pandora, and C.H.I.P. were the prototypes. Battle lines were drawn, and they were soon joined by an endless number of modified versions. Now, toy figures around the world are engaged in all out war for valuable battery resources and supremacy of the Micro World.

All we can do now is stay out of their way and wait for a champion to be declared.

The Cost of Keeping Players in Check

The Cost of Keeping Players in Check
By Neil Kewn (Murxidon), OnRPG journalist

 

It is doubtful that any player reads the Terms of Service or End User Licence Agreement when signing up to an MMORPG. The endless scroll of player obligations and legal nothings is enough to put anyone off their game. We all know the rules by now. Be nice, play nice, don’t gank people. We are also petrified of breaking the rules. The punishments some companies dish out for disregarding the terms of use are just downright cruel! But, unfortunately for the humble MMO player, that isn’t going to stop scammers from creating new opportunities to wreak havoc on your online world.

 

Those rules you never read

Did you know that it’s against the rules to embarrass another player in Warhammer Online? Or that you are not permitted to do anything that is against the “spirit of the game” as defined by the developers? Vague will be too much of an understatement to describe some of the rules companies implement into their code of conduct. But that doesn’t really matter to the average MMO Joe, the faster they can scroll through the agreement and hit that greyed out “Accept” button, the better.

 

Cost Rules
Scroll… Scroll… Scroll…

 

Yet breaking a rule that gets our account suspended is something we all want to avoid. We just assume we know the rules and get on with our virtual lives. It’s no surprise that people are going to cash in on laziness by targeting players who don’t know their ganking from their spanking. If you’re new to a P2P MMO, that’s just one more juicy credit card assigned account for someone to try and snatch.

 

When rules attack!

RuneScape is the world’s most popular free MMORPG, and has attracted some of the smartest, most daring villains the MMO-sphere has to offer. Gold selling is all well and bad, but when players start using the rules put in place to protect players from doing the exact opposite, the game changes.

 

RuneScape has very strict rules that ensure players are kept in check. A mandatory chat filter replaces anything that can be deemed remotely offensive with a row of asterisks. The game is youngster-friendly, that’s for sure, but it’s also notorious for its scams. The chat filter proved to be the downfall for many an honest player in the end.

 

“Look! Jagex now blocks your pass in chat! *******”

 

That quote, however unbelievable it may sound, has been a common sight in the towns and cities of Gielinor for many years. Painful chat encounters between dastardly felons and the melons that fell for it was the highlight of any levelling session, and is not something I would ever fall for. I mean, come on. Who would, right? Anyway, their items were swiped before you could say password change. I mean, pass change. The term “password” is banned in RuneScape.

 

Imitation is the most sincere form of scamming

Staff impersonation is common in a lot of MMO games. Whilst being spoken to by an actual staff member from your favourite game is startling, it’s more surprising when they start prying for your password. The fear of having your level 40 warrior taken away from you because you broke some vague guideline referenced in a rulebook you haven’t read (but said you did) is too much to handle for some.

 

The way the impersonators go about their goal of, well, stealing from you, can be quite ingenious at times. I was once fooled into believing I had been approached by a GM to take part in an in-game satisfaction survey. I happily obliged but eventually realised where it was headed, and it wasn’t a place that offered me a month’s free subscription.

 

Capitalising on people’s refusal to read agreements is an interesting tactic, but a seemingly effective one with the amount of phishing e-mails that get forwarded my way. Phishing is the practice of forwarding e-mails that replicate something they’re not, in order to solicit personal information from people. Common messages for MMO players range from “suspicious account activity requires account verification” to the more sneaky “policy updated, log in to view changes”. 

 

No doubt many of you have received a dodgy looking e-mail in your inbox one morning, blabbering on about your account’s security being compromised and ordering you to click this link or the world will end. Unfortunately, the less experienced players can often fall victim to these genuine looking articles.  The like of which cannot be seen below.

 

Cost World of Warcraft Scam
At least I don’t have to buy a Celestial Steed now

 

The people who have real authority

I was surprised to find that my former college tutor was a member of Jagex, the masterminds behind that popular browser-based MMORPG RuneScape. Although not as developer, he had a far more interesting job. Steve was the person who had the task of sifting through thousands of user generated reports that were sent in each day from players.

 

“Reports” in RuneScape are records of ingame incidents. The hard-to-miss Report button on the game’s UI can be used to tell Jagex about gold sellers, account scammers or just generally bothersome players (personally my favourite use for it). Steve went through almost 400 individual reports every hour. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he detailed how the seemingly endless flood of complaints became tiresome. The only way to efficiently combat the plethora of the good, the bad and the gold sellers was by sifting through by keyword. “Gold selling”, “scamming” and “password” were the most commonly seen, and usually he wouldn’t give a second thought to dropping the ban hammer.

 

He showed dismay at the amount of player’s submitting reports on such a regular basis. The sheer number of password scams and staff impersonators gave a clear indication that even in the most family friendly MMORPGs, players are still susceptible to the most common scams. It’s up to the developers to take control of their Ts&Cs, end the endless EULAs and condense that Code of Conduct. Players need to know the rules; otherwise it’s the scammers who benefit. 

Hero 108 Interview: The Winning Formula

Hero 108 Interview: The Winning Formula
Questions by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Kevin Crawford (CremeBrulee), Product Director, Gamania Digital Entertainment (US)

 

Hero 108 is an upcoming action MMO developed through the joint efforts of Taiwanese developer Gamania and Cartoon Network. A similarly named cartoon is currently shown on Cartoon Network in several countries, including North America, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

 

Hero 108’s storyline is loosely based on Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of China. In this interview, we will be learning more about the title and what it has to offer to the MMO players.

 

OnRPG: Hi, I am Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG journalist. Before we start, can you please introduce yourself to the readers.

Kevin Crawford: Hello there,  I’m Kevin Crawford (CremeBrulee) from Gamania Digital Entertainment (US).  I’m a little bit Moderator, a little bit Game Master, a little bit Product Director, and a whole lotta awesome!  Not really, but I like to puff myself up a bit. *Stares deeply into hand mirror*.  J/K!

 

Hero 108 online  

 

OnRPG: Gamania is a big MMO publisher in Asia, particularly in Taiwan and Hong Kong. How did the collaboration with Cartoon Network come about, and why?

Kevin Crawford: Apart from licensing and developing popular online games, Gamania also began entering the animation industry in 2004 by developing original content through the Gamania Creative Center (GCC). The goal was to maximize the value of original content through animation, games and franchising, in order to realize the vision of making Gamania a platform for digital entertainment.

 

Hero 108 was also selected for broadcasting by the US Nicktoons Film Festival in 2004 and chosen for the 2004 Taiwan International Animation Festival. That was also when we got the opportunity to partner with MoonScoop Entertainment and co-produce an animated series based on Hero 108, along with Cartoon Network UK. The core content, story and characters were developed by Gamania in order to maintain its high level of originality.

 

So the MMO was actually based on the cartoon, so that kids of all ages from around the world would be able to have fun playing the Hero: 108 Online game after watching the Hero: 108 cartoon!

 

OnRPG: Hero 108 was created by Moon Scoop, a company from France. With the three companies primarily based in three different regions – Europe, North America and Asia – how hard was it to communicate with each other and develop the game?

Kevin Crawford: You got the three continents right, but not the companies in each continent! To produce Hero: 108 the cartoon, Gamania Creative Center worked with Cartoon Network UK, and Moonscoop Entertainment in the US to create the storyline, production of the cartoon. The MMORPG, Hero: 108 Online, was developed solely in Taiwan by our subsidiary company, RedGate Games. 

 

Hero 108 Combat 
Combat in H108

 

OnRPG: The game looks really colorful (in a good way) and cheerful. Is there a specific age group Gamania is targeting? Will the bright nature of the game keep older and more mature gamers away?

Kevin Crawford: Well our core target demographic is 13-16 year olds but we’re pretty sure anyone can jump in-game and have some fun.  I think you’ll find some features in the game that can cater to the casual, the hardcore, the young, and the “not-quite-as-young”.  Who doesn’t like pretty colors?  Skittles are colorful.  I like Skittles. I like turtle… tanks.

 

OnRPG: I was looking at some of the screenshots and I thought I saw gourd tanks attacking each other. Even the characters look really, really cool! What was the mindset applied when designing the game?

Kevin Crawford: The Redgate Games team in Taiwan really wanted to kick “Plain Jane” out the window and step it up a notch while still holding true to the show.  Everything is extremely stylized which sets Hero: 108 Online apart.  Quirky characters, interesting storylines, and fast-paced action-packed gameplay were top priorities in the development phase.  As we add additional content, we’ll stick to that winning formula to provide non-stop fun for our fans.

 

OnRPG: Hero 108 is loosely based on Water Margin, where the main characters are a group of 108 renegade heroes. So will there be 108 playable characters to choose from in the game?

Kevin Crawford: 108?!  Uh oh, time to call up the dev team.  I think we came up a little short.  Heh.  The game and show are very loosely based on Water Margin and really focus on the exploits of the First and Second Squad, which brings us to a total of 8 playable characters at the launch of the game.

 

H108 character
Character overview in Hero108 

 

OnRPG: How is the character progression? Will players be able to add to their stats and choose skills to learn upon reaching a new level?

Kevin Crawford: You betcha!  As players gain levels, either new skills or new ranks of existing skills will be available to purchase with in-game currency which will enable the characters to learn those skills.  Each character has certain base stats which can be modified by wearing gear (armor, accessories, etc).

 

OnRPG: Will Hero 108 have an equal mixture of both open Player Vs Environment (PvE) and instances? Will there be a big difference in terms of experiences and drops between the 2 areas?

Kevin Crawford: Yep.  The open world PvE is all about questing and exploring the environments of the different animal kingdoms while the mission instances are all about teamwork, strategy, and accomplishing tasks in groups.  The drops tend to be better in the instances as the mobs are a bit tougher.  You will notice the experience is better while trouncing enemies with your friends.

 

OnRPG: Let’s move on to the game features. Mission instances are a staple in most MMO titles. In Hero 108, up to 8 players can form a party and challenge the mission instances. How will the instances be structured? For example, will there be different level of difficulties?

Kevin Crawford: Now we’re talking about my favorite part of the game!  These missions are really cool because they all have different objectives and you’re racing against the clock to complete them.  The rewards are great (experience points, money) and you have to work as a team.  I can’t tell you how many times we thought it would be a breeze to shoot through some of them, by trying to berserk the place, and we ended up getting ripped apart by the mobs and missing the deadline by a mile.  Group instances become available by level so make sure you take advantage of them while you level up!

 

OnRPG: I read that no usage of the mouse is needed, as players only need to use the keyboard to play the game. In the MMO market, games usually have a system which utilizes both the mouse and keyboard. Why the decision to do so with Hero 108? Will there be an option to use a mouse or even a gamepad?

Kevin Crawford: Mouse, gamepad, keyboard, whatever you want.  Hero: 108 Online fits your gameplay style.  We try to focus on touting the full keyboard option as it’s less of a system shock for those youngins coming over from console to try out their first PC MMO experience.  That being said, the more hardcore will tend to use the mouse a bit more while those that wish for a more arcade-y (is that a word?) experience will tend to try out their gamepad with the game.

 

Hero 108 fighting area
Fighting zone in Hero108 

 

OnRPG: What are some of the guild features you can tell us? Will there be any unique guild features compared to other games?

Kevin Crawford: Members can hold different positions within a guild that allow them certain privileges and authority.  For example, there are these really awesome “calling bomb” items that allow you to call upon one of the animal kings to assist you in battle.  They come in different levels of power and effectiveness depending on which Raid Boss they drop off of.  Certain higher level bombs require the player to be of a certain position in a guild in order to use them.  Your position in the guild will also grant you certain permissions such as inviting members, disbanding, etc.

 

OnRPG: Are mounts only available to players who are in a guild? I read that mounts will increase a player’s movement speed and defense. Will we be seeing mounted combat in the game?

Kevin Crawford: Nope, you don’t have to be in a guild but there are a few perks to getting grouped up.  There are some really special mounts that become available to leaders of a guild when a guild reaches a certain level.  They are really eye-catching and will get you some “Oohs” and “Ahhs”.  As for mounted combat, not at launch, but we’re always looking for ways to spice up the game in future expansions.

 

OnRPG: I understand that Hero 108 will be using a micro-transaction system (Free to Play with cash shop). How will the cash shop items affect game-play between the bigger spenders and the non-spenders?

Kevin Crawford: We definitely didn’t want the game to be Free-to-Play but Pay-to-Win, so the items that are purchasable are more “convenience” and “vanity” type items that will enhance an individual’s gameplay experience.  The items are not geared to give you an unfair advantage in PvP combat, nor do we directly sell weapons and armor as that would unbalance gameplay.

 

OnRPG: Will there be any Player Vs Player (PvP) features found in Hero 108?

Kevin Crawford: But of course!  PvP is however a more advanced combat system where there are risks as well as rewards.  If you are defeated in combat within designated “arenas,” there is a chance that you will drop gear/items.  On the flip side, that shiny new weapon that the n00b in the corner is wielding does look very attractive and would look very nice in your inventory. J

 

OnRPG: According to reports, there will be Facebook and iPhone versions of Hero 108. Will they somehow be tied in with the client version?

Kevin Crawford: We’re still evaluating all of the possibilities of Hero: 108 on multiple platforms.  I can say that we have some Hero: 108 iPhone mini-games on the way to the App Store that will tie into Hero: 108 Online.  Shhhh, it’s a secret!

 

OnRPG: How long are we away from an Open Beta? Are there any events and activities planned leading up to the official launch?

Kevin Crawford: The Early Access Open Beta went live on June 26th and a tentative full-scale Open Beta launch will take place in early July.  Once we’ve got everything fine-tuned like a well-oiled machine, we’ll open up our Premium Item Shop for all to enjoy.  Throughout Open Beta we’ll be holding events run by our Game Masters along with fun and tomfoolery on our official Hero: 108 Online forums.

 

OnRPG: Thank you for your time, and I am sure the readers will be looking forward to a smashing good time in Hero 108! 

Blade Wars Token Shop: Variety of New and Exciting Items!

Blade Wars Token Shop: Variety of New and Exciting Items!

 

ChangYou.com (US) Inc., today announced that they will be celebrating the grand opening of the Blade Wars “Token Shop” on Aug 6th.  The token shop aims to offer Blade Wars players a variety of items to trick out their characters and boost their game play. “The grand opening of the Blade Wars Shop is finally upon us,” says Angie Canary, Blade Wars Associate Producer. “As a special thank you, players who helped out in closed beta will get a special surprise when our token shop goes live.”

Blade Wars is an innovative free-to-play (F2P) MMORPG set in ancient China. Players can expect to dive into fierce battles and plunge through a myriad of unique, story-driven quests set in the Kung Fu world. Play as one of the five classes – Warrior, Knight, Assassin, Shura, or Warlock and explore a visually stunning world of beauty with otherworldly inhabitants, mysterious enemies, and ancient secrets. Blade Wars allow players to strategize with more than 398,000 kung fu moves and 99 customizable combat styles.

Players can look forward to new and exciting items like the Solar Jade, Holy Dragon, and a super cool Tiger mount. The Token Shop is focused to provide players with unique fun accessories, consumable, and rare mounts.

 

Blade Wars Dragon Pet
Holy Dragon 

 

Token Shop:

Solar Jade – A magic stone that gives you double Exp for 1 hour

Holy Dragon – Summons a dragon that grants an extra 255 carrying capacity

Tiger – A mount usable by all classes. Increases movement speed by 80%

 

To see more items in the Token Shop, please visit the Blade Wars Token Shop.

 

Tiger Mount

Rappelz SEA

Rappelz, now on its sixth epic Ressurection, is a unique, medieval fantasy MMORPG based on Might and Pride. Three races are bound for the mission- Gaia (nature), Deva (light) and Asura (darkness).

Rappelz also highlights its trademark, the in-house patterned pet system which allows regular pets to be significantly useful to their master. Only in Rappelz can these special allies grow, train and eventually fight along with their master.