UBISOFT to Launch a New Might and Magic Heroes MMO
Date: 07-20-2010 Views:
KeyWords: Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms,UBISIFT,Chris Early,Michael Fuchs
- Summary: A special thank you goes out to Chris Early for taking the time to make this interview possible! The "a little bit extra" that I mention near the end, was a portion of the interview where he was giving me gameplay tips. I removed that section, as it makes absolutely no sense unless you have plaid the game.
UBISOFT to Launch a New Might and Magic Heroes MMOBy Michael Fuchs
Michael Fuchs has been playing MMOs for over 8 years. He has a strong passion for the competitive side of video games. Besides video games, his passions include reading, writing, and roleplaying. He currently attends the University of Wisconsin - Waukesha for a degree in Communications.
A special thank you goes out to Chris Early for taking the time to make this interview possible! The "a little bit extra" that I mention near the end, was a portion of the interview where he was giving me gameplay tips. I removed that section, as it makes absolutely no sense unless you have plaid the game.
Michael Fuchs (MMOSite): My name is Michael with MMOSite, and I'm here with Chris Early, the Vice President of UBISOFT to talk about Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms. Can you tell us a bit more about your position with UBISOFT?
Chris Early: My official title is Vice President of Digital Production, and what I do here, is I work in the regions of the Americas; North America, Central America, and South America for all of UBISOFT's digital products. That's whether these are digital versions of Assassin's Creed all the way through to X-Box Live Arcade games, GSN games, to Facebook games and browser-based MMOs like Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms. So what we do is everything from the marketing and sales of those to the coordination of some of the development of them here locally, and the distribution into those territories.
Michael Fuchs (MMOSite): The game was originally titled "Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms". What spurred the decision to change the name and break away from the traditional "Heroes of Might and Magic" title?
Chris Early: Well, the Might and Magic brand is really the core piece for it, and as we looked at the game and how you play the game, "Heroes Kingdoms" made more sense to us, because you really are working on creating your kingdom, and you're really acting as multiple heroes as your characters in the game. That's really what was behind it.
Michael Fuchs (MMOSite): Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms in my experience so far, seems to have a very slow-paced game play style where you can only take a few actions per day. Does this game play speed up as time passes so that the players can spend more time playing the game, or does it stay at the slow pace?
Chris Early: Two things; in the game as it is right now, the speeds do not decrease in time necessary to do things, but as you begin to build your kingdom, there are more things going on at more times. For example, in a game that I've been playing for awhile now where I've got six cities. There's more than I can do in any one setting. What we find is that people spend a varying amount of time—whether it's working on actual management of all the resources and the attacks or the gathering of troops, all the way through to someone who spends the minimal amount of time just putting in build orders and then coming back at another time. So that's just what happens with the game right now. I think you'll see over time that the amount of time you could spend playing the game will grow from a couple minutes to an excess of a couple hours if you want to spend all the time doing as much as you possibly can. That's on the current game page we have. That said, as we look forward, post-release and through the remains of this year, one of the options that we're developing is to have variable speeds on different servers. I'm sure it's a concept you've seen before in other games whether it be a blitz server that works on incremental time rate so things are happening significantly quicker.
Michael Fuchs (MMOSite): The game doesn't incorporate the traditional tactic-style combat that Heroes of Might and Magic series is traditionally known for. Instead the combat is auto-calculated. How do you feel this will affect a traditional player's view of the game, and what was the reason for this decision?
Chris Early: The reason was relatively easy. The tactic style of combat was really based on the round-base combat, so when you talk about applying risk to other players, that would be ---make a round in sequence. In general, the nature of people being spread out all around and playing at all different times; that would really expand the scope and the time it would take to resolve one battle. That was really undoable at that point. Because the focus was on being able to support multiplayer play, that then affected how we were going to be doing single-player or player-versus-environment play. What we arrived at is what I think is a very good compromise. Instead of just saying, "you've got so many battle points and I've got so many battle points and now we'll randomly roll", that rock, paper, scissors concept of each one having an advantage over the other—calvary having an advantage over archer, or archer having an advantage over calvary—combined with the different tactics and influences that the leaders bring into the battle, both in terms of their skill points, in terms of the items that they have, and in terms of the careers that they've bring to bear and lastly in terms of the spell that they can cast makes for a wildly unpredictable battle when it actually gets resolved. That's why scouting pays off if you're going player-versus-player.
Right now the scouting is automatic when you're playing in your own area and playing against the environment monsters. But when you go up against another player, you don't see anything unless you scout them out in advance. Then, depending on the level of the scout, you may get only true types, you may get specific truths and actual quantities, and you may or may not get leader abilities as well along with it. The scout role becomes important in the mid-game when you're going player-versus-player to be able to know what you're fighting against. Then the question is, when you're a defender and set up your forces in the game session, do you say 'this is going to be my hero that has the defendant responsibility, this is the troop…'
You put the troop in the particular order you want them to be in, and that's kind of your defense for when someone's going to attack you while you're away. If someone does attack you, the game is set up so that, as long as you allow it to, it sends you an email in the real world, and you can then see the attacking forces that are coming towards you and potentially realign or morph your defense. As the attacker, you can then align your troops when you begin the attack to go out, fight that person, and what round are you going to cast spells going to attack and so forth . We still tried to allow a fair amount of depth to the combat knowing that it was kind of a pre-programmed or general view, or commander's view, of the combat orders and then let the troops go out and battle it out, as opposed to having squad level control.