When the developers at Perfect World Entertainment put together their
North American version of Perfect
World International, everyone on the staff at Ten Ton
Hammer was impressed. Everything in the game was translated extremely
well, and the gameplay matched what we expected from a game that
boasted so much hype.
Now the PWE team has put its efforts into the localization of
Saga Online, but what should gamers be expecting
with PWE’s next MMO title? Along with more tween-friendly
graphics and standard class-based advancement system, ESO sports one of
the most in-depth pet systems in any MMO thus far. Recently, Ten Ton
Hammer’s Cody Bye got on the phone with Craig Beers, the
product manager for ESO, to talk about the game’s pets.
Pets are a
big part of Ether Saga Online.
Ten Ton Hammer: Pets are
a big part of your Ether
Saga Online. Can you give us some basics? Can anyone have
pets? Can you choose to fight without a pet?
The pet system is the integral part of our game. Every class has a pet
in our game, unlike other MMOs that only have specific classes that can
have pets. They are important to the gameplay in several ways.
First, there are nine monster types in the game, and there is a
paper-rock-scissors system between those monsters. Some monsters have
definite advantages over other monster types. You can bring along pets
that can assist you against monsters that you might be weak against or
want an advantage over. You can choose to fight without a pet, but the
pets do give you added bonuses and skills that they get as they level
The last really crucial element in the pet system is the fact that you
can Fuse with your pet and you have a shared HP pool. So if
you’re fighting a really tough monster that would normally
wipe the floor with your character, you can Fuse with your pet and
whenever the monster hits you, half the damage will go to you and half
will go to your pet. That’s really good for tanks as well,
especially if you’re fighting a big, bad boss mob.
Ten Ton Hammer: Do the
character classes fall into that
“paper-rock-scissors” system too?
the player characters in the game are humanoids, so that fall under one
of the monster types. But the classes don’t necessarily fall
into something like that.
Ton Hammer: From your
official website, it looks like Ether Saga Online uses a basic
class-based system. How does the pet system work into that? Do pets
change depending on your class? Or can anyone have any type of pet?
four monster types that players can capture.
I’ll try to bridge all of those questions together. Right now
there are four monster types that players can capture. We will
eventually be opening that up to more monster types that you can
That said, whenever you get a new monster, that creature has random
statistics. One of those statistics is called attitude, which is broken
down into normal, fierce, calm and bright. Each pet acts differently
depending on the type of attitude they have. If they’re
fierce, they are a front line fighter type of creature.
They’re more melee oriented, while bright types are healing
If you’re a tank, you might want a bright type pet to heal
you while you’re fighting. But if you’re the
conjurer class, you probably want a pet that can tank a mob for you.
Ten Ton Hammer: So if
you’re in the later levels of the game and want to specialize
even further into your class, you might opt for a pet that adds extra
bonuses to your character on top of what you already do. Is that a good
way to think about it?
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you
talk about the Fuse system a little bit more? Is it something
that’s based off of a timer? Are players only going to be
merged with their pets for limited amounts of time?
There’s no timer on the fused pet system.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
a drawback to the system?
you’re Fused with a pet and don’t have another pet
on the field, your pet doesn’t gain any experience, so that
could be a drawback. However, when you have an active pet on the field
and fuse with another pet, you have the option to split EXP between the
two pets. So a Fused pet can receive anywhere from 0-100% of
the Pet’s share of EXP. Other than putting another pet at
risk with the fusing, there are no real disadvantages to the system.
The game tries to encourage you to level up multiple pets for the
melding system and monster advantage system.
But there aren’t any penalties to Fusing with your pet.
Ten Ton Hammer: So pets
can level on their own? Do they automatically gain new skills and
abilities? Or will players need to go to vendors to upgrade their pets?
will gain one skill on their own, but you can also go to a trainer in
town and learn new skills for that pet based on their attitude
statistic. For instance, fierce pets might gain an ability that boosts
their attack power or something like that versus a bright attitude
gaining healing spells and things like that.
Pets have a faster leveling curve than the player. It’s much
faster, in fact. I’ve been playing a character on the closed
beta; I’m level 25 right now and I have two pets that are
both level 26. They level up much faster than the player character, and
that’s basically to use with the pet melding system.
Ten Ton Hammer: How many
pets can a player have at a time?
can have one out and active on the field, but you can keep as many as
you want in your inventory slots. There isn’t a stable that
you can put your pets in like Blizzard has put in WoW. Assuming you
have space for it, you can own every single pet in the game.
Ten Ton Hammer: What
happens if a player uses the same pet from the very beginning levels to
the end game? Will the pet be super strong? A pimped out super pet? Or
will players be looking for that stronger pet?
always be looking for their next cool pet.
Players will always be looking for the stronger, more advanced pet. The
mobs that players can capture later in the game have stronger stat
growth than the early pets. Every single pet has a specific range of
stat growth, HP, strength, stamina, etc. The stronger monsters have
better stat growth.
Ten Ton Hammer: So
players will be trying to get into those higher end areas and trying to
capture the more advanced monsters so he can have the
you can only capture a pet if his level is the same as yours or below.
You can’t capture a higher level pet. Those higher level
monsters would kill lower level players anyway, because
you’re trying to get that monster down to a sliver of their
HP in order to capture it.
The capturing isn’t 100% guaranteed every time either. You
have to go into town and buy these nets from an NPC and sometimes those
captures will fail. If you’re trying to capture a pet
that’s at your level, it can be fairly dangerous.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are
players going to be trying to capture every single pet? Will we want to
catch them all?
think so. A lot of the monsters from the end game are really awesome
looking. That said, you start out with a little baby fox.
It’s definitely not the most badass looking pet,
You’re going to want to go out and get something that looks
Ten Ton Hammer: Do the
appearance of the pets change when they level up? Are people going to
collect the bigger monsters simply because they look better?
People will probably collect the pets for different reasons. Some
people will have the Pokemon attitude and want to collect them all.
Others will want to collect the unique looking pets that no one else
has. Some players will probably collect them to level them up and use
them for the “melding system” that I referred to
When pets hits level thirty or above, you can meld two of them
together. You aren’t going to create a chimera, but you are
going to get one of those two pets back with increased statistic
growth. You can meld pets up to ten times. You can really max out pet
stat growth that way.
When you meld pets, their stats reset back to level one, and
that’s why the pet leveling curve is so much faster than the
players. If I have a pet that has an HP growth stat that is five points
higher than it was previously, that pet is going to have 150 more hit
points by the time he hits level 30.
Ten Ton Hammer: So
essentially end-game players are going to capture ten of the highest
ranked pets that they can, then they’re going to meld all
those pets together to form the “uber” pet. Is that
what players are going to do?
*laughs* There are several reasons why players are going to use the
meld system. One is the stat growth that I talked about. The other is
in the attitudes. When you start melding your pets, they have a chance
of having an upgraded attitude. A bright pet can become
“pious” and that allows them to gain more advanced
Ten Ton Hammer:
You’ll do that be melding two bright pets together?
is a way to create a monster that players can't currently capture.
There’s a host pet and a supporting pet, and if you have the
bright pet in the host slow, that’s where you’ll
get the upgrade.
I don’t know if you’ve ever played
style="font-style: italic;">Shin Megami Tensei series,
but it’s a lot like that.
There’s also a random chance that you’ll get a
completely new pet. That increases as the melding numbers increase; if
you’ve melded a pet over three times the chance for mutation
Ten Ton Hammer: Is that a
good thing or a bad thing?
unique aspect of it is that the creature might mutate into a monster
type that players can’t capture right now. Essentially
it’s a way to get something in the game that no one else has.
Ten Ton Hammer: Do
players have to control their pets? Or is it a system that’s
more AI controlled?
will automatically assist you if you attack a mob, or you can give them
directions to go attack a mob. The weaker classes like to have the
aggro nabbed by the pets for them, so they can unleash their spells.
For the pet skills, they can either be auto-cast or manual cast.
Ten Ton Hammer:
Essentially, players have as much control over their pet as they want.
Exactly. Players can have pets come and assist them or they can tell
their pets to sit their and watch. The pets are smart; they
won’t go run off and attack a monster if you don’t
want them to.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
anything else you’d like to tell Ten Ton Hammer readers and
potential Ether Saga
really just want to let everyone know that this game is accessible to a
wide audience of players. It’s definitely an MMO for
experienced players, yet a person who’s new to MMOs will play
through the game very easily. Someone who wants to get more out of the
game can go into the meldings and the monster types and have a much
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