Dungeons & Dragons Online Interview

GB: Assuming there will be some sort of banking system, can you give us an idea of how it will be managed? Do you plan on allowing players to share their banking space between characters on the same account in order to move items around without using a third party? How about an auction system?

Victor: There are banks in DDO that allow players to store items in a safe place. Characters cannot share items across banks. There is no specific auction system in the game yet, however a lot of players use the taverns in Stormreach to trade wares.


GB: In addition to content released in the form of expansion packs, do you have any plans for free downloadable content? If so, what sort of content do you foresee being released for free?

Victor: We will adding content to the game in primarily two ways. As either an expansion pack (which are sold in stores) or as downloadable modules which are included as part of the player's subscription.


GB: Aside from the dragon encounter recently featured in PC Gamer, can you give us an example or two of other epic encounters (demons, devils, liches, etc.) that we will be seeing in D&D Online? Will any of these encounters require multiple full groups of characters or will one solid group typically be able to make it through the most dangerous areas of the game?

Victor: I can't really talk about any of the other epic encounters yet. Even when talking about the Dragon encounter we didn't want to give too much away. We'd like to leave it up to the players to figure out what it takes to be successful in these encounters.


GB: Have you found it difficult to allow certain creatures to use their classic abilities, such as the many different effects of the Beholder's eyes or the Basilisk's ability to turn characters to stone? Have you had to tweak such abilities to make them work in an MMO, or have you been able to keep them faithful to the D&D universe?

Victor: We've been as faithful to the D&D ruleset as we can and whenever we do make a change, we always work with Wizards of the Coast to make sure the change is still in keeping with the spirit of the D&D rules. Fans of Dungeons & Dragonsâ„¢ will recognize many of the monsters' abilities, but we had to mix things up a little bit just to throw some surprises at you all!


GB: Some of the more exciting battles in PnP Dungeons & Dragons were against another party of DM-controlled characters. Will a group of players in D&D Online potentially be pitted against another group of NPC adventurers, each capable of using their own class-based abilities, spells, and even magic items against the players?

Victor: Absolutely. Players will encounter human NPCs, using the same abilities and spells as they have access to.


GB: What sort of AI can we expect from the foes of D&D Online? Will smarter monsters strategically use the environment (such as traps) to give them an edge while battling players?

Victor: Most of the monsters won't use the traps, however players are certainly able to use traps to their own advantage in a fight. Monsters in DDO can be pretty cunning and many have both melee and ranged attacks, giving them the ability to change tactics based on where the players are in a fight. That doesn't mean you can't trick a monster into running into that flamestrike trap you just past through a few minutes ago. As with many things in DDO, we wanted the players to be able to use their personal skills when dealing with monsters, in addition to the skills of their characters.


Thanks for your time, Victor!