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Pirate King Online Interviews: Rivai Adidharma & Eugene Koh

By Martin Ressier on October 16, 2006

Two of the men behind Pirate King Online answer MMORPG.com's questions

Rivai Adidharma and Eugene Koh of Pirate King Online took some time recently to answer a few of our questions on what exactly their upcoming MMORPG will feature. Martin Ressier did the interview.

MMORPG.com:Approximately how much work is hidden behind the pretty face of Pirate King Online? I mean like how long it took to program it, how many people are working on the project and so on.
PKO Team:

Pirate King Online project started from the beginning of April 2004, so it has been two and half years from the conception of the game to the closed beta launch of the game. There are dozens of programmer, graphic artist, level designer who worked around the clock as a close knit team developing and making the game highly playable and bugs free. As Pirate King Online is MMO Game, the development team will continue working to improve the game play.

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MMORPG.com:Now that sounds like a lot of coffee and sleepless nights for the poor coders. I heard that in order to keep the game running (and naturally to pay for the development costs) you decided to let it be Free to Play and only use a real money shop as income. What will people find in that Shop and will it be possible to play the whole game without using the real money shop?
PKO Team:

Yes it is possible to play the whole game without using the real money shop, or we prefer to call it Item Mall. However the item mall will carry dozens and later on hundreds of different virtual items which make the game characters more colourful, and powerful and therefore it will be a lot more fun to play. Some of these items will serve more as cosmetic purpose, but some will increase attribute & skill of the game characters. Also besides customizing the game characters, there are dozens of ship and boat enhancements players will be able to purchase in the Item Mall.

MMORPG.com:Ah, now glad to hear that. Since we are already talking about playing the game, what kinds of Options do I have as player concerning my characters? Are there predetermined classes with set stat-growth or will I be able to develop (including look and all) my character the way I want?
PKO Team:

For each of our characters, Carcise, Phyllis, Ami and Calico you get to choose a variety of different classes to advance to. At the start, players get to pick one of the 4 main characters as well as customize their hair style and facial expression.

What classes they can become (Swordsman, Herbalist, Hunter and Explorer) will be based on which of the 4 main characters they chose. (For example, Ami can become an Explorer and Herbalist but she cannot become a Swordsman or Hunter). There is also another branch out as far as the classes are concerned.

An example would be the Herbalist advancement to either a Cleric or a Seal Master. Likewise, a Swordsman can choose to either become a Crusader or Champion.

Different sets and items will have different bonuses (some randomly generated) which will aid players in the their adventures as they proceed further into the game.

There are a few sets of generic hairstyle for each character to choose from at the time of character creation but with the addition of items from the item mall, players will be able to further customize their hair colour and style.

MMORPG.com:I see, so it basically is free character development with specialization in the course of the game. There seem to be 4 beginner Jobs available to the player, could you tell us a bit about them, like their main purpose or their "role" in the game?
PKO Team:

As with all MMOGs, the Swordsman are usually the meat shields of the game. They are there to absorb or sorts of damage so that the rest of the classes, Herbalist, Hunter and Explorer do not get beaten into a pulp during some major battle.

The Herbalist are the healers and buffers of the game and their job is to ensure that everyone stays alive during a battle and to supplement their fighting capabilities with additional boosts via their spell buffs.

Hunters are the ranged attackers of the game. They deal the highest damage in the game if played correctly but are extremely weak in close combat. They also have the fastest movement speed in the game to allow them to run away and to keep a distance from their foes.

Explorers are kind of the equivalent to magic casters as found in other games. They are masters of the sea with the ability to channel energy from different weathers at sea or on land for their own use through special conch shells.

MMORPG.com:Will my character only grow stronger by killing Monsters or doing Quests (what is the same as killing monsters just with a set kill count) or will you have job specific ways of advancing your character? Like an herbalist collecting herbs, an Explorer... well, exploring uncharted waters and so on.
PKO Team:

Firstly our game has a balance for both grinding and as well as a quest system. For players who like non stop killing of monsters, grinding is the way to go. We have a wide variety of creatures with different attributes for players of all levels to slaughter along the way. Some are easier than others depending on your class.

As for the quest system, there are a few types of quests.

Normal quest are the kind which are obtained throughout your journey as you play the game. They have no significant impact on the main storyline of the game and are optional. Often the rewards are gold (which is very important in the game), items, experience or more than 1 type of reward at the same time.

Class quests are only available after you have completed your basic class advancement and the type of quests given are unique to each of the classes. There is also a special reward that is given out by the game at the end of each cycle consisting of 10 rounds of quests.

Story quests are of course, story driven and help to enhance the Pirate theme and element of the game. Regardless of level, class or situation, players will be able to do these quests after they get a hang of the basics to further enrich their experience in the game and to better understand the plot behind Pirate King Online.

MMORPG.com:Considering the game is called Pirate King Online there will be Pirates but what is more important, there will be an ocean and ships. Will people be able to explore the endless seas and course through uncharted waters, hunting for treasures and battling unspeakable sea-creatures and can they do it on their self-build ships?
PKO Team:

Of course, there will be lots uncharted waters waiting to be explored with deadly sea creatures to get in the way of smooth sailing. Players have a variety of ships to choose from which they can customize to their liking. Cannons, engine and components.

MMORPG.com:Beside the temptation of the vast seas, the thrill of adventure, to escape their wife, the hunt for fame, gold and Rum, what will make people want to ship around on the azure seas?
PKO Team:

You can also take your ship out and about the various trade ports to do sea commerce which will earn you a hefty sum of money to survive in the game. Then there's always the random whirlpools that happen now and then that will send players into high level dungeons to hunt for phat lewt!

MMORPG.com:Ships sure ain't cheap and also hard to build yourself. How will the players start their career as buccaneer and mayhem of the oceans?
PKO Team:

By earning money through quests and selling of rare item drops to players via the "set-up stall" feature, players will be able to afford they very own ship by the time they are out of the beginner levels.

MMORPG.com:Are there any plans on letting people build their own ships? Maybe even with their own design and coloring?
PKO Team:

At the moment we are already exploring more options into making the game a more fun and fulfilling adventure for our players.

MMORPG.com:Since I am all about building right now, is there a crafting system in Pirate King Online and if yes, what can you tell us about it?
PKO Team:

Yes, there is a crafting system with a wide range of different gems that does different things!

These gems are hard to come by and can only be used with equipment which have sockets in them.

For weapons, the higher the level of the crafted item, the stronger it will become and the greater and more spectacular the effects it will emit.

MMORPG.com:Pirate King Online will soon start its closed beta and rumors tell that the Beta will last for about two weeks. Now, what will your beta testers do in that time? Will you give them certain tasks to fulfill or is the only "job" to play the game? Considering it is only two weeks, not many testers will reach the high level areas, so there might be some bugs hiding there in the final release.
PKO Team:

Currently, above stress testing the server, we also require the help of many of our closed beta players in pointing out bugs and giving suggestions for the game. We are aware that many will not be able to catch a glimpse of the end-level content of the game so we have a few internal testers of our own who are assigned especially to look into these matters.

Also to ensure they have a good gaming experience, we also randomly organising mini events throughout the days with rewards.

Closed beta testers who are active in their participation towards our test and are able to give a couple of good constructive suggestion and bug reports will receive a surprise token of appreciation from us at the start of the Open Beta.

MMORPG.com:PvP seems to be possible in Pirate King Online, so my question regarding this is: "Is there any benefit one has from entering PvP, beside the warm fuzzy feeling you get for grinding the face of your enemies to dust?"
PKO Team:

At the moment, the PvP features have not been fully released. We do currently have the arena open where players can challenge each other to earn honour points for bragging rights. There is also a guild vs guild feature that we intend to test out soon in this closed beta.

Earlier on I mentioned about high level dungeons being accessable through random whirlpools in the game. These areas are Free For All meaning you can PK anyone who steps into the place. We are expecting a lot of clashes and rivalry between players and guilds for this highly contested territory purely for the item drops and rewards that are available in these areas.

MMORPG.com:And now for my final question. Would you describe with your own words what the Player can expect from the game when it is released? Or in other words "What will make Pirate King Online stick out of the ever growing mass of MMORPGs?"
PKO Team:

There aren't many games like this that allows you to grab a ship and sail out into the vast ocean for exploration, quests and adventure. Because of this, it also gives players the feeling that they are not in a restricted environment with boundaries in place. You can sail till you run out of fuel and yet not reach the other end of the world.

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