Stephane Quilichini, Dark & Light's Lead Designer, answers our questions
Stephane Quilichini is the Lead Game Designer behind Dark and Light, the upcoming MMORPG from Farlan and NPCube. This massive, single world online game has been among the most hyped on our site for a very long time. Starting today we resume a previously abandoned Q&A series with the people behind it. Every two weeks check back for a five questions Q&A.
If you have learned one thing about the development of MMO's that has surprised you most, what would it be?
Obviously, the high level of complexity of the task. Before you can fit every element together, there are many small and large issues to fix. Moreover, the development process spans over a long period of time, and it’s easy to realize that development can last for more than 5 years. Weariness comes out of it, for every person involved. Our greatest luck with DnL was to have a very supportive community, which helped us a lot, and still helps us reaching the end of the development process.
One of the features that MMO's provide is that ability to run dynamic quests. Are there plans for the Dark and Light team to run such quests? If so, could you go into some detail about how they might be ran and the benefits to players?
There will indeed be dynamic quests; however, we wish not to reveal our methods yet, and to keep the joy of discovery for players who will be involved.
Let me insist on the fact that our world is unique, that everybody will live in a single universe, which allows us to stage events with unique quests in 5 languages. Every player can enjoy these quests through adventures where NPCs will often be GMs in disguise, which will certainly improve the quality of interactions, and player interest.
In a recent update to the FAQ, you mentioned that quests will be from simple to complex. Could you go into any detail about some of the more complex quests? Are there quests that are epic in size, perhaps follow a story-line?
Quests use a tree structure with multiple decisions, and it is quite possible for one quest to have several endings. Every answer a player gives to an NPC will have an impact on what will happen in the quest. The difficulty level will increase with time. For instance, in the hardest quests in the game, the player will have to manage his or her divine factions (a way to show your relations with each of the 9 gods in Ganareth) in order to speak with specific NPCs. In order to do that, they will have to somewhat damage their relations with their own god and gain interest from their enemy gods, and then speak with that NPC. This also means the player will not benefit from his or her own god’s protection, which can be a problem later on.
Will D&L have any kind of prestige system, giving added benefits such as titles?
Nobility titles are an important part of social life in Ganareth. If you want to progress in the political way, you may wear a nobility title, from Baron to Prince. Any player can become a lord when they own a fortress they either build or take.
Concerning professions, the system allows the player to go from Novice to Grand Master. Same thing for combat.
Some questions about transportation. There is a lot of excitement about mounts and the ability to rent mounts. Will it be easy for an average player of D&L to be able to afford to rent mounts?
Indeed, our famous Dodo will be one of the first rewards for starter quests. Then, according to race and fighting orientation, players can access many mounts that range from a horse to a dragon to a giant stingray hovering 1 meter above the ground. Mounts are very important to players, since they allow them to reach any place of Ganareth within a reasonable travel time.
Players who choose to become explorers may even go further by taming uncommon mounts, and then use them to their full potential.
Thank you to the folks at Alchemic Dream and Dark & Light for taking part.