Community Q&A with Andy Velasquez
Q: What are the restrictions on player count for Foundry created content?
Andy Velasquez: Hi BadSpcok. I’m not really sure what you mean by “player count.” If you’re asking how many people can play content created by you with the Foundry, there is no limit. We also plan to have a ranking system for the Foundry, making it easy for players to find the highest-quality player created content quickly. If you’re asking about the maximum size of a party that can run through Foundry content, the answer is five.
Q: Can we feasibly "level up" to max and beyond (gear) in purely user-generated content or is the Foundry end-game only?
Andy Velasquez: Yup! Players can focus completely on Foundry content to progress through the game and reach max-level. There are also some great rewards for playing through Foundry content. The Foundry is something we want players to be able to explore and enjoy as players or creators as they progress through Neverwinter. The Foundry is definitely not something meant to be reserved only for end-game play.
Q: How complex will AI scripting be? Can we create semi-intelligent NPC party members? (Think Dragon Age style party roles?)
Andy Velasquez: Players will not be able to script companion NPCs in the Foundry at launch. Notice that I said “at launch”. Cryptic Studios has a long history of supporting our games post launch so this could be something that you might see in expansions moving forward.”
Q: How much customization will we have over the layout of the map (structure) versus just the placement of objects on the terrain?
Andy Velasquez: At launch, brush editing of terrain will not be a part of the Foundry. That being said, we have tons of exterior map variants for creators to choose from. Also, Interior map editing in the Foundry is incredibly powerful, so expect to have plenty of tools at your disposal.
Q: Will all foundry content be free, or will addtional or additive content be montenized?
Andy Velasquez: The Foundry will be completely free! I’d also like to clarify that we do not have any plans to sell things like monster packs or tile sets to Foundry authors at the moment.
Q: How is loot generated in game normally, pre-generated via a loot table or on the fly (random stats)?
Andy Velasquez: We pre-generate our loot.
Q: How much of the game is instanced compared to being an open world?
Andy Velasquez: Right now, the ratio stands at 50/50, so we have a fairly even split between open world and instanced content.
Q: How will balance be achieved with the foundry isn't able to be exploited for personal character gain while also allowing for flexibility to crafting your own experience?
Andy Velasquez: The Foundry has been designed to provide authors with lots of flexibility and the freedom to create whatever kind of quest they’d like within the context of our existing game conventions. That being said, there are boundaries in terms of what authors can create with the tools available to them. So don’t expect any Foundry quests with rooms packed with mobs that can be one-hit to death easily in exchange for thousands of XP points, for example.
Q: Are there any intentions of adding player housing?
Andy Velasquez: The design team has definitely discussed the possibility of player housing. While it won’t be available at launch, it’s certainly on our internal list of features up for consideration with future expansions and updates.
Sythion (sort of one giant question):
Q: Will there be any way to restrict who has access to content that I create via variables set elsewhere?
For instance, can I make it so that a certain quest/dungeon/adventure/whatever is only available if players took a certain action in a previous quest? Likewise, can I have the content inside a dungeon depend on exteral factors, such as an NPC appearing/not appearing depending...
Andy Velasquez: Foundry authors can certainly chain quests together into epic campaigns. However, we will not restrict access to later quests in any given campaign based on requirements to complete earlier quests. That’s because we want to allow users to explore Foundry content on their own terms, as freely as possible.
Think of it like an approach to buying a season of a TV show on DVD. While most people will start from episode one and watch the following episodes consecutively, there may be others who want to skip to episode 10, for example, because that was the “good one.”
That being said, within a given quest, the Foundry author can be more restrictive and have NPCs only offer players certain dialogue options or only open doors based on whether or not a monster has been killed, an item has been collected, etc. So that element of control and direction from the author’s perspective will be available.