Bounty Hounds Interview
Recently one of our editors B. Olivia sat down with Terry Torlao, project manager for the upcoming game Bounty Hounds Online. Terry was able to shed some light on the new Scifi MMO in the interview below;
B. Olivia: So tell me a little about yourself and what you do at the studio?
Terry Torlao: Well you can say I’m a person who grew up with online games and is still an avid gamer to this day. In terms of daily operation, I’m the guy who is trying to make sure everything works together like clockwork. If something needs to get fixed or there’s an idea to pass to the developers, I’m the guy who sees that it gets fixed or the info gets passed to who it’s supposed to go to.
B. Olivia: Sounds like an important job! So what’s the official title, if I may ask?
Terry Torlao: It say Project Manager on the card so I’ll go with that
B. Olivia: Sounds good to me. So, having grown up with online games, what are some of your favorites?
Terry Torlao: I usually avoided anything and everything mainstream just cause being a kid with no money tends to affect what you played. But I’ll say I’ve played a large majority of the Free-to-play games out there. I think the major standout in my gaming history was ACE Online which we now host currently. I was playing that before we picked up the license to that. Although I have spent time in games like Lineage, Flyff, Ragnarok Online, and many many others
B. Olivia: Classic lineup. So, speaking of online games, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around our site about Bounty Hounds Online. Some people say it’s going to change the game a bit for F2P MMOs. Can you comment on that? Why might they be excited?
Terry Torlao: It’s a F2P title that pushes the bar in many areas. It’s graphics put it in the top echelons of the F2P arena as well as brings the untouched Science Fiction genre into the forefront of the otherwise Fantasy dominant genre. It’s a major change to the F2P spectrum
B. Olivia: Can you talk a little bit about the game mechanics? Anything that strikes you as interesting or fun?
Terry Torlao: The game is a bridge between action MMORPG’s and point-and-click games. Functionality and appearance wise it looks like a point and click but movement is actually more action based where players can freely move while attacking. Another unique tidbit is that as all characters can weild both melee and ranged weapons, it automatically switches types when you walk from melee to range and vice versa.
Terry Torlao: So you can run around monsters, slashing away and make a quick getaway firing your gun if things get a bit tricky. And this is pretty much seamless
B. Olivia: Sounds very dynamic. Is there a PVP aspect to the game?
Terry Torlao: The game becomes very PvP focused at the higher levels. There are even quests for players to hunt down other players so thats another element to the PvP. There is also plans to expand and change the PvP around so it’s gonna be a lot deeper and more dramatic than what it is at this time.
B. Olivia: Interesting! So is that open PVP, or is it going to be optional? Or will it depend on the server?
Terry Torlao: In our CBT it’s currently an open PvP at the higher levels, although we are looking at more options based on the feedback we’ve recieved.
B. Olivia: And what about the PVE content? End-game?
Terry Torlao: There are a number of quests available for players, as well as instances for players to party up and take on powerful bosses. So there are already a number of things available and we’ll be expanding the number of instances very shortly so the game is definitely in a state of evolution. There are also special bounty hunting missions where a specfic target is announced and players have a set time to find and kill the target.
B. Olivia: Sounds like there’s a lot going on. So, going back to the sci-fi element for a moment, is there anything about the setting in Bounty Hounds you find especially interesting?
Terry Torlao: First off, it is a continuation of the world in the PSP title of Bounty Hounds so there will be some recognizable cameos. What strikes me the most is that the vast majority of Sci-Fi games emphasize a lot of the technology, equipment, ships and so forth. BHO, is more in line like many Fantasy MMORPG’s where the emphasis is more on the character and your experience in the world.
B. Olivia: So it’s more of a character driven sci-fi, like Star Wars, rather than “hard” sci-fi like EVE Online?
Terry Torlao: I would say that would be a pretty good comparison.
B. Olivia: A lot of players love pet mechanics. What will pets be like in Bounty Hounds?
Terry Torlao: The Pet System, or CTU’s as they’re called in-game, are robotic pets which assist the player throughout the game and they can be heavily upgraded and modified to become a major part of the team. However, upgrading them does require you to sacrifice other pets so it develops a very unique relationship between player and pet. In many ways the pet is the other half of your character.
B. Olivia: That is really interesting! Can you customize them in various ways? Appearance, function, etc.?
Terry Torlao: Appearance changes when they get upgraded more and more. Also what items you use in the upgrading will affect their stats so it is very much up to the player on how the pet grows.
B. Olivia: Very cool! Any other unique features you’d like to mention?
Terry Torlao: There are also item crafting and creation that utilizes many of the items and drops found throughout the gameworld. There is also item upgrading system which does not require the use of traditional random number generator to rely on “chance” to upgrade an item.
B. Olivia: Of course! How could I forget about crafting? Can you elaborate a little more on that upgrade system? If it doesn’t use chance, how does it work?
Terry Torlao: Items require effort to get stronger. As you kill monsters on the field you will recieve components which can be used to upgrade your weapons or armors. When equipment reaches a certain number of components added it will get stronger. You can say you’re levelling up the equipment.
B. Olivia: That’s really neat. So, is it possible for someone to use the same weapon or piece of armor indefinitely through constant upgrades?
Terry Torlao: There is a limit. Lower level gear may not even have the capacity to hold components. It does diversify at higher levels. There are plenty of strong stuff that cannot hold components but there are stuff that are slightly weaker that have a very high component limit allowing a lot of upgrades.
B. Olivia: Good to know. Now, this is a question that’s always important to me. How is the avatar customization?
Terry Torlao: When creating a character you will have the usual options to change the facial features, the hair, skin color and so forth. As for overall appearance, there are Blueprints and Costumes. Blueprints are pemanent appearance modifiers for equipment so they will change how they look. Costumes are items that affect the character and not the equipment so you can change how you look without permanently altering your gear.
B. Olivia: That sounds good to me. What about “races” in the game? Can you play as anything other than human?
Terry Torlao: You’re only human in this game. Although there are many other races you will encounter in the game. Intelligent CTU’s, and other alien races like the Tapirs and the Wildsanders are just a couple of examples of the races in the game.
B. Olivia: Are there opposing factions between players?
Terry Torlao: A player can select a faction when they’re starting the game and that is where much of the PvP is centered on. Faction vs Faction PvP. As for how many factions, that is currently under review based on the feedback we’ve recieved from our CBT.
B. Olivia: We’re coming up on the hour, and I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Any final thoughts you want to share with those following Bounty Hounds Online?
Terry Torlao: The game is a constantly evolving game and there is a lot of change in the horizon. Expect this game to become a wild ride once it’s out of beta!
B. Olivia: Thanks for your time, Terry.
Terry Torlao: Thanks for the interview.
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