Interviews Category

We ask tough questions. Whether the devs answer them truthfully — or at all — is on them! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

DC Universe Online: Halls of Power II and the end of DLC

If you are not a subscriber to DC Universe Online, you’re still sitting back on the sidelines anticipating the release of Halls of Power Part II next week. We all know trying to be patient isn’t the funnest thing when you are looking forward to diving into your favorite game’s new content, so we talked with Senior Creative Director Jens Andersen and Design Director Jesse Benjamin during a DLC preview to glean some interesting tidbits to share with you while you’re wait.

Of course, we also have some information that those members who are busy playing through the DLC right now might want to stop and take note of. Andersen shared some words on plans going forward, probably the most notable being DCUO’s planned shift away from DLC.

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‘No more grind’: PvP sandbox Das Tal launches its Kickstarter

As promised, buy-to-play indie PvP sandbox Das Tal has begun a Kickstarter campaign today to coincide with the launch of the German wing of the Kickstarter platform. Das Tal isn’t a new game for many of you as we’ve been covering it on Massively OP and Massively-that-was, but the pitch puts the game’s development goals in focus:

Das Tal is the world’s first Open World Battle Arena. It is the love-child of a Sandbox MMORPG and a fast-paced PvP Arena. Our goal is to make MMOs fun again for PvP fans. No more grind. No more pay-to-win. No more tab-targeting. We are creating a game designed to be compatible with the busy life of an adult gamer.

Das Tal’s devs have already been working on the game for several years and have plenty of game footage to show for it. The title is due to launch next year; the alpha is expected in the next few months. The Kickstarter, they say, is specifically intended to pay artists to flesh out the world.

I spoke with Fairytale Distillery Managing Director Alexander Zacherl last week to pick his brain on the PvP MMO market, the B2P model, graphics snobbery, and the apparent contradiction in the game’s hardcore-but-not-entirely design. We’ve got a fresh Kickstarter video as well. Read on for all of it!

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Crowfall’s Walton wants to shake up the MMO business

Crowfall producer Gordon Walton features in a new interview at MOTD Media. If you’re a big fan of the crowdfunded PvP MMO, you won’t find anything here that you didn’t already know. If you’re on the outside of the fandom looking in, though, the piece might be worth scanning in order to see what all the buzz is about.

Crowfall’s design is boiled down to eternal heroes and dying worlds, with players flitting between the wars on the latter before heading home to their permanent Eternal Kingdoms. Walton told MOTD that part of the problem with MMOs is that they’ve been made the same way for two decades. “We want to go back and redrive that way,” he said.

[Source: MOTD Media]

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Star Trek Online interviews Voyager veterans and Season 10 voice actors

Star Trek Online’s Season 10: The Iconian War adds franchise veterans Robert Duncan McNeill and Lisa LoCicero to the fold. McNeill and LoCicero will be voicing digital versions of Tom Paris and Miral Paris, who will be fighting alongside player captains during the Iconian invasion.

Cryptic has interviewed McNeill and LoCicero and posted the pieces on SoundCloud, so be sure to listen in if you’d like to learn more about the actors and how they took to working on an MMORPG.

[Source: Celebrity interviews]

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Why Eternal Crusade can’t do a global megaserver

The dream to create a PvP-centric game on a single global megaserver might be just that — a dream.

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Senior Producer Nathan Richardson said that current tech can’t support such a server, hence why his game will be divided up into regional shards: “Whatever the technology we have, what partners we chose and hardware we deploy, changing the speed of light is a bit out of our reach. As a shooter, latency is important and we simply can’t work around that. […] It’s sad, but sometimes when dreams have to be turned into reality, tough decisions have to be made.”

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Talking with Trion about the future of Trove

If you dismissed Trove early on as an insignificant game or a thinly veiled Minecraft clone, then it might be time to take a second look. Trion Worlds’ colorful sandbox has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past year, incorporating new features such as sailing as well as hundreds of player-submitted designs. The result is a vibrant, silly, and creative world that’s starting to develop some strong word-of-mouth from its fans.

We sat down to talk about the future of Trove with Trion, asking about the game’s launch status, marketing, and how player creativity has helped the game’s potential explode.

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Chaos Theory: Reaping the Whirlwind in The Secret World’s Issue #11

To spoil or not to spoil; that is the question. When it comes to The Secret World, that’s a very serious question indeed! As much as I really, really hate spoilers, how could I ever decline a sneak-peek tour of much-anticipated Issue #11 with Funcom Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen? The answer is, I couldn’t. After all, the secrets of the Orochi are finally at our fingertips! The chance to delve deeper into my favorite story earlier than expected is so worth the risk of a spoiler or two. And you get to reap the benefits of the experience as I share all the tantalizing tidbits with you just as the update officially launches and you can break into the Orochi Tower yourself.

Now before we go any further, you need to be aware that there are spoilers ahead. I’ll give you fair warning before anything major so you have the chance to skip that info, but the responsibility is on your shoulders. But even if you read this Chaos Theory in its entirety, there will be plenty still to discover on your own. As Amiel said, Reaping the Whirlwind has a lot of reveals, and there are some major things I simply won’t divulge at all (but I know you’ll love!). On top of that, the devs were gracious enough to end the tour before the conclusion, leaving the finale to me to discover it at my own pace.

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Daybreak’s John Smedley: EverQuest Next isn’t ‘vaporware’

Even though the big SOE-to-Daybreak transformation happened three months ago, the entire ordeal still feels fresh to many fans. An air of uncertainty permeates speculation about the studio’s future, and questions still swirl around regarding the fate of both the older games and those in development. Change is never particularly easy, even when it’s good, so to help put players’ minds at ease, President John Smedley was joined by Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, to chat about the changes at a press conference call earlier this week, touching on the new logo, the Columbus Nova partnership, early access, and EverQuest Next vaporware worries. Read on for the run-down.

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Blasting through a hands-on with TERA’s new Gunner

Are you tempted by TERA’s new Gunner? I am. Admittedly it’s been a long while since I’ve frolicked in the land of Arborea, but my interest is piqued. Basically, I’d never really felt a great affinity for my Priest no matter how much I wanted to like her, so an intriguing new class might be just what the healer ordered to increase my playtime. Come next week, everyone can jump in and experience the firepower of this brand-new class. But as we all know, waiting is hard! That’s why when the opportunity arose to give the Gunner a whirl alongside En Masse Producer Patrick “Treeshark” Sun, I shimmied into some chaps, donned a 10-gallon hat, and charged in with my best Dirty Harry voice.

My bad impersonation notwithstanding, the experience offered a pretty good taste of this new gun-toting death machine. It delved much deeper than showcases that restrict you to a visual tour of devs playing a new class, and it even went beyond a quick, time-limited hands-on. I got to play the class on both ends of the leveling spectrum and at my own pace. Not only did I get to hunt BAMs with a max-level Gunner, but I got to go back and experience the first few levels of life as well.

And now I get to share those impressions with you. But before we get into that, I am going to tell you how to get a new mechanical mount for free to celebrate the release of the Gunner!

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EverQuesting: Daybreak expounds on Landmark’s postponed wipe

Some pretty big changes are on their way to Landmark, not the least of which is the final full character wipe and an extensive land reformation. Anticipation is certainly high for the new biomes, and to say many testers are looking forward to finally keeping character progression into the open beta phase and launch is an understatement! But that’s only a small part of the new build: The achievement, crafting, and harvesting systems are all getting their own facelifts.

With so many modifications incoming, players may not be too surprised to learn that the big wipe will happen later than anticipated; instead of April 29th, the wipe is postponed until the week after. At least that gives everyone a bit more time to digest all of the information, including these new details we’ve gathered from our talk with Senior Producer Terry Michaels and Lead Designer Darrin McPherson.
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Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns interview unwraps specializations and traits

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, readers of all races, professions, and levels: I finally have the news we’ve all been waiting for! Today I’m not writing about Hylek tribes or PvP betas; I’m getting down into the nitty-gritty workings that power the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion with the first word on Heart of Thorns‘ new specializations and traits. This ambitious overhaul of one of the game’s core progression systems aims to completely decouple stats from traits and allow players to come up with more creative character builds.

I got to fire some quick interview questions across to Game Design Lead Jon Peters that should help tease out the changes that are coming our way. Peters has crafted an in-depth blog post on the topic that will go live on the official Guild Wars 2 website on Thursday, April 23rd, but since I love you all I shan’t keep you waiting for a breakdown of the new specializations and traits that will rock Tyria very soon. Keep reading for my summary of the additions and the full-text interview with Peters, noting of course that we’re dealing with very early information that is subject to change as development continues.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Exclusive Guild Wars 2 Maguuma Hylek interview

I had the pleasure of chatting with Scott McGough, a Guild Wars 2 narrative designer who is currently working hard on Heart of Thorns content, about two new Hylek tribes that we’ll be meeting in the Maguuma Jungle. In this special edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, we have all the juicy details about how the two tribes come together to survive in the hostile jungle environment, with hints galore about how those races are equipped for combat and how they might perceive the players’ characters.

The Itzel and Nuhoch Hylek tribes are very different from each other, yet the Heart of Thorns narrative has deeply tied them together in their mutual battle against the dangers the jungle holds, especially the Mordrem. The Itzel are happy-go-lucky iridescent tree dwellers based on treefrogs that believe the jungle provides for all their needs, and their Nuhoch cousins are goliath bullfrogs that prefer to use brute strength and epic belly flops to solve their problems.

McGough will be publishing a blog post about the Hylek tribes on the official Guild Wars 2 website on Thursday, and this will be supported by a Points of Interest show this Friday that will give us a first glimpse of some of the places where players will interact with the Nuhoch and Itzel as well as some of their combat moves. Points of Interest will air on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel at 12 p.m. PT. Read on for the mammoth full interview, but be careful if you are worried about spoilers!
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Previewing Path of Exile’s mind-blowing Act IV

If you thought Path of Exile’s previous three content updates would be hard acts to follow, you clearly haven’t heard enough about the upcoming Act IV The Awakening. Slated for a June release, this expansion makes such a huge impact on the game that it will have its own closed beta test! Along with additional story, new mobs and legendary bosses, brand-new areas, powerful new skills, and plenty of unique gear, Act IV includes a slew of user interface improvements, a complete rebalancing of the core game, and what may be the most shocking announcement for players of this popular OARPG: a modifiable passive tree. On top of that, PoE will launch internationally with localization for Chinese, Russian, and Thai players.

Oh yes, Act IV will be the hard act to follow.

With such major changes coming, we beamed in for a remote press demo hosted by Grinding Gear Games’ Chris Wilson, who is both producer and lead designer for PoE, to get the details on what players can expect once those closed beta doors open on April 20th.

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