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Jack Stanley, Lead Designer

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The lead designer fills in the gaps on this imported MMORPG

Jack Stanley is the Lead Designer of Hero Online. Garrett Fuller sent along a set of questions for him to answer to build off our recent developer journal from the team.

MMORPG.com: How do you think the Asian elements of Hero Online will translate to an American audience?
Jack Stanley:

The Asian elements of Hero Online are one of the more distinguishing factors when it comes to playing the game, but that’s not to say everything will be “Asian”. One of the more obvious examples of this is the language. The translation team worked very hard in order to come up with the proper choice of diction in order to capture the essence of the text. Because of this, the game will be easy to read and understand while still maintaining the depth and context in the many items, skills, quests, and plots. Comprehension was the ultimate goal, but authenticity was high priority as well.

So how do we think Hero Online will be received in America? Hero Online is a game with so much depth and content, that interest in martial arts is not a requirement to enjoy this game. Any gamer who enjoys MMORPGs with gripping storylines, great quests, and extensive content will enjoy Hero Online.

MMORPG.com: The game introduction has the feel of a martial arts film which has become very popular world wide, are you trying to capture a certain style of martial arts in game play?
Jack Stanley:

In Hero Online, players will have the opportunity to see various different styles and forms of martial arts. Whether it be weapon forms or unarmed forms, players will have the opportunity to see all kinds of martial arts movements in action.

MMORPG.com: Once a player reaches level ten the classes become much more familiar to most MMO players, how do the starting classes make the jump into Warrior, Hunter, Physician and Assassin characters?
Jack Stanley:

So before getting into the actual classes that players can choose after level 10, let me describe a little bit about how the level system works. In martial arts, there are many different levels of rank/skill. Before a person gets their Black Belt, they have to go through several ranks of colors(white, yellow, green, blue, brown, red, etc.). These ranks before Black Belt are called Kyu. Once a person achieves Black Belt status, they are then ranked according to degrees (i.e. 1st Degree Black Belt, 2nd Degree Black Belt, 3rd Degree Black Belt, and so on and so forth). The degrees of Black Belt are called Dan. So in the world of Hero Online, the level system is based on the martial arts ranking system where 10 Kyu’s equal 1 Dan. So, for example, a person who reaches level 25 would have the rank of 2nd Dan and 5th Kyu.

So with regards to classes, a player has the option of choosing one of the four classes once they hit their first Dan. To do this, they must speak with the class trainers and fulfill certain requirements. Once a player makes his choice, it will be extremely difficult to change his class, so he must choose wisely.

The Warrior specializes his skill in combat, focusing on destructive techniques to destroy his enemies. The Hunter specializes his skills in the areas of taming animals for pets and mining for resources. The Physician has skills in both healing and status effects to aid in both combat and non-combat situations. The Assassin focuses their skills on stealth and detection with an emphasis on damage.

MMORPG.com: How many tiers of character development will players be able to explore?
Jack Stanley:

For every class there are three tiers. The first tier can be attained by choosing the class at the 1st Dan (level 10). The other two tiers can be attained when the player hits a high enough level. For instance, a player can start out as a Hunter, which can then become a Tracker, which can then become a Ranger.

MMORPG.com: You mentioned that players will have the options of both aggressive and passive skills, how will these be integrated into game play or combat?
Jack Stanley:

Aggressive and passive skills will be very important when it comes to gameplay and especially combat. By balancing the use of both aggressive and passive skills, players will have the ability to customize skill combos that match their playing style. For instance, an Assassin will have the aggressive abilities of combat as well as the passive abilities of stealth. By using his passive skills of stealth he can creep up on his foe and use his aggressive ability to surprise and destroy his opponent.

MMORPG.com: The pet system of Hero Online seems very interactive; can you outline some of the highlights players can look forward to when it comes to pets?
Jack Stanley:

First of all, one of the coolest things about the pet system in Hero Online are the pets themselves. The types of pets that a player can equip include all kinds of wolves, horses, bears, tigers, lions, and eagles. There is even a system available where players can use NPCs as helpers in lieu of pets! On top of that, there are even pets that players can ride and fight on. To break it down, there are two types of pets: attack pets and mountable pets. Attack pets fight alongside the player-character using an AI that the player chooses. For mountable pets, players can ride them for transportation as well as for combat. When fighting on a mountable pet, the character himself takes no damage as long as his pet is alive. Using the pet system, it takes PvP and PvE strategy to a whole new level!

MMORPG.com: Tell us about the crafting system that will be available in Hero Online? How does it link searching for materials with PvP?
Jack Stanley:

Players can find resources, to craft weapons and armor, throughout all the maps as well as dismantle existing weapons, but the best way to attain crucial and rare resources will be from The Great Mine in the PvP war zone. Every six hours, The Great Mine area will be open to war, where players of each faction can gather to fight for control of the mine. Whichever side wins will have exclusive access to the mines until the next available war time.

MMORPG.com: What type of story lines can players expect to find in this martial arts setting?
Jack Stanley:

When creating Hero Online, several famous Martial Arts fiction authors were gathered in order to create storylines and quests for the game. Therefore, when it comes to quests, storyline is inevitably tied in. As far as what type of storylines Hero Online has, there are several, but as of now, players will have a chance to play the Twelve Demons arch. It is safe to say that there are plenty of adventures that await our heroes online.

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