Interviews Category

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

MUD’s Ben Walsh on the female character stretch goal and Kickstarter ambition

The sandbox known as MUDnot to be confused with actual MUDs — launched an ambitious Kickstarter this week, provoking the MMO community to do what it always does when asked for money: be skeptical. Of note, many of our readers took umbrage with the idea that female playable characters are be tucked behind a half-million-dollar stretch goal (the published stretch goal chart has since been abbreviated).

We spoke with Pure Bang’s Founder and Lead Designer Ben Walsh about the female character model and the game’s overall campaign.

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Star Trek Online: Heading for a New Dawn

The last major arc in Star Trek Online meant saying goodbye to the Iconican threat that had been looming in the background of the game more or less forever. Every enemy race, ever dangerous scheme, every stubbed toe led back to the Iconicans. Most stubbed toes, anyhow. So now that the Iconicans are being consigned to the trash can of history and a new dawn is breaking over the galaxy, what lies in store for the game?

We had the chance to ask a few more questions of executive producer Steve Ricossa, and we asked about both the narrative impact of leaving behind so many years of development and the mechanical impact of introducing a major new feature with this patch, the Admirality system. The latter is a feature long requested by players, a use for the many ships that Captains outgrow over their careers. Read on to shine a little light even before the dawn hits.

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Origins of Malu founder on the challenges of passion projects

Sci-fantasy sandbox Origins of Malu has had its share of development challenges over the past four years. A scaled-down version of the game debuted on Steam early access last March, but since then the dev team has been relatively quiet.

We reached out to Burning Dog founder Michael Dunham to get a project status update. Join us past the cut to see what’s next for Origins of Malu and to get a peek into the world of indie MMO development.

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War Thunder’s CEO answered a ton of questions at Gamescom

Earlier this month at Gamescom, Gaijin CEO Anton Yudintsev fielded a ton of questions from War Thunder players. The firm published excerpts from the Q&A over the weekend, and it’s probably worth reading if you’re a fan of the game and if you have a good amount of time on your hands.

The questions cover everything from where War Thunder will be in two years to the possibility of dynamic weather to the reasons for omitting playable infantry. Curiously, Yudintsev doesn’t say that infantry would be technically impossible but rather that the game’s teen rating “disallows killing of human characters.” He also mentions possible conflicts in terms of avatar power, given that guys with guns are much weaker than an aircraft, a tank, or a ship.

Source: Q&A; thanks Boris!

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RIFT explains the design principles behind the Primalist

RIFT is getting a new Calling for the first time since launch, which is a pretty big deal with the game’s approach to classes. An official interview with senior systems designer Jeff Hamilton has been posted on the game’s official site, detailing the design work that went into creating the first additional calling for the game and what led to making major changes with the Calling’s soul trees and talent system.

Hamilton explains that the other Callings have soul trees that have been expanded and bulked out through several level cap increases, but the Primalist was designed from the start to have a smaller number of points with more impact for each. He also explains that the intent was making sure that each of the various souls available has a clear purpose, from melee AoE to tanking. Read the full interview for more details about how the designers added something completely new to RIFT after years of an established structure.

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Star Trek Online’s New Dawn will be ‘full of mystery’

Star Trek Online is on the verge of a storyline shift with the upcoming Season 11: New Dawn, as it puts the wraps on the Iconian War and sets course for the next chapter of the game’s unfolding narrative.

We sat down with Cryptic Studios Executive Producer Steve Ricossa to talk about the future of online Trek, a replacement for the exploration system, and a quick post-mortem of the game’s previous expansion, Delta Rising. A good captain, after all, is always well-informed.

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Chaos Theory: Touring The Secret World’s Issue 12

Do you think a little thing like being in another country and having dismal internet could keep me from touring The Secret World’s Issue #12 with Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen? Of course not! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and trust me — I had the will. So even though the connection was far from ideal, I was able to poke through the new dungeon and raid, summon a world boss, and look at the new quality-of-life features to get a taste of what’s in store with today’s To the Dark Tower Below update. I also asked about TSW’s future and how the team is faring amid Funcom’s public search for investors. Read on!
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Trion’s Trove has a million monthly users

Could Trove be the sleeper hit of 2015? Signs are looking good already. While the sandvox title lingered in open beta for quite some time, it took launching to propel the game to new heights. Trion Worlds recently announced that Trove has already crossed the one million monthly active users following its July 9th launch — and there’s no telling where it could go from here.

We sat down with Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman to talk about Trove’s success, what the numbers mean, and what is next for the colorful game. Read on for the whole interview!

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Get a recap of Star Citizen’s development journey to date

Star Citizen’s development is already the stuff of legends and bardic tales, and it isn’t even close to being completed yet.

If your memory of the major milestones in the game’s journey is a little fuzzy or you are just now getting on board with the title, then you might want to check out this comprehensive recap of the history of Star Citizen to date. The timeline starts in October 2012 with the game’s crowdfunding campaigns, at which time Chris Roberts projected that Star Citizen would be complete and launched by November 2014. However, the influx of funds and expansion of the game’s feature sheet meant that a lot more development time would be needed, moving the launch date to the end of 2016.

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Albion is aiming at an EVE-like metagame

The Videogame Backlog has interviewed Christian Ziegert, who is the head of operations at Sandbox Interactive and who is responsible for the fantasy MMO known as Albion Online. The title is described in general terms, and the piece provides a good jumping off point if you’re curious about Albion and its player-driven mechanics.

Ziegert expects Albion to feature a lively metagame much like EVE Online, “where guilds and players are involved in heavy politics, espionage, and treason in order to progress and increase their power and influence.” He goes on to explain how almost everything in the game is crafted by players, though mobs will drop consumables and resources.

There’s a lot more to the interview, too, including bits about Albion’s full-loot PvP, endgame PvE, and crafting.

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Exclusive: Guild Wars 2’s Revenant elite spec is the Herald

The Revenant is shaping up to be a unique profession on a Guild Wars 2 roster, with fresh ideas in regards to combat abilities and its place on the battlefield. I was given a sneak peek at the upcoming announcement of the Revenant’s elite specialization that has been teased for a few days now as part of the Heart of Thorns expansion hype.

As many of you have already guessed, Glint is the elite specialization legend. I have plenty of information about what to expect below, and I also conducted a quick Q&A session with Game Designer Roy Cronacher to discuss the profession’s elite specialization, called the Herald, in more detail. I’m also throwing in a whole raft of information on how the profession will fare underwater too!

Of course, sometimes word just aren’t enough and you need to see a build with your own eyes to appraise it fully. Never fear: You can watch the Revenant elite specialization in action this Friday, August 14 on Points of Interest, airing at 3 p.m. EDT (noon PDT) on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel. Game Designer Roy Cronacher will be the special guest with POI host Rubi Bayer as they give fans an in-depth look at the Herald’s skills, weapon, and traits.

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World of Warcraft: Legion’s world invasion will be terrifying

World of Warcraft fans are vacuuming up any and all news regarding the recently announced Legion expansion, so we imagine that they’ll be interested in a new Gamescom interview in which the devs address some of the (ahem) burning questions.

One of the big topics of the interview is in regard to the worldwide invasions by the Burning Legion. The team confirmed that it will be hosting a pre-launch invasion of significant size and duration with demonic mobs and siege engines that haven’t been seen previously. “I think the reactions we’ll get from all of the races is fear and terror,” the devs said. “This is the biggest of all invasions.”

Finally, if you were holding out hope that player or guild housing was an unannounced feature of Legion, well, time to let that hope go. Blizzard confirmed that this won’t be a part of the expansion.

You can watch the full 15-minute interview below.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 25: Project Gorgon interview

Today on the podcast we have a very special guest, Project Gorgon Lead Developer Eric Heimburg. Heimburg brings us up to speed on the game’s successful Kickstarter campaign and takes us behind the scenes of building an indie MMO. We also have the new World of Warcraft expansion reveals discuss, so it’s going to be a busy show!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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