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Dark Age of Camelot Interviews: Labyrinth of the Minotaur

By Dana Massey on August 21, 2006

A coy Director of Community Relations chats with us about Labyrinth of the Minotaur

EA Mythic's Director of Community Relations Sanya Thomas recently sat down with us for an interview on their recently announced Dark Age of Camelot expansion, Labyrinth of the Minotaur. Unfortunately, there were a few questions she was not yet ready to answer fully. Nonetheless, for those that cannot wait, here is what we learned.

MMORPG.com:Obviously, the idea of a cross-realm class and a cross-realm race is a departure for a game that has always been quite strictly segregated. Why did you choose to go a route that seemingly brings the three realms closer together?
Sanya Thomas:

In terms of storytelling, this gave us a lot of new avenues to explore. It's been five years since we launched the original game. There's only so many times you can tell the "and each realm discovered this new race at the exact same time" story without feeling silly. The minotaur race, and the unlockable class, is a new angle for us.

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MMORPG.com:Are you worried that a single cross-realm race will be confusing in RvR?
Sanya Thomas:

It'll definitely require a new kind of strategy. ;)

MMORPG.com:The press release mentions Minotaur holding a two-handed weapon in a single hand. From a gameplay perspective, how do you intend to balance this?
Sanya Thomas:

I put in the grab bag Friday that we have some ideas we think are terrific, but after five years of this, we're very aware that our best plans may not survive beta. Sorry not to be more specific, but we're at a point where we need to do play testing before commenting further.

MMORPG.com:With regards to the new class – the mauler – you’re a bit vague in the release. It seems to say they’re a hand-to-hand combat class (martial arts). Can you explain what exactly this means in gameplay terms and if they do not use weapons, how do you economically balance them?
Sanya Thomas:

No - and in this case, I can't explain because we're saving the details to release at out Las Vegas Roundtable. That's the annual real life gathering, and we always try to have something special for the attendees. This year, it's expansion information. We're planning to have breakout panels for people to learn our plans for the Mauler.

MMORPG.com:Sometimes bigger is not always better. How do you intend to make the new dungeon – touted the largest in any MMORPG – accessible to individual players or even groups?
Sanya Thomas:

The dungeon (with its maze of twisty passages all alike) is the enemy, not necessarily the monsters you'll encounter. We're not stuffing the dungeon with giant boss monsters - we want this to be a fun new environment.

MMORPG.com:The first thing that sprung to mind when I read the press release was that the idea of epic “story-driven content” may evoke images of Trials of Atlantis for some. I assume that is not the intention, can you explain how you’re steering clear of that?
Sanya Thomas:

We aren't including those kinds of monsters, those kinds of encounters, those kinds of items, and the raid/level requirements aren't the same. How's that?

MMORPG.com:In terms of time spent, how difficult will it be for an existing Champion Level 5 to get to 10?
Sanya Thomas:

Depends. Are you going to devote every waking moment to getting to 10? Or are you just going to play and let advancement happen as it happens?

We are assuming the OCD guys will do it in a matter of days. Normal people with other hobbies such as "raising children" or "eating" will take longer. Again, sorry to be so vague, but this is kind of thing we'll be fine tuning in beta.

MMORPG.com:For RvR expansion, you’ve added Minotaur relics. What do these provide the players who have them?
Sanya Thomas:

Vegas, baby, Vegas.

MMORPG.com:The Minotaur – on your website and in mythology – is half-man and half bull. Given you’re already making an individual into a race, will that race have females?
Sanya Thomas:

Half-MAN, half-BULL. What were gonna do, slap udders on the character?

MMORPG.com:What has the EA deal meant to the evolution of this expansion’s focus and design?
Sanya Thomas:

We hired more developers. The people we already had on the project can now focus on specifics, while the new people can get up to speed with live game improvements and patches. But honestly, EA's presence will be felt mainly on things behind the scenes - distribution, etc.

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