MMOsite: What great cities will you integrate into HKO? It seems the closed beta only restricts to Sanrio Harbor,the Forests and Florapolis. Can we expect more maps during OB?
Ali Aslanbaigi: Expect to see iconic capitals such as Tokyo,Moscow,Paris,London plus a generous amount of explorable areas for players to adventure in. For Open Beta however,we plan to open up Paris and London and all the in-between areas only.
MMOsite: In HKO players can own their own house and choose from a variety of pets; can you tell us something about them? How can people get their pets? And what benefits will players get through owing a house?
Ali Aslanbaigi: I must confess there are two aspects of the game that I just adore: farming and the pets. During the CB,the pet system was still being developed and their only function then was purely aesthetic. For Open Beta,we#DY#re planning to give pets a more active role in the game. First and foremost,they act as "mules" because they have their own inventory space. Second,they act as "buffs" for the players since your pet#DY#s stats affect your own so make sure you raise your pet well! For all of those clamoring for a pet battle system,we#DY#re still playing with the idea so don#DY#t dismiss anything just yet. You can acquire pets either through Pet Cards that are dropped by the monsters themselves or through the Item Mall. So if you want a Scorpion pet,you better start hunting Scorpions and hope they drop that elusive pet card. Unfortunately,players can only carry up to three pets.
We like to think of houses as status symbols that people have to work hard for. Houses require a lot of resources and a lot more time. However,Guildmates can help pool their resources to build a house. Up to five players can work on a house at the same time. This feature encourages people to team up,rub elbows with each other and form a guild to help one another. Once completed,homeowners can spiff up their houses with furniture and appliances that they can interact with i.e. sit on couches,watch videos uploaded in Sanriotown#DY#s Dream Studio using the TV,lie on the bed,etc.
MMOsite: Can you say HKO is a game only for girls and teens?
Ali Aslanbaigi: Definitely not,although we won#DY#t deny that the knee-jerk reaction for a game like HKO is that it will grab the attention of girls and Hello Kitty fans. However,HKO#DY#s focus on casual gaming and social integration has attracted even the hardcore of the hardcore. This is the sort of game you play to take a break from gaming. HKO offers players a chance to just kick back and relax and grow a couple of watermelons in the process.
MMOsite: What sort of options does a player have when creating a character? Is there any concept of race,class and faction in HKO? What are the playable characters we can choose? Can we star as Hello Kitty?
Ali Aslanbaigi: We don#DY#t conform to the usual format of character creation with a selection of race/class/faction. Players choose their gender,put in information such as blood type,and birthday and then select their hair and face. Sad to say,players can#DY#t play as Hello Kitty or any other Sanrio icons such as Badtz-Maru,Keroppi and Purin,although they#DY#re present in-game and are integral in the main plot of the game.
MMOsite: What is the ultimate player goal in HKO? How will players advance their character? And what sorts of skills can players learn?
Ali Aslanbaigi: Game-wise,the ultimate goal is to finish the story of the game. Still,the game experience doesn#DY#t end with you finishing the quests. You can hang out with friends,compete in mini-games,raise crops,buy new farms,build better,bigger and more expensive houses and train your pets.
HKO uses a different method of leveling up. There are 4 types of Resource collecting skills: Woodcutting,Planting (crops),Gathering,and Mining. Players have to raise their levels since you need resources to build a house and craft items such as weapons and armor. As players collect resources,the corresponding levels go up as well. Higher-level resources require higher levels of the required skill. A player#DY#s overall is determined by the level of your R.C. skills.
To make things more interesting,a player can choose one of those skills to be their Primary skill and another one as a Secondary skill while the rest won#DY#t reach levels as high as the ones you#DY#ve chosen. This mechanic forces players to trade resources with each other.
MMOsite: Is there any sort of crafting or trade skills available for players to spend their time on outside of killing monsters?
Ali Aslanbaigi: In HKO,combat takes the back seat. Item crafting is MANDATORY in this game because all the better weapons and armor/clothes and more efficient food (used to restore health and stamina) have to be crafted. Item crafting has four categories as well: Cooking,Tools/Weapons,Furniture,Clothes. These categories have levels as well similar to the R.C. skills but they don#DY#t have an effect on the overall level. Higher-end items need a certain level too so you can#DY#t sleep on leveling the skills.