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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot Quentin Gallet Interview
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:21pm 12/07/13 | Comments
AusGamers caught up with Ubisoft Montreals' Quentin Gallet to talk about their forthcoming grindfest, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot. Read on for what he had to say...

AusGamers: The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is the sort of game that might have eluded some people, but obviously the hint is in the name, but could you give us a rundown?

Quentin Gallet: So just to give you a quick overview of the game, it’s a free-to-play PC game in closed-beta right now and will be open in a few months. Right now, it’s all about castle attack, and castle defense.

So in this case, you’re selecting a castle you want to attack, and you’re raiding a castle. It’s a very typical type of hack-and-slash type of game -- quite easy to handle at the beginning, but not so easy to master. But the twist here is that you’re actually raiding someone else’s castle, and even if the other player is not connected at the same time, it’s asynchronous, so when you’re away, you’re castle stays in the world.

When you reach the treasure room at the end of the castle, you get 20% of their gold. So you have to protect your own castle, and the way you do that is by placing traps and creatures all around your castle.

You can select these three characters: the mage, the knight, and the archer. The card game Magic The Gathering is our main inspiration, and we give you plenty of tools to both attack and defend. What you have to do is try to find the correct deck that you want to use to defeat this layout. In your case, you’re getting revenge on my castle, because it’s all about bragging and so on.

So this is the game, and on one level it’s fairly simple -- you attack and defend -- but because of the amount of skills, and creatures, and gear you can use, the combinations are huge, and that’s what we’re doing right now.

It’s super-addictive because of the competitive aspect to it. At the beginning it’s, like, “ahhh yeah... I’ll start the game”, but then you get loot, and people start to raid your castle, and it’s, like, “ok! I want to plunder you”, so you do that, and keep on going; and you level up at the same time; and your castle levels up, and you keep on going.

AusGamers: So you said it’s free-to-play. What’s the business model behind it? What’s the purchase system?

Quentin: Even though the tone is quite light, the gameplay itself is quite hardcore, so because of the nature of that type of player, the objective is to do something that is time versus money, because if you do pay to win, you lose everyone. So for us it’s very important... and also because we come from other games -- it’s an Ubisoft Montreal game -- so we are super-dedicated to the design and the core mechanics. So we want to do something which is all about you making the decision: do I raid the castle, get lots of gold; lots of loot and reinvest in order to... or do I buy it, because I want to have it sooner? But we never sell any gameplay advantage.

AusGamers: So definitely no pay-to-win.

Quentin: No, no, no. Even sometimes -- because we have plenty of people playing the closed beta right now -- so sometimes we have some mechanics that we could use because... and the player is saying to us “yeah, you know it really makes sense to just sell that...”; “ok, you’re right”, and if it’s the right thing to do, we switch the currency of this item.

So we are really in contact with the community all the time, and adapting the gameplay, and stuff.

AusGamers: If the game is successful, is there a chance that we’ll see it on consoles at all?

Quentin: Yeah of course, but really, right now the objective is to do something that is really good on PC, and at some point... we don’t want to close any doors, but the objective is to have the people spending lots of time in the game, and having huge fun, because they are using all of the different tools, and then move on. So, so far we invest on that.

AusGamers: So you said that other people can raid your castle even when you’re not online. How often can that happen?

Quentin: Based on the current experience: when I’m playing the game right now, I have in between 10 and 15 attacks per day on my castle.

AusGamers: Is it limitless though?

Quentin: When I lose, because someone achieved to reach my treasure room, there is a shield. So even if people still plunder my castle, I don’t lose all of my money. So on 15 attacks, I will lose twice.

AusGamers: So in terms of loot, and a desire to keep playing, what sort of... do you have tiers of epic, and legendary loot and that type of thing?

Quentin: Yeah, there are four tiers actually. We never sell the legendary stuff, you cannot even buy it with gold; you just have to loot it; you have to raid castles.

AusGamers: So there’s no auction house or anything like that?

Quentin: No. You can buy gear, but it’s not the top tier, and the same thing for the creatures and the traps. You can also level up your creatures, and change the gear of your creatures; you can combine different types of gear and so on, and so on.

AusGamers: So is there any trading in the game?

Quentin: No, so far there is no trading in the game, but it’s something that the community is asking for. They were asking for a replay system, so we put a replay system in the game. So at some point we will put the trading system...

AusGamers: Because I was going to say: there wouldn’t be anything stopping someone just not setting up traps, and just letting someone raid their castle to get loot, and potentially buying that in the real world off them.

Quentin: Yeah, but if you do that, you’re going to go down in the leaderboards. Because you lose money, but you also lose what we call the crowns, which is your way to really be on top of the leaderboards. The way to gain that is to successfully attack and defend your castle; also you get loot -- you get money. So if you don’t put anything in your castle, you’re going to lose.

AusGamers: And the money that you earn is to buy things like upgrades to your traps and things for your castle?

Quentin: Yeah exactly, and it’s really... everything goes around your castle, because in your castle, it’s really your house. It’s this whole aspect of “I don’t want people going through my castle”, and so we use the castle a lot. So instead of giving stats on your castle, we’ll show you in the castle, where people died. So we use the castle a lot, and the layout of the castle, to explain where people are dying, and why, and so on.

AusGamers: Are you on the Mac as well?

Quentin: So, so far it’s only on PC.

AusGamers: Any chance that you might go to tablets as well? Because it seems like a good fit.

Quentin: Exactly. But like for the consoles, this is the type of thing we are looking at, but the objective is to really do something which is amazing on PC, and having the community saying that “You know what? On tablet, I’d like to look at my castle, and organise stuff in my castle” or “I want to play the attacker, or organise my leaderboards”, and so on.

AusGamers: So maybe like a companion app?

Quentin: Yeah, but it’s... you can do so many things on the tablets, so right now, the best way to really do that, is to talk to the community, and say “ok, when you’re connected, what do you want to do?”.

AusGamers: So, is there an end-game scenario, or something like that? Or is it simply just keep looting?

Quentin: No. So far you can go up to level 30 in your castle, and your attackers. If you want to level up all of your attackers -- because so far, you have three different types of characters -- it takes time.

Secondly, when you reach level 30 -- because it’s all about competition -- you can keep on playing a lot. Because I was talking about Magic: even if you have all the cards, you can still play, because you want to defeat people; you want to set out specific layouts, or types of attacks. But also, since this game is basically sandbox, and you want to give tools to the player, we are also thinking of what specific tools are we going to give to the players who reach the end game? We have already many options, and it’s going to be cool.

AusGamers: So can players roll more than one character?

Quentin: Yeah, the different characters are tools...

AusGamers: So you can have all three going at once?

Quentin: Exactly, because it’s one of the tools. You say that “ok, I’m going to raid this castle”, but this castle is a very melee type with strong minions, and a very epic bust, you want to use the knight, because he’s really good at doing melee. Or on another setting, there are plenty of traps with glue mines and stuff like that -- you want to use a long-ranger. Using the different types of characters, you will have different types of experiences also.

AusGamers: Ok well that’s all I have to ask. I’m really happy that I saw it.

Quentin: Thank you, have a nice day.
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