Line of Defense’s Derek Smart sat down with us to tell about his MMOFPS. There appears to be three big MMOFPS games in-development currently and in a market that is very bare for this genre, one of these titles is bound to stand out. Derek Smart made it very clear what their title will and won’t be, he was very blunt and didn’t shy away from what his game offers.
Line of Defense is about skill and the game will reward players who excel on all facets of the game. If you are looking for an MMOFPS that’s main focus is the hardcore shooter fan, then learn more below with Derek Smart kicking you in the mouth with some knowledge.
1) One of your selling points on the game is that there is “No pointless grind. No boring crafting. No inconsequential resource collection. Just pure war on a very – very – large scale.” What exactly should players expect when jumping into your game then?
They can expect absolute mayhem. Right off the bat, you’re going to get lost. Then in a very short time, stabbed, shot at, blown up in really creative ways, thrown off a cliff, bridge or high building, thrown out of a perfectly good aircraft, shot out of a decompressed airlock from space – and amazed at what this game truly is.
2) Customization is a really big part of games for me, especially in MMOs, one of the worst things is being in a huge lively world and then seeing players that look exactly like you, what customization does Line of Defense offer?
This is not that game. If someone wants to heavily customize their look beyond their exoskeleton, they’re playing the wrong game. I don’t have time for that. It’s a time-wasting exercise that serves no purpose whatsoever and does not improve the gameplay experience in any way, shape or form. This is a serious game for serious gamers.
Several games have focused on customizing so much so that when you enter the game – it’s crap – and you find that they should have spent more time on the gameplay experience instead.
Line Of Defense has various minor customizations (e.g. your combat exoskelton aka skin) which allow players to stand out. But this was done mostly for the fireteams (aka guilds). You’re not going to customize your hair, nose, face or bulging codpiece. But do feel free to dress up as you see fit before you sit down to play. Then turn on your camera and broadcast a live feed.
3) Players can fight on foot, in vehicles, or even in aircrafts. If I wanted to, could I possibly be a vehicle/aircraft specialist? Focusing less on 1v1 combat and being more of a support character.
No. The game is skill based. If you’re good at flying or driving at break-neck speeds, then you’re pretty much a specialist. You do have certifications which determine what assets (weapon, vehicles, aircrafts etc) you have access to, but that’s it. So it’s not like you’re going to be able to buy anything that makes you a “specialist” at anything. You just have to be good enough to call yourself that.
So if you are good at flying games, then you can pretty much focus on that aspect. You get to be the guy who goes up in the air, gets others where they need to be, takes out key ground targets from the air etc. If you make a name for yourself, eventually you will have people relying on you because you’re the guy who can be counted on to do those things. For example, not everyone is going to hop into an aircraft and be able to take out Surface To Air silos. You have to be good at flying to actually hop into a fighter or gunship, let alone be effective at combat engagement.
This game requires skill and it makes absolutely no compromises in that regard.
4) What are some advantages of being part of a fireteam (guild) in Line of Defense? Should we expect bonuses, special features, and/or additional customization options?
Yes – fireteams have various perks available to them. Because the game is skill based and “loot drops” are meaningless, being in a fireteam comes with a sense of responsibility as well as some high end features and minor customizations. There are some certifications and assets which are only accessible to fireteam members. For example, you can’t buy/build or use a FARP’s resources if you’re not in a fireteam.
5) Players can build their own planetary base as a sort of housing or fireteam HQ, can you tell us more about this?
The idea behind this is that due to the size of the game world and the need to engage hostile forces from various areas, it made sense to allow players to build their own forward bases (similar concept to modern day military Forward Area Refuelling Point).
So fireteams can buy/build these FARPs and pick a valid deployment location on the map. This then gives the fireteam access to all kinds of features including inventory and health stations, vehicles etc. So you can use these for staging grounds – especially if there are no friendly bases that you have access to.
For example, say all three of the four planetary bases have been captured by the other side; this means that your team no longer has access to lot of resources. If you have a FARP, it makes things that much easier and gives that rebel alliance sort of operation so that you can continue the fight. At least until your FARP is taken out.
6) We are talking about an MMOFPS, what variety should we expect in weaponry? How much freedom do we have in customizing our guns?
We have quite an extensive weapons list if you check the assets database on the game’s website. We have ballistic and energy weapons; most of which can be customized in a variety of ways. Customizations range from scopes to grenade launchers.
Aside from weapon attachments, variety in energy and bullets (e.g. armor piercing vs regular rounds) etc there are no other weapon customizations. We wanted to focus on fun and gameplay, not time wasted in fooling around with needless customizations.
7) Obviously this title is a free-to-play game, sometimes those words are tied to some lame games. What does Line of Defense do so players aren’t instantly turned off by hearing “free-to-play” and what would you say to gamers to make them want to check out your game?
Well there are various interpretations of the free-to-play terminology – and they have all been mangled by one game or the other.
In Line Of Defense, our F2P model refers specifically to the fact that a) there is no monthly subscription; you play for free on any server you like b) you can purchase the game client at minimal cost and get some cool starting gear or get the free client and you get to play long enough to acquire that same gear.
There is NO nickel and diming going on. We only sell essential items which players actually want, but don’t need. So someone can go buy an x16 scope attachment for their sniper rifle, but another person with that same sniper rifle can play long enough to acquire experience points which can then be converted to currency with which to buy that scope.
I have spent a small fortune on this game and without the benefit of a publisher. So I have every interest in recouping my costs and hopefully turning a tidy profit. But I’m not going to do that by nickel and diming my install base. I figure that – as with all my games – long term engagement is the key to success. This formula has worked for me for over twenty years and over a dozen developed games; so I don’t see the need to change that. I’d rather make $30 per player in six months, than in six days because it means that my gamers are engaged in the game and not worrying about being nickel and dimed.
By the same token, anyone who thinks that this game is primarily a pay-to-win game, is barking up the wrong tree.
As to the stigma associated with F2P games in terms of quality, that’s just nonsense which goes back to the early days when publishers imported a bunch of sub-par crap games from Asia (where gaming standards are less than they are here in the US).
The quality and quantity of F2P games have increased and improved since then; so now it really is just a business model more than anything. There are a lot of games vying for the same dollars; so this F2P business model allows gamers to try many games then settle on the very few that they like. Engagement is key.
Line of Defense is currently in Beta and you can sign up now for your chance to help shape the final product.