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Q&A #6

By Jon Wood on September 30, 2005 | Interviews | Comments

Q&A #6

Community Manager Victor Watcher answers Jon Wood's questions

In the second half of a Friday Turbine double-header, we feature five more questions and answers with Victor Watcher of Turbine Entertainment. The D&D Online Community Manager answers questions this week on a range of DnDO topics.

MMORPG.com:Roleplaying obviously played a large role in the pen-and-paper version of Dungeons and Dragons. What, if anything, are you doing within your game to promote that kind of gameplay?
Victor Watcher:

This is always a difficult question to answer for any MMORPG: We can build the sandbox, but can we get people to play in it? This is why there is such a focus on bringing the D&D character classes to life. These are each unique roles that a player can assume, and so we build them along with content that highlights each role in order to give the player a strong sense of identification with that role.

MMORPG.com:Sorcerers and Wizards are very similar classes. Both, for example, are Arcane spellcasters. In Dungeons and Dragons 3.5e, wizards must memorize their spells while sorcerers do not. How will this be handled in DDO?
Victor Watcher:

The acquisition of spells is unchanged from the D&D 3.5 Core Rules. Sorcerers select their spells as their characters advance, and are always limited to that set of spells. Wizards are able to prepare a number of spells based on their level before each adventure, selecting anything that they have in their spellbook.

The main difference between the two classes that differs from pen and paper D&D is in the number of spells each class can cast. Instead of the spells per day system, we use the spell points system, under which a Sorcerer can cast more spells before resting than a Wizard.

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MMORPG.com:Warforged are a race of people that are specific to the Eberron setting. What can you tell those of us who are unfamiliar with the race about who they are?
Victor Watcher:

Warforged are a race of sentient constructs built to battle in the last war. The Warforged body is covered by armor plating, giving it an inherent AC bonus. However, this prevents them from wearing any other armor. They can upgrade their armor by selecting feats, such as Adamantine Body or Mithril Body which carry bonuses and penalties similar to standard armor types. Warforged can also gain additional abilities and customize their appearance by using docents.

Warforged also have a host of immunities. They have a bonus to saving throws against effects such as poison, paralysis or energy drain. They have Light Fortification, which gives them a chance to avoid the extra damage from a critical hit or sneak attack.

To balance this, there are a number of disadvantages to being a Warforged as well. As machines, they are less affected by spells that heal hit points or ability damage. They carry a penalty to their Wisdom and Charisma abilities. When resting, the number of hit points they regain is dependent upon their own or an ally’s repair skill.

MMORPG.com:According to your website, you are requiring your spellcasting characters to purchase reagents for all spells requiring material components. Doesn't this place spellcasters at a disadvantage?
Victor Watcher:

No moreso than the Ranger who must remember to purchase arrows, or the Fighter whose weapons and armor break…

MMORPG.com:Why should I be excited to buy and subscribe to DDO?
Victor Watcher:

The game contains the level of depth in its content that one would normally expect from a single-player or pen and paper game, rather than the relatively simplistic of a traditional MMORPG. Our combat is a different model than that used by MMORPG’s, blending RPG die-rolling with real-time action combat where your skills and decisions as a player can help drive you to greater chances of success.

My thanks to Victor as always. You can comment on what you've read here.
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