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Mini Q&A #4

Dana Massey Posted:
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The fourth in our bi-weekly series of questions about this thinking-man's MMO.

Every other Friday we will bring you the top four questions about Tactica Online, as gathered from this thread on our Tactica Online Forums. We encourage you all to post your questions for future articles as we cover this highly tactical, thinking MMORPG.

We are starving for good turn-based rpg's out here. Any chance of a single player or offline version of Tactica or some sort of campaign mode?
Luke Carruthers:

Anything is possible. Let us get this version out of the way, and we’ll see what happens. I have to say, though, why do you want a single player version? It won’t cost any less, there won’t be much difference in your control over your play experience, and your opponents will get a lot less interesting.

How much luck is involved in the combat?
Luke Carruthers:

Good question, not a lot. Originally we had a large variance in the amount of damage done by attacks, for example, but in testing we found that this detracted from the experience. This goes back to Tactica Online’s roots as a strategy game – you want your success or failure to be the result of the strategy you choose, not the result of some bad random numbers.

This approach is reflected throughout the game – if your attack misses your enemy, it’s likely it was because they put some defenses in place, rather than because that they just got unlucky. If you win, it’s because you played better, not because everything just went your way today.

MMORPG.com: What your team refers to as a class and level in Tactica Online may not be what the average MMORPG fan expects. Can you explain these concepts as they exist in Tactica Online?
Luke Carruthers:

Class in most games is a restriction on what you can do. Not so in Tactica Online. In fact, you don’t get to choose your class, it’s chosen for you according to the skills you know, and the equipment you wear. Lots of melee skills, you might be a Knight. Put on an eyepatch, and you might become a Pirate. Add a few healing skills, you might become a Paladin. Remove the melee skills, you might become a Priest. Class thus becomes more of an indicator to your opponents of what you might be capable of, rather than a restriction on the skills you can learn.

Similarly, level isn’t an indication of progress, but a reflection of the Point Value of a character. If your Point Value goes down – let’s say you remove some of those melee skills – your level will go down too. Again, level becomes an indicator to your opponents of what you might be capable of.

This is a very different conception of level and class than most people are familiar with, and we may end up changing the words we use because of that, but testing so far seems to indicate people are comfortable with the new usage.

Folks have been curious about the concept of a leader or “King” in the party. As the RPG elements of the game feature a single avatar, rather than a party, that serves as your identity in the game – will this then translate into some kind of effect on the combat aspects of gameplay?
Luke Carruthers:

While you’re represented by a single avatar in the shared areas of the game, this is purely a matter of convenience. None of your characters have any greater significance than any other. Think of yourself as the guiding hand behind all your characters, not as any particular one of them.

A big thanks to Luke and the Imaginary Numbers team for taking the time each week to answer these.
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Dana Massey