Moorgard has flipped the “on” switch for the hype machine pointing to an interview Ten Ton Hammer did with 38 Studios’ R.A. Salvatore.
Okay, so that’s just envy talking – if I was really concerned about ‘the hype machine’ I wouldn’t be posting and further publicizing this to people that might stumble across my blog. Also, if I were Moorgard, I’d be brandishing my affiliation with these folks and the fact that I’m a game designer for a secret MMO quite openly. Instead, well, let’s just say I work for a bigger company (neener neener) but the focus of the software isn’t as fun as games… or all that close really.
That interview got me thinking, “What would I ask people from 38 Studios if I had the opportunity to ask them questions about the upcoming MMO?”
Well, here are the immediate questions that come to mind…
1. What is the target audience? (make liberal use of labels; casual, hardcore, core, soloers, groupers, raiders, etc.)
1a. If you cop out and say “everyone” do you really think you going to deliver enough content to that each member wide audience and be able to keep their attention for years?
1b. If you have to focus more towards a given audience, which would it be?
2. Will there be any emphasis on exploration?
3. Will there be dungeons so large you can go into them half a dozen times and still not have seen everything?
4. Is advancement going to be fast and easy?
4a. Are you going to allow people to turn off XP?
4b. Are you going to allow people to opt out of ‘rest’ XP? (If you have that mechanic…)
4c. Are you going to allow people to opt out of bonus XP weeks, weekends or days? (Other than suggesting they just don’t play…)
5. Are you going to make people fear death?
6. Will PVE encounters, especially boss/named mob encounters, kick my ass? (I am an experienced player that plays their character to their limits, often pushing the envelope.)
7. Are characters going to fill a given role or are they going to be hybrids with everyone able to do everything?
8.If, when developing your class abilities, you had to choose between being graphically intensive (EQ2) or fun (WoW), which would you choose?
9. Do you want people to be able to log into your game for 15-30 minutes and still feel like they’ve done something or do you want them to set aside time because they’re are no easy achievements or quick thrills?
10. When someone says “content” to you, do you think of housing, furniture that can be crafted and pets (i.e. fluff) or do you think of fantastic places, deep dark caves or ancient ruins to explore, loads of quests of varying goals and tons of different creatures to kill?
10a. If you cop out and say, “both”, which one would you be more likely to drop in a crunch.
These are my questions, I’m allowed to be leading and yes they clearly show my bias. You don’t like my questions? Go ask your own.