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Interview with Chris Tou

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The Producer of Flyff discusses his game where you "FLY For Fun"

Chris Tou is the Producer at Gala-Net who recently released Flyff to the North American market. This light MMORPG is free to play, but uses a micropayment system to make money.

MMORPG.com: What do you see Flyff Online bringing to the North American MMORPG Market?
Chris Tou:

With Flyff, we hope to bring over the kinds of MMORPG games that the Asian audience has been enjoying for a while now. Also, we hope to bring over a relatively new business model for MMORPGs in the North American market. That is, Free-to-Play, with premium cash-shop. We believe this will open up the MMORPG genre to a broader audience, allowing kids and adults alike to get into MMORPGs and assimilate themselves into the community of players.

MMORPG.com: What is the history of Flyff online in its home country of Korea?
Chris Tou:

Flyff was developed over 2 years ago by Aeonsoft, in Korea. It is Aeonsoft’s first, and only game. It was developed to be different, specifically with the ability to fly in mind. We believe the potential of this aspect of the game has not been fully explored, and we expect Aeonsoft to further develop this unique gameplay aspect of Flyff.

MMORPG.com: What issues do you anticipate while transferring Flyff Online to an American audience?
Chris Tou:

The American MMORPG audience is probably most familiar with Ultima Online, Everquest, or World of Warcraft. With that in mind, our style of play is much less hardcore, with light-hearted, cutesy, anime style graphics. The Asian audience is much more familiar with this style of graphics and gameplay, while the American audience may use this aspect of our game to identify it as more for a younger, feminine, or less hardcore audience.

MMORPG.com: How does Player vs. Player action affect character development and storyline?
Chris Tou:

Our PvP system is unrelated to the storyline, because it is a free PK (Player-Killing) system. However, it does change game play and character development quite a bit.

On the PK server, any player level 15 and above becomes PvP enabled once they step outside of town, meaning, anybody is fair game for anyone else to kill. A player who is killed stands to drop items in their inventory, and/or penya (money). Additionally, they also will lose a small percentage of their experience points. PK players is a good way for players to make a lot of money and gain new items, however, they also stand to lose a lot!

That’s not to say that players who kill indiscriminately will not be punished, as we also have a Karma point system in place. Killing other players may earn you negative Karma points. After accumulating too many negative Karma points, the player becomes kill-on-sight for town guards. The next time the player with high negative dies, they are teleported to “Jail” island. On this island, a player has to complete quests in order to clear their Karma and off the island.

A bounty system is also in place. There is a NPC in all the 3 major towns where, for example, Player A, who has been killed by Player B, can place a bounty upon that Player B. Any aspiring bounty can speak to the NPC and see a list of current bounties, and, for a small fee, see where the target bounty is currently on the world map. This definitely adds an interesting element to PvP/PK that no other game has.

MMORPG.com: How does allowing players to have their own shops add to the game economy?
Chris Tou:

With the Player-Shop system, each player can not become a high level uber monster killer, they can also be the entrepreneur they always wanted but didn’t get the chance to be. A player can go rare-treasure hunting, then bring back these treasures to sell by setting up their own shops in town. Players can set their own prices in an effort to outbid each other. We’ve seen many players enterprising players set up “mules”, or low level characters whose sole purpose is for the player to set up a shop and sell the items that their higher level characters on the same account have acquired.

MMORPG.com: What options are offered to players who want to change their current class?
Chris Tou:

In Flyff, everyone starts out as the same class, a Vagrant. As the player reaches level 15, they can embark on a quest of their choice in order to become either a Mercenary (melee class), Assist (healer class), Magician (magic class), and Acrobat (ranged class). Once the player reaches level 60, each of the respective classes also branches off into two more classes, which the player can choose. Once any of these class choices are made, a player can not change class.

However, each account allows up to 3 characters to be created. This allows the player to create and try out new classes as they please.

MMORPG.com: Most MMORPGS encourage player interaction; what rewards or benefits can players gain from working together?
Chris Tou:

As MMORPGs go, level-grinds are inevitable. We try to alleviate this by encouraging players to form parties and work together. We do this through a system where even the parties themselves can gain levels, opening up more and skills as they do. Also, as the level of the party grows, the maximum number of people in the party grows. When a party is full, all players in the party gain an experience bonus for each mob they kill.

MMORPG.com: Once players reach their desired classes what End Game scenarios can they take part in?
Chris Tou:

We have added a new, high level dungeon which players can explore. Also, we have a high-level end game boss, called Clockworks, that players can try to take on. Clockworks is level 80, however, it has a whopping 62 million hit points. Definitely expect it to be a challenge.

MMORPG.com: Are their any expansion plans for Flyff Online with the introduction to the American market?
Chris Tou:

As an Free-to-Play game, we don’t need the “expansion pack” business model per se. Are part of the service, we are always adding new classes, new items, new areas to explore, etc. It will continuously expand, for free.

MMORPG.com: What does the future hold for Flyff Online?
Chris Tou:

The future looks bright for Flyff. New feature’s currently in development are a revamped guild war system with castle siege features. However, instead of the castles, people would instead take and hold airships. A pets system is also in the works. We’ve gotten as far as having the pets loot for you automatically, but we’re looking to further define that, so that you can nurture you pet, have it grown, and eventually it will fight along-side you, either helping you attack, or healing you.

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