Exclusive Wild West Online interview on PvE servers, budget, and Red Dead Redemption 2

Here at Massively OP, there’s nothing we like to hear more than word that new, bold, and big MMORPGs are in development. Over the past week, Wild West Online rode in on a dusty horse out of a desert of MMO development, delivering the reveal of this western sandbox followed by a surprise announcement just this morning that full funding had been achieved and a launch was scheduled for later this year.

To dig more into these announcements, we sat down with Stephan Bugaj, Chief Creative Officer of 612 Games, to ask a few follow-up questions about this exciting project, its budget, its scope, and if only PvP gankers need apply.

Massively OP: So who are these investors who have agreed to fully fund Wild West Online to launch?

Stephan Bugaj: It’s a group of private investors who believe in our project vision and got excited by the response last week.

What is Wild West Online’s launch budget?

We’re not disclosing financials, but our budget is way way above the $250,000 we previously mentioned as our Kickstarter goal. You can’t develop and launch a complex online multiplayer with $250,000 alone. In fact, we’ve spent more than that in the past year to bring the game into its current pre-alpha stage.

Eschewing both Kickstarter and Steam Early Access in the current market goes contrary to many games’ approach and seems to bypass opportunities for easy publicity. What are the advantages to aiming for a full launch instead?

One of our goals for a Kickstarter campaign was to validate our beliefs that a market and audience exists for this game. Given the enthusiastic feedback we’ve received since the game’s reveal five days ago, we realized that we don’t need to use Kickstarter or Steam early access for publicity. At same time, by avoiding Kickstarter we are showing the public that we will provide a final product and erase any doubts that usually come from a Kickstarter-backed game.

Regarding early access, while it can work really well for an online multiplayer game, we don’t want to turn Wild West Online into one of those “eternal zombies” games that are stuck in early access for years. We’d rather go the traditional route and make a final product that allows us to concentrate on alpha and closed beta stages to make sure that the game doesn’t have any major problems by release and to get valuable feedback from our community.

Is the game still focused on PvP with little to no interaction with NPCs? How come?

Our reveal actually mentioned that WWO has both PvP and PvE activities, but for some reason it has been perceived that our game is strictly PvP. Combat will be between players, but we have plenty of other activities tailored to either single player or co-op play that will not include killing everyone you see.

There are NPCs in the game and some will provide you with information: Some will give you missions and quests, and some are just there to trade with. The world is big enough for players to “be lost” and not meet other players if they don’t want to.

Why create a multiplayer western and aim for a late 2017 release with Red Dead Redemption 2 doing pretty much the same thing? Is there concern about direct competition?

When we first started designing the game and did our initial development, RDR2 wasn’t even announced. We didn’t want to throw away our efforts just because RDR2 was announce so we continued with development.

We love RDR, we love its story, characters and single player focus. And we’ll play A LOT when it will come out — we’re fans after all. However, our focus is slightly different: It’s on creating a living breathing wild west world that is populated by hundreds of players interacting with each other. We don’t know how it will compare to any online component RDR2 may have, especially given that there’s still no word about PC version of that game.

Will there be a public alpha or beta?

Yes. We plan on running a number of alpha tests this summer, with a closed beta available by the fall and a short open beta prior to the game’s launch. Players will be able to get a taste of what’s coming, provide feedback and help us create the ideal western game they wanted.

What localization will be included?

We’re planning on having English, French, German and Spanish versions, with the potential of adding Russian, Portuguese, Thai and Mandarin to that list.

What is the full list of stretch goals that are now going to be made into the game?

At launch we will include female characters, rich role-playing, and social activities such as card games and localization, which were all planned stretch goals. In addition, we have a few other previous stretch goals and further content that we’re going to release for free as part of several expansions following launch.

How long has WWO been in development so far?

We started working on the game slightly over a year ago.

There is concern among some players that we’ve seen who love the idea of a western MMO but don’t want to participate in PvP, either consensual or non-consensual. Will WWO have anything to meet their needs?

For those players we’ll offer community-driven PvE and roleplaying servers. These servers are community-driven and players who don’t want to do ANY PvP whatsoever will be free to do so and have their own “reality” on a custom server, or they can join one of the community-ran and -regulated roleplaying servers. It’s pretty much the same concept as the role playing servers for World of Warcraft.

Thank you for clarifying some of these points!

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78 Comments on "Exclusive Wild West Online interview on PvE servers, budget, and Red Dead Redemption 2"

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Melissa McDonald

Unfortunately the brevity here doesn’t really explain it. We’ll just have to see I guess.
“Combat will be between players” doesn’t tell us if there will be combat on a PvE server against players and NPCs. Wish they’d be more detailed in their answers, or the questions asked.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Feyd Darkholme

I’ve always wanted a Wild West MMO! I really hope this one is amazing! I’ll definitely give it a shot!

Solaris
Reader
Solaris

Interested.

Reader
Vellik

A little over a year in development and aiming for a late 2017 release along with being multiplayer seems like a very tall order, and a rather daunting prospect. I’m skeptical that they can reach their 2017 goal in time.

That being said, there needs to be more genre exploration in the MMO instead of the tired themes of fantasy or sci-fi — historical, urban, a return to post-apocalyptic, and other such themes need to be explored as well instead of playing it safe all the time. So I’m skeptical, but at the same time I really hope that they can pull this off. It might encourage other devs to explore more themes in games. If they can pull this off, I might give it a look.

What I would really be interested in seeing is an MMO set in a pre-industrial Asian country (Japan, Korea, and China are primarily what come to mind [China especially, since an integration of the Mongol hordes might be interesting]) without things such as what is included in the games that Snail offers (fantasy wushu setting). Low fantasy in general is something I find interesting as well.

Reader
Craig

They should rename it the Tamed West…

Reader
Kayweg

Still cautious after reading this.
To me, it feels a bit like he tried to dodge the bullet when it came to PvE content and consensual/non-consensual PvP.
“Community driven PvE and RP servers” ?
What does that mean, ffa PvP still applies but people can opt out of it ?
Well, i can pretty much imagine how that’s gonna go, if so.
Also, “the world is big enough for players to “be lost” and not meet other players if they don’t want to.”
Sorry but….yeah, right.
Should be interesting to follow how this progresses though, as more details become available.

Reader
jay

It sounds like players will be able to run their own servers, and you can make your own options on that server. (disable pvp, RP, etc) This is similar to what star citizen’s plans were. You can play on the official server, but all bets are off, gloves are on.

Or you can make your own server, or play on someone else’s custom server, and frolic around with bunny rabbits to your hearts content.

django857
Reader
django857

Wait so how is it that your first report said it was only open world pvp and now these guys saying that was wrong? Please explain how this got screwed up.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

my belief is that they DID say it was open world PvP and after some backlash and “nopes” responses, they allowed for private servers/RP servers/PvE as their solution. But if you read the comments they also said “combat will be between players”, so we are still left with more questions.

Reader
Reselect Name

“The wild west, now a lot less wild with new PVE servers!”

Reader
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johnwillo

My number one desire now is: firearms that have ranges (and concurrent aiming difficulties) on a par with actual weapons. Tabula Rasa had some cool assault rifles, but they could only shoot about as far as you could accurately chuck a large rock. Completely immersion breaking, and you see it all over the MMO sphere. Hell, archers in WoW are pretty limited in range. I understand that there are technical and gameplay issues, but they have to be overcome by the developers.

Sarigar
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Sarigar

This game will be great, right up to the point at which the players enter it.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

I am still a bit concerned about this comment: “Combat will be between players”. Having no combat in PvE content, to me, is very confusing, and likely means PvE is little more than resource gathering/crafting. I surely hope I am mistaken, but that seems fairly definitively stated.

I would really prefer combat with NPCs to hoomanz. NPCs don’t taunt or teabag. Hopefully the devs grasp that.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

Westerns aren’t my genre (even Wildstar’s aspect of it was a turn off) but I also weirdly want to give this a chance.

Reader
Utakata

I have got a strong feeling that there’s indeed a very strong market for this game. Love it or hate it, this game looks to become a real thing. And the devs seem to be addressing many concerns when this came out on a positive note. So I’ll be looking forward to what they produce..

…and as for myself, there may indeed a gun slinging senshi of pink booms riding into town in this game’s future. So look out! /tips hat on left pigtail <3

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Suggestion to the game devs for PvE content that is replayable: Randomly spawning dungeons. in a western, that probably means a “Mine”, may we even dare wish for a “Haunted Mine”… not a “dungeon” of course. But remember original Diablo? The levels all randomly spawned each time you started the game. It really made it endlessly replayable, because every run through the dungeons was a fresh design, configuration, etc.
You can’t make towns or geography do that, but you sure could in instanced content. Diablo is a great example of a grind being Fun.

The Old American West was full of folklore, ghost stories, indian magic… this is rich, fertile ground for making a great video game.

Reader
Jeff

Hmmmm I’m a huge old west fan, but I think a Deadlands or Westworld Online game would be more interesting.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Tell HBO :)

Reader
Teala Te'Jir

If it uses a psuedo-FPS type combat and doesn’t included more PvE than PvP count me out.

Reader
Chris Moss

I am all over this game!!! I can not wait til I get a chance to play.

Reader
Richie K

Is this going to have shooter combat mechanics like in RDR or that mmo shooting mechanics ala Fallen Earth or SWTOR style? If its shooter type combat like RDR then I am willing to at least try it, if it is FE type then count me out.

Reader
Sorenthaz

I’m always wary about stuff like this when it’s like “Oh yeah we got the funding now, we’re gonna release this year!” and then it just winds up with a rushed mess of failed promises that gets shut down within a few months or else badly struggling to recover by dragging itself on one mostly broken hand with both legs and the other arm being taken away.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zoward

Okay, they had my interest … but now they have my attention

Purewitz
Reader
Purewitz

Was Wild West Online once called Frontier 1859? Frontier 1859 was an old west MMO in independent development about a decade ago now, that never came out and news of it went dead at some point.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

” The world is big enough for players to “be lost” and not meet other players if they don’t want to.”
======
It’s like… a No Man’s Sky promise… but in reverse!

Reader
starbuck1771

Well you have to remember this is the wild west and most cities were not around yet so expecting to see mass populations all over wouldn’t be realistic. BTW I live in an area filled with wild west & civil war era history. Dodge city is a hour and a half drive from here and 25 minutes to Lawrence both with rich history. Research Bleeding Kansas.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Rottenrotny

“by avoiding Kickstarter we are showing the public that we will provide a final product and erase any doubts that usually come from a Kickstarter-backed game.

Regarding early access, while it can work really well for an online multiplayer game, we don’t want to turn Wild West Online into one of those “eternal zombies” games that are stuck in early access for years. We’d rather go the traditional route and make a final product that allows us to concentrate on alpha and closed beta stages to make sure that the game doesn’t have any major problems by release and to get valuable feedback from our community.”

I like this guy already.

Also it’s cool that they’re again doing the more traditional thing of having different server types. If there’s an RPPVP server I’ll be there!

Reader
Chris Moss

I was very shocked and happy at the same time when I heard the game got funding without doing a Kickstarter.

I can not wait to see what they are able to deliver!

Reader
Pedge Jameson

I was impressed by that myself.

miol
Reader
miol

Especially with a Western theme, I think only allowing combat between players, certainly makes them avoid many potential “landmines” around many historically sensitive topics about that time from the get go, in a pretty rigorous way! o.O

If you think about everything what customers did or wanted to do to those cyborg NPCs in Westworld…

Reader
Pedge Jameson

Really dude?

miol
Reader
miol

I think, it’s a very smart idea of them to only allow murder-hobos to kill each other! ;P

Reader
Pedge Jameson

People need to stop depending so much on spellcheck as it screws your grammar immensely.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Ashfyn Ninegold

Snake oil, my friends, snake oil.

Reader
Loopy

Sounds like a lot of neat plans, i’m hoping they come to fruition. What i do hope is that it doesn’t end up being a survival-style MMO, or the community PVE servers end up being “Ever, Jane” worlds where all we do is craft and explore and roleplay.

Reader
Pedge Jameson

To each their own, but that “Ever, Jane” is, well, I’m sorry but that thing is just strange and I really would not care to see what those people look like in real life. I can picture alot of “M’lady” neck beards.

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Paragon Lost

Heh…love the “eternal zombie” quote.

Reader
Luke LeClair

How much will it cost to play

Reader
Arngrim

Kinda confused how a PvE server will work when the only fighting you do is against other people. Seems kinda dull, and more of a chat simulator if that’s the case. Unless they have Duels or some it’s just more of a flag on and off for PvP.

Reader
portnavi

I suppose going with just PvP will save them money and time without having to worry about implementing any kind of AI, but it definitely makes for a lackluster gameplay experience. Throw a bunch of people into murder world and we’re just ending up with a western version of Rust.

Zander
Reader
Zander

I’m not huge on pvp but take my thumbs up.

Reader
Sray

My thoughts exactly. If the only combat is PVP based, then it’s a PVP game, and players on PVE servers might as well just be on Second Life.

Reader
Pedge Jameson

PVE on RDR had alot of mission based content, alot like GTA:O has. So I doubt it would be just chat.

Reader
Chris Moss

I was about to say this right here

Reader
Sray

“Combat will be between players, but we have plenty of other activities tailored to either single player or co-op play that will not include killing everyone you see.”

The statement within the article implies that combat is solely a PVP activity. I do believe that it’s poor word choices on his part, but nonetheless the statement does boil down to combat = PVP and PVE = non-combat gameplay. I feel it’s a point that needs to be clarified, and given a few of the other posts in this thread, it’s clear that I’m not the only one that is taking this statement this way. I like the idea of a game having more to do than just killing stuff, but if the only combat in the game is PVP, then PVE servers are a gigantic waste of time for an Old West themed game.

Reader
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BalsBigBrother

an arranged gun fight at the OK Corral would be awesome or duels at the stroke of midday sort of deal. That is the sort of pvp I would get on board with but beyond that not interested.

Reader
life_isnt_just_dank_memes

If they ever announce saloons with card tables for people to gamble in game currency on and just be poker players i will be beyond stoked. i wanted pazaak tables for in game currency gambling between players in ToR and that never happened.

i’d love to see some options for hunting game as a homesteader. hopefully this game will be popular enough that it will get fully fleshed out. the possibilities are amazing for this game.

Reader
Chris Moss

“At launch we will include female characters, rich role-playing, and social activities such as card games and localization, which were all planned stretch goals.”

Reader
MesaSage

Give me a horse, a gun and some open plains. Oh yeah, let me homestead and trade and I’m good.

Reader
Chris Moss

This game really has alot of potential

Reader
kidwithknife

I’m liking the sound of this. Wild West hasn’t been a genre that I’ve been particularly craving from an MMO, but I could have said the same thing about superheroes before I got into City of Heroes. So I’m definitely open to this game winning me over on that count.

I also LOVE that they’re aware of the sketchiness surrounding Kickstarter MMO projects. That they’re paying that kind of attention to what’s going on in the marketplace says good things about them, IMO.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Reminds me of how Blizzard, before WoW launched, focused on the “true” game experience being on PvP servers but with the option of PvE servers for those that wanted all PvP to be consensual.

I’m now curious about how many players will in the end opt for the PvE servers. Blizzard originally expected those to be little populated, but they ended being just as popular as the PvP servers, if not more; I wonder if the same won’t happen here.

Reader
Mick the Barbarian

WoW PvE servers have always been way more popular.

Reader
McGuffn

This doesn’t sound anything like WoW though. It sounds like this western game won’t have combat AI for NPCs.

Will NPCS give you quests? Sure. But it could be kill 10 players, or mine 10 gold nuggets.

Reader
Armsbend

Blizzard certainly didn’t suffer because of it. Whatever server they play on – if they are playing your game then you win.

vikaernes
Reader
vikaernes

I’m 100% in on this. It sounds like the dream MMO I’ve been waiting for. Also, a community site for roleplayers is already up at wwo-rp.com.

Reader
Chris Moss

I am sooooo ready for this. Tired of the same old WoW clones.

Reader
Armsbend

Everything he said is what I want from game development. My hype arms hairs are not standing straight up…but I can feel them tingling.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

yeah this interview is sounding good to me too. :P

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BalsBigBrother

Community driven pve servers interest 1000% increased, BRING IT ON

Reader
Chris Moss

I really love when a MMO gives a choice of PVP and PVE.

While I plan to start on a PVP(even tho that is not my normal choice) I really think it might be fun to try.

Plus if I can always swap to PVE for a little exploring

miol
Reader
miol

*MOP really has to fix that backslash absorbing! XD

But if you want, you can use one of these instead: ヽoノ \O/ ヽ(´∇`)ノ \(^▽^)/
\( ● ⌒ ∇ ⌒ ● )/

;P

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BalsBigBrother

Why thank you ヽ(´∇`)ノ

Reader
Leiloni

I’m still confused as to what he means by “community-driven” PvE and/or RP servers. Does he mean they’ll allow the community to designate unofficial PvE and RP servers, or will they offer official ones based only on community feedback/desire for such things? I am assuming all servers will be official and they won’t have private servers or anything.

miol
Reader
miol

Sounds like Shards Online (Legends of Aria) to me.

Reader
Leiloni

I’m not familiar with their setup?

miol
Reader
miol

Maybe WWO will not be that extensively customizeable, but it sounds in that direction:

Legends of Aria features a larg-scale world with eight different large regions for players to explore, each with varying degrees of security. The game’s official server will feature open PvP …

And if there’s something about the game you don’t like? You can still change it. There’s still full modding support for the game, ranging from the very simple options screen that allows for straightforward changes to fully rewriting the game. We took a look at one such Shards Online world, which turns the game into a class-based affair with extensive Lua scripting. …

But it’s still straightforward and easy to configure. If you don’t want PvP to be enabled? Turn it off. Want PvP but no looting? Same difference. Want to allow friendly players to be hit by abilities and AoE spells? You can turn that on. Want every player to start with quintupled health but lower movement speed? You get the idea.

Moreover, the game also is set up so you can decide how much of the game world you want running. If you’re just hosting a small server for a few friends, you can just manually shift between regions as you go. If you’re running a larger server? You can have everything running at once. It’s all meant to be just as open to modding and customization.

So the short version is that Legends of Aria is still an MMO that allows players to mod and customize the game’s ruleset to the owner’s liking. It’s just that now it allows players to have a much bigger world in the process.

http://massivelyop.com/2017/03/13/pax-east-2017-citadel-shards-online-legends-of-aria/

Reader
Melissa McDonald

That’s good news. I will be interested in a PvE/RP server. Don’t want a private game, i.e. solo. I want to be among people who want the same things I do.
Make good on that promise and I will give it a try.

Edit: I have absolutely no problem with consensual PvP/dueling. I just want to bloody turn it off when I want to, and maybe, duel when it is desirable. “Open PvP” where we can be lawlessly murdered just for the sin of playing the game is what people like me do not want.

Zander
Reader
Zander

Developer:

For those players we’ll offer community-driven PvE and roleplaying servers.

Melissa:

That’s good news. Make good on that promise and I will give it a try.

Holy shit Mel, for how much you pitchfork and rally megaphone nonconsensual PvP, you should be ecstatic! Like the wild west without all the lawlessness? Wanna collect tumbleweeds in peace? Want to RP a poker player or Madam without the risk of being shot? THIS game is for yoouuu.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

I am Carebear Fuzzbutt, of House Fuzzbutt, First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Carebears, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Nah, she has a point here. When you’re talking about a sharded game where players can roll their own shards, and you say that official servers will be PvP but you can roll a PvE server if you want, that’s not really what people want. If they did, they’d play an existing sharded game under a custom PvE ruleset.

I dunno that’s what’s going on here, but what people actually want is a legitimate PvE (or flag PvP) server, run by a legitimate company — not be told they can mod it for a dozen people off the books if they feel like it. We already have a dozen games like that. We have next to no real consensual PvP sandboxes left.

Zander
Reader
Zander

I dunno that’s what’s going on here, but what people actually want is a legitimate PvE (or flag PvP) server, run by a legitimate company — not be told they can mod it for a dozen people off the books if they feel like it. We already have a dozen games like that. We have next to no real consensual PvP sandboxes left.

I think what’s going on is when a game is in concept, design choices need to made that flesh out the mechanical theme of the game itself. Economics, occupations, class viability, how realm events play out, all have a direct impact on the what type of design direction is chosen. ‘Combat’ is the main attraction and chosen theme for most MMORPG’s and making profit is and should be the overwhelming idea of this type of creativity because that’s what most MMO players want. Those who don’t want non consensual violence tend to know MMO’s are not a logical choice and avoid those situations. Ya, there should be dedicated MMO’s where people have more creative things to do than to kill one another but it isn’t attractive enough in the end. I think what bothers me is that there aren’t enough games that protect the passive player in those aggressive environments.

I don’t pvp but I do want some risk with my reward that isn’t an NPC challenge.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

We have dozens of themeparks with plenty of combat but minimal to no PvP; it’s bizarre to argue that sandboxes with plenty of combat but minimal to no PvP have no place. Sandboxes are not defined by PvP, open or otherwise.

Zander
Reader
Zander

it’s bizarre to argue that sandboxes with plenty of combat but minimal to no PvP have no place.

Never argued that there isn’t a place. That place just happens to be smaller. Do you feel that any of these dozens are considered popular? Which game?

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Er? WoW’s PvE servers, for a start. Or ESO, or GW2, or SWTOR, any themepark where PvP is sequestered and consensual. It’s the vast majority of them, and they’re so popular they’re choking the genre to death.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

and LOTRO

Reader
Leiloni

I think some people just prefer to pitchfork.

Reader
Eliandal

You are not alone in those “wants” :D

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