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Star Vault | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 06/09/10)  | Pub:Star Vault
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Interviews: Henrik Nyström Interview

By Adam Tingle on December 01, 2010

Henrik Nyström Interview

With so many MMORPGs on the market, and with the existence of games such as World of Warcraft and EVE Online, just how does Mortal Online stand out from the crowd?

Henrik Nyström:

You will notice from the moment you start Mortal Online that it is very different from any other MMORPG on the market. First of all, you are only able to play in first person mode, giving a unique playing experience where you feel totally immersed in the character and directly control each action. You cannot “cheat” by looking around corners or behind your back, you have to watch your back just like in real life. There are no quests, no characters telling you what to do in game, you are totally free to do whatever you want. You could for example choose a crafting profession and start your own shop selling your goods, or be a soldier and fight for territory and build your own house or even a keep. In Mortal Online, as soon as you have learned how to play, raised your char's skills, and acquired some decent gear, you will get a rush from being out in the wild, interacting with other players.


Can you tell us a little more about the class system within Mortal Online?

Henrik Nyström:

There are no defined classes in Mortal Online like in for instance World of Warcraft. You can pick a character with a certain skill set to fit a “profession” but it’s up to the players to choose what skills to learn or unlearn and thus define his play style. You can mix skills how you want, but, you do have a skill cap, so you have to figure out how to spend your points on skills and attributes. Since you can "unlearn" any skill you can easily change your build at any time.

Lately MMORPGs are becoming very lonely experiences, does Mortal Online encourage a degree interaction with others?

Henrik Nyström:

Mortal Online is built with player interaction in mind. Anyone can play solo, but you will be more effective by trading and playing with other players. One player cannot cover the entire crafting area so you will want to find other players that are experienced in different fields such as special weapon crafting or armor crafting, or house constructions.

There has been a general feeling that many MMORPGs of recent years have become too casual and a little too easy. Does Mortal Online give the player more independence to simply learn the game without the need to be hand lead throughout and if so, how is the learning curve handled?

Henrik Nyström:

The learning curve in Mortal Online is pretty tough at the moment; we are expanding ”new player” experience in the game at the moment so we don’t scare off players that may enjoy the game once passed the initial hurdles. The fighting system is very intuitive but other systems, like for example crafting, are extremely complex and require some time learning them.

Launching a game is a difficult experience for most games of the genre, how do you feel Mortal Online has handled the transition from beta to live?

Henrik Nyström:

We had a pretty chaotic beta but a pretty smooth release; after adding a few major content areas we had a few issues again also tied to our network solution. We compensated our gamers for lost time and some extra time added to their accounts. The core is now stable and most critical issues/bugs have been solved. We are now expanding social and PvE features within our game, and also adding more tools for players to both trade and interact easier.

Can you tell me of any new features that will be implemented into the game in the coming months?

Henrik Nyström:

The coming months will have large focus on player tools for trading and interacting, lots of social features and more AI features including new creatures areas and dungeons. We are also adding and expanding our crafting system for instance butchery/skinning will play an important balance factor in armor crafting. New weapons will be found and crafters can take them apart and learn how to build them.

There is a concern that Mortal Online was released in a fairly rough-and-ready state, what can say to alleviate the fears of prospective players?

Henrik Nyström:

Star Vault is a small and independent game developer, we had a strict schedule to develop the game and subsequently released it with only some major core features. This is something we've been communicating to our community from day one and letting the community follow our development and also to giving us feedback. We got a huge delay in one of our key components, the network solution, which made it harder for us to release planned content on time; this means we were forced to delay for about a year in our development. Because of limited resources we still had to release early just when we got the core to work. This means of course it’s been a tough ride for our gamers but we are now clearly noticing a solid player base and we are getting closer to the next step for marketing of the game. There is still only a small player base that knows about Mortal Online and we want others to know about it and give it a try.

There have been rumors that certain members of the Star Vault team have left in recent weeks, is this due to financial reasons or simply creative differences?

Henrik Nyström:

The majority of our artist team is very young but talented and a few of these artists have left our team for different reasons. We are always careful in who we pick to work with as it's vital for the development. Recently we got a new technical/animator who has been working professionally in the game/movie business for about 10 years.

As StarVault is relatively small compared to the likes of Blizzard or EA, will the studio be taking influence from developers such as EVE Online's CCP in regards to the games future success?

Henrik Nyström:

I personally have always appreciated CCPs business model and how they started their company/game- we have pretty much followed that road since we started and are very much influenced by them; we also enjoy their game Eve Online. Origin, the creator of Ultima Online, have also inspired us a lot. Blizzard is one of the most talented game developers in the world with vast resources- of course we do not deny we have been following them as well, playing their games and to see what we could use in Mortal Online as well even though it’s a completely different MMO genre.

Briefly can you tell the readers why they should close their subscriptions to any other MMORPG's and head to sign up page of Mortal Online.

Henrik Nyström:

Well, I wouldn’t tell anyone to close their current subscription in another MMO game, but if you feel that you would want to try something different, something that presents quite a challenge and real gaming experience in forms of the ability to give you an adrenaline rush when playing, then you should really give Mortal Online a try. When you start getting the idea of Mortal Online you will see why so many others like this dangerous, unforgiving world. We are also deploying new content and features included in the monthly fee and all future expansions are free.

Adam Tingle / Freelancer for, 360 Gamer Magazine, and Play Magazine.