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Phylon (PH)
Rapid Reality Studios
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 06/18/07)  | Pub:Rapid Reality Studios
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:$14.99 | Pay Type:Subscription
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

Interview with DJ Cassel and Tracy Spaight

By Jon Wood on June 06, 2007 | Interviews | Comments

Interview with DJ Cassel and Tracy Spaight

What genre of MMORPG is Phylon?

DJ Cassel:

Phylon is a 3rd person Sci-Fi RPG shooter, with a first person targeting option. The game blends together elements from multiple genres.

Phylon is somewhat akin to Quake with its arenas, which are instanced death match zones. The winners of arenas are tallied and displayed on the website for all the bragging rights owed. If a player tops the leader board and is a member of one of the eight factions, then everyone in his or her faction will gain special ability perks for as long as one their own can hold on to the top slot.

Outside the Arenas, on the surface of the planet Anura, Phylon is closer to a traditional role-playing game. The player's character can gain in level and experience through questing and hunting the creatures on the planet's surface. As a player quests, the character will not only become more powerful but the selection of available weapons, armor and equipment will increase. These newly obtained items can then in turn be used to compete for the top slot in future arenas.


What can you tell us about the premise of the game?

DJ Cassel:

Anura was once the home to the militant War Toad Armada. Now off conquering other worlds, the War Toads charged the Amphibians with safe guarding the planet until their return. As the centuries passed, the War Toads faded from memory and the Amphibians grew lax in their vigilance. Eventually, they became the target of EXG Initiative, which decided to make some changes. Not for science, nor for conquest, but for entertainment: Anura would get prime billing in the latest season of the top rated galactic reality program "Phylon Online."

Once seeded with aggressive, carnivorous creatures, peaceful Anura was turned into a vast hunting preserve. Hundreds of thousands of Amphibians were devoured. For a while, this was entertaining in itself, but as viewers grew tired and ratings began to drop, the EXG Initiative decided to jazz up the program. First, they armed the Amphibians with modern weaponry so they could now fight back. Next, they randomly diverted a Terran craft to crash on the surface of Anura, deceiving the survivors into believing that Earth had been destroyed and the only way to survive was to eradicate the other species on the planet. And finally, they brought Anura to the attention of the Bloblicon Imperium, with dares that their mighty empire could not possibly win the planet of Anura from its current hosts.

The war was a great success. The body count was truly outrageous. But after a time viewers once again got bored of nameless faces permanently dying in combat. They wanted to get more personal with the contestants and have heroes to champion them. So the EXG Initiated made one last change.

The EXG Initiative conspired to divide the three warring species into competing factions. Old hatreds died down and new ones flared up. Former enemies joined forces. Old alliances crumbled and new ones formed. Increasingly, differences were settled in the newly constructed arenas, where great champions met in battle, each bearing the flag of their particular faction. Body regenerators allow the dead to live to fight another day. Viewers rallied around the various heroes and cheered as their champion climbed the leader boards.

What races and classes will be available to players?

DJ Cassel:

There are four customizable player character templates with hundreds of visuals to choose from. Players can play as Bloblicons, Terrans (male or female), or Amphibians. The warriors of the Bloblicon Imperium are driven to consume everything in the universe that can be consumed. The Terrans are the survivors of a navigation malfunction. Their goal is to survive on a hostile world. The native Amphibians are the keepers of Anura while the War Toad Armada is off conquering other worlds.

How much will it cost?

DJ Cassel:

Phylon will retail for $14.99 at IGN's Direct2Drive. The purchase price includes a month of free game play, after which the monthly fee will be $4.99. We'll introduce a premium tier subscription later this summer.

Your website's FAQ states that in relation to PvP, "any player has the ability to fight just as well as a veteran at any time based on their reflexes and skill." This would seem to imply a twitch combat system. Can you tell us how combat works in Phylon?

DJ Cassel:

Phylon is a fast-paced shooter. Players of level 5 or higher can engage in PvP. In a fire-fight, skill and character level determine the outcome. Of course the more experienced character will be armed with better equipment and have more hit points, but in the end it still comes down the better player.

Is the PvP based on level, or can a high level player attack a relative newbie?

DJ Cassel:

New players need time to acquire basic equipment, learn the UI, and explore the world before they're ready for the challenges of PvP. New characters are thus protected from unwanted PvP until they reach level 5. If they choose to brave the arenas before level 5, however, then they are free to engage in a friendly fire fight. To level the playing field in arenas, we created a "tagging" system, in which victory goes to the most skilled player, rather than the best equipped.

Your FAQ indicates that: "When your character dies above a certain level, any droppable items will be left with your corpse." Does this mean that when you die, you can actually lose your gear? What are the restrictions on this?

DJ Cassel:

If a character falls in combat, there should be a penalty of some sort, but it should not be so onerous that they get discouraged and throw in the towel. A player can loot or be looted on the surface of Anura, but only certain items can be taken. The key word is droppable. Droppable items include things like ammo, stimpacks, and quest items - not hard earned weapons and armor. These items are bonded to your character for as long as you want them. All items, including both armable equipment and quest items, can be traded or sold via player to player trading or auctions.

What sets Phylon apart from the other MMORPGs that are currently on the market?

DJ Cassel:

Phylon encourages players to band together while still allowing players to make their own choices. The game doesn't force you to do quests with others or to wait around for an hour while you gather your raiding group. Phylon provides ready-made teams each with their own benefits. Players can join factions, squads, and groups. The combination of fast paced combat and an RPG framework flow together well. And of course, you can play a frog with a high-powered machine gun wearing a jetpack.

With all of the issues surrounding The Chronicle, and its eventual cancellation, are you concerned that the reputation surrounding that will hurt Rapid Reality and Phylon?

Tracy Spaight:

With the management change in December, we've worked hard to reorganize the company, correct our past mistakes, and put the studio on the right path. We inherited some daunting problems but we've done our best to fix them. We invite readers to check out our new website, download the Phylon beta client, and make up their own minds. As a team, we're focused on finishing Phylon and forging ahead with our first console title.

What has been done to appease players who had pre-ordered The Chronicle?

Tracy Spaight:

The first order of business, after the management change, was to make things right with our preorder community. Earlier this spring, we emailed everyone in the preorder database to explain the change in management and creative direction. We offered our customers a full refund or access to the Phylon beta, a free copy of the game, and two months of free game play post-launch.