Nexon's Chris Gyselinck on Vindictus - An Exclusive Ten Ton Hammer E3 Q&A
At E3 2010, Ten Ton Hammer had a chance to look over
style="font-style: italic;">Vindictus, the
free-to-play fantasy MMOG developed by Korean publisher Nexon. style="font-style: italic;">Vindictus boasts
features such as fully destructible environments and dungeons that
change each time you enter them. Ten Ton Hammer sat down with Nexon's
over some cool mead to get some answers about this intriguing game.
Ten Ton Hammer: At
launch, Lann and
Fiona will be the only two characters available?
Yes, they’ll be
the two characters at launch. Evy will be added shortly after that.
She’s my favorite character. I like playing mages and using
spells and she’s got some pretty cool spells. You saw the
that she creates using stuff from the environment.
TTH: With the
environment, will that
change with differences in the environment?
it depends upon
what is on the ground. If you try to create one in an area where
there’s not a lot of stuff, you might just have one or two
Ten Ton Hammer: So
it’s not just looks, but
the environment also affects the power as well?
it does. The golem
is pretty tough; he’s a good asset.
Ten Ton Hammer: We know
Lann is dual wield while
Fiona is sword and shield. What are the principal differences between
the two? Is Lann more attack oriented and Fiona more defensive?
Actually, it kind of
goes against the stereotype. Fiona is almost stronger than Lann, but
Lann is faster. He has combos that involve his dash a lot, so
he’ll dash into a combo. While she (Fiona) can pull her
to block or use it to bash. When it gets to special moves,
got some buffs for the whole party while she has stuff to repair her
shield or use it to make a really heavy shield attack. They have a lot
of different strategies. She’s slower, but not a lot slower
Lann, but when she connects, she does more damage.
Ten Ton Hammer: Do these
skills and combos use
some kind of power? Is there some kind of power gauge?
It’s a stamina
Ten Ton Hammer: We
didn’t get a chance to
look at the UI. Is it pretty minimalist?
There’s just a bar
on top for your health and another bar for your stamina.
a bar that shows your teammates’ health. There are some item
slots at the very top and a chat window on the bottom, and
pretty much it. It’s a pretty slim UI.
Ten Ton Hammer: We saw a
little bit of the ship.
I’m guessing that’s your training area to
yourself with the controls?
where you can party up before going into a dungeon. You can have some
fun there; you saw everyone throwing pumpkins around. There’s
town, where you do most of your RPG type of thing, and from the town,
you go to the docks. There, you can join a boat or create a boat, and
then the boat will take you to the dungeon.
Ten Ton Hammer: We know
crafting is going to be a
big thing in the game. From what I remember, there isn’t a
loot in the game. You pretty much develop everything you have over
time. Is that the case?
do get a lot of
loot, but most of the loot that you pick up is components of what
you’re going to craft. Some of it is usable, but most of it
stuff that you’ll take to the town where there’s
NPCs who have different crafting specialties. You’ll use the
components you loot, plus you can buy stuff from the NPC, such as
armor, that’ll already be crafted.
Ten Ton Hammer: So
it’s the NPCs doing the
crafting, not necessarily the players?
NPCs are where you
go to do the crafting, but you’re really the one doing it.
though you have to use the NPCs, it’s based upon your skills
knowledge. So, when you finish something, it’ll
can’t remember any NPC names right now, so let’s
Jim…when you learn something new, it’ll say Jim
how to craft that item. While they’re technically the ones
the crafting, it’s based on you learning it. It’s
the player doing it, but for story elements, it’s presented
the NPCs are the ones doing it.
Ten Ton Hammer: What
other sources of RPG
elements are going to be found in the town?
different types of quests and there’s going to be some fun,
non-combat type activities, which we haven’t revealed yet, so
can’t say exactly what they are. That’s also where
you’ll do a lot of your leveling up and learning your skills.
can buy skill books. Once you have the skill book, you can level the
skill up, but you have to buy it from the town.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
anything the players can
do interactively together, even if it’s a silly thing?
Absolutely. In the town
is where you’re going to see all the different players.
There’s marketplaces for player to player trading,
message boards, and in the future, we will have PvP, but not at launch.
Ten Ton Hammer: Like an
arena style PvP?
have a few different
modes. Of course, we’re going to have some of the typical
and some that are a little bit different from what you expect, which
are kind of fun. As I said, they won’t be available at
but they’ll be coming shortly.
Ten Ton Hammer: So, with
two characters, how will
players differentiate themselves from one another?
very customizable in their looks.
Ten Ton Hammer: Not just
underwear, (laughs) although that does end up being a very popular
thing. Their facial features can change drastically, you can alter
their height. One of the things that I find really cool is that the
height you select has differences. If you’re short, you might
hit as hard, but you might be faster than somebody who’s tall
might have a stronger attack, but run a little bit slower than the
shorter guy. You can customize their hairstyles, their skin color, and
you can put scars and tattoos on their faces. The girl characters can
have makeup. So you can make your characters look very different from
each other. And of course, all the different armor and stuff. You can
dye your clothing to be different colors. Even though they’re
based off the same character, you can think of it more as classes than
as actual characters. When we play in the office, it’s rare
see two Evies that look the same or two Fionas that look the same.
Ten Ton Hammer: So you
can change hair color and
all that then?
Absolutely. At the demo
stations, we randomly selected the looks, but we’ve got some
with greenish skin and red eyes and other guys who look more
African-American and guys who look more European. We’ve got
with red hair, girls with dark hair, and girls with blonde hair, and so
Ten Ton Hammer: You
talked about how when
you’re running, some of your potions may spill out. Is there
other kind of reality check stuff that you do in the game?
course, the physics
are very realistic. Not only is the environment
I break a pillar, I can then pick up one of the pieces of the pillar
and use those as weapons. There’s a chain as one of the
weapons, and if we’re playing together and I throw the chain
monster and hook him, he might struggle with it allowing you to attack
him. We have some environmental bombs, such as mining bombs, which you
can throw at, say the side of a cliff, and that cliff could crumble
down onto your enemy. There’s a lot of interactive realism
course, the breakable armor. It breaks where you’re hit. If
you’re getting hit a lot in the chest, your upper armor might
shatter. The same thing happens with your boss enemies. If
fighting the orc chieftain and he’s wearing a helmet, if you
throw a boulder and it hits him in the head, his helmet will actually
fall off. If he drops his weapon, you can pick that up and hit him with
that. I can’t remember if you can pick up the helmet or not.
think that you can because practically everything that falls to the
ground, you can grab. When they drop loot, some bosses will drop loot
based on where they have been hit. If you’ve been hitting him
the arm, he might drop his club and that might be some of your loot. If
you’re hitting him in his head, his helmet might be something
you’ll get. The loot can change based on how you’re
attacking your enemy.
Ten Ton Hammer: The size
of the instances where
the players will be. How are they set up?
instances vary. Some
levels are pretty quick, with only a few rooms. Others might be much
longer. It varies on a lot of factors. Basically, as you get later in
the game, those are going to take a lot more work to get through. Also,
the ways the dungeons are built are a lot like LEGO blocks. Other than
the boss monster room, which is always going to be the same, the other
rooms are going to be randomly selected from a series. An example is
that this instance is always four rooms, but the three before the boss
room might be different every time. I don’t know the numbers,
there might be twenty possible rooms and three of them are randomly
chosen from out of those twenty. Those aren’t actual numbers;
they’re just there to illustrate my point.
Ten Ton Hammer: What
about character progression?
Is it level based?
Chris: It is
level based and
skill based. There are several different things you get in battle. You
get xp for your leveling up, and as you level up, that will increase
your stats. You get ap, which apply to your skills, and your skills
level up through several different stages as they get stronger. You
also get battle points, called bp, and those are for accomplishing
different things. You get a certain amount of battle points for
finishing a mission, but perhaps if you do it solo, you get some more
battle points, and then maybe if you do it under a certain amount of
time, you get some battle points. Those are how you unlock other
missions. You might be given a quest, but you might have to do other
quests to get enough battle points to be able to go into the dungeon
you were given.
Ten Ton Hammer:
That’s interesting in that
you have to unlock content by doing content.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will
there be an option to scale
down? Say Ben, who’s an awesome player, is 20 levels above
Will there be an option to scale him down to be able to play with me?
you enter the
dungeon, you can select from 3 levels of difficulty for each level.
Some of the dungeons have a selection for the ultimate hard one. You
can kind of tailor the dungeon to your experience. Of course, the
rewards will change on whether you’re doing it on easy or
but there is some flexibility in how difficult you make the dungeon.
Ten Ton Hammer: So the
scale to your level?
The dungeons are
kind of set for certain levels. Within those, there’s a
bit of a slider to make it an easier or harder one. They definitely get
tougher and tougher as they go along. The first few dungeons are
relatively easy as they’re sort of your training, but as you
later into the game, it gets really tough. In the demo, we have
characters who are level 30 so player can really enjoy them, but that
dungeon that they’re in is normally set for characters level
It’s a lot more difficult in reality, and we shortened it so
people could get through it in a reasonable amount of time. We
shortened it to a few rooms, but it’s a much larger level. I
can’t remember the exact name, but there’s a
where you can do a harder version where you fight two bosses before you
get to the final boss. Or you can do it the regular way where you fight
through the rooms until you get to the final boss. There are different
variables in how you can play the dungeon and you can replay all the
Ten Ton Hammer: How long
are the dungeons?
depends. Some of them
are relatively short, and some of them are pretty long.
designed so that you can play through in an entire dungeon within 15 to
Ten Ton Hammer: What if
you can’t? Can you
resume the same dungeon later?
the same dungeon over, but it won’t save your progress within
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you
quickly escape the
can leave the
Ten Ton Hammer: You can
just log off?
can actually leave
the actual dungeon, which will put you back to town. Of course,
you’ll lose any xp you’ve gained so far. You
to finish the dungeon to get the xp for it. If you die and
make it through a dungeon, even if you already had 2000 xp from that
dungeon, then you won’t get any of it. You have to finish it
get all of it.
Ten Ton Hammer: The ship
that you take to get to
the dungeons. Is that optional or is that a loading screen?
It’s really so you
can party up and make sure that everybody’s ready. So,
not optional, but you can get through it real quick. Here, we have it
so that it’s on a two minute timer, which means that
be in it for two minutes and then you’ll go into the dungeon.
you can actually sit there all day until everybody has clicked on ready
and the party leader has clicked on start. It’s a good place
familiarize yourself because you can try out your combos and stuff, and
you don’t have to worry about getting attacked while
Ten Ton Hammer: How big a
part of the game are
consumables going to be, such as potions or arrows?
a big part of the game with the potions and revival feathers. The
potions, in particular, become crucial although you can get extra
points from finishing a dungeon without using any potions. They do
become crucial for your health as that some of those boss monsters can
practically one hit kill you. Not quite, but it depends on how skillful
you are and what level you are. Some of those guys, if they get you
once, you’re in a world of hurt.
Ten Ton Hammer: So you
need to stock up on those
things before you set out?
in the dungeon, you can’t re-equip. So there’s a
of strategy because you only have four, I think, item slots of what you
can use. You have a much bigger inventory in your backpack, but as for
usable on the fly, I think it’s four that you can equip at
given time. There’s a little bit of strategy in selecting
items you want to take with you. You can take an armor repair kit so
that if your armor breaks, you can still repair it while in the
dungeon, or you can take a health potion or a stamina potion. If you
want a feather to revive yourself or bring a feather to revive other
party members, you’ll definitely need a strategy to decide on
what to bring with you.
Ten Ton Hammer: If your
armor breaks, do you lose
Eventually, yes. It will
degrade over time as it breaks. If it never gets broken, you can have
it forever, but as it starts to break, depending upon what type of
armor it is, you’ll be able to repair it a few times.
when it degrades to zero, then you’ll have to throw it away.
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