The lead designer of Prophecy of RO answers more questions
Carolyn Koh asks more questions of EverQuest: Prophecy of RO lead designer Travis McGeathy in the second installment of our bi-weekly Q&A series. We also have two new exclusive screenshots, as we do every Wednesday.
Did you just revamp Freeport or are other cities being done as well? If not, what is the time line on revamping other cities?
It's Freeport and the Desert of Ro for now. We'd certainly plan to continue revamping other older zones, but we don't have a time line for their completion right now.
How do Spheres of Influence work? How are they gained and activated?
Spheres of Influence are, at their core, areas you create within the game world that apply an effect to anyone who enters them. They can either be static areas, staying put wherever they are placed, or they can be centered on their caster, radiating out from him like an aura. They're very versatile and the in-game effects cover a lot of territory. They're everything from raging snowstorms that freeze anyone entering them to banners that provide a combat boost to everyone around them to areas of intense magic that lessen the impact of attacks against friendly players within the area.
Please tell us how traps work, are activated, etc. What, if any class restrictions are there? Also, do they work in PvP and PvE or just PvE?
The ability to set traps will be available to players through a series of new disciplines and spells that players can learn. By using these abilities, players can place a trap where they are standing and when an NPC comes within range of it, the trap will trigger and cause harm to the NPC. There are a wide variety of traps that players can set, ranging from simple bear traps to magical wards. Player-set traps can only be triggered by NPCs in most cases, even in PvP environments.
As an added bonus, we are replacing the old trap system that EverQuest has been using since its inception with this new one. Once a player has successfully detected a trap, it will appear for them in the game world and they can choose to uncover it, revealing it to all other players in the zone, or try to disarm it. The new system uses the skills that players are already familiar with, so there shouldn't be much of a learning curve involved.
Can you tell us about how Destructible Terrain will work? How will it be implemented? Once destroyed does it stay destroyed? Does this work only in instanced zones? Or will a door you break down in Freeport become whole again in 90 ticks?
The destructible terrain feature allows us to create parts of the zone that players can attack, that become damaged, and that are eventually destroyed. They are used in most of the expansion zones, although most heavily in the Plane of Conflict. Within that plane, players can destroy fortifications, siege weapons, and even assault a massive fortress, tearing down its gates to assault the inner courtyard.
It's being used both within static and instanced zones. In static zones, the terrain will eventually return after some time has passed. In instanced zones, generally once you destroy something, it's gone for good.
What is the lore behind this latest expansion?
Mayong Mistmoore's ascension has forced the gods to return their focus to the mortal realm. The vampire lord threatens not only Norrath, but the pantheon itself and the gods are powerless to stop him as him leaves a wake of twisted corruption in his path through the planes. Druzzil Ro, the goddess of magic, has intervened and beckons mortals into her realm in a desperate attempt to save Norrath and its gods. Those who unleashed the evil may be the only ones who can stop it.
There is much speculation about the dangers facing Norrath and the gods. The masters of the Academy of Arcane Science whisper frantically among themselves about a god who has already been corrupted by the dark presence.
While much is unknown to mortals, Druzzil Ro clearly has a plan. Only those worthy enough to take on her challenges and trials will gain the knowledge of what has befallen Norrath and how to save it.
Hints of that plan begin to unfold as magical passages to new lands form in and near Freeport. One leads to Druzzil's realm of Magic. Another leads to Sullon Zek's home -- the Plane of Rage. And a strange, unending sandstorm in the Desert of Ro reveals the ruined palace of Takish-Hiz. Within that torn city is another mystery -- a portal into the past and the glory of the Elddar Forest and the ancient elven city created by Tunare.
What secrets lie in these new lands and how they will yield the skill and knowledge to stop this grave evil remains a mystery. But one thing is certain -- only Norrathians have the power and strength to save their world.
The very power of mortals the gods despised is now being called upon to save them and the world.
Thank you to Travis and Carolyn for making these happen.
Carolyn Koh / Carolyn Koh has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.