Auran Fury Q&A Part One
Auran Fury Q&A Part One pc
All the action isn’t just happening over in Tokyo. Joab’s been putting the hard word on Auran about their upcoming Fury.
We’ll be rolling out a series of questions and answers in coming weeks – kicking off numero uno, Joab grills senior Designer Joseph “I like Pie” Hewitt.
GameArena: With the elimination of PvE, what elements have you put in place to help implement the “RP” in your MMORPG?
Joseph Hewitt, Auran: We don’t actually refer to Fury as an MMORPG; we call it a PvPMMO. Its is a “Massively Multi-player Online” game in the sense that you can have a couple thousand players online on your realm at one time, but it isn’t really an “Role Playing” game; it’s a Player versus Player Arena Combat Game.
But back to the point, unless you are actually an immortal champion being born over and over though the course of time, you are ‘playing that role’ in the game. Actually even if you are an immortal champion you are still playing that role in the game when you really should be out training and such so that when the time of the Fade comes around you aren’t recovering memories of sitting around playing computer games!
Seriously though, there is a detailed back-story for Fury and it is laced throughout the game to help you envision your place in the world. For example every time you “recover a memory” (unlock a new ability) you are given a little story page detailing that memory from one of your past lives explaining how you first learned that ability.
By a very strange coincidentce, the people behind me right this very minute are talking about the fact that the back-story link was accidentally left off the website redesign. Hopefully that will have been taken care of before anybody reads this… why don’t you rush over to www.unleashthefury.com right now and check! (See what I did there?)
GameArena:. Do you think that a PVP only style of gameplay is integral to the elimination of “The Grind”?
JH: I remember seeing a Ziggy cartoon years ago that had Ziggy looking at a display for potato chips that read: “Regular Chips two dollars. No Additives three dollars.” The guy standing next to him is saying, “Hey, it cost a lot of money to remove all those additives!”
I don’t think there is anything about the dreaded ‘grind’ that needs to be eliminated so much as not putting it in the game in the first place. What people refer to now as ‘Grind’ is the negative effect you feel when progression has overtaken fun. Having progression is good. It’s a way to earn things in the game which increases your appreciation of them. It helps you form a bond with your character. It also allows the game to teach you things so that you get a chance to learn the fundamentals before you are expected to master the advanced complex details of the end game. The problem creeps in when that progression is artificially drawn out past the point where you stopped having fun. It’s done most often because of the fear that once you finish it and get to the end game you are going to quit playing.
In Fury we have made sure that progression is only as long as it needs to be to teach you how to play and that you aren’t doing anything artificial or outside the focus of the game to complete it. You aren’t killing rats in some guy’s basement to earn some item you need for PvP. You are only expected to be using the abilities associated with a particular school to advance in trials to get to that school’s advanced abilities.
GameArena: How do you feel being PVP only will affect the longevity of the game?
JH: Counter Strike is about seven years old and is still considered one of the most widely played online games in the world and it is PvP only. People often respond to that by saying, “But Counter Strike is a first person shooter!” I don’t see why that matters since the core is the same. The actual game type pigeonhole aside, they are competitive games where you are facing off against human opponents. Fury, just like most FPS games, is also a game where you can log on, jump right into a few Warzones and battle it out, and then log off. On top of that Fury has character persistence, social systems, item trading, auctions, competitive ranking ladders and the Incarnation system where you will always have people coming up with new ultimate builds to defeat yesterday’s ultimate builds.
The only thing that limits the longevity of PvE games is their PvE elements. Once you do a quest or boss raid once there is less fun in doing it the 2nd to 200th time. However; beating Cam in Fury is always more fun than the last time.
GameArena: I know that even the minimal amount of questing within the game is still PVP based. Was it hard to come up with that system?
JH: Yes it was very difficult and honestly we may still not have done a perfect job. The goal that we are trying to achieve is one where you progress by trying to win the Warzone matches, not by anything like spamming abilities or simply killing the most opponents. When everybody in the Warzone is focused together on winning it makes it a much more enjoyable experience than one where some players are overly concerned with progression. The flip side to that being that you should also be able to progress and get loot even if you lose.
I think the one of the biggest faults with it at the moment is the interface for accepting and completing trials and that’s because the current ‘essence based’ model was built right on top of the previous version’s interface. It works but it feels a bit clunky.
GameArena: Where do you think you drew the most inspiration for your gameplay? What games, if any?
JH: The inspiration came from other games where we were being forced to do a lot of things outside the scope of what we wanted to do in order to do the things we wanted to do. For example in both WoW and Guild Wars you had to go through quite a lot of non-PvP stuff before you could really ‘seriously’ do PvP. You had to level up and go through a whole lot of PvE content. In WoW you really only get to the fun competitive PVP stuff when you are max level; so you first have to level up and that can take a while. Then if you don’t have high end gear from high end raid dungeons you don’t really stand a chance; so you have to find and join a raiding guild and then spend a whole lot of time hoping your guildmates all pull their weight to defeat those raid bosses. You have to do all of that when all you really wanted to do was PvP in the battlegrounds. Why?! It’s like your Mom telling you that you have to eat all of your Brussels sprouts before you can have your desert. Well now you don’t have to stand for such tyranny anymore! Fury has NO Brussels sprouts! Fury is nothing but tasty, sweet desert!
A great set of refreshingly candid answers to kick things off with! Stay tuned, we’ll be back early next week with the next instalment.
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