by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
by Kate Paiz, Producer for Dungeons and Dragons Online
With the fantastic amount of content that came out about Dungeons and Dragons Online
at Codemaster’s Connect ’08, it was only natural
that many fans had follow-up questions that needed to be answered.
Although Ten Ton Hammer’s Monk video
had an amazing amount of
information inside, there were some unanswered questions left up in the
air. In an effort to follow-up on these inquiries, Cody
“Micajah” Bye caught up with DDO’s
producer, Kate Paiz, to ask her a few questions about the new Monk
class and what players should expect with the new class.
Ten Ton Hammer: Judging
from our video of the Monk at Connect ’08, there are a whole
slew of new animations that were created specifically for the Monk. How
long did it take you to create all of the new animations and implement
them into the game?
After Module 7 is
released, players will have a new class to pick when they begin.
We’ve been working on the Monk for a really long time. It was
probably around a couple months of dedicated animation time to get the
basic set integrated into the game. We’re definitely going to
spend some extra time to get them tuned and make sure that every race
– male and female – makes sense when using the monk
attacks. All in all, end to end, it was probably at least a couple of
Ten Ton Hammer: So you
have an individual animation set for each race?
Kate: What we do is
build the animation for one race, then we replicate that across the
races and tweak it to make sure it applies to each individual race in
our game. We don’t want to go back and reinvent the wheel for
each race, but we always want to make sure that the animation is
appropriate for the race. For example, the Elf is lighter and more
graceful than some of the other medium-sized races, and thus we need to
make sure that the animations look appropriate on them.
Ten Ton Hammer:
There’s a new auto attack option coming into the game that
allows you to simply hold down the right mouse button to continue
attacking. Is that going to be more effective than simply clicking the
mouse button over and over?
don’t think the Monk is any different than the other classes
in terms of the auto-attack option. I mean, it really comes down to
personal play style. Some people really like the first two attacks in
their combo chain and prefer to play with those, and that’s
often what you get when you click-spam. You often don’t get
the third, fourth, and fifth attack in your combo chain.
Ten Ton Hammer: In your
Connect ’08 video, you mention that the Monk in DDO is a
blend between the class found in the Player’s Handbook and
the Oriental Adventures D&D supplement. How many of the
abilities are straight from the PHB and what was left out or replaced
with OA abilities?
But if you turn on regular auto-attack or hold down the right mouse
button, it will generate through your whole combo chain. If you just
continue clicking, you can space the clicks appropriately to get your
full combo chain, but you can also circumvent it. Many fighters tend to
go back and forth depending on what weapons they’re using and
issues like that.
You’ll have to talk with the designer, Steve Muray, to get
the details on those, because I can’t just pull all the
details about the Monk abilities straight off the top of my head.
(Editor’s Note: And we will certainly follow-up with Steve to
get those answers!)
However, what I can say is that we want to be as true to the PHB as
possible. I know we incorporated as much of the PHB as possible into
the class. We used the Oriental Adventures supplement as an opportunity
to explore and expand rather than change the basic elements of the
Monk. It’s very much meant to represent the class you play
and experience in the pen and paper game.
Ten Ton Hammer: Where
does the Monk fall in a group situation? Is he going to be a secondary
tank, or is he going to be a major DPS dealer?
Hopefully Module 7
wll have as epic an encounter as the Module 6 pit fiend.
Kate: The Monk is
really meant to be a hand-to-hand comparable to a Fighter.
He’s someone who can do a lot of damage dealing and can
withstand an assault in battle. However, this is also subject to what
sort of enhancements you place on the Monk.
Ten Ton Hammer: Do you
have an official release date for Module 7 yet?
Many of our enhancements that you choose are specifically geared
towards the decision of either being a sturdy shield that can take
damage or a major damage dealer or the speed in which you’re
attacking. With the enhancements, we really allow players to customize
their characters and fill where the Monk falls into the party. However,
at high levels the Monk is really meant to be a hand-to-hand version of
Kate: Not yet. We
have May 2008 as our target month, but we don’t have a date
within that month yet.
Ten Ton Hammer: So it
will hopefully be sometime in May.
Ten Ton Hammer: What kind
of themes are we going to be seeing with the new zones that are coming
in Module 7? Will there be lots of new monsters, or will it be flavors
from the old areas put into these new zones?
We’re not quite ready to talk about this yet. I will say that
we’re going to be spending some time in Three Barrel Cove,
and that means that naturally we’ll be doing some pirate type
Ten Ton Hammer: Looking
in the past a bit, what kind of response was there to the anniversary
event? Was it a big success with lots of people starting up their
Ten Ton Hammer: How much
effort did it take to do the 2nd anniversary live event?
: We certainly
had a lot of really enthusiastic players that were certainly excited
about the whole thing. If you look on YouTube
there are a bunch of neat videos uploaded that highlight players
experience of the event.
It also drew a lot of attention because of the type of event it was
– one with a permanent effect on the world. In the end, we
just went for it to see how the players would react, and I think the
response has been positive enough to warrant similar types of events in
the future. We want to bring more of these live events into our worlds,
and I think this is the first step on innovating in that department.
Kate: It took about
10 weeks of active development for a rather large team.
That’s certainly not the size of team that we have on our
modules, but it was definitely significant and drew talent from a bunch
of different areas.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
anything you’d like to mention before we wrap up the
I’m really proud of the way it came across, and REALLY happy
with how the player response has been to the event. But it was a
significant amount of work, and we were happy to move on and focus our
attention on the Monk and the rest of that.
think we covered pretty much everything I can talk about!
With our ongoing series
of interview with Kate has no-end in sght, is there anything you'd like
to ask to the producer of DDO? Let
us know on the forums