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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 07/31/06)  | Pub:MGame USA, Inc.
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Introduction

Hero Online Developer Journals - By Guest Writer on May 27, 2006

Introduction
We're introduced to Hero Online by its creators

Editor's Note: Lacking any other information, we asked the developers of Hero Online simply: "What is Hero Online and what will make North American players want to play it?"" Here is their response in the form of a developer journal.


Imagine for one moment, all sound fading away as light dims into complete darkness. You are alone and there is nothing else besides your self. Gradually, a light begins to form and sound begins to return. At first, they return so slowly you hardly notice, but soon you are flooded with sensory information that all say one thing: You are no longer where you once were. Looking around you realize that you are in the middle of a bamboo forest with green sunlight shining through a canopy of Bamboo leaves. The bamboo stalks serenely sway as you feel the wind breeze easily through the forest. The forest floor is soft and cushiony as you walk around trying to get a bearing of where you are. For every step you make you hear the soft rustle of leaves and smell an indescribable aroma that warms the heart. The sound of birds chirping seems to come from everywhere and nowhere in particular. It is neither loud nor quiet, but perfectly resonated to match the quiet atmosphere of the bamboo forest. Despite not knowing where you are, this place induces an inescapable sense of peace.

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As you continue walking, you begin to hear in the far distance a sound that’s distinctly out of place. Unlike the soft rustle and whisper of the forest, the sound carries far and wide like the ringing of a bell. You begin walking towards the sound and as you do it becomes louder and more distinct. It’s the sound of metal striking metal interwoven with human voices. As you continue to walk, you reach the edge of a clearing and finally see where the sound is coming from. You’ve stumbled onto the middle of a deadly battle!

With breathtaking speed, both combatants swing their swords with deadly accuracy and killer intent. Their techniques and maneuvers are so complex and complicated that you can barely keep up. In an odd way, the battle seemed like an elaborate dance where each partner knows what the other will do. But suddenly, in one deft stroke, one of the combatants kills the other. Shocked, you take a step back rustling some leaves. The victor sees you and begins brandishing his sword as he heads in your direction.

You realize that this man could easily outrun you, so you desperately look around for a weapon to defend yourself. While doing this you notice a sword strapped to your back, and you draw the weapon. The sword feels strangely comfortable in your hands, as if you’ve used it before, and you fall into a defensive stance as you await your attacker. Your mind calms and your body relaxes as you automatically envision all the attacks your enemy could possibly make and your defenses to them. You suddenly realize that you are better than this man, and that he cannot hurt you. Smiling you await his first move; let him come….

Hero Online is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game where players have the opportunity to experience Asian myth and folklore in a martial arts environment. So instead of knights, elves, and wizards, players will encounter characters and monsters based on Asian martial arts fiction. By combining the motif of Asian culture with many unique features, players will experience a game like no other in Hero Online!

Ok, so now that the generalities are out of the way, we can talk about the specifics of Hero Online. When a player begins the game, they will have to choose one of four characters: The Ruthless Blade, Overseer of the Sky, The Piercing Eye, or the Elegant Mystic. Each character will have his/her own strengths, weaknesses, weapon proficiencies, and stats. Once a character hits level 10, a player may choose their class and truly begin their journey in Hero Online. There are four basic classes per character to choose from: Warrior, Hunter, Physician, and Assassin. Each class has two upgrades that it can undergo allowing for more skills and better class-specific skills. For every progression, characters must complete certain quests that will reward them with skill books and more. For instance, an Assassin can become a Slayer, who can them become a Shinobi but only after completing their class quests.

In terms of skills, players will have the option to pick and choose certain skills to either focus on whether it be aggressive skills, passive skills, or both. For example, a Physician can choose any combination of aggressive skills including poisons and status attacks or from passive skills like healing and meditation. Hunters can choose skills from skill sets from either taming (pets) or mining.

When it comes to choosing skills, players can pick or choose which skills to equip depending on their need since skills are based on books. Players will have 10 book slots, and will be able to allocate which slot has which book. Since a skill book could have up to 3 skills, players could potentially have a whole arsenal of skills or a small amount. Skill books can be found from talking to npcs, fighting monsters, undergoing quests, or trading from other players.

When it comes to actual gameplay, if a player enjoys watching martial arts movies, then he/she will enjoy watching their character in action. Every combative action, from normal attacks to special moves, looks like it was taken from a martial arts movie. Even the modes of transportation within Hero Online are fun to look at! Players can move with incredible speeds, fly over buildings, or walk on air. Not to mention being able to ride and fight on mounts!

One of the most impressive and unique aspect of Hero Online is its elaborate Pet System. In Hero Online, there are two types of pets, mountable and non-mountable pets. Non-mountable pets have the ability to help their masters in combat both in fighting and defending using a special AI system that the player sets. In contrast, mountable pets can’t attack, but they can carry their masters as well as allow them to fight while carrying them. Pets can be obtained by either purchasing them through an npc or by taming wild animals using hunter skills. While only hunters may tame pets, they can be bought, sold, or traded by any player. Some examples of pets are: horses, tigers, lions, bears, eagles, and wolves. In lieu of utilizing the pet system, a player may use the apprentice system. The dynamics of how it works are similar to the non-mountable pet system, but the apprentice system pertains to human npc’s that the player may control.

Items will be very important in the game since a martial artist’s weapon is a symbol of their pride and skill. Because of this, Hero Online contains an incredible array of item variation in addition to an intricate enchant/disenchant. This is of course on top of an immersive crafting system where PvP is required/optimal to obtain necessary materials. There are literally thousands of combinations any adventurer can utilize when it comes to which equipment they choose to equip or enchant. Customization will not only be possible, but necessary within this game.

Another aspect of Hero that is extremely unique is its game content. The storyline of Hero Online was created by a collaboration of renowned authors known for their work in Asian Martial Arts Fiction. Players will actually have the opportunity to take part in the story and see how it progresses as they play the game. Through story-specific quests and game content, Hero Online has the feel of a single player RPG where the character must solve the mystery and fight the bad guys while still maintaining the essence of an MMORPG. The combination is truly amazing and something that players should definitely experience first hand.

All in all, Hero Online will definitely provide American gamers with a new flavor of MMORPG that is both exciting and engaging. While more can be said about Hero Online’s unique features and gameplay, the best way to truly see and experience its novelty is by playing the game yourself. Come see how you can be a Hero online!

- Hero Online Development Team


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