Module 7 and 4th Edition Interview - Page Two

Ten Ton Hammer: And what about races like the gnome that are being taken out of 4.0 but never made it into DDO?

Kate: The gnome is a great example of a rule that we’re looking at. Are we going to be introducing them into the game after the 4.0 rule set comes out? Honestly, probably not. We’re probably going to have to base that decision on what the player base wants. If they’re upset that the gnomes aren’t going to be included as one of the core races, we may end up choosing to include them in the game, but we’re going to take a lot of cues from WotC and where they’re bringing the brand so we can stay consistent with them.

The gnome may never see the light of a player's character creation screen.

Ten Ton Hammer: Does that mean that new races that are being introduced in 4th Edition, like Dragonborn, will be looked at to be included in DDO?

Kate: Absolutely. Again, we have to know what the details are and understand how the Dragonborn interact with Eberron before we can begin commenting on their place in our world.

Ten Ton Hammer: Another Turbine product – Lord of the Rings Online – has been really working to make their game more friendly for solo and small group play. Are you trying to do something similar? Or are you still looking to balance that gap between the group-oriented and solo play styles?

Kate: There’s no question that more solo play is a request that we get all the time from players. At the heart of it, DDO is always going to be a party-based game. It’s what the IP is about and really what a lot of MMOs are about.

But we know that people also don’t always have time to find a party. Sometimes people don’t have time to go through a full-length dungeon. One of the things that we’re doing in Module 7, which is a bit similar to LOTRO, is putting in some of the quest mechanics that you might see in that game. You may walk up to an NPC, gather a dozen small quests, then over the course of several hours or days you’ll gradually fulfill those smaller quests from that sort of lighterweight mechanism.

Ten Ton Hammer: So you might get a “Kill 10 Kobolds” quest and you’d just need to find 10 kobolds to kill?

Kate: That’s exactly right.

In Module 7 we’re also going through each of the landscape areas and attempting to make the roadways more soloable, because you’ll occasionally run into a nest of scorpions or something like that as you’re walking down a road.

Ten Ton Hammer: Here’s a random question: Do you ever think the 1750 favor needed to gain the 32 build point template will change?

Kate: Not really. What we’re doing is looking at other rewards that we can put in between the Drow and the 32 point build. I really want to put something in at 1000 along with something around 1250 as well. Favor point achievements should be something that feel big and epic, and that can be a little challenging.

But there’s no question that for Module 8 we’re looking at introducing a whole bunch of these little rewards to our players. What’s nice about the 1750 number is that as we introduce more content in at the lower and mid levels, that 1750 favor becomes more achievable. You don’t have to be as high a level to achieve that each time.

We’ve definitely seen the feedback to lower that number, but it’s always tough to change a system once it’s live. You often upset just as many people as you make happy, so our approach is to just release more for players to enjoy.

The developers are constantly trying to keep abreast of the suggestions and complaints happening in the forums.

Ten Ton Hammer: Finally, there seems to be a desire from the community to have more interaction with the developers through the forums or various other venues. Are you trying to facilitate that a little bit more than what we currently see?

Kate: Forum interaction is really about people’s roles, what they have to say, and their own personal predilection for being involved with that part of the community. That said, it is really important to us to be sure that the community feels like we’re hearing them and are responsive to them. That said, I don’t have any specific requirements for the devs to be on the forums except for the OCR gang.

I personally tend to post fairly little because I have the opportunity to talk with you guys and other agencies that allow me to get my message out there. But I do post when I see something extra cool. (Editor’s Note: Like when Kate caught wind of the “Genie Happy Birthday Post”)

Ten Ton Hammer: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us Kate, and I look forward to seeing the Monk videos from Connect ’08!

Kate: You’re welcome, and it’s always a pleasure.

What are your thoughts on the additions coming in Module 7 and 8? Do you think 4th Edition should be included immediately in DDO? Let us know on the forums!

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