Friday, August 5, 2011

A Reason for Optimism? Hunter's Kingdom (Japan)

I don't think many of you have ever played the original Japanese version of Fiesta Online called "Bright Kingdom", I never did, but from what I've heard/seen it was fairly similar to what we had with a few tweaks here and there.  Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, at some point Bright Kingdom failed and its doors and windows boarded up and shut down.  This was probably back in 2009 if I remember correctly.

So with great surprise did I find out that "Fiesta" is seeing a revival, or as the trendy Hollywood-types call it, a reboot, in Japan!  Going with the new name, Hunter's Kingdom, I'm guessing they kept the "Kingdom" part to evoke some familiarity with their players of old, while changing the name slightly to make it appear fresh, new, and exciting.

So what does this mean for us on OutSpark's service?  My hope is that we start seeing more updates and on a grander scale.  Looking at the screenshots on the Hunter's Kingdom (I'll refer to it as "HK") website, there are some variants to the game we enjoy, like this update to Roumen:

Carrier Pigeon system and the New Roumen
Roumen looks... WOW.  Different!  Gone is the sorta half-and-half Town/Battle Zone where the Slimes and Mushrooms are.  The town is simply that, just a Town.  It has the familiar kind of bullet shape of most traditional port towns with the widest area being the ocean side.  The architecture has also seen what looks to be a tremendous upgrade over the old.

Introduced in HK is also the "Carrier Pigeon" system, known here as the AutoRun feature for the low level questers.  Perhaps this feature was developed for the JP market, and just test driven by us.  I haven't had a chance to try this feature out myself, but having used it in other MMOs it has positives and negatives.  Positives are that you don't have to spend time searching for places, mobs, maps, etc.. just click and you auto-run there.  Negatives are that you don't have to spend time searching for places, mobs, maps, etc.. just click and you auto-run there.  Haha, no I'm  not going mad, yes, I said the same thing twice.  Having this feature, in my mind, discourages exploration.  We already have a feature that highlights where mobs are on your map, I thought that was enough.  Anyway, it's both good and bad, just depends how you want to see it.

Stat-Bonus Title Sytem
Also seeing a difference is their Title System.  Currently, our titles are just that, Titles.  They provide no benefit to wearing them other than it shows some exclusivity in that you accomplished whatever parameter it was to acquire it.  In some other MMOs, whatever title you currently wear provides some benefit, possibly an EXP boost, a drop boost, bonus HP, whatever.  It appears that HK is following suit.  Looking at the images, you notice there are bonuses down at the bottom as the character swaps titles out.  Hopefully, we see some port of this also.

Reputation System
Hunter's Kingdom also features a Reputation System.  I don't know if this differs from our Monarch (Master/Apprentice) System at all, but it appears like you can earn different items through an NPC which includes some armors and Mounts.

Old "New" Charm Icons (bleh!) and Trickster Artwork
It looks like the HK players will be using the "New" buff icons that we protested so profusely about.  I'm so glad that we got the old ones back.

There are several really cool anime-style drawings of each class (like the Trickster [Joker in HK] posted above), but unfortunately, only the Archer looks true to the in-game character.  Geez, I wish my Mages looked like that!  That Cleric reminds me a lot of Belldandy.... hmm.

So how will their version, as far as skills go, differ from ours?  I really have no idea.  The previous version, from what I heard, had some skills that we never saw.  I don't know if what they are offering is the same or not.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Now, I'm sure you're asking if I plan to play there, well honestly, I doubt it.  It would be nice to maybe play for a day, or a week, just to see the differences, but the OutSpark servers, and Bijou specifically, will always be home.

Personally, I do think that this launch back into the Japanese market will be a win for us here.  With a new influx of players generating more revenue, I'm hopeful that OnsOn can hire more in-house developers to meet the demand.  Cynics of course will think that this will just stretch the existing OnsOn staff members more and result in less updates and less fixes, but hey, I'm always optimistic!


  1. I sure hope you are right Fatal about this being a win for our version. I personally would love to see some of the new features in that version in our own. Especially the newer looking Roumen which could use a major facelift in our own version in my honest opinion. Glad to see some more information of this version though. ^^

  2. Hmm. A lot to think about...I really like the idea of having boosts added to the titles, but I'm not much of a title acquirer so it won't affect me much anyway >.< I would definitely start using a title, though. Currently I just think characters look cleaner without titles so I don't bother using one.

    As for Roumen, I'm not really fond of the new layout shown :/ maybe I'm just sentimental, but I think revamping Roumen like that would have a lot of backlash like the "new" buff icons did. I think it would be really neat if they added another town (with that layout), but that seems unlikely and ultimately unnecessary. But seriously. Sometimes I just want to go punch a slime in Roumen D; they can't take that away!

    Annnd we have the auto-run. We already see that this is being implemented into our Fiesta based on the quest list :/ I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. When I tried it on luvinia, I had mixed feelings from the start. It was a new mmo, so it was handy to have it auto-direct me to where I needed to be. However, when I had to find things on my own, I was very lost and confused. Its like people that always use their gps to get around irl - they never develop a sense of direction because they've never had to. In the end, that's why I decided not to dedicate any more time to luvinia. I spent half my time trying to figure out where things were (and there were no "Quest" icons on the map for npcs, which was frustrating). I'm super thrilled about the monster highlights on the map since they weren't around when I played Fiesta last time; I agree that this was certainly an upgrade and should be sufficient enough for players to navigate.

    In the hopes of not sounding too negative, I really like the artwork :D haha! And I think you're right about the effect it will have on our Fiesta. They will probably be developing new things at a faster rate. My only hope is that they will know when to limit themselves - not every new feature is a good one! :P

    Thanks for the interesting article ^^

  3. Sometimes I have to ask if japanese artists have to give so much... tantalizing /fanservice/ when drawing images of females, and especially when the artwork relates to a videogame. Don't get me wrong, as a guy, it's an ideal thing to look at, but frankly I like seeing style-design artwork for videogames (aka, concept art) that sort of tell the story of where original parts of the game originated from. The archer styled-image, for example, looks really great when compared to the in-game level 20-40ish Fiestian archer we all know. But... the boobs could have been toned down, you know?


    This was the first time hearing about the japanese version of Fiesta though. I'm quite aware that most massively-multiplayer-online games we see here in North America go through translation and even some heavy gameplay conversion changes until we see a product /fit/ for release to the western world, but in my three-four years playing Fiesta, I never discovered what the original title was called back in Japan, but this article solved that. Informative and helpful, not to mention possibly insightful towards what we might see towards the future of Fiesta here in the lands of non-japanese players.

  4. I can read Japanese, so I thought I'd comment on what you said about the "Reputation System". It's not a master-apprentice thing. It says that you can use Fame to buy certain items (a "bonus set") from an NPC that can be used to add a bonus to your stats and stuff.

    Thought I'd clarify it. =)

  5. :O Archers on this Japanese version appear to have the crit party buff skill!


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