Over at PC gaming show Rezzed, Staff Writer Gareth Harmer managed to catch up with End of Nations' French Community Manager Franck Vacher. From team play to bacon, here's what they discussed.
ZAM: We’ve seen Heroes, which I understand are the new Elite units. How popular have they been, and how have players reacted to them? Are they overpowered, underpowered or balanced well?
Franck: We added them two weeks ago, so we’re still collecting feedback on them. They can be really good depending on how you play. It’s hard to say if they’re overpowered or underpowered – sometimes when I’m playing, I don’t take any heroes because they don’t fit with my other units. We’ll be working more on balance in the beta, as our Alpha’s been more about the technical aspects of the game.
ZAM: You’ve mentioned teamwork, and being able to play as part of a strong team will be vital. Will there be any tools for guilds or squadrons?
Franck: We have a clan system, so you can create a clan, invite players, manage officers etc. You can join battles as a group too, so that you can be sure that you will play with your team. It’s hard to try team play if you don’t know who you’re playing with.
ZAM: Do you get things like clan motifs and crests that you’ll be able to buy and then put on your tanks?
Franck: Currently we don’t have, but I know there are ongoing discussions about it. Probably not for release though.
ZAM: You’ve decided to go free to play with End of Nations, while RIFT is subscription based. What made you decide to go free to play in this case?
Franck: We want to have massive battles. If you want to have massive battles, you need to have a lot of players. And the best way to have a lot of players is to go free to play. It’s also really important not to have a pay to win, because if you have pay to win then players will leave. So our question was how to have a huge number of players, and free to play was the best way.
ZAM: I heard tales of a bacon skin?
Franck: Yep, that’s my skin. Most of the time I’m playing with another player, I am bacon, and he’s playing with small pink units. When you’re fighting and you see bacon moving on the map, it’s strange, but we laugh about it! We also have submissions from players – if we think an idea is good, we’ll probably work on it.
ZAM: You recently announced the founders pricing deal...
Franck: Yes, it was only a few days ago. The game is free, but when you add the founders edition you will get early access, all the beta events, two extra skins – one is motherboard, one is magma - and your commander will start at level five. You’ll also get a 10 win loot bonus, which means that at the end of the battle, when you gain resources, you have a loot bonus. You’ll also get two months of VIP membership, which means when you use the cash shop you get a 30% reduction.
ZAM: Beta is just a few weeks away – July 20th – how much will be ready for players to test, and how can players get in?
Franck: To join the beta currently, we’re giving away a lot of keys through our forum to active contributors, and every day we’re giving keys somewhere. For the beta, I would say what we’re playing here shows that it’s all ready for the beta. We’ll have these beta weekend events, then an open beta after this.
ZAM: And finally, is there a rough release date in mind?
Franck: We’ve said 2012, so the window is reducing every month!
ZAM: Are you excited for it?
Franck: It’s a lot of stress, but it’s a lot of fun. Every time, when you see the players, every different beta, every different convention, it’s never the same. The first player here, the first battle, everything works well, they’re happy – phew! I won’t sleep during the release period, I’ll just be there looking at what happens, I’ll be in-game, following everything!
We’ll be back with more from Trion and Rezzed later this week and next, including interviews on the latest in RIFT and new MMOFPS Defiance!
Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Staff Writer