Champions of Norrath
1. How would you describe Champions of Norrath in a few words?
Champions of Norrath is an action role playing game. We pack quick and exciting combat elements on top of a deep character development system.
2. What makes Champions of Norrath a unique and different game?
There are several things we have done differently then other games of this type. For one, our primary focus was on replay ability. We designed the spell/skill and items system to keep players coming back to the game again and again. Also, random dungeons, creatures, and treasure will make sure that each time the game is played, it is a unique experience.
3. What decided you in your choice of races and classes? What are the main differences between the characters available?
We wanted to choose races and classes that are familiar to the Everquest universe but fit the type of game we are making. We chose classes that allowed us to stick to what there primary focus is in EQ (Melee, spell casting, or both) that were applicable to an action game environment.
The primary differences are on their focus when in combat. The warrior for example has skills that compliment direct melee attacks while a wizard is more adept at standing back from the fray causing damage with range spells. With this said, the skill tree was designed to allow characters with quite an array of choices in how to play.
4. Champions of Norrath is a RPG. To what extent can I customize & develop my character?
Well, we allow for visual customisation in a number of ways. A player can choose from a number of faces, hair style, and hair color at the beginning of the game. Then comes in the thousands of pieces of weapons and armor a character can equip. Each character has 300 unique looking pieces of armor they can wear which is certain to give them a unique look from their friends even if they are playing the same class.
Next is in skill development. Each class has a variety of skills that they can power up 20 points each. When reaching level 50, the max in the game, players will not be able to fill up all of their skills. The will require choices that will differentiate the character from other players in the game.
5. Can you tell us how the experience system and the skill tree will be managed?
The skill tree uses a tiered system. As a character gains experience and level, they receive skill points that they can place into various skills as they become available. As the characters moves points into the skill tree, new skills will open up allowing players to explore these new abilities.
6. How faithful to the EverQuest universe is Champions of Norrath? What kind of elements will previous EverQuest players recognize in this game?
Champions remains true to the Everquest universe in many ways from it’s familiar locations, monsters, items, and spells. To make the kind of game we wanted, we essentially adapted these elements to the kind of play style we were looking for.
7. What have you done to make the game long and challenging, in other words to give it a high replay value?
Players can actually play through the storyline three times with the same characters from levels one to fifty. Each time they do so new items and spells are made available that they couldn’t aquire in the previous play through.
Also, our areas and monsters are randomly generated. This makes each play through of the game a unique experience.
We also have five distinct character classes that all have a different approach to combat. With their various skills, players can essentially get a new experience by playing through the game with all five classes.
8. Champions of Norrath will offer a 4 player multiplayer mode. What will it consist in? What kind of different gameplay does it imply vs 2 player only modes?
All multiplayer modes generate the same storyline as single player. We do ramp up the difficulty of NPC monsters to make the challenge level more appropriate for more people actually in the game.
Players can import and export characters to their memory card so that join and leave friends games at will. This allows them to develop their characters globally for when they play with their friends or by themselves.
9. This multiplayer mode will also be playable online. What kind of online services will be offered? Matchmaking? Ranking? Friends list? Lobbies? Download? Upload (characters, equipment …)?
SOE is providing a matchmaking service to allow players to find games they wish to join. People can also make private games so that they are sure to be paired up only with their friends.
Players will be able to trade armor and items that they acquire through their adventures with other players online as well.
10. How simple is it for the player to go & play online in Champions of Norrath? Can newbies team up with experienced players and play levels they did not go through in SP mode?
Players are free to join any games they wish to. If the storyline of the host is more advanced then where they have previously played, they may still join that experience. They can then export their characters and bring them back into their single player game to continue from where they left off.
11. Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance pushed the technological limits of the PS2 forward. How stands Champions of Norrath from a technological point of view?
Champions of Norrath uses a much more advanced version of the Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance engine. We can use more polygons in characters and the environments as well as much higher resolution textures. We also now have the ability to generate random environments, many ore items, and four players at once graphically.