Interviews Category

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

EverQuest II cuts expansions, debuts DLCs with Rum Cellar

With everything that has happened over the last couple of months, players are understandably curious and concerned about of the future of Daybreak Games’ portfolio. What will happen with their favorite games? Today we sat down with Holly Longdale, the executive producer of EverQuest and EverQuest II, who unveiled the plans for EQII going forward. And those plans involve dropping the yearly expansion model and converting to DLC.

How soon is this change taking place? The first DLC, Rum Cellar, will be available on the beta server this Monday, April 6th, and release to live servers on April 28th. Players who want to get a peek at this content will be treated to a livestream tour hosted by Longdale on Tuesday, April 7th. But for those who don’t want to wait, we’ve got plenty of information for you right here.

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A look at DC Universe Online’s gung-ho munitions powerset

Not every superhero was bitten by a radioactive arachnid or born with jacked-up genes; some heroes must pull themselves up by their boostraps and a whole lot of weaponry. That’s where DC Universe Online’s new munitions powerset comes in, for the masked vigilante who would rather rely on raw firepower than a bag of mutated tricks.

We sat in with DCUO Senior Creative Director Jens Andersen to get an in-depth look at what munitions looks like in a live fire environment. While we don’t know when munitions will go in the game, Andersen said that it will be released as a purchasable standalone power as part of the team’s new piecemeal approach to updates.

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Star Citizen whale talks purchases vs. donations

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years and have no clue about the crowdfunded beast that is Star Citizen, a new article at Wired will bring you up to speed.

Not in a hurry, mind you, since it’s a lengthy piece featuring everything from an interview with a dude who’s spent over $22,000 backing the game to tidbits including the fact that Cloud Imperium asked Denis Leary to provide the voiceover work for its latest in-fiction spaceship commercial. The company ultimately declined due to Leary’s $100,000 fee.

What about the whale, though, one Wulf Knight of Madison, Wisconsin? Does he have any regrets about his pledges given the fact that Star Citizen has yet to ship? “Some people think, ‘I put a hundred bucks into this game and you owe me this and this and this,'” Knight says. “No. Your $100 entitles you to just as much as my 22 grand does, which is zero. You gave them money to make this game. You’re not buying anything; it’s a donation.”

[Source: Wired]

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The EverQuest team looks back on 16 years of bad ideas

EverQuest has been running for a very long time, and the game’s successes are pretty transparent to anyone who has been playing the game for the whole run (or even a fraction of it). But what about the bad ideas? Executive producer Holly Longdale, lead designer Jonathan Caraker, and assistant lead designer Alan VanCouvering have looked back on the game’s 16-year history and talk about the bad ideas that never quite made it into the game.

Among the stories recounted are tales about the zone of immobile diarrhea, the clock zone, and an entire zone centered on a terrifying gingerbread man. Yes, all of these things were discussed, and some were even prototyped, but none of them ever made it into the live game. Read more about some bad ideas, including some that players got to see if not actively use, in the full article.

[Source: VentureBeat]

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Minsc and Boo go for the eyes in Neverwinter’s Elemental Evil

While fans are surely looking forward to Neverwinter’s sixth expansion, which is launching just two weeks from now, a portion of the anticipation may be due less to the expansion itself and more to the two characters that are headlining it. Elemental Evil is bringing in two beloved characters from the Balder’s Gate series: Minsc and Boo. Come April 7th, Neverwinter players will be able to hobnob with the memorable duo of ranger and miniature giant space hamster that captured many a heart. But how exactly will these two play into the events in-game? How will players get to interact with them? And will they go for the eyes?

We talked to Randy Mosiondz, senior game designer on Neverwinter, to find out.

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This LotRO lore video made me reinstall the game

You know, I need another fantasy MMORPG in my life like I need another hole in my head. But thanks to a nifty lore-centric video published this week by Turbine, I’m (re)installing Lord of the Rings Online and dusting off my stable of alts.

The vid runs for about an hour, and it features lead world-builder and lore monkey Chris Pierson chatting with Mythgard’s Corey Olsen and Wheaton College English professor Michael Drout about Tolkien’s works and Turbine’s interpretations of them. Click past the cut for the full clip!

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Factions: Origins of Malu’s early access launch and interview

Origins of Malu has certainly had a long, bumpy road to launch. Showing up on our radar back in August 2011, this title has weathered two engine changes (each necessitating starting over), unsuccessful cowdfunding ventures, and even a name change as the design changed to offer the battlegrounds first. And this past Friday, at the very last minute, the team learned that the launch would be further delayed because of something beyond its control on Steam’s end. But that’s behind the game now, and the first iteration of the game with battlegrounds is live today.

Throughout the whole process, the team has been dedicated to bringing this game to life, going so far as to keep funding it out of pocket throughout the journey. We sat down with founder Michael Dunham to talk about why the additional wait was needed, what players can expect now, and when the full MMO is coming out.

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Garriott teaches Roberts about zero-G physics in pre-interview footage

Gamers Nexus spoke with industry legends Richard Garriott and Chris Roberts over the weekend, but I couldn’t tell you the first thing about the interview content.

That’s because the pair engaged in a lively discussion of zero gravity physics while the video crew was testing its camera setup, and the resulting chat was more interesting than most of the footage obtained, according to an off-camera commenter.

Garriott, you may recall, has significant experience in zero gravity due to his adventures in spaaaaace, and he spends the better part of three minutes explaining how momentum and various actions work in such an environment. Click past the cut to have a look!

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World’s enhanced player experience

Amazing story, awesome cutscenes, phenomenal atmosphere, compelling missions, incredible NPCs… The Secret World definitely has a lot of good things going for it. It is an MMO in a class by itself, unlike so many of the MMOs we’re all used to. But that last positive is also a negative: There are some former players who never got far enough into the game to really experience all it has to offer. Some of the unfamiliar aspects of the game were too unfamiliar to get used to, and some things were just plain difficult (Ak’abs, anyone?). The learning curve was steep enough to put many players off, players who might otherwise have loved the setting and uniqueness of the world.

That’s where the newly released “Enhanced Player Experience” comes to the rescue. I sat down with Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen to talk about these quality-of-life improvements and get a few behind-the-scenes details about this patch. Of course, you know I had to ask about Issue #11 and beyond as well!

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Crowfall devs: ‘We see crafters as a full-time playstyle’

Crowfall‘s Kickstarter campaign has crossed the 12,000 backer mark and hit yet another stretch goal. This means that the team will be giving an All-Father housing statue to everyone who backs the game. At 13,000 backers, ArtCraft will grant every backer a free month of VIP come launch.

The studio also updated its crafting FAQ to expain how crafting skills are acquired, how decay will benefit the economy, how “junk” crafted items will be disposed of in a vendorless world, and how alting will be discouraged. “We see crafters as a full-time playstyle,” write the devs. “They fill a valuable role as much as a tank or damage dealer does. In addition to being able to enjoy the “meta-game” of inter-World trading between Worlds, Crafters also have a specific niche role — every faction/guild will need to recruit them to turn resources into valuable equipment within the Campaigns.”

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Elite: Dangerous’ David Braben on PC vs. console development

Last week at GDC Frontier announced that Elite: Dangerous is headed to the Xbox One in 2015. Predictably, this caused a bit of consternation amongst the space sim’s PC user base. Frontier boss David Braben took to the forums to elaborate, and soon after we peppered him with questions to further clarify how the console and PC builds of E:D are shaping up.

Click past the cut to see what he had to say.

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Final Fantasy XIV won’t be going F2P any time soon

Would you love to play Final Fantasy XIV if only it didn’t cost per month? According to a new interview with producer Naoki Yoshida, you’ll be waiting a while. “If WoW ever goes completely free-to-play, maybe we’ll consider it,” Yoshida jokingly told PlayStationLifestyle.net via a translator.

He was asked whether or not Elder Scrolls Online’s upcoming buy-to-play conversion has any bearing on FFXIV’s subscription model. “No, we do not feel that we are being influenced by that kind of model shift,” he said. “Especially with an MMORPG, it is a kind of a game as a service, where we are kind of almost in the service industry.”

Yoshida also mentions data that “shows over 80 percent of our players are satisfied with the subscription model and they feel very assured that it is constant.”

[Source: PlayStationLifestyle.net; thanks Scott!]

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PAX East 2015: A chat with SOTA’s Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott casts a long shadow in the MMO industry, with Ultima Online serving as the first fully graphical MMO and ushering in the genre as we know it. His more recent claim to fame, though, is the success of Shroud of the Avatar, a crowdfunded spiritual sequel to his Ultima series, online and off. It’s one of the big crowdfunding successes and something that raises plenty of interesting questions about the viability of crowdfunding and how the game’s financial model influences its development.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with Garriott during my time in Boston at this year’s PAX East, and I started by asking him about another long shadow: Godus. Comparisons are fairly obvious, with Godus being another game project put forth by a well-known developer (Peter Molyneux) for crowdfunding. So what sort of influence do high-profile troubles such as those have on Shroud of the Avatar‘s community, and how can the team avoid the risks?

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