The developers behind the fantasy MMORPG "The Chronicles of Spellborn" took a break from their busy schedules to answer 16 burning questions from the forums about player housing, Auction house and favorite ice cream!
1. Will there be any change between the data files for the Acclaim and Spellborn versions of the client, and if so, does this mean that Acclaim customers are going to be kept waiting whenever a patch is required?
The difference between the Acclaim and SIL versions will be very small and hardly noticeable. We will work very hard on minimizing the delay between Acclaim and Spellborn rollouts of new patches.
2. When/Will housing is going to be implemented?
So far it is too early to say when housing will be in the game. It is a feature we would love to see implemented in the game, but right now, we have to focus on more priority things first. I am talking about what has been announced in the latest "Project Update" (http://phpbb.acclaim.com/spellborn/viewtopic.php?t=583). Do not worry though, we still want to have housing at some point in the future, but right now, only time will tell when.
3. When/Will mounts are going to be implemented?
Mounts are also planned to be added to the game. Concerning a specific time at which it will happen, it is still too early, but yes, we really want to have mounts at some point in the year 2009.
4. Will you introduce a High House Channel or World Channel?
Yes, we will introduce a World Channel to the game. This should happen quite soon, as in the coming months.
5. Are there plans to expand the skill decks (in terms of adding more skills to every class) or add new classes to the game?
Chances are high we'll be adding skills separately and way before even raising the level cap.
We'll be adding more skills with different purposes, some might be for upgrades, some might be for fun, others might be skills for specific purposes. Yes, it might sound quite enigmatic, but you will see, there are some really cool ideas there.
6. Will there be an increased variation in the Daevi at the creation screen, in size and fatness? or humans as well?
We would love to offer even more character customization options to the players, but right now we are more focusing on adding new content to the world (armours and clothing for example), so it safer to say that increased variation in the Daevi and the Human will happen in the future.
Rest assured, we'll be working on distinguishing humans and Daevi more, think along the lines of different faces, hairstyles and features. More details on this will follow as they become available.
7. Do you have the future of his game planned out? By that, I mean is there a soft schedule for releasing any of the following (and I don't care if these are in the future or not...these are just examples), new playable races, new professions, new areas/continents, housing, mounts, expansions, etc. ?
New races for players to chose from at the very start of the game is currently not a plan we have.
Rather, we're definitely planning to expand the game and the player's interactions with it in a lot of other directions. We want players to be able to influence their High house, which in turn influences the rest of the Enclave. With regards to classes, we plan to expand deeper into our current Disciplines rather than adding alternatives.
Mounts and new areas are all planned to be happening later this year 2009.
You can already see -if you haven't done so at question 2 -how the year 2009 is planned out by checking the Project Update
As regards expansion, yes, we definitely want to offer expansions, but in all honesty this isn't going to happen any time soon, as in this year. An expansion must have tons of new content and gameplay, and right now we're working on implementing content to the already released game.
The objective is to get as many features announced in the past (and scrapped for release) in, and then, working on things totally new and totally awesome for expansion.
8. What's the plan for adding content/features etc; will they come in the form of large infrequent expansions, or as a frequent trickle within patches?
We will keep on having a regular update of the game. Right now, we want to have a monthly patching sequence to take care of urgent issues but also to squeeze in some new content and features. Of course, some hotfixes and smaller updates will found their way to the game in between, but in any cases, we really want to have regular patches. That shows that we are busy working and busy taking actions based on our players' feedback.
9. With the non-active targeting system. The HP bar has been set next to the target now so you can see how much HP the target you are attacking has left. Any plans to expand on this so we know what debuffs we landed on the target?
This is a nice idea which I'm sure will make it into the game at some point. However, we're being very careful with these options, in the past our concepts and prototypes sometimes ended up looking like a Jetfighter HUD, indicating target hitpoints, range, states and debuff status.
Pretty much "overload" of information and cluttering the screen, making it harder to aim and keep an overview...
10. Will there be an Auction house?
Yes! Well, we don't call it Auction House, but rather "Marketplace". It is a place in the game where players can buy items from other players or leave items to be sold to other players. All Marketplaces are linked, which means that an item which has been offered in Hawksmouth market can be sold in Mount of Heroes. The interface of the Marketplace is also quite simple, let's take a look at a mockup of it:
As you can see, you have 3 horizontal tabs, for buying, selling and reviewing your sales history. Also, you can check the Price history of an item by clicking the "Show Price History" in the lower right corner of the window. It will display an histogram with price variations and quantity of item sold over the past days, and weeks.
This is an interesting feature which allows players to set their own price by knowing how high (or low) the demand vs offer was.
It is important to note that by putting an item on sale, no default price is set for said item. It is up to the players to find the proper price for the current situation of the economy.
Also, there's no bidding involved, which means that you directly buy the item you want.
11. Are there plans to add a LOD slider to prevent geometry degradation at such short distances?
Yes, we will certainly add this somewhere in the mid/long term planning we have.
12. Are there any plans for adding more group content?
Of course! Ancestral Quests and even more instances will be shipped to the game over the course of the year which are designed for 4 players.
Also, some new zones featuring group quests and content will be introduced. So yes, players who like to play with a group of brave adventurers will be quite happy J
Just as a reminder, every encounters in Spellborn are all made for a group of 4 adventurers. No raids, and no plans to do so
13. Will we get a bank/ broker system?
Allowing personal storage space for the players is indeed a nice feature, and even though Spellborn offers a really large inventory space already, having a personal or guild bank would of course be very handy for the players. In any cases, this would be a feature that we implement in the future.
We hope that the marketplace will also support the flow of items, so they won't stack up in inventories as much as they do at the moment.
14. We know that the enemy AI in TCoS is amazing, but the friendly NPC's just stand there and do nothing at all. Are there plans to improve the NPC behavior to make towns more 'alive'? Things like idle conversation, emotes, etc
Yes definitely. We really want to make the game as lively and also as immersive as possible. More "flavor" text and also idle conversation will be added.
We also planned speech bubbles to add more visibility but also more interaction for the players.
15. Do you like ice cream, and if so, what flavor and brand of ice cream do you like best?
Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie.. I can empty one of these in 5 minutes tops.
16. What specific video games are you currently playing?
The Chronicles of Spellborn of course!! I am leveling my Deathhand on the International PvP server. I am also playing some Team Fortress 2, some Quake Live, and I'm also training on Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix for when SF 4 comes out