Although development of Dungeons & Dragons Online is still in the very early stages, we fired off a few questions to the guys at Turbine to get some preliminary information about the MMORPG. Here's what they had to say:
GB: Equipping a character with a variety of magical items was always a fun aspect of tabletop Dungeons & Dragons. Do you plan on implementing many of the traditional D&D magic items in the MMORPG version, or will you be creating some of your own?
Turbine: We’ll definitely want to use as many of the traditional Dungeons and Dragons magic items as possible. At the same time, expect some unique magic items created just for D&D Online as well. Of course, some magic items that you’ll find at the back of the DMG just don’t fit with the game. We’re sorry, but the Apparatus of Kwalish is probably out.
GB: How many players at any time are you planning to have the D&D Online servers support? Will the number of players per server be comparable to other MMORPGs?
Turbine: We’re taking a different approach to population size than other MMPs have done to date. With worlds on other games often having a concurrent population of several thousand, there’s a good chance that you’ll never see the same person twice. We don’t think “bigger is better” in this case. Dungeons and Dragons Online will use smaller, (and therefore more) worlds to better foment a sense of community. Your actions and conduct in this world will have real consequences --the people you see on the streets won’t be strangers, they’ll be neighbors.
GB: Will the graphics engine be similar to the one you used for Asheron's Call II? If not, can you tell us a little bit about the engine you're using and what it's capable of?
Turbine: The engine used is a further evolution of the engine used in AC2. Major enhancements have been made with the physics and animation systems to support the visceral and tactical combat experience of D&D Online. While our previous incarnation of the engine was beautiful, we knew we had to make alterations for it to allow the nail-biting and intense combat and dungeon-crawling experiences of D&D Online. In addition, we’ve made a number of changes to optimize the engine and take advantage of the latest graphics cards.
We'd like to give our thanks to the Dungeons & Dragons Online development team at Turbine for taking the time to answer our questions! Once they've made it farther in the development cycle, we'll do our best to provide even more information about this much-anticipated MMORPG in the future.