Once again, Turbine has challenged the preconceived notions of MMO gaming with the growing success of DDO. But what's the future look like for the game? We sat down with Fernando Paiz to find out!
ZAM: Anything else about the airships we need to know?
Paiz: Besides transportation, the ships also have the ability to give the guild buffs along with having a tavern keeper and an auctioneer directly in the ship itself.
There are a few other things that you’ll unlock as you progress through your renown and levels that aren’t necessarily attached to the airship. There are some unique vendors that sell interesting goods, and you also have the chance to run into some higher level items that have a “guild level” prerequisite on them before you can actually wield them. Just like you might get a min. level required item or a special racial item, you might get min. guild level items as well. They’re not that common, but it’s something that we think will help “advertise” guilds a bit more as well.
ZAM: So what’s the decay like for guild renown?
Paiz: Once you get above certain guild levels, somewhere around 50 and 75, the decay becomes much more aggressive. To be honest, once you get to those levels it’s much more about bragging rights than anything you might get from being of a guild level that high.
ZAM: Can two guilds be at level 100 at the same time?
Paiz: They can. We actually debated that concept. You can have two level 100 guilds, but they’d have different renown scores. We are planning on having web leaderboards hooked up for this, if not for the release of the update then shortly thereafter.
If you want to get down to saying who’s the top-of-the-top, you should be able to do it through the leaderboards.
ZAM: How difficult will it be for guilds to rank up their renown score?
Paiz: That’s definitely something that we’re still trying to figure out and balance. There is some help for smaller guilds in this system… we don’t want to exclude a guild that might only include four people. We think that’s a totally valid way to play, and we’re trying not to force people to have 50 player guilds. If you’re in a small guild, you’ll get a small boost every time you pick up, what I call, a “renown token” because we want to make sure those guilds are able to get their airships and things like that.
This is a long term play; you’re not supposed to get up to level 25 in a day. This is more of a long term, stay engage with the game, sort of goal.
ZAM: Any other highlights?
Paiz: One thing I’d like to touch on is the fact that all the features that we’re introducing for the guilds is all available in the game with in-game coin. This isn’t something that’s just available in the store. In most cases, we give players the option to either buy it with in-game coin or buy it from the DDO store, and with a lot of these long-time guilds, they’ve got account with millions and millions of plat just stored up and they’ll be able to spend that money on their vendors and amenities aboard the airships.
There’s a handful of exclusive DDO store items, maybe a few of the really high-end airships and some other things, but 90% of all the features will be accessible through the actual in-game currency.
ZAM: Are there some smaller items in Update 5 that you’d like to touch on?
Paiz: There are some smaller things like additional dungeons that are also coming out. There’s a premium adventure pack that will be for level five characters that’s called “The Carnival of Shadows.” It’s a neat little adventure that features a bunch of Tieflings running around the carnival and has the players investigating what they’re up to. I think the players will get a kick out of it, and there’s a really nice capstone dungeon underneath the big top with a giant Succubus boss that they’ll need to kill.
It also supports epic level play, so level 20 characters can go in tinker with it (and still be challenged) as well.