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An Interview With Stephen Nichols

Interviews By Donna Desborough on February 05, 2007

An Interview With Stephen Nichols

Staff Writer Donna Desborough asks questions of Stephen Nichols about the upcoming NCSoft title, Dungeon Runners. Nichols is the Producer and Lead Programmer for the game.

MMORPG.com:

How is the Premium Service going to work? And how much will it cost?

Stephen Nichols:

The basic game is free to download and play, and for $4.99/month you get access to members-only features. At present, those features are: access to weapons, armor and magical items above “blue” quality, more powerful stacking potions (take up less inventory space), login queue priority and access to an in-game bank to store loot.

Right now, you can pay for membership with a credit card and very soon, you’ll be able to use an NCsoft game time card. We’re also looking into other ways to pay.

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MMORPG.com:

Will there be future expansions, maybe larger dungeons to explore or new towns? Will they cost or be free?

Stephen Nichols:

Dungeon Runners will be continually developed. There’s no plan for charging players to access new content. However, some areas may be very difficult for free players to make progress in without the members-only gear. We will definitely add more dungeons to explore. More towns? Perhaps… just not for a while.


MMORPG.com:

How do you see the game developing? Will there be PvP or special servers for Pvp?

Stephen Nichols:

Our development plan is flexible. We aim to develop the game based on customer feedback. We do have a lot of ideas in mind and PvP is a feature that’s definitely on the way. However, there won’t be any open areas for “ganking” as you often find in many PvP-oriented games. Indeed, PvP will be limited to arranged team arena matches and other mini-games. Beyond PvP, we will continue to add more skills, loot, quests, monsters and other content on a very regular basis.

 

MMORPG.com:

What do you have to say about the similarities people are drawing between Dungeon Runners and other successful 'dungeon bash' games?

Stephen Nichols:

Dungeon Runners is a game about running dungeons! So, it’s only natural that it shares some similarities with other dungeon running games. However, players will find that there are several aspects that set us apart from other dungeon crawlers: the game is free, regularly updated and very easy to play for short sessions. As you will see, Dungeon Runners doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s just plain easy fun!


MMORPG.com:

Will you be developing a detailed background to expand the story of Dungeon Runners?

Stephen Nichols:

Storyline isn’t a huge part of Dungeon Runners because at this point it is mostly about bashing monsters and collecting loot. Although, there are definitely story elements that unfold in the quest lines that you complete as you play. But, it’s not something that we’re clubbing players on the head with.

 

MMORPG.com:

Will there be more classes and more detailed character development?

Stephen Nichols:

We’re moving toward a classless system if compared to traditional RPG standards. Our March/April update will contain this change. Essentially, you’ll be able to create your own class through the skills that you equip and the items that you use. We want players to be able to change their play style without having to re-roll a character from scratch.

MMORPG.com:

Will there be the ability to create guilds and permanent groupings?

Stephen Nichols:

Yes, a guild system is in the works, although it won’t be available for several months.


MMORPG.com:

What future features do you see for Dungeon Runners? For example: guilds, crafting, shops.

Stephen Nichols:

Here’s a short “wish list” of features we would like to add: integrated voice chat, improved LFG systems, item linking in chat, cross-server grouping and teleporting, a guild system, player housing and item customization systems.

MMORPG.com:

Will there be live events and holiday events? Will there regular GM run events?

Stephen Nichols:

In-game events aren’t going to be a focus for Dungeon Runners unless the customers call for them. We’ll have to see how things unfold.

MMORPG.com:

Will multi-character accounts be able to get a discount if they are premium accounts?

Stephen Nichols:

We will definitely provide a way for players to have multiple characters on a single account in the near future. As for a bulk pricing solution…we’ll have to see if there’s demand for that.

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