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Coliseum Preview

Carolyn Koh Posted:
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In a sneak preview before launch, MMORPG.com was given a first look at the Colloseum - a PvP arena reminiscent of the famous Colloseum - the Flavian Amphitheatre of ancient Rome. Outside, we found various vendors where we could hire a messenger to courier a message or get a haircut from the barbershop to look pretty for the upcoming battle. The banker was there for us to swop out armor and weapons as were vendors to stock up on potions.

The Colloseum in Fantasy Earth Zero is a circular structure with high walls textured like ruined stonework, undulating ground and not much else. It is your basic arena. A space for small teams to go head to head against each other, but at this time, not free for all. These are games that players can participate in. A controlled ground for war-games. You can see the Colloseum master and begin an account with him by depositing Arbs or Rings - the cash and in-game currency respectively - to be drawn when you play in the Coliseum. It takes 10 Arb or 5 Rings for a ticket or pass per game.

The Colloseum will launch with two games. A quick team versus team, of 2 to 7 aside. Quick because it lasts for 10 frantic minutes or 10 kills, whichever comes first. You can come in with 3 friends and create a 2 vs 2, choosing sides or just jump into a game that's waiting for more players. The second game is more interesting and is really tiered toward the higher level players. Known as the Challenge of Rhom (pronounced "Rome"), players form a team of 3 and will face masses of Mobs until they get to the Beast King. This second game is progressive. Depending on your level and skill, i.e. the speed at which you've killed the waves of trash mobs, higher level mini-mobs will spawn and eventually, the Beast King. This game is definitely not for the lower levels I was told and players should expect to try it only when they are 20+ or better yet... 30+

A max 7 vs 7 game was set up while I set up my skills as a Sorcerer - named "Sorcerer" - nope, can't mistake the media noob. We were transported to the arena, where I finished the set up, check what the spells did and we were off. Raining lightning bolts down when the other team were close together, firing off fire-balls which your opponents can and will dodge, avoiding warriors as they came after me with vengeance in their eyes.

The level cap in Fantasy Earth Zero is set at 40. As the main feature of the game is the mass PvP previously previewed here http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/502/feature/4077/Hands-On-Combat-Preview.html in the Hands-On Combat Preview, players who play the tutorial through will end up at level 16. Play more PvE to gain better equipment and you're ready to jump into on the mass 100 vs 100 PvP battles.

We also interviewed the devs to get a little more insight into this game that launches on the 18th of May, and this is what they have to say.


In this increasingly crowded free-to-play MMO space, what sets Fantasy Earth Zero apart from the others?


Our gameplay. I could cite other areas, like our music, the strong art style, the dynamic, player-affected game world, but in the end, it comes down to 100 player PvP with fast-paced action, twitch aiming and RTS elements. There is no game like FEZ on the market--here your skill trumps everything. Level 20 or 40, you have the same HP. You cannot buy your way to victory--a skilled player will always beat you. So the gameplay is what makes FEZ unique--the rush of battle is great fun.


It was mentioned that the smaller PvP space - The Colosseum was a direct response to player demand. Is this world-wide demand or specifically a request of the US beta players?


A bit of both--the Colosseum was already developed, however, our player base has clamored for additional activities to do in-game. So, when the time came to decide which update to implement, we chose to give the players something they've asked for--PvE content and a pure PvP mode.



Do you see any differences between US gamers and Asian gamers in how they respond to the game or what they want in Fantasy Earth Zero?


We see intriguing differences in the fighting styles across countries. In Japan users are really quick to make a front, where a distinct line is made for each side. In America users are more fluid in their formations, instead focusing on flanking their opponents. Our North American users also show greater attachment to their countries--I'm constantly amazed by their forming and breaking of alliances.


Will we eventually see the other classes in Fantasy Earth Zero? What about other races like the "Beast men" of the Kingdom of Netzavare?


Heh, well, other races is not on the agenda for now, however new classes will find their way into the game. Right now we are waiting until the community has fully adjusted to the core gameplay before introducing new elements. We also want to make sure that the classes are properly balanced before we implement them.

So that's Fantasy Earth Zero in a nutshell; a game with massive PvP battles developed by Square Enix with their signature art-style and brilliant music scores, published by GamepotUSA with a free-to-play business model. I'd have loved to play the Rhom scenario but sadly, it was not ready for preview, so we went into the Colosseum once more for another frantic 10 minute game of 7 vs 7.


Carolyn Koh

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn Koh has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.