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Page 2 of 2GB: Can you describe the item creator that you will be implementing and how players will be able to utilize it? Will items created in this way have the potential to be better than magic items found while adventuring?
Claus: Almost every item found in the game can be player made. There will be some unique items, obtained by completing epic quests or clan quests (for the entire clan to participate in,) Besides these quest items, player crafters will have the potential to make almost anything.
GB: Your FAQ states that there will be no "safe zones". How do you plan on addressing issues of severe player-killing or other forms of "griefing"?
Claus: There are almost unlimited new ways of fighting the griefer for other players. If you don't like someone you have options: Ban him from binding in your town, kill him on sight, have your guards kill him on sight, your NPC vendors refuse to sell him items, or just give him bad prices if you still would like his money. Tell your allies to do the same to him in their cities. Attack his clan, burn their cities, and brag about it. Track, stalk and kill him. Darkfall will let you deal out vengeance any way you like, just keep in mind that it's a double-edged sword.
GB: Can you tell us about NPC hirelings and what exactly players can use them for?
Claus: NPC hirelings can be shopkeepers or city guards. There are a lot of cool features we're looking to incorporate in NPC control and AI.
GB: Since the game is entirely skill-based, how do you plan on balancing issues with specific skills being more powerful or over-utilized than others?
Claus: Since every player can - technically speaking - get most skills for their own character, it is pretty much balanced straight out of the box. Having 500 skills and spells on a character is obviously great, but actual player ability determines the outcome of a fight, or how successful a tradesman or blacksmith turn out to be. You certainly can't use all 500 skills and spells at the same time, so your choices in a combat situation will be the factors that determine success or failure.
Having the biggest toolbox in the world, does not make you the best handyman around. You have to learn how to use every tool in the right way, and know which ones to pick for each job. We think Darkfall will challenge players in a new and exciting way, to depend more on their own abilities as players, than to rely on uber characters with all the levels and equipment available. It is something new, and we think the players of Darkfall will love it.
GB: Will there be multiple phases to the public beta? Have you arrived at a date when you might begin such a beta?
Claus: Starting from Closed Beta in September, we will slowly add more and more testers. We will have an open beta shortly after, for stress testing.
GB: To conclude, what do you feel Darkfall Online has to offer over that of existing MMORPGs to attract both new and veteran players?
Claus: Freedom. Freedom for the players to play the game any way they want, and do whatever they want. We are building an actual online fantasy world, with as few boundaries as possible. There are obvious technical and development time limitations to what we will offer the players on release, but we feel very confident that we are setting a new benchmark for freedom in online games with Darkfall.
We'd like to issue a sincere thank you to Razorwax, especially Claus, for taking the time to answer our questions!
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