David Allen was the driving
force behind Horizons, is the co-founder of QOL (Quest Online, LLC),
and is on a mission to spread the word about his latest endeavor, style="font-style: italic;">Alganon.
For every player that's complained about games not having enough depth
of meaning, being forced to fulfill the same party role day after day,
or wants a chance for their name to forever live on in a game's
history, it's time to listen up. Eric "Dalmarus" Campbell sat down with
David and Alganon
Lead Designer, Hue Henry, to get the latest scoop on
this ambitious new title.
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some of the readers that may not be familiar with style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
can you give
us the basis of the game and some of the lore behind it?
The thing that made style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
different from the other games is it was
built around a world run by deities. I wanted to have large-scale
interaction at some point in the game to where you were part of a world
that was a living, breathing world that had these majestic deities that
oversaw a certain domain, they fought amongst themselves, they had
So the lore behind style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
is really deity based with a lot of history.
If you go on the website and href="http://www.alganon.com/world-history" target="_blank">read
history of the game, you can see
it goes back quite a bit. There are wars, we have how the races were
born, how they're intertwined, and how they followed the deities.
I wanted to create a foundation that served as a rich playing field
because my original goal with style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
was to have it so deities would
actually appear in the world even as themselves, controlled by high
level CS GMs. So you could be walking through the forest and suddenly
Triatia would be 15 or 20 feet tall, and appear before you, and be
like, "I have a mission for you!” You know, that sort of cool
interaction because then that person could be, "Oh my god! I just saw
Triatia!” Then once we get the Library to the point that we
want it to be, which will also serve as a news center in addition to an
information repository, then those stories could propagate.
Plus, domains also are supposed to be under the control of specific
deities. So if you're a patron of Deity A and you entered a domain
controlled by Deity B, you may have some weirdness going on. You may
have some automatic deficiencies; it may be a little harder to fight.
It would put you at a slight disadvantage more than anything else, but
then you would have people that would rally around their patronage and
their deities and that sort of thing.
is 100% original IP and that actually gave us a lot of wiggle
room for what we could do. Our goal was to create a living, breathing
world, to where if you chose one side or the other, there was a reason
for it and there were connections. In style="font-style: italic;">Alganon,
there are deities
associated with the races, there are reasons behind your participation,
there's history to it as far as where your race comes from, what your
obligations are, who your enemies are. style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
really was a lore-based
game as a whole.
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came up with the concept for style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
probably towards the end of 2005,
and then we founded the company at the beginning of 2006. I spent
probably a good month or two doing nothing but writing the lore,
putting together the deities, drawing up the world map, and creating
the different factions. You know, doing the fun, creative stuff.
I think the core of style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
is very different from other MMOGs. Our
initial release is not going to include the level of content that we
wanted and a lot of it is the type of funding. We didn't have tens of
millions of dollars to go towards extending our content. We aren't
launching with domain control for deities for example, but that's
actually going to be out, probably within the next six months so it's
not going to be too long before that's actually out.
just came from a point of creativity, creating a world where
deities exist, where gods exist and they're all very different. That's
really the foundation of style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
and the game will grow around it.
there still plans to have high level GM's control the gods in the
Oh yeah, that's part of the design of the game, you bet.
Crusades were in the original design where players could become a
patron to a deity and engage in crusades against other deities and
we're talking potentially large scale combat. That sounds really good
from a design perspective but technical implementation of that is very,
very difficult. If we're going to do it, we want to do it right.
And that's one of the reasons also why we're releasing style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
features we've got now. We aren't releasing with all the features we
originally wanted. We decided to refine the other core features of the
game to be better instead of giving them more that were not so good.
for joining us Hue. Can you talk about the four core system with the
classes and how players can manipulate their play styles?
Absolutely. One of the things we set up, we've got what we call the
dual role system. The idea is that when you're searching for a certain
role in combat in other games, you usually have a situation where one
class has a single role and that's pretty much what they do. There are
a lot of MMOs like that where if you're the cleric class, all you do is
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we found was that had benefits and negatives. The benefit part was that
if you needed a healer, you knew whom to ask for. The negative is that
it's boring to play the same class over and over and over, doing the
same role. So what we set up was a system where we have four classes
and each of those classes has a primary role it performs by default and
then they also can devise a secondary role that class can play in
So for example, the Soldier is going to be our tank by default. If you
ever need a tank, you call up for a Soldier and you've got a tank. If
you want a DPS class, you might ask a soldier f they've set their
second role to be DPS. That's one of their options. Their
specializations allow them to do DPS. So that Soldier, without having
to respec (though they may want to change gear to get their better
weapons out), and without having to make a lot of changes, they can
fulfill the role of a DPS class. So suddenly, that one character can do
a lot more than just fulfill that one role.
So what would the alternate role of a Magus be?
We decided with this situation, we wanted to go big. We didn't want to
make them DPS, then just different types of DPS like some games do, we
wanted to go really big.
For example, the primary role of the Magus is sort of AoE DPS; they're
trying to burn the whole room down at once. They can specialize into
doing single target DPS with the Fire specialization where they focus
on just that one boss to take him down quickly. That's one option.
Another option is actually tanking. So they can actually go into a
frost form, cover themselves in ice, and use a lot of their frost
spells to throw their defenses up through the roof. One of their spells
called Shatter actually takes the debuffs they've put on their enemy
and shatters them, thus healing the Magus. They become a sort of
regeneration tank. With this combination of all these skills, they're
regen-tanking wit their frost abilities, they're boosting their
defenses through the roof, they actually become this tanking frost
The third one we have is Storm (think magical storm, rather than
electricity). Storm magic is all about controlling the aggro,
controlling movement, a bit of crowd control. If I've got a friend
that's a fire Magus, and he's burning down the enemy and creating a lot
of threat, my storm Magus can say, "You know what? I'm going to take
some the threat off of you and put it on me." That way the storm Magus,
because their stuff is all low threat, can balance things out allowing
the rest of the party to do their stuff. It's a really support oriented
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every class has those multiple roles they can fill?
Yep. Every single one of our classes that we'll ever have will have one
primary role and then three others to choose from. And they're all
going to be this big. I mean, like tank, heals, AoE, support, all large
changes. We don't want to have classes that are DPS then different DPS.
We want them to be big changes and lots of fun with different game play
styles while you’re on the same character.
to pick a secondary role, what do players need to do? Is there a quest
series to complete, or a trainer to talk to?
The secondary role is chosen through the abilities system, which is
very similar to World of Warcraft’s talent tree. You have a
tree where you can spend points every time you level. It allows them to
specialize in one of these custom secondary roles, but if they want to
mix and match to create their own secondary role, they can do that too.
cool. Can you explain the study system for our readers? I know it's
similar to that of EVE Online, but is there a skill point cap, or any
limits on what you can learn?
There is no cap, so mechanically, it's that idea of building points as
long as you’re currently studying. So there isn't a cap. The
only real cap is time. There are so many skills right now, it would
take over three years for someone to study them all. So time is really
going to be the thing that keeps you from getting all of them.
any of the skills class-specific, or cross-class?
They're set so anyone can get any of the kills, but they may not want
to. For example, anyone can study the sword skill, but if your class
can't use a sword, then you really don't want to. We didn't directly
limit them, you know. We let people choose.
We also put in secondary rewards. Take the magic tree for example. A
Soldier doesn't use any magic, so why would he care about studying
anything in that tree? We've put in items that require skills though.
So suppose he finds a trinket that has acts as a cool damage shield but
requires him to have a certain skill in the fire tree to use it. So a
Soldier might want to go down that skill path to use it. Better yet,
the way we look at it is if a Soldier did go down that train, they
don't feel as though it was wasted.
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one of the things about this study system. It puts a unique twist on
it. The study system by itself opens up other systems, so by doing so
it makes it that kind of idea that you log off and then log back on,
your character is a little bit stronger. It's not much to make a
difference, but you're a little bit stronger and a whole world of new
things has opened up to you that you can do.
So let's say you go to work for the day, when you come home from work,
the game's more fun than it was when you logged off the night before.
There's more stuff to do, more things have opened, you're a little bit
stronger, and you got that even though you went to school or work for
the day. That's what I think is the coolest part about that study
did the inclusion of families come about?
Families eventually evolved into something more simplistic. Originally,
we were thinking of making families this real elaborate thing, but then
you whittle it down and ask yourself what's fun? What do people really
want? And that's where we decided to just make families an
encapsulation for like-minded players.
And it's actually working out great because you can run through the
game and just by looking at the icon over their head, you can tell what
family they're a member of, you can talk with them in the family
channels. And all it is, is a method of defining someone's interest and
then opening up a communication system for it.
You can get family heirlooms that change your appearance. So if you're
an explorer, you can go out and get the explorer's cape, and the
explorer's shoes, and all that and make yourself look more
explorer-like if you want. We do have plans later on to allow the
different families to compete in some friendly competition that will
tie in with the Great Library.
The core family system is great. It's actually turning out to be
something that some players go, "ah, yeah, family system." But it makes
a big difference because the second you enter the game you have access
to that chat channel with all of your family members and people are
willing to help. If you choose a family that really does reflect your
interests, you're going to be talking with like-minded people, doing
like-minded things and you'll get along with them better.
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The style="font-weight: bold;"
section on the website style="font-weight: bold;"> says
that it will be possible in the future to have the deeds of your family
and guilds etched into the Great Library?
Correct. That’s part of the competitive system that's planned
and that's related to the upcoming achievement system and it's going to
be available on multiple levels. Guilds will be able to gain
recognition for feats that they perform. So will families. Obviously,
you have to have different sets of rules because families are just
everybody that chooses that and some families are going to be naturally
stronger than others because one family may statistically have more
teenage kids in it who really don't care and another one more adult
people interested in more goals. We're aware of that and will take
things like it into account.
throughout the website, and even through the interview so far, we've
heard bits and pieces about the Great Library. What is it and how will
it affect the playing experience of gamers?
Right now, if you play World of Warcraft, you either have an add-on or
you go to Thottbot or Wowhead to get whatever information you need. The
Library built into style="font-style: italic;">Alganon
is pretty much like having Thottbot or
Wowhead built into the game itself.
If you hit the Y key or hit the library button, you can type in the
name of any mob, any quest, any item, any tradeskill, any class...
anything. It's all in there and it's all straight from the
horse’s mouth. There's no third party processing issue. It
has *everything* from the game. Type in anything from the game, and
it's in the Library for you to read. It can tell you where every NPC
is, what creatures drop a specific item you're looking for. If you type
in the name of a quest, it will bring up the information on the quest
and has links embedded in it to show you who you need to talk to, where
you need to go.
Go out to MyAlganon.com
and play with it. We also have the equivalent
of the WoW Armory already in there too. The Great Library is really an
awesome feature of the game. This is embedded within the game itself
and is fully functional right now.
for taking time out of your busy schedule to come talk with us today,
David. The game is currently in open beta right now folks, so get over
there and give it a try. Be sure to check out my first impressions of
the game as well. Until next time, happy gaming everyone!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Alganon Game Page.