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Turbine, Inc. | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 02/28/06)  | Pub:Atari
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Dungeons & Dragons Online Interviews: Q&A #3

By Mike Jobbagy on August 12, 2005

The third bi-weekly Q&A, as we continue to probe Turbine

Ken Troop answers Mike's questions in the third installment of this series. Check back on August 26th for five more questions and answers!

MMORPG.com:How does the combat system differ from other games?
Ken Troop:

The combat system of pen and paper D&D® does a great job of taking both the capabilities of a character and the real-time decisions of a player into account to simulate the immediacy of action combat. So in Dungeons & Dragons® Online: Stormreach™ we worked hard to make sure the experience was both genuine and fun to play. The result is a unique combat system where player decisions and character stats are equally important.

On screen, you see monsters lunge and attack, maneuver and position. As the player, you can try to stay beyond the reach of a sword or press the off-hand of an opponent. You make the call on whether you attack, defend, prepare to parry, or tumble out of the way. But in the background, dice are still being rolled (you can actually see the d20!), saving throws are being made and damage is being calculated. The movement and animations are fluid and interactive so while there’s a give and take, you’re never counting rounds. Meaningful controls and feedback allow a player to rely on their reflexes or count on their character’s skills. Of course the most successful combatants will be ones who can master both.

MMORPG.com:What options will we have regarding our screen layout?
Ken Troop:

We’re not ready to say much about the UI at this time, given that this is a component that is subject to modification all the way through Alpha and Beta, as we incorporate feedback from players. We want the game to be intuitive and accessible, and we expect to learn a lot now that we have players in the game with us.

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MMORPG.com:Are character classes going to be locked into particular skills, or can anyone be anything they want to be?
Ken Troop:

There are character classes in the game that have a specific set of skills, feats and abilities that are either cheaper for them to buy, or that have specific abilities unavailable to other classes. However, we also support the D&D multi-class system, which adds the flexibility to gain the abilities of another class, and so characters can be highly customized. The only limitation to the multi-class system is that each level in each class still counts toward the level cap. This means that in order to gain access to the most powerful abilities, a player should specialize their character.

MMORPG.com:It has been stated that there will be no PvP. I am sure you KNOW there will be pressure to have PvP put into the game. Are there any plans to add PvP later down the road?
Ken Troop:

At the moment, we are deep in development on the game’s initial release and are not working on PvP design. We know that a lot of MMORPG fans love PvP, and we do consider it a possible addition for either an expansion or a content update. D&D is about heroic quests, and the system isn’t really balanced to have those heroes pummeling each other regularly, especially at high levels. We are committed first to making a game that is fun and faithful to D&D.

MMORPG.com:Can you tell us a bit about the AI in the mobs and NPCs? Will there be groups of monsters wandering aimlessly, waiting for death, or will they have some agenda or purpose?
Ken Troop:

Monsters are placed in the world in certain contexts to give them personality when you first encounter them. So, coming upon a hill giant camp, you may see them sleeping, guarding an object, patrolling or some other action that fits into the quest. Many of our quests involve preventing the monsters from some kind of agenda of their own. They may be on a mission to destroy an object that you have been asked to protect or they may be guarding one of your objectives.

Thank you Ken!As always, make your thoughts known in the comment thread and on their hype meter.

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