Dungeons & Dragons Online Interview

Rob Ciccolini, Standing Stone Games' studio head for Dungeons & Dragons Online recently sat down with VentureBeat to talk about DDO, its history and place in the greater Dungeons & Dragons landscape, as well as the game's unique systems and SSG's plans for the future.

The whole thing goes on for quite a while, so be sure to check it out. And here's something to get you started:

GamesBeat: What makes it so well-designed? What are the mechanics that jump out and say, this is good? What are some things that Standing Stone has added to make it better?

Ciccolini: One thing I like about it is you get the meat of the adventure and the interesting stuff soon. Much as I love some of the other MMOs that have strong landscapes, like Lord of the Rings Online, where you have the big advantage of being in Middle-Earth, for D&D when you log in, when your group logs in, you’re in the dungeon looking for traps and finding monsters and figuring out puzzles very quickly. There’s not a 20- or 30-minute lead-in time. The experience from night to night is extremely varied. There are some nights where I’ll log in to other games, and I know pretty much exactly what I’ll do. I’ll be repeating content over and over again. It boils down to click or kill.

But for D&D Online, all of the dungeons are custom-made. You can run dungeons that are focused on combat, but if you want something different, you can run dungeons with puzzles. You can run dungeons where you have to work with traps. You have to work as a team on a number of things. You have to navigate mazes and find levers. There’s a wide variety of experiences.

Another nice thing about D&D Online is there’s so much content now. As you level, there’s a huge, wide variety of things to do. There’s a new experience every time you try a new character. And there are lots of new characters to try out. One thing I love about the game is you can’t go off into the wilderness and grab someone’s build and just blindly copy it. There’s so much to the synergy with your group, what you’re trying to solve for. There are a lot of build options, which leads to almost limitless customization for your character. There’s a lot there. Especially with cross-class, where you have a number of powerful classes and you can combine them in hundreds or thousands of ways.