Ten Ton Hammer Interview with Josh Drescher
Dark Elves: Making Evil Look Good
We here at Ten Ton Hammer are excited about the release of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, especially the Dark Elves. With the final classes being fleshed out, new lands that the Dark elves will be inhabiting and fighting for, and the new Lore that surrounds them, what's not to love? Add to that the concept art that's been released for the worshipers of Khaine and you can bet we're going to see a large amount of them around the Warhammer World. The release of the Druchii in Beta has resulted in so much information being released recently, it's hard to believe that we could still have questions about the them and when you have questions, it's best to go to the source... so we did! Fresh off of his winter break, Josh Drescher, Associate Producer for WAR, sat down and answered a few questions we still had about the ever popular Dark Elves.
Ten Ton Hammer: You’ve just released the Sorceresses as the Dark Elf Ranged DPS class. Many people thought that they were going to be the healing class and now speculation is raging as to what the healing class could possibly be. Any idea when we could expect that revelation to come? Any small hints you could possibly give us to drive those board discussions beyond the fervor they have now?
Josh Drescher: The Disciple of Khaine, a melee healer, was just announced in this month's newsletter. Be sure to check it out!
Ten Ton Hammer: What made you decide to bend the IP a bit and allow for Sorcerers in the game? Was it a decision based solely on how they looked or was it also driven by not limiting players to a second all female class?
Josh Drescher: It was a combination of factors. In any situation where we’ve considered restricting the gender options for a career, we’ve used the same basic process:
- Does the IP demand a restriction? In the case of things like Witch Elves, for example, there was no wiggle room. They HAD to be female-exclusive. In the case of Sorceresses/Sorcerers, however, GW made it clear that there was ample room for relaxing the standard “female-only” limitations.
- If the IP doesn’t demand a restriction, does it make sense in terms of the aesthetic vision AND core visual vocabulary of the game to offer both genders? In cases like the Chosen and the Marauder, we felt that it would be inappropriate for our game to try and develop female versions of these careers. We needed them both to be physically terrifying, even at low levels without any armor on. The absurd bodily proportions necessary to achieve that can work on a male model, as it simply makes them look freakishly huge and intimidating. On a female model, however, they just looked awkward and unpleasant.
So when it came to male Sorcerers, it was a situation where we had GW’s approval that the IP didn’t demand the restriction AND we were confident we could implement them in a way that looked great and maintained the core look and feel of the career
Ten Ton Hammer: Dark elves are sure to be a popular character choice in the game. One of the things that make them so interesting is their lore. Will the Witch Elf’s Cauldron of Blood be making an appearance in the game? What about the Hag Queen Morathi?
Josh Drescher: Oh yes, the Cauldron of Blood will DEFINITELY be in. In fact, it will play a key role for some Dark Elf players as the Disciples of Khaine are actually survivors of the Cauldron. As infants, at the behest of Malekith, they were thrown into the Cauldron to fuel its dark power. Unlike most sacrifices of this sort, they survived the ordeal and were raised within the Temple of Khaine as a result. They are literally marked by the experience with bronze-colored eyes and a distinct affection for all things sanguine.
As for the Hag Queen, let’s just say folks shouldn’t be too surprised if she pops up eventually.
Ten Ton Hammer: With there being two rival factions in the Dark Elf camp, Uthorin and Arkaneth, will the Dark Elves still be working towards a similar goal or will there be faction issues in the Druchii camp?
Josh Drescher: Strictly speaking, we won’t be enforcing that type of rivalry onto players. From the standpoint of lore, the Age of Reckoning is a time of extraordinary danger to all sides and numerous concessions (such as Malekith’s tolerance of rogue covens of male Sorcerers) are made by the Dark Elves to help improve their chances of victory. This would certainly include the suspension of certain factional feuds as needed. References will be made in quests and dialogue that will flesh out the political machinations of Dark Elf society, but we’ll leave it up to players to decide whether or not they want to incorporate that level of role-playing into their experience.
TenTonHammer: What has been the most difficult part of bringing the Dark Elves to life in the virtual world? What was the easiest part? How popular are they among the WAR staff?
Josh Drescher: As with most races, the toughest challenge is choosing which of the Dark Elf careers we want to use. There are so many cool options that it’s always difficult to decide what elements are going to be excluded in the initial release. As for the easiest, that would DEFINITELY be getting folks excited about working on them. Mark Jacobs wisely (but also cruelly) made us do the Dark Elves last because he knew so many of us were ridiculously excited about them and he knew we’d be relentlessly motivated by the knowledge that we’d get to work on them eventually. The crazy stuff that comes out of the artists, the designers and the content developers is a testament to the energy and enthusiasm the whole staff has for the Dark Elves.
Personally, I know that I’ll be rolling a Disciple on launch day.
Ten Ton Hammer would like to thank Josh Drescher for taking the time out of his hectic schedule ot answer our questions
Got more questions you want to discuss about Dark Elves? Head on over to the Ten Ton Hammer WAR Forums and get to talkin'!
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