Skip to main content

Interview: Neil Chan Talks About Restructuring Tales Of Pirates

Some of you may remember the rather titillating interview that had certain communities buzzing about Tales of Pirates. If you don’t remember the interview or need a mind-refresher, feel free to check it out here. Well, it was time to go in for round 2 with Tales of Pirates Project Manager, Neil Chan…and this time a few more juicy bits about the pirate-based MMORPG were revealed.

Drop down below to get all the details or feel free to visit the Official Tales of Pirates Website for more information.

Blend Games: The last interview generated some buzz because of comments made about the same-sex marriage issue in the game. After it was made public, have ToP players voiced whether this feature should or should not make it into the game at some point?

Neil Chan: TOP is a huge game that is played in countries that span the globe, so it makes sense that so many players from so many different places would have a variety of feelings on the subject. Here at TOP we don’t discourage discussion of the subject, in fact since the story broke we’ve been actively encouraging our players to share their feelings and opinions about it. Since we put out the call for our players to weigh in and help us decide, the debate has been split almost 50/50, and the debate is just heating up...

Blend Games: It’s really cool that some of the King of Fighters apparel has made its way to Tales of Pirates. Did the team have to gain permission from SNK to use the skins in the game?

Neil Chan: The developers always take a lot of time in deciding what makes the cut and what doesn’t. With the popularity of Japanese costume play and anime, the developers knew that this was a great time to add these costumes into the game. Street Fighter and other such games are classics, with easily recognizable costumes and outfits. Their popularity is undeniable. Adding them was simply a no-brainer. However, seeing how popular they’ve become and how much our players enjoy them has been the best part of all.

Blend Games: Are there any plans to bring anymore KoF apparel to the game? Or maybe, Street Fighter characters?

Neil Chan: When it comes to in game outfits and apparel, TOP offers a wide variety. Players who visit the Chinese styled Spring Town will see characters dressed totally different than in the Caribbean Islands. In addition, with players coming from all over the world, their tastes in fashion are just as wide. Really, it's the diversity and selection that really sets TOP apart, not a focus on one or another kind of apparel. Here’s a tip the developers have shared with us - the newest styles being developed draw heavy influence from Korean pop culture. Look for them to hit the Item Mall soon!

Blend Games: How does the team decide what should be updated and when?

Neil Chan: With the success of the latest version and all the new content available from the most recent updates, we’re more focused on the future and what’s coming next. As we mentioned before, the developers are looking to Korea for influence on their designs, and it should be interesting to see what they come up with.

Blend Games: Well, let’s put it this way, did the ToP team want to include various fighters from KoF or did the idea come from elsewhere?

Neil Chan: Our players are the foundation of the game, so arguably their input is more important that anyone else’s, which is why we are constantly engaging the passionate TOP community with design events and activities to give us an idea of what they want and what they expect from TOP. Sometimes these ideas are transplanted directly into the game, other times they are used as inspiration to influence the direction of development.

Blend Games: The new guild war PVP is a pretty cool addition to the game. Are there any plans to further expand on the PVP options in Tales of Pirates, maybe where more maps support free PVP?

Neil Chan: Definitely. We’re now working on a completely new map specifically for players who live and breathe PVP. This new arena will also include features besides fighting, including monster hunting and chasing, teamwork and tactics.

Blend Games: A lot of developers seem to complain about the restrictions sometimes put upon them to complete a game within a timeframe or output a certain amount of content and a certain kind of content. Are there certain limitations or restrictions associated with adding new content or developing new ways to play?

Neil Chan: Absolutely not. Understandably, some groups may see the word FREE and think we’re a non-profit company or something. We’re not, and the fact that we give away our content to players free is no limitation at all. Over the past two years we have worked hard to bring players a ton of new content, features and game systems that make TOP one of the best MMORPGs available. A good example of this is the Master & Apprentice system that encourages players to help each other out more, as well as earning them a pile of credits. So keep any eye on TOP as we continue to bring the best FREE gaming on the web!

Blend Games: Are there any plans to possibly add a new class or more skills to the game, and if so what would they be?

Neil Chan: Hmm… this is a good question, but also a tough one. As you can see, introducing a new class is never an easy task; the biggest concern is not the technology but the influence. A new class means new distribution of power, so it requires us to be extremely careful when making such decisions. With this in mind, we have worked tirelessly to prepare the female Crusader for release in Q4. Skills can be just as difficult to prepare and is the main sticking point now. As we work through it, enjoy the new Seal Master skill that will be added in September!

Blend Games: Is there anything you would want readers to know about the upcoming update that some news posts may not properly cover?

Neil Chan: All I want to add is that a completely new Tales of Pirates will be released in November. This will include a new class and new skills, so it should be lots of fun! Keep in mind, this is no mere expansion but a whole new redesign, complete with new UI, graphics, and systems. We can’t wait to see it and we hope you can’t either.

Blend Games: Thanks again for answering our questions.

Neil Chan: Thanks a lot for offering us the opportunity.

You can check out Tales of Pirates by visiting the Official Website. For more gaming news, information, updates and insight, be sure to stay tuned in with Blend Games.