MMORPG.com: A number of our readers are expressing concerns that this game, like Guild Wars will be primarily instanced. If this is so, how do you justify charging a monthly fee?
This is a great question and I’ll address it in two steps – our use of instancing and our monthly fee.
To be honest, our heavy use of instancing is a design choice more than anything else and it was one of the earliest and easiest decisions we made. Simply put, Dungeons & Dragons is about tackling dangerous environments with a small party of friends, not camping a spawn in a spot crowded with 50 other characters.
Our focus on instancing, along with our unique quest-based XP system, allows us to do things that you don’t typically expect to see in an online roleplaying game – collapsing floors, intricate puzzles, carefully-scripted encounters, deadly traps (that you can use to your advantage if you can lure monsters back into them) and of course, an ever-present sense of impending doom. What could be more D&D than that?
As far as monthly fees go, every online roleplaying game has its own business model, and ours relies on subscription revenue to offset the significant ongoing costs of maintaining a first-class game. Once the game ships, our development team will transition into a dedicated live team whose sole focus is to ensure that DDO is a living, breathing, constantly-evolving game. A portion of your fees also support our excellent customer service and technical support teams, and all of the hardware and bandwidth costs associated with running a game like this
You're all Doomed... DOOOMED!