Jon Wood is back to quiz Simutronics designer Aaron Strandridge with five more questions as our bi-weekly Q&A series continues with installment #6. There are also two brand new screenshots for you to enjoy.
| MMORPG.com: A combat system has the ability to make or break an MMO. What, beyond group combat moves, are you doing with your combat system that will keep players interested in the long term?
Aaron Standridge: Combat in Hero’s Journey is intended to be a lot more fast-paced and fluid than the genre’s current offerings. Even when fighting alone, there are frequently tactical decisions to be made if you want to emerge victorious. The trick to combat is all in how you deliver the tactical options to the player so that it is interesting, and balance the play so that is challenging but not absurdly so. Hero’s tend to be victorious, but they need to look heroic doing it. And, in good movies and literature, that means interesting resolutions to problems (pugilistic or otherwise). The trick for us is to deliver a way for a Hero to take advantage of his environment as well as his skills in overcoming the enemy.
However, what makes it really exciting for us to work with is how dynamic everything is. Our creature AI can change at the drop of a hat, allowing them to constantly adapt to new situations and threats, and devise new strategies themselves. Quest layout and design, too, allows for virtually any scenario that can be dreamed up. Monsters can devise traps and ambushes, call for reinforcements, utilize chokepoints, and tank for their casters, just like players.
Plus, it looks very sweet. We have some really talented animators here.