In a sneak preview before tomorrow’s launch of Square Enix’s latest free to play MMO, Fantasy Earth Zero, MMORPG.com was given a demo of the game and an insider interview with developers GamespotUSA. The PvP Coliseum preview of Fantasy Earth Zero and interview showed a rather traditional MMO PvP setup with one twist that has been gaining popularity in recent games.
The Coliseum was described as reminiscent of ancient Roman structures. Outside, there were vendors, barbers, couriers to send a message and a banker. As you might expect, the Coliseum is a circular building, high stones walls, finely crafted columns, your basic Arena Battle 101 setting. There are 2 aspects of the game players can compete in at the Coliseum.
Firstly, there’s your standard PvP deathmatch battles. You check in with the arena master and sign up as a participant. Every time you want to fight in the arena, it will cost you some cash, or Arb Rings, the game’s currency.
A max group of 4 gets in line for a quick, ten minute brawl, first to 10 kills, normal deathmatch with anywhere from 2v2 to 7v7 players a side.
The second part of battle in the Coliseum, the Challenge of Rohm (pronounced, Rome) is a little different, a trend MMO’s are starting to catch onto. Instead of a player on player battle, the second aspect groups 4 players together against mobs of enemies, working together to quell wave after wave of bad guys. You’ll stop mini-bosses along the way until you reach the boss, or “Beast King.” This tactic has been used before in console games for decades, but more and more we are starting to see it in MMO’s and Fantasy Earth Zero is no different. Although it’s level-based, players are advised to try this aspect of the Coliseum after level 20 due to its difficulty.
Fantasy Earth Zero’s level cap will be set at 40 which will be the height of the intense 100 vs. 100 PvP battles the game boosts as its strongest selling point. GamepotUSA opened up to MMORPG.com giving some insider details about their industry and what we can expect from Fantasy Earth Zero.
When asked what sets FEZ apart from the growing number of other free MMO’s out there, GamepotUSA answered, “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 game play is what makes FEZ unique–the rush of battle is great fun.”
Talking about the new Coliseum level being in direct response for players demand for a smaller arena in which to have more intimate PvP battles and more to do, GamepotUSA said, “…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.”
GamepotUSA was then asked an interesting question about the difference, if any between what Japanese gamers want from a game and what American audiences want. GamepotUSA responded with, “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.”
Finally, GamepotUSA was asked about the future of classes and races, their response: “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.”
The game launches tomorrow, May 18th 2010, and its free!